While driving to the heart of Texas hill country, we stopped for the night in Wichita Falls. The hotel desk clerk recommended the food at the Pioneer 3 Restaurant.
“It looks like a hole in the wall, but the food is very good,” she said.
She was right about both.
First off, the parking lot needed a new coat of asphalt and some striping so we’d know where to park. The outside of the building looked a bit sad.
Inside was clean, but decidedly in need of an update by current restaurant decorating trends. That is, unless you like the look of an old cowboy’s cabin. On the other hand, it did make me feel like I was in Texas. An old-fashioned tabletop jukebox graced our booth.
Two McBride brothers opened this chain of restaurants in the 1940s shortly after returning from the war. The restaurant names were quite original: Pioneer 1, Pioneer 2, . . . you get the idea.
Brady Crumpler, Texas Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame, and his partner/brothers purchased Pioneer 3 (one of only two of the original restaurants remaining) a few years ago. They took care of some much-needed repairs.
Brady makes a point of personally welcoming patrons. When he sat at our table to chat it made me feel as if we were in his home instead of his restaurant. He and my husband engaged in a friendly game of one-ups-man-ship regarding rodeo trivia.
Before Brady left our table he gave us a few pointers about driving deeper into the hill country. That conversation illustrated one of my favorite things about speaking with local people wherever we go. We are always enriched by the fresh insights we gain.
Travel Light Humor
What the restaurant may have lacked in contemporary decorating, it more than made up for in the quality of the food. Our meal was delicious and served in generous amounts at Pioneer 3.
I was in the mood for an old-fashioned hot roast beef sandwich. However, I wasn’t prepared for the Texas-sized portions. Oh, my!
An inch-thick slab of tender and lean melt-in-you-mouth roast beef atop two slices of the most delicious homemade-style whole wheat bread (no fake white glue bread here) and a large dollop of real mashed potatoes, all slathered with thick brown gravy covered my platter, I mean plate. It also came with a side item/vegetable, salad, and two rolls.
I could never eat all that food in one sitting—no way—no how. But there was absolutely no way I was going to let all that amazing roast beef go to waste!
I waddled out of the restaurant after dinner. Although I didn’t let the food go to waste, it may have gone straight to my waist.
So be careful, you don’t want these Texas-sized portions to add to your proportions.
Travel Tips for Texas-sized Portions
Pioneer 3 Restaurant
1100 Sheppard Access Road #3
Wichita Falls, TX
Check their Facebook page for occasional specials and to enjoy Brady’s videos:
If you’re driving, you may want to take a cooler with you to keep all those leftover heapin’ helpin’s of Texas hospitality for a snack or picnic lunch.
Are you hungry yet?
Name a restaurant you’ve enjoyed that served extra large portions. Did you eat the whole thing?
Fess up now! Tell me all about it in the comments below. Y’all come back now, ya’ hear?
Until next time . . . Travel Light, (or at least try to)
© 2018 SuZan Klassen