Newspaper article The Tuscaloosa News

City Cafe Has Served Up Meat-and-Three for Decades

Newspaper article The Tuscaloosa News

City Cafe Has Served Up Meat-and-Three for Decades

Article excerpt

Jon Barger worked at City Caf in 1966 while he was in high school. After graduating he went out into the workforce but didn't like any other job as much as he did working at City Caf. Barger decided to buy the restaurant when it went up for sale in 1974.

"After I quit in '69 it changed hands three or four times and they all did things differently. When I bought it, I started doing things the way they did when I worked here," said Barger. "And that's the way we've been doing things since."

City Caf is well known for its "meat and three", or meat and vegetable plates. Each day of the week, it is closed on weekends, the restaurant offers a list of seven or eight meat choices such as beef tips and rice, chicken and dumplings, and fried chicken breast fillets. Plates can have a meat and up to three veggies or a vegetable only plate with four choices such as fried green tomatoes, macaroni and cheese, field peas and cole slaw.

Becky Grims has worked as a waitress at City Caf for 30 years and says that over the years she has met a lot of nice people and some that are like family.

"If you didn't know her and you were listening to her with her customers, you'd think she was a smart aleck, but they really love her," said cashier Tracey Malone.

"We've got some people you can set your watch for when they'll come in, some that come in two times a day and some you can write down their order when they come in the door," said Grims.

The more popular choices, such as the 8 oz. hamburger steak, with grilled onions and gravy, and fried catfish fingers, show up on the menu everyday along with the favorite sides like mashed potatoes with gravy and fried okra. Other dishes are reserved for only one day of the week such as salmon patties on Mondays and chicken and dressing, with cranberry sauce and gravy, on Thursdays. Their hamburgers maybe hard to find on the menu, they're listed under breakfast sandwiches, but are also one of their most ordered items. …

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