Decker’s Cafe

By on 21 November, 2017 in Food, Restaurant Reviews with 0 Comments

It’s strange. Decker’s Cafe has a sign, but almost no online presence. There are a handful of seemingly-defunct Facebook pages, but that’s about it.

It’s located at 500 Monroe Street in the Lurleen B. Wallace office building. Lurleen Wallace, pictured below looking crisp in a white blazer, was Alabama’s first female governor, and much like the cafeteria in the building bearing her name, too rarely discussed.

Lurleen Wallace

Decker’s appears to be mostly (almost singularly) patronized by state employees looking for something quick on a lunch break. These civil servants, doing the crushing work of making this state’s government function, might not want to bring a flavorless frozen item from home to be warmed in an office microwave and joylessly consumed in a workplace cubicle. So down to Decker’s they come, some laughing, some trudging, some seeking to stretch a paycheck by conducting an inquisition about just exactly how many chicken tenders come in an order.

Decker’s Cafe is part cafeteria, part convenience store, with boxes of cellophane wrapped treats everywhere, a couple of freezer cases of bottled drinks, and a hot bar containing your basic and unsurprising meats and veggies. Amid the regulars, the word is that you want to do breakfast at Decker’s, capitalizing on the impossibility of ever really messing up eggs and grits. But I was there for lunch, and instead of the egg salad sandwich option, I constructed a veggie plate from the options available.

The veggie plate was fine, just fine. Given my druthers, I would have punched up the collards with a hit of some vinegar pepper sauce, and maybe some hot sauce on the peas too. But the cornbread was a triangle of buttery goodness and the bottom-line takeaway here is that I got out of there with a veggie plate and a candy bar for something like $6. Derk’s is good, sure, but is literally double that price.

You’re not getting any frills at Decker’s. You go in through a weirdly-placed door, probably dodging a huddle of state workers on a smoke break. The lighting is government-issue. The prices are bargain basement, in part because you are basically in a basement.

But the vibe is friendly and the food tasty enough for the price point. And if you’re bored with the new plethora of great options on Dexter, just a block away is a hidden little spot called Decker’s. Not sure who the namesake is, but that doesn’t really matter. I’ll be going back on a pretty regular basis, at least until I get burned. It’s not going to dazzle you, but you’ll get full of some pretty good food at a pretty great price, and then you can get back to work.

Kate and Stephen are Midtown residents with one cat, a dog, ten fish, a garden, an old house and a sense of adventure. They write about life in Midtown here and about life in Montgomery at their blog Lost in Montgomery.

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