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Texas Trip Report

Texas trip report (long)

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Texas trip report (long)

Tha Groovin' Gourmet | Dec 19, 2002 08:41 AM

We hit several noteworthy places during our 2 trips through Texas over the last 3 weeks.

For starters, we enjoyed a killer breakfast at The Big Texan Steakhouse in Amarillo. This is the place legendary for the free 72 oz. steak dinner. If you can eat the whole meal, including shrimp
cocktail, salad, potato, vegetable and the steak in an hour you get it free, otherwise it is $50.

Breakfast totally rocked. I had a filet mignon and eggs, one of the best steaks I have had in long
while. I probably should have gone with the 12 oz cut instead of the 8 oz as my wife got a couple
of nice chunks of steak in exchange for some of her omelet, also excellent. Both breakfasts were served with some of the best breakfast potatoes anywhere, obviously fresh and handcut, with a wonderfully waxy consistency and almost sweet taste.

Next stop was Dallas (with a return in a week). Had an early dinner with my dad at Gilbert's Deli.
They have moved to a new spot on Belt Line road, and they offer up way better than average
deli fare. I had some excellent mushroom barley soup and a very good Reuben. The wife had a combo sandwich of corned beef, pastrami and some really good chopped liver. Good potato salad and slaw were tasty and plenty of good pickles too.

We went on to Austin the next day and had dinner Wednesday (before Thanksgiving) at County Line on the Hill. Normally I would have gone to one of the smaller, funkier Q spots, but this was dinner with the Mom's new boyfriend, and so we went with tourist trap Q. Other than some dry babybacks it was pretty danged good. Beans were the least memorable of the sides, but the sausage and beef ribs were both outstanding and brisket was more than decent.

Friday after Thanksgiving was an all-day drive to New Orleans. We stopped in Elgin for an oil
change, cattycorner from the Elgin Barbecue and Sausage Co. My wife sauntered across the highwayfor some sausage and brisket to nibble on. We got some burnt ends they were going to throw away along with some kickass sausage. The brisket was a bit inconsistent...some pieces had excellent smoke, others tasted just like roast beef. Great sauce...

We returned to Texas the Tuesday after Thanksgiving.
We drove to Dallas from Shreveport and caught dinner at Mi Cocina in far north Dallas, at the
recommendation of my folks. Very nice room, and very good food, but it doesn't carry the
sentimental value of my favorite, Herrera Cafe. We started with a unique queso appetizer
featuring a tomatoey queso sauce with rajas...very good. I did a combo with enchilada, cheese taco and tamale...no complaints at all, but nothing that would draw me back to the restaurant either.

The next day we went to Herrera's location on Belt Line for lunch. Chips were fresh and warm, and their salsa rules. Nuclear hot, but with plenty of flavor. We split some Crazy Nachos (one of the first dishes to pile more than cheese sauce and jalapeño slices) and enjoyed the excellent bean soup. I had an Edward's combo, a pair of cheese and onion enchiladas in chili gravy and a combo burrito with beans rice and chunks of stewed tenderloin. Excellent as always. The lovely Denise had a Chickie's combo with cheese enchiladas in green sauce. Also excellent.

Next noteworthy stop was in El Paso, at Los Bandidos de Carlos and Mickey, just a short ride from our hotel. Excellent Sonoran style Mex. Good guac, an extra yummy shrimp appetizer wrapped in bacon with chiles, and excellent salsa. Excellent rice and beans...my wife like the refrieds as much as Perea's. They have a really nice selection of dishes...I will return often when I am in El Paso.

Before leaving town we had Friday breakfast at H & H Car Wash and Coffee Shop. Yummy down home Mex...I had breakfast tacos and the wife had chorizo and eggs. I'll come back here to try their lunch and dinner stuff.

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