I must have looked pretty confused, standing there just inside the entrance to Murrell’s, a camera slung over my shoulder, looking like I’d seen a ghost. But then, I was confused. I’d been under the impression that Murrell’s, a 24-hour diner on East Kings Highway that closed in 2009 after 62 years in business, was a thing of the past. Like so many others, I’d spent a lot of time hanging out at the original location, and I was sad to see it go. While it’s true that the current location, located inside of a truck stop at 7980 Barksdale Boulevard in Bossier City, is a far cry from the original, it clearly shares the same DNA. The same cooks are in the kitchen, the same specials are on the menu and the same framed menu autographed by Bocephus and Merle Kilgore in 1985 hangs on the wall. In fact, a great deal of the ephemera that hung on the walls of the original location can be seen in the current incarnation.
If you love Strawn’s Eat Shop, George’s Grill and Murrell’s as much as I do, it’s worth your time to read the framed Upstate Magazine cover story, “The Great Kings Highway Lunch Debate.” It contains some fantastic bits of local restaurant history.
I had the Tuesday lunch special of fried chicken breasts, rice and gravy, okra and early peas ($8.99), and it was just great. Diners near me were having burgers, club sandwiches and BLTs, all of which looked really good. There was, however, one thing missing – one vital component of the Murrell’s experience.
“Do you guys have green goddess?,” I asked the waitress.
“You are, like, the millionth person to ask me that,” she said. “We don’t have it now, but since we’ve got our previous owners back, we’re supposed to be getting green goddess back very soon,” she said.
I could have hugged that woman.
When Merle Kilgore signed that menu back in 1985, he wrote ‘I can still eat at Murrell’s!’ above his signature. I think I know what he meant.
Murrell’s is located at 7980 Barksdale Boulevard in South Bossier, near the entrance to the Red River South Marina. They can be reached by phone at (318) 741-1445. Daily specials are as follows: Monday – Chicken Fried Steak; Tuesday – Fried Chicken Breasts; Wednesday – Fried Pork Chops; Thursday – Hamburger Steak; Friday – Fried Catfish.