Friday, May 29, 2015

On the Road to Cresson and Restaurant Review

Racetrack
Well, why not go to Cresson since there’s supposed to be a good place to have barbecue? Cresson is a really small town with the population of about 700 folks on the way to Granbury, Texas. There are at least three stories about how it got its name. The first is that a captain of a wagon train, John Cresson camped on this site and lent the area his name. The other story is that one of the officials of the Fort Worth and Rio Grande Railroad was named Cresson; and since there was a stop in this area it was named for him. The third is that it is named after a railroading town in Pennsylvania.


In any case, John Cresson not only camped here but built houses and a general store. Prior to the railroads, stagecoaches ran from Jacksboro and Weatherford and from to Cleburne,
Old Cresson School
Waco, Granbury, and Stephenville. Perhaps because this was an already established trail, several railroads passed through the area bringing a better economy through the addition of jobs. Although this was cattle country, it was also a good place to plant cotton, so it’s not surprising that early on a cotton gin was established.  The normal town growth followed with stores, a hotel, saloon, school, churches and a post office. As time has passed, the town hasn’t grown much. It’s very close to Granbury so most of the service businesses are found there. Some light industry and ranching remain at Cresson, as does a small retirement community.


The day we visited Cresson the wildflowers were in bloom and the cows were loving the
Top L to R: Antique farm implements,
Madonnas and saint
Bottom L to R: Rock house, Red Door Baptist Church
deep, green grass to eat and as a place for an afternoon nap. In about the middle of town stands the old Cresson School. It’s been turned into a museum that is open on Saturdays; perhaps we’ll go back just to see what’s inside. Just up the hill from the school is a section of older houses and some churches. We were intrigued by the Red Door Baptist Church and by one of the houses with statues of Madonna set in a semi-circle around a statue of a saint. There are stories behind both of these and I’d like to know what they are. A bit toward the edge of town are several older houses made of native stone; others are made of brick that appears from as long ago as the 1920s.  As we drove along we noticed an open barn and a field full of antique farming equipment. There are several fast food places in Cresson and a couple of restaurants. Since the point of this trip was to eat barbecue we headed for lunch. For information about my rating system, see Reading the Reviews.


What we ate…
Three and one-half carrots
BBQ on the Brazos (9001 E Hwy 377, Cresson, TX, 817-291-6152) is in a Texaco service station. We were glad that we got there before noon because the line begins to form early 
Top L to R: Ribs, BBQ on the Brazos, Texaco
Service Station
Bottom L to R: Brisket sandwich, Brisket plate
and there’s not much of a pause in the action after that. There are two seating areas: upstairs are tables and chairs with an outdoor area overlooking the racetrack; downstairs area a limited number of tables and chairs. The menu hangs over the counter from which you order. They offer the ‘normal’ sorts of fare along with some unusual sides. The slaw is in khaki-colored dressing and those slivers of green are jalapeño not bell pepper; it was pretty tasty. Vince tried the cornbread salad. It’s a mixture of tomatoes, olives, celery, onion, lettuce and crumbled cornbread topped with a decorative squirt of mayonnaise. None of us could decide if we liked it or not. Vince said that he really liked the ribs. Dave and I thought the brisket was okay but nothing special, certainly nothing to justify the rave reviews the restaurant has received. The okra was very good; crispy and hot without heavy handed use of salt. The bread my sandwich came on was excellent. Evidently homemade, it had just a bit of jalapeño and toasted up very nicely. Dave’s potato salad was the mashed variety and okay. The rib and brisket plates were expensive. The sandwiches were about what you’d expect. The okra was an extra charge even if you had one of the plates that came with two sides. I use the term ‘plate’ loosely since nothing is served on a plate but on a piece of brown paper on your tray. The paper has a record of what you ordered and your name; when everything is ready, you are called to come get your tray.
Brick house
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