Pulling up to the squat red building, Gray’s Sandwich Shop. It’s over on 1160 W Main St, past Henderson, so it’s probably a little bit too far to walk, at least until it gets warmer outside. It’s open from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m, so if you’re going, remember they’re only open for lunch or breakfast.
Outside the restaurant are parked two snow plows and a pick up. It seems like the kind of place that one would think has really loyal regulars. Walking in, there is definitely something to be said about the atmosphere. It’s warm and feels very small townish — in a good way. With just two two-seater tables and a bar, this place holds 15 people tops, and that would really be stretching it. Kitschy signs cover the walls, “Do you want to talk to the man in charge or the woman who knows what she’s doing?” A woman comes out and takes my order. There is only one vegetarian option, but that’s okay. Grilled cheese is delicious. Also, if this is your thing, the fried pork tenderloin sandwiches are pretty good.
I asked her how long the place has been here and she replies that Gray’s has been a Galesburg favorite for 30 years. She heads back to the kitchen and I take note that the country music is a little loud for my taste. It wasn’t the best of time for me to notice the bumper sticker on the fake wood paneling: “Don’t steal-the government hates competition!”
Robert (the photographer) asks the man sitting next to me if he can take a picture of him for the paper. Nope. A man comes out of the kitchen with our food. He puts it down and talks to the older man about some baseball game or something.
The food is good. It’s hot. It’s cheap. However, for the majority of the Knox campus who would have to walk here, it’s nothing special.