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-   -   Early Jan in Tyler, TX (https://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=255510)

ShadowDriver 12-29-2017 08:41 PM

Early Jan in Tyler, TX
 
Apologies, as I've not gone digging for info via the Search Function as of yet.

Any thoughts or ideas about places to visit mid-week in early Jan 2018 around Tyler, TX?

Have a 2-yr-old in tow. Already looking at Discover Science Place and the Caldwell Zoo.

Appreciate the brain bytes and thoughts.

Kind regards,
Shadow/Marc

sliding_billy 12-30-2017 05:10 AM

Caldwell is really nice, and the Tyler State park is a good walk if the weather is OK. The Tyler Historic Aviation Memorial Museum would make for a nice visit and they are only closed Sun and Mon. The important thing is that you make it to Stanley's for some Q. :-)

Czarbecue 12-30-2017 08:08 AM

I've been to the San Antonio Zoo, Fort Worth Zoo, Dallas Zoo, and the Caldwell Zoo. Caldwell has been my family's favorite so far. Most importantly it had the petting zoo and our toddlers loved it. The other zoo only have eye candy and nothing interactive for the kids.

Good for a brief walk in the park and some photo ops for the kid:

http://www.childrensparktyler.com

And don't forgot Stanley's BBQ Pit in Tyler. That place is the best for miles around.

https://stanleysfamous.com/

Okie Sawbones 12-30-2017 09:40 AM

I'll second Stanley's. Wrong time of the year for the Tyler Rose Garden.

ShadowDriver 12-30-2017 12:08 PM

Thanks, folks.

Appreciate your input and ideas.

ShadowDriver 01-07-2018 09:38 PM

We hit the road in the AM - Last call for thoughts / ideas.

I've added your inputs, thus far, to "the plan!"

ShadowDriver 01-12-2018 03:30 PM

As mentioned in one of Phu's Phriday Threads, we're just back home from our trip to Tyler, TX. Your suggestions were key to family enjoyment.

After a long drive across Texas, we rolled into town. Torchy's Tacos provided a reasonable bite of food and a chance to watch part of the NCAA Football Championship Game. Though I didn't manage to grab any photos, I highly suggest (sorry, Torchy's all-caps, not mine):
- BAJA SHRIMP - HAND-BATTERED FRIED SHRIMP WITH COOKED CABBAGE SLAW TOPPED WITH PICKLED ONIONS & JALAPEÑOS, COTIJA CHEESE, CILANTRO & LIME WEDGE WITH CHIPOTLE SAUCE ON YOUR CHOICE OF TORTILLA.
- BRUSHFIRE - JAMAICAN JERK CHICKEN, GRILLED JALAPEÑOS, MANGO, SOUR CREAM AND CILANTRO WITH DIABLO SAUCE ON A FLOUR TORTILLA.

Our munchkin devoured the kids' bean & cheese taco (three of her favorite things all put together in each bite)! CINCHOUSE even shared a couple of bites of her LIL’ NOOKIES -
DEEP-FRIED CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE DOUGH DUSTED WITH POWDERED SUGAR & TOPPED WITH CHERRIES. (I'm not a sweets guy, but this was really tasty)

Tuesday's trip to the high-pressure Holiday Inn Vacations sales pitch :blah: was exacerbated by a case of the "bubble guts" :mmph: on my part. We made it out the other side :shock: without spending a dime, and received a couple of excellent restaurant suggestions in the process.

Our munchkin passed out cold in the car, but the Athena Restaurant soon brought her around.

https://i.imgur.com/l8dCvXnh.jpg

This is an old Denny's restaurant building (right next door to La Quinta, duh!). The Greek family that runs the place does a bang-up job. The Dolmas and Gyro & Greek Salad Lunch Special were exactly what we needed, and the kitchen staff even held-off preparing our munchkin's "little gyro" until she awoke from her nap. If you like Greek food, this place is a must.

Tuesday afternoon took us to the Discovery Science Place, downtown, Tyler. Have kids and stopping through, this is a great spot to spend a couple of hours. There's ton of hands-on activities and interesting educational play experiences.

https://i.imgur.com/DAqHefMh.jpg

The rest of Tuesday night is a blur of me struggling with whatever 18-hr bug bit me. I managed to get down about 1/4 of the meatball and brisket pho from Vietnamese Pho Restaurant - Name doesn't leave much to the imagination, eh?

Wednesday came grey and early, but we stumbled out of bed to La Madeline French Bakery & Cafe. Sorry, again no photos, but I can HIGHLY recommend their Parisien Eggs (Two fried eggs served on a freshly baked butter croissant with ham, bacon and hollandaise sauce). Oh. My. Gawd. I love eggs benedict, but this... wow. Had to eat it quickly before my arteries slammed shut, but it was WORTH IT.

Thanks to your suggestions above, we visited the Tyler Children's Park. It was cold and drizzly and grey, but we had a good visit. This place doesn't have a bunch of playground equipment, but it's a very classy place with a measure of peace and joyful reflection in a busy city.

https://i.imgur.com/6TPer7Ah.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/oRA2nUjh.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/wqjYCZbh.jpg

Thanks to words from the Holiday Inn Vacations folks, we discovered Roast Social Kitchen. It turns out that the Stanley's BBQ folks opened up a "trendy" / modern pizza place intended to draw in the local college crowd.

https://i.imgur.com/0q728G7h.jpg

We spent a lovely afternoon here. Really nice local beer & cider selection, along with a good wine list. Atmosphere could be a little "trendy" for some, but the service and food are worth it.

A "Party Starter" (Carmalized Onion Dip, Club Med Spread, Olive Bowl, Roastd Red Pepper Spread, (house-made?) crackers, and veggies) soon arrived.

https://i.imgur.com/3mDoXNOh.jpg

We simply HAD to get an order (or two) of their Pork Belly Bites - House sugar cured pork belly, Brussels & jalapeno slaw w/pickled onions - Melt in your mouth deliciousness with really nice crunch and acidity to offset the fatty porky goodness.

https://i.imgur.com/JJxBX1Rh.jpg

Our trip to Stanley's Bar-B-Q really was the hit of the whole trip.

https://i.imgur.com/YaDlaVih.jpg

We arrived right in the heart of Weds Happy Hour.

https://i.imgur.com/D54Q7z9h.jpg

Top marks go to Heather, our bartender in the upstairs/semi-outdoor bar.

https://i.imgur.com/UAqGYrVh.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/hqpn0uZh.jpg

We enjoyed trying the Honi Honi (a Mai Tai riff based on bourbon vs. rum), the Red Hook (a twist on a Manhattan), a Boulevardier (a riff on the Negroni with... bourbon), and the Final Ward (who the frick knows, but it's delicious)... all along with our dinner, thank you very much.

The 4 Meat Sampler Platter was a big hit with all three of us.

https://i.imgur.com/wqilvvlh.jpg

(These are my notes)
- Ribs - Sweet peppery unctuous - took a slight tug to get the meat from the bone. Nice.
- Brisket - Great bark, but lovely tender melt in your mouth
- Chicken Thigh - Very peppery, but mild enough for a 2yr old. Tender and moist. Excellent.
- Hot Link - Snap was just ok, but really nice maple flavor followed by the heat

- "Hot" Sauce - mainly cayenne with some vinegary sweetness folded in. Sadly, not all that interesting.
- "Regular" Sauce - nicely balanced vinegary sweetness. Exploding bottle sent Sauce all over me and the 2 yr old. She thought it was hilarious, and she licked it all off her hand and asked for more!

Note: Mac and Cheese only avail on Tues Night Kids Night

After our meat platter, I grabbed that second round of cocktails and we needed to set the munchkin loose from her high chair. Sidewalk chalk and some blocks kept her entertained (with our involvement) until we finally had to pull her away to go back to the hotel.

https://i.imgur.com/S7cTYWRh.jpg

While playing with our kiddo, I happened to strike up a brief conversation with the gentleman sitting just out of frame on the right. Turns out, he's the pitmaster at Bodacious BBQ in Longview, TX. He's up visiting the pitmaster at Stanley's, and I had a chuckle as he was wearing a Louie Mueller cap. Very nice guy said that he'd spent years in fine dining, but that the pitmaster gig was right up his alley - that it never got old.

Thanks for browsing through my ramble. Hope this helps someone passing through the area. Really do appreciate the thoughts and ideas from you folks.

Kind regards and Thin Blue Smoke to you all.

Czarbecue 01-12-2018 03:50 PM

Torchy's has the best damn queso I have ever tried or made. And glad you fought any urges to visit the Dickey's BBQ next to Athena :heh:

And two Top 50 BBQ Texas pitmasters visiting each other? Seems about right.

Stingerhook 01-13-2018 04:39 PM

Thanks for the share Marc, Munchkin is getting big.


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