From the past few posts, you might get the idea that all we do is eat out! Not quite true, but we do love to find historic places to eat in little, quaint towns.
That's what we did on Thursday evening. Thursday is our "date night," and we usually just go someplace here in Temple - sometimes just fast food or deli; sometimes somewhere a little nicer. But this week Dan told me to be ready a little early, because we were going out of town, and that he was not going to tell me where we were going.
We headed south, through Academy and Holland, on Hwy 95, and, about 45 minutes later, arrived in the small town of Taylor. We took a little street that went down under the bridge, and ended up at Taylor Cafe, famous for its barbecue.
We parked on the side of the building, and Dan headed straight for the side door. I wasn't sure we were supposed to go in that door, but he strode right in. It was fortunate that he did, because just inside the door, at a table against the wall, sat an old fellow with a WWII Veteran's cap on. We stopped at his table, and he was really friendly. However, just then the train came through, right beside the building, and we couldn't hear a word or speak loud enough to be heard. We heard that he had served in France and Germany, and we thanked him for his service, but finally gave up trying to visit, because of that VERY loud train.
Inside the cafe were two counters with stools and several tables against the wall. Three or four fellows were drinking beer and watching a baseball game on TV. The server showed us to a table and took our order. The menu isn't complicated. You can have one, two or three meats; and the plates come with potato salad and beans. The meats are ribs, sausage, chicken and brisket. I took a two-meat plate with a beef rib and brisket. All of the food was good, but . . . the brisket was the best I've ever eaten, FOR SURE! Next time I'll get double brisket and forget the other meats.
We really enjoyed the experience. This place is in the heart of the old town, and we felt like we had stepped back many decades into the past. Great fun, and we highly recommend dinner at the Taylor Cafe.
When I began writing this post, I went on-line to see what I could find about the cafe's history. That's where I discovered that the old man we had visited with was none other than Vencil Mares, the 90-year old veteran who opened this barbecue place back in 1948, and still owns it. He was a medic in the Normandy invasion. I found THIS great interview with him. It's worth reading! That's Vencil Mares, sitting at the table at the far left of this photo (below).
We will return to the Taylor Cafe, and will also try out the Louie Mueller Barbecue place, just around the corner. It was opened just one year after Venice Mares opened the Taylor Cafe, and is also highly rated for its barbecue. Dan discovered both of these barbecue places on a list of the 25 BEST BARBECUE PLACES in AMERICA. Two of them from this small town of Taylor, Texas (population 16,000)!
3 weeks ago