One day in the Round Rock, TX, area (excluding Austin and places already reviewed by Jane & Michael):
Breakfast: Mom’s Cafe and Mini-Storage. An old building; half the building is a bar (not owned by the restaurant), the other half a country cafe. In back, they’ve put up a bunch of free-standing storage sheds and they rent those out.
Open only for breakfast and lunch. Officially opens at 6:00 am, but they’ll open the doors around 5:00 when they get there and brew a pot of coffee. You’re welcome to come in before 6:00 and pour yourself a cup, but orders won’t be taken until they "open". Good country cookin’ and you’ll be "Sugar’d" and "Hon’d" to death. Great experience.
Mid-morning snack: You may want to have these for "breakfast dessert", but you can’t leave Round Rock without getting some Round Rock Donuts (plain glazed) at Lone Star Bakery. Get a whole dozen or you’ll wish you had. You can always snack on them later.
To go with the donuts, drive a block to downtown and stop in at Saradora’s, a locally-owned coffee shop, and get a large cup of "Round Rock Blend". Housed in one of the old downtown buildings that were part of the original town. Very interesting place.
Lunch: Take the short drive to Hutto and stop in at Snuffy’s for a homemade cheeseburger and fresh-cut fries. It’s really a bar that serves food, in an extremely old building right on 79. There’s not a noticeable Snuffy’s sign out front, but you’ll recognize the place by the old neon sign that just says, "Beer".
Mid-afternoon snack: Finish the donuts.
Dinner: Drive north up to Walburg and eat at Walburg Mercantile, a REAL German restaurant run by real Germans. Order off the menu, or partake in the nightly buffet, which is fabulous. You can also get some great German beers on tap. Excellent food, and the building and biergarten are really cool.
If you don’t like German food, drive about half a mile up the road and eat at Dale’s Essenhaus. They are famous for their "Walburger", but since you had a burger for lunch, you may want to go for the great chicken-fried steak or one of their daily plate specials.
Depending on the day of the week, you could end the night listening to live music at either Dale’s or the Mercantile.
Hello Ruby Rose,
I was born and raised in Allentown PA, and I used to eat at Norma J’s
when I played football for Parkland High School (class of ’78)
Your post brings back good memories…and the syrian food,
well, mom and grandmom used to make the best syrian food a kid could ever eat growing up,
but I do get my syrian food fix in paterson new jersey, just a few miles from parsippany n.j.
Thanks for the memories of the lehigh valley, and your great suggestions for places to eat.
That’s what makes it fun to travel, getting to try all the different local specialties!! Gives you a reason to go back too, a chance to get the things you missed the first time. [:D][:p]
Seafarer john, what you can’t get around here is barbecued ribs, good cheesecake, a pit beef sandwich like ocdreamr mentioned, a single bratwurst anywhere, chicken fried steak, boiled peanuts and so many other things that I read here about people eating and would like to try.
If they were over here in B’more we’d have to visit the markets – Cross street for crab soup, Broadway for smoked sausage & of course Lexington (one of the USA’s oldest markets) for a stop at Faidly’s for Crab Cakes! And anything else we might pick up along the way. I would have said a stop at Jeppi’s on S. High St for freshly roasted peanuts but they just moved to the burbs, gotta find them, that’s where I get my glaced fruit for my cakes at Chrismas. We could stop at any one of a multitude of places for Lake Trout fried up nice & crispy. Head out Pulaski Hghwy for a pit beef sandwich
Ruby Rose: What a menu! We envy you the great goodies available in your area. Deep Fried Strawberries – WOW! – never dreamt of such a delight.
I wiil now be constrained to examine my own experience and my own area for all those things I guess I’m taking for granted – but somehow I doubt they will ever be as rich as yours in Pennsylvania…
Surely, we could find a good half-smoke in DC! [:D]
True but you guys have more ethnic restaurants than you can shake a stick at. Besides, what about the Silver and Tastee Diner. I know they are a small (very small) "mini chain" in the area. How are they[?]
I live in the DC area, where sadly, local roadfood gems are few and far between. I’d tell them to try their luck in Baltimore.
Well, not exactly but what if they were, for one day only, and needed recommendations in your area? What local roadfood gems would be on your list?
Breakfast – definitely Norma J s, a converted trailer attached at right angles to the one where Norma lives, partly because she s only open for breakfast. My recommendation would be Country Breakfast Eggs, fried potatoes and onions with beaten eggs poured on top and cooked until it looks like a giant pancake. A big hunk of apple sausage (ground apples mixed in with the pork) on the side.
Mid-morning snack a couple of hot dogs embellished with yellow mustard, chopped onions and chili sauce from Yocco s the Hot Dog King, stopping en route at the Crystal Springs Dairy Mart for a quart of their perfect pepper cabbage, a birch beer, and some of their special homemade black raspberry ice cream.
Lunch hard to decide on a Friday or Saturday, the Ritz B-B-Q and then a stop next door at the Allentown Farmers Market for a taste sampling of Lebanon and sweet bolognas and a few other local specialties. Days the market is closed, a tiny storefront restaurant in the worst part of town with the best Syrian food and customers as varied as the items on the menu.
Mid-afternoon snack a short road trip to Zern s Market in Gilbertsville PA for some of those chicken livers and whole mushrooms fried in chicken fat with a stop at the booth that specializes in all sorts of hard-to-find candies of the past.
Supper Has to be the Willows in East Texas PA for stuffed pig stomach or meltingly tender roast pork with an individual pitcher of gravy on the side. The big decision would be which vegetables to choose because they give as much care to them as to the meats. Local strawberries, dipped in a light batter and fried, then sprinkled with 4X sugar (yes, that s on the vegetable menu) or corn fritters, potato filling, zucchini balls, fried pumpkin strips, baked lima beans in a tomatoey bacon-flecked sauce are a few of the choices. Apricot, cherry crumb, strawberry rhubarb or lemon sponge pie for dessert of course.
Unless it s a Sunday, which would mean the Kempton Hotel for family style platters of chicken pot pie (the noodle kind), baked ham, roast beef, potato filling, and all the usual vegetables and accompaniments like corn, chow-chow and potato rolls. If you want the lemon sweet strip pie, order it with dinner because it sells out fast.
(sorry this is so long but I already cut it in half)
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.