The usual: Gateway Restaurant

Gateway Restaurant co-owner Martina Brooks, standing, serves breakfast to  (clockwise from left), Philip Matthews; Eve Munford, 5; Don Munford; Roland Maurer; Hardin Sigmon; Mark Jones; Jim Briggs; Campbell Briggs, 14; and Reagan Briggs, 12.

Gateway Restaurant co-owner Martina Brooks, standing, serves breakfast to (clockwise from left), Philip Matthews; Eve Munford, 5; Don Munford; Roland Maurer; Hardin Sigmon; Mark Jones; Jim Briggs; Campbell Briggs, 14; and Reagan Briggs, 12.

photograph by Travis Long

“Martina and Tom are like family to all their customers.” – Hardin Sigmon, regular at Gateway Restaurant

Tucked into a shopping center off of Crabtree Boulevard, Gateway Restaurant is one of those home-cooking places that has been there as long as any of its regulars can remember. Owners Martina Brooks and Tom Rohweder say the place has been going strong since 1986. “It’s just really really good,” says Hardin Sigmon, founder and CEO of Sigmon Construction. He eats there almost daily, and is one of a group of friends who meet at Gateway for breakfast every Saturday at 7:30 a.m. While the time and place never change, the orders almost always do. For these folks, choosing a favorite dish would be like choosing a favorite child. Often, you’ll see the same faces right back there again for lunch, where “their barbecue chicken is unbelievable,” Sigmon says. “It’s their specialty.”

Gateway Restaurant: 2411 Crabtree Blvd., 919-832-3020.