East Texas Burger Company

East Texas Burger Company


Earlier this year we were introduced to wonuts out of Chicago and the national monstrosity that is KFC's Double Down Dog, so it's a little sad that a bona fide Texas original - the Donut Burger- had to fight for the spotlight. It's sweet, it's greasy, it's definitely not good for you, and it's now on the NacBurger menu full-time.

A local news story out of deep East Texas about the Donut Burger started making the rounds on social media in that sweet spot between second breakfast and first lunch, and it gave us pause. Exactly how many minutes would it take to drive to Nacogdoches?

About 2 hours and 50 minutes. Don't ask how we know.

Dallas boasts more diners and drive-ins than you can shake a greasy spoon at, and many of them are great. But, road trips through less urban areas pose a challenge. Whether on the road or in the mood for a gut-busting pilgrimage, here are 5 more fatty foodstops you can make in about 2 or 3 hours.

Health Camp in Waco

The quintessential Dallas-to-Austin highway siren, Health Camp lured impervious drivers right off Interstate 35. You like the tongue-in-cheek name? They fry up the "Health Burger" and the "Super Health Burger," and we assure you it is not made with quinoa and kale.

Also on the menu: chili dogs, Frito pies, a Frito pie salad (a heart-smart choice?), an extra-large milkshake or malt that goes for $6.51, or more than 30 flavors of custard including "toasted marshmallow" and "strawberry chocolate chip."

Drive from Dallas: About an hour and a half.

Frosty Drive N in Denton

Locals might want to keep Denton weird, but there's nothing except bald eagle screaming, all-American muscle car driving traditionalism at Frosty Drive N, which on second thought, can be gloriously weird in its own way. They broil double-patty hamburgers and add "special mayonnaise." But, one thing that definitely sets them apart is the homemade root beer.

Also on the menu: Milkshakes, corn dogs, grilled cheese sandwiches, and something called a burrito deluxe that sounds just divine.

Drive from Dallas: 45 minutes to 4 days depending on traffic on I-35.

East Texas Burger Company in Mineola

Where is Wood County and why would you want to drive there? That's for you to decide, friend. But, if'n you make it that way, ETBC's famous for its eponymous burgers - and you can "bet yer bass" you'll like them, too - but don't forget the fried pies. Deep east Texas deep fried pies.

Also on the menu: Sweet and Spicy burger with jalapeno bacon raspberry jelly, hand-battered catfish, corn fritters, and fried green beans.

Drive from Dallas: About an hour and a half.

Mary's Cafe in Strawn

Out in the West(ish) Texas town of Straw, we fell in love with a soul-food cookin' girl. Her name was Mary, and she slings one of the best loved, highly-praised chicken fried steaks this side of Abilene. Or anywhere, for that matter.

Also on the menu: frog legs, chicken gizzards, chicken livers, calf fries (which are not like potato fries), and other parts of animals that might seem like they shouldn't be eaten but just go with it OK.

Drive from Dallas: Couple hours.

Inside the Dairy Palace

Inside the Dairy Palace


Dairy Palace in Canton

It's pretty much a town-sized flea market, and they're cool with it, but the First Monday Trade Days isn't the only thing Canton's known for. The "World Famous Dairy Palace" offers breakfast platters to burgers, plus 32 flavors of hand-dipped Blue Bell ice cream.

Also on the menu: A lot, including but not limited to, exotic burgers like elk, duck, and venison, and a breakfast platter called "chipped beef on a shingle"

Plus, they're good for "Special Day Specials" like black eyed peas on New Years and small complimentary U.S. flags on Independence Day and Veterans Day. Not to mention free WiFi, which anyone who frequents rural Texas knows can be almost impossible to find. Class act.

Drive from Dallas: About an hour.

Honorable mention: Rockett Cafe in Rockett, Texas, is about 30 minutes from downtown, so a little close for a "road trip."  But, mentioned because they serve a 14 or 18 oz. T-bone cut IN THE LITERAL SHAPE OF TEXAS

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