Big Bend Chat

The Big Bend Review => Lodging Reviews => Topic started by: Ray52 on January 10, 2009, 05:58:31 PM

Title: Study Butte/Terlingua dining
Post by: Ray52 on January 10, 2009, 05:58:31 PM
During my time in the area before and after my OML hike I tried a few of the restaurants in the area. Most were good, a couple not so special but here's my review.

Kathy's Kosmic Kowgirl - I ate two meals here. The first was a veggie quesadilla with mushrooms & jalapenos and a bowl of pinto beans. Both were very good. I also stopped in just before closing time another afternoon wanting to try the chili but due to the time the only menu choices available were either beef or pork BBQ. I chose the pork sandwich and it was very tasty and filling. Kathy is a very friendly lady and a darn good cook.

La Kiva - I was drawn here mostly by the curiosity factor. It was busy but not over run with customers but I found the service to be unusual. The waitress didn't take any drink orders. I had to stand in line at the bar to order iced tea. My entree, quail sausage, was okay but a little overcooked. Nothing was horrible, but I believe there are better options so I probably won't be returning.

Big Bend Motor Inn gas station cafe - I had the breakfast buffet. I'm not a fan of buffets and should have known better but it sounded convenient as I wanted to hurry to the trailhead and begin my hike. I've had a good omelet here on a previous trip and if in the area will try that again, but definitely pass on the buffet.

Rio Bravo Mexican Restaurant - I stopped in for dinner on the 1st after coming off the trail and showering. I ordered chicken enchiladas verde (my standard order wherever it is offered). This is a very small place and you can watch the activity in the small kitchen while you wait for your food. The chips were pretty average, but the excellent salsa was anything but that. I crave heat and this one was right at the brink of my tolerance. My enchiladas were the stacked kind and equally as tasty as the salsa. I'll definitely be going back to Rio Bravo.

Starlight Dinner Theater - Jim2 and I enjoyed a meeting and tasty meal here on Friday night. We sat at a table with another party so didn't have to wait. I had chicken fried antelope in beer gravy and a single Shiner Bock. Both were very good. I was visiting with Jim2 so really didn't study the menu before ordering, but was really happy with my choice. 
Title: Re: Study Butte/Terlingua dining
Post by: BigBendHiker on January 10, 2009, 06:40:43 PM
To add to the list of restaurants...

Ghost Town Cafe in Terlingua is really good.  Ate there the day after Christmas.  Had a great roast beef sandwich and fries.  My son's hamburger was huge.  They take only cash or checks (took our out of town check from SA)...no plastic...




BBH
Title: Re: Study Butte/Terlingua dining
Post by: riverrat on January 11, 2009, 07:07:38 PM
I made mention of our dining xperiences in my lastest trip report but for for sake of putting everything in its place, I will throw in my $.02 worth here:

Kathy's Kosmic Kowgirl Kafe- Pancho Villa breakfast burritoes are right on the money, especially when washed down with the best coffee I believe I've ever tasted.

BBMotor Inn gas station cafe (they need a better name!) - cheeseburgers was our choice one night and they were were large, juicy and very satisfying and the breakfast buffet one morning. The bacon was cooked just right but the eggs, I believe, were powdered. The biscuits, when topped with the gravy, were pretty good. Otherwise they were just cold, dry biscuits. Not being able to order from a menu was a disappointment.

The Starlight - hubbie had the chicken fried antelope and seemed very pleased with his choice, I had a bite of his to sample and it was very tender and tasty. I ordered the sirloin which was cooked perfectly but it was a bit tough. The salsa and guacamole with chips were very good.

High Sierra Bar and Grill - We each chose the chicken fried steak dinner with iced tea. Portions were just right and the price wasn't too high and our tea glasses were never empty.

Long Draw Bar and Pizza Parlour - We ordered the medium Cactus jack pizza which was extremely good.

We didn't eat at La Kiva or Chili Peppers this trip but we did last time we were there. The brisket had just come off the pit at La Kiva when we sat down so there was no doubt we would have that. It was delicious but we both found the portion too small for the price. AFA Chili Peppers, I had a bowl of soup that, unfortunately, I do not remember what it was called and I don't even think it was on the menu. Evidently they only prepare it when the ingredients are available. Whatever it was, it was fantastic! My family each ordered different dishes which no one remembers what exactly they had but it was all good.
Title: Re: Study Butte/Terlingua dining
Post by: bdann on January 11, 2009, 10:02:28 PM
Ghost Town Cafe is great.  I had one kick ass chicken fried chicken there last year.
Title: Re: Study Butte/Terlingua dining
Post by: mule ears on January 12, 2009, 07:14:12 AM
Maybe it was because we had just come off the trail after seven days but when we went into the Starlight (which I have enjoyed before) we sat down and the crowd was getting large, the noise of the heater blowing and the what appeared to be the only waitress made us look at each other and we got up and retreated to the quiet more local occupied La Kiva.  We had a very enjoyable dinner (chicken fried steak) and time with Glenn and some locals. Good beer, and music, not too many people.
Title: Re: Study Butte/Terlingua dining
Post by: riverrat on January 13, 2009, 09:08:58 AM
Likewise Cindy....where is the High Sierra? Is it at the Eldorado Hotel? I saw the Long Draw but it looked long closed, but it was before 8 AM.

The High Sierra is at the El Dorado. And the Long Draw is quite non-descript. Had we not had a reccomendation from a couple we met on the trail, we would never have stopped there. As it was, when we got there (around 5 or so) the open sign was not on but the door was wide open and a few vehicles were parked there. So, I stuck my head in the door to inquire if pizza was being served and the owner/barback/pizza maker said "sure,come on in" so we did. It was New Year's Day and she had blackeyed peas, cabbage and cornbread out for anyone who wanted any, free of charge, but we were looking to have the pizza. While we were there, quite a few folks came by to order pizza and would be back in a bit to pick it up. Closest thing to a drive in eating joint as you'll find out there, I reckon!
Title: Re: Study Butte/Terlingua dining
Post by: xseption on January 13, 2009, 05:13:11 PM

I didn't even see that one BBH. I don't usually spend much time out of the park so all but the gas station cafe were new for me. I did pass by The Boathouse near the Starlight. Is that a restaurant or just a watering hole?


The Boathouse is a local watering hole. They have a small menu, but it's mini-pizza and stuff. The mini pizza did do me well once.

~ edd
Title: Re: Study Butte/Terlingua dining
Post by: BigBendHiker on January 13, 2009, 07:00:03 PM
...and we got up and retreated to the quiet more local occupied La Kiva.  We had a very enjoyable dinner (chicken fried steak) and time with Glenn and some locals. Good beer, and music, not too many people.

We ate at La Kiva while out there over Christmas.  Really enjoyed it.  Good food, good music and atmosphere.   Chatted with Glenn for a few minutes.  Even got to see their dungeon (through the Hobbitt door there near the front).  We would definitely go back to La Kiva.


BBH
Title: Re: Study Butte/Terlingua dining
Post by: westtex on January 14, 2009, 10:50:25 AM
While it may not be in Study Butte proper, Tivo's is hard to be for traditional greasy mexican food. 
Title: Re: Study Butte/Terlingua dining
Post by: jave on March 11, 2009, 11:14:23 AM
last week, Why Terlingua came out in hardcopy.  Local restaurants and sights get an in depth treatment by one of the locals, and also the bigger characters in the area are pictured with a vignette.  Check it out- I live near Alpine and never fully understand South County culture but the book is a bridge to their world.
The author of Why Terlingua is Carlton Leatherwood.
Title: Re: Study Butte/Terlingua dining
Post by: tjavery on July 30, 2009, 12:08:54 PM
I'm putting together a little info packet on restaurants in the Study Butte/Terlingua area for an upcoming trip. This thread has been most helpful.

I was wondering, where/what is the "Grub Shack"? It is frequently mentioned in John Well's blog (http://thefieldlab.blogspot.com/ (http://thefieldlab.blogspot.com/)). People have asked him where this place is using the comment feature his blog, but he's never responded there with info.
Title: Re: Study Butte/Terlingua dining
Post by: DC6080 on July 30, 2009, 01:21:54 PM
I was wondering the exact same thing. I just got back from Big Bend and the Grub Shack is on Terlingua Ranch Road, right by the sign marking the entrance to the Ranch. You can't miss it. It is on the left, right across from the sign.
Title: Re: Study Butte/Terlingua dining
Post by: tjavery on July 30, 2009, 02:16:39 PM
I was wondering the exact same thing. I just got back from Big Bend and the Grub Shack is on Terlingua Ranch Road, right by the sign marking the entrance to the Ranch. You can't miss it. It is on the left, right across from the sign.

Cool. Thanks!
Title: Re: Study Butte/Terlingua dining
Post by: Sanjuro82 on August 01, 2009, 09:35:59 AM
Yeah I really enjoyed my meal at Rio Bravo.  Nice little hole in the wall.  Just a heads up though, Rio Bravo is BYOB.  :icon_cool:
Title: Re: Study Butte/Terlingua dining
Post by: Red Hawk on August 01, 2009, 01:01:36 PM
Beyond the Grub shack on the T. Ranch road about a mile on the right is Suzy's Snack Shack. I've stopped in several times for a good burger or breakfast. There's a resident covey of quail for entertainment.
Title: Re: Study Butte/Terlingua dining
Post by: DC6080 on August 03, 2009, 07:36:11 PM
I still think that the Starlight is the best, by far. Tivo's is great as well. I also understand that the American Legion has dinner on Saturdays for $5!
Title: Re: Study Butte/Terlingua dining
Post by: trtlrock on August 03, 2009, 08:28:21 PM
mini-reviews:

1) Starlight -- good
2) Long Draw Pizza -- excellent; call ahead or prepare to wait a long time
3) Mexican place just SW of the 118/170 intersection (can't remember the name  :icon_redface:) -- excellent food, no ambience whatever, TV picture is largely green & purple  :icon_lol:
4) Mexican place just NW of the 118/170 intersection (can't remember the name either  :icon_redface:) -- great food, including breakfasts; nice views thru window or from outside tables
5) Mexican place just on the W side of 118 and a ways N of the 118/170 intersection (after passing some TR gates, maybe a 10-15 minute drive, has a 'motel' attached) (can't remember the name  :icon_redface:) -- bad lighting, bad ambience, mediocre food, nice cats in the courtyard though
6) "Fusion" restaurant S of 170 in between SB & Terlingua (can't remember name either  :icon_lol:) -- really overpriced, food just OK, portions small, pretentious imho...

YMMV of course...
Title: Re: Study Butte/Terlingua dining
Post by: tjavery on August 04, 2009, 08:22:52 AM
3) Mexican place just SW of the 118/170 intersection (can't remember the name  :icon_redface:) -- excellent food, no ambience whatever, TV picture is largely green & purple  :icon_lol:

Rio Bravo? Used to be Los Paisanos, I think. Very small place run by a family.

I've eaten there twice. The food was hot, spicy and good.

First time (Nov. '05) you had to buy a basket of chips and salsa, but the chips were homemade. We ate two baskets.

Second time (Sep. '07), the food was just about the same and good. The chips were different (store-bought) and free, IIRC.

Anyway, it's a great place to satisfy that Mexican food craving after a few days eating mountain house or the like :icon_biggrin:

5) Mexican place just on the W side of 118 and a ways N of the 118/170 intersection (after passing some TR gates, maybe a 10-15 minute drive, has a 'motel' attached) (can't remember the name  :icon_redface:) -- bad lighting, bad ambience, mediocre food, nice cats in the courtyard though

Tivo's? I've never been there, but I've read it's just north of Study Butte along 118.
Title: Re: Study Butte/Terlingua dining
Post by: oldfatman on September 16, 2009, 12:57:30 AM
I ate at Chili Peppers Sunday night. The last time for me. Definitely not my taste in Tex Mex.

Several locals recommended Rio Bravo and Tivos.  However the local folks also said to call them before going as they are open on a as the owner wants to open basis.  Both were closed during my four days in Study Butte.

Chicken fried steak in the basin restaurant was fairly decent on Sunday for lunch.  Service was fantastic.
Title: Re: Study Butte/Terlingua dining
Post by: Homer67 on June 06, 2010, 05:04:41 PM
We ate at the Chili Pepper on April 27, 2010.  We had the fajitas for two, and it was pretty good!  Perhaps it was the long days in the sun out by Mule Ears that made it seem so good, but it sure did hit the spot! We will go back there again the last week of September, when we make a return to Big Bend. 
Title: Re: Study Butte/Terlingua dining
Post by: 1badtk on August 23, 2010, 11:13:28 AM
...and we got up and retreated to the quiet more local occupied La Kiva.  We had a very enjoyable dinner (chicken fried steak) and time with Glenn and some locals. Good beer, and music, not too many people.

We ate at La Kiva while out there over Christmas.  Really enjoyed it.  Good food, good music and atmosphere.   Chatted with Glenn for a few minutes.  Even got to see their dungeon (through the Hobbitt door there near the front).  We would definitely go back to La Kiva.

BBH
Sounds like our same experience including the dungeon and history which included the employee parties. A Really cool, and cave like area for parties. La Kiva is nothing like it looks from the outside, you must enter to get the full experience. Sit on the all tree furniture, navigate the unleveled floors and tables, along with the art work. We will always eat there while in the area.
Title: Re: Study Butte/Terlingua dining
Post by: BigBendHiker on August 23, 2010, 06:14:11 PM
...and we got up and retreated to the quiet more local occupied La Kiva.  We had a very enjoyable dinner (chicken fried steak) and time with Glenn and some locals. Good beer, and music, not too many people.

We ate at La Kiva while out there over Christmas.  Really enjoyed it.  Good food, good music and atmosphere.   Chatted with Glenn for a few minutes.  Even got to see their dungeon (through the Hobbitt door there near the front).  We would definitely go back to La Kiva.

BBH
Sounds like our same experience including the dungeon and history which included the employee parties. A Really cool, and cave like area for parties. La Kiva is nothing like it looks from the outside, you must enter to get the full experience. Sit on the all tree furniture, navigate the unleveled floors and tables, along with the art work. We will always eat there while in the area.

Yep, very neat place, indeed.
Title: Re: Study Butte/Terlingua dining
Post by: stingrey on August 24, 2010, 04:31:55 PM
I love this thread! More often than not I stick with the reliable sources just in case, but I'm looking forward to trying a few more places when time permits. I HAVE to add to the list of recommendations for Ghost Town Cafe. I even bought one of their t-shirts to wear because of how awesome I think their grub is.

I know she doesn't normally do it anymore, but when this place first opened up the owner made an AWESOME German Chocolate Cake. If offered, this lady's desserts are prize winning. If you thought the meal was amazing, just know that IF she did desserts more often, the place would possibly bring in traffic just because of her desert desserts.

On the same token, Starlight was great as usual when we went this past weekend. My 'rents had a regular burger w/fries and a chicken sandwich w/chips. I had the normal burger w/fries as well. My mom's gauge of whether or not a place is good or great has to do with the fries. She ate them all, and that was before we got a good hike in. On that note, my mom approves!
Title: Re: Study Butte/Terlingua dining
Post by: BigBendHiker on August 24, 2010, 05:30:18 PM
I love this thread! More often than not I stick with the reliable sources just in case, but I'm looking forward to trying a few more places when time permits. I HAVE to add to the list of recommendations for Ghost Town Cafe. I even bought one of their t-shirts to wear because of how awesome I think their grub is.

I know she doesn't normally do it anymore, but when this place first opened up the owner made an AWESOME German Chocolate Cake. If offered, this lady's desserts are prize winning. If you thought the meal was amazing, just know that IF she did desserts more often, the place would possibly bring in traffic just because of her desert desserts.

On the same token, Starlight was great as usual when we went this past weekend. My 'rents had a regular burger w/fries and a chicken sandwich w/chips. I had the normal burger w/fries as well. My mom's gauge of whether or not a place is good or great has to do with the fries. She ate them all, and that was before we got a good hike in. On that note, my mom approves!

I may have already weighed on on Ghost Town Cafe as being a great place to eat...but I just have to second Stingrey's comments.  Ghosttown Cafe is superb.  Really is.
Title: Re: Study Butte/Terlingua dining
Post by: tjavery on August 25, 2010, 07:52:46 AM
I may have already weighed on on Ghost Town Cafe as being a great place to eat...but I just have to second Stingrey's comments.  Ghosttown Cafe is superb.  Really is.

I 3rd that recommendation. Their breakfast is amazingly good. The chili cheese omelet is spectacular, especially with their salsa (you might need a whole bottle of Rollaids later, but hey, you only live once, right?).
Title: Re: Study Butte/Terlingua dining
Post by: mule ears on August 25, 2010, 11:21:24 AM
Did the Ghost Town Cafe used to be Ms. Tracy's?  I have eaten there in the past and I think it is the same building,  Great breakfast for sure.
Title: Re: Study Butte/Terlingua dining
Post by: Robert on August 25, 2010, 01:25:24 PM
Quote
Did the Ghost Town Cafe used to be Ms. Tracy's?

Here is the link:http://ghosttowncafe.homestead.com (http://ghosttowncafe.homestead.com)

This looks like a place we'll have to check out on the next trip.
Title: Re: Study Butte/Terlingua dining
Post by: Gwyn Glasslynn on October 04, 2010, 02:35:45 PM
The Starlight Theater was closed on September 25, 2010 but is going to re-open under new management/ownership in about two months.  I recommend eating at the High Sierra at the El Dorado Motel, La Kiva, Chili Pepper Cafe or Tivo's at the Longhorn Ranch Motel for dinner.  The Menu at the Big Bend Resort Cafe is okay.  I have had lunch there.  For lunch or breakfast India's Cafe, Chili Pepper, Roadrunner Deli at the Study Butte Store, Kathy's Kosmic Kowgirl Kafe, Los Jalapenos at the Terlingua Store or Espresso ...y poco mas in the Ghost Town.  Have not tried the Chiso Mountain Lodge restaurant in a while.  I hear it is okay.  City folk do not expect what you get in Big City.  Terlingua/Study Butte all one town is a rural place everything comes via Ben E Keith distributor or bought in Alpine an 1 hour and 20 minutes away.
Title: Re: Study Butte/Terlingua dining
Post by: DC6080 on October 04, 2010, 04:09:36 PM
According to the Alpine Daily Planet in their interview with Bill Ivey, he
will have the same chef and manager. He has also already applied
for a new liquor license as well, according to the Alpine Avalanche. I
guess 2 months won't be that long to wait.


http://alpinedailyplanet.typepad.com/alpine-daily-planet/2010/09/ivey-emphasizes-that-the-starlight-will-reopen.html#tp (http://alpinedailyplanet.typepad.com/alpine-daily-planet/2010/09/ivey-emphasizes-that-the-starlight-will-reopen.html#tp)
Title: Re: Study Butte/Terlingua dining
Post by: aircrftmec on October 05, 2010, 11:25:41 AM
My vote for a great quality Mexican diner at a fair $$$ goes to Tivo's at the Longhorn Ranch motel :eusa_clap: :eusa_clap: :eusa_clap:
Title: Re: Study Butte/Terlingua dining
Post by: perterra on February 22, 2011, 04:57:15 PM
Did the Ghost Town Cafe used to be Ms. Tracy's?  I have eaten there in the past and I think it is the same building,  Great breakfast for sure.

I think ghosttown used to be when pigs fly BBq in the old town.
Title: Re: Study Butte/Terlingua dining
Post by: Jimbow on March 27, 2011, 06:47:50 PM
Just to add to the positive comments on Starlight and Kiva. We've been very happy the past couple times we ate there. One bummer, the estimated 40 minute wait on a Tuesday evening at Starlight was closer to two hours.
Title: Re: Study Butte/Terlingua dining
Post by: Interceptor on March 28, 2011, 12:09:17 PM
I can also confirm the good news about the continued top quality at the Starlight.  We had dinner there twice earlier this month, it was terrific both times.  We also had an astonishingly good breakfast at India's in what I believe is the Bee Mountain Plaza.

Will look forward to trying Los Jalapenos next visit in December...

Title: Re: Study Butte/Terlingua dining
Post by: tjavery on April 01, 2011, 09:31:39 AM
I can also confirm the good news about the continued top quality at the Starlight.  We had dinner there twice earlier this month, it was terrific both times.  We also had an astonishingly good breakfast at India's in what I believe is the Bee Mountain Plaza.

I ate at India's several times last October. Extremely good food! Breakfast and lunch were both great.
Title: Re: Study Butte/Terlingua dining
Post by: RichardM on November 25, 2011, 09:30:48 AM
I'll add my recommendation for India's. Feel free to order off the menu, as William (India's husband) can handle special requests. India said wholesale food prices have doubled in the last year or so. Hopefully they'll be able to stay in business. Los Jalapenos has moved up to Alpine, and of course, the Ghost Town Cafe had already closed earlier this year. Kathy's Kosmic Kowgirl Kafe may not survive either.
Title: Re: Study Butte/Terlingua dining
Post by: Red Hawk on January 08, 2012, 06:33:44 AM
TR Lodge restaurant (Bad Rabbit) is open under new owners after being closed for 10 days for the transition. Best breakfast I've found in the area.  :eusa_clap: Good base for Christmas and Rosillos hiking.

The Grub Shack at 118/TR road will be open as soon as a new 'food grade' water tank arrives. Should be very shortly.   :crossedfingers: 

 
Title: Re: Study Butte/Terlingua dining
Post by: Hayduke on January 08, 2012, 07:05:22 AM
I'll add my recommendation for India's. Feel free to order off the menu, as William (India's husband) can handle special requests. India said wholesale food prices have doubled in the last year or so. Hopefully they'll be able to stay in business. Los Jalapenos has moved up to Alpine, and of course, the Ghost Town Cafe had already closed earlier this year. Kathy's Kosmic Kowgirl Kafe may not survive either.

Does anyone know

- when India's opens in the morning and
- if they have wifi?

I currently eat at BB Motor Inn's cafe because it's open early (breakfast at 6:30 am) and it has wifi. But the food is mediocre and overpriced.

The wifi requirement may seem odd but occasional contact allows me to stay in BB longer.

Thanks,

HD
Title: Re: Study Butte/Terlingua dining
Post by: jim2 on January 08, 2012, 11:11:06 AM
i preferred chili peppers breakfast. they also had good chicken fajitas.
Title: Re: Study Butte/Terlingua dining
Post by: fartymarty on January 08, 2012, 12:19:40 PM

Does anyone know

- when India's opens in the morning and
- if they have wifi?

Thanks,

HD

Their website says open at 6AM, and there is a contact form on the website. If you do make contact, let us know what they say (about wifi).  :crossedfingers:

India's (http://indias.homestead.com/)

I recommend her french toast made in a waffle iron, it really holds the syrup well. Coffee is very good too.
Title: Re: Study Butte/Terlingua dining
Post by: Hayduke on January 10, 2012, 08:52:42 AM

Their website says open at 6AM, and there is a contact form on the website. If you do make contact, let us know what they say (about wifi).  :crossedfingers:


I tried to contact them but unfortunately the email bounced.

HD
Title: Re: Study Butte/Terlingua dining
Post by: RichardM on January 10, 2012, 09:36:17 AM
When we were there at Thanksgiving, they were sitting outside by the fire and opened as soon as the first customers (that was us) showed up. Great food, but like a lot of restaurants in the area, they are fighting rising food costs. I sure hope they make it. :eusa_pray: I don't recall if they have wi-fi.

Update: They didn't make it. :icon_cry:
Title: Re: Study Butte/Terlingua dining
Post by: Infosec on June 20, 2012, 03:16:12 PM
Glad I took the time to read all the posts, as it saved me from a major gastro intestinal crisis on the trail.
Title: Re: Study Butte/Terlingua dining
Post by: RichardM on June 06, 2013, 03:22:17 PM
The Grub Shack at 118/TR road will be open as soon as a new 'food grade' water tank arrives. Should be very shortly.   :crossedfingers:
While digging around on the internet I came across this:
Quote from: http://terlinguabound.blogspot.com/2013/02/convienance-store-more-artefacts.html
... where the failed Grub Shack used to be. ... what's left of the Grub Shack.
(http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-iBUbBFeJASo/USFmE9PyQlI/AAAAAAAADVs/juCFCC_uaIE/s320/GSgone.jpg)
Looks like they never got their water tank. :(

We need someone to post a list of the restaurants still open for business...
Title: Re: Study Butte/Terlingua dining
Post by: kevint on June 06, 2013, 03:51:56 PM


(http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-iBUbBFeJASo/USFmE9PyQlI/AAAAAAAADVs/juCFCC_uaIE/s320/GSgone.jpg)

Looks like they never got their water tank. :(

I ate there in March of 2012 after the post from Red Hawk so they may have gotten their water tank. 

Just checked satellite imagry and the Grub Shack is indeed gone.  It appears that I have consumed my last basket of Shack-O's.