Some sizzling sounds lead the way to a Muscatine masterpiece at 1033 Hershey Avenue.
This is the nicely-named, "A Guy and a Grill."
"That's what I started out with," said owner John Morford. "It was me, a grill and a truck."
Turns out, lots of guys and girls come from far and wide to line up for lunch.
"It's just good food," said customer Dawn Beckley.
"I used to be a lot skinnier until I came here," said customer Dan Sutera.
"When people like your food, and they show up, it's awesome," said Morford.
Morford called on his experience in the food business to create this start-up in 2004. The Muscatine man developed a down home philosophy that's as fresh as his mouth-watering menu.
"I cook the way I want to eat," he said.
Some customers choose the all-you-can-eat-buffet.
"The buffet is always good," said customer Mitch Gould.
But this isn't a typical cafeteria. It includes a variety of made-from-scratch favorites complemented with homemade sides.
"Come in, and get what you want," Sutera said. "Great price, great food."
But it doesn't stop there. Check out the hand-grilled items. Davis Birch is a culinary artist with the hand-cut creations. Everything is made to order.
"Sell the food at a better price," Morford said. "Better value for the customer."
And it's served with a smile by the friendly staff.
"They're very consistent," Gould said. "It's always the same group of people here."
"It's literally like what you might get at home when your mom or grandma used to cook for you," Morford added.
Their 10 tables fill up fast. And it's only open from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m., Tuesday through Friday. Come any other day, and you're out of luck.
That's because 80% of their business comes from catering. The same staff handles events all over the region for hundreds of guests each week.
"They're really good at working with different community events, too," said customer Nicole Willits.
Wrapping up its ninth year, A Guy and a Grill is one of Muscatine's best-kept secrets. But the business continues to grow and the future looks really bright.
"It's a good idea," said Aaron Prince who was visiting from West Virginia. "It works. I'm sure we'll be back."
"We've really created something and built something," Morford concluded. "It's satisfying."
From long lines to good times, A Guy and a Grill is a sizzling success in Muscatine.