Your Guide to Authentic Regional Eats
Sign In | Register for Free!
Restaurants Recipes Forums Eating Tours Merchandise FAQ Maps Insider

Gray Brothers Cafeteria

555 S. Indiana St., Mooresville, IN - (317) 831-5614
Posted By Michael Stern on 6/13/2008 5:39:00 PM
The deep South still has many wonderful cafeterias, but this style of you-point-they-serve food service is rare in the North, where sloppy pile-your-own-plate buffets are more the rule. One great exception to that pattern is Indianapolis. Home of America’s earliest cafeteria (in 1888), the Circle City still has a handful of top-notch cafeteria restaurants where every day is like Thanksgiving. Among the best of them is Gray Brothers south of town in Mooresville. It is a huge place, very deluxe as far as cafeterias go: leaded glass windows in the doors, plenty of tasteful nick-nacks for décor.

Almost any time you walk in, it will be crowded, but that’s no problem because the cafeteria line moves really fast; and besides, your wait takes you along the “preview line,” which allows you to study the dozens and dozens of food items from which you will soon be choosing. Although the trays are especially big ones, if you’re like us, you’ll find yours fully occupied with dishes of food well before you get to the rolls and beverages at the end of the line.

It’s hard to know what to recommend because we’ve never had anything at Gray’s we didn’t like. Among the most memorable dishes are the fried chicken, which has an ultra-flavorful crust that pulls off the pieces of the bird like chewy bacon. The way things work in Gray’s line is that you tell the servers what entrée you want; they put it onto a nice flower-patterned partitioned plate then slide the plate down to the vegetable area, where it is piled with whatever sides you desire.

Who can resist the cornbread stuffing? Or mac ‘n’ cheese? We also love the heartland salads, especially creamy pea and carrot-raisin-marshmallow. Desserts are dazzling, with whole pies arrayed on shelves below the individual slices (many pies get bought and taken home). The Indiana favorite, and a specialty of Gray’s is sugar-cream pie … as simple and pure and good as the name suggests.

13 out of 13 people found the review helpful. Was it helpful to you?

No Yes

Scorecard

5 - Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
fried chicken
Butterscotch Pie
sugar-cream pie
Macaroni and Cheese
Raisin Pie
Rate this place

Reviewers Photos [Upload Your Photos]

A tray of lunch, Gray Brothers-style. Clockwise from the bottom left: candied beets, dinner roll, banana cream pie, orange chiffon Jell-O, lemonade, chicken with cornbread dressing.
"A tray of lunch, Gray Brothers-style. Clockwise from the bottom left: candied beets, dinner roll, banana cream pie, orange chiffon Jell-O, lemonade, chicken with cornbread dressing."
Michael Stern





The butterscotch pie is dense, sweet, and unmistakably homemade.  This is a
"The butterscotch pie is dense, sweet, and unmistakably homemade. This is a "must-eat!""
Cliff Strutz


The porky green beans and marshmallow-covered sweet potatoes are examples of Gray Brothers excellent way with vegetables.
"The porky green beans and marshmallow-covered sweet potatoes are examples of Gray Brothers excellent way with vegetables."
Cliff Strutz


Being a macaroni & cheese lover, I don't say this lightly, but the ultra-cheesy version they serve at Gray Brothers is as good as I have had anywhere!
"Being a macaroni & cheese lover, I don't say this lightly, but the ultra-cheesy version they serve at Gray Brothers is as good as I have had anywhere!"
Cliff Strutz


Raisin pie is a dessert not found very often and Gray Brother's version is near perfect.
"Raisin pie is a dessert not found very often and Gray Brother's version is near perfect."
Cliff Strutz


A close-up view of Gray's fried chicken: some of the best in the Midwest
"A close-up view of Gray's fried chicken: some of the best in the Midwest"
Michael Stern


Indiana is one of the most piecentric states in the nation. These slices of Gray's cherry pie may not be picture-perfect, but their crust is ineffebly flaky and the filling is pure, sweet fruit.
"Indiana is one of the most piecentric states in the nation. These slices of Gray's cherry pie may not be picture-perfect, but their crust is ineffebly flaky and the filling is pure, sweet fruit. "
Michael Stern


Waiting in a cafeteria line is one of the most appetizing experiences on earth.
"Waiting in a cafeteria line is one of the most appetizing experiences on earth."
Michael Stern


The quality of the food at Gray Brothers is well known.  Moments before they open at 11:00 AM, a line forms outside.
"The quality of the food at Gray Brothers is well known. Moments before they open at 11:00 AM, a line forms outside."
Cliff Strutz


Despite the fact that it is huge and it serves hundreds of customers every day, there is something undeniably homey about the Gray Brothers experience. This particular wing of the business is devoted entirely to take-out orders.
"Despite the fact that it is huge and it serves hundreds of customers every day, there is something undeniably homey about the Gray Brothers experience. This particular wing of the business is devoted entirely to take-out orders."
Michael Stern



What is Roadfood?  |   Submit Content  |   Privacy Policy  |   Contact Roadfood.com   Copyright - Roadfood.com