Archive for February, 2011|Monthly archive page

Road Trip Number Four

In Honky Tonk/ Food on 02/27/2011 at 6:13 pm

On a grey and misty Saturday afternoon, we embarked on the Fourth HTF Road Trip.  Out to Coupland, TX (pronounced Cope-land), a town of about 1,000 people. Home of The Old Coupland Inn and Dancehall and not much else.  We bedded at a Holiday Inn Express in nearby Elgin, which was very nice and great service aplenty.

The Inn and Dancehall also houses a restaurant so we took advantage of the convenience.

The service was friendly and the place was not crowded, although we were quite early for dinner.  Salad bar by the door was very basic but sported five kinds of salad dressing, all creamy in nature.  Menu was standard fare ranging from hamburgers to seafood, with some oddities thrown in.

Here is what was ordered: Steak – Nice taste to the meat but fatty, Shrimp, Alligator – cooked well and tasty, Brisket – good flavor but fatty & Chicken BBQ, Frog Legs – see below, Hamburger steak – good but fatty (see a theme?), Fried Oysters and Chocolate Mousse cake – delicious.

I ordered the frog legs because I love those little creatures from the lagoon.

Not often do eateries have them so I leapt (!) at the opportunity.  Typically, the problem with this inclination has been disappointment because they were out of froggers.  New adventure this time: kitchen had no idea how to cook them.  Quick lesson for all non-frog leg eaters: the meat should be very white, like chicken and have the texture of chicken.  Consider them chicken of the swamp.  This order was not white and had the consistency of fish, more fillet, therefore, not done.  I sent the order back and it came back with crisper skin but same translucent, flaky flesh.  The meat itself was also not the highest quality.  Ultimately, I would have preferred they just admit frog legs are not their strong suit.  It was taken off the bill though.  Overall, the restaurant is not a place to make a special trip to eat.

Buying tickets in advance allows for early entrance into the dancehall (separated from the dining room only by a curtain), although we got barked at by a staff person when we tried to come in at the designated time.  About 15 minutes later, we were allowed inside.

Behind us is the bar, immediately to the left of the front door.  Beer prices were not horrible but not hole-in-the-wall cheap either ($3.75 for domestics) and the bartenders were not gruff but definitely not cheery.  We chose some high tables on the left side of the dance floor, correctly guessing that people would cluster on the right side of the room.

Here were the highlights: there is a shoe shine stand which costs $1.00, the men’s urinal has a beer holder, there was some awesome dancing which included feet high above the floor and someone in the group got her ear licked by an engaged man.  The band, Turnpike Troubadours, was rockin’.

The crowd was mixed and a good amount for the space.  Credit cards are accepted at the bar.

Sunday morning, rather, early afternoon, we headed out and made it all the way to Hunter, TX when we decided whistles needed to be wetted.  Hunter is the home of Riley’s Tavern, previously mentioned in the blog in May 2010.  Despite the neon Open sign a-blazing, they were having a staff meeting and shooed us away.  Fortunately, there was another bar right down the road called The Happy Cow (The Udder Place).

Great hole in the wall place, displaying really neat relics without being over stuffed, cheap cold beer and a super nice bartender.  Cool old baseball pinball machine that is worth a look.

The reason we will definitely be back is every third Saturday of the month, they have Belt Sander races!  I just can’t make this stuff up!  Here are some of the hardcore competitors:

Here is their track, out back.  The orange ropes are extension cords on shower rings that hover above the track and keep the juice flowing.

Here is a YouTube video of those little power tools that could.

Whew!  With that, we could take no more awesomeness and wandered home to nap.  Great, great trip.  A rousing success for the first overnighter.  Special thanks to AR, the official photographer of HTF, RKA for driving and AS for also driving.  And to the Daniels for being awesome.  See yall next time! (More pictures on the Honkytonkfoodie Facebook page.)

Bovine fact: Some lucky cows in India have their own nursing homes called goshallas.