Places to go, Things to eat

Our travels have come to a close and we are at home again, unpacking our lives out of our suitcases and rooting around for clean clothes. I think you can expect a post or two about travel tips in the near future. We didn’t lose anybody, so we must be doing something right.

Before I leave our southwestern escapades behind, though, I’d be doing you, Dear Reader, a disservice if I failed to mention a few eateries we discovered.

The first is Mi Casa in Benson, Arizona, a humble Mexican restaurant in a small yellow house about a minute off the interstate. If you’re just being touristy in southern Arizona, I don’t know of a reason to go to Benson but it’s easy enough to pass through it if you’re headed between Tucson and Tombstone, and it’s worth going a little out of your way to have lunch here. I found their fare delicious and the Wife¬† declared it to have the best Mexican food she’d ever eaten — and she’s had a lot more than Yours Truly.

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I wouldn’t say they’re specifically kid friendly, but they’re not kid unfriendly, either. They’ve got at least a couple of high chairs and did just fine by our offspring. They close at 7, though, so don’t plan on having a late dinner there.

Did I mention it's a pretty small place?
Did I mention it’s a pretty small place?

We must shift to the Texas portion of the trip for the second restaurant that’s worthy of note: Two Bros BBQ. Located about ten minutes from San Antonio’s airport, Two Bros can be a little tricky to find since you can’t see it from the main road. Once you arrive, however, you’ll find a wonderfully family-friendly place to relax and enjoy some good food.

The best feature of Two Bros BBQ is its large, shady outdoor seating area. Beyond several, well-spaced picnic tables is a large play structure with an adjacent sand box. For a family that had been traveling as much as we were, cooped up in airplanes and vans and hotel rooms, it was nirvana. Just to be able to sit under the shade trees and let the kids play was terrific enough, but they have food there, too!

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Bacon-wrapped cream cheese-stuffed peppers!
Bacon-wrapped cream cheese-stuffed peppers!

The food is the second-best feature at Two Bros, but it’s a real close second. We had just been to Lockhart, TX — the locus of the Texas BBQ universe — so I may not be able to render an accurate judgment on the brisket, which was good but didn’t blow me away. However, Two Bros does have a small array of sauces which, we found, undergo subtle but real flavor changes depending upon the type of meat they accompany. You truly can’t pick which sauce you need just by tasting a bit off your pinkie finger.

Plus, they have fried pies!

We enjoyed many good meals during our travels but these two places stuck out as being excellent, yet easily-overlooked. If you, Dear Reader, have any recommendations for good family-friendly restaurants, especially ones that might fly under the radar, please mention them in the comments section.