Chow, Baby: Wednesday, February 27, 2003
In the Family Way

Chow, Baby’s grumpy friend did not want to go to Burgers and More. “It’s too far,” he groused. “The streets are torn up. And I’m not in the mood for a burger.” But Chow, Baby insisted. Burgers and More, on torn-up Broadway halfway between Beach St. and Denton Hwy. in Haltom City, is locally famed for its Haltom Burger ($3.85), a half pound of beef marinated in hickory sauce and served with jalapeños and grilled onions. Chow, Baby, with its refined tastes, prefers the Gourmet Burger ($4.15), a bacon-burger topped with American, mozzarella, and — yes — cream cheese. It shouldn’t work, but it does.

That’s just two of the dozen interesting burger formations. The “more” part includes chili pie ($2.55), chicken-fried steak and chicken ($5.75), and sandwiches from BLT to BBQ ($2.90-$4.35). Rounding out the menu are enchilada and taco platters (4.95). The décor is decidedly undecorated, but the new proprietors — mother Yolanda supervises the register, daughter Nessa waits on tables, and Grandpa makes the cheesecakes — put their efforts where it counts. Chow, Baby’s grumpy friend even had a glimmer of a smile as he licked the last bit of gravy off his fingers. Chow, Baby, lapping up cream cheese, was beaming.

Working for Tips

As Chow, Baby’s annual review is less than two months away, now is the time to start talking itself up to its fabulous boss: Chow, Baby works so hard; Chow, Baby always meets its deadlines; Chow, Baby is so underpaid. Trouble is, aside from the fabulous-boss part, none of that is true. Example: On a recent Tuesday, it took Chow, Baby three entire hours at the Half Price Books on Cooper and Pioneer to spend its weekly paycheck. Can’t call that petty cash.

But Chow, Baby’s life is tougher than it looks. Between sleeping in and then hanging out at the bookstore, Chow, Baby didn’t get over to Main Street Café until after 2 p.m. — and dang it all, they had run out of beef tips. That’s the daily lunch special on Tuesdays, and the tender chunks of beef and rich gravy over rice is one of the greatest dishes on this planet. Poor Chow, Baby had to settle for a largish chicken-fried steak ($4.50) with home-style mashed and crispy-fried okra. Poor Chow, Baby had to finish every bite.

Main Street Café, amusingly, is situated not on Main Street but at 2023A Cooper St., a block north of Half Price. It’s hard to find — go down the alley next to Leland’s Hardware — but the reward is all-homemade home-cooking at very fair prices. Breakfast is served all day; lunch specials are always good; and dinners — chicken breast, catfish, and the like — are under $6. Chow, Baby capped its late lunch with a nice slice of apple pie ($1.50) and sauntered into the office around 4 pm, only to be gently reminded by its fabulous boss that its drop-dead deadline is Tuesday morning. Maybe Chow, Baby needs to shoot for that raise in 2004.

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