Sunday, July 17, 2016

Dining Out in Tomball

Tomball isn’t exactly a metropolis yet, though it may be headed that way. It’s a small, sleepy town that suddenly folks discovered, and it had a growth spurt. The main highway through town is lined with all the chains you’d expect. I saw the old part of town and it’s charming—I remember having ice cream at a sweet shop there. But not a lot beckons you to dine in a restaurant.

Last week, we generally ate at home. I’m of the pick-up, leftover variety for lunch, and Lisa cooked us such good suppers that we stayed home—chicken piccata, chicken parmesan, hamburgers on the grill, cheese enchiladas. But we did venture out twice for lunch.

The first time was to Goodson’s, a chicken-fried-steak place I’d heard was renowned. They do toot their own horn, calling it the best CFS in Texas. It was a funky place with a plastic cow in the lobby, lots of stuff on the wall, etc. The steak was good—batter terrific and generous, serving large (and we ordered small) but the meat was tough. Colin and I agreed that the CFS at the Star Café in Fort Worth is better. The Star, where Colin briefly waited tables, is owned by good friends but don’t think we’re prejudiced—our choice was a carefully considered decision. The sides at Goodson’s were great and leftovers made a good meal the next night.

The second place was the Classic Café in Hempstead. Colin kept saying it was my kind of place—and he was right. Talk about funk! In the front there’s an antique/junk store, and the lunchroom is behind it. You approach through a garden that is a jumble of blooming, vibrant native flowers—the kind of garden I always wish I had enough sun for but, alas, I don’t. The menu was equally pleasing—sandwiches, wraps, a few entrees, a couple of soups. Lisa had a caprese sandwich (I never heard of making that salad into a sandwich), Colin had a chicken pesto wrap on what looked to be a spinach enchilada, and I had an open-faced turkey, melted brie and cranberry relish. It was delicious, though I itch to try it with real turkey and not lunch meat. But it was the kind of restaurant where the waitress chats with you. You can take home a pan of lasagna, King Ranch Chicken, and a couple of other casseroles. Down home at its best.

            Tomball has other restaurants, one I’ve been to several times—Mexican food at Julio’s, which is funny because Colin once worked at Uncle Julio’s in Fort Worth. And the kids mentioned a hamburger joint I’d like and one other. I don’t need to go back to Goodson’s, though I’ll go to Classic Café again. And I’ll let the kids lead me to other explorations. Good times.

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