After 31 years of serving the residents of Sulphur Springs and the surrounding area, Burton's Family Restaurant will be closing their doors this Sunday at 10 p.m.
As a resident of Sulphur Springs for the past 16 years, I have dined at Burton's many times. I've always enjoyed the sense of culture and the rustic appeal of the building, and the food is always exactly what you expect from an old diner on the highway - made to order with a determination to make it taste great, even if it takes a little longer to get it done right.
Burton's has never been a place you went to if you were in a hurry. Though the restaurant changed locations in the early 2000s, not much else has changed. After all, they only moved about 100 feet to right of their previous location, 1505 East Shannon Road in Sulphur Springs. The newer building still managed to maintain that feeling of having lasted through the ages, and was even decorated in much the same way; with 1950s-era metal diner signs on the walls, plastic cows and tin cars hanging from the ceiling, pictures of local and national celebrities pasted over the walls of the main dining area, and even an old wooden Indian doll clad in plaid and sitting in a rocking chair with a "Smoking and Non-Smoking" sign plastered to his chest.
But the thing that really inspired my love affair with Burton's was the food. With menu items such as "Pa's Sunrise Special", "The Cowgirl", "The Ranch Hand", and "The Garbage Plate" just on the breakfast menu, you couldn't go wrong. You could come in to the diner and have whatever you felt like eating, just like at home. Many a night I'd find myself packing the car with friends and heading to Sulphur Springs just to have a few pancakes and eggs at a decent price. As we waited for our food to be made with considerable love and care on the grill brought over from the original building, we'd chat for a while about growing up in Northeast Texas and share a few laughs with the waitresses, who were always bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, even at 2 or 3 in the morning. The food would eventually come to the tables, and from that moment until the final bite the table would be silent as we feasted on burgers, chicken sandwiches, pancakes, eggs, homemade biscuits, gravy and other greasy food that probably will clog our arteries for years to come but always left us with warm hearts and full bellies.
I know that I will always look back with fondness on my memories of Burton's, a diner that has been proudly serving the city of Sulphur Springs and any who happen to pass by on I-30 for over three decades. Burton's Family Restaurant wasn't named that just because it's great place to bring your family at any time of the day, but because they always made you feel like a part of their family. I don't know about you, but I will certainly stop by for one last "Cowgirl" before they ride off into the sunset for good.
Here's a link to Burton's website: http://www.burtonssulphursprings.com/index.html