Remember the restaurants

Historically Speaking



Greetings, folks! I hope this column finds you healthy and happy. As Hispanic Heritage Month comes to a close nationwide, for us it never really does. I’ve spoken before about the diverse melting pot that our county is and our history just blends together beautifully.

You can walk into any Atascosa County restaurant and see this same blended, cultural and ethnically diverse clientele. Regardless where you go to eat, the food is always great because it is influenced by our local tastes and preferences. The local cafes and restaurants of the past have a special place in our memories as we continue to grow. Most of them are now gone but not forgotten.

Excuse my favoritism here, but this home-grown Poteetian will always remember TV & Dora’s. This local place was not flashy or bright, but it would win blue ribbons at any burger or taco contest on its worst day. Miss Dora always had a good conversation if you were willing to listen. Anyone who grew up in Poteet will remember and will smile when they recollect their memories at TV & Dora’s.

Another Poteet place that would turn out just about anything and it would be great was the Snack Shack. This place was right across the street from the elementary school and the building still stands as Wowee’s Place. The owner back then was known to all of us as “Nena” and she treated us kids very well. We swarmed that place after school for ice cream, burgers or tacos.

My wife Leigh Ann fondly recalls Pleasanton’s Town House Café. She has a special place in her heart for the Town House; her Granny worked there as a cook for years. This building also still stands and is currently the China Garden. If the Town House turned out food like the recipes Leigh Ann got handed down from her Granny, I understand why this place stayed around for so long. The Chicken Fried Steak recipe is absolutely the best!

One of the other ‘they can make anything’ restaurants in Pleasanton was The Stage Stop Restaurant. In its place today is Plaza Tapatio, but in its heyday, The Stage Stop was a busy place. You could get catfish, chicken fried steak, enchiladas and barbecue and it was all great! This one is a recent closing; I can remember The Stage Stop was still open when my son was born. Boy, how we miss it though. I apologize because I know that I left some restaurants out. The good news about this column is that we can always make a continuance or a series on old restaurants. Let me know if you would like to share your memories with us; we would love to hear them.

I hope you enjoyed our trip down memory lane. Thank you for reading, until next time.

MARTIN GONZALES is the Atascosa County Commission Chairman. If you have history of Atascosa County you’d like to share, you may contact him at 830-480-2741.

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