The mission statement of the Monument Café is to “be reminiscent of Texas roadside cafes of the 1920s to 1940s.” Fans spin overhead, tables are chrome-banded, and windows are hung with Venetian blinds. Service is fast and efficient and the food is a roster of Lone Star classics at their very best. One blackboard itemizes the daily specials. Another lists the gardens, ranches, farms, and orchards from which the kitchen’s provisions are obtained. Lunch items include crunchy fried catfish, charred chicken with poblano sauce, and a fine two-alarm (no-bean) Texas chili; but the meal we recommend most is breakfast.
Waffles are elegant; pancakes are big and fluffy; biscuits are served warm; and the sour cream coffee cake is a sugar-crusted masterpiece. One hot breakfast unique to the region is migas, Mexican scrambled eggs that include melted cheese, chunks of tomato, and small ribbons of crisp tortilla that soften in places but stay crunchy in others. On the side of migas, you get red salsa to heat it up along with grits or hash browns and a soft flour tortilla rolled in aluminum foil so it stays warm.
The Monument Café makes some of the best desserts anywhere in Texas, using the finest ingredients to produce classic sweets. There is usually a fried pie (fruit fully enclosed in a pastry crust and fried to a crisp); we have had superb baked tapioca pudding as well as angel food cake with fresh strawberries; and the cool cream pies are dazzling. Chocolate pecan is dark and fudge-like, loaded with chunks of nut and topped with a ribbon of pure white whipped cream. Coconut cream pie is every bit as wonderful, but more angelic than sinful: light, silky, fresh, and layered on a flaky light-gold crust.