Atmosphere: Like the horse stable of a Tudor…
Service: I HATE cafeterias because I always feel overwhelmed, wondering “did I make the right/wrong decision?” and rushed, “are the people behind me losing patience?” and nervous, “where will I sit? what if I trip and spill my tray?” and the employees seem so unsatisfied with their jobs, barking questions like I’m an inmate at a correctional facility then giving me the stare down—or worse, moving on to the next in line—when I become an inconvenience for not answering promptly. But I’m told that is just my personality. Once we were nestled down at a table and I could return to my happy zone, everything was fine. Our [tiny] drinks were promptly refilled and dirty dishes quickly prebussed. The server was sweet, asking, “did you get some good pictures?” with a big smile.
Booze: Not here. I completely understand why, but the experience would be better with a little something to sip on while you stand in line… just sayin’.
Cafeteria Style | fried chicken, mac ‘n cheese, green beans, three deviled eggs, one roll and rhubarb pie with drink $ 15
This was my first time back to Gray Brothers since I was just a wee tot. Its pretty famous so a return trip has been on my list for quite a time, and our lumber run to Mooresville provided a perfect opportunity. Luckily the line wasn’t too long when we arrived for an early Saturday dinner. My priorities were in line: fried chicken, mac ‘n cheese and pie. Everything else was a spur of the moment decision that led to more food on my tray than one should ever consume. The chicken was good; dark meat dripping with juices, buttery flour-coated skin, but very basic seasoning—salt. I also stole a nibble of the tenderloin, more noticeably lacking any real flavor. Mac ‘n cheese was creamy and tasted of onions… a little generic, but I enjoyed it. Cooked to death in a vat of vinegar, the green beans were not my favorite. I don’t mind that style, but these needed less acidity and more pig. The deviled eggs were deviled eggs and the roll was a roll. My biggest disappointment would have to be the rhubarb pie. The crust had a nice crystallized sugar topping but was otherwise dry and boring. Maybe I chose the wrong flavor; Jaybird raved about his banana cream. (But of course scarfed it down while his lady was busy shooting.) Either way…
Overall: A sea of lackluster cafeteria food, Gray Brothers is neither TV-worthy nor the exciting destination restaurant its cracked up to be. Maybe once upon a time, but according to Jay it’s lost the spark from years ago. That said, everything was decent considering this style of restaurant where dishes are prepared ahead of time and kept warm by heat lamps. A lot of folks praise this place as god’s gift to country cooking, so its worth finding out for yourself if you’re ever in the neighborhood.
555 South Indiana Street
Mooresville, IN 46158