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Feb 22, 2012 07:58 PM

Dallas to Austin Road Food

Hi everyone- I will be driving down with my sister from Dallas to Austin next Sunday. Any sites along the route that are must stops? Not looking for anything particular, just wondering if there is some local flavor we shouldn't miss. TIA!

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  1. The town of West (15 miles north of Waco) is a Czech town known for home made Kolaches.
    Avoid the (touristy) ones directly facing the highway and drive a bit toward "downtown" West and you'll see, "Village Bakery" at 108 West Oak Street.
    Also very good: "Gericks Ole Czech Smokehaus and Bakery" at
    511 W. Oak Street.

    3 Replies
    1. re: twinwillow

      That's the bakery next to the smokehouse and Pizza House, there's also one over the train tracks, through the intersection and on the left. But don't discount the 'touristy' stop (the Czech Stop Bakery / gas station next to the Sonic) - they are open 24 hrs and bake around the clock, so you're always going to get fresh. I personally prefer them to the other bakeries in town ( and I lived there for 16+ yrs). If you do get kolaches, ask to have one from the middle of the pan (soft edges) and when they offer to warm it up, say yes!

      1. re: tacosandbeer

        Good point. I once stopped at the Czech Stop Bakery to buy gas and use the 'facility'. I ended up eating the best chocolate 'Moon Pie" I ever ate! They were stacked up on the bakery counter and the girl said they were freshly made.

        However, I still prefer the places I originally mentioned above if only for their non-tourist, old world feeling. Which to me is better than the "7-11" feeling I get at the, Czech Stop.

        1. re: tacosandbeer

          Thanks for this! I didn't realize that they were made fresh 24 hours a day. I always figured we had to make it to West to go to Village Bakery post-Dallas rush hour but pre kolache-stock-depletion.

      2. Shoepf's old time pit BBQ in belton is my favorite BBQ between dallas and austin. right of the highway.

        1. It really depends on what you are in the mood for.
          Czech Kolaches (fruit) or Klobasniky (meat)
          Czech Stop is alright but I am with Twinwillow on this. With recent closures of Nemecek Meat Market and several bakeries in West throughout the years I go for Geriks or Old Town Bakery. The latter was the original bakery for West, but closed in the early 90's. I like to support the small shops. If you have a few hours to blow call ahead and make the trip out to Calvert (about halfway between College Station and Waco). Zamykal still maintains my top in the Kolache category. Ask for the Peach, which she won her state award for, or the blueberry.

          Fruit Cake and Pastries
          Waco now has one of the retail locations of Collin Street Bakery, famous for thier fruit cake. I am not much of a sweet person so I never stop.

          Shoepfs is always suggested but if you want BBQ I would save that for Franklins or J Muellers both in Austin. No offense to Jon but both those are destination restaurants even if you live in Dallas or Houston.

          I would make the short drive off 35 for Round Rock Donuts. They are worth it.

          Mexican food
          I have yet to stop in but Temple/Belton has an abnormally large concentration of Jalisco style mexican restaurants. Here is some dishes of what you can expect at those places

          If you are into Jerky, 35 is really no match for 45 but that said there is Robertson's Hams in Salado.

          4 Replies
          1. re: LewisvilleHounder

            Shane -

            i agree with both of your suggestions in austin. i was thinking of stopping mid trip as opposed to eating in austin. but if we are talking austin BBQ, believe the hype - SNOW'S is the real deal.

            1. re: JonFromTJs

              Franklin's is actually supposed to be better. And, more accessible, too.

              1. re: twinwillow

                been to both franklins and snows. i've been to laird's and cooper's and kreutz and smitty's and inman's...i love me some BBQ.

                snow's is the best i've ever had. I went the first weekend after the texas monthly cover, so i don't know if the publicity has changed. the word's "melt in your mouth" are the most overused in food reviewing. the brisket literally melted in your mouth.

            2. re: LewisvilleHounder

              I seem to be making regular trips from FW through Waco, College Station, and then on to Richards, TX, I am Czech, but am sorely disappointed with West, TX or Calvert. I grew up in suburban Chicago with great Czech food.. Here in TX I haven't found it.

            3. I'd throw in George's in Waco (exit 18th, right of 35) for Chicken Fried Steak or Cheeseburger Basket washed down with the famous Big O. About as good of a Texas Bar and Grill you'll find. A great mix of locals and college kids that just works.

              1. It's about 15 miles out of the way, but Louie Mueller's BBQ in Taylor is worth the detour. The brisket is very good (when asked fatty or lean, say "fatty"), but the sausage is world class. One of the absolute best things I've ever put in my mouth on three continents.

                6 Replies
                1. re: Mike C. Miller

                  We've taken many a day trip to Taylor just to have lunch at my all time favorite, Louie Mueller BBQ. Like you said Mike, (their) "sausage is world class". They make it themselves.

                  You can get off I-35 at Temple and take 95 (south) direct to Taylor.

                  1. re: twinwillow

                    The only issue with Louie Mueller is what time you get there. I have tried it twice at around 10:30 and their smoked meats were not great. I stopped last time at 1:30 and everything was awesome.

                    1. re: irodguy

                      I concur. However, one time we drove to LM and got there at about 2:00 only to find out they were sold out of everything because of a UT football game in Austin that day. They took pity on us gave us all the free burnt ends we could eat.

                      1. re: irodguy

                        Yeah, depending on the day, if you get there early to mid afternoon even on a week day -- as I often do when I'm in Austin during the morning for business and try to get a late lunch at Louie's on the way back to East Texas -- they are often out of the plain sausage. They'll usually have the chipotle or jalapeno ones left, and while they are good, they aren't in the same league as the originals.

                        1. re: Mike C. Miller

                          I agree about the "plain" sausage at LM. Best on the planet!!!!

                      2. re: twinwillow

                        If you're going to Taylor, a stop at The Taylor Cafe is mandatory. IMO, better sausage than LMBBQ. Another vote for exploring small town Texas on Hwy 95.