Monday, May 3, 2010

Down For Dairyland

My mood was heading south in a hurry after driving some 80 miles to experience the type of food at Herd’s Hamburgers that is supposed to be worth that kind of effort. It wasn’t. Despite the charms of Jacksboro, Texas, an historical frontier town once a destination to itself, I felt the need to leave as soon as possible. I was hungry and disappointed after a disappointing cheeseburger and chips.

On the way south with my mood I noticed a sign announcing the Dairyland Drive In Barbecue Pit on the east side of the road. I’ll have to try that one day I said to myself. Then I decided to do a U-ie and try it right then and there.

The wait staff couldn’t greet me fast enough, telling me to take any seat inside where a young couple was already enthusiastically enjoying a mountain of hot food. The man looked up, we chin-jerked greetings as I took my seat, a glass of sweet tea hitting the table in a near photo finish.

My order of sliced brisket and ribs appeared within minutes, including piping hot crinkle cut fries, Texas Toast, large dill pickle and a serving of THE best ranch house beans I’ve had this side of the Pecos! A squeeze bottle of extra sauce was served as hot as the food in front of me.
“How is evah-thang?”

“THIS was worth the drive,” I managed between bulging chews of tender beef. “I haven’t had better in all of Dallas/Ft. Worth” and I meant it. I left a generous tip at the table and proceeded to the cashier to check out.

“How was evah-thang?”
“I just came from Herd’s.”

I let that one hang in the air for a minute as she jerked her head up from the register, not quite sure if she had heard me right. Then I dropped the other shoe. “And I was still hungry.” The slack-jawed look of amazement on her face, another handsome blonde said it all. And I had to allow that part of her shock was in that a competitor but still a member of her town had treated someone so badly. To her it clearly was unheard of.

I offered to her that Jacksboro seemed a nice place to which she replied that indeed it was full of friendly people. The implied apology on Herd’s behalf was received and accepted. “We’re glad to have your business.”

“You will again,” I said. “With friends.”

The Dairyland is not on the list of “world famous” pits strung through Central Texas which constitute the Texas BBQ Trail but they seem just fine with that. Like hundreds across the region they simply are what they are and are proud to do what they do. For my part I will do all possible to drag spoiled big-city friends to Jacksboro just for the Dairyland Drive In. Jacksboro itself was never in question. The people, the service and the food at the Dairyland more than made sure of that.

Gotta go!

Dairyland Drive In
323 S Main St, Jacksboro, TX
Tel: (940) 567-3705

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