Lunch and Antiques in Rosenberg
Rosenberg is a 20 minute drive from our house.
This blue building delighted me! Was it once a house?
We parked on the side, by the mural of fishermen. Don thought they were mermen, but I don't think so.
There were festive lights framing each painted window! These colorful images were actually pretty entertaining.
Friday, Before Noon
We stepped inside and headed through an archway, past some gum machines. It looked like there were maybe 3 eating areas and only 2 tables in use.
The Main Room
The main dining room was bright, with lots of colorful wall and window art.
The tables by the wall reminded me of a fast food restaurant. The window tables looked more like a cozy diner, with their curtains... decorated with tiny roosters.
So Many Choices
We were invited to sit anywhere. The darker dining area near the kitchen, had a table beneath a smiling man, with a thin mustache.
The table beneath the octopus and shrimp, looked quite festive.
We chose Table #2, near the refreshing green mountains and calming waters of Lago de Patzcuaro. Don blended well, with his green shirt.
We did not pull out our Sharpi pens, but it looks like someone did... and added a tiny fish.
Our server Maria, couldn't have been sweeter.
Don ordered a few soft tacos on corn tortillas. He seemed pleased with the flavor of the shrimp. The breakfast taco with dried beef and egg, needed a little salsa to moisten it.
Here are the happy diners, with their big plates!
My Chicken Chimichanga was packed with large pieces of moist chicken and more gooey cheese. The beans and rice were decent, as well. I had to get a box for leftovers.
Chatting with Maria
Off to the Antique Stores
We admired the art as we headed off to the car. "This place sure seems familiar." Don said.
In the car I looked on my phone and searched way back, on my dining blog. Oops! We've been to El Guadalajara! What is our excuse besides old brains?
#1 - Road construction changes, have messed with our memories.
#2 - The cute blue building, was once yellow.
But the interior murals and curtains were all the same. Yikes! That's just embarrassing! So... we headed to the antique stores, where our vintage brains felt right at home!
Clay Roof & Arches
The simple little building had more cars in front when we pulled up. We doubted any of them belonged to tourists.
The open sign greeted us, around on the side. We headed into an enclosed patio space, with picnic tables and lots of bubble gum machines.
The diner opened in 1976 with only 3 tables. The main room had a few more than that, today.
This photo was taken when we checked out, but earlier the tables were occupied with locals, all talking with each other. A smiling woman greeted us from behind the counter and asked if we were dining in or taking out. Then she welcomed us to sit anywhere.
Once a Porch?
We headed for the long front room, lined with windows. I'm guessing at one time this space was for open air, patio dining. We took a seat next to one of the arched windows. Susie our cheery waitress arrived right away. She didn't make us feel at all out of place, for being first-timers and asking lots of questions.
Susie said the Gorditas were the most popular item on the menu. She also suggested Chile con Carne Bowl. Don ordered the verde and it had quite a spicy zing!
My meal looked very festive on the purple-blue plate. The gorditas were gigantic pockets made with masa, corn dough. The fried treats were curiously crunchy and chewy. I had 3 different ones. 1 Chile Verde and 1 Barbacoa and 1 Avocado, which was just oozing with creamy, fresh avocado! I couldn't finish, even with Don's help.
Susie and Don
Don had quite a good, chatty time as he checked out with Susie. She was excited that we'd come all the way from Houston. Although she did remind us that even though they might seem like a small place, they were sort of famous.
She pointed us to the wall display, showing their VIP guests. Of course the picture of Prez Bush, was from when he was governor... so not exactly recent. Edward James Olams (from Miami Vice) had visited just a while ago and she seemed pretty excited about that.
Before taking off, Susie grabbed us a fresh tortilla and placed the piping hot disc in foil. We could hear the tortillas being made in the other room. "They're just too good when they're hot!" She encouraged us to eat it in the car, while it was still warm.
Fun stop on our road trip!
Love the Signs!
Sometimes you just have to pick a restaurant because of their cool signage... even when the sign confuses you a bit!
It was a bright summer day when Don and I spotted this unlit neon sign, with smiling face, tiny mustache and chef's hat. Was this an Italian restaurant? Wait, what about the blue sign shaped like Texas? Cowboy steaks maybe? And the words on the stone wall? (Gonzales Restaurant) Yum... enchiladas? I was up for any and all!
Corner of Texas Highways 83 and 67
The restaurant was just sitting there right on the corner of 2 highways, when we pulled into town on the last day of a long road trip.
We hadn't heard about the place. No help from Yelp. No guidance from articles. No word of mouth. These finds are always extra fun... and extra daring.
The OPEN sign was lit, but it was almost 1:30. We parked and crossed our fingers as we headed over. Small town restaurants make their own rules.
On the Corner Since 1901
I read later that the building has been sitting here for more than a century. As we headed to the entrance I studied the stone work above. I wondered how many different kinds of businesses have enjoyed this corner spot, over the years. Then I took a good look at the painted windows. It looked like we would be having a festive Mexican lunch!
Don and I usually try to avoid being the last diners, at any restaurant. There's nothing more uncomfortable than eating your meal, while brooms sweep nearby and chairs go up on tables. When we stepped inside, we saw no lingering diners. That was not a good sign.
The idea of a buffet at the end of a shift, was also unappealing. But the women at the door welcomed us, with such enthusiasm. And the Mexican decor was fun and we could eat quickly and get on the road! We stayed and found a few decent foods at the Fajita and Salad Bar Buffet. Best of all, we ended up having a fun time chatting with the staff.
There was a lot of playful banter between the folks running the place... I believe 2 sisters and a brother? They happily included us in their weather talk, when they found our we were from Houston.
"Oh it was 114 here yesterday! I remember when I was a kid, the weather never bothered me. I could be out picking cotton or collecting sheep's wool and I never felt it. Now I can't even work in the garden!"
Eerie Hall & Stories
I took a trip to the restroom and came back grinning. The journey had amused me. The hall had been long and dark. I didn't get a picture of the decorated walls, or the darkened "dining room" where a TV glowed in the corner. I pictured festive family gatherings and celebrations.
When I returned to the table, the ladies began telling us stories about the old building. "It's haunted, you know."
They shared some articles about the old building, which had been a saloon until prohibition. After some years as a department store, the building reopened as a restaurant in 1954. Supposedly Norton, the Cowboy Ghost has been haunting the place for a very long time.
No Signs of Norton
So we had a curious little dining adventure, as our last meal on a a 2-week road trip. Maybe we need to revisit for an evening meal... and be the last diners again!
Lunch on the Butterfield Trail!
A year ago, Don and I passed through the sleepy town of Mesilla, in New Mexico. We had heard about the restaurant, La Posta. I was eager to eat a little Mexican food, in a 160+ year old building. The stucco structure also happens to be part of the only station that remains standing, on the old Butterfield Stagecoach Line.
The compound was first constructed in the 1840's. Ten years later, Sam and Roy Bean (yes, the judge) operated a freight and passenger service line from the compound. After the Civil War, La Posta became an important stop on the Butterfield Stagecoach Line. By the late 1800's, Mesilla was a lively wild west town and The Corn Exchange Hotel opened up within the compound.
Today, there are a lot of corners in all the rooms that make up the 17,000 square foot business. I'm not sure which was the corner where Katy began. But the colorful, cozy rooms all felt festive! Stucco, Tile & Brick
Trees and Cages
There was a lot of wildlife happening in the main entrance of La Posta. There seemed to be trees growing up towards the ceiling... and cages...
... the cages were filled with parrots and tanks held fish, including 1 Red Pirranha. A bold sign warned us to keep hands out!
Paper Flowers and a Corner Kiva
Window and Giant Mask
One wall, felt like stage set. The giant mask made me of think Greek Theatre. The window with shutters and flowers made me expect to hear opera, from a singer on the balcony. I would love to know the story about this curious/whimsical decor.
There were 2 cantinas at La Posta. I peeked in and felt tempted. But I don't usually drink a Margarita before noon.
Beams and Color
My eyes tried to take it all in. The wall colors, the log ceiling beams, the flowers and rustic shutters.
We didn't end up in a cozy corner room or a 2-story space with skylights. Our room was in the center where I could see all around and watch the guests coming and going.
Chimichanga for Me
Don enjoyed his Sour Cream Enchilada Plate with chicken. He had no complaints.
Time to Wash Up
After chowing down, I needed a good handwashing... which means a trip to the Ladies Room. I could see a lamp's glow welcoming me, as I passed the fountain.
No one appreciates a kitschy Ladies Room as much as I do! The door decoration was beyond lovely. I stepped inside and found a sitting area, worthy of the title Powder Room. The walls were the color of bubble gum and the cushioned chairs had heart-shaped backs. I so wished I'd come with a lady friend, so we could powder our noses, then sit a spell and do a little gossiping.
I'm not making fun of this bathroom. I would be truly heartbroken if I returned and they had remodeled. The stall doors looked like a decorated cake! The sink area had some tricky hidden lighting. The tile had some fancy trim that couldn't be missed! Love, love, love it!
Old Mesilla Plaza
Besides dining rooms, cantinas and outdoor patio, La Posta also had a number of shops. They actually sold some lovely things, but Don and I decided to do our post dining meandering elsewhere. We wandered over to Old Mesilla Plaza.
We spotted our party of Sisters on the steps of San Albino Catholic Church. They took turns taking cell phone photos of each other and I regretted that I didn't think to run over and offer to take a photo of the group. That would have tied up our road trip dining adventure, very nicely!
A Dining & Cookbook Adventure
Don and I also have fond memories of the restaurant from when we dined with our kids, 18 years ago. They loved the cozy little rooms inside the pink building... but they hadn't learned to love Santa Fe style cuisine yet.
Don and I arrived at 6 and found quite a few seated on the patio, between the restaurant and the Dragon Bar.
We sat at the bar and soaked up the colorful atmosphere. An upside down Christmas tree hung from the rafters and a few dragon images lurked nearby. But the most interesting decoration was the tree trunk behind us, wrapped in colorful lights.
The Tree in the Book
The live tree, was the very tree, shown on page 228 of our Ford Motor Cookbook from 1959.
Sharing Conversation... and the Book
After a while, we began chatting with Bob, who was eating dinner at the bar, beside us. We had a lot in common and the conversation was entertaining. I asked him a lot of questions about Los Alamos, where he works. I really wanted to ask him why he was letting the bartender eat off his plate. It turns out that Randy the bartender, was Bob's son. He had missed lunch that day and Dad was happy to share. I was amused.
At some point I shared the book with Bob and he was clearly amused. He shared it with Randy, when the rush was over. Another restaurant server walked by and Bob showed her the cookbook, featuring Pink Adobe.
I recognized the cozy room where we once dined with the kids. I can't remember what we ate, but I do remember there had been a fire burning and it felt like we were dining in someone's home.
The hostess seated us at a corner table, in a room beside the courtyard. The adobe and beams and colorful artwork, made the room equally inviting.
Bread and Menu
I would have been happy with a meal of bread! We dug in, while we looked through the menu.
Enchiladas and Gypsy Stew
Carolina was our server. She was attentive and quick. I didn't bother her with the cookbook until she brought my enchiladas and Don's Gypsy Stew. Then I dared to ask. "Do you think they still use this recipe for the enchiladas?" She glanced at the book and said she didn't think so.
Time to Eat
More Chatting with Carolina
Carolina took another peek at the book and offered to pose for a photo. I asked if she thought the tree in the book was the same tree in that's in the bar, today. "Yes!" She assured me. "Go out and look!" I looked through the window bars first and then I stepped out the side door.
More New Friends
"Have you noticed this very special tree over here?" I asked. Before long I was practically seated at their table and the book was being passed around. I introduced them to Don, through the window. We gabbed a few more minutes about Rice University and law and blue states... Then they insisted it was my turn to be in a picture.
Through the Window
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.