Small Town Feasting!
More about the hippos, later.
Lunch at 11
We were greeted by welcoming staff, the moment we walked in. My eyes were drawn to the words Grumpy Ice House, in the back of the room... but this seemed to be a happy place at 11:05!
We were seated at the last open booth, where we hunkered down with our menus.
I read some quick history on the front of the menu, but it was the colorful board above our heads that got me hungry. I asked our young server and she recommended the Chicken Fried Steak. I love a place with a Blue Plate Special!
I quickly snapped some pics of the decorated metal walls, since the place was filling up.
The next room had old photos and western decor, covering an exposed brick wall.
The Cowpoke sign was evidently used when filming a TV series in 2013. From Dusk to Dawn was the name of the show, starring Don Johnson. Director, Robert Rodriguez gave the sign to the cafe when filming was over.
In the back of the Cowpoke Room, was a sweet smelling pie case! I didn't count the pies, but there were 30 on the menu! They looked amazing.
After taking this lame photo with glaring window light, I took one more bad photo. Above Don's head, I noticed a small hippo statue, next to the green, swirling window glass. Oh boy! Lunch and then a hippo hunt.
My Blue Plate Special!
My plate wasn't blue, but it was packed with colorful flavors! The crust on the chicken was crispy and seasoned. The meat was juicy. The gravy was creamy good. I wasn't very daring with my choice of mashed potatoes, but I had to have them. I got more creative with my choice of Amish Chow Chow for my second side. Sweet and sour, cool and refreshing, on a super hot, summer day!
Take Home Pie
We really needed to have pie, since the restaurant's name includes it. But I was full.
I love peanuts and the Peanut Butter Pie looked fabulous. But I needed a slice that would travel. We chose the Snickers Pie and it held up fairly well in the cooler. The chocolate was gooey and thick and the peanuts weren't a bit soggy. I'm so glad I waited until I was hungry, because I absolutely savored every bite!
We finished up and headed for the door, before noon! Every table was full at 11:58! I spotted cowboy hats, army fatigues, trucker hats...lunching ladies, scholarly types... a possible hipster or 2 and a big family, being greeted with hugs by the owner.
I was still confused when I read that the original restaurant, had a giant whole cow in front. The cow's name was Ferdinand. When the business moved, they only took Ferdinand's head. What's with this vintage photo? Maybe those parking strips are telling me it's not an old photo. Hmm? I should have asked when I was there. I do love a mystery.
Off to See Hippos
Don and I were in great spirits after our fine lunch. It was time to see some Hutto Hippos.
I was pretty amused by the story behind Hutto's love of hippos. It all goes back to 1915, when a circus train stopped in the area and a hippo got loose. A few years later, the high school adopted hippo as their school mascot. Over the years, hippo statues have multiplied in town.
I had hoped to go on a major hunt to photograph as many plump hippo figures, as I could find... but the temps were headed towards 100. Don wasn't interested in getting out of the car and posing with me. So I captured 2 of my favorites.
Now I have an excuse to go back to Hutto. More hippos and more pie!
The Dining Blog
This is a blog about Dining Adventures. Sometimes, I talk about food. Below, you can read how this started.
On July 4th 2011, I set a goal to try 50 culturally diverse restaurants in one year! (I knew that was possible, living in the Houston area) I spent the year pulling in friends and family to join me, on some unusual dining adventures. I met some curious people, tried some scary foods and explored places and cultures I never would have otherwise. Even though I met my goal, I learned too much to end my adventures in dining. I have continued blogging about memorable dining adventures of all kinds, near and far... and all the discoveries and funny things I've learned along the way!
Locations and types of dining adventures, are listed further down.