I have a new favorite restaurant. Dixie House Cafe.

Today was an interesting day. It started out pretty good, off to work only 5 minutes late, LOL. I had a plumbing rough to do. For those who don't know what that is, it simply is putting the drain and water piping in; prior to the concrete slab being poured. Now it is important to note for this post, a normal rough in consists of picking up your material, and going to the job site that has already been dug by a backhoe.

I know, I know your saying what the hell does this have to do with a restaurant. Just bear with me and you'll understand.

On the way to the job site, my Boss called me, and said the builder was mad because the backhoe didn't dig the ditches deep enough. This builder wanted all the plumbing under the beams, so it would not be going through any concrete, except the floor. This is a very good way to build, but slightly uncommon. The Boss said the building site was all sand, and asked if I could try hand digging it. "No Problem Boss I'll handle it."

We get there, and sure enough it is all sand, but we have to dig the trenches about a foot and a half deeper for the whole 100 plus feet. Went pretty quick at first. When we got to the last 12 feet, we hit chunks of concrete and old parts of foundation. Lets see first 90 feet half hour, last 12 feet, 2 and a half hours. By the time I got it all dug, and the drain pipe installed, it was 1:30 and about 96 degrees with 80 percent humidity.

About then I was very tired, unhappy, and pretty darned hungry. There were no restaurants close by that looked appealing. We jump in the truck and drive up the street looking around. I pasted up a few fast food places, because I needed to sit down and relax while I eat that day.  Keep in mind that I am drenched head to foot in sweat and sand.

All of a sudden, I see this large sign. Dixie House Cafe, "Down Home Cooking". Now I have seen statements like this before, and been disappointed. For some reason, today I had a good feeling about it. We stopped in and settled at a table. sinking into one of the softest cushioned benches I have ever seen in a restaurant. I let out a gratifying sigh of relief. My waitress comes over and sits down next to me, " Oh this is a good bench" she says. Ok unusual approach, but creative and sociable.

"Looks like you guys are working outside, It's pretty hot huh?"

"Yeah digging ditches." I say with a obviously tired inflection.

"Well what can we get you?" (as she is handing us our menu)

"I don't know; what's good"? I ask, barely opening the menu.

"Chicken Fried Steak".

"Nope, too filling, have to be able to go back to work". I can never eat a full meal when I have to go back to work, or I'll not get anything done.

"OK, how about homemade meat loaf or maybe fried catfish".

Catfish sounded pretty good, it had been some time since I'd had any. So I ordered the catfish, homemade coleslaw, and fries. While waiting for our meal, I notice the wait staff going around talking with the customers as if they know them all. I thought "wow they have a lot of regulars". Then our waitress comes back, and makes sure our drinks are full and jokes around with us a little. After the food arrived, she came back frequently and made sure everything was full. Best service I have had in decades; and I am not exaggerating.

The catfish had a breading on it that had to be their own making, because I can't ever remember tasting anything like it before. It was done to perfection, and more flavorful than I remember catfish being. The coleslaw was reminiscent of what I used to get in Germany, simply delicious. The fries, just good old style home fries.

While I was eating, evidently Jamme, our waitress (She told me how to spell her name, but my memory is not the greatest when it comes to names. So if I got it wrong Jamme I apologize) asked if I needed more soda. I was so focused on the food I didn't hear her. Next thing I know, another of the staff members who happens to be walking by behind me, taps me on the should and asks what I'm drinking. I tell her, and she brings me another.

"OH see now your making me look bad in front of the Boss" Jamme says. "I asked if you wanted any more soda, and you just ignored me." All of this with a playful attitude.

"I'm sorry, I was so intent on eating I didn't hear you" I said some what ashamed.

"Oh sure, you just wanted to make me look bad, that's all. I'll remember that, next time I won't ask I'll just bring you one". She really is playing me pretty hard.

After finishing my meal, Jamme asked if I wanted any desert. I doubt many people that eat there have room for desert, for the portions are exactly what every body says about Texas BIG!!! They have this cinnamon roll. Biggest thing I have ever seen, has to be about 7 inches in diameter, and about 4 inches thick.

Needless to say, I had an excellent meal with service that is unparalleled in today's society, at an unbelievably reasonable price. They make you feel like family, or a regular, even if they have never seen you before. If any of you get to Fort Worth, I recommend the Dixie House Cafe. I checked out their web site, and found out they have five locations. I ate at the one on Belknap.

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Kel said...

Isn't it amazing how consistant friendly service with wholesome well-prepared food can turn a humdrum, or even a bad day, into a sterling memory!

Of course, the flip side is the frustration and deflation of good humor that comes along with paying hard-earned money for unexceptional food and poor service.

I hope your new favorite place stays in business, and of high quality, for as long as your in the area to enjoy it.

Kel again said...

Errr . . . I meant to write " . . . as long as YOU'RE in the area." (sigh)

It is rough going trying to proof well before posting if one is pressed for time.

Eirc S. said...

It is amazing how good customer service can tune you into a restaurant sometimes quicker that the sights and smells. Unfortunately many establishments do not have good service or just don't train well. If wait staff would just realize how much more they can make off tips just by being nice and sociable.


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