There's a reason that more restaurants are serving comfort foods: Who has time to be one of those happy homemakers wiping floury hands on an apron while fussing over a pot roast with homemade gravy, mashing freshly boiled potatoes and baking a bread pudding? It's so much more convenient to find a restaurant that makes the dishes that were once the staple of the American dinner table. At O'Neill's Restaurant & Bar, the dark, chummy neighborhood saloon owned by Brian O'Neill Schorgl, fork-tender pot roast dripping with house-made cabernet sauce is always on the menu — with honest-to-goodness mashed potatoes. Salads come with fat rolls and butter, and the menu is heavy with 20th-century diner classics such as chicken-fried steak, burgers, steak chili and fried catfish. Instead of blue-plate specials, O'Neill's has its own daily bargain offerings, including the Saturday-night special: an 8-ounce bacon-wrapped filet served with two side dishes. In keeping with the comfort concept, there's no hoity-toity crème brûlée or tiramisu on the dessert menu; the bread pudding, apple pie and fruit cobblers are as lovingly Middle American as Toby Keith and Thomas Hart Benton.
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