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Best Restaurant Not in a Major Texas City - Texas

s
soulslinger Jan 11, 2008 08:45 AM

I would like to know some suggestions for the Best Restaurant Not in a Major City in Texas. I would also like to exclude all the BBQ restaurants. There are whole threads in the Austin area about the best places for BBQ already. Major Cities include the following:

Dallas/Fort Worth
Houston
San Antonio
Austin
Lubbock
El Paso
Corpus Christi

Anything else is fair game!

  1. Bhutani Jan 11, 2008 08:53 AM

    I don't know about best, but the Inn at Don Brisas has to be one of the most expensive and rewarded. It was recently designated as a Relaix & Chateaux resort which is a first for any property in Texas. I took a look at the restaurant's menu and chef and it looks impressive but the $125 tasting menu is about the same as what I paid 4-5 years ago at the French Laundry (whose prices have now almost doubled for the tasting menu). I would definately be interested in others' opinions who have dined there.

    Here is a link to their website: http://www.dosbrisas.com/

    1 Reply
    1. re: Bhutani
      j
      joetalamo Feb 17, 2009 09:51 AM

      I agree the restaurant it phenominal and underrated. Well worth the price. I hope it sticks around it's by far the best dining experience in this area

    2. l
      luniz Jan 11, 2008 09:17 AM

      I don't know anything about "best" but my two favorites have been Manuel's in Port Isabel and Cafe Malaga in McKinney.

      3 Replies
      1. re: luniz
        DiRotiman Jan 11, 2008 10:25 AM

        Rudy and Paco's - Galveston
        Johnny Cace's - Longview
        Stillwater Inn - Jefferson
        De Happy Cajun - Pottsboro
        (goofy but fun): Pirate's Landing - Port Isabel

        1. re: DiRotiman
          t
          TenaciousTexan Oct 4, 2008 09:27 AM

          De Happy Cajun IS FABULOUS! I live in the area and we are very happy to have De Happy (relocated) Cajun.

        2. re: luniz
          l
          luniz Jan 16, 2008 12:34 PM

          also forgot clark's in tioga although i've never been, just heard good things. it is bbq, but not in central texas, and their biggest thing is probably the smoked trout.

        3. t
          thedoorchick Jan 11, 2008 10:39 AM

          Only in this thread would Lubbock be called a major city! Hehe.

          I used to live there so I can crack a joke about it.

          I wonder if Galveston is also a major city. Also I assume Dallas/FW includes the whole metroplex including suburbia. So I'll leave those out.

          The Cotton Gin in Crandall is highly recommended by my parents, although I have not eaten there.

          Also Kaufman has a great little tearoom (within a gift shop), Especially for You.

          1. j
            judiftx1 Jan 11, 2008 10:39 AM

            Wildfire in Georgetown
            Mesa Rosa and Main Street Grill in Round Rock

            2 Replies
            1. re: judiftx1
              s
              shecooks Mar 4, 2009 06:32 AM

              What did you have that was good at Wildfire? My husband & I have been there 3 times over the past 5 years or so and have been served mediocre to bad food every time. We won't be going back. I'm completely boggled as to what people find good about Wildfire.

              1. re: shecooks
                r
                Rene Mar 4, 2009 10:32 AM

                The menu looks very nice. It's a shame they couldn't execute for you. Any details of your meal you care to share? Just looking at the menu, I am very tempted to check it out. Set me straight, please :-)

            2. j
              JMark Jan 13, 2008 09:54 AM

              Perini's (sp?) Steakhouse in Buffalo Gap,
              Hill Top Cafe, between Mason and Fredericksburg
              Cypress Grill, Boerne TX,
              Welfare Cafe, Welfare, TX (German Food)
              Huisache Grill, New Braunfels

              1. p
                paellaguy Jan 13, 2008 05:17 PM

                I am quite fond of a great steakhouse just outside of Graham called Wildcatter Ranch. This restaurant serves just about the best steaks I have ever had. A great bar and a beautiful restaurant overlooking the Brazos hills up in north Texas. This place is about an hour and a half west of Ft Worth.

                The filet mignon is to die for. And the bread pudding is a remarkable desert.

                1 Reply
                1. re: paellaguy
                  s
                  specktaker Jan 14, 2008 05:44 PM

                  El Nopalito in Texas City is awesome. True TexMex, rustic, basic and delicious - try the chile con carne and wrap it up in the fresh flour tortillas. The place looks a little dingy - it is in an old 1980's Monterry House and has shut down and reopened several times. There is a branch in Galveston of Offatts that is not nearly as good.

                2. k
                  KnoxNate Jan 15, 2008 07:27 AM

                  The restaurant at the Rough Creek Lodge is one of the best in Texas, but since it is in Glenrose, it isn't exactly bringing in the foodies. But Gerard Thompson does some amazing stuff in his kitchen...spend a weekend there. Great resort/lodge with a lot of outdoor activities, even during the winter months.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: KnoxNate
                    f
                    foodie06 Jan 15, 2008 01:03 PM

                    Fredericksburg-Rather Sweet Bakery
                    Driftwood Texas-The Salt Lick

                  2. j
                    jscarbor Jan 15, 2008 01:36 PM

                    Although I am not a huge fan Royers in Round Top is pretty exciting for a small town.

                    This ltlle place it Cat Spring used to be really good but I know there was a tragedy in the restaurant family and at the time I thought the quality went way down hill. I hope it has picked up?
                    Los Brisas outside Brenham is supposed to be excellent.

                    1. s
                      seethemoon Jan 16, 2008 06:56 AM

                      Fredericksburg - Der Lindenbaum and Navajo Grill
                      Corpus Christi - Snoopy's Pier
                      I second Wildfire in Georgetown

                      1. donnaaries Jan 16, 2008 01:22 PM

                        Silver K Cafe in Johnson City. Best parmesan meatloaf sandwich ever.

                        1. o
                          OETex Jan 17, 2008 02:11 PM

                          One of the best meals I've had since coming to Texas is Risotto's restaurant in McAllen. The meals were great but their Cream Brulee was outstanding.

                          1. s
                            sallen Jan 19, 2008 01:44 PM

                            I don't really want to share this, but Pasquale's in Round Top is excellent. Many people like Royer's; their best dish is the grillled shrimp BLT. But the bread is too sweet and most of their food is quite sweet.

                            8 Replies
                            1. re: sallen
                              a
                              amazinc Jan 20, 2008 08:23 AM

                              BonTerra, east of downtown Fredericksburg, Dinner only Wed.-Fri. They do a lobster club sandwich that's terrific; also the pork shanks are a must try.
                              River's Edge, A Tuscan Grill, Kerrville, Lunch; Mon-Fri Dinner; Mon-Sat. Chef Blake Pickett's Veal and Penne Pasta is a superb lunch dish
                              Sarika's (Thai) a little south of downtown Boerne, Lunch & Dinner Mon-Sat. The spring rolls (10 per order) are perfect; the Yom Tom is the best I've had in Texas and the table sauce is good enough to drink!

                              1. re: amazinc
                                m
                                Ms Ghost Jan 22, 2008 06:06 AM

                                Thanks so much for the tip, amazinc! Had lunch yesterday at River's Edge and don't know how it has managed to stay under our radar! The view and lunch---you're absolutely spot on with the veal and penne pasta recommendation, too!---were memorable, especially considering we'd given up on finding anything that interesting in Kerrville! We also split an order of mussels which were excellent. As much as we love the ones at Bistro Vatel and Le Frite in San Antonio, it was nice to start the meal with something a bit lighter than those preparations. Now we can't wait to try your other recommendations, although in Boerne we have enjoyed Creekside (or The Creek? or whatever as it's right ON the creek) a lot. Some great Thai would be a nice alternative. Thanks again!!

                                1. re: Ms Ghost
                                  s
                                  singlemalt Feb 21, 2008 05:21 AM

                                  Glad to hear this about River's Edge. I have been going to Kerrville to work on the weekends on a fairly regulalr basis and have eaten all over including Eldaine's Table. I have eaten twice at the new place, the bar converted to a restuarant, Pamell's and have found no place memorable enough to want to return to it. I was driving around K'ville last Sun. AM before going to work and came upon this place. Now, I have discussed food with several K'ville folks, including waiters, and no one ever mentioned this place. Intend to try it this weekend. Thanks for you endorsement. J. BTW, Pampell's has recently changed chef's so I don't know what the new one brings yet. I understand she was trained at the culinary academy here in Austin.

                                  1. re: singlemalt
                                    m
                                    Ms Ghost Feb 21, 2008 05:47 AM

                                    Hope you enjoy it, singlemalt! Did you notice that it's only open for dinner on Sat. and is closed Sunday?? Just wouldn't want you to be disappointed! Went there again this week with two others, and we all three loved what we got. Split the calamari which were divine and very light, one had the aformentioned veal pasta, another the mufaletta-like sandwich and the third the grilled chicken breast on bow-tie pasta with pesto. All hits! Then split an incredibly wonderful lemon poppyseed torte with lemon curd and whipped cream. Next I'd like to try their dinner menu as it has even more great-sounding selections.

                                    1. re: singlemalt
                                      b
                                      BabsinTX Jan 27, 2009 07:08 AM

                                      My husband and I ate at River's Edge in Kerrville last week. We loved it. Great location on the river (we arrived right at sundown and it was lovely). We had the osso buco and shrimp alfredo pasta. Excellent. Can't wait to go again.

                                2. re: sallen
                                  t
                                  tlegray Oct 1, 2008 01:46 PM

                                  Sad to say Pasquale's has been sold.

                                  1. re: tlegray
                                    j
                                    joedontexan Mar 4, 2009 06:12 PM

                                    Perini Ranch Steakhouse Period. Buffalo Gap, Texas outside Abilene.

                                    1. re: joedontexan
                                      shanagain Jun 4, 2009 05:46 PM

                                      After a recent Perini trip, I can safely say they're still safely on the list. My ribeye was thick, juicy, perfectly cooked, and not over-seasoned (peeve of mine lately - too much salty "rub" everywhere you go). And not only did it taste great, it had a real steak mouth feel - I think I'm turning reverse snob on steaks - I'm getting sick of steak that feels TOO buttery and tender. I wanted a big, hearty woman's woman steak, and that's what it was.

                                      The bread pudding is still over-the-top fantastic, and I loved the jalapeno cheesecake I sampled. DD had the catfish fry, which was honestly perhaps the best catfish I've ever had. Don't ask me why. Service was, as always, great.

                                      One caveat: Sitting outside is convenient for smokers, lovely at dusk, and beloved by *flies.* So when you make your reservations, keep the flies in mind. It's a lot like attending a backyard cookout; as long as you expect it, it doesn't bother you that much.

                                3. b
                                  bbq ninja Jan 25, 2008 05:55 PM

                                  Texas 814 Bistro in Comfort, Tx, about 40 miles NW of San Antonio. Simply superb, but talk about small town atmosphere! Plus, its BYOB, so grab a good bottle of wine @ Hill Country Spirits in Boerne on the way up and you'll be fat and happy for < $100 FOR 2.

                                  1. b
                                    BabsinTX Jan 28, 2008 10:43 AM

                                    See my post about FourWinds Steakhouse in Wills Point (48 miles east of Dallas). Fabulous.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: BabsinTX
                                      e
                                      Emilykb Oct 29, 2010 08:50 PM

                                      FourWinds is hands down the best steak I have ever had. I know this post is old but I had to comment!

                                      1. re: Emilykb
                                        d
                                        debojay Mar 18, 2012 02:02 PM

                                        FourWinds is still great. Out in the middle of nowhereland, but great steaks and a very nice wine list.

                                    2. h
                                      huntermatt Jan 28, 2008 12:01 PM

                                      -San Angelo: Kinda a hub for that area, but....
                                      Mejor Que Nada
                                      Zentner's Steak House
                                      Fuentes
                                      -Lowake: Near San Angelo
                                      Lowake Steak House
                                      -Grapevine: its a sub of dfw.....
                                      Esparzas
                                      -Buffalo Gap: Pop. 400 south of abilene
                                      Lola's Cafe
                                      Those are a few...most are out in the west texas area...

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: huntermatt
                                        f
                                        forrest Feb 1, 2008 03:46 PM

                                        2nd on the Lowake Steak House.. Most amazing steak I have ever eaten in my entire life... seriously...

                                        1. re: huntermatt
                                          r
                                          RikkiDLTN Nov 7, 2010 06:48 AM

                                          I had heard that Elvis used to fly in to eat at Lowake Steak House

                                          -----
                                          Lowake Steak House
                                          24913 Fm Rd 381, Paint Rock, TX 76866

                                        2. cynthiamckenna Feb 23, 2008 11:49 AM

                                          814 Cafe in Comfort. They do have a wine list and a small but delightful dinner menu that changes nightly.
                                          Cypress Grille -Boerne. Excellent food and small portions (which is a plus in my book)
                                          Welfare Cafe - between Boerne and Comfort. Slow service but great food.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: cynthiamckenna
                                            cynthiamckenna May 10, 2008 08:31 PM

                                            I want to amend this. Cypress Grille has gone down in quality. The service is still fantastic, but the food is now only okay. I've been there 3x in the last couple of months and the food was fine, but nothing to recommend.

                                            on a good note, I had a delightful dinner at the Welfare Cafe last week. Again - slow swervice but the food quality was top notch. Try the Darwin steak - it has a coffee chili crust and a tamarind glaze.

                                          2. PhillyPhanatic Feb 23, 2008 12:59 PM

                                            I would like to nominate the Cow Camp Steakhouse in Decatur. This place easily had one of the best steaks I've eaten in a long time. It's a bit of a drive from Dallas (1-1.5 hours), but well worth it if you've got some free time.

                                            1. LewisvilleHounder Apr 14, 2008 11:44 AM

                                              I wanted to revive this to se if I can get some more recs. All ogf them so far have been great and have been added to my "go-to" list.

                                              1. t
                                                tlegray Apr 15, 2008 11:58 AM

                                                Chef Pasquale's - Round Top
                                                Mesina Hof - Bryan
                                                Harmon's - Cibolo
                                                Cabernet Grill (Cotton Gin bnb) - Fredricksburg (though it's been awhile)
                                                Huischache Grill - New Braunfels

                                                1. shannydiva Apr 15, 2008 12:38 PM

                                                  Here are some out-of the-way gems:

                                                  Bryan, TX: Madden's and La Bodega (Great Breakfast Taco's)
                                                  Fredericksburg, TX: The Hill Top Cafe
                                                  Wills Point, TX: Four Winds Steakhouse
                                                  Jefferson, TX: Lamanche's
                                                  Longview, TX: Johnny Cace's
                                                  Wimberley, TX: Cypress Creek Cafe
                                                  New Braunfels, TX: The Grist Mill and the New Braunfels Smokehouse (Breakfast)

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: shannydiva
                                                    t
                                                    Thefoodczar May 11, 2008 07:21 AM

                                                    Shannydiva, let me add a third name to your New Braunfels recommendations. The Gruene River Grill has a stunning view of the river, and excellent, unpretentious food. The Queso Chicken, Chicken Fajita Salad, and Jalapeno Corn Chowder are all top-notch.

                                                    1. re: shannydiva
                                                      v
                                                      valswill Jun 9, 2012 07:07 AM

                                                      The Cypress Creek Cafe in Wimberley closed a few years ago. It was good, but now is gone.

                                                    2. shannydiva Apr 15, 2008 12:47 PM

                                                      Oh-one more to add. In Mineola, TX (East Texas)-The East Texas Burger Company at 126 E. Broad St. (right in the historic downtown area). My opinion is that it is the best burger in Texas (OK-Keller's in Dallas runs a very close second). Trust me, my friends and family have driven 60 miles for one of their burgers and and order of sweet potato fries before :)

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: shannydiva
                                                        p
                                                        pinotho Apr 17, 2008 03:10 PM

                                                        I second your nomination , as East Texas Burger Co is top notch.....

                                                      2. s
                                                        swamp Apr 15, 2008 01:27 PM

                                                        Palm's M&M on Galveston Island is one of the best you will find these days.

                                                        1. m
                                                          Mike C. Miller May 7, 2008 08:03 PM

                                                          I don't know if it's the best outside a major city, but Stillwater Inn in Jefferson beats the ones I recognize here.

                                                          1. hellpaso May 12, 2008 12:13 PM

                                                            rockport--hemingway's
                                                            corpus--water st.
                                                            mcallen--palenque grill
                                                            canutillo--the little diner
                                                            fabens--cattlemen's steakhouse

                                                            3 Replies
                                                            1. re: hellpaso
                                                              bhoward May 12, 2008 01:22 PM

                                                              Cafe Cenizo at the Gage Hotel in Marathon should certainly be on the list.

                                                              1. re: bhoward
                                                                m
                                                                mgwerks Oct 1, 2008 04:53 PM

                                                                Second Cafe Cenizo in Marathon. Make a night of it and stay at The Gage Hotel!

                                                                COmfort - THe Hen Haus Cafe good and simple home style food, EXCELLENT pies!

                                                              2. re: hellpaso
                                                                w
                                                                Winehole23 Jan 4, 2010 05:39 PM

                                                                I second Palenque grill. A little bit spendy, but it's not tex-mex. Very authentic food.

                                                                I had the shrimp ceviche for a starter. Seasoned with salt and pepper and sauteed in lime juice and (very hot!) green chiles. For an entree I had the mexican ribeye, but probably should have gone for the agujas -- a heartier cut, but this is a quibbble. The ribeye is pounded flat and served medium rare, with borracho beans (very good), guacamole, tortillas (homemade, corn) and cheese. It was delicious. The fajita meat on our nachos (real cheese) was tender and delicious, and my margarita was freshly made -- no triple sec or gatorade, just tequila, lime juice and cointreau, with a splash of OJ.

                                                                Highly recommended by the Wino.

                                                              3. j
                                                                jkr_lpco Jun 1, 2008 08:41 PM

                                                                The "Best" is always hard to define, but if you ever go through Ballinger (where US 67 and US 83 cross), try Alejandras. The food is excellent and I do not mean excellent for such a small town. I mean excellent. American or Mexican the food will knock your socks off.

                                                                1. kittykitty Dec 24, 2008 06:38 PM

                                                                  On the River in Freeport was just listed in Texas Monthly - they really are great for seafood. If you like fried food, try their specialty appetizer - deep fried pickles.

                                                                  Red Snapper Inn in Surfside has great fresh seafood as well.

                                                                  Cafe Anice in Lake Jackson is surprisingly sophisticated for a small town. Great food and top-notch service.

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: kittykitty
                                                                    b
                                                                    brucesw Jan 8, 2013 04:06 AM

                                                                    Cafe Annice closed last summer. Reviews had been trending down. It has reopened as Table 24 from the same owners. Haven't seen any reviews yet but probably worth keeping an eye on.

                                                                    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Cafe-An...

                                                                  2. b
                                                                    bishopsbitter Dec 26, 2008 03:39 AM

                                                                    In La Grange, Bistro 108 was a pleasant surprise. Genuine bistro atmosphere where the chefs can see you and vice versa.
                                                                    http://www.bistro108.com/

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: bishopsbitter
                                                                      b
                                                                      bishopsbitter Jan 5, 2009 02:11 PM

                                                                      Add that on a recent visit was less impressed. Gloopy syrupy raspberry vinaigrette and wilty chicken-fried steak.Sunday brunch was my previous experience. Regular lunch may be not so hot. Dinner . . .not sure.

                                                                    2. Kaya_n_Austin Jan 20, 2009 01:28 PM

                                                                      My favorite diner is the Blue Bonnet Cafe in Marble Falls. Love their mile high pie. I usually eat breakfast there every time I'm in the area. I can't say I've had their lunch more than once. I remember a decent meatloaf.

                                                                      My favorite place for tamales in this state is in Canutillo, on the edge of El Paso. Tamales Lupita is the absolute best. They have huge tamales. The pork & chicken are good but I dream about the green chile & cheese ones.

                                                                      1. c
                                                                        ChrissieH Jan 21, 2009 06:30 AM

                                                                        Did you see the list of the 40 Best Small-Town Restaurants in Texas Monthly?

                                                                        Here's a link:

                                                                        http://www.texasmonthly.com/preview/2...

                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                        1. re: ChrissieH
                                                                          LewisvilleHounder Jan 21, 2009 06:49 AM

                                                                          I have received that issue and tried a few already with some dissapointing results

                                                                          1. re: LewisvilleHounder
                                                                            c
                                                                            ChrissieH Jan 21, 2009 07:01 AM

                                                                            Bummer. But on the other hand, I tried Florida's Kitchen in Livingston and thought it was so good that I went out of my way on a recent road trip just to eat there again.

                                                                        2. e
                                                                          El General Jan 27, 2009 08:26 AM

                                                                          Beaumont: Chaba Thai Cuisine
                                                                          Beaumont: Richard's
                                                                          Bevil Oaks: Vautrot's
                                                                          Oakville: The Oakville Mercantile
                                                                          Sommerville: The Somerville Steakhouse or Inn I can't remember

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: El General
                                                                            t
                                                                            tmelian Jul 11, 2009 02:20 PM

                                                                            We are looking for a post-graduation dining destination in Beaumont. Saw your post, and wondered if either of you suggestions would be what we need. somethink a bit nice, with good food. I was also unsure if you mean Richard's Cafe or Richard's Seafood.

                                                                            Thansks.

                                                                          2. m
                                                                            missmitzi Feb 17, 2009 02:14 PM

                                                                            Dahlia's Cafe in Liberty Hill is home cookin. I have been there twice and have not been disappointed in anything other than their tea.

                                                                            I've eaten or sampled the Chicken Fried Steak with cream gravy - breaded onsite, hot and crispy, Chicken Fried Chicken with jalapeno cream gravy - just a delicious as the CFS and the gravy had a nice little burn, Chilicheeseburger - bun was toasted and the chili was plentiful and good, Grilled Chicken - juicy and spiced up nicely.

                                                                            I've also had the fresh green beans - slightly better than I make at home, fried okra - breaded onsite with flour and buttermilk...better than my mom's and I have never said this about any other fried okra ever, mashed potatoes - fresh with little lumps of goodness and onion rings - thick cut with a thick batter, good but I'd like to try the fries.

                                                                            Not only is the food good, but the ambience is nice. It is in an old small house. While the inside seating is fine, the outside is where it is at. It is under big old oak trees. Very relaxing. Nice servers. Live music on the weekends. A farmer's marker in the spring and summer on Saturdays. I know they have beer and Hill Country wines. Not sure about liquor. Go try it!

                                                                            1. s
                                                                              Salt_ofthe_Earth Mar 6, 2009 12:30 PM

                                                                              I've always enjoyed Underwood Cafeteria in Brownwood. They have a series of billboards lining the highway, (U.S. 84 I believe) Proclaiming hot biscuits, cobbler, chicken and steaks. They definately live up to their "Best Eatin' in Town" motto.
                                                                              This is one of my favorite restaurants of all time. The biscuits are my favorite ever, (except for my grandad's).
                                                                              My buddy used to drive 3 hours from Austin, just to eat there. I try to get over there at least once a year. Some of the best fried chicken I've ever had.

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: Salt_ofthe_Earth
                                                                                w
                                                                                wonderwoman2 Mar 31, 2009 08:02 AM

                                                                                I think Hard Eight is a whole lot better. That's over in Stephenvill and Brady. Underwoods is too steam table for my tastes. I like a more outdoorsy BBQ.

                                                                              2. s
                                                                                swicker Mar 11, 2009 02:34 PM

                                                                                Welfare Cafe in Welfare, TX!!!!

                                                                                1. s
                                                                                  seethemoon Mar 14, 2009 09:39 PM

                                                                                  Boerne- Tinroof
                                                                                  They have great steaks and the rest of the menu looked good too.

                                                                                  1. w
                                                                                    wonderwoman2 Mar 31, 2009 08:00 AM

                                                                                    The Turtle In Brownwood is quite a find. They hired a snotty little chef from New Orleans but he's gone now and the food is much better. They added a fabulous wine bar with amazing pizzas. I feel like I'm back in Italy, especially since they also make gelato. Unfortunately, they stopped doing Sunday brunch and have dinner only on Friday annd Saturday but this is OK because the food, while good before, is now amazing and you don't have to wait a year and a day to get it. Slow Food doesn't mean waiting forever. It means that it's grown locally and in season. The Turtle excells at this. It's one of the few places where everything isn't fried to death. They make their own breads and desserts and buy stuff from local farmers.

                                                                                    The wine bar serves wine by the glass and taste from this cool gadjet that keeps the wine fresh and the right temperature. I liked being able to taste everything, especially some of the unknown Texas wineries and Italian grapes I've never heard of before. One of the bar tenders grows mint and makes the best mohito I've ever had using Treaty Oak Rum. That alone is worth the trip. The are open for lunch and wine bar Tuesday - Sat and dinner Fri - Sat. more info here www.theturtlerestaurant.com

                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: wonderwoman2
                                                                                      r
                                                                                      randyjl May 20, 2009 06:10 PM

                                                                                      Best Chicken Fry Steak is at Mary's in Strawn! Worth the detour!

                                                                                      1. re: randyjl
                                                                                        p
                                                                                        pinotho May 21, 2009 11:19 AM

                                                                                        I second the motion........Strawn's has great CFS and great french fries......

                                                                                        1. re: randyjl
                                                                                          irodguy May 25, 2009 08:07 PM

                                                                                          Yep I am planning to make another trek out there.

                                                                                      2. k
                                                                                        ka5p May 24, 2009 07:13 AM

                                                                                        Popo's -- about 5 miles NW of Boerne off IH-10

                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                        1. re: ka5p
                                                                                          f
                                                                                          FishTales May 24, 2009 07:12 PM

                                                                                          The best fried oysters we've had anywhere, coast to coast, were from Captain Benny's, just over the Rockport line in Fulton. Their fried fish, shrimp, & fish tacos were exceptionally good too. Unfortunately, after enjoying their food for 8 years, we've moved to the desert foothills...

                                                                                        2. c
                                                                                          Cookin4Friends May 28, 2009 07:37 PM

                                                                                          Ft. Griffin Steakhouse

                                                                                          Albany, Texas

                                                                                          There is nothing on the menu that is anything but fantastic. From the steaks and prime rib to the fried shrimp and grilled fish.

                                                                                          I have driven a 100 miles out of my way to eat here. The owner are brothers who were from the Iranian Nobel Family. They were displaced when the Shah fell in the late 70's while they were training with the Air Force in Abilene.

                                                                                          It was definitely our gain in Texas as they put on some great food.

                                                                                          1. c
                                                                                            chowphun May 30, 2009 12:53 AM

                                                                                            Try Kings Inn in Riviera, TX... Great tartar sauce and comfort (meaning, fried) seafood!

                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                            1. re: chowphun
                                                                                              w
                                                                                              Winehole23 Jan 4, 2010 05:25 PM

                                                                                              I have to second this recommendation. King's Inn is excellent. When you reach Riviera, instead of following the coastline on the FM, navigate straight toward the water. The restaurant is right on the bay. There's no sign in front but you'll be able to smell the goodness.

                                                                                              All food is served family style, though half-orders are available. Our waitress seated us without menus, and did not offer us one when she came to take our order. I guess we were supposed to know what we wanted when we came in. No matter. Everything was very good to outstanding.

                                                                                              The tartar sauce is unique (there might be sesame tahini in it), in fact so delicious I found myself eating it as a dessert after our meal was done.

                                                                                              We had fried oysters (cornmeal batter) -- the batter is crunchy and overpowers the oysters a bit, but they are delicious with the tartar sauce.

                                                                                              Fried shrimp (very lightly tempura'd, very fresh shrimp-- the shrimp was definitely the star. Plump, sweet and delicious.)

                                                                                              Broiled drum (it was the catch of the day) -- maybe the tastiest filet I've ever had. Savory, rich, firm and I want to say a bit smoky -- as if the oven were wood fired. I don't think it is, but I didn't ask. My god, that fish was good. (NB: Not everything is fried at King's Inn. If I go again, I'll get the broiled catch of the day.)

                                                                                              I'm not usually a big fan of iceberg-based salads, but I feel like I have to point out that the Bombay salad I ordered was perfectly seasoned with salt and lemon juice. It didn't taste perfunctory in the least, and mine came with a generous serving of curried avocado on top. Unique, and very tasty. Between this and the tahini in the tartar sauce, I wonder whether there wasn't a South Asian cook somewhere in the background.

                                                                                              This isn't your everyday fry shop, folks, and neither are the prices. That said, it's worth every penny. If I lived anywhere close to it, I'd go all the time.

                                                                                            2. p
                                                                                              PuroConjunto Jun 1, 2009 04:22 PM

                                                                                              Kloesel's in Moulton, an oasis in a desert.

                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: PuroConjunto
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                                                                                                Winehole23 Jan 4, 2010 05:46 PM

                                                                                                Cheryl's by the Bay in Fulton, Texas.

                                                                                                http://www.cherylsbythebay.com/frames...

                                                                                                Eclectic, relentlessly artistic, and always well executed. Believe it or not, they make the best NY strip I've had anywhere.

                                                                                                Highly recommended by the Wino. Try the bacon wrapped dates in sherry cream sauce. One of the best appetizers I've ever had.

                                                                                                Aviso: this is not a place to bring small children.

                                                                                                1. re: Winehole23
                                                                                                  t
                                                                                                  tomtom1 Apr 28, 2010 05:01 AM

                                                                                                  Smokestack Thurber, Tx
                                                                                                  Mary's Restaurant, Strawn Tx
                                                                                                  Pioneer Restaurant, Wichita Falls, Tx

                                                                                                  All good home cooked meals.

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                                                                                                pickypicky May 20, 2010 05:56 AM

                                                                                                Cochineal - Marfa TX. I wrote up several reports regarding our visits there. Absolutely outstanding in every way. Food, service, vibe, and restaurant design. In fact, I'd rank it as one of my all time favorite restaurants from all over the world. It shuts the other down because it's first-class yet authentic to the place. Clearly the transplanted NYC owners get Texas and Marfa. Nay, they celebrate the place! With kitchen garden and a Judd-inspired space that you enter through a Parisian alley of small trees. Cochineal is the real deal. Professionalism and down-home food art. You'll dine with ranchers, truck drivers, and nycity art dealers. And your server will be someone you see around town doing 3-4 other jobs. . . I'd put Cochineal up against any foodie/farm-to-table/hipster place in Austin, Houston or Dallas.

                                                                                                -----
                                                                                                Cochineal
                                                                                                Marfa, Marfa, TX

                                                                                                1. p
                                                                                                  pickypicky May 20, 2010 06:00 AM

                                                                                                  more on Cochineal:

                                                                                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5608...

                                                                                                  1. m
                                                                                                    Mike C. Miller May 28, 2010 11:30 PM

                                                                                                    Two candidates:

                                                                                                    Stillwater Inn, Jefferson, TX

                                                                                                    Little Thai House, Longview, TX

                                                                                                    -----
                                                                                                    Stillwater Inn
                                                                                                    203 E Broadway St, Jefferson, TX 75657

                                                                                                    Thai House
                                                                                                    5601 E Amarillo Blvd, Amarillo, TX 79107

                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                    1. re: Mike C. Miller
                                                                                                      ddavis May 30, 2010 04:45 PM

                                                                                                      Mike -- I noticed Johnny Cace's on this list. (Not posted by you!) How long has it been since you have eaten there and how was it?

                                                                                                    2. l
                                                                                                      lovetran73 Jun 26, 2010 08:16 AM

                                                                                                      Rockwell just outside of Houston in Cypress. Delicious burgers and hand-cut regular and sweet potatoe fries. check it out.. rockwellburgers.com

                                                                                                      1. Thorkel Jun 30, 2010 01:04 PM

                                                                                                        I assume you're leaving out barbeque places?

                                                                                                        Try the Wahlburg Restaurant, in the town of the same name. They do a damn good schnitzel plate. Or at least they used to. I haven't been there a couple of years.

                                                                                                        There's also a really good place called Silver and Stone in Georgetown.

                                                                                                        1. n
                                                                                                          nsurit Aug 14, 2010 04:19 AM

                                                                                                          Best steak I've eaten in Texas and I've eaten a few over the past 66 years.

                                                                                                          -----
                                                                                                          Myron's Prime Steakhouse
                                                                                                          136 N Castell Ave, New Braunfels, TX 78130

                                                                                                          1. t
                                                                                                            txhumminbird Sep 12, 2010 05:35 PM

                                                                                                            Fire Oak Grill - Weatherford..... I'd eat there every night if I could

                                                                                                            www.fireoakgrill.com

                                                                                                            1. g
                                                                                                              GertieHound Oct 31, 2010 04:28 AM

                                                                                                              Hope you are looking for some really small towns!

                                                                                                              Some of the best Italian to be had in Texas, bar none - Devoli's in Denison, Tx where I love the eggplant parmesan

                                                                                                              Awesome chicken fried steak at Clear Springs in Nacogdoches.

                                                                                                              If you want a good mushroom swiss burger, then Watson Burger on Morton in Denison, TX is where its at.

                                                                                                              Ole Czech Bakery, corner of FM 2114 (Oak St) and N Harrison in West, TX for kolaches.

                                                                                                              Blue Bonnet Cafe in Marble Falls has some extremely tasty catfish, although I admit to enjoying the fried catfish from Catfish King. Yes, it is a small chain based out of Ore City, Texas. It may be a chain, but Mr Beard really keeps an eye on what is going on at the various stores and I've never been disappointed in a meal at one of them. I think Denton is as close as they come to a major city.

                                                                                                              -----
                                                                                                              Blue Bonnet Cafe
                                                                                                              211 US Highway 281, Marble Falls, TX 78654

                                                                                                              1. t
                                                                                                                tiomano Mar 19, 2012 12:56 PM

                                                                                                                I can recommend Clark's Outpost in Tioga. Very good bbq. This place was recommended to me by a fellow judge Saturday when we were judging bbq at the Sam's Club BBQ Challenge.

                                                                                                                I wasn't blown away by the competition bbq. Mostly it was just average.

                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: tiomano
                                                                                                                  irodguy Mar 19, 2012 01:03 PM

                                                                                                                  While I do enjoy Clark's, I am still mad that they stopped smoking trout. It was a driver for me to make the trek to Clark's.

                                                                                                                  1. re: irodguy
                                                                                                                    b
                                                                                                                    bishopsbitter Mar 21, 2012 03:59 PM

                                                                                                                    It's the smoked trout I remember too!!!

                                                                                                                2. n
                                                                                                                  nsurit Mar 19, 2012 04:46 PM

                                                                                                                  Two in central Texas.

                                                                                                                  In Sattler, a new place, Wild Tyme Tea Room. All organic and made on premises. Wonderful, soups, salads, sandwiches, deserts, etc. Your tunny will be happy. Irish Creme cake was sinful.

                                                                                                                  Driftwood. http://trattorialisina.com/ This place is out in the sticks between Austin and San Antonio. Don't go unless you like really good Italian food, great service and a beautiful view. Oh, and you will need 2 plus hours to enjoy you meal.

                                                                                                                  1. c
                                                                                                                    currynspice Jan 6, 2013 09:15 PM

                                                                                                                    Understand it has been a while on this thread.. Was on a business trip to El Paso. Had a burger at Tom's fold Cafe near University. One of the best burgers and good pepper'y fries too. Bring a good appetite to eat the burger...

                                                                                                                    http://tomsfolkcafe.com/

                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                    1. re: currynspice
                                                                                                                      r
                                                                                                                      rexster314 Jan 8, 2013 10:54 AM

                                                                                                                      If you're in the area, Elmo's Grill in West Columbia is worth taking a look. Elmo is the name of the Columbia High mascot. Burgers are first rate. The Angus burger is hand formed. CFS is first rate. Breading is crackly good, fries are frozen, but cooked to perfection. The steak itself is a good thick piece of what appears to be actual round steak. Salad could be better, it's the same shredded lettuce as you get on burgers. Get the CFS with gravy on the side so the steak won't get soggy.

                                                                                                                    2. p
                                                                                                                      pickypicky Jan 10, 2013 07:42 AM

                                                                                                                      If you're traveling to Fredericksburg or Llano-- the Doss Country Store. A former filling station hamburger joint in the middle of nowhere (actually in the middle of ranchland and deer leases) now sporting a New York trained and experienced chef (Per Se) and master baker. No ambiance, but the sunsets and cuisine are amazing. BYOB.

                                                                                                                      http://dosscountrystore.com/ also reviewed in Texas Monthly.

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