Friday, May 19, 2017

Bounding to Burleson

It came to my attention rather recently that although we visit Burleson frequently, I’d never
Decorated fence
written a blog about it. Burleson is the closest ‘city’ to Vince; this is where he does most of his shopping. It has lots of chain restaurants, some ‘big box’ stores, and medical facilities. It was also the location of my first venture into the job market. I was about 16 and had just gotten a driver’s license so I needed money to support the life-style to which I wanted to become accustom. While the other students in my high school were driving into Fort Worth to work as salesclerks, burger flippers, or other jobs suitable for that age group, I went to work on Saturdays for a medical doctor; I also worked there in the summers. It seemed like a good idea at the time and did give me a chance to decide if I really wanted to work in the blood, tears, and other bodily fluids that could on occasion spew forth from a human being. The answer to that question was a profound, ‘No’!

In the 1960s Burleson was still a small town but it did have an interesting history. In the 1880s there was nothing unusual about a town growing near the Missouri-Kansas-Texas
Top: Renfro House
Bottom: Interurban train car
Railroad, ‘the Katy’, line. This company decided to extend its service from Denison to Waco with a segment from Fort Worth to Alvarado.  Midway along a depot was needed so Grenville M. Dodge bought the land for the depot and a town from Rev. Henry C. Renfro. The site is now ‘Old Town’ Burleson. To honor his teacher and then president of Baylor University, Rufus Columbus Burleson, Renfro named the town Burleson. Although a fire burned most of the business district and some homes in 1895, Burleson has continued to thrive. A society for cultural advancement, the Eumathian Club, was formed in 1899 bringing readings, discussions, musical recitals and even a primitive lending library to the town. By 1909 the city had its own school district and in 1912 the interurban line between Fort Worth and Cleburne was stopping in Burleson. The introduction of the automobile, followed by the improvement of roads through the area made Burleson an attractive place to live and less dependent on agriculture as an economic basis. From its rather rural beginnings, Burleson has grown into a rather large town with a population of more than 36,000 people. The doctor’s office where I worked is gone, but there is a very nice visitor’s center and some of the interurban cars across the street from where it stood.

Since we’ve eaten in Burleson a lot, you’ll see two reviews this time; there will be more to follow. For information about my rating system, see Reading the Reviews.
Three and one-half carrots

El Fenix (885 NE Alsbury Boulevard, Burleson, TX 76028, (17-984-7110) is our go-to
Left T to B: Crazy nachos, Grilled whitefish
Right: Flautas
Mexican Restaurant although it is a chain. No matter which of the restaurants we’ve visited, the food has been consistently good. And their chips are the best anywhere. Lately they have been adding special menu items that are only available for a short time. Vince decided he would try the grilled white fish. He said that it the chili and cumin on the fish made it quite tasty. His only complaint is that the hot sauce isn’t hot enough, but the waiters are nice enough to bring all he and Dave can eat. Dave chose the Crazy Nachos that he said were pretty good. He usually gets another version of the same dish that have the chips arranged singly rather than in a pile. I had the chicken flautas and they were very good, as was the cheese sauce. Service was good as usual and the price was right. We’ll be back, again.

Sammy’s Italian Bistro (225 Exchange Street, Burleson, TX 76028, 817-447-2095) was a really nice surprise. The food is rather traditional Italian but with Sicilian regional overtones.
Top L to R: Menu, Soup, Rigatoni
Bottom L to R: Salad, lasagna, bread
There is a lunch menu that has the extra treat of special plates for specific days. Dave and Vince chose to have the lasagna that is offered daily; they both said it was very good. Dave had a bowl of vegetable soup that was quite tasty and was completely full of vegetables. Vince and I had the lunch salad; it was fresh and the house dressing was tangy. I had the Friday special, the stuffed rigatoni in a pink sauce; it was very good. Our waiter was very good and could answer questions about the restaurant and about the menu; he was also friendly and efficient. My only complaint was that the air conditioning worked too well.
Grazing cow

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