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The catfish special
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Owner Karen Ruble
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The Becky Club
Karen Ruble, who purchased the diner about a year ago, has worked to reinvent the restaurant inside and out, while serving quality food at reasonable prices.
“I feel it’s my calling to offer quality, fresh food,” Karen says. “I love to cook. I have always felt it was important to cook with fresh ingredients—nothing packaged.”
On a typical day, you’ll find Karen waiting on customers and ensuring every meal is made to order.
“My head chef and I work well together,” she says. “He gets what I am trying to do. I am particular about every plate that leaves the kitchen and so is he. We share a passion for quality food.”
Karen offers American favorites, including burgers, salads, soups, seafood, homemade sides and desserts that are a cut above typical diner food.
One of her best sellers, catfish and cod, accompanies a choice of homemade finger-licking good sides: cornbread, mashed potatoes and gravy, coleslaw, or greens.
The hot sirloin beef sandwich, served open-face, is another popular item.
“We have a variety of favorites, it really depends on what you are hungry for,” Karen said.
For the burger lovers, there are a variety of options. The mushroom Swiss and the bleu cheese and bacon burgers are local favorites. The “Becky” Club sandwich is triple stacked, with thick-cut bacon and roasted turkey.
“We also offer a variety of salads, and do them a little different,” Karen says.
Whether you want to sink your teeth in a fresh burger, loaded with veggies, or try one of their specialty salads, it is all wonderful.
“I have a loyal, local crowd, however positive online reviews have been key in driving travelers to discover the diner,” she says. “I am very thankful for those customers who have not only enjoyed their experience but also took the time to share it with others.”
Karen is also serving up a quality breakfast on Fridays and Saturdays.
“It has now been many months, at the present writing, since I have had a nourishing meal, but I shall soon have one — a modest, private affair, all to myself. I have selected a few dishes, and made out a little bill of fare, which will go home in the steamer that precedes me, and be hot when I arrive — as follows:
Fried oysters; stewed oysters. American coffee, with real cream; American butter; Fried chicken, Southern style; Porter-house steak; Broiled chicken, American style; Hot biscuits, Southern style; Hot buckwheat cakes; American toast. Clear maple syrup; Black bass from the Mississippi; American roast beef; Roast turkey, Thanksgiving style; Cranberry sauce; Roast wild turkey, Woodcock; Missouri partridges, broiled; Pumpkin, Squash, Asparagus; Sliced tomatoes, with sugar or vinegar; Apple Dumplings and real cream, Fresh fruits”
- Oil for frying
- 4 to 6 catfish fillets, about 1 to 2 pounds
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic pepper
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Salt to taste
- In a frying pan, pour enough oil to cover ½ inch up the sides of the pan. You can also use a deep fryer.
- While you are waiting for oil to heat up, soak catfish filets in milk. Mix cornmeal, flour, and spices together.
- Once the oil has reached 350 degrees, or batter creates oil to sizzle, salt catfish and then roll in breading mixture, coat well.
- Fry until golden brown (2-4 minutes).
- When taking fish out of fryer, drain excess oil. Serve with hushpuppies and coleslaw.
Caramel Bread Pudding
- 6 to 7 slices of stale bread, cubed
- 3/4 cup hot water
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 4 eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 cup warm milk
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Place bread in a greased 2-quart baking dish.
- Combine water and brown sugar; pour over bread.
- Combine remaining ingredients; pour over bread.
- Bake at 350° for 50 to 60 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.
- Serve warm or cold.
Luella Fischer enjoys writing and has a passion for cooking and Missouri history. She is also the author of a children’s book series and directs a Missouri Farmers Care agriculture education program where third graders have the opportunity to make bread, plant seeds, and experience food and agriculture hands-on.