Marshall Recommendations Help
I need some serious help from the TX CHers. I will be in Marshall, TX, for over a week from AZ. I am looking for recs for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. For dinners, I am willing to drive to neighboring towns.
Also, I could use a rec or two for the road between Dallas and Marshall as I will be traveling that route a few times. I do not have any dietary or monetary restrictions. I am interested in everything from a top notch sit down dinner spot to the very best hole in the wall or roadside stand for BBQ or tacos or whatever.
I assume you must be going there for trial...no other reason to go. :-)
The Blue Frog Grill isn't terrible, and there is also OS2. Both are in the square.
For BBQ, I'd recommend Bodacious or BBQ Express...Express being my favorite.
In Longview, I'd recommend the Butcher Shop Bakery for burgers, lunch, breakfast and baked goods.
He's no joke. East Texas BBQ is often a different style than central Texas BBQ, and he is biased towards the central style, which is what most of us Texans think about. I think he bases his ratings strictly on brisket and ribs. So don't just check out the ratings, but also read up to see if he has something positive to say about something else on the menu. You're likely to find some good pulled pork somewhere where the brisket isn't that great.
Welcome to the Justice Capitol of Texas.
Best lunch bet is the P&J Lunch Room. It's on Travis, about half a block east of Alamo. Pure unadulterated soul food. Jackie Franklin is the owner. One meat (usually two or three choices) and two vegetables with tea is just under $10. But there is usually, but not always, a set rotation on favorite dishes: Mon - brisket; Tue - fried chicken; Wed - pork chops; Thur - pot luck, but often meat loaf, chicken spaghetti, or chicken and dumplings; Friday Fried cat fish and usually fried chicken. I eat there about three days a week and love it.
BBQ Express. On Elmore Street. Run by Herbert White. Very serious BBQ. He also usually has one plate lunch per day. As noted, East Texas style BBQ, no Central Texas style BBQ. If you can't figure that out, you can't read a map. Brisket and sausage are very good. Also has BBQ chicken, which other places often don't. It's very good, too. Bodacious, a regional chain, also has a BBQ joint in town. Not as good. If you must eat there, try their ribs. Too much sweet rub for me, but it's better than their brisket. Sausage will do in a pinch.
There are a plethora of mediocre Mexican restaurants. Each nearly as bad as the last. However, two deserve mention as standing above the crowd. First, Don Juan's. A regional chain. Food is not great, but it's better than most of the rest. Ask for Shawna as your waitress. Best waitress in town. Also, MIguel's, on Pinecrest is good. Authentic is probably the correct word. Miguel actually runs the place. Mexico City style tacos including cabrito are your best bet.
New hamburger place in town in the past two weeks called Big O Burger that was actually pretty good when I ate there last weekend. Better hurry up and eat there before they close. Otherwise, the best hamburger in town is a toss up between Whataburger or Juicy's, depending on your taste.
Best Chinese is Peking. Not great, but adequate. Nice folks, too.
OS2 and Blue Frog have been mentioned and what has been written is pretty accurate. You can BYOW to Blue Frog. Of course, unless you have brought your own wine to Marshall, purchasing it locally is rather chancy, though Under the Texas Sun (right next door to Blue Frog) may be your best bet. Blue Frog has decent stemware.
There is a decent, but not outstanding Italian place out by your hotel, Cafe Italia. You can BYOW there, too. Stemware is not so good there, but unless you've found better wine than I think you can in Marshall, does it really make any difference?
Our other Italian place sold out to somebody that is allegedly opening a Sushi restaurant. If you'll eat sushi in Marshall, Texas, you're a braver man or woman than I am. But c'est la vie.
For late nights after research, drafting, working on exhibits, etc. Waffle House has the best late night breakfast. Very good hash browns and they do a pretty good job cooking your eggs the way you want them. Other late night option is IHoP.
If you have time, head to Jefferson to eat at Stillwater Inn. Very, very good food. Caddo Lake for fried cat fish at Big Pines Lodge -- food isn't as good as it used to be, but atmosphere is such that everybody ought to eat there at least once. Kilgore for truly killer ribs at Country Tavern. Longview for really good Mexican roast chicken at El Pollo Cachuchon or adequate Vietnamese at Pho on High Street. (Also is a amazingly good Thai place in Longview, if you can ever find them open called Little Thai House, but it seems like they're closed more often than they're open.)
And don't forget to let the locals know that you're here for a patent trial (not that they'll really have a hard time figuring that out). We've got them trained to understand that lawsuits are good business for everybody, not just us lawyers!!!
re: Mike C. Miller
Forgot two places. Neely's Brown Pig, on Grand Ave. Local institution that's been open for about sixty or seventy years. A "brown pig" is a BBQ'ed pork sandwich. One the small side, sort of like pulled pork, but with a catsup's based BBQ sauce, not vinegar based. Also has a bit of mayo on it. (It's a lot better than it sounds.) Decent hamburgers, too.
Second place is Porky's. Originally opened by some offshoot brother or cousin from the Neely clan. They have a "pig" sandwich, too, although they aren't allowed to call it a brown pig. It's a bit bigger, and lately, have been pretty good. A bit on the spicier side. Porky's also have decent fried catfish filets and pretty good hamburgers. The rest of the BBQ there is pretty forgettable.
re: Mike C. Miller
Just wanted to get a quick report in from last week's trip. Overall, the weather, the people, and the town were very nice. The best out of the bunch was not actually listed here - Central Perks cafe downtown. They were super nice and had the best salads and soups all week long - a great spot for foodies and just about everyone. I had a great posole one day and a nice chicken, artichoke, and veggie soup on another. They also had wonderful teas.
As for dinners, I settled on Wendy's one night as it was super late - enough said. I went to the new sushi teppanyaki spot, In Japan, one night because they were open later and right near my hotel. Guess what, it was ok, about a B/B-, which for Marshall is not bad and better than some horrible places I've eaten in Mesa, Chandler, Phoenix, Gilbert, AZ lately. They have Korean chefs who actually know how to roll and slice fish. I stuck to safety fish like salmon, eel, and some pretty good whitefish. The yellow tail was awful and I said so. Everyone was nice. I had three other dinners at Cafe Italia and it worked out great. Solid, not great food. They could use a little fine tuning, but it got me through the week and thankfully they are open until 10 pm most nights. The meatballs were probably the best thing I had and nothing was outstanding. Oh well, I was there to work and work I did, so on to more chow worthy destinations.
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