Sometimes when you go back to your hometown, you just need to eat some place from your childhood. Ross’ Diner is one of those places that I grew up on. Then once I graduated to adult beverages, it became the place to go to soak up alcohol (with a designated driver, of course). There’s a lot of stories and history with Ross’, including my friend Coach snotting into his milkshake from laughing too hard (which he denies), but some things you just have to keep going back to. When Pul-Chevy called me and woke me up with the proposition of breakfast, I immediately thought ROSS’.
Ross’ is basically a truck stop greasy spoon diner know for its Magic Mountain. Over the years, they’ve grown the mountain range and added various mountainous concoctions of gut busters, so now you’ve got to decide. To be honest, you can’t go wrong with any of them, unless you’re some kind of tree-hugging hippie and order the meatless mountain (That would be you, Callous-un and ChickenLittle).
Pul-Chevy decided on the Morning Mountain – grilled texas toast, hash browns, sausage, scrambled egg and cheese sauce or gravy. I had been craving a Volcano (a Magic Mountain covered with chili) – grilled texas toast, ground beef, French fries or hash browns, and cheese sauce. This is not for wussies, I can tell you that much. I had to get a strawberry shake as well, since that’s just what you do there. You can get them with real strawberries (which I recommend) or they’ll use what I think is Strawberry Quik (which I also recommend) – weird, but still good.
The food comes out pretty quickly at this place, unless it’s packed full of drunk people. Fortunately, on a Wednesday morning, it was slim on drunk people – not devoid, but slim. When our food came out, I was surprised how small Matt’s Magic Mountain looked in comparison to my Volcano. Maybe the breakfast version is more petite or something, but it is clearly smaller. But it didn’t matter. We tore into these things and did some serious damage. Everything about the Mountain is delicious. I think it comes from the years and years of grease built up on the fryer and grill here. It makes it special and unreproduceable. There is just no bad. The chili isn't the dangerously spicy kind you find at some truck stops - it's just perfect. My friend Richie is a Nancy and can’t finish a whole Mountain, but I put a hurtin on him by cleaning my plate (like I always do at Ross’). In your face, Richie. (We will hang soon, brother. I promise.)
While you’re eating at Ross’, you can enjoy the show across the street at the Traveler Inn and Adult Video Store. You can get rooms by the hour there and some nudie movies if so choose. There’s always a steady stream of people in both the store and in the rooms at all hours of the day – even a Wednesday morning. On weekend nights, you can see college parties (by the hour) in the rooms, so that’s always fun to watch. Just take my word for it.
I wish I could go to Ross’ every time I go back to the Quad Cities, but I usually can’t find anyone to go with me. So if you’re game, let me know and I’ll put you on the list. I will have to try the Mega Mountain next time I’m there – it’s double everything. That means double awesome.
Top 5 things about Ross’ Diner
2. Morning Mountain
3. Strawberry shakes
4. Dinner and a show at the Traveler
5. I love hanging with Pul-Chevy!!!
Bottom 5 things
1. Gerd loved to go here before we moved up to Minneapolis. Yes, it made her insides angry, but she loved it anyway – especially the Traveler watching
2. If you’re a germ-o-phobe, you might want to pass on this place
3. My former mentally-challenged co-worker Donnie wasn’t working this time
4. I should really try something else on the menu, but really, what’s the point? Maybe I’ll have them sprinkle bacon on next time
5. I left my phone on the table like a moron and had to drive back and get it from the nice ladies at the cash register