Archive for the ‘Honky Tonk/ Food’ Category

Road Trip #16 – St. Hedwig and the Travel Itch

In Honky Tonk/ Food on 01/25/2015 at 12:58 pm

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.


Road Trip #15 – Two girls, Andy, Buc and Pat

In Honky Tonk/ Food on 12/08/2013 at 3:48 pm

Goodness, it has been an embarrassingly long time since a real post was written here.  To be fair, I’m lazy.

The day after Thanksgiving, my photographer and I headed over to Fredericksburg, TX.  My first restaurant choice turned out to be a chain (esh!) so we hit up the first place we saw while coming into town, Andy’s Steak and Seafood Grille, supposedly the oldest continually operating restaurant in Fredericksburg.


This place very much has the small town vibe of the same customers who order the same thing every time.  While the menu had a fair amount of options, I was torn on which item to choose and not because they all sounded enticing.  Fare is standard Texas diner style: beef in various forms, uninspired vegetable dishes and an okay salad bar, which got instantly downgraded due to the complete lack of bacon bits.  The horror!

My chicken fried steak had a better gravy than I have had in quite a while but it was still Not Awesome.  Fried okra lacked sufficiently crispy breading and the french fries provided a lifeless performance as the supporting side dish.  But the real victim here was my travel buddy, AR, whose plate looked like this:


Let me explain: this is a hamburger patty with brown gravy, not unlike the more well known item of our childhoods, Salisbury Steak, with a piece of mildly cooked bacon tossed across it.  Nothing about it was appealing.  And to the people of Fredericksburg who eat this on purpose, no.  Also, there were three instances of bacon on this plate.  I have special feelings for bacon just like the next guy, but I have seen it used too many times as a fix.  Cooks of the World, bacon is not your band-aid.

Personally, I felt the prices were a bit high but that may be the result of a tourist town establishment.

Next, we went to Buc’s Bar and Grill.


The early crowd mostly sat around the bar.  We chatted with a slightly deaf older gentleman who asked us the same questions several times and, after some confusion, bought us a beer.  Once he wandered out, we utilized the surprisingly nice bathrooms and played pool (terribly).


A nice selection of beer and friendly bartenders, it was oft repeated that this place is the after party hangout.  Go later if you prefer a busier bar.

After Buc’s, we got stupidly lost despite what turned out to be good directions but eventually made it to Pat’s Hall.


Originally opened in 1928, it is now owned by a couple who runs a publishing company out of it and rents it for events.  Occasionally, dances are scheduled around such events.  We walked in to an open room with cover charge ladies and a long stone bar behind them.  The beer selection is wide and well priced.


If you plan to sit, ensure a table reservation has been made.  The outside area was well constructed around a huge, beautiful tree.  Central heating and air could not be confirmed; bathrooms were small but nice.  Although this honky tonk was not the typical wooden structure, the architecture is a snapshot if it’s time and is unusual for beer joints.  Lots of dancers, from very young to very old.  AND, my favorite dancer of all time was also there: The Trotter!  See him once and you’ll know what I mean.  He’s tall, he’s skinny and he trot dances like no one I have ever seen!  Godspeed Trotter and God bless that woman who keeps up with you!

Happy trails!

Only fact involving Babe Ruth and veggies: Babe Ruth kept a cabbage leaf under his cap to keep cool.

Foodie in a Honky Tonk

In Honky Tonk/ Food on 07/24/2013 at 2:44 pm


It is time to tackle a topic I have avoided: Food in Honky Tonks.  Eating in honky tonks is a slippery slope I prefer to circumvent.  Of course, there are places with scrumptious food but these being atypical, convenience is key and can hoover your will to venture out beforehand to a standalone establishment.  Below is a general guide to comestibles found in and around the hallowed halls of honky tonks.


§  Nothing – too bad for you.  Check to see if your dance partner has gum or you can find that Whataburger fry dropped under the truck seat last week.

§  Snacks – Chips, cookies, bowls of peanuts.  Prepackaged items are the better of these option; just get Doritos and enjoy your descent into junk food cravings.  Do not consume anything open or left out.  Men walking out of the restroom wiping their hands dry are a rare sight.

§  Basic items – burgers, pizza, chicken tenders.  With some notable exceptions, usually this food is pre-frozen, purchased at a wholesale warehouse and slapped together.  If that is your thing, go for it.  Also, the foodie aspect of this blog is not for you.

§  Restaurant in house or next door – this is the best option but proceed with caution.  Sometimes, these restaurants are their own delicious adventure, while other times, they are simply capitalization.

§  Associated Food – In this situation, food is not served directly by the venue, rather by truck, proxy, or wandering vendors.  Use your eyes here to tell you whether this is a good idea or not.

Sometimes its best to leave these things up to the professionals.

Similarities with your hamburger Fact: Cows have best friends.

Road Trip #14 – Veering from the Plan

In Honky Tonk/ Food on 05/29/2013 at 6:55 pm


By far the most evolving Honky Tonk Foodie Road Trip, #14 began at the 4.0 Cellars Winery, a facility orchestrated by four different wineries throughout Texas.  The grounds, although not extensive, are well landscaped; weather was perfect for sitting outside and listening to live music, which we commenced after our tasting.


A typically tasting will run around $10 and includes six wines.  While most people prefer to sample either the red or white list, our group mixed and matched, or paid to taste all 12 wines.  Palate cleansing plates are available for purchase.  The range of wines was varied and each person had a favorite and strong dislike.  Afterwards, we paid for a glass to savor on the porch.  Cost by glass is a bit excessive considering it does not include the glass.  To purchase the bottle is a better deal.

Although we planned to go into Fredericksburg for dinner and music, mapping revealed a considerable distance and our interest has been piqued by a closer establishment, The Pink Pig.


Fortunately, we were early in the evening and reservations were not needed but I would recommend calling ahead.  Attached to a bakery, this restaurant is purely patio and includes a bar with televisions as you first enter.  A strong sulphur smell permeates the area and is only unnoticeable when eating.  Bathrooms are in an adjoining building.  The view is outstanding.


We appetized on Oyster nachos and lamb queso.  I personally sampled the Pulled Pork on Fry Bread, Mediterranean Chicken and Steak Frites; the Side Beet Salad received favorable adoration.  Every item was lusciously paired and cooked.  No single flavor stood alone on any of the dishes: textures melded, tastes carried seamlessly into the next, smells carried a metaphoric come hither.



Of course, all these delectables come with a price so be prepared.  Service was attentive and accommodating.

Sisterdale Trading Company & Saloon was our final pit stop.  Although not technically a Honky Tonk, it does have live music (sometimes, apparently) and is right across the street from the historic Sisterdale Dance Hall, which is not typically open for dances.  Therefore, the place across the street in the closest HTF is going to get.


A smallish inside with a large beer garden area, the road on one side and on the other, a beautiful view of a field on a working cattle ranch.  At 115 years old, this place is what I imagine any 115 year old to be: hospitable, entertaining and not in the mood for sourpusses.   The crowd can range from three to hundreds.  The bartender is a stand up gal; the bar takes cards and carries MGD 64.


A delightful evening and pretty drive.  We’ll head into town proper in November for a true dance hall experience.  Happy trails!

Even Worse Trivia: The mayonnaise is not what makes potato salad turn, it is the bacteria from the potatoes.

Road Trip #13 – In ConJUNCTION with London, Texas

In Honky Tonk/ Food on 03/10/2013 at 3:19 pm

Greetings Honky Tonk lovers!  Another road trip has come and gone; time for the recap!

We herded to the small town of Junction, Texas to indulge in their local going-abouts.  Most of us stayed at The Legends Inn which was surprisingly nice and clean.  Also, significantly cheaper than the Best Western.  If, for some reason you ever need to overnight it in Junction, I recommend this place.

The Junction Rivers Winery was our first official stop.


We wine tasted and were educated by a very friendly staff, who answered all questions with ease.  The tasting is very affordable and appealed to a range of palates.  A nice facility and porch with a concise menu; several other parties were nibbling and enjoying adult beverages.  Not an extensive facility but welcoming and accommodating.  Frozen drinks were well received, even by those who do not typically partake in frozen drinks.  Without reservation, this was my favorite spot.

For dinner, Isaack’s Restaurant was the stop.  While no doubt a staple in the community, the high points here were the chicken fried steak and the various local history items on the walls.

HTF - Junction 1007

Although Texas Monthly thinks Isaack’s is great, I think it is standard small town fried fare with a high point.  And the pie is served ice box cold, which is dandy for some but confusing and dejecting to others.  If you are heading this direction, perhaps try Milky Way or Lum’s first.

Then onward to London Dance Hall, about 20 miles away on a dark, dark road.  This may be an interesting spot to visit during the day; this was our limited view:

HTF - Junction 1012

First, don’t wear clothing which can’t hold up to staple holes because you’ll walk out with at least two.  Smoking is allowed inside but it was a small crowd and not an issue.  The outfit seems to be three separate building with doorways cut in between.  Dancing space is large, multiple tables, a side room for non-smokers and a standing section.  Due to this, this dance hall would be a good place to bring a large group of dancers.  Minors acting a fool are not looked kindly upon, which is a nice change of pace.

HTF - Junction 1018

Since no one is our party was too keen on dancing, we spent most of our time in the bar part, playing pool and such.  Of the two bartenders, the big tall one keep staring our group down for reasons unbeknownst to us, but we enjoyed ourselves regardless.  Bathrooms were interesting and the overall vibe was relaxed and fun.  London Dance Hall does not have a website but the Texas Dance Hall Preservation website lists info.  Beer prices were low; technically they take cards but cash is your most efficient method.

Heading back to town, we happened to find ourselves in the parking lot of Wild Turkey.

HTF - Junction 1038

It is loud and smoky but allowed writing on the walls.  A good stop for one last beer.

HTF - Junction 1044

As a next-morning note, breakfast on Sunday morning is damn near impossible to find.  Eventually, we found Tia Nena which sported large plates of food.  The tortillas were tasty, the bacon looks better than it is.

Check out Facebook for many more pictures.  Mucho thanks to everyone who drove so far, my regulars and the newbies, and of course, to the photographers, A.R. and G.T.  Cheers!

You’ve-been-reading-too-much-into-it FACT: Taco Bell is named after its founder, Glen Bell.

Road Trip #12.5 – Austin and the way home

In Honky Tonk/ Food on 02/05/2013 at 3:31 pm

Revisited Evangeline’s Café, this time armed with my official photographer and another ac-CONN-plice.

Outside Evang

Cajun happiness radiates from this small strip center in Southern Austin.  The neighborhood is houses and gas stations; it is easy to pass up this nugget.  I have not actually been inside but it seems crowded and loud.  Sitting on the porch is quieter but the fish tank effect can be a bit unnerving if someone is sitting at the same table inside.

 A lot of great music comes here.  Get here early if you’re here during a music set, as the stage is just in a corner.

 Beer selection is varied if you are an Abita fan and wide for all other options.  Service was generally good.  We only once wondered where our waitress had gotten to, which is just enough to question shift changes or bathroom breaks, not enough to evoke napkin nibbling.

 Napkin consumption is by far the worst option while at Evangeline’s.  We started with an order of Gator Bites.


The breading was even and well suited for melding the flavors of meat and the perfectly complimenting aioli sauce.  Just to be sure of their excellence, we ordered more.

 Main entrees included:

a Shrimp Po-Boy, which got two thumbs up, Shrimp

a cuppa Red Beans & Rice and a cuppa Gumbo, which received favorable reviews, RB&R more so,


and The Peacemaker Po-Boy, a concoction of Fried Oysters, Cheddar, Bacon & typical po-boy fixings.


 The Peacemaker was delectable. Let me tell you why: fried oysters involve progression from a hardened outside to the rewardingly squishy inside.  Bacon has a winning way with breaded items.  Cheddar is a tasty glue which complimented both aspects of the sandwich.  Containing such tectonic movement can be challenging to contain on French bread, let alone pairs ingredients to tie together.  The Peacemaker does all of this well, leading to my analysis that the name is a reflection of the delicious balance created from forces of opposition.

 Ridiculously full and starting to speak in tongues of Creole, we headed to The Horseshoe Lounge on South Lamar.  Located in a sea of mostly generically trendy, The Horseshoe Lounge was just as Slaid Cleaves sang, except smoking is no more.  And it was full of youngens’ trying to be cool without being cool.  Needs more old people who haven’t seen the sun in 24 years.  Parking is weird (which is VERY common on South Lamar), only one bartender and no 64.  Get there early and leave before the hip joints let out.

HS Sign

 Eventually, we fled Austin and pit stopped at Riley’s.  They had a large crowd and a screaming band.  We walked away from the cover charge, got called back by the door guy and let in since the show was technically over.  Their 64’s were rodeo cold, the band didn’t stop and there was no place to sit, so we hightailed it to Happy Cow (Riley’s 1, Happy Cow 2).  Seating, cold beer, good quality music by Slim Bawb and that awesome pinball machine.  Friendly folks and indoor plumbing topped off our adventure!  Thanks to A.R. and first time participant, S.C.!  Also, a different S.C. for taking me to Evangeline’s the first time.  Join us in March at the London Dance Hall!

 Why is he curious? trivia: Two hours before Paris fell to the Nazis, H.A. and Margret Rey fled on bicycles. They were carrying the manuscript for Curious George.

Road Trip #12 – In the vicinity of 281

In Honky Tonk/ Food on 11/08/2012 at 5:11 pm

November is a good time of year to be on the road.  With that in mind, we headed out to Specht’s Store outside of San Antonio.

Open since 1890, this place has a lengthy history and many relics from each chapter, including a register from 1905, the original women’s entrance and a neighborly ghost wife.  The front part is better suited for singles and couples, while the back area opens under a covered pavilion with tables, a stage and a grassy spot for hyperactive children to frolic.

Props to the evening’s entertainment Jeff Crisler who started with Robert Earl Keen and played multiple Lyle Lovett songs.  The beer was not dirt cheap but the selection was more varied than expected. We ended up having two picnic tables of people, which may have been the cause of our waiter’s attitude, which ranged from off-put to overly familiar to confused.  While, overall, the food was not outstanding, the gravy and pork loin were well received.

This is a place to go more for the atmosphere than the cuisine.

Next, we mosied up 281 to the Shade Tree Saloon in Spring Branch.

All opened up, this place had the feeling of a backyard party.  People were enjoying hanging out and playing pool.  The bartender was friendly and they carry Miller 64!  With a great wraparound porch and extra bathrooms outside, Shade Tree is a nice mixture of the neighborhood watering hole and a concert venue.

It’s a little bit of a drive to the sticks but highly accommodating for a wide range of audiences.

Finally, we landed at Twin Sisters Dance Hall outside of Blanco.  Operating as a community hall, then a dance hall since 1870, this place is obviously deeply set in the hearts of its neighbors.   Only the sign is visible from the road.

Two adorable women with bouffant hair took money and stamped hands at the front door, which is to the right when you drive in.  Cash only and beer is not super cheap but you can bring your own bottle.  The hall is more intimate than some others we’ve seen but has similar craftsmanship.

Much like Quihi, there was an abundant of children running around.  Twin Sisters does not accept table reservations; we arrived around 10:15 and managed a table, but ended up standing most of the time.    Billy Garza and 40 Guns had a nice sound that did not overwhelm the space.  This would be a good dance hall for a first timer to Texas.  We had one on this trip and she did great!  Love that accent!

Check out Facebook for the rest of the pictures.  Thanks to everyone for coming out!  Thanks to my drivers, AM & JG.  Thanks to the photogal, AR.  See yall next trip!

“This will never once be useful” fact: Allspice only grows in the Western Hemisphere.

HTF in DFW – Road Trip #11

In Honky Tonk/ Food on 08/16/2012 at 6:57 pm

I have never considered Dallas (and by proxy Fort Worth) to be part of Texas.  But I’ve also never really given this area a chance so HonkyTonkFoodie and friends made the trek.  Dallas on Friday, Fort Worth Saturday.  Here was the outcome.

Gilley’s was the first stop.


Although no longer a honky tonk (awww), it has rich history and a bar.  We were the only people in the Jack Daniel’s Saloon, so we ordered beer, took a picture with the mechanical bull from ‘Urban Cowboy‘ and wandered around. Although its big stage is now used for rock shows (i.e. Jack Black & Tenacious D, Marilyn Manson), it is easy to image boots, teased hair and Rockie-clad buckle bunnies. It felt a little bit like being in an abandoned house full of memories. There are side rooms which are rentable, but I’m not sure where these were.

From there, we hopped in a cab and headed to dine at Angry Dog. Before we go any further, know ‘Angry’ means spicy. This place was crammed with tables and most of them were full.


Everything came on a bun.  Hot dogs, hamburgers and tuna steak were had, all with positive reviews.  I ordered The Spiedies (pronounced Speedeez) because I couldn’t figure out from the menu what it was. Kind of like pot roast on a roll, sans gravy. A filling flavor with not too much fat. Could have used some horseradish.

This place had a surprisingly nice bathroom.

Adair’s Saloon was less than a block away, so we meandered down. A good setup, with band to the left of the front door, long bar further down to the right, shuffleboard in the back.


It was at this point we realized people in the area go out (much) later so it was pretty slow. Unfortunately so few people meant the overwhelming smell of urinal cakes had no blockade. We drank down a beer then wandered over to Elm Street, two blocks away. The whole street was lined with bars, similar to Sixth Street in Austin.  We briefly stopped at a swanky place with $1 champagne, then made our way to Black Swan Saloon.

People were inside, which was a welcome sight. As with the other Dallas places, the inside of the place was long and skinny, with a nice outside patio out back. As the inside got more crowded, I retired to the picnic tables and spent the rest of the evening there. I only had a sip of an infused vodka drink but it was delicious and left my lips tingly burning for several minutes afterward. Special thanks to Mark and Patrick for putting up with my sassy mood.

Back to the hotel, slept until 11:30 the next morning. Hurray for air conditioning, comfy bed and patient bladder!

Fell on my butt on the way to lunch, consoled myself with nachos.

We then loaded up, navigated construction and landed at Billy Bob’s Texas, the BIGGEST HONKY TONK IN THE WORLD. There are many things to see here, just note they close for an hour from 5-6 to sound check for that night’s concert. While I didn’t get to see everything, here are the highlights:

– a big ass belt buckle


– a chandelier that is both country AND disco (possibly a tad rock and roll)


– further evidence Reba McEntire is a total badass


– proof Ray Benson has gigantic feet


We snacked at the little cafe inside. My chicken and dumplings were good but definitely needed hot sauce. Fried pickles were the shining star, note these were whole spears, not chips. Fried green tomatoes were the subject of confusion in the kitchen and ultimately fried in the same batter as the pickles. They were also a smidgen on the small side.

Cupid shuffling occurred.

After the PA system announced our departure, a short walk took us to White Elephant Saloon. Which felt like coming home. For the first time the whole trip, we found a place serving Miller 64s. Hurray! Two sets of bathrooms, band stage under the stairs, lots and lots of little white elephants


and even an entertaining ceiling, featuring hats of prominent people from the area.


We played much pool and a little bit of shuffleboard. A chill place comfortable for tourists and locals. We absorbed Michael into the evening’s activities, cheers!

Next door is Love Shack, a hamburger, etc place which shares an owner with White Elephant. This is handy because you can order food from your waitress (thanks Nicole!) and it comes from the deliciousness next door. What you need to know is to order the Dirty Classic, which is a chicken sandwich topped with wild boar bacon and a quail egg. Oooooh yeah.

Great times! Fort Worth is more familiar to HTF but both places were an experience.

THANK YOU to everyone who came (you rock), with double nods to A.S. for driving and A.R. for being the official tourist aka photographer of HTF.

As-if-they-weren’t-freakish-enough FACT: Catfish are the only animals that have an odd number of whiskers.

Road Trip #10 – All I’ve gotta do is Act Naturally

In Honky Tonk/ Food on 07/16/2012 at 7:45 pm

Saturday with the Honky Tonk Man, what could be better?

Road Trip #10 was a windy trip through South Texas.  Let’s get started!

Falls City – Home of Shorty’s Place
Located just past this spit of a town in an old house, Shorty’s opens into a smallish room where the register and kitchen are located.  Larger room to the left with lots of tables.  Services was attentive and people cycled through pretty quickly.  We were uncreative with ordering at four chicken fried steaks between the five of us.  I was intrigued by the Fried Rabbit option but couldn’t overcome the country wisdom of not eating rabbits in warm months (worms, ya know).

Salad came with the entrees and was weird.  Shredded lettuce, shredded carrots, shredded cabbage and crispy Chinese noodles.  A slice of tomato would have gone a long way.  Ranch dressing by the gallon and my favorite kind of bacon bits made it okay.


Props to the cream gravy, which was grease based and not runny.  The chicken fried steak would have greatly benefited from seasoning.  One of the four was ‘chewy’.


My Steak Man went with the 26 oz. option.  The usual amount of gristle and bone applied.  It was pan fried.  If you don’t mind your sirloin this way, go for it.


Apparent stand outs were the onion rings and pecan pie.  I did not sample however.

Karnes City – Home of Reggie’s


Located in an old house (see a theme?), this place was a bit shady on the outside.  No windows and dark, with two pool tables, regulars and naughty pictures in the toilets.  A single communal sink is wedged between the doors.  Beer was $2 and ice cold.  Group visits to this place are probably best.


Kosciusko – Home of Kosciusko Hall (and not much else)
Pronounced KA-CHOO-SKO (maybe), it is right across the street from the church (so you can drag your sinning self over the next morning).  As the concert was outside, I only ventured indoors for visits to the facilities.  Oddly enough, a band was playing in addition to the outside show, and a lot of people were dancing.  Some routines just don’t get disturbed, I reckon.  Overall, not a very pretty place.  Utilitarian design, with a long bar to the right.  Double check plus on the air conditioning.  Everyone saw someone they knew and good times were had.

Here is some swoon material for you:


Okay, I know that’s not enough.  See the Facebook page for a video of booty shakin’ greatness.

The road was long and home was far so we stopped off at this little cowboy looking bar:

Floresville – Home of Roper’s Dancehall


I’m glad we didn’t make a special trip to this place but they had decent parking and a bemused cop.  Bartenders were more attentive to one side of the bar than the other.  Small but adequate sized dance floor and plenty of seating.  Crowd was not too rowdy and someone in our group even received a compliment on his (admittedly super fancy) ostrich boots.  There was an after party at Tyler’s house, but we didn’t know who that was so we headed back to town.

Thanks so much to L.H. for driving his truck, K.A. for being my go-to for steak and dessert testing, A.R. for doing her photo thing, J&D for meeting us and my husband for coming!

Jesus sees what you are doing Fact:  The church is Kosciusko was founded October 27, 1898.

Road Trip #9

In Honky Tonk/ Food on 04/01/2012 at 12:24 pm

Greetings!  I apologize for the delay in posting. Work took me out of state for the week. Here we go!

Highway 46 was the home of HTF Road Trip Number 9.  First off, Antler Cafe, which has two signs but one location.  When you see this one, you’re in the right place:

There is a subtle theme here; try not to miss it:

We had a large group so I called earlier in the week to see what needed to be done.  The lady on the phone told me they do not take reservations but if I called ten minutes before arrival, they would start setting aside tables for us.  I did just that but talked to someone who didn’t seem interested in that information so when we got there, there was a wait.  The place was jumping and all the inside tables were full.  There is a nice patio, half covered, outside which apparently not part of the seating list inside.  After putting us on the list, I found two HTF superstars had gotten there ahead and snagged three tables outside.  The point of the story is check outside if crowded.

The menu is not extensive but they certainly know how to cook what is on it.  (Numbering needs a little work though.  When did the number 3 become superstitious?)

Team HTF rose to the challenge and covered a good portion of the options:

Frog legs – Despite the trouble before, I went for it.  This time, somebody was truthful about their cooking skills.  Perfectly cooked, light and white!  Clean flavor with simple melted butter as a dunk option (every third bite or so). I peeled off the fried breading…

Chips and Salsa – fresh chips, smokey salsa puree.  Not a matter of good or bad, just of preference.

Stuffed Jalapenos – reports were solid on these, although be warned they were filled with cheese of the cheddar family, not cream cheese.

Chips and Queso – leaned more towards the whiter queso variety, which I prefer.

Chicken Fried Steak – good report here, maybe a little over battered (a very common problem)

Chicken Strips – was too busy stuffing my face to get a report on these but they looked good!

Pork Chops – really delicious!  Cut of meat a little thin but the seasoning was exactly right and the cooking technique spot on.  I am not a big fan of pork chops generally, but these were very tasty.

Hamburger Steak – quite scrupulous!  Jalapenos were fresh and complimented the fried meat well.

Ribeye – a thinner cut of meat than preferred by the recipient but reportedly well cooked.

Hamburger – I’m just going to let the pictures speak for themselves.

Special shout out the mac and cheese which had little bits of jalapeno and was fantastic!  This place is a bit sweet on this pepper, so don’t be afraid to ask for items without, if you’re not into jalapenos.

And if you can’t finish it all, don’t worry.  There is a nibbler beneath your feet…

So, when the food had disappeared and the belly rubbing commenced, we walked literally across the street to Texas 46 Bar & Grill.

Two main rooms make up this place.  The entry is the bar part, with tables and the Bar.  The other room has a dance floor and a small stage.  Several people were eating when we came in.

Karaoke was the (unintended) treat for the evening.  Everyone was mike shy except one local future American Idol contestant and a very spunky member of Team HTF.  This is her in action (I am truly sorry you missed it!).

We all enjoyed this place.  Small town vibe; people are glad you came but don’t feel the need to sit down at your table & chat.

On to Anhalt Hall!  At the risk of sounding like my grandmother, What a treasure!  Places like this are the reason everyone should support Texas dancehalls and get out there!  Turned off the road, drove down through dirt, gravel and darkness to this grand building.

Inside boasted amazing architecture details, hints of the past and friendly folk who just want to dance!

Someone forgot cash, so they let her write down her number and gave her cash, trusting to run it later.  History is rich here and the people are happy to talk to you about it if you’re interested.  The dancing floor was huge and great acoustics for the Cajun band we saw.  Going strong since 1875, bands play more than once a month.  No air conditioning or heating, and cash only but they do have MGD 64 and Shiner.  Cheers!

Thanks to everyone who came out!  Special thanks to official photographer extraordinaire A.R.  Check out the rest of the pictures on Facebook!


Spring flowers make HTF happy trivia:  “In 1901, the Texas Legislature adopted Lupinus subcarnosus as the state flower, but this was amended in 1971 to include L. texensis and “any other variety of bluebonnet not heretofore recorded.” At least four other species of bluebonnet grow in Texas: L. havardii, L. concinnus, L. perennis, and L. plattensis.”  (Thanks Texas Highways!)