There's a place south of Waco, Texas a little off of the Interstate path that has some of the best of all that you mentioned. Town is called Lockhart (don't remember the spelling) and it was an afternoon's discovery with my not yet wife when we were both serving (time) our country at Ft. Hood. As long as the 'company' isn't obsessed by OD green, I'd love to see any of this...
"Never try to teach a pig to sing...it wastes your time and it annoys the pig."
There's a place south of Waco, Texas a little off of the Interstate path
It has always been my experience that some of the best
places to eat regardless of the style of food have been
places like you just described.
Durning my tenure as a member of Uncle Sam's Canoe Club
(AKA US Navy) this theme played itself out repeatedly
as I visited places far and near.
When I was on "boot liberty" just before
I graduated boot camp I remember one of my fondest of
these. I had broken my foot during boot camp and was
on crutches. (Long story) I hobbled out to the front
gate on my crutches and a taxi cab driver hops out
of his cab and opens a door for me so I can get in.
I have always known since I was old enough to know
such things that if you want to find good places to
eat the list of people to ask is headed up by
taxi cab drivers, policemen and truck drivers.
Having a craving for Chinese food for some reason I
asked the cabbie where there was a decent place to get
Chinese. He takes me to Libertyville, IL and points to a
place that only had about 10 feet of frontage to the
sidewalk. No, I'm not exagerating.
I suppressed my initial reaction and pressed on
and found the place run by a husband and wife with their
offspring working as bus "boys" and wait staff.
They saw me hobbling in and I was treated like I was
royalty. The put me in a nice comfortable table, brought
me a pillow to prop my leg up on (I suspect came from their
apartment which was upstairs from restraunt.
Just as an aside, once you got in the door the place
opened up into a much larger room than the frontage
would lead you to think of the size of the place.
When I was asked what I wanted I told them that I didn't
want "tourist Chinese", I wanted "The Real
Deal Chinese®" like they'd serve themselves and
To this day I have no idea what half that stuff was
but it was without a doubt the best Chinese meal I have
had before or since. To top it off I had two of their
younger kids (I know some folks wouldn't care for this,
but it felt like "home" to me) as company
at the table. Turns out it was the only way "momma"
could get them to settle down and eat their meal!
So, as a result, when my daughter got to do some
travelling with her college debate team (Prague one year!)
she took my advise and avoided the places that obviously
catered to tourists and went off the beaten path and now
has wonderful tales of her own to tell from her travels.
Peter L. Berghold -- Unix Professional
Peter -at- Berghold -dot- Net; AOL IM redcowdawg Yahoo IM: blue_cowdawg