Service is always friendly. Get everything on your burger: lettuce, tomato, mustard, and onion. Plan to add ketchup, regular or spicy, to your burger yourself.
On our first trip to Texas, a friend told us we had to eat at Whataburger and raved about how great the hamburgers are.
He was right!
Venue: Fast food restaurant chain in Texas. Note: Texas is a Whataburger state.
Atmosphere: Fast food environment. Order at the counter and the food is delivered to your table along with ketchup, salt, pepper, and napkins. Locations we have stopped at offer booth and table seating. Tables are kept clean.
Food Fare: Burgers, other sandwiches, and salads as well as breakfast. French Fries and onion rings as well. Check out their website for more information.
Recommendations: Get everything on your burger: lettuce, tomato, mustard, and onion. Add avocado and other toppings you want at an additional cost, but it is worth it. Don’t forget the bacon! Plan to add ketchup to your burger yourself as it doesn’t come standard. Mustard is standard unless you specify otherwise. The ketchup comes in little rectangle cups in regular or spicy flavors. I love the taste of the regular ketchup. My husband enjoys the spicy.
Sometimes your receipt will have an invitation to share your feedback for which you get a coupon. If you get one, do be sure to complete it. Also, there is a Whataburger App if you find you are frequenting often.
Service: Always friendly. It is unique to walk into a fast food restaurant where employees are happy to work there as well as happy to serve customers.
Return Rating: Definitely.
The only danger I can think of is that if you eat here once, you’ll want to return again!
215 East Bank Street
Petersburg, VA 23803
Atmosphere, great food and a variety of drinks make this a coffee shop that offers you an “experience” when spending time here. It’s a great candidate if your in the market to find your favorite coffee shop!
Venue: Coffee Shop in an interesting building that offers a great theme.
Atmosphere: Relaxed, casual environment. There is a nice outdoor patio area offering additional seating if the weather is cooperative.
Food Fare: Everything we had tasted great! A few of our choices were: Lox N’ Loaded and the Short Fuse with Baked Potato Soup. They offer a 1/2 sandwich with 1/2 soup or 1/2 salad. This was a great way to try several of the menu items and not get too full.
Recommendations: Be prepared for a noisy environment and a bit of a wait on your food if you go at a busy time. Even though it was busy, we were able to carry on conversation at our table. Look over the menu as there appears to be a lot of flavorful selections or check the website before you go. There is WiFi, but we didn’t use it during our family lunch. Note, the only danger I can think of is that if you eat here once, you’ll want to return again!
Service: Order and pick up your food at the counter. Remove your dishes, table service, and trash to the alcove housing the bus tubs and garbage can.
Return Rating: Definitely if we were in the area!
Offering fruit, cream, breakfast, or supper pies. The crust is firm and nicely browned. Check out their website to drool over pie pictures and find a location near you!
The Original Fried Pie Shop
2303 E. Malone Avenue
Sikeston MO 63801
We literally tripped across this little shop and were so glad we did. Actually, we were going to Lambert’s Café and missed our turn. Due to circumstances we scratched our plan to go to Lambert’s and then decided to cut through Sikeston to double back and grab a bite at Lambert’s. We weren’t on a strict schedule. First, we had to refuel and stopped at the gas mart that also housed this shop. We weren’t going to even go inside, but changed our minds.
Note that we were going to eat lunch at Lambert’s which has the All You Can Eat Pass Arounds. (Watch for a future blog on Lambert’s.) We weren’t in the market to eat pie right then. We did sample a fried apple pie which was fabulous. We bought 3 pies to go.
Venue: The Original Fried Pie Shop is part of a gas station stop in Sikeston, Missouri. After looking at their website, I learned they are a franchise. Check out their website to find a location near you and to drool over the pie pictures.
Atmosphere: Diner décor type setting with tables and chairs to dine in if you wish. You can custom order your pie and they’ll fry it up hot right then.
Food Fare: Fried pies of all varieties. Fruit, cream, breakfast, or supper pies. The crust is firm and nicely browned.
Recommendations: Try the sample on the counter. These pies are large. Buy several so you can enjoy by sharing at the time of purchase and also take some home to freeze for later. We had one in the freezer for a short time and pulled it to enjoy. The blackberry pie just short of frozen was delicious! You can warm them up in the oven, but a microwave is not recommended to prevent them from getting soggy.
Service: Friendly and quick service. We selected 3 pies from the display case.
Return Rating: Definitely!
Quality food at small town gas stations is not common. Food was made when ordered and sandwich buns were toasted on the grill.
Cayuga Texas Grill & Country Store
Venue: A back road truck stop. While not as fancy as TA or Love’s, it is quite serviceable.
Atmosphere: Small town gas station, convenience store that also sells hot food that is made to order. There are actually a good many tables for its size.
Food Fare: We enjoyed a bbq sandwich, large fry, and bacon cheeseburger with 2 Diet Coke’s for $16.62. Not a bad price and the food was made when ordered. Both sandwiches had buns toasted on the grill and the sweet bbq was hot (with heat).
Recommendations: Bathrooms were located behind the building and you have to walk outside to get to them. The workers were friendly and our food was received as ordered. Grab your drinks of choice from the cooler.
Service: Order and pay at the counter, and food is delivered to your table.
Return Rating: Yes, if hungry and going by. Quality food at small town gas stations are not common. We need to remember this one.
Meat and potato folks will love this original pot pie! If you’ve never had pasty, try the traditional version.
The Pasty Oven
Hwy U.S. 2
We were hungry and had been looking for somewhere different to eat in the Upper Peninsula — maybe a “hole in the wall” type place. It was a bit past lunch time and we had driven through a few larger towns and thought our opportunity may have passed to find a local eatery. Ever been in this situation?
Then it occurred to us that we should stop at a local pasty place. We had already driven by several. Well, you know how it is when you get such an idea in your head. Short of being on the verge of starving we were holding out for pasty. Fortunately, we found it!
Venue: Small, local eatery right off U.S. Hwy 2. Inside table seating or drive through service available.
Atmosphere: Casual, quaint, and pleasant.
Food Fare: What we had was delicious. Golden, crispy onion rings were served hot as was the pasty. Pete enjoyed the large traditional pasty with rutabaga while I had the chicken and cheese modern version. The chicken pasty filling was delicious. While we enjoyed their pasty, we both agreed that the crust did not measure up to the pasty crust made at Rigoni’s Bakery in Ironwood, Michigan by Bob the Baker.
Recommendations: If you’ve never had pasty, try the traditional version. Pasty is the original “pot pie” but way better. Meat and potato folks will love it! Be sure to look over the menu as there were lots of other good food choices. Prices were good. Our bill was $17.10 plus tip and that included two hot teas. When we stopped, no other cars were in the parking lot—we weren’t even sure they were open—but they were. So, be sure to pull in the lot to check it out. Two other cars of folks stopped while we were eating plus a carry out. Check out their website at Pastys.com.
Service: Courteous and friendly servers promptly served our food hot and as ordered.
Return Rating: Definitely
If you’re not planning to be in the UP or southern Wisconsin to sample some pasty, search out a recipe online to take a cuisine road trip. What regional foods do you enjoy at home or on the road?
Good food and great prices at this All You Can Eat Chinese Buffet! If you’re in the area, it is worth a try. While the plaza and building do not look inviting, what is inside makes up for it.
515 Lansing Road
My husband was hungry for all you can eat fish which we didn’t expect to find middle of the day and middle of the week. So, thanks to Google, we located Top Buffet cruising down Interstate 69.
Venue: All You Can Eat Chinese Buffet. While the plaza and building do not look inviting, what is inside makes up for it.
Atmosphere: Casual dining with booth or table seating.
Food Fare: Delicious food. Crab Rangoon, fried zucchini, peanut butter chicken, and tea were tasty. General Chicken was a bit soggy but good.The crab meat with cheese was over cooked by most people’s standards, but we like it with a crunchy top. Egg roll wrapper was a bit chewy and tough, but my husband didn’t have any trouble finding food for his second round. Dipped ice cream was available and staff tried to keep pre-scooped dishes on a tray in the freezer for you. Usually we encounter soft ice cream but this was hard as a rock—which is how I like it! So, if you want yours soft, be sure to plan ahead.
Recommendations: Pricing was $6.99 for lunch and $8.99 for dinner. Great prices! If you’re in the area, it is worth a try.There was no wasabi, ginger, or sushi but with these prices we had no complaints. We also noticed there were other cost management measures such as no chopsticks or hot tea teapot. Note: They are closed on Mondays and also offer carry out.
Service: Staff was helpful and friendly. Our hot tea was refilled multiple times. We did get our fortune cookie which was crisp and fresh. The fortune was only printed on one side.
Return Rating: Definitely.
Good food and solid service with reasonable prices. You can relax and enjoy the atmosphere at this small town café.
When you wonder what kind of food South of the Border Café serves, keep in mind which border it is near. It is a true Grand Marais, MN local haunt that you will want to definitely experience.
Venue: A small town café that is open 5:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. everyday. Booth seating encompasses the main dining area as well as the back room.
Atmosphere: Casual and often very busy.
Food Fare: Breakfast or lunch items served all day. Fresh breaded, fried herring when in season. Great hamburgers as well as omelets.
Recommendations: Order the herring if in season. Bring cash as they don’t accept credit cards. Check out any specials on the white board above the coffee pot area.
Service: Always good, solid service. One of the reasons we love SOB is because Peg, one of the waitresses, adds to the experience of dining here.
She self-defined as the snarkiest waitress in town. She is friendly but will definitely tell you how it is in her honest, flavorful manner.
Return Rating: Definitely. Prices are reasonable, food is good, and we feel at home.
Harbor Café offers a very wide array of menu items. Allow yourself plenty of time to look over their extensive menu, and be sure to save room for dessert! A great dining spot while visiting Clarksville, TN or Ft. Campbell.
Harbor Café Bar & Grill
2131 Lowes Drive
We enjoyed a three generation family meal at this fine establishment in one of their large booths. Food, atmosphere, and service all culminated in an enjoyable evening.
Venue: While billed as a Café, I’d classify this establishment as a restaurant. You can easily dress casual or upscale to enjoy your evening.
Atmosphere: Large and roomy steak house atmosphere.
Food Fare: Harbor Café offers a very wide array of menu items. Steak, pasta, seafood, oriental not to mention appetizers, salads,and desserts. We enjoyed grilled chicken with sweet potato, 2 oriental dishes, and a pasta dish.
Recommendations: Allow yourself plenty of time to look over their extensive menu. Definitely save room for cheesecake. I’ve never had a piece of cheesecake that tall before. Both cheesecake and key lime pie were good. Consider adding this restaurant to your itinerary while visiting Clarksville, TN or Ft. Campbell.
Service: Top notch!
Return Rating: Definitely!
Plan your trip to Brenham, TX around Dumas Walker’s hours. This unobtrusive restaurant is one that you would probably just drive by. Trust me — it is worth stopping. They offer tasty comfort food and the biscuits are the BEST!
Dumas Walker Pepper & Pie Company
1505 West Main
Dumas Walker’s serves Cajun, Creole, and comfort food in their small restaurant located in Brenham, Texas. Friends were kind enough to tell us about this restaurant and we are so glad they did!
Venue: Unobtrusive restaurant that you would probably just drive by. Trust me — it is worth eating here.
Atmosphere: Cozy table seating in a casual fashion with eclectic Texas country décor. There is a selection of old cookbooks you can look at while waiting for your food. I’ll be sharing some interesting recipes I found in future blog posts.
Food Fare: We’ve always chosen breakfast but we understand they have great burgers. The biscuits are the BEST! They are worth going off your diet. Hashbrowns and bacon arrived crispy as requested. I order a side of the gravy to enjoy with my meal.
Recommendations: Plan your trip to Brenham around their open hours. They are open Monday-Friday 6:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Also, check out Dumas Walker’s website for an interesting read about their history. The menu is online as well.
Service: Very good.
Return Rating: Definitely! We love breakfast for any meal.
Uncle Bud’s offers fantastic food, excellent service, and a fun eating experience. Great hometown spot!
Uncle Bud’s of Donelson
2719 Old Lebanon Rd.
Venue: “Home of the all-you-can-eat Fixin’s” that also offers an all-you-can-eat catfish any day of the week. This appears to be a popular local spot.
Atmosphere: Very welcoming and casual. Staff want you to have a good time.
Food Fare: Alligator tail, chicken nuggets and catfish are some of the items you can choose from. All dinners come with the All You Can Eat Fixin’s: coleslaw, white beans, hush puppies, fries, and pickles and onions.
Recommendations: Try the alligator tail–you can have it fried or grilled. Both are delicious but I like grilled better. Be prepared for a fun eating experience. Go early to avoid a wait.
Service: Exceptional! It was very good even on a crazy busy Father’s Day.
Return rating: Definitely. We’ve been twice and would love to return again. Worth a spot on your to do list for the Nashville area.