Here we are in the everything is bigger state of Texas! After our meal of sadness last night at the Big Texan Steak Ranch, we were on a mission to find breakfast that would heal our broken hearts. In our motel room, we’re both on our phones googling, and reading reviews of restaurants nearby in Amarillo. Eventually, Bear finds Ye Old Pancake Station. After reading all the rave reviews we head on over. It’s a cozy welcoming place with a lot of tables, all of which seemed to be occupied at all times, and we found out why. We ordered pancakes, (of course) biscuits and gravy, and a skillet scramble which consists of eggs, hashbrowns, sausage, onions, and cheese. The menu has quite a few things that I want to try on our next trip. All of the plates that passed us looked scrumptious.
Just look at those sexy pancakes. The syrup and butter mingling together atop the perfectly hinted-at-crispness on the outside of the pancakes and soaking their way through the fluffy and flavorful inside. Lord, these pancakes are delicious! We can’t say anything bad about the gravy, biscuits, or scramble either. The most average thing we had was the standard restaurant coffee, but we’ve had bad restaurant coffee, so even that gets a passing grade in our book. If you find yourself in Amarillo, Texas with a big appetite between the hours of
6 am – 2 pm we highly recommend Ye Old Pancake Station!
With our full happy bellies, we head to Cadillac Ranch, also in Amarillo. If you don’t know much about this tourist or roadside attraction it’s ten Cadillacs half-buried in the ground. It was created in 1974 by Chip Lord, Hudson Marquez and Doug Michels, who were a part of the art group Ant Farm. When you find it, park, try not to get hit by cars also trying to park or cars driving away, and then walk through a gate and walk a little farther through a dirt pasture. Helpful tip: Flip flops are not fun to make this little trek in, especially if it just rained. It’s encouraged that you bring a couple of cans of spray paint so you can leave your mark, as this is considered interactive art. If you choose not to then you’re basically looking at or snapping pictures of other people’s names on these buried caddies. Is Cadillac Ranch worth a stop? In short, yes. Would I ever go a second time? Probably not.
After spray painting our names and initials everywhere we could, we jump back in Bear’s lifted truck…well he jumps in, after boosting me in like a toddler. Lifted trucks are not a 5 foot and 4 inches tall girls friend, lemme tell ya.
We drove through Oklahoma and made it to our home for the next couple of nights in Batesville, Arkansas so we can visit some of Bear’s family. On the way to our motel, we made a pit stop to fill the gas tank and use the restroom. I don’t usually take pictures when I’m in a public restroom, not in the mirror and definitely not in the stall. I prefer to do what I gotta do and get in and out. But, as soon as I was finished placing toilet paper squares on the toilet seat (because most of the south refuses to supply toilet seat covers for some reason) and sat down and took a good look at the door in front of me, I fumbled in my purse for my phone.
I mean, how often do you find such words of profound wisdom in a gas station restroom, or any public restroom for that matter. I especially enjoy that under the word “too” it says “stay classy” written in pen. I wasn’t expecting an inspirational meme staring me in the face while relieving my bladder, but there it was. God bless you Arkansas pit stop.
From there we went to the motel and settled in for the night.
I have to first talk about the room at the Econolodge we stayed at. The first night was uneventful. I don’t have a bad memory of the cleanliness or anything. It was basic but the mattress wasn’t bad, and nothing grossed me out so it would have been somewhere I’d stay again. Emphasis on IT WOULD HAVE been.
On the evening of the second night after coming back from having dinner with Bear’s family, we get in our pajamas and settle in for some motel television. We keep hearing the sound of water dripping, but neither of us thinks much of it since we had taken showers. The dripping sounds like it’s getting more aggressive so I go investigate this obviously very leaky faucet. As soon as I turn on the bathroom light I tell Bear to come take look…
The raining ceiling became worse after taking the video. We informed the front desk and luckily they had another room only a few doors down we could move to. Now we understand that this isn’t necessarily the fault of the motel but the woman we spoke to the next morning in the office A) Had no idea this had happened, and B) Was acting like she could have been the person in the room above ours responsible for the flooding. The motel worker in charge the night before relayed back to us their findings, and they bluntly informed us a person entertaining themselves with some substance had fallen asleep and left the bathtub running. Alright, so not the motel’s fault, however, the morning staff probably should have been made aware of it. I was being a bit dramatic before because we would stay here again if there wasn’t any other option. Once I have a bad taste in my mouth about a place I try to avoid it, regardless of what occurred being directly the fault of the business or not. But, that’s just me.
Okay, let’s get to the food! Before we almost had a ceiling cave in on us we had dinner with Bear’s family at Fred’s Fish House, in Batesville, Arkansas. This was a night of firsts for me. We ordered Hushpuppies, fried green tomatoes, and frog legs. I had hushpuppies before but at a restaurant in California, so it didn’t really count. I had been wanting to try fried green tomatoes, honestly ever since 1991 when I saw the movie, Fried Green Tomatoes and discovered they were an edible thing that existed. Bear was the one that made sure we ordered frog legs. I remember when I was kid my mom who was born in Arkansas would rave about her love of frog legs. Personally, I can’t get over the fact that they are FROG LEGS. My desire to eat a frog leg has been nonexistent. But I was down to be a good sport and take on a new experience that may or may not make me spew vomit.
The hushpuppies on the upper left of the picture were delicious. I’m a cornbread lover and they’re basically fried cornbread balls. Fred’s Fish House served up some super tasty hushpuppy balls and these were miles better than the dry, flavorless balls I had in California. On the right of the above picture are the fried green tomatoes and I loved those as well. Bear guaranteed me this place wouldn’t disappoint with these babies and he was right. They reminded me of fried zucchini, only with more zing! Next, it was time to try the frog legs on the bottom left of the picture. For my first bite, I dunked that bad boy deeply in my cup of ranch dressing, closed my eyes and bit and chewed quickly, as if I was being timed. First off, ranch makes almost everything better, or at the very least masks flavor, and since I was still mentally freaked out about them being FROG LEGS I wasn’t giving my taste buds a chance to make an informed decision. With my second bite, I sucked it up and put it in my mouth without ranch and actually gave it time to touch my tongue. And………………………………………. it wasn’t thaaaaaaaaaaat bad. Buuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuut……………………………………………………. not something I’m super amped to have again. Not because of the restaurants presentation of them in any way, but because they are FROG LEGS.
The next morning after our exciting night at the Econolodge we had breakfast at a spot right next to the motel and ate some average and edible french toast, and then hit the road towards Memphis, Tennessee.
Guess which tourist attraction we’re about to hit next…
To be continued
Stay tuned for part 3…
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