Texas Diner in an Alsatian Town
In May, Don and I returned to our small town dining adventures. We found ourselves in the curious small town of Castroville. The community was established in 1844, by a few dozen European families that came from Alsace.
On this visit we didn't find any options for Alsatian dining. So, we went for Sammy's, with its busted sign.
Signs of the Past
Sammy's didn't look overly exciting, but it had good reviews and a good history. The same family has owned Sammy's for 3 generations, since 1948. I'm all for family owned restaurants.
Sammy's was a drive-in, at one time. And Sammy's brother Leon was also part of the biz, long ago. I prefer the retro look of the old Sammy's.
Weathering Pandemics and Tornadoes
When we arrived, we could hardly read the sign. The white letters on top, had been sucked right out by a tornado, that came through Castroville a couple weeks before.
We were greeted by another sign when we entered. It was kind of nice to see a sign encouraging masks, in small town Texas. Don and I are vaccinated, but the pandemic isn't really over. We're happy to wear masks a while longer.
Empty Counter Dining
I love the nostalgia of dining at the counter. This counter looked lonely. Were people avoiding the counter, out of covid caution? I'm guessing not.
These stools brought back some funny memories. I remember getting reprimanded by grandmother for spinning on a similar stool, while I enjoyed my malt in 1970.
The cocktail lounge was closed off, but I took a peek. I heard that this was the only place in Medina County with a full cocktail bar. The cushioned bar-top looked like it was designed for guests who might have had one too many, and needed a little nap.
In the far back of the lounge, I spotted a decorated fireplace. The cozy stone hearth looked like it belonged in a lodge somewhere. It seemed oddly out of place.
The main dining room was fairly busy.
No fireplace there, but I saw some golf on TV and some alcoves with flowers and plenty of tables, crowded with dishes. I had a feeling we were the only non locals at Sammy's. I also had a feeling that these local diners weren't just now coming back to inside dining like Don and me.
Fish in a Mask
Maybe Don and I looked like nervous diners, who are unsure about navigating the dining world in 2021. Maybe that's why she put us in a little side room, not far from a mounted fish head, on the wall.
The head of the 64-pound catfish, was wearing a face mask. The plaque seemed to give credit to Sammy and his brothers for the catch, in 1998. Sadly Sammy and Leon are no longer with us.
Our server was efficient and friendly. I told her I was going for the daily lunch special. She asked me lots of questions, because I had lots of choices.
I was pretty giddy when my feast arrived. I clearly chose the world's most unhealthy lunch.
A Better Look
You can catch a glimpse of Don's breakfast tacos. They were quite good. But my plate needed the real focus of this photo.
Fried shrimp, macaroni and cheese, onion rings, fried mushrooms, ambrosia salad and iced tea. I don't adore ambrosia, but I picked it because I wasn't sure whenever I'd see it on a menu again. Good choice! Coconut, juicy oranges, nuts! A tropical treat! The bread came from Haby's bakery across the street. Another treat!
Our simple dining adventure was just that. Simple and pretty tasty!
As we headed out, I noticed a few masks and it felt good to see others being cautious along with us. Tricky times, as we ease back to normal. I'm glad to have Sammy's as one of my 2021 back to dining adventures experiences.
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.