It's been said before, but it bears repeating: Grabbing a seat at the counter of Frank's Grill (1915 Mangum, 713-682-8221) and watching the men work the hot griddle like a NASCAR pit crew is one of the finest ways to spend a weekend morning.
"Look at them go!" crowed my breakfast companion in wonder. "They're so fast!" Before our eyes, the cooks went through three flats of 30 eggs in the hour that we spent perched on our stools on Sunday morning. Those 90 eggs were cooked alongside pounds of hashbrowns that rotated in layers over the griddle, lithospheric plates of cooked hashbrowns consuming and pushing down uncooked layers like a kitchen demonstration of plate tectonics using shredded potatoes for the earth's crust.
It was fascinating.
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And in the colder months, there's no warmer place to be than huddled up to Frank's grill or cozied in amongst a dining room full of strangers, eating barely a hand's length away from you at closely clustered tables. It once housed a fast food chicken restaurant, but Frank's shoved far more tables into the space than it originally held. And although the line is usually out the door on weekend mornings, it moves quickly.
"I feel like I'm back in Detroit," my breakfast companion cooed, looking around the crowded dining room. "This is like home."
The food tastes like home, too. Chicken fried steak served with a bowl of cream gravy -- on the side, naturally -- comes alongside eggs and hashbrowns for breakfast, with a side of bacon if you're feeling particularly cocky. Light, buttery waffles make an excellent breakfast-dessert after a plate of steak and eggs. The waitresses here will try to feed you far more food than you need, just like Mom.
Unlike Mom, however, Frank's charges. But you can usually escape here with a very full belly for less than $10 a person, including coffee, so dig in. You look hungry.