R Bar – Your Pub & Grill

Both burgers had complimentary and tasty toppings on them. Pete had fresh straight cut fries and I had sweet potato fries. Both were fried crispy . . . and were fabulous.

Western Burger with french fries, cole slaw, and pickles on a dinner plate. Ice tea to the side.R Bar – Your Pub & Grill

1190 25th St., Cameron, WI.

We were burger hungry again as we were driving through northern Wisconsin. Not your fast food burger hungry but a good solid cooked burger hungry. Once again, via Google, we found a solution—R Bar.

"R Bar" sign with trees and country road in background.Venue: Off the beaten path sports bar/pub style restaurant.Store front picture with trees and store sign in foreground.

Atmosphere: Very casual and dimly lit with plenty of table seating in three different sections. There is also chair seating at the bar.Bar an table seating in R Bar.

 

Food Fare: We enjoyed the Western Burger and Pub Burger. Both were fantastic! The Western came with bacon, cheddar, onion ring, and BBQ sauce. The Pub had carmelized onions, bacon, Swiss, and horseradish mayo. Pub Burger with sweet potato fries, cole slaw, and pickles.Both burgers had complimentary and tasty toppings on them. Pete had fresh straight cut fries and I had sweet potato fries. Both were fried crispy as requested and were fabulous. The sweet potato fries had a sweet syrup or sauce added which completed the taste. They were good dipped in ketchup too. Cole Slaw was good but a bit on the vinegary side. Also offered on the menu were other sandwiches, appetizers, dinners, and baskets. There was one salad choice but three choices of meat if you wished to add it. A Kiddos menu had 3 entrees.

Recommendations: Check out the nightly specials available on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The waitress recommended the Rib Night special on Saturdays. Note that the Grill  hours are different from the Bar hours. BUT, you can get pizza when the Bar is open.Front of R Bar menu with hours listed.

Service: Laid back but exceptional service.

Return Rating: Definitely.Pool table and other games at R Bar.

 

 

World’s Best Donuts Small Shop with Big Taste

Get your donuts earlier . . . before they are sold out. Enjoying them earlier in the day might mean getting them while they are still warm!

World’s Best Donuts red and white sign with shop for n background and tree with autumn leaves to the sideWorld’s Best Donuts

Small Shop with Big Taste

10 Wisconsin St., Grand Marais, MN

Looking down into white sack with donuts.Venue: A quaint, local donut shop with a large following. Expect to wait in line during prime tourist times.

Atmosphere: You can go inside and check out the donuts and other goodies or go to the outside walk up window to purchase your treats of choice. There is limited seating inside and out.World’s Best Donut Shop storefront

Food Fare: Offering donuts of course! Also, turnovers, skizzles and other goodies. We enjoy the plain cake donuts. They have a lighter texture than the cake donuts you are use to. Blueberry turnover on white bakery paperHowever, you can get them with a variety of sweet toppings. The blueberry turnover we split was delicious!

Recommendations: Get your donuts earlier rather than later in the day before they are sold out. Enjoying them earlier in the day might mean getting them while they are still warm! Two donuts on white bakery paper, partially eaten.You can also see if there are any “boo boos” packaged to buy. They are odd shaped but just as tasty. Also, if you like a late night sweet snack, but extra to take with you. The Super America gas station has been known to sell their donuts too. Oh, and be sure to take a tourist picture with the wooden painted people cut outs outside the shop.

Check their website for open days and hours. The shop is closed “off season.”

Outside seating at donut shop in foreground and walk up order window in background with customersService: Always friendly and helpful.

Return Rating: Definitely. We have to get our “World’s Best” fix when on the North Shore!

Angie’s Bakery

Nice variety of bakery goodies. The apple fritter had cinnamon laced through the dough.

Apple Fritter on white crinkled bakery paperAngie’s Bakery

7630 US 2, Iron River, WI

Venue: Small town bakery on US Highway 2, Northern Wisconsin.Angie’s Bakery storefront.

Atmosphere: Very homey décor and casual setting. Homey decor and table seating inside bakery.There are a few tables if you wish to enjoy your selections before you leave.

Long view of bakery cases and store lobby area.Food Fare: Nice variety of bakery goodies. We enjoyed apple fritters, a strawberry rhubarb turnover, and milk. All were delicious! The apple fritter had cinnamon laced through the dough which was tasty.Inside view of apple fritter showing cinnamon laced through pastry.

Recommendations: Stop in if your going through on U.S. Highway 2 through Iron River, WI. Check the counter for any “day old” bakery plates of goodies. Also, be sure to stop at the Fig Leaf Thrift Store too. It is just down the street.

Service: Very friendly.

Iced turnover on white bakery paper

 

 

 

 

 

 

Return Rating: Definitely! It was our second time stopping in.

Burger Barn is the Best!

The fries were perfect — the best crispy fries we’ve ever had! Both burgers were fantastic! Bob knows how to prepare quality, tasty food.

Mexican burger with top bun lifted to show the sandwich.Burger Barn

14860 TX 59, Athens, TX

In our travels we were hungry for a good burger and not a typical fast food option. Headed north towards Athens, Texas, I began googling for burger choices. I found the Burger Barn and my phone map had this foodstand located near Crossroads, TX. Wrong! We didn’t see the small red building with white trim. So, we were disappointed and kept driving north on TX 59.

Shady Oaks General Store sign and storefront.The good news is the we stumbled upon the Burger Barn! We weren’t looking for it anymore but Pete noticed it as we drove past the Shady Oaks General Store at the intersection of TX 59 and 753. So, we turned around.

Storefront picture of Burger Barn: small red building with white trim with a two window order counter.Venue: One man show burger stand.

Atmosphere: Lots of fresh air and outside seating at the picnic table to the side.Red picnic table to the side back of the Burger Barn.

 

Food Fare: A variety of burgers, grilled chicken, BLT and a few other sandwich choices. Fries, onion rings, tater tots, chicken rings and potato chips are also on the menu along with bottled soda pop. Pete ordered the Mexican Burger with an extra patty and I got the Bacon Cheese Burger. Bacon Cheeseburger with all the fixings with the top bun lifted to see the inside of the sandwich.We split a large french fry. The fries were perfect — the best crispy fries we’ve ever had! Both burgers were fantastic! Bob knows how to prepare quality, tasty food. The customer before us ordered a patty melt and wanted mustard on it. Bob let the guy know how he makes it for complimentary flavors but said he could make it per the request.Crinkle french fries cooked crispy.

Close up picture of bitten french fry showing inside. Crispy fries in the background. Recommendations: Note the Burger Barn hours and plan to stop for lunch. Try the french fries cooked crispy. Look for The Shady Oaks General Store at the intersection of TX 59 and 753 and off to the East side you’ll find The Burger Barn. It is 8 miles south of downtown Athens on TX 59.

Picture of Burger Barn menu.Service: Bob had a dry humor, let us know the order took a bit longer because of the crispy fries, and delivered hot, quality food.Burger Barn store hours and phone number to call ahead and order.

Return Rating: Definitely! This is the type of place we love. It will be a regular stop when we head north."Welcome to Bob's Burger Barn One-Man Show" sign taped to the inside of the order window.Texas 59 and 753 road signs.

Rabideaux’s Sausage Kitchen

There is a small lunch counter if you want a hot plate lunch, a menu of made to order items, made ahead hot items to grab ‘n go, and snack items. The service was friendly and helpful.

Smashed boudin ball burger on wrapper in cardboard basket.Rabideaux’s Sausage Kitchen

105 HWY 165, Iowa, LA

Venue: Easy to find eatery off Interstate 10.

Main entry aisle with order counter and multiple coolers or freezers of food for sale.Atmosphere: Casual, country eatery. You order and retrieve food choices from the counter. Drinks purchased at the counter as well and are self-serve. There are lots of hard wood tables to enjoy your meal at.

Fried foods on display for order and go selections.Food Fare: There is a small lunch counter if you want a hot plate lunch, a menu of made to order items, made ahead hot items to grab ‘n go, and snack items. Pete enjoyed a meat and veggie breaded and fried kabob along with a side of gizzards. A meat and veggie breaded and fried kabob along with a side of gizzards each in styrofoam containers.At the recommendation of another customer, I had the boudin balls smashed into a burger and served with burger fixins. The boudin burger was crunchy on the outside and soft in the middle. This texture and flavor combo with the bun was tasty! We didn’t try the desserts, but these comfort food baked items looked good.

Rabideaux’s sign with pig leaning on a fence.Recommendations: Try a dessert if your not too full. Take note that the drink fountain is not all you can drink, but there is a reasonable price on refills. We wanted to purchase some sausage or other bulk meat to take home. Refrigerated display of sausages and meats.However, we were disappointed to read that there is MSG in the sausage. Read the label or ask before purchasing from the meat counter if MSG is a concern.

Service: We were greeted upon entering. The service was friendly and helpful.Rabideaux’s Sausage Kitchen storefront.

Return Rating: Yes. Pete plans to try something different, and Cindy may have to stick to the boudin ball burger.

Small Town Texas Chinese Buffet

. . . there is a nice variety. There are two buffet tables plus the ice cream freezer. The menu has a lot of choices, lunch specials, and healthy entrees.

Plate of food selected from Chinese Buffet.China Inn

111 North La Salle St., Navasota, TX

Chinese Buffet table with variety of food choices.Venue: Small town Chinese restaurant with an all day buffet. If you like to try hole-in-the-wall places, this is for you.

Atmosphere: Very casual with a brisk lunch crowd on a Thursday. Plenty of seating.Plate of food off Chinese Buffet with bowl of sweet and sour sauce and a bowl of soup.

Food Fare: You can choose to eat off the buffet or order from the menu. Carry out is available too. The buffet runs all day from 11:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. The buffet is not the unending choices that you find in larger Chinese buffet restaurants, but there is a nice variety. There are two buffet tables plus the ice cream freezer. The menu has a lot of choices, lunch specials, and healthy entrees.

Recommendations: Give the buffet a try. It was tasty. The ice cream was nothing special but it was ice cream and nice on a hot day. Freezer with buckets of ice cream for hand dipping at Chinese Buffet.If you don’t mind a bit of mold inside a freezer, dip up a couple of scoops. The bathrooms were functional but reminded us of truck stop in the middle of nowhere restrooms that don’t get enough attention. The faucet in the women’s bathroom offered just enough of a trickle to get the soap off.

Service: We received very good service.“Dine In, Carry Out, All Day Buffet” sign on sidewalk

Return Rating: Yes, if in the mood for Chinese Buffet.China Inn storefront

Pablo’s BBQ & Mexican Food

We tried the ribs and both regular and spicy sausage. . . . the rum raisin ice cream . . . was sweet but not overly so and a nice treat on a hot day.

Pablo’s sign with a large replica of a double barrel shotgun on topPablo’s BBQ and Mexican Food

3900 US-69, Lufkin, TX

Pablo’s menu board Venue: Fast food BBQ and Mexican restaurant combination.

Atmosphere: Casual atmosphere with a prominent hunting theme. The double barrel shotgun on top of the restaurant sign, several Wall mounted deer head with antler rackmounted trophy heads, and the bathroom antler hook attest to the theme. Choose booth or table seating after ordering at the counter.Table and booth seating inside restaurant

Food Fare: Lots of BBQ and Mexican food choices. We tried the ribs and both regular and spicy sausage. Ribs in styrofoam container The ribs were tender and delicious. The spicy sausage was tasty even though it didn’t later agree with my husband’s innards. The regular sausage was good. Cut sausage and spicy sausage in styrofoam container We both enjoyed the rum raisin ice cream. It was sweet but not overly so and a nice treat on a hot day. We ate it first since we ordered carry out.Rum Raisin ice cream in a plastic cup

“Welcome To Pablo’s” entryway sign listing lunch specials.Recommendations: Check out the daily specials on both the entryway board and the menu board. Stop by if you find yourself in the area.

Service: We received friendly service, but we weren’t sure the waitress understood what we ordered. The order turned out fine though. Food counter with various sides displayed.It seemed to take awhile to receive the carry out order, but it was prime lunch time and the restaurant was busy.

“Pablo’s” name in letters on wall above wagon wheel. A lantern type light is on each side of the wagon wheel. Chest freezer with ice cream to the left. Return Rating: Probably not since the spicy sausage didn’t agree with my husband.Deer antler coat hook.

Put Sydney’s Frozen Custard on your Travel Agenda

Fantastically creamy custard in vanilla and chocolate. If your only eating custard, get the double scoop.

Sydney’s Frozen Custard dish of chocolate on left and dish of vanilla on right.Sydney’s Frozen Custard

14 S. Broadway Ave., Grand Marais, MN

Be sure to put Sydney’s Frozen Custard on your travel agenda next time your on the Minnesota North Shore. You’ll be soooo glad you did!

Sydney’s Frozen Custard outdoor seating with back of pizza oven and part of the eatery building in background.Venue:  Quaint eatery offering Great Lake Superior views and tasty vittles. Indoor and outdoor seating available as well as rooftop, outdoor seating.

Atmosphere:  Very casual. You’ll often see owners accompanied by their dogs.

Food Fare:  Fantastically creamy custard in vanilla and chocolate. Pete prefers the vanilla and I prefer the chocolate. A chalkboard menu board.They also offer a variety of custard concoctions and food selections along with wood-fired pizza.A chalkboard menu board.

Recommendations:  Go when you are hungry and enjoy both a pizza and custard. There is an outdoor fireplace to enjoy if there is a bit of a chill. If your only eating custard, get the double scoop.

Sydney’s Frozen Custard storefront.Service:  Walk up to the order window to place your order and pay. Pick your food up at the pick up window unless you get a wood-fired pizza. That you pick up at the pizza prep and bake area.

Return Rating:   Most definitely!

Natty’s Buffet – No Nonsense Comfort Food

Don’t let the outside rule your decision to give it a try. Both the chicken pot pie and peach cobbler were fabulous with a capital “F.”

Hot food on buffet lineNatty’s Buffet

Palestine, Arkansas

We were driving toward Illinois and were hungry. We wanted to eat at a buffet before we reached West Memphis.  After surfing the net for a buffet choice, we decided to try Natty’s.

Venue: Truck stop café with buffet. One review on their Facebook page said, “The building looks like something out of Harlem circa 1969, but the food is decent. The parking lot for trucks is rougher than a corncob but a decent place to park.“ Don’t let the outside rule your decision to give it a try.Natty’s Buffet storefront

Atmosphere: Casual country diner with table or booth seating.

Dining room with table or booth seating. Dinner plates on a table to the right, front.Food Fare: Natty’s offers American comfort food. Choose the buffet or order off the menu. Two Buffet tables and n background, and table and chairs in foreground.The food was delicious even though some cold items could have been colder and some hot items warmer. Both the chicken pot pie and peach cobbler were fabulous with a capital “F.” I almost wish that was all I ate for dinner. Fried chicken and peach cobbler on a plate with a fork. Some food has already been eaten off the plate.The fried chicken was delicious. Desserts were saran wrapped and the bundt cake slice I had was good.Piece of bundt cake saran wrapped on a plate.

Recommendations: If you like fried catfish, give it a try. It wasn’t on the buffet but a friendly trucker ordered it off the menu and gave my husband a sample from her plate. He wants to go back sometime for the fish.

Desserts and cold part of buffet.Service: Service was very good.

Return Rating:  Definitely.Natty’s Buffet side of building.

Grab an Exotic Meat Burger at Dairy Palace

We enjoyed a wild hog double burger, large fry, cole slaw, bacon burger, and 2 Diet Cokes. Order at the counter and food is delivered to your table.

Wild Hog Double Burger in background and Bacon Burger in foreground with cole slaw on the side. Dairy Palace

 

We have driven by the Dairy Palace in Canton, TX many times and wanted to try their hamburgers. We had been unable to stop until recently. It was worth the stop!

"World Famous Hamburgers" sign above menu boards at order counter with a lot of people in line.Venue:  This is a family owned and operated sort of fast food restaurant. There is a bit of a wait as food is made when ordered.

Booth and table seating inside Dairy Palace.Atmosphere: There is a lot of seating so you can pick your table or booth in this casual setting. There are several arcade games if you wish to play while you wait for your food.Arcade area inside Dairy Palace.

Food Fare: Breakfast is served all day long in addition to burgers, sandwiches, entrees, Mexican, hot dogs, and salads. Oh yeah, and ice cream and exotic meat burgers. Exotic meats include: duck, elk, venison, bison, turkey, and wild boar. We enjoyed a wild hog double burger, large fry, cole slaw, bacon burger, and 2 Diet Cokes for just shy of $31.00. A bit pricy but delicious. Both burgers were fabulous and Pete would get the wild hog again. Well done large French fry basket.The fries and cole slaw were just regular sides so we’ll probably skip them next time.

Recommendations: They are open 24 hours but be aware the parking lot is not suited for trailers. Their brochure mentions they have hand-made ice cream sandwiches that might be worth considering. If it is prime meal time, be prepared to wait.Know Your Rancher information about 44 Farms and how they treat the cattle.

Service: Good service. Order at the counter and food is delivered to your table. We didn’t ask about drink refills and I didn’t notice a fountain. You’ll have to ask when you stop in.

Return Rating: Definitely.View of Diary Palace from the street.

Navarro Donuts — You Deserve a Donut!

Everything looked delicious. The apple fritter was thin but slightly crunchy on the outside. The taste of apple was prominent.

Two glazed apple fritters on a plate.

Driving through Texas, you will notice that there are a lot of donut shops. These are open early morning to mid-afternoon at the latest.

If you want a late night donut, you better plan ahead or get it at the grocery store.

Navarro Donuts storefront.

We found a really great donut shop in Corsicana if you happen to be in that area. Walking in you notice the cases with donuts and the smiling person behind the cases.

On Pete’s first visit to this shop, he opened the door for an older couple going in at the same time. Pete asked if he was taking her out for breakfast and the gentleman commented he thought Pete was buying. So, Pete did. The gentleman sputtered that Pete couldn’t buy him breakfast because he didn’t know him. So, after an introduction and handshake Pete bought his coffee and her donut. There are friendly folks in Texas!Product case in donut shop.

Venue: Drive through or walk-in donut shop.

Atmosphere: Typical small donut shop atmosphere with cases to display donuts and other goodies along with table or booth seating.

Food Fare: Donuts, apple fritters, kolaches, and other goodies. The kolaches are not the fruit filled pastries of the northern Midwest, but a sausage in dough—what we call “a pig in a blanket.” Product case in donut shop.Everything looked delicious. We bought an old fashioned donut no icing and 2 apple fritters. We really enjoyed both choices. The apple fritter was thin but slightly crunchy on the outside. The taste of apple was prominent. Very good! The glaze tasted good but as with most donut shops too much is put on.

Recommendations: Definitely eat an apple fritter! Select a few donuts to carry out for later. We bought 2 apple fritters for Pete’s folks in Illinois. Four days later one was enjoyed cold and one microwaved. Both parents were happy with their fritter.

Service: Friendly.

Return Rating: Definitely! I live their sacks — “You deserve a donut.”Picture of sack that says, “You deserve a donut” and has a pink donut on it.

Navarro Donuts, 3553 W. State Highway 31, Corsicana, Texas

Soulman’s Bar-B-Que Since 1974

We enjoyed the ribs and brisket. Service was exceptional!

Rack of ribs on tin foil.

Soulman’s Bar-B-Que Since 1974

We were on an afternoon road trip to pick up a mama cat and her kitten, and saw Soulman’s Bar-B-Que. Father’s Day was coming up and it was a perfect “excuse” to try Soulman’s

Soulman’s sign with open hours: 10:00 am to 9:00 pm.Venue: Texas Bar-B-Que Chain

Atmosphere: Casual drop in to eat or get it to go. Table or booth seating invites  you to linger with your companions and meal. Booth seating inside Soulman’s.We got ours to go. We left the truck running so the cats would have A/C while we quickly got our food.

Food Fare: We got a rack of ribs, brisket, bbq sauce, and an unsweetened tea. Brisket meat on tin foil with side of bbq sauce in styrofoam container.There were lots of food choices including potato salad, cole slaw, beans, fried okra, pulled pork, sausage, chicken, and lots of other stuff. You can choose a plate, family style, by the pound, or a sandwich. We enjoyed the ribs and brisket. Pete didn’t care for the fine cut of the brisket meat but I liked it. The bbq sauce was a touch sweet but with a tanginess to it. It was a nice balance of flavor. The ribs were delicious. You can check out the restaurant online at Soulmans.com. We didn’t buy dessert but I did drool over the choices: pecan pie, buttermilk pie and banana pudding. If you want to make your own instead of buy it, check out these recipes for chess pie and pecan pie. They are actually easy pies to make.

Soulman’s pig face with sunglasses logo on drink cup.Recommendations:  Give this bar-b-que a try when near one of their 20 Texas locations. We stopped at the Van, TX restaurant. You gotta love their logo cups and their mascot with sunglasses!

Service: We were impressed with the friendliness of their staff both behind the counter and on the dining floor. Service was exceptional! We were wished safe travels before we left by an employee in the dining area.

Food line forefront with menu boards in background inside Soulman’s.Return Rating: Definitely!