By Will Stiefel

Our last stop on Highway 64, before reaching Tennessee, was the small town of Murphy. We pulled into Murphy early in the afternoon when the sun was at its hottest. At first, it seemed like the entire town was going out of business. Storefronts down almost every street were boarded up or had for sale signs in the window. Looking for a good, local place to eat seemed like it might be a challenge. However, we luckily ran into two Murphy residents just closing up shop as we walked down town. The two men ran a father and son law firm and were nothing but polite, helpful, and pleasant for the duration of our conversation.


When we asked the two men where we should eat, they told us that most of the locals eat regularly at Brother’s Restaurant. This sounded perfect, fitting right in line with the kind of place we wanted to track down. They then went on to describe directions to the restaurant. Their directions were great and almost humorously descriptive. In reality, Brothers was clearly visible about two blocks down the road where we stood. We piled back into our car and drove the two blocks in a rush to finish our driving by sundown.


Pulling up to Brothers, we had no idea what to expect. The front of the restaurant was quite large with aged wooden paneling running vertically across it. The moment we entered, we were caught of guard by the sheer size of the restaurant. It not only had a large waiting room and gift shop area, but also two separate dining rooms and a bar. No one seemed to be waiting and, even though there were many people seated eating, the restaurant was nowhere near capacity. We were ushered to a table near the back of the restaurant, a booth in fact. The hostess who seated us had an earpiece, indicating to me that things must get very busy here during their rush hours.


Our waitress was very pleasant and informed us that the owner, Dwayne Sneed, was not in that afternoon. She also pointed out that there were three separate Brothers location, indicating he might be at another instead. Upon hearing that Brothers was in fact a small chain restaurant, we were a little disheartened. Chain restaurants usually did not serve the best quality food or strongly represent their community. However, Murphy locals preferred Brothers so we stayed optimistic.


I ordered the fried green tomato BLT, one of their recommended dishes, and a side of fried pickles. Our food came out fairly quickly, which I could not decide was a good or bad sign. Unfortunately, it proved to be more negative than positive. The tomato was not very fresh and was tough to chew through. The breading on the tomato also seemed to slide off far too easily, making it a very unappetizing sandwich. The side of fried pickles had basically the same problem with their fried coating and proved to be not very good as well. Although I did not enjoy my meal, my friends seemed to somewhat approve of their dishes. Overall, I do not believe the food quality was in line with their high prices. That, along with the general tackiness of the western theme inside, made Brothers a mostly poor experience. I do not think I would recommend Brothers to anyone travelling through Murphy. However, this does not necessarily reflect the cuisine of Murphy as a whole. Given the chance, I would be happy to give another local restaurant a try.