Pack a Bag: The Stagecoach Inn, Part II

The Stagecoach Inn has one of the choice restaurants in Salado, Texas. While we enjoyed margaritas and appetizers at Alexander’s Craft Cocktail Lounge, we ate all of our meals on site and I would not have had it any other way.sDSC08190While the Stagecoach Inn was established in 1861, the restaurant was not established until 1943, when the property came under ownership of Dion and Ruth Van Bibber. While Mr. Van exemplified hospitality, Mrs. Van built a name for the Stagecoach Inn restaurant. Several of the dishes that Mrs. Van originated have been brought back to the menu, such as the hush puppies, tomato aspic, banana fritters, and signature dessert, Strawberry Kiss.

Mrs. Van’s approach to the restaurant made it the central Texas dining destination. The Stagecoach Inn restaurant received extensive media coverage, as it was featured in midcentury isues of Life Magazine, Ford Times, and Time. It also appeared in traveling salesman and future purveyor of cake mix, Duncan Hines’ list of restaurants. Who knew that Duncan Hines also produced a restaurant guide akin to Michelin?

For dinner, we indulged in cast iron pimento cheese, shrimp and bacon cheddar grits, and blacked catfish with black eyed peas and kale. Some might (all should) consider me a margarita connoisseur, and the Lot 10 Hibiscus Margarita surpassed all expectations. Not only is the food fantastic, but the ambiance of the restaurant and the hospitality of the staff is phenomenal. Fireplaces warm the restaurant after nightfall and the staff is so knowledgeable not only about the menu but also Stagecoach Inn lore.sDSC08200Breakfast was everything. I ate extra crispy bacon and French toast, complete with fruit compote, sweet cream, and syrup. My husband ordered biscuits and gravy with Andouille sausage and eggs. Several cups of coffee each and we were back on the road.

Sincerest thanks to the Stagecoach Inn for sponsoring my stay.

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