You've had Velvet Taco nine times this year. Your kid's peed himself in the Klyde Warren fountains another seven. You're in a rut. You need a change-up, and you need it covered in sauce, and you need it now.
We've got you covered, in sauce, with these 10 food road trips. Charge the iPads, gas the minivan, and get driving. There's not-Velvet food in your future.
Clark's Outpost BBQ 101 U.S. 377, Tioga One hour northeast of Dallas Look, we all know where to get barbecue in Dallas. And if you live within the urban core of the city, you're not far from any one of the incredible establishments that repeatedly find themselves at the top of so many "Best" lists. But an hour northeast of the metroplex, in Tioga, Clark's Outpost BBQ exists solely to satisfy your... sweet tooth. What the what? Yes. Clark's meringue pies are taller than most puppies, and taste way better. The chocolate meringue pie is my personal favorite, but the coconut cream meringue pie is definitely worth some space in your fridge. Call ahead the day before you go and they'll make you an entire pie to take home and eat pantsless in your bed on a Friday night. That pie will not live to 1see noon the next day, I guarantee it. -- Sarah Blankenship
Perini Ranch Steakhouse 3002 FM 89 # A, Buffalo Gap About three hours west of Dallas Perini Ranch Steakhouse came to fruition after Tom Perini decided to turn his catering business into a restaurant in 1983. The small-town steakhose holds the honor of being named an "American Classic" by the James Beard Foundation in 2014 and is home to the Buffalo Gap Wine and Food Summit. The homegrown steaks are cooked to perfection over a mesquite wood grill and the menu explicitly states that the chefs take no responsibility for meat ordered "well done." Come for the beef, stay for the green chile hominy and whiskey bread pudding that are not to be missed. -- Emily Garner
Veldhuizen Cheese Shoppe 425 S Private Road 1169, Dublin Two hours southwest of Dallas Stuart Veldhuizen and his family make damn good cheese. Some highlights include Redneck Cheddar made with beer-soaked curds and Bosque Blue that's aged 5-6 months in its own private aging cave. Their cheese shop is open Monday-Saturday, but we recommend you make the trek in time for their Saturday 10:30 a.m. farm tour. For $6 you can check out their grass fed dairy cows and the entire cheese making process. Also you'll get to taste and buy cheese, which, let's be honest, is the best part. In addition to the aforementioned cheeses, make sure to try the Dublin Karst. After you wrap up your time at the farm, drive home through Granbury so you can stop at Revolver Brewing for a beer or two. -- Liz Goulding
Rockin Rib 210 West Main Street, Tishomingo, Oklahoma Two hours north of Dallas In a town of about 3,000, Rockin Rib holds its own as one of the best barbecue place in Oklahoma. First there are the barbecue sauce-drenched ribs that the place is named after, but also the chopped beef sandwich that can make even a barbecue hater's mouth water. And with sides like okra, macaroni and cheese and the best creamy cream corn your mouth has experienced, this barbecue joint is a favorite among Tishomingo locals. -- Paige Skinner
Homestead Heritage 608 Dry Creek Rd, Waco 1.5 hours south of Dallas Homestead Heritage is part tourist destination and part fundamentalist Christian settlement. It probably suffers from many of the problems that you might imagine a place like that would suffer, but for today, let's focus on the tourist destination part. The people of this secluded community promote homesteading and self-sufficiency through traditional crafts, woodworking, cooking, and cheese making. They have an onsite gristmill where they grind flour, grits, and other grains. They make and sell cheese under the name Brazos Valley Cheese. They also bake bread, pies, and cinnamon rolls from scratch daily. All these foods and more are put to good use at Café Homestead, which is open for lunch Monday-Saturday. While you are there, you can shop for hand woven blankets, carved spoons, and really expensive kids clothes that were sewn by a real human. -- Liz Goulding
Gogo Gumbo 116 W Rock Island Avenue, Boyd One hour northwest of Dallas Boyd, Texas is locally famous for being the birthplace of First Dog Bo Obama, and is also known for its exotic cat sanctuary which hosted Khloe Kardashian's entourage while her estranged husband took a lazy dump all over Mark Cuban's desk back in early 2012. But if you're not in the market for a highly pedigreed hypoallergenic dog, Boyd has something else worth the drive from Dallas: a little restaurant called Gogo Gumbo. The menu changes every few weeks (giving me a valid excuse to visit frequently), but the basic equation never changes: top notch seafood dishes and sandwiches with house-made everything, and desserts worth the pain of gluttonous overindulgence. House favorites include the shrimp and grits and Shiner Bock battered crab beignets, but don't sleep on the bread pudding or Jack Daniels chocolate mousse pie. Boyd is dry so feel free to bring your own bottle(s) of whatever warms your blood. -- Sarah Blankenship
Herman and Hosey Jack's Hideout 376 County Road 4210, Mt Pleasant Two hours east of Dallas Out in the middle of East Texas, in a town called Mt. Pleasant, is Herman and Hosey Jack's Hideout. There was a frightening moment when I was trying to find this gem online that I thought maybe it had been closed. Urbanspoon seems to think it is permanently shut down, but the restaurant's Facebook page says otherwise. Herman and Hosey Jack's Hideout is like Cabela's, if the famous hunting superstore exploded all over a small restaurant. The wait staff all wear camo. The overwhelming decor theme seems to be "Dead Critter Chic," complete with lights at your table made out of real skulls! The best part of this place though, is the Sportsman's Burger. Composed of a cheeseburger with two grilled cheese sandwiches for buns, I don't know that anyone who considers themselves a true sportsman has ever eaten this beautiful meat monstrosity. Which is a damn shame. Other offerings at Herman and Hosey Jack's include: more meat. Steak, chicken fried steak, and meat in other variations. They also have live music quite frequently, but you'll probably be too distracted by the taxidermied turkey giving you the eyeball to notice. -- Kelsey Sidwell
Koffee Kup Family Restaurant 300 W. 2nd Street, Hico Two hours southwest of Dallas Yes, they use the cutesie "K" spelling, but we forgive them because of their pie. Delicious, mile-high pie in up to 16 flavors each day. Order an entire Peanut Butter Meringue or just a slice of Banana Blueberry to go. Either way, Hico should be on your "let's stop here" list if only to drop into the Koffee Kup. They're also known for their chicken fried steak and fresh baked breads that will fill the place up with good scents that will welcome you when you get there. But seriously: pie. -- Teresa Lensch
Stanley's Famous Pit Barbecue 525 S Beckham Ave, Tyler About an hour and 45 minutes to whatever direction Tyler is in from here The best road trips end with delicious, delicious food. With live music on the weekends, and outstanding ribs, brisket and fixins all the damn time, Stanley's is more than worth the short drive to Tyler. They're on the list of Texas Monthly's current list of the Top 50 BBQ Joints in Texas, so basically it would be UnTexan of you to not experience this place. While you're there, stop by the Tiger Creek Wildlife Refuge and roar at some lions directly in their sweet, sweet lion faces. -- Alice Laussade
Blue Bonnet Cafe 211 U.S. 281, Marble Falls 3.5 hours southwest No visit to the hill country is complete without a stop at Blue Bonnet Cafe. A Marble Falls institution for 85 years and counting, this place is famous for comfort cooking -- think buttery, face-sized Texas toast, smothered meatloaf, and homemade pies topped with so much merengue you can't see over them. Everyone finds respite here, from grannies and grandkids to vacationing newlyweds and hungover river floaters. On weekends you can expect a line out the door, but they've mastered the art of getting hungry brunchgoers in and out quickly. On weekdays, you can stuff your face at pie happy hour from 3-5, then swing by the brewpub across the street for real happy hour. Whatever you do, come hungry. -- Jenni Hanley
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