The primary mission of our travels is to explore this amazing country. A secondary mission is to enjoy local cuisine. The more off-the-wall the better. Today we took a 100-mile round trip drive in hill country for lunch at a hole-in-the-wall in a wide spot in the road known as Tarpley, TX.
We are big fans of the Food Network's Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Its host Guy Fieri has introduced us to many spots of which we've made mental notes to check out while we're on the road. Periodically, we'll check the show's website and see if any of the featured eateries are close by. Today we checked and found Mac and Ernie's Roadside Eatery. It appeared on the very first episode of "Triple D".
It was a nice day, so we decided to take a long scenic drive for the famous burgers and fries. We headed south on state highway 173 from Kerrville to Bandera. The town of Bandera is filling fast with bikers for this weekend's Thunder in the Hills rally. We shared the road with many motorcycles as we traveled west on ranch road 470 into the middle of nowhere. You could blow right by this little spot if you're not careful. And, it's bigger than it used to be. The entrance shown here used to be the entire restaurant. Actually, it was the kitchen. Patrons ate outside under the shade trees. But, Mac and Ernie's just reopened a week or so ago after an extensive expansion. Now patrons can order and sit inside. Life since appearing on the debut of "Triple D" has apparently been very good!
The place is open just three days a week. Gourmet entrees are served for dinner. Lunch is burgers and fries. The specialty is the Cabrito Burger. I asked what a Cabrito Burger was, got an answer and decided it was time to try my first. After all, we didn't drive all this way to have an ordinary burger. I don't usually snap pics of my food, but today I just had to! Looks like a tasty burger, doesn't it? If you don't know what Cabrito is, click here. It tasted as good as it looks!
We took the very scenic route back to Kerrville on state highway 16. This highway has quite deservedly earned a spot on the Texas Monthly list of "10 Most Scenic Drives in Texas". With almost five miles of tight switchback turns it rivals any mountain road. As we made the tightest turns at the top of the ridge we came upon the scene of a motorcycle accident. Two bikers in a group of rally goers were down and obviously very seriously injured. Neither of them, nor anyone else in the group or 95% of the bikers we saw today were wearing a helmet. They should have.
If you ride, please wear a lid!