Harlow’s is one of those places that people all across the country may have a fun story to tell about. A staple on the Missouri State Campus since 1981 (then SMSU), Harlow’s has had a crowd of regulars and a crowd of students cross its door for over 30 years. The decor reminds you of it’s MSU location as well as the feel of a hometown pub. Julie Cozort has owned the property since the 80’s and has kept the place pretty much the same the entire time. On the weekends you can usually hear a local band or musician and during the summer enjoy have a cold beer and dinner outside on the patio. You cannot do a diners and dives website and not include a place like Harlow’s.
673 S. Kimbrough
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What We Ordered
Kent Kelso: Daily Special London Broil, salad and fries: $9.44 with a drink
Jeff Widmeyer: London Broil: $9.44 with a Drink
Chris Russell: Grilled Catfish Sandwich, Fries and Side of Slaw and Drink: $8.34
Harlow’s is a typical local joint/bar with a grill and as long as you keep it in that context you will not be disappointed. It looks like a bar, feels like a bar and guess what, it is a bar; however; it has a good bar kitchen. There are good values, good portions and good quality.
Food 3.5 Stars: Ok, I had the special today which they said was a London Broil, well, London Broil it was not. It was good and again for $7.99 it was a good value as a thin cut Bottom Round (1/3″ thick) with a simple salad and Texas Toast and Fries that were OUTSTANDING! I would eat it again on a return trip but would not go out of my way to go get one. I give it 3.5 Stars due to the Fries.
Service 4.5 Stars: Jade was our server and she was wonderful, attentative and made the experience a very positive one! Service was a 4.5 Star rating.
Atmosphere 3.5 Stars: The atmosphere was a solid 3.5 Star Bar Atmosphere and the Bathroom was unique and quite clean with out any frills, Ray Kroc would say 3.5 Stars.
Al in all I would sayHarlow’s is a great neighborhood joint. If you are local it is a good spot, just not a destination.
As a lifelong springfieldian, I have to say that I have never before been to Harlow’s to eat (that I can recall).
FOOD-3.5 Stars: I had a lunch special for only $7.99. They call it a London broil cut, and it was cooked medium which was right for the “thin-ness”, accompanied by very good french fries, a full piece of Texas toast, and a small side salad. A very adequate and satisfying lunch for the price. And their drink glasses have to be among the largest in town, which Jade kept full.
SERVICE 4.5 Stars: Giving 4.5 stars to Jade. She is the granddaughter of another lending friend in town, and I hadn’t seen her in a few years. She is a total delight to talk to, and as the only server for all tables she was hopping, She told us the most popular dishes and had her opinions on some too. The people we meet doing this research (?) really make the difference to me! There was another guy there but he was more concerned about being outside about every five to seven minutes for some reason, and the open door kept giving us a breeze of very cool air.
ATMOSPHERE-3 Stars: It’s obvious that Harlow’s has been there for quite a while. They are right beside the MSU campus so there are “bear” items around , along with a pool table and TV’s. I can see if I was a student this could be a hang out for me, but there were several business people that came in during the lunch time–obvious repeat customer based on the greetings I heard. No single thing stood out to me-either positive or negative, and sometimes that’s a good thing.
Overview 3.5 Stars: I know that rating is a bit weaker than I usually give for local joints and I am not sure it’s 100% deserved. I like this place and have for quite sometime. In my early years had some fun times there. I also really want to check out the All You Can Eat Ribs on Saturday and see how they stack up to the other Rib Joints in town. I think with different meal my rating could easily have been 4.5 Stars.
Food 3 Stars: I had the Grilled Catfish sandwich that was on special that was just ok. Not a lot of flavor other than some salty spices. The Fries were really good and I did enjoy the Onion Rings and Fried Mushrooms we sampled as well. The cole slaw was just average and required some salt and pepper too. I chose this sandwich from a reccomendation from our waitress. I think next time the ribs or a burger for me?
Service 4.5 Stars: No brainer here but we did know the girl so that helped. She did forget to send out the onion rings and mushrooms but for our troubles, comped the costs so that was nice.
Atmosphere 3.5Stars: I have seen better “Dive” atmospheres but I still like this place. Little more local 30 year folklore would have been nice but still ok and fairly clean.