Tolbert’s Restaurant

Chili Parlor | Southwestern | Steak | Tavern
One of the best

What would Frank X. Tolbert think of Tolbert’s restaurant? The author of A Bowl of Red, the definitive book about true Texas cooking, especially classic chili, was a seeker of authenticity, of roots, of unfancified people’s food. The restaurant that bears his name and is now run by his daughter, Kathleen, is a rather stylish venue, a culinary reliquary in a town devoted to the charms of Lone Star antiquity; and its menu includes the likes of Buffalo wings, a salmon platter, and chili with beans.

For all the self-consciousness of the setting and newfangled items on the menu, Tolbert’s bowl of red, aka chili con carne (the one without beans), is perfect — exactly the chili that Tolbert himself eulogized as The Right Stuff. Tortilla chips surrounding it are unobtrusive; cheese and onions are optional; the brew itself is chunky beef and chili and spice. I’m not so persnickety about chili; I like all kinds, even the most iconoclastic, but I must say that this simple one-two combo proves the Bauhaus principle of cookery, that sometimes less is more.

What to Eat
Tolbert’s Restaurant, Chili (cup)
Chili (cup)
There is no food duet that feels more perfectly right than that of beef and chile peppers, aka chili con carne.
Directions and Hours
closed now
Sunday11am - 10pm
Monday11am - 10pm
Tuesday11am - 10pm
Wednesday11am - 11pm
Thursday11am - 11pm
Friday11am - 12am
Saturday11am - 12am
This restaurant is featured in the following eating tours.
8 stops | 316 MILES | 5 hr 30 min

Road Trip Overview

With a total of 316 miles to cover on this food filled road trip, the predicted drive time is 5 ½ hours. Beginning 30 minutes outside Dallas, the second largest city in Texas, this road trip will take you through small towns and fields, as well as the city of Austin, before…

Open Year Round
Meals Served
Lunch, Dinner
Credit Cards Accepted
Alcohol Served
Outdoor Seating

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