The only restaurant in Carlock is likely attracting motorists going to and from Grandmothers house for the holidays.
The business sits right off Interstate-74.
Eric Shangraw is having breakfast in this week's You Gotta Eat.
The Carlock Family Restaurant has opened, closed, re-opened and closed again though the years. But the current owner, the guy cooking in the back, looks like he's in it for the long haul.
Sam Alimi moved his family to the little McLean Count hamlet so he could be his own boss and run his own place. Culture shock at first coming from the Chicago suburbs has turned into life in Mayberry.
"In big town they come and go," said Alimi. "Nobody know who Sam is. Here there is 500 people and they know the owner. And then you go in small meeting and everybody say thank you Sam! We got you here. We have restaurant open. And this is very good," he said.
"I come in here a couple times a day and drink coffee with all the old farmers. We find out different things about each other. It is great food here," said customer John Miller.
"Sam gets it out real quick. And it doesn't sit up on the counter. I mean it is served right when he cooks it, it is on your table," said customer Nancy Ingle.
Photographer Dave Janssen and I ordered from the breakfast menu. DJ had the three-egg omelet with ham and a side order of grits. He said the grits were GREAT!
I had the three-egg omelet with corn beef hash. Rye toast. And hash browns. Sam adds sauteed onion to the hash browns if you want. -Gives it a fresher flavor. The customers are right. He whips it up in a hot-minute. And it comes to the table hot.
The homespun atmosphere and grub are a great way to start the day.
With coffee, orange juice and iced tea, our bill; $17.87 plus tip.
If you're passing by on Interstate-74 with a hunger pang, Sam will satisfy your craving for a home cooked meal.
The Carlock Family Restaurant is open seven days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Sam is closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Carlock Family Restaurant
304 W. Washington St.