Texan stuck in Yankee land bringing his family home for first time!
Alright I'm finnaly bringing my family home to Texas to meet all my crazy relatives. Now I'm flying in to San Antonio towards the end of june and then traveling over to Houston on I-10 for a day then heading over to Livingston on Highway 59 for the family reunion and then on down to Galveston for a few days of beach before coming back Yankee Land. So I'm hoping to find some of the best Mexican in San Antonio, then some roadside bbq on the way to Houston and then some of the best seafood down in Galveston. And of course any other place that could show my girls what it means to eat right in Texas!
For really good Mexican, not far out of your way, head south on I-35 a few miles past the exit for I-10 to Houston. Get off on Southcross, turn right and keep going until you get to Bartholomew Street, it's a few blocks after Southcross jogs South and turns West again. Turn right and Mendez Cafe is on your left. Not open on Tuesdays, not sure about Sunday. Whatever the special of the day is usually a good bet. The best refrieds and homemade tortillas.
Here are my personal favorites between SA and HOU (including Galveston):
1. For crawfish and other downhome delights:
Repka's Original Country Store
8184 Buller Road Brookshire, TX 77423 -
3 pool tables and a jukebox
2. For BBQ esp. pork ribs (it don't git no betta!
)The Swinging Door
3818 FM359 Richmond, Texas 77406
3. For seafood:
Clary's Seafood Restaurant
8509 Teichman Road
Galveston, TX 77554
Toll Free: (800)278-0771
Unbelievable service and superb food
These 3 eating establishments are all located outside of the hustle/bustle known as Houston. The great thing about this corner of Texas is that we can take advantage of the best that both sides of the Sabine River have to offer. Bon appetit!
Let me add a quick caveat.
Swinging Door is fun, and "Texany" and the ribs are very good.
But absolutely DO NOT make the mistake of thinking if you go there, you can just get your "real brisket" at the Swinging Door and skip City Market in Luling.
I've been to Swinging Door several times for big family get-togethers, and when you order your brisket "wet," they don't even have a clue what you are talking about.
Unless things have changed in the last few months anyway.
My conversation with the waitress the first time:
"And I'd like that brisket 'moist.'
"Moist. Wet. You know, fatty."
"Um, off the high side? The deckle?"
At this point, my son thought it was my fault and he could rescue me.
"She means she wants it off the fat cap."
"We don't have any of that. We just have regular brisket. Oh, and 'loose.' Do you want it loose?"
"Uh, sure. Loose."
I ate it, but it was without question not even in the same ballpark as the Central Texas greats. And on ensuing trips, just ordered the ribs. Like everybody else around me, I've since noticed, who clearly already knew to skip the brisket.
So, sure, go to Swinging Door. The ribs are good the sides are good the ambiance is yee-haw fun.
But do not skip City Market in Luling if you want to show your Yankee friends and family some authentic Texas barbecue.
633 E Davis St, Luling, TX 78648
Another vote for City Mkt in Luling. Also you could head on up 183 10 more miles to Lockhart, the bbq capital of Texas and have a choice of Kreuz, Smitty's or Black's. This might be important since CM/L closes earlier I think, around 5. You want to hit any of them for lunch if possible but Black's and Kreuz are open into the early evening (8pm???)
Also agree on Kountry Bakery in Schulenburg, just a mile south of I-10 on 77. Frank's has some okay lunch plates including a German plate paying homage to the heritage of the area which includes a very good locally produced sausage from Kasper's in Weimar. But I might tend to go ahead and take my lunch at Kountry Bakery, if you're looking for lunch at that point. They are open only for breakfast and lunch I think.
You'll find threads galore about these Central Texas BBQ choices on this board; you'll find threads about Galveston on this board and on the new Houston board, so you could also post over there and for Houston recommendations if you need them. Do plan to get your bbq fix while in Luling or Lockhart; Houston doesn't have anything that measures up to thatt level, although there is some pretty good cue here. I don't know about East Texas.
You'll probably get a lot of advice from the CH BBQ experts, but I recommend that you get to Luling City Market early (10:45 ish) on a Sat. morning for some great barbecue. Also while enroute to Houston on I-10, make a stop in Schulenburg for some wonderful Czech kolaches at Kountry Bakery or go to Frank's Restaurant and try a slice of their coconut meringue pie (or lemon or chocolate). Your girls will love Texas!