Midwest Living Review
For true diner ambience in Columbia, you really need to grab a booth or a seat at the counter at this eatery on the northern edge of downtown, open for breakfast and lunch. A hangout for Mizzou students since 1934, Ernie's isn't large, and although it fashions itself as a steak house, the beef on the menu is more about providing the body with protein than any kind of elegant dining experience. The "chopped cow sandwiches"--or hamburgers, as they're known elsewhere--are popular, especially with the milk shakes. The walls prominently display works of a couple of Ernie's regulars from days long gone--cartoons by Missouri alumni Chester Gould (the pencil behind Dick Tracy's crimefighting adventures) and Mort Walker (best known for sketching the antics of GI layabout Beetle Bailey). A giant drawing by Gould hangs just outside the kitchen and graces the cover of the menu, to boot.