It is no secret that I absolutely love a country diner. I am terribly old-fashioned. The feel of a diner just relaxes me, and makes me feel so at ease, not to mention there is usually always a familiar face to sit and talk to. Perry County has no shortage of quaint little spots to go and enjoy lunch, dinner, or in some cases, a 4 am run for corn nuggets. (You all know you have been there.) I have decided to list three of my favorite places to take my boys to, simply because I could never choose just one. Each has their own little aura going on, and each is it's own brand of "special". If you are reading this from out of town, I do hope you take the time, passing through, to stop and check out some of these country cookers.
1: Circle T Restaurant: Circle T has been a local favorite for years and years. Nestled quaintly in the Airport Gardens area, this place is always packed out for lunch and dinner, but also stays open 24-7. I can't lie, in my teens I was a frequent 4 am visitor for corn nuggets and onion rings. Myself and my friends used to eat there after every Perry Central football game, because the old field used to be right across the road. You could just walk over to it. I've walked in with my cheer leading uniform on many times and scarfed down a cheeseburger. They offer daily specials, but my favorite dish comes on Saturday. Chicken-n-Dumplings with fried okra and mashed potatoes. You can't beat it.Yesterday, I took my boys to lunch where I enjoyed a new dinner. Open faced roast beef, or Roast Beef Manhattan with mashed potatoes. Man was it good.
G enjoying his favorite, pizza bread.
Roast Beef "Manhattan"
2: Frances Diner: The home of the famous Frances Peanut Butter Milkshake, this little place has also been a local favorite for years. Just down the street from Circle-T and across the road from McDonald's, France's is so packed sometimes I have the park across the way. I went there last night for supper and ordered a cheeseburger and home made vegetable soup and it was delicious. I had my two babies with me, and several people just had them passing them around to everyone. That is the kind of atmosphere you have here. Everybody knows you, or at least someone in your family, and even if they don't, you're still "home." Not to mention, the "buggy burger" is practically famous.
Home-Made Vegetable soup with a cheeseburger.
3: River View Diner: This local favorite has just recently reopened and I am so glad that it did. My Dad used to take me here when I was little for spaghetti and garlic bread, and I remember sitting outside on the bench and watching the river flow past. I went there today, and it was too rainy and cold to let me kids get out and see it, but I know they would enjoy it so much. They also offer dairy-bar like service where you can park and order instead of dining in (which is also an option). They have delicious piled-high custards, that I love to indulge in. It's definitely worth checking out again, today I had their chicken and dumplin special with cornbread and beans and it was spectacular.
Hazard is full of awesome surprises. It is so important that we support our local small businesses and these gems are no exception. Chain restaurants are fine, but I would 10-1 rather call in an order and pick it up at places like this, as opposed to sitting in a drive-thru line for thirty minutes only to get lackluster frozen food. For all of you who read this from out of town, stop by and check this delicious spots out and you'll be sure to leave satisfied!