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Apr 11, 2009 11:57 PM

5 Best Stops on a TX/Southwest Roadtrip?

(Reposting this from the Southwest board, since I realized it doesn't include Texas. Hope that's not against Chowhound etiquette!)

In a few days, my girlfriend I will be embarking on an epic roadtrip across the southwest, South, and mid-Atlantic. Check out the attached pic for the route, or here:

For me, this is a Food Trip -- I've never been to this part of the country, and since eating unique food is one of my main motivations for travelling, I want to make sure to sample the best regional cuisine the area has to offer.

So: What are the five unmissable places to eat on this route? I don't mean a good place to get pancakes in Memphis -- I'm looking for the kind of food that makes you want to travel in the first place, the places worth driving hours out of our way for. So far, I've been recommended the pozole at Richardson's in Phoenix, Smitty's BBQ in Lockhart, and Willie Mae Scotch House in New Orleans -- what are your top five?

Thanks so much for your advice!

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  1. I mentioned this in the middle of my post on the SW board, but I should give this one proper credit on the TX board. I have heard from several sources that the H&H Car Wash in El Paso is definitely worth a stop. No, I have not lost my mind, I am sending you to a car wash for food. This is quite possibly (oh, who am I kidding, it's sure to be) the only car wash in the world to be the recipient of a James Beard Award. Everyone raves about the huevos rancheros, but the chile rellenos are great too. And of course, you can get your car washed while you eat.

    H & H Car Wash
    701 E Yandell Dr, El Paso, TX 79902

    2 Replies
    1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

      Oh, we are DEFINITELY going to this car wash. Thank you for a tip!

      1. re: tweebiscuit

        This was by far the best stop on the trip so far. The food was wonderful, and the owner struck up a friendly conversation with us. When I ordered an extra burrito to go, he said it was on him. An utterly charming and delicious stop. Thanks so much for the suggestion!

    2. In Ft. Stockton the Bienvenidos Cafe:

      And when I travel that route, which I have done many times, I never miss a stop at Old Mesilla. The small old Mexican town itself is something to see. You should plan at least an hour or so to wander around. There are two terrific and famous restaurants there: Double Eagle, an "old west style" steakhouse (which you should at least go in and look at even if you don't eat there and don't worry, the staff is quite accustomed to escorting folks through just to see it), and La Posta for New Mexican-style Mexican food.

      Get the green enchiladas. As is typical in this area, they're served stacked. I don't think they're on the menu, but ask for them.

      1. Not Texas, but I'd suggest continuing east for an hour's drive past N.O. to the MS Gulf Coast in Biloxi and eat at Mary Mahoney's Old French House. (It'd be easy to get back on track for your north bound trek to Memphis)

        1. The restaurant and bar at the Gage Hotel in Marathon, Tx, is very very good. The Exec Chef used to live in the Austin area and ran a little place in Buda called The Best Little Bistro in Texas (or something like that). They pulled up stakes and moved to Marathon. The Bar has about 40-50 different kinds of tequila and they serve it with freshly squeezed lime juice...- wonderful.

          1. The restaurant and bar at the Gage Hotel in Marathon. Stay at the Gage because it's old and been renovated. (ignore the main east/west Union Pacific line across the street) Drink at the White Buffalo Bar because they have 40-50 different tequilas, served with fresh lime juice and eat in the restaurant (Cafe Cenzio) because the Exec Chef (Paul Petersen) used to run a small restaurant and catering service in Buda, called The Best Little Bistro in Texas.