Monday, July 6, 2009

Bryan, Texas: River Bridge Grill and LaSalle Hotel

Bryan's LaSalle Hotel was immortalized in the classic Robert Earl Keen/Lyle Lovett tune, Front Porch Song:

This old porch is a steamin' greasy plate of enchiladas
With lots of cheese and onions ans a guacamole salad
You can get them at the LaSalle Hotel in old downtown
With ice tea and a waitress who will smile every time
Oh yeah, I left a quarter tip on my ten dollar bill

The LaSalle now serves up "coffee by Starbucks" and not enchiladas; but the spirit of old Bryan, Texas is palpable in the ornate brick storefronts and buildings that make up downtown.

For dinner we wander across the parking lot to the River Bridge Grill and find exactly what we need after a day of moving heavy items out at the old Saxon ranch: cold beer, simple iceberg lettuce salad with blue cheese dressing, really good crispy home-made onion rings, marbled and tasty rib eye steak, and home-made fries. I was encouraged by our server's response when I inquired about the quality of the sirloin vs. the rib eye - when he said that he was just "debating this with the chef the other day"....stating that both were good and sourced locally...but the rib eye had more flavor. Sold. Thank you, unknown waiter, for the tip. Our server earned further respect when he brought out our desserts of bread pudding with a strawberry anglaise  and apologized for the "sloppy" presentation. It looked good to me - gloppy for sure - but good.

After dinner we wander the largely empty main street in downtown Bryan watching the fading light and soaking up the lingering heat from the day. Warm (hot?) nights are pretty rare back in the Bozone and the 90-degrees-at-10:00pm thing proves fascinating and slightly shocking as we walk off our sizable dinners.

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