April in Jefferson
Last April, Don and I spent one night in this north Texas town.
Jefferson is a cute place, with lots of historic buildings and a lovely brick Main Street.
I really wanted to have a dining experience in the General Store.
We at least knew they had Jams and Jellies!
We stepped inside and I spotted the candy right away.
I could have dined on Bit-O-Honey and peanut brittle!
There actually was a cafe in the back!
More candy at the dining counter! I believe we could have ordered a microwaved hot dog, or something. But we gave it a pass.
Cowboys and Bikers
We browsed around the vintage store before heading off. We spotted some interesting people hanging out and walking along the sidewalks of Jefferson.
We headed across the street to check into our hotel. Who might hanging out there?
We knew the Jefferson Hotel was going to be an entertaining place. That's why we booked.
There were lots of dolls waiting for us in our guest room. We were amused by our bizarre hotel for a while, but then we needed a break.
We love eccentric hotels. We seek them out. But this was a little overwhelming after a while and there was nowhere to sit and relax. We needed an escape!
Just a block or two away, we found this charming little building with a cute patio and couple iron balconies.
The pre-Civil War structure seemed pretty isolated on the edge of town. But back in the 1850's, Dallas Street was lined with saloons and bustling with activity. Big Cypress Bayou was just steps away, with lots of riverboat activity.
Over the Years
James McGarity was one of the first owners of the building. He and his partner got into a little trouble with booze and gambling and sold the saloon in 1868. In 1916, the building became home to the Jefferson Masonic Lodge.
There were numerous other businesses in the building... a confederate hat factory and a brothel and some point. All the buildings on the street dealt with fires, but somehow this one survived. The most recent owners have done a nice job making the place feel welcoming to locals and tourists.
I didn't get a great photo of the impressive bar, which is really the focal point.
But the brick walls, high ceilings and spotless tables were inviting.
There were lots of nice little perks, like our complimentary basket of homemade potato chips. And a fresh carafe of water. And pretty dishes.
And packets of disinfectant wipes, along with our utensils. All very un-saloon-like!
Don ordered the Cali Grilled Chicken Sandwich, which was insanely good. The crazy huge chicken barely fit on the brioche bun. It was smothered in Swiss cheese, tomato, avocado and ranch!
Since I had big plans to eat half of Don's fries, I ordered a house salad which was pretty deluxe, with shaved Parmesan, avocado and cucumber. We soaked in the good flavors, while we enjoyed a nearby singer, performing on guitar. No saloon honky tonk at McGarity's.
This wasn't exactly a dining adventure, but it was a dining escape. There was something truly odd about our hotel stay (written in my 90 Nights blog) and we needed this little getaway, before we faced the night.
Just like our hotel, the saloon was full of knickknacks and treasures and oddities. But there was something absolutely okay about the moose and the buffalo watching us eat. We said good-bye to them and headed back to our hotel... where nearly 100 sets of doll eyes watched us sleep!
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.