Stanley's Famous Pit BBQ: Best BBQ in East Texas
Stanley's made the rankings on the Texas Monthly 50 best this year, so when my wife said she had a itching for BBQ while headed east on I20 toward Louisiana, my truck naturally veered off the road and down to Tyler. Located 11 miles south of the highway, Stanley's was a little difficult to find in the heart of the town. It is worth the driving frustration.
My 5 star synopsis:
--The brisket had great flavor. It was a tad undercooked for me (too much visible fat vs marbling)
--The pulled pork was the best I have tasted in Texas.
--The ribs were sweet dry rubbed which is not my personal favorite, but they nailed what they were going for.
--The hot link was tasty and actually had a little heat.
--My wife's brisket baked potato was literally a thing of beauty.
--Outdoor patio with live music
--The peppery sauce was hot... and delish.
Overall, this would not have won a brisket showdown with some of my other favorites, but I would absolutely not turn down an opportunity for them to wow me on my next trip.
Schlotzsky's: Favorite Sandwich
Schlotzsky’s is one of my very favorite places to eat. It’s a sandwich shop that you can take out or eat in the shop with plenty of tables always available. It’s a bit pricier ($6-7 for a sandwich) than most other sandwich shops but definitely worth it.
It's a place where you order at the counter, then wait for your food and pick it up when they call your number. It's very casual and I'm sure you'll love the food!
There are three different locations in Tyler so make sure to check with that specific location for hours.
Hours of operation
Mon-Sat: 10:30am-9:00pm; Sun: 11:00am-7:00pm
Favorite Dish: The highlight is the sandwiches. They make it with thick sourdough bread and very thinly sliced meat. Then they sprinkle cheese (the best is a mixture of cheddar and mozzarella) on one piece of bread and run it through an oven conveyor belt. Therefore the sandwich is warm and very tasty. The Original is their signature sandwich and comes with: “Home of The Original® Sandwich. Lean smoked ham, Genoa and cotto salamis, and melted cheddar, mozzarella, and parmesan cheeses layered with black olives, red onion, lettuce, tomato, mustard and our signature dressing on toasted Sourdough bread.” (From the website.)
Their sandwiches are quite large. I’ve never ordered a large, the mediums are quite enough when you’re at your hungriest.
Their original chips are delicious! Their pizzas are as well. The cheese and pizza is definitely worth trying, also cooked on a sourdough. The bbq chicken looks just as good but it’s hard not to get my favorite sandwich, the turkey and cheese.
Pat Gee's BBQ: A lotta soul in a little shack.
Without a doubt this is one of the top 10 BBQ joints in the world!
It is a shack in the middle of the Piney Woods. They serve BBQ ribs, chicken, turkey, and brisket. They have white bread, sauce, and cokes. Thats it. Nothing else. If you want potato salad, beer, or beans you have to bring it yourself.
It has been family owned for 3 generations and my father has known all 3 of them. They call him "Mista Doug."
UPDATE - tlgee (Pat's Grandson) contacted me and informed me that they now serve beans and cole slaw.
Favorite Dish: BRISKET ! It is without a doubt the best I have ever eaten. It is slow smoked for days before they serve it. There is so much smoke in this place that your eyes water up like you have been reading a cheap romance novel.
You can also get a bag of beef rib bones for your dogs for $2.00 They save them up in bread bags and have them in the refrigerator. You just say "I need me some bones!"
- Road Trip
- Family Travel
Mercado's: We were told "this is the place to eat"
I put this under Mexican but really it is the biggest Tex-Mex place I've seen. It might even have claims to be the first Tex-mex restaurant. Anyway, the servings were big, the food was good, the service efficient and fun, and we had no complaints.
- Family Travel
Double Dave's Pizza: Low Key Pizza Joint (For Those with Kids)
The pizza here is awesome! I especially love the buffet on the weekends when you can taste the variety of pizza they have. One of the best things about this place is they serve beer! That way, if you're with the kids you can let them have fun while also enjoying yourself a bit :) But not too much!!
The ambience is very laid back. They have a few video games for the kids. They have nice, big televisions for the sports. The decor is very fun.
**FYI, I took the pictures really late on a Friday night right before they closed ...
Favorite Dish: You have to try the pepperoni rolls! They are delicious!!!
Bernard's: Atmosphere and Fine Dining
Just imagine dining in a dimly lit, vaulted wine cellar and you've accurately pictured BERNARDS. It definitely added an appeal to an evening set aside for fine dining.
Wine niches set in the walls and dark, aged paint gave the restaurant a certain uniqueness although the restaurant was actually part of a strip mall. The restaurant was a bit difficult to find (it sat behind Traditions Cafeteria along Broadway Street), but was well worth the search.
My husband and I shared a stuffed mushroom and crab appetizer which was drizzled with lobster sauce ($6.00), then moved onto a meltingly tender Filet Mignon with Bearnaise Sauce and mashed potatoes ($22.95) with a velvety and luscious Tiramisu for dessert. We couldn't have enjoyed a better dinner anywhere else--it was wonderful!
My photo shows the entrance to the restaurant's outdoor dining area, which was shielded by plastic sheeting. Not a very enticing picture, but a very enticing restaurant!
Favorite Dish: Filet Mignon and all the trimmings
- Women's Travel
Don Juan's: Mexican Through and Through
Don Juan's was recommended by a very helpful lady at the Chamber of Commerce, where we purchased our tickets for the bus ride to the Azalea district. My husband and I were assured that this restaurant offered 'real Mexican cooking'.
Don Juan's was festively decorated with colorful papier mache ornaments hanging from the ceiling, which spun each time a puff of wind entered the restaurant along with the customers.
The walls were a bright combination of terracotta and blue accented by vivid wall murals; lively patterns stood out on the painted chairs.
A basket of complimentary nachos and two salsas (regular and green chile) were laid before us. We tore into them with gusto! I ordered Chicken Chimichunga ($6.95) which was accompanied by loads of rice and refried beans. Other entrees were quesadillas, burritos and fajitas and other typical fare.
The restaurant was humming with conversation and busyness. We would recommend Don Juan's for a filling and tasty meal.
Favorite Dish: The chicken chimichunga was good and oversized.
- Family Travel
Pasado's and Mercado's: Good, kid friendly Mexican food
Both restuarants are owned by the same family and have the same great food. The service is fast and kid friendly. One of the favorites of all my Tyler friends
Favorite Dish: Tortilla soup is fabulous, confirmed by my Mexican friends!
Finding yourself searching for...
Finding yourself searching for the Best Kept Secret in Tyler? 'Currents' Serving the finest French Cuisine from Houston to Dallas.
Romantic atmosphere, gold star service, enticing wine's that make you keep it your little secret!
Favorite Dish: Suggestions can only be made by the chef!
Golden Corral: Golden Corral
The staff is friendly and informative. They had no problems explaining how things worked or what was the best food on the buffet. They were eager to refill drinks, bring hot rolls, and clear away dirty dishes to make way for the new plates.
Favorite Dish: This is one of those buffet places with all you can eat EVERYTHING! During the dinner hours they even have steak on the grill to order. MMMMMM!
Don Juan: Don Juan
This is a very nice mexican restaurant. It is not the typical kind of place where everything tastes the same and is made to the likes of Americans.
Everything in the menu is fresh and no matter what you order, you will like it.
Favorite Dish: Everything.