Sunday, January 2, 2011

Pioneer of Texas

Pioneer of Texas.  The name strikes up images of covered wagons rolling across the great plains, cooking over BBQ pits.  For me, and maybe it's just me, Texas is Barbecue country.  When I moved to Texas I was excited to be in a region known for it's barbecue.  Sadly Pioneer of Texas has let me down on both ends of the stereotype.  I have tried this place on three separate occasions and have been let down every time.  Gotta give me an "A" for effort!  It's not just an expectation that has been quelched.  The service was lacking each visit.

My mom and her friends go to dinner and lunch once a week.  This is one of their favorite places to eat so it I was looking forward to it, not to mention it was one of the first restaurants I got to try.  I had the brisket. A BBQ staple.  It was dry and an overall letdown.  The BBQ sauce however was excellent.  The server seemed to not be there at the table mentally.  She got everything right and prompt.  But it seemed more an attempt to "get it over with".  The second visit was better.  I had the ribs.  Again on the dry side but they again came with a side of that sauce and I devoured them.  The server was overall pleasant.  Things where going smooth.  Then I tasted the coleslaw and thought I tasted something familiar.  I asked the server if she knew what it was and she seemed almost offended.  Bad vibe from that point on.

Then I made the decision to give it another try.  I grabbed my camera and met my Mom and Brother for lunch and gave it another run.  Again disappointed.  I had the Chicken Fried Steak with Broccoli, black eyed peas, and mashed potatoes.  The Chicken Fried Steak was alright.  Very tender for a Chicken Fried Steak but laked in flavor, and gravy!  Not even a side of gravy.  Ever had Chicken Fried Steak with no gravy?  Did she forget it?  Did the cook forget?  The potatoes where good, the broccoli was mush however. 

My Mom and Brother always get the enchiladas.  They are tasty.  They are topped with a chili rather than just some sort of sauce.  But look at the picture of the BEANS, that dry crust on top had me wondering.  13 plus years working with food I know that dose not come from love and care.  The cornbread on the other hand was amazing.  I'm not a fan of cornbread but this was different.  It was dense like pound cake and had some hints of citrus.  The server was rude.  She did the bare minimal with no eye contact.  It wasn't until my Mom asked about the cornbread  that she showed some life smiled and said "I don't know".  As primarily an  F.O.H. (Front of House) employee the first thing I noticed was no offer to find out about the cornbread for us.

 This one is not for me. I suggest you try it for yourself and make your own call.

Love Food, Live Life!

Happy New Year! Been real busy at work!  Had a great family lunch I'll be posting soon, Greens, black eyed peas, and three different flavored pork loins!
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  1. Aww bummer! I hate when a restaurant just can't impress me no matter how many chances I give them. Esp when people around me are in love with the place and what to go there often!

    Maybe we're picky cause we can actually cook? lol! who knows!

    Jenn @ Peas & Crayons

  2. Stick with the enchiladas. There is really no other reason to go there.

  3. i've been eating at all Pioneer Restaurants for more than 40 years, and while i may have had a couple of disappointing meals there, overall it has been great. my favorite: Steak Sandwich on Garlic Toast with onion rings...hard to beat!

  4. The "P3" was a favorite during my high school days in the early 60's. Can't wait for my reunion when I can experience their chicken-fried steak and hot apple pie (with that incredible sauce). I'll be 16 all over again!