My dad alerted me to one of Robb Walsh’s columns in the Houston Press recently. He’s the food writer (Walsh, not my dad).
Walsh’s columns have always been worth a read. Especially when he talks about old school burger joints. So Dad mentioned this review of a place out in the country, the 105 Grocery and Deli, north of 290 near Washington-on-the-Brazos. Here’s the article. After being turned on to Christian’s Totem/Tailgate and Barbecue Inn by Mr. Walsh, I believe what the man says. So Saturday afternoon, on a whim and about thirty minutes past hungry, James and I decided to make the hour-plus drive to the burger place out in the country. Man was it worth it. The wait for the burger was about thirty minutes, which I didn’t mind because there was a lot to look at. There was the chain-smoking, Miller Lite drinking lesbian in tight Wranglers sitting to my right. She and her teenage daughter and two teen boys sat there shooting the shit and scratching lottery tickets. And they kept winning. At least one of the boys won $50 on one ticket. Congratulations?
And there was a constant stream of people in and out. I have no idea where these people were coming from. This place is really kind of in the middle of nowhere about ten miles from Navasota. But there was almost always someone in line. And there were some great signs on the deli case by the cash register. My favorite:
No smokin (the “g” had been erased) cigars in the store, and if your pants aren’t pulled UP you will not be served. Thank you.
One guy actually came in smoking a Swisher Sweet and was chastised by the chick at the counter. His pants were pulled up, though, so she ended up serving him.
As for the burger…ahhh, the burger. It’s been a long time since the burger journey at the Alley. I don’t eat that kind of meal very often anymore. But I still know a good burger when I eat one, and this bitch was delicious. The patty was fresh, and it had a lot of black pepper on it. The bun was toasted just right. The veggies were crisp. It was altogether a terrific meal. I recommend it if you’re looking for something different to do on a Saturday afternoon, and it’s too hot to be outside. It’s an easy drive up 290, and the ten or fifteen miles north of the interstate is pretty and green. It’s easy to miss the place – the sign doesn’t actually say 105 Grocery and Deli. It says DK Gen Store, Café, Meat Market, Feed Store.
Just make sure you pull your pants up before you go in.
[NOTE: regarding the picture above – I quickly snapped that shot with the camera on my phone. I don’t like to be a tourist, snapping pictures of the local “color” to show my big city friends back home. So this was taken on the d.l., as was a picture of the sign mentioned above (I wanted to get the words right). Though the shot isn’t very good, you can see the delicious, crisp tots, the big burger with meat that has uneven edges – the hallmark of a fresh patty – and the Dr. Pepper made with Imperial sugar. Nice.]