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Mr. Filet is a fulfilling place

The steakhouse at Fifth and Grand has been a lifeline of chow with the steakburger special.
Steve Pope
Street Smart Fat Boy
OK, so it's midmorning and you're hungry. Real hungry. You realize you left your lunch on the counter as you raced out the door trying to get the kids to school on time, and you have just five lousy bucks in your pocket.

What are your options?

Not many.

If you're wanting a pack of those little chocolate donuts in the vending machine sometime today, there goes 75 cents. Toss in a handful of cashews from the gumball machine and there goes another quarter.

That narrows the window even more.

Well, here's what the Fatboy does when the chips are down and my belly is rumbling: I pick up the phone and dial the lifeline of chow - 244-4600. That's the number at 510 Seventh St., the home of Mr. Filet Steakhouse. They've been churning out the famous steakburger special and gyros for a good long time.

George and Mrs. Filet (that's what her license plate says, I don't make this stuff all up) turn out some wonderful stuff six days a week from their spot under the parking ramp on Fifth, just north of Grand.

Mr. Filet (that's what his license plate says) puts out a special every day, but the one that has seen its way to the mouth of the Fatboy a whole lotta times over the years is the steakburger. For just under four bucks, you get a flame-cooked steakburger and choice between french fries or baked potato; this is a great baked tater, folks, no foil to make it soggy and served with a nice wallop of butter and/or sour cream. Then choose between lettuce salad or cottage cheese. In the middle of summer, you just might be lucky enough to get one of George's tomatoes tossed on. And you also get Texas toast, just for kicks.

The gyros have been popular, as well. With fries and cottage cheese and a Coke, this will cost you close to $6 and a dime. This is one mysterious sandwich to me. For years I have wondered - just what the hell is the meat? I decided it really doesn't matter what it is. It is tasty. It's served in one of those pita bun type things with some special sauce, lettuce and a tomato or two.

Add in the Greek omelets and 'browns during breakfast and the fries and the pies they work into the lunch menu and you have a bunch of tasty choices.

As you walk around the corner some days and see the line is out the door, don't panic. George Sr. runs the grill like no one else. He is shouting, "Order, please," as folks clear the door. That's when he will toss your dead critter on the grill - be it a steak, a chicken breast or burger. There are a lotta choices besides the famed steakburger at Mr. Filet.

As the line works its way toward Mrs. Filet, who is running the cash drawer and cranking out the sodas, you pass young George working the salads and taters. He puts them all together and by the time you have rounded the bend and coughed up your cash, your food will more than likely be ready. If not, take a seat and it'll be with you shortly.

This is a mom and pop shop in every sense of the word. Pop cooks, mom takes the cash. It's a simple setup that works extremely well. They have one of the orneriest people clearing tables you will ever find. She is a hoot, though.

Toss in a dishwasher and you have a grand total of five working the lunch hour that very well might find 100 hungry folks pass through the doors with not a minute to spare - corporate greed summons them back soonest, ya know.

Super stuff

OK, now, let's see a show of hands. Be honest. How many of you ate wienies during the Super Bowl? That's just what I thought!

We managed to eat 18 of the all gussied-up type $1.25 party pizzas and some dip too!

We ate 18 frozen pizzas at $1.25 each at our party.

I always encourage feedback, complaints and bellyaching.Weather you agree or disagree, I want to hear about it. And most importantly, if you have someplace you think I should visit please get in touch with me. You can reach me 24/7 at (515) 770-1869 (cell phone), e-mail at Leave feedback or your own rant on my web