The stars at night are big & bright...

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buffetbuster
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RE: The stars at night are big & bright... 2008/04/25 18:28:52 (permalink)
Sunday April 20

Johnny and I got up early to make the five hour drive to Texarkana. We decided we would just find a breakfast place on the way. Getting no further than Humble before we needed gas, we found a donut/kolache place called Donut Junction in a strip mall. These kolaches were significantly better than the ones from the day before. The bread was soft, warm, with a nice sweet taste and the inside fillings tasted fresh. Here is the inside of a sausage & cheese kolache.

As good as the kolaches were, I thought the donuts were just average.

While driving through the town of Nacogdoches, we got a flat tire. With expert skill, Johnny had the flat fixed and us back on the road in no time.

Arriving in Texarkana right at noon, we faced a big after church crowd walking into Bryce's Cafeteria.

I seriously love cafeterias and the food here is especially good. Here is a view of what I ended up with on my tray.

From top left clockwise: deviled eggs, chopped spinach salad, chocolate chess pie, banana cream pie, dinner roll, chicken & dumplings with green beans and mac & cheese, squash casserole, water and sweet ice tea. The standout here was the salty/porky green beans, made the way our grandmother used to make them.

For Johnny, he went for the fried chicken, with mac & cheese and broccoli.

The fried chicken had a nice crunchy crust and juicy meat, but didn't have the flavor of an elite fried chicken. The mac & cheese was nice and cheesy and the broccoli cooked until it was soft and limp.

The sweet squash casserole was a big hit with both of us.


Dessert-wise, the biggest hit was the phenomenal peach cobbler.

The peaches tasted fresh (although they most likely weren't this time of year) and the cobbler part had a crisp outside and soft inside. We both thought that this cobbler was the best we have ever had.

Johnny's other desserts were the just average custard coconut pie and the super sweet karo coconut pie.


My desserts were the wonderful banana cream pie and the ultra-dense and rich chocolate chess pie.


Although we didn't love everything, there were enough well above items that we give Bryce's Cafeteria a huge thumbs up!

http://www.roadfood.com/Reviews/Writeup.aspx?ReviewID=290&RefID=290

Much more to come.....
#31
buffetbuster
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RE: The stars at night are big & bright... 2008/04/25 18:39:05 (permalink)
Travelin Man-
Yeah, I really wish we had been able to eat at Williams Smokehouse, but what can you do. Hopefully, they will rebuild and I can eat there on my next trip to Houston.

Sorry about Penn Drug.....is there anyplace else you would like me to avoid?

plb-
That is a small world. I really, really wanted to love the food at the church in Huntsville, but it just wasn't anything special. Too bad!
#32
CajunKing
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RE: The stars at night are big & bright... 2008/04/25 19:44:47 (permalink)
oh man that choc chess pie looks awesome.....

#33
dutchgirl
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RE: The stars at night are big & bright... 2008/04/26 09:29:06 (permalink)
Originally posted by buffetbuster

Saturday April 19 cont.

After going back to the hotel to shower and get ready for the day, we drove to east of the city and the San Jacinto Monument. This is a 570 foot structure, with 220 ton star on the top.

This is to commemerate the battle that won Texas its independence from Mexico. They had a very well done movie about the history of the war and the battle and had a nice little museum. Still, the highlight was taking the elevator to the top for the view.

To the right, you can see the USS Texas and to the top left, you can barely see the Houston skyline in the distance. But what I will probably most remember from my trip out here is driving past the miles and miles of chemical plants and oil refineries in the area. I have never seen anything like it!


These pictures almost brought a tear to my eye - fond memories of school field trips and severe childhood anxiety over that long elevator ride to the top. I grew up in this area - now in DFW, but it's funny how things can take you back - like this and those James' Coney Island dogs!
Thanks for such a wonderful report and trip down memory lane!
Dutchgirl
#34
joerogo
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RE: The stars at night are big & bright... 2008/04/26 17:55:34 (permalink)
BB, I have a very good friend who served on The Texas in WWII. That Ship saw a lot of action. He still talks about it almost every day. Thanks for the great Pics.

On a lighter note. While your off galavanting all over Texas, I just want you to know I got your back on the Home front.

Just got back from The South Side

[img]

I had the Double D. I only had one, even though the say nothing beats a pair of Double D's. Sausage, chipped steak, pepperoni, provolone, fried onions, hot peppers and sauce.

[img]

Well I don't want to hijack your great thread but I thought you might be homesick.
#35
buffetbuster
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RE: The stars at night are big & bright... 2008/04/27 10:10:46 (permalink)
joerogo-
Thanks for holding down the fort, while I was gone! Between you and BuddyRoadhouse, you sure are making me want to get down to Fat Head's again ASAP!

dutchgirl-
I genuinely appreciate you letting me know what fond memories the Houston pictures brought you. That really made me feel good!
#36
enginecapt
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RE: The stars at night are big & bright... 2008/04/27 10:41:34 (permalink)
Just looking at that sandwich makes me want to jump on a plane to Yinzerland. N'at.
#37
buffetbuster
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RE: The stars at night are big & bright... 2008/04/28 11:29:36 (permalink)
Sunday April 20 cont.

After arriving in Dallas, we made our first stop at Celebration

to have a late lunch. This is a nicer place, with dark interior lighting and unusual copper tables, which will be plain to see in some of the photos.

The meal started off with a nice assortment of bread.

My favorite was the blueberry muffins, while Johnny went for the jalapeno cornbread.

Next for me was a bowl of tortilla soup, which was nothing really note worthy. Since our main courses came out so quickly, I gave up on the soup early and never went back.

This place is a little strange in that, while Johnny and I ordered seperate entrees, the vegetables were served family style. The two we really enjoyed were the beautiful and lightly cooked broccoli

and the crunchy, salty fried okra.

Some colorful fruit salad came with dinner.


For our entrees, Johnny tried the extremely tender pot roast, which came with a side of horseradish sauce. He very much enjoyed the combination.


Since the menu says that a local newspaper picked them to have the best fried chicken in Dallas, I went for that.

It had a such a brittle crust, it reminded me of what I recently ate at Chicken House in Kansas. Very good fried chicken.

Lots of interesting dessert options here. Johnny went for the chocolate cream pie and I ordered the yummy banana pudding.


Along with all the good food, the young guy who waited on us did a great job. Another very, very good meal!

http://www.celebrationrestaurant.com/

Now being pretty full and fairly tired from all the driving, we checked into our hotel in Grand Prairie, between Dallas and Fort Worth.

Much more to come.....
#38
Nancypalooza
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RE: The stars at night are big & bright... 2008/04/28 11:38:00 (permalink)
Oh that banana pudding would pass my dad's 'banana in every bite' test. Cliff my man, you know how to use your time. :)
#39
Twinwillow
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RE: The stars at night are big & bright... 2008/04/28 12:06:30 (permalink)
Lucky you! For visiting Celebration while in Dallas. Lucky me! For working only 1/2 mile away. I eat lunch (and, sometimes dinner) there at least 2-3 times a week. been my favorite spot for 25 years. Btw, their fried catfish is the equal, if not superior to all others.
#40
Sfreader
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RE: The stars at night are big & bright... 2008/04/28 12:11:48 (permalink)
The photos of the rings and malt at Avalon Diner are making me hungry!

Keith
#41
buffetbuster
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RE: The stars at night are big & bright... 2008/04/28 13:15:47 (permalink)
Sunday April 20 cont.

After napping at our hotel for a few hours, we were ready to go out for a late dinner. Being a Sunday night, options were limited. So, we drove to Fort Worth and Joe T. Garcia's.

For dinner, you have two options, enchiladas or fajitas. Everything is served family style, which Johnny and I like, since we are always sharing anyway. Here are my cheese enchiladas,

which tasted just fine, but his beef and chicken fajitas were excellent.

He actually used some of the tortillas, but I spent most of the meal just picking delicious pieces of tender beef off of the plate.

Another item we both thought was wonderful was the made in house guacamole, here seen with the hot pico de gallo.


Also coming on the side were a couple of loaded tacos

and the nachos and chips.

The nachos had small cut of pieces of jalapeno and we wish we had received a much bigger portion of those.

http://www.roadfood.com/Reviews/Writeup.aspx?ReviewID=422&RefID=422

Since it was late by now, we headed back to the hotel for the night.

Much more to come.....
#42
buffetbuster
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RE: The stars at night are big & bright... 2008/04/28 13:45:36 (permalink)
twinwillow-
I can certainly see why you like Celebration so much. Now here is a VERY important question. I had a tough decision to make and went with the banana pudding over the peach cobbler. Did I make the right decision? You are very lucky to live/work so close.

Nancypalooza-
Your dad sounds like a smart man! What is interesting about banana pudding is that it can come in so many different styles and variations. But what they served to me here at Celebration is exactly what I want.

#43
The Travelin Man
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RE: The stars at night are big & bright... 2008/04/28 13:47:34 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by buffetbuster

Sunday April 20 cont.

After arriving in Dallas, we made our first stop at Celebration



You do know how jealous I am of this whole trip, right?

For some reason, I thought it was Celebration that won the entire chicken fried steak competition that was done by occasional Roadfood.com contributor Scott -- DFW on his site[url='http://www.dallasfood.org/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=71']DallasFood.org[/url]. Turns out that they didn't win, but they came darn close to Top 10 (out of 50 that were reviewed in the Dallas area alone). I haven't had much time to do a lot of exploration eating in Dallas the last couple of times that I have been there, but I would like to check out a few of the places that he recommends.

Joe T. Garcia's almost makes me wish that I liked Tex-Mex at all. I don't suppose you made it to Railhead BBQ in Fort Worth while you were out there? That is quickly becoming my favorite BBQ in the Metroplex.
#44
Sundancer7
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RE: The stars at night are big & bright... 2008/04/28 14:16:12 (permalink)
I hate I missed the Texas thing this year. Mamaw Smith's 86th birthday party was Saturday night with a bunch of her friends and family at Louis on Broadway in Knoxville. Best spaghetti sauce in the USA. I could not miss it.

I wish I could have been with my friends Bushie, Traveling Man and Buffet Buster.

Did Rick F make it?

I have talked to Al about a six month meet up with those who wish instead of a annual Presidents day thing in February.

Paul E. Smith
Knoxville, TN
#45
buffetbuster
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RE: The stars at night are big & bright... 2008/04/28 14:20:00 (permalink)
Paul-
We wish you could have joined us too, but family obigations always come first. I hope Mamaw Smith had a great birthday!

Yes, I was quite happy to RickF. and Janet come walking through the door at Threadgill's on Friday. They were also on the tour on Saturday.
#46
ChiTownDiner
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RE: The stars at night are big & bright... 2008/04/28 15:12:26 (permalink)
Cliff - What a great review to date...I love the reviews and the photos together.

Paul - RickF is doing great...got to speak with him on the tour. It was nice of Bushie to spend part of the day with us!
#47
Bushie
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RE: The stars at night are big & bright... 2008/04/28 21:26:06 (permalink)
Dang, what a trip!!! You and ChiTown both really did it up right. Thanks for your great reports, and please don't stop.

Sundance, I saw Rick, too. He looked good. Also met Janet, who is very sweet. We talked about previous escapades with you, but of course we had to leave out the juicy parts because she was there.
#48
cecif
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RE: The stars at night are big & bright... 2008/04/28 22:15:28 (permalink)
Too tired to say more than.... WOW! (Awesome as always, BB...)
#49
buffetbuster
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RE: The stars at night are big & bright... 2008/04/29 08:24:33 (permalink)
Monday April 21

We decided to sleep in on this day for two reasons. Johnny has been feeling really tired and sick, so we thought the extra rest would do him some good. And small town boys like us would undoubtedly be overwhelmed by the Dallas rush hour traffic. So we didn't head into the city until around 9:30.

We arrived at the legendary Sonny Bryan's just before they opened at 10:00AM.


Lots of interesting things on the menu board I would love to try.

Johnny went for the two meat plate (brisket and sausage) with sides of cole slaw and onion rings.

I can't remember if his meat came sauced or unsauced and he applied it before I had a chance to snap the photo. Johnny enjoyed everything on his plate, but his favorite was the Texas sized onion rings. He saved one for me, but I didn't particularly care for it.

I went for the brisket sandwich with sides of potato salad and beans.

The brisket was nice and tender and although not on the level of some of the great barbecue parlors I would eat at later in the trip, this is still high quality 'que.

To drink, both of us got Big Red, which was a first for us. I think I remember Michael Stern calling it "Bazooka gum flavored soda pop". They also had Triple XXX root beer on the soda fountain, but we didn't see it in time.

I have no doubt that my opinion of the food was enhanced by the terrific Roadfood atmosphere of the place. Everywhere you look, there was something interesting to look at or take a picture. The seats themselves are old classroom desks,

that a couple of big boys like Johnny and I easily fit.

The people here were also very nice. When I was ordering, I noticed a nice cake in a pan set aside, so I inquired about having a piece. They told me it was something the owner baked for an employee birthday. On the way out, as I was buying a t-shirt, the owner asked if we wanted a free piece of the carrot cake to take with us.

http://www.roadfood.com/Reviews/Writeup.aspx?ReviewID=416&RefID=416

We headed downtown and spent a few hours visiting the Sixth Floor Museum at the Kennedy assassination site. You can't take any photos inside the building itself, so here are couple familiar views from the outside.



Neither Johnny or I said too much while we were here and talked very little about it afterwards. I still have mixed feelings about the place. It was very odd to be somewhere for the first time, yet you felt you knew so intimately from reading about it and seeing it in news and movies for years. While I was very glad I came here and saw it, I don't think I would ever came back. Such a tragedy.

Much more to come.....
#50
Nancypalooza
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RE: The stars at night are big & bright... 2008/04/29 09:28:33 (permalink)
Cliff have you ever heard of Sarah Vowell? You might like a book of hers, 'Assassination Vacation.'
#51
buffetbuster
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RE: The stars at night are big & bright... 2008/04/29 09:34:53 (permalink)
Nancypalooza-
No I have not heard of her.....thanks for the tip.
#52
i95
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RE: The stars at night are big & bright... 2008/04/29 09:37:17 (permalink)
I wonder how Lee Harvey Oswald liked his eggs.




#53
wanderingjew
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RE: The stars at night are big & bright... 2008/04/29 09:40:00 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by i95

I wonder how Lee Harvey Oswald liked his eggs.


I think he preferred White Eggs over Brown Eggs
#54
Nancypalooza
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RE: The stars at night are big & bright... 2008/04/29 09:41:55 (permalink)
With ketchup on them.
#55
i95
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RE: The stars at night are big & bright... 2008/04/29 10:03:12 (permalink)
Alright, I was serious. In the immortal words of Jim Mora, you people are "sick...sick in the head."
#56
signman
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RE: The stars at night are big & bright... 2008/04/29 10:58:39 (permalink)
Maybe this is where he ate.

www.leeharveys.com
#57
porkbeaks
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RE: The stars at night are big & bright... 2008/04/29 11:27:04 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by signman

Maybe this is where he ate.

www.leeharveys.com


Lee Harvey's was voted:
Best Bar in Dallas for 2006 by Dallas Observer Readers!
Best Onion Rings, Dallas Observer 2007
Best Outdoor Head, Dallas Observer 2007

Do you think there was a category for "Indoor Head" pb
#58
buffetbuster
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RE: The stars at night are big & bright... 2008/04/29 13:50:09 (permalink)
Monday April 21 cont.

As soon as we were done looking around Dealey Plaza, we went straight to Mecca

for a late lunch. We barely made it in time, since they close early, at 2:30PM.

For some reason, this restaurant just didn't fit into my preconceived notions of the area. It felt more like a Nashville meat & three. The service was super friendly and I knew I really liked the place as soon as I saw bread pudding w/ whiskey sauce listed as a vegetable!


Johnny was eager to try the chicken fried steak

with green bean casserole and especially good made from scratch mashed potatoes. Believe it or not, this was the first time he has had chicken fried steak. Thanks to ChiTownDiner later in the trip, it would be far from the last!

Since I had barbecue for lunch and knew we were having barbecue for dinner, I wanted something without meat for a change. Having only had a cheese pimiento sandwich one time before, I decided to try it.

This was a fine sandwich, but obviously no match for what I ate at Henpeck Market outside Nashville on last year's bus tour. Good fried okra was my side dish.

Being a big vegetable lover, Johnny went for the bread pudding for dessert.

He thought the sauce was a little overwhelming for the dish, but otherwise enjoyed it. I went for the peach cobbler

which was just okay.

I very much enjoyed the atmosphere at Mecca and wonder if I had ordered better, would I have liked it more. Still, I would definitely go back.

After a quick stop at the SMU (Southern Methodist University) bookstore, we headed back to our hotel before the rush hour traffic got too bad.

Much more to come.....
#59
CajunKing
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RE: The stars at night are big & bright... 2008/04/29 14:41:04 (permalink)

Wow, there really was someone on the grassy knoll!!

Cliff & Johnny

Looks like you are having a great trip have safe travels and good eats!
#60
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