In conjunction with July’s Best Suburbs issue, I’m traveling to 10 different ‘burbs in the DFW area for a semi-weird cross-city food tour. I’ll be documenting all my finds in these ‘Burbalicious posts that’ll be peppered throughout June and July. If you feel like your suburb deserves a shot at some SideDish love, email me and I’ll ask my Magic 8 ball if I should go. Last week, I went to Sunnyvale.
A coworker caught me giggling to myself the other day and asked why. I pointed to a photo of a Texas-shaped waffle and kept laughing. I don’t know what it is, but something about a Texas-shaped waffle cracks me up. Off to super-south-of-Dallas Mansfield I went for a breakfast of champions. There the tumbleweeds grow, and waffles that look just like Texas are served on red platters big enough to fit a gorilla’s dinner.
Let’s start off with the basics at Our Place restaurant in Mansfield, Texas: It takes one hell of a road trip to get down there if you live somewhere above 635; the food is cheap – so cheap that even my mother who grew up piss poor thinks it’s cheap; and make sure you’re hungry or else it’s game over before you even begin.
No matter what time you get to Our Place on a weekend, you’ll be waiting at least a good twenty minutes before getting seated at a table with leathery cloth that has random brown stains on it. The stains are unavoidable, just like the fact every waitress in there is so friendly you’ll find one sneaking an ice tea (with sugar!) to a 400 lb. senior citizen with hospital tubes coming out of his nose. Ours was a middle-aged ex-cheerleader type who, when the guy at the next table didn’t like his chicken fried steak with gravy on top, she offered to get him a completely new one.
When I ordered my Texas-waffle plate ($6.95), “the works” omelet ($6.95), and a stack of three pancakes with strawberries ($5.15), the waitress asked, “Are you real hungry? ‘Cause most grown men only order two. They’re real big.” She was right. They were large-as-alien-saucers big. The whole strawberries, still hot from the microwave, created a sweet glaze on top of the dense, fluffy pancakes, and softened them up for consumption. Steam kept rising from the strawberry pores, and as I poured maple syrup over this hot mess, it felt like I was performing a magic show with liquid nitrogen. All my Las Vegas dreams were coming true.
The second my Texas-shaped waffle came to our table, I abandoned those pancakes in a jiffy. It was everything I imagined… and more. If you were about once-inch tall like Thumbelina, you could crawl into its cave-like holes, drown yourself with syrup and melted butter, and lay there until the sun don’t shine. But I’m no dainty Thumbelina. I inhaled that light and airy Texas-shaped waffle, barely coming up for air.
By this time, I had a pinky’s worth of stomach room for the works omelet, which has “everything but the kitchen sink.” No joke. One bite of that three-egg omelet (the waitress told me it’s extra fluffy because they mix milk into the egg mixture), and I could taste all the sausage, bacon, white onion, red onion, bell pepper, mushroom, ham, and broccoli and cheese goodness that the menu promised. Holy mother-of-egg chicken.
How didn’t I know of this place before? Our Place has served Mansfield since October 2008, and it was in Burleson even earlier than that. (Now the Burleson one is closed.) The youngest brother of the Arslanovski family opened another one more recently in Fort Worth. But even if these two locations seem farther away than winning an Olympic gold medal, get thyself to Our Place where the tumbleweeds grow, and the waffles shaped like Texas will make your heart burst with maple syrup happiness.