I can’t keep my mouth closed. Not in a gossipy way but in an actual way in which a picture is being taken and my boca hinge pops open and doesn’t release until the shot is complete. But the redeeming aspect is that, sometimes, I get a little help from my friends.
But to get to this part, first we had to roll out of the city and into the darkness surrounding Saint Hedwig, Texas. Googling the town did not reveal many dining options; Aurora’s Cafe (or Aurora’s Cafe and Bar as listed alternatively) is down a dark road.
Although Cafe is definitely part of the name, apparently the kitchen is not that into working on the weekends past 3 pm. Their diligence with sign upkeep is proportional to their concern for providing food. The bartender was friendly and checked on us, but we could only swallow one beer before rushing out to the alternate dining option before their kitchen closed. Therefore, not by design but in ultimately satisfaction of a mild curiosity, we settled on Texas Pride Barbecue, which is literally down the road. This place is a restaurant, music venue, event place and tattoo procurement shop. Ergo, there is a lot going on. The mystery of the evening formulated as a MARTA Police vehicle in the muddied parking lot. MARTA, as in the Atlanta, Georgia subway system.
Texas Pride Barbecue is positioned with a meat ordering counter which wraps around to become the side ordering counter. Mostly staffed by (likely) local teenagers and a wedding reception onsite lead to some dazed expressions and depleted inventory. Meats sampled were pork, sausage and brisket; sides consumed included green beans, beans and cobbler (peach and pecan)
Acceptable comestibles but I would not recommend a special trip into the dark, dark night for this dining experience. Although I was pleased to be wrong in my assumption that everything would be canned, the sides were mostly overcooked and/or under seasoned. Meat was greasy and under seasoned as well, but cooked accurately. Overall, this establishment offers a lively environment suited for large groups who need sustenance.
Next, we trouped out to The Big ‘T’, whose name is also adaptable and can be followed by either Icehouse or Roadhouse.
Recently purchased by Dale Watson, who I have a minor confused crush on because he looks like six different people depending on the headshot, this is a small bar with a teeny stage and one pool table. Everyone was very friendly from the moment we came in, noting the bartender would be serving us momentarily, as she was taking her turn at karaoke. A good range of beer selections, all cold. Smoking is allowed inside, which when coupled with cedar fever caused some respiratory issues for our group. A bit more ventilation would have been appreciated, but this bar has an undercurrent of joy from the regulars which proved to be contagious; we had a swell time, chatting and playing pool. I did not inquire as to what the Big T actually was, poo on my reporter skills!
Also, a wee bit of state pride is present here. If you ever need to thank god you live in Texas, just cast your eyes heavenward.
Thanks to everyone who came along and for being flexible with the venue changes! Thanks to my photo gal, A.R. and the drivers of the evening. Also imported Houston peeps!
Forever Young fact: a small jellyfish native to the Mediterranean Sea and Japan is thought to be practically immortal.