Our Favorite Food Stops in 2019
Tom's been waiting to talk about this subject! Episode 5 in our Best of 2019 Series: Best Food! Part of exploring local areas as we travel comes with trying the local food. We try to find small Mom and Pop restaurants that offer good food with good service and a personal touch. When you put all of those things together, you often get a unique dining experience and insight into the community. All of our choices for the Best Restaurants of 2019 are small family-owned businesses where we had a GREAT experience this year. We found most of them by talking with locals.
Be sure to check out our other Best of 2019 posts to see all of our favorite stops in 2019.
Always a fun category to taste test in (LOL). We love a good burger, especially a good traditional hamburger. We found quite a few really good burgers this year, but for our favorite we chose Herd's Burgers in Jacksboro TX. We first ate at Herd's Burgers when we were visiting Fort Richardson State Park. It was so good, we took Grammy Kay there on our way up to Oklahoma!
Our best pie came in Custer, South Dakota at the Purple Pie Place. Their homemade pies and ice cream are famous in the Black Hills, and for good reason! This is another one of those "ask a local" finds (Actually, most of the places on this list were discovered by talking to the locals.) You can't miss this place... it's the purple house on the main strip of Custer.
A favorite of ours for many years, Best Malt of 2019 goes to La King's Confectionery in the Historic Strand District of Galveston, Texas. A trip to Galveston is never complete for us until we've had a chocolate malt at La King's! Their fresh saltwater taffy and homemade candies are amazing too.
Best Lunch Stop
Most of our eat out meals are during lunch. We found our favorite lunch stop this year in Livingston, Texas at the Courthouse Whistle Stop Cafe. Located in the town square and convenient to Escapees, this little restaurant had a down home, comfort food menu and super nice folks!
Most Unique Restaurant
We came across our most unique restaurant experience in Meers, Oklahoma just outside of the Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge. While you're in the area, check out the Meers Store, known for their Meers Burger. The Meers Store has been serving customers since 1901 and the building itself is super interesting. What was once a bustling town of 500 miners now boasts a whopping population of 6! You'll know you're in Meers when you see the Meers Store.
We love a good buffet. But sometimes good family-owned buffets are tough to find. Our favorite Buffet of 2019 was at The Port Cafe in Freeport, Texas. This great little family-operated restaurant offers a full menu, but their buffet was so good we chose it every time we stopped in!
Best BBQ and Meat Market
This is obviously a tough category to choose in Texas. But our pick for the Best BBQ we ate this year is Vincek's Meat Market in East Bernard, TX. Most of the meat that you saw Tom cook on his Davy Crockett Grill this year came from Vincek's and it was all great! Beyond the meat market, they have great BBQ sandwiches and potatoes. And make sure to take a peek at their pastries before you leave!
Best Mexican Food
Another super tough category! We LOVE Mexican food. It's probably our all time favorite style of food. This year's top picks went to two Mom/Pop shops: The Original Mexican Cafe in Galveston and Lupe's in East Bernard. Both offer delicious food, outstanding service and super friendly folks.
It's hard to beat Gulf Shrimp when you're talking seafood! And our first experience with Shrimp n Stuff on Galveston Island blew us away! Their grilled shrimp tacos set the bar for anything like that in the future for us. We also enjoy their gumbo and seafood po-boys.
Best Salad Bar
Hands down, the best salad bar we found in 2019 was at Ole West Bean and Burger in Athens, Texas. Pretty much every item on their menu comes with their extensive salad bar which reaches beyond salad to soup and beans (of course!). The service was friendly and the portions were HUGE! Be prepared for a doggie bag.
Best Roadside Restaurant
Sometimes it's great to be able to break up a road trip by stopping at a roadside restaurant. And Trapper's Kettle in Belfield, North Dakota gets our vote for Best Roadside Restaurant of 2019! Located at the intersection of Highway 85 and Interstate 94, Trapper's Kettle serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The property also includes a souvenier shop, motel and RV park. And there is plenty of parking for trucks and RVs. There is a gas station next door and a truck stop across the street.
Best Coffee House
Another long-time favorite, we found our best coffee of 2019 at Galveston Coffee Roasters in Galveston. Owners John and Dru do all of their coffee roasting locally. And the freshness really makes a difference. Check out their super cool shop for a freshly roasted cup of coffee, a sample cup of one of their blends, and pick up a bag or two of beans to go! No coffee grinder in your RV? No problem! Just ask them to grind the beans for you.
Best Family Restaurant
Yet another great "talk to a local" find: our choice for Best Family Restaurant of 2019 goes to The Medicine Mound Depot in Quanah, Texas. Be sure to check out the exterior of this building, that is made of two old train depots from neighboring towns. The food was great and the people were welcoming and friendly. When we say family restaurant, yes, kiddos are welcome here. But we also chose it because of the 20 or so employees, most are members of the owner's family! "The family that cooks together..."
Are you hungry yet? We sure are! We'd love to hear about your favorite restaurants. Please leave us a comment to share your favorite food stops! And don't forget to to check out our complete Best of 2019 Series. Next up: our final Best Of 2019 post: Best Towns! See you then!