Main Street memories | Arkansas Blog

Monday, November 19, 2007

Main Street memories

Posted By on Mon, Nov 19, 2007 at 8:47 AM

Though the Block 2 lofts project began the revival of downtown as a place to live, it claimed one casualty, of which I'm reminded by a note from a colleague:

Did you read where the matriarch of the Wallace Grill died Friday? Breakfast and lunch daily, served in the tightest of quarters: Catfish, fries and green beans ... extra tartar sauce. Heckuva deal for newspaper types and ambulance chasers.

I was indeed sad to read of the death of Mary Hronas,  76, who with her husband George owned and operated the Wallace Grill in the 100 block of Main for 37 years. Its run ended when the Wallace Building was redone for apartments. Their son Harry, also part of the team, had told me recently of his mother's ill health.

I ate my share of catfish from the Wallace. Also the unique "parma-ZHAN" sandwich, a fried, breaded burger patty with a bit of mozzarella and Italian seasoning sandwiched in the middle. It was served on a bun with cole slaw. But breakfast was the best, particularly on a bitter cold morning, when the heat from the griddle warmed those at the counter from head to toe. I've never eaten a better pancake than Mary made. I think the sausage and bacon grease on the griddle produced the fine crispy edges. And nobody made hash browns quite the way the Wallace did -- twice-cooked frozen french fries that eventually attained a satisfying crunch all over, yet were almost creamy inside. Sides of pork products covered the plate -- three enormous sausage patties or three slices of thick-sliced bacon. Eggs over easy were just that, done on both sides, but not a bit of the yolk cooked beyond the liquid stage.

I've told the story before, but on a Monday morning after the Arkansas Gazette closed in 1991,  I found myself out of work after almost 19 years. I thought the best thing I could do was to continue a routine. So I arose early and went downtown to the Wallace Grill for breakfast. When I walked through the door, Mary Hronas started crying. I did, too. And I suspect it was the same for all the other Gazette regulars who visited in the days immediately after. The Hronases offered to treat me to breakfast, just as I had watched them quietly feed many a down-on-their-luck Main Street traveler over the years. Fortune would soon put me back to work  nearby. I wish I could still start my day with the Hronas family.

From the ArkTimes store


Comments (5)

Showing 1-5 of 5

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-5 of 5

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • Kenneth Starr: A comment from Betsey Wright

    Betsey Wright, former President Bill Clinton's chief of staff when he was Arkansas governor, responds bitterly to a New York Times article today quoting Whitewater Prosecutor Kenneth Starr's warm words about Clinton. She can't forget the lives Starr ruined in Arkansas.
    • May 24, 2016
  • Rep. Mary Bentley's website now supports gay rights

    Somebody has cybersquatted on Republican Rep. Mary Bentley's website, replacing her messaging with a call for equal rights for LGBTQ people.
    • Jul 18, 2017
  • The long and winding road: No exception yet for 30 Crossing

    The Arkansas highway department's representative on the Metroplan board of directors told the board today that the department is requesting an exception to the planning agency's cap on six lanes for its 30 Crossing project to widen Interstate 30 from six to 10 (and more) lanes.
    • Jun 29, 2016

Most Shared

  • Industrial hemp pilot program coming soon to Arkansas

    One of the booths at this week's Ark-La-Tex Medical Cannabis Expo was hosted by the Arkansas Hemp Association, a trade group founded to promote and expand non-intoxicating industrial hemp as an agricultural crop in the state. AHA Vice President Jeremy Fisher said the first licenses to grow experimental plots of hemp in the state should be issued by the Arkansas State Plant Board next spring.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Doug Jones defeats Roy Moore in Alabama Senate race

    • Today, a majority of Alabama voters said NO to Judge Roy Moore. That majority of…

    • on December 12, 2017
  • Re: The Medicaid charade explained

    • Hello Am Mr Paul Moritz, Legitimate and reliable loan lender. I give out loans on…

    • on December 12, 2017
  • Re: Open line

    • "A president who'd all but call a senator a whore is unfit to clean toilets…

    • on December 12, 2017



© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation