The Hazardous Food Critic


Editor’s Note: The following is one of a series of reviews of locally owned/operated businesses in Perry County. The comments, opinions, and views expressed in this review are not reflective of those of the Herald, but only of the reviewer, Courtney Hall.

Summertime is in full swing here in Perry County, and I recently took my boys to one of my favorite (and historic) local haunts, Circle T, to sample their seasonal Summer Salad and to enjoy the local company and familiar service that so many here in our area know and enjoy.

Many of you reading this know about Circle T, and probably several generations of your family have been enjoying their cooking for many, many years. Not only is this restaurant a haven for our local folks, but also for those passing through from out of town or neighboring counties who have heard many tales of their piping hot chicken and dumplings, turkey dinners, and, of course, The Big T Burger.

Last week, when I went with the kids, I sat in my usual booth, and was greeted by our usual server, who I (of course) am on a first name basis with. The place is always super crowded for lunch, and I enjoy it because it’s great to see such a pulse going through any restaurant in Hazard —especially a Mom and Pop operation like Circle T, that has been serving patrons in our area since the 1950s.

There’s also something really special to be said about a place where there is such a comfortable, and welcoming atmosphere, and everyone is just there to “hang out.” I guess you can say that—aside from the down home cooking—this is what has always drawn me to Circle T. Plus, anytime the server will literally pack your kids around the store, and basically help you in any way possible, it’s a plus.

I was thinking of getting something different, and my server suggested that I try their seasonal dishes, which consist of their summer salads. I’m a chicken and dumplings or roast beef Manhattan girl, but when it’s 98 degrees outside, sometimes you need something light. I obliged, and I have to say, I think I’ve found my new favorite dish.

The summer salad comes served with fresh fruit, peaches, pineapple, strawberries, and watermelon, with a side of cottage cheese and your choice of tuna salad or chicken salad wrapped in a lettuce leaf.

I will say, I was skeptical at first because the salads are a bit pricey. However, considering the huge tray of food you get, and the quality of the meal, it’s well worth it. My husband and I both shared one salad and still didn’t finished it all.

So, head out to Circle T and support your local businesses. I would 10-1 always prefer heading to a restaurant locally owned and operated with a lot of history here rather than a chain restaurant. The quality of food, great service, and atmosphere at Circle T is one you can’t beat.

Be sure to try their summer salads, and tell the girls that Courtney sent you!

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