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The Long Road Home, and the Great Eatery We Found Along the Way

Calle Real

Saturday morning dawned early, bright and clear, except for the doomed travelers. Seems staying out on Bourbon Street and environs until 4 AM isn’t conducive to being alert and smiling at 7 AM. The same day, I mean. Still, the revelers got a nice nap (unless they also had to pack their gear, which all too many did). The coffee ran in short supply a the continental breakfast in the hotel, but fortunately they’d seen us coming and quickly brewed more for the other diners. Which saved us a bunch of dirty looks, I’m sure.

We got the van out of hock with the valet and, using our best fire-drill tactics, eventually got everything stowed and all riders onboard. Dr. T took first turn at the wheel, as he knew he’d fade later on. He made good time and great distance, and with only one pit stop along the way, we found ourselves in Beaumont at lunchtime.

A quick canvas of the crew, those that were awake anyways, didn’t yield any info about good places to eat in Beaumont. No surprise, really, so I began to search using my Droid phone and Google Maps. One early hit, with good reviews: Cafe del Rio. And it was right along our path! Time to bail off the highway…

Cafe Del Rio Logo

Getting the crew awake enough to go inside was a tough chore at first. However, once they got wind of the wonderful aromas coming from the kitchen, they bailed out of that van like Rosie O’Donnell discovering a new buffet.

This time we got one big table and dug in. Orders included fajitas, tacos, enchilada plates, burritos and more. A nice touch by this place: They bring out hot tortillas first, with the salsa. A great switch from the chips, actually. Their salsa is very tasty as well, with plenty of fresh onions and jalapeƱos. (Not enough for Dr. T, though, who had the waiter make up a “tastier” rendition. Which, to his credit, he did! Quickly.) the dishes were plentiful, especially the shrimp portions, and all very tasty. I had cheese enchiladas with chili on top, and it was wonderful. According to the two who sampled the quesadillas, they were even better. (Hyperbole at its best, I think.)

We dawdled just a bit, as the energy in the group wasn’t what I would call high. (Even great-tasting food doesn’t always overcome a hangover and lack of sleep.) However, we grazed until we were well-sated and then we moseyed out to the van. Nobody was in any hurry, as we still had at least five hours of riding left to get back to the school…

Cafe Del Rio, 2830 Interstate 10 E, Beaumont, TX 77703 Phone (409) 347-0250

Enjoy the (Roadside Tex-Mex) Heat!

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