|This is only half of a Gonzales Burger!|
Roger here.... We spend a lot of time within walking distance of our RV. There is so much to do here, but yesterday it was time for a road trip.
After a quick trip to the dog park for Bandido, Dianne and I piled into the car heading for the town of Mercedes, about 30 miles away. Mercedes is the home of a giant outlet mall. It is also the home of the Rio Grande Valley Livestock Show. We may check that out in March, but on this day we were on our way to the annual Rio Grande Valley RV Show. The show was worth the $5 admission charge. Lots of RVs, but no class A motor homes :-( (Not that we were looking; we still love our Mountain Aire -- D.) There were more than 90 booths. We enjoyed wandering through the aisles, seeing many of our friends. Dianne did a little bit of damage at the Tupperware booth. According to Dianne, there's always room for Tupperware.
When we were ready to leave at mid-day, we were hungry. We talked about stopping at a local diner in Mission that has great food. But then, Dianne realized that the famous Gonzales Burger hole-in- the-wall restaurant was in the town of Donna, on the way home. Gonzales burgers are legendary in this part of Texas, and we had never had this particular culinary experience. So, with the help of our iPhone, we were on our way.
We had already heard that Gonzales Burgers was in a residential area, and it was. We parked on the street where we saw all the other parked cars. The restaurant had no identification sign, only an "open" sign on the door and several people sitting outside at picnic tables.
The story behind this family restaurant:
Students from the school across the street often stopped by the Gonzales household after school. The mom frequently fixed delicious burgers for the visiting students. They were so good that the enterprise of kindness became a business. An interesting fact... all the beef is ground by hand. When the hamburger is gone for the day, the restaurant closes. What fun! Glad we arrived on time.
Remember the old, old Saturday Night Live sketch at the greasy spoon that only served cheeseburger, cheeseburger, cheeseburger - and Pepsi? Well, this is what we found here, with a couple of exceptions.... they had french fries, onion rings, and Coke products. Oh, and they were extremely happy and friendly -- so typical of the local people here.
After giving our order, hamburger, hamburger, fries, Dr. Pepper.... the friendly lady who seemed to be in charge smiled and told us that it would be between 30 and 40 minutes. She was so nice and her smile was so genuine, that a somewhat long wait was not an issue. We smiled back and found a place to sit at one of the outside picnic tables, later moving inside --- lots of conversations with the Winter Texans at our table who visit this place often.
"Number 80!" That's us. Wow, look at these burgers. They had to be a pound each. It was almost like eating an entire meatloaf. (Credits to our friend, Sue, for that quip.) We decided to cut one sandwich in half and take the other home to eat for supper the next night. They were every bit as delicious as they looked... fresh tomatoes, onions, lettuce, mmmmmm! Well worth the diversion from our normally healthy diets.
Dianne took a picture of her half of the burger (after she had already eaten half of it) to show how big it actually was.
So much for the great burgers.... It is time to tell the disturbing story of vandalism at our coach house. You try to be nice. You provide food for the hungry, and the hungry gratefully accept it. SO UNSETTLING!
Look at our beautiful tomatoes.
We watered them every day. We made sure they had plenty of Texas sunshine. We rolled them into the coach house on the few nights that we thought it might be too cold.
Look what this ungrateful guest did! Yes, the mockingbird whose bird bath we changed every day!
When we were not looking, he decimated several of our tomatoes (only the ripe ones, of course -- D). He had his own food --- orange slices, seeds, etc. Why would he do this to our tomatoes?
Such betrayal! Dianne now covers the tomatoes with mosquito nets to keep the mockingbirds away. And.... Bandido has a new job: guarding the tomatoes. He loves his new job.
The pet picture of the day was taken when we returned home from Gonzales Burgers. It is an action shot showing Bandido lunging for one-quarter of Dianne's one-half of a whole Gonzalez Burger. That blur you see shows that he went after the burger at the speed of light!