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Road Trip — Five Favorite Texas Restaurants Featured on Food Shows


We can eat at the same restaurant every day for ten years and love it, but once it’s been on TV, well then the food tastes even better and we suddenly hear symphonies in our heads when we take a bite. Call it the ‘Guy Fieri effect’.

Here are five Texas restaurants that we should totally try, because they’ve been featured on TV shows.  And one is right here in East Texas.

The fact that we have entire channels dedicated to food might be enough to prove our food obsessions, but this takes that a step further.  You know we really really love food when a website pops up that helps us remember which restaurants have been featured on food shows so we can go back and gorge ourselves. Meet

TV Food Maps reminds us about several Texas restaurants and bars that have been featured on the food shows, and these are five of the best.  Texas has some great spots!



Rusty Star – Waco



This one gives you an excuse to visit Chip and Joanna Gaines from HGTV’s Fixer Upper and the Magnolia Market while you’re there.

Rusty Star is a casual spot that was featured on the Travel Channel in 2008, on the show No Reservations. Fans on Facebook use phrases like “best barbecue” and “Texas eatin’,” and “jalapeno potato salad.”  Say no more.

Rusty Star
10600 N River Xing
Waco, TX 76712

Rusty Star | Facebook
Rusty Star | Facebook


Woodshed Smokehouse – Fort Worth



Imagine your backyard after a hunting trip, and now make it into a restaurant.  This one is unique, and has been featured on two shows — Bizarre Foods America and Food Paradise.  In Texas, those are one in the same.

The Woodshed Smokehouse serves up things like “venison backstrap served with grilled and roasted hen of the woods mushrooms, resting on a bed of braised lamb belly, shallot, and roasted garlic pureed in a bone broth.”

Imagine this one in November, during football and hunting season.  Impress your Wisconsin hunting buddies with this one.

Woodshed Smokehouse
3201 Riverfront Dr
Fort Worth, TX 76107


Woodshed Smokehouse | Facebook
Woodshed Smokehouse | Facebook


Nanny Goats Cafe – Kilgore



The Kilgore location was featured on the Food Network show, Restaurant Impossible in 2013. Host Robert Irvine doesn’t mess around, and this near-failing restaurant really got the re-vamp, once-over when he visited. Unfortunately, the transformation didn’t hold, and Yelp reports the Kilgore location has closed.

There is also a Nanny Goat’s location in Longview, with breakfast, lunch, and catering.  So let’s go there for breakfast tacos, comfort soups, and pie.  It’s at 1401 Judson – Longview.  Maybe Guy Fieri will come next.



Joe T. Garcia’s – Fort Worth



If you’ve been to this spot, you know you used to need cash, and you couldn’t get fancy with the ordering. They would give you five choices, you picked one, and you paid with twenties and not plastic.

The show Food Paradise on the Travel Channel visited Joe T’s in 2013, but the crowds were coming long before that.

The menu has expanded some and they’ve added a few items, but the list of choices is still simple.  Joe T’s has kept it short and sweet since 1935.  They’ve got tamales, fajitas, enchiladas, and nachos to go with those smooth margaritas, and nearly constant wait for a table proves it’s all good.  Oh, and I heard they’re taking credit cards now.

It’s close to the Fort Worth Stockyards.

Joe T. Garcia’s 
2201 N Commerce St
Fort Worth, TX 76106



The Salt Lick BBQ – Driftwood



This restaurant-slash-smoke pit has probably been featured on more shows than any other Texas restaurant.

Adam Richman’s Best Sandwich from the Travel Channel featured it, along with Food Paradise, Burgers, Brews and Que, and Man vs. Food.

The Food Network also gave The Salt Lick some love on Best Thing I Ever Ate.

It’s good!  I can tell you the smell starts about a mile before you get there.  You keep driving and driving and you think you can’t possibly be getting near the best barbecue joint in the history of the world, and then all of a sudden there it is.

The barbecue pit is right there at the entrance and you can watch the masters of meat do their thing.  They take their time and do it right, and the sausage, brisket, and chicken that comes out of there is exactly like Texas would taste if you could put the whole state in your mouth.

Did you know you can order online now if you don’t road trip it?  This is dangerous.

The Salt Lick
18300 FM 1826
Driftwood, TX 78610


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