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Saturday, July 12, 2008

Lunch Report: John T. Floore Country Store & Honky Tonk Cafe

Every once in a while, making a U-turn to check out something that catches your eye can lead to a very satisfying lunch, and that, friends is exactly what happened today.

We had some business in Helotes and needed to kill an hour so naturally, the thought of where to eat came to mind. We consulted Garmin and started to head for a restaurant with a name we had never heard of, when it occurred to us that it was taking us to Bobby J's. Not a bad choice at all, but not what we were looking for.

I made a U-Turn with the idea that we would head back toward Leon Valley, and perhaps try the new Babe's that opened just a while back when something on Old Bandera Road caught my wife's eye.
So, I made another U-Turn and off were were to look at the various craft shops and hardware stores along Old Bandera Road. And that was when I remembered John T. Floore Country Store.Now if you listen to radio in San Antonio, you might hear advertisements for bands playing at Flores Country Store, but in fact, they are saying Floore's. I know, the first time I drove by the place, years ago, I was wondering if the Flores people knew about the Floore's people.Anyway, John T. Floore is rich in history and tradition - check out the website for all that. What I didn't expect was an excellent lunch to go with the great atmosphere.We walked in and there were only 15 or 20 people in the entire place, but it seemed dead considering the size. As soon as I looked at the menu and saw Catfish, my choice was done. My wife on the other hand looked over the menu for several minutes trying to decide from the really large selection of choices. The gal at the register suggested the Chicken Fried Chicken and let me tell you, she was right on.The catfish basket came with a portion of Cole slaw, some burnt hush puppies, a generous serving of fries and a fair portion of catfish. I was not thrilled at the appearance of the breading, but in fairness, it was good. The Cole slaw was served dry (not a bad thing) and had a nice taste to it. I cleaned the cup! The catfish was hot, had a mild taste and the tarter sauce was acceptable. Give it a try if you'd like, but on our next visit, I'll try something else. The Chicken Fried Chicken was out of this world! My wife cut me off a small portion (way too small) and within a few bites announced that we would not require a Doggie Bag. The plate came with two sides - she took the "tater salad" which was just okay, and the mac & cheese. The M&C was outstanding, and more than made up for the tater salad. The meal also came with one of their home made rolls. Again, nothing but wonderful.In spite of the less than stellar catfish presentation, John T. Floore gets an unexpected Tasty Treat, and we can't wait to go back and try the BB King Sized Burger, the chicken fried steak, the brisket or pulled pork sandwiches.If you just want to see some local history, check out the place just for all the good stuff to look at. Indoors, there is a stage and the ceiling is covered with mostly boots and hats along with numerous humorous signs.I don't know who Frank and Lupe are, but they have a reserved table.
Outside, the real concert action takes place with a larger stage and row upon row of picnic tables. It's pretty clear that these folks like to party.And if ya gotta pee, they have some auxiliary pissers at the ready.


KeithAlanK said...

I ran sound for country music legend Gene Watson at Floore's a few years back. It was everything you said--good food, interesting junk to look at, and ice-cold beer to boot.

Dave said...

Ah yes, the ice-cold beer. We sampled the tea but it would be nice to see the place filled up, a band playing, and enjoying a beverage or two in a place with such roots.

RB said...

Ah the memories....cold, cold Shiner and great country music under a beautiful Texas sky.
I think I'm gonna cry....(sniff)

Anonymous said...

Summer weekends, cold beer, used to have the finest tamales on Sundays. And some of the local garage bands playing during the afternoons.

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San Antonio, TX, United States
I love to observe the odd things happening around me as I go about my day. I especially like it when I can get a picture of people being themselves. Here, I attempt to report the various people and events I have encountered in my neighborhood, and my city. I'd also love to hear from you. Feel free to e-mail your experiences and photos of life in San Antonio.

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