The Austin Chronicle

Austin Landmarks on the Menu

By Mick Vann, September 12, 2008, Food

Arkie's Grill

4827 E. Cesar Chavez, 385-2986
Monday-Friday, 5am-3pm

Deep in the heart of East Austin, there is a time warp: Arkie's Grill, a long breakfast and lunch diner that was started by Faye "Arkie" Sawyer in 1948. A low, eight-seat counter fronts the cooking line, booths line the opposite wall, and the middle area is well-worn tables. Most of the diners are regulars, and more than a few of them have been eating there all their lives. What keeps them coming back is the food: Southern blue plate specials, sandwiches and burgers, and breakfasts that are all made from scratch daily.

In 1994 the restaurant was bought by Steve Jones and family, who had the foresight to not change a single thing; sadly, Arkie passed on in 1998. Steve still greets customers by name, head cook Eddie Marshall skillfully quarterbacks the kitchen like he has for half a century, and the waitresses are all like sweet, loving aunts. The specials and the sides change daily; don't miss Tuesday's chicken and dumplings or Thursday's turkey and dressing (or the wonderful onion rings)!

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