Printed with the permission of the Alpine Avalanche
On a recent trip through Fort Stockton, we stopped at our favorite place to eat when we’re in that neck of the woods… the Sagebrush Cafe. We’ve eaten there half a dozen times, and it’s always been a pleasant experience. The parking lot was packed since it was lunch time, but we figured it was worth it to know what we were getting into for lunch. No false rave reviews for this place.
With a recent remodel that includes a new bar and new wing of the original diner, we quickly learned that the packed parking lot was the Rotary Club lunch meeting that was taking place in the new dining room.
In our experiences with the Sagebrush Café, we’ve always had very nice and attentive wait staff, short wait-times for our meals, and food that was made when we ordered it.
The first time we went to the Sagebrush Café, we ordered the Chili Cheese Cheeseburger (open faced burger smothered in chili, cheese and grilled onions), the Green Chile Burger (with layers of green chili strips and Pepper Jack cheese), with a side of sweet potato fries and a side of onion rings. We shared burgers and sides, and agreed we’d be back for more.
There are ten different kinds of burgers to choose from, as well as sandwiches, steaks, seafood, catfish, pork chops, and ribs. Of course, no diner would be complete without country-fried steak and chicken, steak fingers and chicken strips. Ten different salads include a Blackened Shrimp Cobb Salad that I might try the next time we’re there, if I can break away from the burgers and sandwiches.
Sagebrush Café serves breakfast all day. You can order just about any kind of omelet combination you can think up, stacks of fluffy pancakes, biscuits smothered with gravy, and good ol’ bacon, ham or sausage with eggs and toast. I am an omelet-lover and their omelets passed my scrutiny with flying colors.
One morning, I had the “Hog Omelet” that was bacon and cheese and added the extra “variety of vegetables” that included onion, bell pepper, mushrooms and spinach. It was delicious. And huge.
On our most recent visit, he had the Bacon Egg Burger (Hickory smoked bacon topped with an egg cooked to your specifications and topped with cheese) and I had a BLT because I love a good BLT. We both got orders of onion rings so we wouldn’t have to share, since we both know how crispy and tasty they are.
When our waitress brought our food, she told us she went ahead and brought us some Ranch dressing for our onion rings. Turns out, it was house-made ranch dressing. You don’t find house-made ranch dressing just anywhere, and it was just right. No bottled ranch-ish dressing there.
If you find yourself in Fort Stockton and want a satisfying, home-style meal, check out the Sagebrush Café. They have something for everyone. Did I mention they have house-made ranch dressing? That’s a good sign, y’all.
Located at 2003 W. Dickinson Blvd. in Fort Stockton, they are open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.
Homemade Buttermilk Ranch Dressing
1/2-3/4 cup well-shaken buttermilk
2-3 tablespoons sour cream
1-2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh tarragon, dill, parsley, chives or celery leaves (or a combination)
1 clove garlic, finely minced with a microplane grater
1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
A few dashes Tabasco sauce (or hot sauce of your choice, but a little vinegar twang is what you’re looking for)
Combine all ingredients into a mason jar and shake it. Open it, taste it, and season to taste with salt and fresh black pepper. Close it up and shake again. Keeps for a few days in the refrigerator, but will get more garlic-flavored the longer it sits.