Category Archives: Cafes/Restaurants

Weatherford, Texas (part II), The Malt Shop

Malt Shop 2012

One of my favorite destinations in Parker County is just outside Weatherford on the old Ft. Worth Highway and 730: The Malt Shop. (The link has a map, business hours, the menu and a brief interesting history of business.)

Going there is like stepping back into the 1950s and 60s.

This roadside hamburger stand has been in business for over 50 years, and doesn’t seem to have changed much. The burgers are still served in waxed paper (I don’t know what it’s really called. It looks kind of like parchment paper and it’s what most sandwiches used to be served in). Customers walk up to the little window or drive-through to order. Small chip bags are clipped to a metal stand. Wooden picnic tables are under the extended canopy (if you don’t want to eat in your car).

The most obvious reminders that you haven’t time traveled back to 1962 or thereabouts, are the credit card symbols in the window, the music (which is often vintage rock and roll) is not from a juke box or local radio station and the prices. The prices are not outrageous, it’s just that… well, Cokes aren’t a dime anymore.

The sights at the Malt Shop are quite interesting, too.

100_8592

Last year we saw a lemur peeking out of a car in the drive-through.

Malt Shop panel wagon

100_8238

And very often, someone has driven up in a classic car or motorcycle.

100_8239

100_6319

All of these things are interesting and fun, but if I didn’t mention the peach ice cream, I’d be cheating you. It is the best peach ice cream I’ve had since I was 11 years old and used to buy it at one of the stores in Lexington Park, Maryland.

The Malt Shop makes their own, and I hope it’s with Parker County peaches. It sure tastes like it is. And it’s worth the drive over there just for a cone.

In fact, we do just that sometimes.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Cafes/Restaurants, Local Shopping, Restaurants, Texas, Texas

Tea Rooms and Books

100_5827

Leave a comment

May 24, 2013 · 2:47 pm

Subterfuge at McDonald’s

Today after church we met our pastor and one of his daughters at McDonald’s for lunch. We sat talking for quite awhile after we finished eating.

A young woman (maybe 19 or 20 years old) was walking around the restaurant, stopping at various tables for a minute or so. She approached our table with her cell phone held in front of her and asked our pastor’s daughter (hereafter referred to as P.D.) if she would participate in a … I can’t remember what she called it …. it wasn’t a public service announcement, but something like that.

She wanted two words repeated, which she would record with her cellphone camera, and said that the recordings of several people would be spliced together to make the video. We’ve all seen these things on television or the internet; it looks like a patchwork statement.

P. D. is a young adult and can make her own decisions and she agreed and did it.

Next, the girl turned to our pastor and asked him. He replied by asking what her t-shirt said. (It was some kind of leftist nonsense.)

Then he asked her what was the goal of the video she was making. She replied that it had to do with nutrition.

At that point, I joined the conversation and asked if it was an anti-McDonald’s video. She looked a little sheepish and said yes.

I told her that we wouldn’t assist her because we love McDonald’s, to which she said “I’m sorry.” I said she didn’t have to be sorry about it because we were happy to eat there.

So she left our table and kept going around to other tables looking for unsuspecting tools for her propaganda.

Now that made me mad. If she wanted to ask students at her campus (she looked like a high school or college student) to participate but informing them first what her goals were, that’s one thing.

But to play upon the generosity of strangers and then make them look like fools is something entirely different. It’s dishonest and cruel.

Just what I’d expect from the Left.

So, please be aware that there are wolves among the sheep, and if an innocent-looking young person or innocent looking old person or anyone else asks you to participate in something – ask questions before you agree.

Or you’re likely to see yourself on a video, seemingly saying something that you never said.

1 Comment

Filed under Cafes/Restaurants, Current Events, Food, Politics, Vicissitudes of Life

Main Street Home and Gardens, Down the Alley Cafe


For my birthday lunch, Joe and I went to Main Street Home and Gardens, Down the Alley Cafe in Decatur, Texas.

Until a few months ago, they also had a really nice plant nursery but that part of the business is now closed.

Dining areas are inside the main house, another building and out at tables under the trees. In Texas, it’s warm enough on sunny days to eat al fresco even in the winter.

The fare is mainly salads, sandwiches and wraps; also soups. The online menu lists tamales, but they were out the day we were there.

With a few exceptions, the emphasis is on healthy ingredients, but I’m glad to say they also have a BLTA sandwich (bacon, lettuce, tomato and avocado), which is what I always get. The bread was quite good.

We had an appetizer of hummus and pita chips; the hummus was fine, but the chips were much too thick and hard.

The drink selection is limited: they have a few bottled sodas sweetened with Stevia, coffee, tea and San Pellegrino bottled sparkling water. No Coke, diet Coke, 7-Up, etc.

They’ve posted a sign which forbids outside food or drinks. (My guess is that people were bringing Cokes in with them.)

And while they’re far from rude, the service is not particularly customer-friendly (I’m basing this on about 10 visits).

It’s a shame that the nursery is gone because that was my favorite part. I suppose that Decatur is too small to support several businesses selling plants and landscaping items.

Frankly, I want the food to be better. The health food phase of my life was a long time ago and now I just want something that is tasty with balanced nutrition. I don’t believe in any magic ingredients (in my 20s I added wheat germ to nearly everything I cooked. And what’s with the Stevia??).

I’ll be surprised if Wise County will support a health food restaurant on a long term basis.

Hopefully, the owners will loosen up a little because it would be a shame if such a lovely place failed to thrive.

It’s a beautiful setting and it’s worth a drive by on a December evening just to see the charming way they’ve decorated it with lights. In the springtime, it’s stunning with all the flowering shrubs and roses.

Although this has been a somewhat critical review, it would be a mistake if I leave you with the impression that I dislike the place.

I do like it – but they need to improve.

So many small businesses are failing and that’s very troubling to me.

I want them to survive but I suggest they consider a few changes.

It’s no favor to them for the customers to pretend that everything is just wonderful (when it isn’t).

Over the years, we’ve been to many restaurants that had minor problems, but we said nothing (because it’s difficult to do and seems impolite).

Then when they went out of business, I felt guilty and wondered if they ever even knew how the former customers had felt and why they quit going.

Maybe they could put out some customer comment cards?

Leave a comment

Filed under Autumn, Buildings, Cafes/Restaurants, Texas

SimpliciTeas Tea Room

My sister asked about the closeup photograph of the daisy in my last post. It was taken during our recent visit to the LoneStar Antique Mall’s tea room, Simpliciteas.

As you can see, I ordered the half veggie sandwich/half fruit salad; Joe had the soup of the day and a roast beef sandwich.

Their fruit salad is the best I’ve ever had – anywhere. Everything fresh, nothing overripe and much more than an ordinary honeydew/cantelope mixture. There are usually 7 or more varieties of fruit served with a poppyseed dressing on the side.


Dessert for me is almost always the orange cake; can’t remember the proper name. It’s a sponge cake base with a zesty orange filling and frothy topping. The serving is large enough to share, and a bit of a stretch for just one person, unless you’re still quite hungry. (This photo was taken during a previous lunch, when I was eating alone.)


Passed this booth as we were leaving. Wish I knew the owner’s name to share with you. It’s one of my favorite booths there; she always sets up her display as a fully decorated room and it’s lovely, isn’t it?

4 Comments

Filed under Antiques/Vintage, Cafes/Restaurants, Fort Worth/Dallas, Local Shopping, Lone Star Antique Mall, Tea Rooms, Texas, Texas

Old Fashioned Pie Shop

It’s almost like stepping back into the past. Time is just sort of suspended once you walk in the door.

1930s music is playing, the lady behind the counter is making pies, photos of old family picnics decorate the walls, and the candy you remember as a kid is right there on the shelf.


Fizzies

How long has it been since you’ve had a Black Cow (I didn’t even know they were still made), or an O Henry candy bar?

And candy cigarettes??? Who would’ve thought they could survive in this O-So-Politically-Correct-New Age?

My friends and I fake-smoked and ate a lot of those little abominations and get this: we understood the difference between candy and the real thing. Just as playing with all those squirt guns and cap guns didn’t lead to actual Bonnie & Clyde type criminality, “smoking” those sugar sticks didn’t result in an addiction to nicotine.

I digress.

If a really wonderful dessert is what you seek, this is it.

The Key Lime Pie may be the best I’ve ever eaten, and the Blackberry Cobbler is great, too.

Although they have seating both inside and out, I always get mine to go. The servings are generous enough to share or put some back in the fridge for later.

You won’t see a huge case full of everything – their products are handmade and fresh and therefore, limited. Kind of like you’d expect from a Mom & Pop type store because…well, that’s what it is.

The Oak Street Pie and Candy is located right next to the locally famous and original Babe’s (more on that later) on Oak Street in Roanoke. Babe’s offers nothing for dessert – unless you want some honey on your biscuit – so the Pie Company is really convenient for that after dinner sweet.

The last time I dropped in, a young mother was there with her 2 children and I heard her telling them that some of the candy was the kind she ate when she was a kid (I’m guessing in the early 1990s). We struck up a conversation and she said they lived in Flower Mound, a very nice and spanking new affluent town which is booming. However, she brings the kids to Roanoke to see that there’s a different kind of life, where things are valued for their longevity.

Roanoke has done a really marvelous job refurbishing their old town section. They’ve kept the old and the new is well integrated.

More on the rest of it later.

I wanted to begin with one of my new favorite places.

If you want to visit them online, go here. The price list is for whole pies, but they sell single servings, too. Looks like they sell boxed lunches and that a lunch menu is coming soon.

2 Comments

Filed under Antiques/Vintage, Cafes/Restaurants, Food, Fort Worth/Dallas, Local Shopping, Old/Vintage, Restaurants, Roanoke, Shopping, Texas, Texas