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Readers Recommend: August 2008

Texas Highways readers are like our field reporters, so find out what these readers recommend.

Shoal Creek SaloonShoal Creek Saloon by Lisa Pearson

I have worked near Shoal Creek Saloon in Austin for several years an finally gave it a try. I expected greasy, uninteresting bar food, but was delighted to find an extensive menu of Southern Louisiana delicacies, from the most delicious fried catfish and hushpuppies I’ve ever eaten to a smoked-duck-and-sausage gumbo that will make any Cajun miss their mama. I highly recommend the Rodriguez Familyl Nachos and the chicken tenders – from everything I’ve savored, y0u can’t go wrong.

Lisa Pearson, Austin
Shoal Creek Saloon is at 909 N. Lamar, 512/474-0805;


Cafe Italia

My new job as a landman promptly sent me to Marshall. Fortunately, my second week on the job, a coworker introduced me to Café Italia. It’s an unlikely spot attached to a motel that serves the best Italian food I’ve had since my grandmother last cooked me pasta. I became a biweekly regular, indulging in everything on the menu, from the Chicken Marsala to the Capellini Broccoli, not to mention the hot, fresh-baked bread. The restaurant is owned and operated by the Donnie family, from Macedonia, who made me feel at home the moment I walked in. If you’re headed east on I-20, make sure you exit on US 59 in Marshall, and go just a couple of blocks north for a real treat.

Café Italia is at 5555 East End Blvd. South; 903/923-9527.


Texas Horseback Adventures

My wife and I recently completed a three-day trail ride with Missy Cantrell, from Texas Horseback Adventures in Alpine. For two Ohioans who hadn’t been on a horse in more than 30 years, it was an outstanding adventure. The Davis Mountains in the spring were spectacular. Nothing but open space, cows, calves, and scenery. We enjoyed wonderful food and all the comforts of home at the campsite. Any city-slicker contemplating such a trip should contact Missy.

JIM NORTON, Wooster, Ohio
For more on Texas Horseback Adventures, call 325/226-1966; 

Magnolia Pancake Haus

You published something very nice about San Antonio’s superb Magnolia Pancake Haus several years ago. Just wanted to let TH readers know that they’ve since moved across the parking lot at the Embassy Oaks shopping center into a bigger, nicer location, and they’re still going strong and better than ever. They’re the champions of breakfast.

The Magnolia Pancake Haus is at 606 Embassy Oaks; 210/496-0828;

Bonham Road House Family Diner

My wife and I had a most enjoyable breakfast at Bonham Road House Family Diner in Bonham. The restaurant is exquisitely decorated with ’50s-style memorabilia [and murals of Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe painted on the walls]. I recommend that you visit—you’ll be glad you did. 

Bonham Road House Family Diner is at 413 N. Main St.; 903/583-4858.


Submit Your Suggestions

If you know of a noteworthy Lone Star attraction, restaurant, event or product, write: Readers Recommend, Texas Highways, Box 141009, Austin, Tx 78714-1009 or e-mail: e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Space constraints prevent us from publishing every suggestion we receive. We reserve the right to edit items. Because we're unable to check out every item, and because hours vary and details can change for the recommended places, please call ahead for more information. 

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