I’ve often heard Coral Gables being written off as dated and reserved for the over-60 set by my peers. It’s a great restaurant option for seniors, winning a Top of the Town award in that category every year since the category was created, but I’m of the opinion that it’s seriously underrated as an option for diners of all ages. It’s a solid go-to for fried chicken, Greek food and club sandwiches, to name just a few standouts.
Originally built in the 1920s, the restaurant served for decades as a roadhouse and venue where the likes of Duke Ellington and Little Richard once performed, and you can still sense this history in the restaurant’s storied and hallowed atmosphere. Well, not really, but you can get a turkey dinner year-round, and to me, that’s far more important.
I’ve written about my love for non-November turkey dinners before, and Coral Gables does it exceptionally well. The meal comes with cornbread stuffing, whipped potatoes and cranberry sauce — the perfect combination for a sweltering late July evening. All jokes aside, with the air conditioning comfortably blasting and a gin and tonic in hand, conditions seemed just right for a Thanksgiving-esque feast.
The turkey breast was carved into thick, juicy slices and smothered in a peppery gravy. The cornbread stuffing was a touch salty, but it was balanced nicely by the mild and creamy whipped potatoes. As always, though, the best accompaniment was the cranberry sauce, and Coral Gables gave me a nice, healthy portion, ensuring I could enjoy a bit of that tart sweetness with every bite of turkey. It was the canned variety, which I prefer, and this is a hill I’m willing to die on.
Speaking of portions, not only are they huge, but the entrees also come with a choice of soup or salad. I went with the Greek salad and was not disappointed. It contained huge, creamy chunks of feta, cherry tomatoes, kalamata olives, pepperoncinis, red onion and an unexpected but welcome addition, diced green pepper. It was all bathed in a delicious Greek dressing. Served alongside the salad was a slice of toasted bread, which was even better when doused in pepperoncini juice. My companion had the gyro, and after stealing a bite, I can confirm it was exceptionally meaty and tasty.
As someone who easily experiences sensory overload, I have to add that one of my favorite parts of my dining experience was the quiet. I was able to focus on my food and conversation rather than attempting to conclude the meal as quickly as possible to escape the hordes of people and din of loud music. I’m sure I would have made an exception for Duke Ellington, though.
Roast Breast of Turkey
2838 Grand River Ave., East Lansing
11 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Friday
9 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday
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