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Bryan-College Station?

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Anything good to eat in Aggieland?

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  1. There is a very good restaurant called Cafe Exxel (sp?) that I've been to twice - excellent blackened fish and grilled vegetables (asparagus, portabella, green beans, squash).

    There are a number or Mexican places with Parrillada platters.

    1. In my opinion, Madden's Casual Courmet in Downtown Bryan is the best restaurant in town. The food at B/CS is not great, but Madden's is a rare exception! Christopher's World Grille is quite good, too. The dinner menu at both places can be a bit pricey, depending on what your budget is like. Lunch is much more affordable.

      1. Sorry, but I have to disagree about Cafe Eccel. It was the nicest place in town when I was a student, but now as a grown-up foodie, it is nothing special. I haven't been to Madden's or Christopher's, but I would not suggest looking for a big-town quality foodie meal in College Station. Just embrace the college town atmosphere and get a burrito at Freebird's, a burger and cheese fries at the Dixie Chicken or Chicken Oil Co., chicken wings at Wings N' More, or Tex-Mex on Main Street in Bryan.

        1 Reply
        1. re: strong95

          I miss Freebird's, was in Houston for meetings once and ventures to the Freebird's there, it just didn't seem as good.

        2. Burger Boy is a local legend, just north of the A & M campus. Also, farther south on College Ave. is the Chicken Oil Company. Both places make great burgers.

          1. Current scoop on dining in Aggieland:

            Wings-N-More in CS or Bryan are good. HOWEVER, any other locations outside of the B/CS area are franchises and Not reliably good. We eat there often and the onion rings are a always a favorite. And pickle chips. And their Carribean Shrimp. I'm having a hard time coming up with something that was bad. Oh yes, once I got a grilled chicken with overcooked chicken.

            Super yum: Fish Daddy's oh, my, goodness finally a decent, but not especially foodie, fish place. I'm addicted to their grilled salmon salad and lemon vinigrette. The Crazy Cajun's crawfish Etouffe' was quite good, if a tad pricey and the catfish po-boy my husband had was very nice. Fair warning they put a very spicy red-pepper blend (Tony Sacherere's? sp) on everything even the boiled new potatoes; ask specifically to have it omitted if you are dining with folks who are spicy averse, like a 6 year old :) Hebert's (pronounced ay-bears) is open again after the annual summer closure with a spiffy new sign and very long lines at lunch, has anyone eaten there recently, got a report?

            Cafe Ecell was very disappointing the last time I attempted to eat there for lunch. I went early, 11:15, wanted to take away a wood fired margharita pizza and was basically ignored for 15 minutes. I walked out in disgust. I've heard 4-5 more reports that the service, if not the food, has taken a dramatic turn for the worse.

            I hear good reports about Maddens but, haven't tried it.

            Blue Baker is still a family go-to fave for the wood fired pizza's, rocking tomato basil bisque, and recently they've added a small size salad option, so I can get my favorite baby brutus salad but, in a portion I can manage. Their parmesan salad bowls are good but, at last trial, I had to ask for another as the first one wasn't cooked to crisp, but was rather an unappetizing level of chewy. I suppose they'd put the small salad in one for an extra fee. I also wish they had a home baked cracker type thing to go with the cups of soup. Say, day old bagles or bread turned into bagel crackers or super melba toast? Let's face it plain saltines with their extra good soups aren't cutting it when you have left-over artisan breads and a hugenormous wood oven just sitting their burning fuel.

            Has anyone been to Luigi's, the new italian place in CS? Also, the Boat in Bryan is being reopened as something else, but still fish oriented. Has anyone got any inside scoop on who's doing what there?

            Sodolak's in Snook or the Beekmasters on 21 for decent steaks and huge portions. Otherwise, steak is best if you grill it yourself. For a reliable chain for steak, definitely Texas Roadhouse and NOT Outback. They are also doing more lunches and not just dinner.

            Foodie quality food: yep your best bet is still Christopher's and plan to pay for it.

            Beef jerky: Rosenthal Meat Lab on TAMU Campus www.tamu.edu.

            The only other bit of dining advice I have for the B/CS are is to Go very early or very late during the university school year. Seriously, unless you go to a place that takes reservations you will have a very long wait. I don't know where the students get the money to eat out like they do but it's seriously hard to get seated for less that a 30-45 minute wait and there is generally NO bar seating available. Anywhere. Even terrible places like Ninfa's.

            3 Replies
            1. re: aggiecat

              Update on Hebert's - It is open and it is marvy! I had the Crawdad Etouffe' and a friend had the Cajun Pot roast sandwich. She did say that it didn't taste prticularly cajun, but was delicious, mouthwateringly tender, with that unctious mouthfeel that good pot roast ought to have. She later reported that it did have a long slow low burn so, be warned. She's going to find out if you can buy it by the quart or gallon like you can the gumbo and etouffe' because she's determined to get enough to take home to Kurten for dinner.

              1. re: aggiecat

                Update on the post roast from Heberts - yes you CAN order the pot roast in advance, say call in that day, and arrange to get it by the quart or gallon. Same for the etoufee, gumbo etc.

              2. re: aggiecat

                I definitely second the Fish Daddy's rec. I had mahi-mahi that was impossibly perfectly cooked despite its size - it was a BIG piece of fish, about 4.5x2.5, and easily 2inches thick. I requested broiled, with broccoli (steamed florets which were perfectly crisp-tender), and absolutely loved it.

                Also wonderful, their blue cheese vinagrette is clearly house-made, and dressed a salad of greens, julienned apples, candied walnuts and curiously sweet/curiously good brown bread croutons. My husband had the (I think) Russian Chow dressing which was also fantastic.

                He ordered a sirloin/chicken finger combo (wait, what? yes, really) that he definitely enjoyed with his Shiner on tap.

                We were in town for a "Spend the Night with the Corps" college-visit trip, and let's just say that I'm hoping my son's desire to go to A&M and become a cadet pan out for more reasons than one. That mahi-mahi was that good and the margaritas hit the spot for a stressed out mom.

              3. Wow. No love for Shannon's Cafe on Hwy 21 in Bryan? Excellent soul and comfort food, friendly service, far away from the chain restaurants and hour-long waits.

                6 Replies
                1. re: jwynne2000

                  Did not know a thing about Shannon's. Will definitely have to try it out. I lurrrrrv the salad with salmon and their lemon vinigrette. yum, yum yummmy. That said, the Onion rings at Wings N'More are pretty special too. In a different kinda way.

                  Shanagain I do hope your son ends up at TAMU, even if not in the corps. it's a very special place. Heck I came for my undergrad, came back for grad school 15 years ago and haven't left. I work at "the big school" too just for good measure :)

                  1. re: aggiecat

                    CS/Bryan must hold a record for the most chains per square mile in the country.

                    BBQ--Fargo's in Bryan
                    Cafe Eccel (Mediterranean/pizza/new american)
                    Cazadores (Mexican)
                    There is a new Iranian Kabob place that surprisingly is dong well.
                    Shannon's is good
                    Square One in DT Bryan

                    1. re: cwmills

                      Shiraz Shish Kabobs. I tried it and it was good. Not spectacular, but OK.

                      If you are looking for decent deli that is not a chain, try Blue Baker, I love their salads and they have very good wood fired pizza. All their bread is handmade, daily fresh on site in the oven as well. Two locations in Collge Station. I prefer the original one on Dominick Drive.

                      I've never particualrly liked Must Be Heaven's sandwiches and soups. I loath their service style and find it to take ridiculously long for mediocre food. Really a 20 minute wait for counter service? Their counter is soo poorly organized that what ought to take 5 minutes max takes 20-25 and there is, mysteriously, always a line.

                      Yep, B/CS home of the chain restos. Well, we work with what we've got.

                      1. re: aggiecat

                        I forgot about Herbert's

                        Also, there is a fantastic Mexican restaurant in Bryan called Maggie's on Texas. It's very small right next to a gas station. Homemade tortillas that are absolutely mouth watering. The Mexican grocery across the street has good tacos and tortas, too.

                        Agree, Blue Baker is the best deli in town. Revolution in Bryan makes decent sandwiches.

                        1. re: cwmills

                          Oh, Last time I drove down Texas Ave it looked like Cazadore's has gone and there's something else going in. That building has been cursed since Wings N'More left.

                          Maggies on Texas, will give it a try. I'm looking for good chicken mole. Los Molchaetes in Bryan has it and their charro beans are good but most everything else is mediocre. I'm the only mole eater in the family so I don't want to drag everyone out to an average dinner just so I can bliss out. I mean, I would but I'd feel guilty...eventually. :)

                          1. re: aggiecat

                            Reporting back about Maggies. Ok, I only had the Chicken Mole and corn tortillas so I can't speak to the rest of the menu. The Mole was good, not excellent, but very tasty. I still have a taste memory of the mole made by my Latin American Studies Professor's wife that colors all my assessments of Mole. She was from Mexico and they had lived and studied in the Chiapas area which may be a different version of what I've been eating. So my assessmemt may be biased.

                            However, the Homemade corn tortillas were an epiphany!!!! They were single handedly the most delicious tortillas I have ever eaten. This is what the tortillas in heaven taste like. They were clearly homemade and made fresh. Which you have got to remember means that your food may take longer to be prepared than you might expect.

                            The counter services was basic, and this isa small place for local working people to have a hearty meal. The spanglish menu is simple but allows lots of combinations and variety. Next time I'll ask if I can take pictures and post the menu. I'm willing to bet big money their breakfast taco's are insanely good and it appears that they can be had all day but I didn't think to ask. I was a little focused on the mole. You have the choice of red salsa or green salsa, corn or flour tortillas and it looks like if you dine in you get chips and salsa.

                            If you struggle with Spanish you might find the menu or ordering a little intimidating but, plung in without fear. The staff was very nice and I'm sure they'd help with any clarifications you might need. FYI you order, wait for your order (for eat in or take-away) they bring it out and then you pay. I'm guessing it's so if you are eating in and you want to have more or something else, they can add it to your tab; a gentleman at a table near mine did just that. Things kept coming out from the kitchen. But for take-away it threw me. I kept standing up at the register clogging up the place until it dawned on me to sit down to wait.

                            I will definitely be going back and trying the other options, and eating more tortillas....lots more tortillas. Ahhhh.....tortillas. Share and enjoy!

                            Maggies Place
                            2208 Finfeather Rd, Bryan, TX 77801

                2. Try Abualos (spelling) on University. Fantastic, reasonable and my dh loves it. The service is fast, smooth and professional. I have not found anything I did not like.. It is not mexican, nor texmex. It is more spanish in not having enchiledas or tacos. The chicken medallions are fantastic. But so is the shrimp chowder. Give it a try....I almost forgot, potatoes con pappas are wonderful.. Everyone I know orders them, and since I rate by the way anyone cooks the beans, it is a very very good restaurant.....