Stephen Rushmore Jr.
Day 4: Sightseeing around Dallas, out to Ponder for steaks
Roadfood: Sonny Bryan’s, Ranchman’s Cafe (Ponder Steak House)
My friend Sharon and I have been doing a lot of sightseeing and eating around Dallas the last few days. Unfortunately I have gotten several days behind in my log. We have gotten home late in the evenings and I have just been too tired to edit my photos and write. We have planned today as a slow day so that I can catch up.
Day 4 was mostly sightseeing around Dallas. We went to Fair Park with the intention of seeing the train museum, but it was closed. Instead, we walked across the park and saw the Imax movie about the cosmos. I always like Imax movies and this was a good one.
Next we went to Sonny Bryan’s for barbecue.
Sonny Bryan’s is a Dallas institution and has several locations. We went to the one in the West End. We both ordered the Pig Out Platter. This was a three meats and two sides. I know that brisket is reputed to be good at Sonny’s, but I had to go for the Pig Out. I had ribs, pulled pork, and sausage with sides of slaw onion rings.
The ribs and sausage were outstanding. The ribs were falling off the bone tender and the sauce had just the right kick. The slaw had a great fresh taste and the onion rings were home made and cooked to order. I have made onion rings in restaurants and these were just like I would have made for myself.
Sharon had sides of okra and potato salad. The potato salad was good but we thought the okra was a little too perfect to be home made. Sharon found it a little slimey, but I thought it tasted OK, even if we suspected it was commercially made.
I had to try the peach cobbler for desert. It had a wonderful homemade crust, but I was not sure if the peaches were fresh or canned. Either way, it tasted great. And I washed it all down with a Dr. Pepper.
After taking a walk around a lake in north Dallas, we regrouped back at Sharon’s house for a few hours. I researched the Ranchman’s Cafe in Ponder, TX. This was about a 30 minute drive, so we went for it.
Ranchman’s Cafe is listed in my 2002 edition of Roadfood, but I could not find it on the Roadfood site. I guess I will have to write a review.
There is not much else in Ponder, TX except the Ranchman’s. There are a few gift shops, but the main drag is pretty quiet on a Friday evening. Ponder is a quiet little town little town just outside the sprawl of metropolitan Dallas.
As we walked in the door I noticed a sign for fried green tomatoes. When the waitress offered them as an appetizer I could not resist. I found them to crisp on the outside and crunchy on the inside. The taste was excellent and the buttermilk based dipping sauce enhanced the experience. These were to-die-for fried green tomatoes.
Ponder is famous for it’s steaks that are grilled on a flat top griddle rather than over an open flame. This makes the process more similar to pan frying than grilling. However, the browness and char for which Rancman’s is famous was lacking from our steaks. The meat was excellent, but I wonder where the char went. Here is my 12 oz. T bone.
The butter on top gave the steak a great flavor. Also, if you want a baked potato you must reserve one in advance. I had reserved two, and we had them with baocn, chives, and sour cream. Sharon pulled hers apart to season and cool it, and it covered the entire plate.
Ranchman’s offers two choices of salad dressing, both homemade. They are cucumber dressing and buttermilk dressing. Both a,21,203894.009,1,7586,18.104.22.168
203902,203894,203894,2006-05-19 08:55:15,RE: NJ to TX In Search of TX BBQ”