More Than a Movie Set
I first learned of Marfa about 5 years ago. I read that the town was planning a celebration in honor of the movie Giant, which was filmed near Marfa. Don and I visited recently and learned there was more to Marfa than an old dusty movie set. We found some good dining options, in this town of 2,200!
At Miniature Rooster, we sampled a little Indian & Southern fusion, in a building that was once a gas station.
Mando's was more about the Old Marfa. It seemed to be a hopping place... too busy to fix their sign. At one time you could be served in your car, but today you can relax in a booth or gather around a table with your local friends. They even encouraged a little lingering, by offering seat pillows.
While we ate breakfast at Mando's, we enjoyed lots of good people watching. We peeked over our coffee cups and watched a few nuns, some border patrol and some retired men in cowboy and trucker hats.
Angel served us breakfast tacos and chatted with us, when the crowd thinned. She's used to rising at 3 am for work, but it was Wednesday, her hardest day. After work, she had to get to the laundromat and get kids to evening church.
Padres was a curious mix of old and new.
The 100-year-old building, has served many purposes. It was a funeral home at some point. Three years ago, it was bought by a Priest and now offers a full bar, food and live music!
Chandeliers and old church pews, added a little fun to this bar. But, we had to work pretty hard to make ourselves feel welcome. Our bartender was a young woman with no chit chat abilities. The Marfa locals at the bar, weren't very social either. When I asked if they knew how to work the juke box, they didn't have a clue.
I have no pics of the quirksters who were scattered about. That's my name for Marfa's special quirky-hipster characters. Many are artists and musicians, who have left bigger cities like Austin and NY, to open galleries, studios and restaurants in this small dusty town. They often have a few children in tow, with perfectly faded overalls and cute peasant dresses with striped tights...adorable, free spirit kiddos! These slightly older, carefree, quirkster parents would be sad to know that what I observed, sort of reminded me of Country Club Kids... who run around like they own the place, while the parents socialize. Amusing!
A Good People Encounter!
I ended up striking up a conversation with Rod Ponton. He was eating a bowl of gumbo at the bar.
Rod was much friendlier than other folks... but maybe that's because he was running for 83rd District Attorney. We didn't talk politics and I don't know his views, but he seemed like a pretty decent guy. Maybe I'd vote for him if I lived in the area!
Don and I had our most comfortable dining experience, at Borunda's Bar & Pool Hall. Pancho Borunda warmed up, after we ordered beers at the bar.
He proudly showed us some of his recipes, which are featured in Robb Walsh's, Tex Mex Cook Book. This burley guy with gray beard and tattoos, won us over with stories of his grandma's restaurant next door. (now a shop called Fancy Pony Land) It was the oldest restaurant in Marfa.
Pancho still uses the old family recipes.
He even uses some of the old china from Grandma's old restaurant! The chicken taquitos and brisket tacos were amazingly good!
Our most unusual dining experience involved a truck and bus.
We had a great food experience, at the town pavilion! First, we ordered our food from the Food Shark truck. Next, we took a seat inside the old Blue Bird bus, while our food was cooked.
Worth the Wait!
It took about 20 minutes till my name was called, over a speaker in the bus. I didn't mind killing time, staring out the windows. I watched the line grow longer at the food truck, and I gazed at the nearby train tracks, hoping a train would rumble by. The twinkly lights were festive. The mixture of blue grass music and static on the radio, added some warmth to the cozy wait.
The food was excellent, but incredibly messy! We ordered a BLT with avocado, a Greek salad, plus the Marfalafel sandwich. Crispy and oozing with fresh toppings!
Nothing better than munching away while eavesdropping. I listened to mostly newcomer locals, talking about their galleries and film festivals. I think the longtime locals like Pancho and Angel, were too busy or tired to stop for lunch at the Food Shark!
I rate 50 points for the overall food experience in Marfa!
Unusual people encounters and great food variety, in a curious small town in West Texas!
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.