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.



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.

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.

Smitty’s Café – Amazing Food

We’ve had both breakfast and burgers, and loved both. Hash browns and french fries were “burned” as requested.

Smitty's Cafe storefront in downtown Brenham, TX with baker man statue out front.Smitty’s Café & Bakery

100 W. Main Street, Brenham, TX

Venue: Small, downtown eatery that was highly recommended to us by 2 different sets of folks.

Atmosphere: Casual and comfortable with table seating. Find your spot and take a seat.Table seating with green and cream tile floor and Texas Country decor.

Food Fare: Exceptional! We’ve had breakfast and burgers, and loved both. Scrambled eggs, bacon, and we’ll done hash browns.Hash browns and french fries were “burned” as requested. Tried the peanutbutter and jelly hamburger that comes with bacon — Yum! I’d been sidestepping trying a hamburger with peanutbutter because I figured it would be really great or really a goner. This combo is a do again! The half sandwich with green beans was a healthier choice for me. My better half enjoyed the potatoes each time.Half peanutbutter jelly hamburger with side of green beans

Recommendations: Lunch starts at 11:00 a.m. If you’re there a bit early (10:45) like we were the first visit, don’t let the waitress impact you asking for lunch. We were “encouraged” to order breakfast, but the folks that came in just before us were allowed to order lunch. Lunch is the reason we chose the restaurant. Let me say though, breakfast was fantastic!Plate size pancake with butter.

Service: If our service we received the first visit dictated our decision to return, we would never go back. My husband ordered over easy eggs and got scrambled. After asking for a biscuit and being informed there were none, I settled for toast. I asked the bread choices and selected wheat. I received white. Our waitress failed to check on us. We left no tip because it wasn’t earned. We also informed the cashier and she apologized and insured us they could do better. Unfortunately, we sat in the same spot our second visit and had the same waitress. She did better than our first visit, but service was not stellar. Another waitress did check on us and had an outstanding attitude. We put a tip in the tip jar. Be sure to sit at a table being served by the blonde waitress.

Front of Smitty's Cafe menu with hours, address, and phone numbers.Return Rating: Definitely because the food is amazing! At least until we find a comparable restaurant we prefer.Omelette with cheese and toast

How to Plan for Grilled Leftovers

When you are planning a mass meat grill, check your grocery store’s meat counter for a marked down section in addition to the weekly specials.

Steak and hamburgers being smoked on a grill.Do you just love grilled foods?

Hamburgers, steaks, beef tongue, and hotdogs are  some meats that are great on the grill and even better as leftovers.

Soooo, why not plan ahead for leftovers? You are firing up the grill anyway, go ahead and maximize your effort and cook a bunch of meat at once. It can be all the same or a variety — doesn’t matter. What matters is that you will have some main dish meal parts cooked ahead which is a time saver for you and a flavor treat as well.

When you are planning a mass meat grill, check your grocery store’s meat counter for a marked down section in addition to the weekly specials. This can save you some money. Once all your meat is grilled, you can keep some leftovers in the fridge to eat on for several days and freeze the rest in meal size portions. You decide what portions work best. Do you pack lunches? Ok, freeze some grilled meat lunches — yuuum. Imagine the great aroma in the breakroom when you microwave your “leftover” lunch.

An easy way to add some vegetables to your meal is by putting them in your hamburgers. Remember, my husband Pete guy cooks. So, when you read his recipe, put in the amounts you like in your hamburger mixture.

Pete’s Hamburger Patties

Put the hamburger in a bowl. Add the freeze dried ingredients (dry) and the steak sauce to the hamburger. You decide the amounts of burger to dried ingredients. Mix it all together by hand. Make sure there is enough burger in the mixture so it will patty. The vegetables are reconstituted with the juices of the meat. Grill the hamburgers and enjoy!Steak and hamburgers being smoked on a grill with a bit of smoke rising.

We like the nutrition and convenience of using freeze dried foods. No chopping vegetables — just open the can and they are ready to use. They can be reconstituted, added to recipes dry, or even snacked on “as is.” You can check out Thrive Life Freeze Dried Foods at our website: CanoeCountryFood.ThriveLife.com. Be sure to let us know what questions you have.

Did you notice that I mentioned grilled beef tongue above? Have you ever had it? Grilled beef tongue IS NOT the same as boiled beef tongue for those of you thinking “yuck.” We’ll be sharing more about grilled beef tongue sometime this summer. Do you have a favorite food you like to grill? Please share in the comments section.

Big Mouth Burger Company

All of the food was delicious. We both thought our burger buns were worth going off the carb wagon for.

Small mouth burger with lettuce, tomato, onion, and onion rings.Big Mouth Burger Company


124 Planters St, Emory, Texas

Driving through Emory, Texas we noticed this burger joint across the town square and made a mental note to try it sometime. It just looked interesting and we’re always up for a good burger.

Venue: A casual, small town burger joint with a fun décor.Storefront for Big Mouth Burger Company

Atmosphere: You’re welcomed when noticed and you can sit at any of the 12 tables. Not sure  if all of them were named, but we sat at the “Poker Table.” I did notice there was a Liar’s Table.”Poker Table sign on wall over our table. Ketchup, straws, napkins, salt, pepper, sweeteners also on table.


Food Fare: The menu had a lot of great looking choices. When asked what was good, our waitress replied, “All of it.” She did specifically recommend the Wild Wild West hamburger. It had a jalapeño bun and Pete enjoyed it. Wild Wild West burger with French fries I had a small mouth burger with Swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion and mayo. The bacon I added was a smart decision. Also, I opted for onion rings. All of the food was delicious. We both thought our burger buns were worth going off the carb wagon for. The french fries were seasoned and crunchy with a softer inner potato texture. They were good but would have been better if crispier. We love well done fries. There are a variety of sandwich choices in addition to the burgers as well as salads. There are fried pies for dessert. We split a peach one and it was just the right size to offer a bit of sweet for both of us.

Small mouth burger with onion ringsRecommendations: Look over the menu at all the great choices. There are quite a few that fall in the spicy category, but you can build your Big or Small Mouth Burger to suit. You’ll want to save room for a sugared fried pie or get one to go.

Service: Solid Service. Our tea ran out so Pete took our cups up for a refill. Our waitress apologized after this and did let us know she could get to go cups for us if we wished. It was a busy time with lots of diners. It wasn’t like she was ignoring us. She owned it and still received a tip.

Return Rating: Definitely! Wanna try out a different sandwich.

Burgers, Fish, Soul Food & Friendly

Homey restaurant where the locals eat. Comfort food, friendliness and tasty food await inside.

Cookie’s Place
942 US-84
Teague, TX

Cookie's Place Restaurant exterior

We have a new favorite place to grab a burger in Texas. We’ve enjoyed Whataburger in the past, but when we are near Teague, Texas we plan to stop in at Cookie’s Place.

Venue: Restaurant where the locals eat. A homey atmosphere offering tables as well as a tv if you care to watch. Don’t judge the interior by the exterior. Comfort food and friendliness are inside.

Cookie's Place restaurant interior

Atmosphere: Very relaxed. We were invited to holler if we needed anything.

Menu picture

Food Fare: Burgers, fish, and soul food. If you are in a hurry, ask what is on the food line for a hot, delicious meal. If you have time, order off the menu. We enjoyed the chicken fried steak (off the line), bacon cheese burger and iced tea.

Chicken Fried Steak meal with corn muffin and baked beans

Plated hamburger and crispy fries

Recommendations: Try the buttermilk pie! Piece of buttermilk pie It was a large piece and tasted great. The banana pudding was beyond tasty. My husband, who doesn’t do creamed banana anything, loved it.

Service: Solid service. We were waited on by a young lady, Cookie herself, and her husband. The young lady provided knowledgeable recommendations when asked. French fries were nice and crispy as requested. Cookie brought a pitcher of tea to our table for my husband who is a heavy drinker.

Return Rating: Definitely! Be sure to say hello to Cookie!

Mouthwatering Hamburgers with the Best Crispy Fries

Casual “brick-lined pub” located on a small town main street in Mahomet, IL. Phenomenal chorizo stuffed mushrooms, crispy french fries, and great tasting hamburgers earned a return rating of “definitely!”

An Amazing Eatery–J.T. Walker’s

JT Walkers storefront

401 E. Main Street, Mahomet, IL

Venue: A casual “brick-lined pub” located on a small town main street. Great for a date night or family meal.

Atmosphere: Dining on a Sunday evening this past February afforded us our pick of seats and ease of enjoying our table conversation in the restaurant.  We had 3 adults and one baby in our party.

Food Fare: Everything we had was prepared well and delicious.  Some of the best hamburgers we have ever had.  To date, these burgers rival the Upside Down Burgers at Gronk’s in Superior, WI.  We enjoyed the California Burger, Black Jack Burger, and The House Burger.  My side of french fries are some of the best I have had – cooked crispy as requested!  My husband commented that the coleslaw was exceptional.  The side salad with the other burger was enjoyed as well.  The only food complaint was the minimal sauce on the House Burger.

Recommendation: Definitely try the Chorizo Stuffed Mushrooms – they were phenomenal!

Stuffed Mushrooms
Stuffed Mushrooms

Service: Our waitress did her job well, but there was a disconnect between her and the staff delivering our food.  We had to ask again for our lettuce, tomato, pickle, and onions that were requested when we ordered the hamburgers.  Also, it would have been nice to receive appetizer plates with the stuffed mushrooms rather than sharing the serving platter to eat from.  When additional sauce for the House Burger was requested, our waitress brought mayonnaise rather than the specific chipotle sauce.  This was disappointing.  Extra lemons were requested for the baby in our party and promptly delivered to our table.

Return Rating: Definitely—the food was that amazing despite the few glitches in service.

California Burger
California Burger
House Burger
House Burger