Two days ago, on our way to our secret location, we stopped for the evening in Emporia, Kansas. Having motored across the state looking at acres of cattle waiting to be cut up (the Flint Hills are spectacular), I had high expectations. After booking a room, we asked where good local fare could be had. We were sent to Montana Mike's Steakhouse. It was brutal. It was fake cowboy with fake cowboy decor and, unfortunately, fake food. The beer list was so limited I had a Coke. Note to waiters everywhere, Blue Moon is not craft beer. To hopefully save the meal I ordered a Scotch on the rocks. They filled the glass full of ice, poured a little liquor over it and charged me $7.50. :-( We went back to the motel, had a glass of wine and went to bed.
Serendipity can be a wonderful thing. Pushing on down the road the next day, night found us nearing Austin, Texas. Checking into a motel we discovered there was a rodeo in Austin, a youth livestock show, the National Team Roping Competition and a large local wedding. The was no room at the inn. We were forced to double back up the road to the La Quinta in Belton. By the time we got checked in and settled down I was hungry and extremely cranky. Though recently burned, I asked for a recommendation for dining. We were send to a steakhouse within walking distant of the modern francise motor hotel. In fact it was in front of the La Quinta - between the La Quinta and I-35.
The Oxbow Steakhouse is historic. It has been here for a long time. They used to auction off cattle on the first floor and had a steakhouse in the back. The cattle pens are long gone, but the food lives on. Now it's home cooking, families, and still, real working cowboys. We had almost the same meal as we ordered the night before - a small steak with a couple of sides, etc, except one of the sides was deep fried okra. Everything, including a killer chocolate fudge desert, was made from scratch. The steak was so good I chewed to excess, Let it linger in my mouth as long a possible. God, the food was good. And they had real beer.