Here’s why I appreciate Barbec’s so much. I only eat there three or four times a year, yet each time I go the employees say hello and treat me as if I showed up every day. What more can you ask from a neighborhood restaurant?

Barbec’s is a White Rock Lake institution that has served chicken fried steak and beer biscuits for some 30 years. I wrote a story a couple of years ago for the magazine about neighborhood breakfast joints, and one of the things that struck me was that the restaurant had developed a life of its own far outside of the neighborhood. I did a Google search for the beer biscuits, and there were countless discussions about their merits on sites all over the country.
The other thing about Barbec’s? I think it’s a good indication about how much this part of town has changed, because Barbec’s certainly hasn’t. You can’t use a credit card there, and the restaurant has no website or email address. Plus, the restaurant’s mid-1960s decor, with mismatched chairs and tables, and its very basic menu seem to bother more customers than they used to. This is puzzling. Are we becoming more picky? Do we expect more from a breakfast joint than we used to? Are the basics – biscuits and eggs, frequent coffee refills, friendly service – not enough any more?

Frankly, it’s still enough for me. That’s why, on the three or four times a year when I’m on that side of the lake at breakfast time, I’ll stop in, order corned beef hash, eggs, and biscuits, and chat with the waitress and the other customers at the counter. We’ll talk about the weather, the news and what’s on TV. After all, I just can’t get that too many other places.

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