When I first started going to the Purple Pig about four years ago it was nothing more than a good old BBQ joint. It’s still a good old BBQ joint, but now they’ve extended their menu, expanded their patio, and have managed to please their ever growing crowds with friendly service and live music.
I’ve always been a fan of their barbecue. Before their menu expanded to offer some Mexican dishes including fajitas and tamales I’d always get the turkey plate with cowboy beans and southwestern corn salad. Their barbecue plates come with the best buttered toast I’ve ever had, and I’m also a big fan of their barbecue sauce. The pulled pork is fantastic, the ribs are outstanding, and the chicken is delicious as well.
Another thing I like so much about the Purple Pig is the fact that every single time we visit the owner is there chatting with the customers. I became especially fond of him one evening when he told us about the soft spot he has for the litters of homeless kittens around the area and how he buys bulk cat food to feed them… A man after my own heart right there.
Last weekend my husband and I decided to head out to the Pig for a casual dinner. I couldn’t decide what to get so I made a last minute decision to go with the shrimp fajitas. This turned out to be an excellent choice. Lucky for us Patrick James was also performing that night on the patio. He played a little of everything from Wizard of Oz tunes to the Eagles and we ended up staying longer (and drinking more) than we had intended.
This place is a must for everyone who likes to eat good food and have a good time. They’re open for breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week. For more info, visit www.purplepigcafe.com.
The Purple Pig Cafe
19785 State Highway 155 S
Flint, TX 75762-4617
During what was supposed to be a quick trip to pick up a couple gardening necessities, we realized it was also time to stop somewhere for a quick bite of lunch necessities. But where? I hate the days when it seems nothing sounds good, so I was both relieved and excited when my husband suggested we try Breakers. I’ve been meaning to try this place as I’ve heard many good things, yet it’s one of those restaurants that too frequently slips my mind during the restaurant decision making process.
We were seated at a comfortable booth and I ordered a cool, refreshing Landshark. It only took a minute for me to realize that there are many, many things on the menu here that sound delicious. In the interest of trying as many as possible in one shot, we decided we’d try the crab cakes, the shrimp cocktail, and the avocado fries. Yes, that’s right. Avocado fries.
Our food arrived promptly, and I immediately dove into the crab cakes. They contained an impressive amount of crab meat, and they tasted great. Next, I tried a shrimp. It was a good shrimp. Hard to mess that one up, but a good shrimp none-the-less. Finally, I was ready to sample the avocado fries, which were wedges of breaded avocado, served with creamy dipping sauce. Very tasty, yet quite heavy as the name would imply.
I can’t wait to go back sometime and try their specialty drink, Orange Kush. I’m not exactly sure what it is, and I can’t find it on their website, but I remember it sounding very interesting. Maybe someone from Breakers can chime in and help me out? In any case, I can say with confidence that Breakers will be high on my radar from now on.
5106 Old Bullard Road
Tyler, TX 75701
This weekend I had the best idea ever. It was Sunday afternoon, the weather was nothing short of gorgeous, yet I was faced with the same dilemma I’ve been facing all spring… Where to spend a day like today? Tyler certainly has a decent selection of patio drinking and dining establishments, but for whatever reason none of those places sounded good. That’s when I remembered there was a restaurant on Lake Tyler. I was off to claim my table in the sun!
When we arrived at South Lake Grill I was pleasantly surprised that there were plenty of empty tables on the patio. I ordered some chicken quesadillas and a margarita and plopped myself down in the warm sun and thus began my new love affair with the South Lake Grill. My chicken quesadillas were pretty good, my margarita was awesome, and my sister’s huge South Lake burger looked really good too. (YES, we just ate at SmashBurger a couple of days before – don’t judge!) We stayed and relaxed for awhile and I even got a mild sunburn.
Too soon it was time to go home and start preparing myself for the reality that is Monday morning. Despite my sadness at leaving, I am still thrilled about this discovery and seriously can’t believe I haven’t been taking advantage of this place! It’s got everything I like in a restaurant – casual atmosphere, good variety of menu options, bar, and a totally awesome patio with a fab view of Lake Tyler. I am already daydreaming of the next weekend when I can go back and do it all over again.
South Lake Grill
18183 Concession Road
Whitehouse, TX 75791-5224
There are two types of articles that are especially fun for me to write. The reviews of really bad experiences, and reviews of really great experiences. Luckily, Friday night at Jakes I had a really, really great experience. My sister and I decided to make an impromptu trip downtown just to get out of the house for a little while. We thought we’d have a drink and maybe share an appetizer if we got hungry. We took a seat at the bar and were immediately greeted by one of the polite and friendly (and handsome – hi Thomas!) bartenders. We were off to a good start.
Jakes is the type of place that you would expect to be exceptionally good, and it lives up to all of my expectations each time I visit. It’s one of the pricier places to eat in Tyler, but the atmosphere, service, and fantastic food really make it worth the price. Jakes makes the perfect spot to celebrate a special occasion, or to satiate a need for indulgence which is exactly what we did on Friday. We decided to share the Oysters Rockafeller, and I kid you not when I say they were the absolute best oysters I have ever tasted. I think even people who don’t like oysters would love these. Broiled with butter, Applewood smoked bacon, onion, spinach and freshly shaved parmesan cheese, Jakes’ Oysters Rockafeller are simply to die for. We devoured all dozen of the oysters, and on an oyster high made the impulse decision to finish the night off with Jakes coconut cream bread pudding. Yes, this was as fantastically good as it sounds. Not one word was spoken as we dove into the dessert, and we didn’t come up for air until the plate was scraped clean.
We could not have picked a better place to enjoy our girls’ night out. Everything was perfect from the moment we walked in until we bundled back up and headed home for the night. It was far too cold to enjoy this weekend, but Jakes roof top cheveta is one of the coolest places in Tyler to visit on a warm spring evening. You can dine while overlooking the square in downtown Tyler, and they even have live music on the weekends. I’m already looking forward to coming back for more oysters and bread pudding on the roof when the temperatures warm up.
hours: Tues – Fri 4pm-12am, Sat 5pm-1am
111 East Erwin Street
Tyler, TX 75702