Wednesday, April 30, 2008

DeWese's Tip Top Cafe

2814 Fredericksburg Road
(210) 732-0191
Open Tuesday to Sunday at 11am, Closed Mondays
On the Menu

As a little girl, whenever I would visit my abuela's little house in Mercedes, Texas, deep in the Rio Grande Valley, there was something very comforting about how everything was always the same. The same little yard with the aloe bush and a forked tree in the front perfect for climbing. The sight of my abuelita in her little bata house dress, eternally at the stove turning tortillas on her comal (which I use to this day in my kitchen). The same smells of chopped onion and bright cilantro and refried frijoles wafting about her small two bedroom home. It was everything ordinary in the most extraordinary way.

That's kind of how I feel about DeWeese's Tip Top Cafe. The place is over fifty years old and probably looks the same way it did when it was opened with its wood paneling, mounted deer heads, and floral curtains. But it's these same sights and sounds that great you when you walk in that make you feel at home. And they're also what enhance a menu full of Texas all-stars.

This past weeked my honey and I met my parents for Sunday lunch at the Tip Top. We started with a towered plate of fat onion rings, which arrived hot with a perfectly golden, crispy crust. They were a sight to behold. I need to start taking pictures.

I was torn between the cheeseburger and the chicken-fried steak, but dear old dad ended the agony and graciously offered to order the latter so that we could split them. The burger bun was lightly buttered, just like the rolls. The chicken fried steak was hot with a crispy crust that was not at all sogged with grease.

Incidentally, service was tops, excuse the pun. I never had a cold coffee cup and we sat, put our orders in, and had our food right away, despite the full house.

For dessert we settled on a slice of chocolate pie and the cherry cobbler. The pie was a let down. The meringue had a rusty taste to it, and the chocolate filling was slimy with a chalky taste. The cobbler, on the other hand, stole the show - equal parts tart, juicy berry and thick, chewy crust. The syrup had a tart sweetness, too. A perfect end to a perfect lunch at home.

Until next time, Buen Provecho!

FINAL WORD: San Antonio institution perfect for a quick bite or lunch after church.

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