Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Gray Brothers Cafeteria

Well, this was one my many vacation food stops (ps - I've been on vacation and then continued to be blog lazy...sorry :(  ).  During said vacation, my cousin and Aunt were visiting Indy for the first time all the way from Raleigh.  My cuz happened to see a Man v. Food episode featuring this particular restaurant, Gray Brothers, and let's just assume that it might have been the only reason he made the 12 hour trek with his Mom to visit his old, lame cousin :)  Maybe it was, maybe it wasn't...either way, he mentioned he wanted to check it out and the kid doesn't ask for much (except this and some fresh Nikes for the new school year), so neither could be missed.

The Place

I guess you probably caught by the name that this is a cafeteria-style restaurant.  I have to admit, I haven't been to one of those since undergrad at a mall in Wilson, NC where people still smoked inside.  Yeah, it was a little while ago.  I was up for it though, we took a family trip out there and stood in the SUPER long line.  I never mind that either, more time for chatting and checking out other people's food :)

Check it out though!  This photo doesn't really do it justice either, that thing went through the doors and just kept wrapping around, I thought maybe I was at Disney!  At least they didn't charge people $15 to go to the front of the line...that's a win in my book.

We waited in line, maybe for 45 minutes.  We checked out the food and gasped at the sights, the portions the smells and the craziness of it all.  By the time we were ready to order, I was ready to eat, which I guess is a good thing because I think they were ready to feed us, and maybe the entire continent of Africa for a couple of days.

The very large portions of Food

As you are waiting in line, it is your time to decide what you want.  I thought I had it all in my head, but when I got up there with my tray, I kind of drew a blank.  I stared at the food and the ladies with tongs to serve it to me and had to make some rash decisions.  This is mostly because the food they have is displayed a la carte style on a board, but it's not anywhere on the food when you are looking at it.  I forgot what things were!!!  So, I just kind of winged it and started grabbing stuff and asking for stuff.

I think the same thing happened to some others in our group.  There's so much to choose from, and so much of it is huge.  It's hard not to have your eyes be bigger than your stomach.  Here to the right you can check out the entire spread!  That is alotta food, eh?  I guess you could call this Midwestern comfort food, but I had a feeling I wasn't going to be too comfortable after consuming this.  Erin's stomach v. Fried Food = Erin loses...every time.  I tried not to get too crazy though, and although I did order the fried chicken (it looked wicked good) and mashed potatoes with gravy, I also got a small bowl of cottage cheese.  That's healthy, right?  Okay, maybe not super healthy, but I could've gotten the banana cream pie, and I didn't, unfortunately.  I think I am still having dreams about how amazing some of their homemade pies looked.

Here's a little shot of my food.  I prefer dark meat and that is what I got.  It was juicy and salty and yummy.  I felt like I was at KFC, but with real food.  Don't you just love their cute "gramma's old china" thing they have going on too?  It really makes you feel like you are eating some down home cookin'.  The waitstaff was really good too.  They will bring you drinks and hooks you up with extra food if you somehow went through that whole cafeteria line and didn't end up with more food than 10 people could eat.

The only other meal I took a picture of was this tenderloin because it was seriously as big as the plate and I thought it was a pretty amazing sight to see.  Accompanied by some mac & cheese and a nice little fruit cup.  I didn't hear anyone complaining about their food.  I think everyone enjoyed themselves.  It was a good family experience, with good food and good service.  It's a little hike from Indy and I can't see Hubs and I venturing out there to stuff our faces once a week or anything, but I think when my Mom and stepdad are visiting we just might have to make a little trip back.  Something tells me Bill might think this place is the bees knees?!?

The wrap

This place was a good place to get some home cooked food.  I will not make the mistake of passing up the homemade pies next time...I'll share my entree if I have to, but I HAVE to get some of those pies in my belly.  The only complaint I have is I wish that it was a little more clear what foods are in front of your face when you are ordering.  Obviously I know what mac & cheese looks like, but there were a couple things I just didn't know what they were while I was standing in front of them...and that place is busy, you gotta keep than line movin'!  It's a very good place for a family outing, unless your kids don't like standing in line for too long...make sure to bring some toys to entertain them.  I think we'll be back...after I do 200 crunches. :)

Gray Brothers Cafeteria on Urbanspoon


  1. Love this post! I think bill will really dig this place!!!!;)

  2. I dont know if you are familiar with MCL but it's very similar and a lot of people consider their food better than Gray Bros. There are locations around the city. I know there's one on 86th and Allisonville and there may be one in broadripple on 62nd.

  3. Gray Bros Cafeteria is part of my family's holiday tradition. I can't remember the last time I've gone a full year without dining in or doing carry out. Although, the lines are pretty common, the food is worth the wait. I love their chicken and noodles, fried okra, mac n cheese, green beans, cherry pie. Gosh, I've probably tried it all at least once. Not the liver, though. I haven't mustered the courage.


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