Random Ephemera

The Best Texas Road Trip Restaurants

Hitch n Post's incredible barbecue and pecan pie in Livingston.
Hitch n Post's incredible barbecue and pecan pie in Livingston. Photo by Chuck Cook
It's that special time again. Time for the Houston Press to round up its most popular dining coverage, this time concerning all things summer road trips, well, the most important part of a road trip anyway: the stop for food along the way. We know you're likely hitting the highway at some point this year, so whether you're heading north, south, east or west, look to these posts to help you fuel up on delicious eats along the way.

click to enlarge The gargantuan CFS at Florida's Kitchen in Livingston. - PHOTO BY CHUCK COOK
The gargantuan CFS at Florida's Kitchen in Livingston.
Photo by Chuck Cook
Seven Restaurants Worth a Day Trip Drive From Houston

Houston is great, but sometimes being surrounded by concrete day after day gets tiresome. One antidote is to drive out of the flatlands and see some of the beautiful scenery just outside the city. Lakes, huge nature preserves, beaches and hills are just a short drive from town.

Of course, when on an adventure, people need to fuel more than just their automobiles, ideally with terrific meals, not just middling sustenance.



The fried chicken doesn't lie at Beaumont's Republic Chicken. - PHOTO COURTESY OF REPUBLIC CHICKEN
The fried chicken doesn't lie at Beaumont's Republic Chicken.
Photo courtesy of Republic Chicken

Summer Road Trips: The Best Hidden Gems Near Lake Charles

Heading east on Interstate 10 with a couple of days to kill in Lake Charles can turn into an unexpectedly delicious road trip. If you're like us, the journey toward an awaiting pool and swanky hotel room would usually be undeterred by billboards promising the "Best BBQ in Texas" or "World Famous Jerky." But this trip was different. Back-to-back visits for the same po-boy, a divey-doughnut shop in the middle of town, surprisingly authentic Vietnamese food and a down-home fried chicken place that rivals any Houston bird joint made for one of the tastiest quickie vacations across state lines.

Coldest days are often best at Gilhooley's, as the oysters are at their plumpest and the fire pits outside on the ramshackle patio are at their warmest. - PHOTO BY ROBB WALSH
Coldest days are often best at Gilhooley's, as the oysters are at their plumpest and the fire pits outside on the ramshackle patio are at their warmest.
Photo by Robb Walsh
30 Essential Texas Restaurants


For all its enormous range of space, climate, and physical appearance, and for all the internal squabbles, contentions, and strivings, Texas has a tight cohesiveness perhaps stronger than any other section of America. Rich, poor, Panhandle, Gulf, city, country, Texas is the obsession, the proper study and the passionate possession of all Texans. — John Steinbeck, 1962

Texas is defined in many ways by many different people. But there are at least three things anyone can agree on when it comes to the Lone Star State: barbecue, Tex-Mex and steaks. This is the holy trinity of Texas cuisine — foods that make up our most firmly entrenched food heritage. These are the foods we invented or perfected. They are our exports to the world, our richly flavored history and although we may agree on them in broad strokes, they are also our favorite things to fight over.

The Parrain Special at Johnson's Boucaniere in Lafayette. - PHOTO BY GWENDOLYN KNAPP
The Parrain Special at Johnson's Boucaniere in Lafayette.
Photo by Gwendolyn Knapp
Road Trips: Louisiana's Best Boudin and Cracklin' Stops Along I-10

Say you're driving east. Maybe you're heading all the way to the coast, or just to Baton Rouge or New Orleans. There are a few vital stops you're going to need to make, besides just gas and rest areas, if you find yourself barreling through Louisiana on I-10 — for meat, Cajun meat, that is.

These aren't the hidden boudin and cracklin gems that you'll get lost looking for. These are actually fairly well-known and respected spots that are easily accessible from I-10 and won't put a huge dent in your travel time. But they all pretty much rule. No complaints here.

Fill up at Buc-ee's. - PHOTO BY KAITLIN STEINBERG
Fill up at Buc-ee's.
Photo by Kaitlin Steinberg
5 Best Things to Eat at Buc-ee's, Convenience Store of the Gods

Because my family lives in both Corpus and the Hill Country, I find myself on the road to and from Houston frequently. During those long, boring drives through south and central Texas, there is one thing that shines like a beacon among the run-down gas stations and cows and oil rigs: Buc-ee's.

Second Kitchen does pizza right in ATX. - PHOTO BY GWENDOLYN KNAPP
Second Kitchen does pizza right in ATX.
Photo by Gwendolyn Knapp
Six Austin Spots to Check Out During SXSW

As SXSW gets underway, let's turn our attention to hitting the road. Many folks will be visiting Austin in the coming week, and if you're among them, and not entirely game for waiting in line for half a day to eat barbecue, here are a handful of fine establishments that are worth a try.


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Gwendolyn Knapp is the food editor at the Houston Press. A sixth-generation Floridian, she is still torn as to whether she likes smoked fish dip or queso better.