Murry’s: Still as good as ever

Murry’s is such a cornerstone in Columbia that I think we take it for granted at times.  They are the best at what makes a great restaurant, consistency.  Their menu almost never changes, the same for their prices and at least as importantly, the owners are almost always in the house.  For more than 20 years they’ve been in the kitchen making sure that the products that leave it are up to their standards.  From a diner’s perspective, this a huge but generally unrecognized advantage.  More on that later.

Lunch at Murry’s offers any number of options.  Their cheeseburger is made from local Sho-Me Farms beef and is one of the best burgers in town.  Their fries are very obviously made from fresh potatoes and cooked to order.  They leave a little to be desired in their lack of crispness, but there’s something about that soggy homemade fry texture that is appealing.   Another great lunch option is their steak sandwich, because it’s not really at all what you think.  Order it and presented to you will be a K.C. strip on top of 2 slices of toasted bread.  Essentially for less than $8 you get a steak, and a decent sized one at that.  Does it compare to CC’s City Broiler?  No, but I don’t think that’s the point.  It’s a good enough cut of beef and cooked correctly, and the price is unbeatable.

For me, dinner means indulgence and that means appetizers and dessert.  My 2 favorite apps are the fried eggplant and the green pepper rings.  The eggplant is a julienne-cut, almost like large fries which isn’t typical for eggplant.  Topped with parmesan cheese and their peppercorn dressing (similar to ranch) this is a great appetizer to share.  As I get older though, I gravitate more and more to the green pepper rings.  I’ll be the first to admit that they sound weird!  Green peppers cut into large rings, battered and fried and topped with powdered sugar.  Powdered sugar?!  Yes, that’s not a typo.  An incredible combination of hot, crisp, tender, salty and sweet and God are they good.  At $4.25 these are a must.

I almost always order the chicken poblano for dinner and it has never once disappointed.  Somewhat spicy is the sauce, juicy is the chicken and melty is the cheese.  Cap that with some toasted buttered bread and a side of mashed potatoes and it’s still one of the more satisfying restaurant meals that I’ve found.  Desserts are also a must at dinner time.  I’ve had their pastas as well which are simple but cooked correctly and flavorful.

Their desserts are made in-house, dirt cheap at $4 a pop and above all, utterly delicious.  Get something warm and chocolatey with vanilla ice cream.  There’s almost always something that fits that description on the menu, but you may have to ask them to decode some of their more cryptic dessert names to find it.

The service is rarely great but rarely bad at the same time.  I find that often times I’m not exactly sure who my server is, they seem to operate in a team environment.  They’re knowledgeable about the dishes and beers on tap, and usually fairly efficient.  That’s really all I feel we can ask for in this type of restaurant.

As far the environment goes, it’s an eclectic mix of MU coaches, local politicians, the poor, the wealthy, the liberal and the conservative.  A virtual who’s-who of all classes, it’s a place to see and be seen. There’s often a piano player entertaining with live jazz piano, and a band plays every Saturday night.  It’s also almost always busy.  Expect to wait 45 minutes or more on a Thursday night, longer on weekends. But for this place, people will wait.  It’s rather expected it seems.  It’s loud, it’s busy, it’s cramped.  Maybe that’s part of it’s appeal.

In short, eat there; you’re doing yourself an injustice by depriving yourself of it if you don’t, and rewarding yourself if you do.

10/10 – – I’ve never been disappointed

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3 Responses to “Murry’s: Still as good as ever”

  1. Brittany (He Cooks She Cooks) Says:

    Although the steak sandwich is no longer $6, that cow-between-two-crackers is still one of the best deals in Columbia.

    • Ryan Says:

      Thanks Brittany! Hope South America is treating you well, at least I think you’re still there! I’m still trying to get this blog thing figured out! 🙂

  2. Jamie Says:

    Murry’s is a go-to for us: 1) it’s right down the street, so it’s quick; and 2) I have never been disappointed in what I have ordered. I see the menu as more of a lunch menu (sandwiches etc…) than dinner per se, but the Chicken Poblano is great. We also tend to order Craig’s bread (think garlic bread on steroids) and as noted above, the onion rings are great. Desserts can’t be beat, so we always try to save room…or at least take some home with us for later.

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