Mr. Bill's is located at 520 La. 397. (Michael Cooper / American Press)
Last Modified: Thursday, June 20, 2013 10:45 AM
I had high expectations for Mr. Bill’s.
It came well-recommended by people I trust and it has a heck of a pedigree.
Mr. Bill’s is the newest establishment run by the Guillory family.
The family owns, or co-owns, Mr. Bill’s Seafood Express on East McNeese Street, a catering service in Lake Charles and Harry’s Restaurants in Moss Bluff and Starks.
The good news is Mr. Bill’s more than lived up to the expectations. The bad news is a lot of diners already know it and the place was packed when Johnathan Manning and I made a trip there.
I have been told that Mr. Bill’s plate lunches are second to none.
Johnathan and I arrived at the restaurant at 12:30 p.m., hoping to sample the specials of the day — hamburger steak and stewed chicken. Both plate lunches were paired with corn and black-eyed peas.
Our waitress delivered the bad news quickly, they had already sold out of the specials. As busy as the restaurant was, it really shouldn’t have been a surprise.
Most of the people I’ve talked to said the beef tips and gravy is Mr. Bill’s signature dish. Beef tips happen to be on my top-five list of favorite foods so I’ve vowed to return and try them for myself.
Despite our disappointment we chose to stick it out and order off the menu.
To start, Johnathan and I split two appetizers.
While I can’t be sure, I am willing to bet the meat pie didn’t come from a box in the freezer. The crust was flaky and the ground meat was spicy, just as it should be. The corn nuggets were good, too.
Though both items were fried, neither was greasy.
I did feel a little bit bad eating them as I have been trying to stay away from fried foods for a few months now. Both were good enough to kill any guilt I was feeling.
For his entree, Manning ordered the large fried shrimp po’boy.
At $9.99, the sticker shock may drive most people away but trust me when I say it was well worth it.
There had to be more than a pound of shrimp on the sandwich and Manning said it was excellent. He said the bread was really good and the shrimp were larger and tastier than what he usually sees on a po’boy.
Manning, who, like me, is never one to shy away from large portions, said he had to force himself to finish the po’boy.
I went with the grilled chicken stuffed potato for $7.49.
If you are a fan of stuffed potatoes I would highly suggest you give it a try. It was simply wonderful.
The potato was baked perfectly and the grilled chicken would have been a meal by itself. Pairing the two together with butter, cheese and sour cream, made it the best stuffed potato I have ever had.
I was able to finish it, but barely. Like Manning, I was miserable for a while afterwards. Miserable in a good way, but miserable none the less.
Despite being busy, the service at Mr. Bill’s was still good. It took us a little longer than normal to get our order in but we were eating shortly after. As someone who has to eat and run a lot, I have no qualms about suggesting the restaurant for a quick lunch fix. I do warn you to get there early if you want to make sure you get a plate lunch.
Our waitress said she usually works at Harry’s in Moss Bluff but got called in to Mr. Bill’s for the day. She said the menus at the two places are identical.
On the third Saturday of each month, Mrs. Bill’s hosts a car show.
According to the company’s Facebook page, more than 60 vehicles were on display at the event on June 15.
The event features food, live music, cars, trucks, gaming and prizes. There is no cost for registration or admission to the car show.
• Location: 520 La. 397.
• Hours: 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday, 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, 10:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Thursday, 10:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday, 4-8 p.m. Saturday and closed on Sunday.
• Phone: 337-721-7010.