The location has been a revolving wheel for restaurants over the years. At least five, maybe six, establishments have tried their luck in the little building alongside the railroad tracks at the corner of Broughton and College in Sherman. By my lights, the most successful was the Glory to God restaurant, which was indeed a glorious invocation of down-home Southern cooking.
The current tenant, the College Street Diner, has proved to be a customer favorite as well, and has built a loyal following since its opening six years ago. The menu highlights a special each day — chicken fried chicken, chicken fried steak, Salisbury steak, beef tips, catfish and ribs — and adds a roster of salads, sandwiches, burgers and vegetables. The restaurant also sells home-canned jams, jellies, relishes and pickled vegetables under its own Sealed to Perfection label and offers custom smoking services for brisket, hams and turkeys.
It had been a while since I had eaten at the diner, so a friend and I made it our lunch stop recently. I went with the chicken-fried chicken daily special and chose fried cabbage and potato salad off the sides list. My friend ordered the club sandwich. Right after I placed the order, I hailed the waiter to say I wanted the gravy on the side. He complied, but noted that they would have to cook another piece of chicken. They did, and I waited while the waiter brought the club sandwich.
The sandwich was a winner all the way, with thick slices of baked ham, turkey, bacon and cheese on toast. The sandwich had been run under the broiler to melt the cheese and then dressed with mayo, lettuce, tomato and pickles. The presentation wasn’t much; the sandwich was cut in half rather than the usual quarters for a club and plopped on a plate. Nothing came with the sandwich, no chips or anything else unless ordered a la carte. A handful of chips or a small side would have been a good idea, but the sandwich was good, and the price was right.
My chicken fried chicken was a boneless skinless breast that had been flattened out and given a seasoned breading before cooking, and the flavor of the crunchy seasoned coating tended to overtake the taste of the thin breast meat. The fried cabbage was essentially stir-fried with a dash of Worcestershire sauce was pretty good, but I would stick to the boiled version next time out. The potato salad was OK, but nothing special.
I tried a piece of buttermilk pecan pie for dessert, and it was a hit. They obviously make their own crust, which was excellent, and the buttermilk filling was thick with chopped pecans.
There was only one waiter working the room the day we ate at the diner, and he seemed harried. He was doing his best, but the service was a little slow and distracted. The dining room is small, but two servers would seem the minimum to handle the lunch crowd.
The College Street Diner’s slogan is “Home cooking away from home,” and they do a pretty good job of matching that line. Of course, I suppose it depends on how good the cooking was in your home.
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