With the demise of the 63 Diner and then Heuer’s Cafe in Hallsville, I was feeling a bit down on our mid-Missouri diner options. But I bear good news. The Route B Diner has risen from the ashes of the former Heuer’s in Hallsville, and appears to be a worthy successor.
A few things to look for when assessing your local country diner is the presence of camouflage, Dale Earnhard, Jr. and Budweiser signs. Two out of three ain’t bad, but the Route B Diner pulls off some kind of special trifecta with a giant sign featuring Dale Jr. pushing Bud and wearing camos (perhaps they help him hide from victory lane).
Pleased, I sat at the bar by the Coke machine and asked the waitress how long they’d been closed turning it over from Heuer’s. It hadn’t seemed like it took them long.
“A week,” she said, with obvious pride.
“Nice. Looks like you have a lot of the same food as Heuer’s,” I observed, glancing over the familiar items on the menu.
“Yeah, but ours is better.”
The burger and fried cauliflower lived up to the boast. The former was covered with beef and bean chili (purists be damned) and melted cheese, the burger itself beefy and rich. The cauliflower was appropriately crunchy and short-lived on the plate. Their fries were nothing special, and I did reek of smoke despite plopping down well into the non-smoking section, but the Route B Diner didn’t otherwise disappoint. Heck, Santa Claus even stopped in for a bite while I was there.
Heuer’s remaining location on 63 is even better, but both will take care of your cholesterol and saturated fat needs.
And there’s a new option closer to home: JJ’s Cafe on Business Loop 70, now open in the space vacated by the reportedly execrable Family Table Restaurant.