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Belmont Dixie Queen celebrates 57 palate-pleasing years

If you are the kind of person more interested in good eats at a reasonable price than dining in fancy surroundings, the Belmont Dixie Queen may be just the ticket. The diner housed in a building originally used as a gas station and to store caskets has now been serving up burgers and other comfort food to several generations of people living in or passing through Belmont.

The Belmont Dixie Queen has a friendly atmosphere where most locals are greeted by name. Some have been coming to get a burger or other favorites for many years. The owner herself used to eat there when she was a kid.

“If you ride by or look at it on the Internet, it isn’t that pretty to look at,” said owner Tina Gray. “But I promise the food is good. Looks can be deceiving. We get a lot of visitors who are traveling through to get their Allegra Motorhomes serviced. They find us because they don’t want to go to a chain. They want something home-owned and operated that doesn’t have a big markup in price. We have very good food. It is all homemade. Nothing is out of a can. And I have very reasonable prices.”

The Belmont Dixie Queen has a friendly atmosphere where most locals are greeted by name. Some have been coming to get a burger or other favorites for many years. The owner herself used to eat there when she was a kid. While she has stuck to the traditional diner offerings since buying the restaurant five years ago, she has added her own unique twists.

Burgers are fresh, not frozen, and they have several ingredients added for flavor. But these aren’t like a doughburger or a slugburger, both types of hamburgers with flour or cereal fillers that started being popular in the Great Depression to help make a pound of meat go further.

Hamburgers, cheeseburgers and bacon cheeseburgers are among the most popular offerings, and the Dixie Queen also serves barbeque, BLTs and ribeye sandwiches, and chicken fingers, grilled chicken, chicken patty and chicken salad sandwiches.

“I developed my own recipe for homemade chicken salad,” Gray said. “It has been a really big seller. We have people who drive from ten or 15 miles away just to order our chicken salad. People can order a gallon at a time, and that is popular for weddings, anniversaries and baby showers.”

The ingredients of the chicken salad, like the special hamburgers, are a trade secret.

Burgers come with all the trimmings, and one of the more unusual, but frequent, requests is from people who want slaw on their burgers. And while they rarely get requests for veggie burgers, Gray said there are a lot of people who order a hamburger without the bun.

The Dixie Queen also offers of a line of salads including chef salad, grilled chicken salad, chicken strip salad and chicken salad on a bed of lettuce and tomatoes with crackers.

The Dixie Queen is open from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday. Gray said the lunch only and no weekend hours are partly to avoid too many hours standing on concrete that can cause leg and foot fatigue. Having more family time for her kids who are into cheerleading and football is also a major incentive. Gray wanted more balance between work and family liferecreation.

The original owners of the Dixie Queen were Mr. and Mrs. Noonan Deaton. It was owned by Vance and Derlynn Credille for 37 years before being purchased by Tina and Jeff Gray five years ago.

Tina Gray said the summer months are particularly busy.

“The only time we aren’t real busy is in January and February,” Gray said. “The winter months we do homemade soups.”



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