Wednesday July 3
Prior to leaving Albuquerque I had a decent cuppa coffee at R.B Winnings Coffee, near UNM. A very "locals" type of joint that seemed to fit in right with the neighborhood. My only gripe is they only have 12 and 16 oz "to go" cups and a 10 oz mug for "in house" with 2 free refills.
After four hours of driving (and losing an hour since I'm now back in central time zone) I arrived in Amarillo TX
and at Tyler's BBQ
at the height of lunch hour. Service is cafeteria style,however this bbq joint is the real deal- most recently listed as one of the top 50 bbq joints in Texas. There was a decent line when I arrived and I was concerned about seating. I was thankful I arrived when I did because there the sign when you walked in noted they would be closed July 4 (which I already knew) and July 5 and the entire weekend for that matter in celebration of 4th of July weekend. It seems that Texans really take the 4th of July celebrations seriously. Here in Rhode Island, some places close and some don't and if they do close its just on the 4th.
The interior was nicely done in "Texas BBQ" motif
I ordered the Brisket and Hot Links plate along with slaw and pinto beans... I asked for a a rib or two but was told they were out
- but they would have more available in an hour or so..
There is a pepper bar where you also load up on onions, pickles, sliced jalapeno and whole pickled jalapeno..
The meal at Tyler's bbq
was very reminiscent of the meal I enjoyed at Southside Market
in Elgin last year... The brisket was tender and smokey and the sausage had a nice snap and crunch as well as a decent kick...The pinto beans (these were not bbq beans) were classic with bits of smokey meat
and the slaw was the least memorable part of the meal.. but that is inconsequential..
Tyler himself came by my table and asked how my meal was. I told him it was great but was disappointed that I didn't get try any of his ribs. He suggested I check into my hotel first, then come back and they should be ready...
I didn't realize my hotel was less than a mile away... I did return shortly after checking in and those ribs were available fresh out of the smoker...
Like the rest of the meal earlier, these ribs had a subtle smokey and porcine quality, tender but not
fall of the bone tender... Tyler's
was truly a hit- the first highlight of the trip..
Heading back to the hotel...I realized that due to the July 4th holiday, I may need to re-think my intinerary for Amarillo... My initial plan was to go to Outlaw's Supper Club
for dinner. It's my understanding they serve the the best steak in Amarillo....I knew I was going to be disappointed when someone answered the phone with just a "hello" and I was told that they are closed that day (but its only July 3?) and wouldn't reopen till Friday..looks like I'll have some shuffling to do..
I had the rest of the afternoon for myself, I decided to walk historic Route 66...
About a mile of really cool restaurants and antique shops..
there was even a Fillipino Cafe!
Luckily most of the antique shops were still open and stayed open till 5 or 6, so I had a fun time browsing around...
I also just happen to find this place that really caught my attention... Cowboy Gelato
A very funky, "hipsterish" kinda place that I can easily picture in Austin....but Amarillo???
Since it was a nice, warm day, I was in the mood for gelato...There were several flavor options available. I had it down to to..I tried a sample of the Mexican Vanilla, it was had a rich eggy/creamy flavor, then I tried the Strawberry Habanero...no contest...that won!
The flavor will fool you- it starts out as a fruity/tangy strawberry and then the habanero sting kicks in in the back of the throat. A gelato that truly gets the endorphins going...Not sure if anyone has heard of this place but if you're evern in Amarillo....Cowboy Gelato
is highly recommended.
I continued to explore route 66 walking from shop to shop...I even found a classic Texas Honky Tonk called the broken spoke. I walked in hoping to get a Shiner.....to my dismay they did not have Shiner on tap, just the usual Bud, Coors...etc...
One thing I didnt' realize when was that my dinner stop would be right here in the neighborhood... The Golden Light Cafe
As I indicated previously, Outlaws Supper Club was my initial intended dinner stop. My original plans were to stop at the Golden Light Cafe on the 4th. When I called the prior week I was told they would be open, well guess what when I called again today back at the hotel, I was told they would be closed on the 4th- well as a result...here I am...
When I arrived I did notice they had shiner on tap, but I wasn't in the mood for a beer right now.
Famous for their burgers....that's not what I came here for.... I came for Flagstaff Pie- their term for the more familiar Frito Pie...
Not only was this a generous sized portion, but I wouldn't hesitate to say that this was probably the best frito pie I've ever had...
After dinner, I was tired from my long flight the day before, my not getting a full night's sleep and the long drive to Amarillo...After talking to my girlfriend over the phone, I called it a night... I would have another big and busy day tomorrow...
Much more to come