Chow, Baby: Wednesday, May 8, 2003
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Prescription: Hot Ribs and Home-Cookin’

Those west winds last week must have stirred up some vicious pollens. Chow, Baby woke up (late) several days running with body aches, headache, sneezes, and unexpected weight gain. An intense believer in homeopathic remedies, Chow, Baby blew its nose and prepared for some intense home-cooking at Dixie House Café.

This meant getting dressed. Chow, Baby doffed its slept-in new favorite restaurant souvenir t-shirt, from San Francisco’s In-N-Out Burger (supposedly so-named because the burgers go out as fast as they go in, if you catch Chow, Baby’s drift) and donned its newer favorite restaurant souvenir t-shirt, from Heitmiller Family Steakhouse in Elm Mott, 10 miles this side of Waco. The stunning design features a line drawing of a very masculine bull, if you catch Chow, Baby’s drift. Chow, Baby picked up this shirt on its way home from last weekend’s roadtrip. Inspired by an article in the current issue of Texas Monthly, allegedly naming the state’s best barbecue pits, skeptical Chow, Baby had set out to eat for itself at the TM-anointed joints in Mason, Lockhart, Luling and Taylor.

Are these alleged bests really better than the honorably mentioned Dotch’s Barbecue on Meadowbrook, noted for its “gloriously messy Alabama-style (i.e., grilled) pork ribs,” or Hickory Stick Bar-B-Que in Everman, cited for “18-hour beef brisket and pork ribs with garlicky rub,” or North Main BBQ in Euless (even though its “lushly glazed pork ribs” are available only on weekends)? Are they better than our local Top 50 winners, Angelo’s (no surprise), Railhead Smokehouse (no surprise), and Longoria’s BBQ in Everman (never heard of you, but see ya soon)? Nah. Chow, Baby, recently chided by a reader for being “hyperbolically” rah-rah Tarrant County, would rather eat barbecue here than anyplace else in the state. Except maybe Lockhart and Mason.

Dressed for feasting, Chow, Baby and its sweetie rendezvoused at, for once, the same Dixie House Café — the one where Belknap and Haltom Rd and NE 28th St come close to intersecting, as opposed to Theresa’s Dixie House Café, two miles closer to downtown, on Belknap between Beach and Riverside. Not that it matters. They’re owned by the same people, Dale and Theresa Simon, and serve pretty much the same breakfast/lunch fare — omelettes, pancakes, fabulous chicken-fried as a daily special (four or five rotating specials each day, $5.95 with two vegetables), burgers, and mile-high meringue pies. Chow, Baby, curious about the accompanying “Chicken Sauce,” tried the Wednesday special “Chicken Breast Supreme” (rolled with ham and mozzarella) with real mashed potatoes, fresh broccoli in cheese sauce, and a couple of Dixie House’s famous oversized rolls. The secret sauce tasted exactly like cream of chicken soup, which suited Chow, Baby’s sore throat perfectly. In fact, everything — the food, the smiling service, the low prices — was just what the doctor ordered.

That night Chow, Baby midnight-snacked on Dixie Café’s gooey banana-split cream pie and sinfully rich fudge cake; went to sleep in its newest favorite souvenir t-shirt (“Dixie House Café — Home of the Big Buns”); and woke up the next morning feeling fine, dandy, and allergy-symptom-free. Except for more unexpected weight gain. Stupid oak pollen.


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