Mac and Ernie's Roadside Eatery
Mac and Ernie's Roadside Eatery is located in beautiful downtown Tarpley, Texas, population about 50 from what I've been told. Downtown consist of Mac and Ernie's, Williams Creek Depot and a small General Store. Mac and Ernie's Roadside Eatery is located at the intersection of FM 470 and FM 462. (Note: As of March 19, 2010, this is a new location about 1/2 mile east of the place depicted here. The location may be different but the food will be the same.) Tarpley, Texas is between Bandera, Texas and Utopia, Texas on FM 470. Tarpley is about 12 miles southwest of Bandera and about 25 miles northeast of Utopia.
So why would anyone go to Tarpley to eat at Mac and Ernie's you ask? The answer would be because the food is really good and located in such a novel setting. Mac and Ernie's Roadside Eatery has been reviewed by the Fort Worth Star Telegram, "Southern Living", Nueces County Record Star, "Texas Monthly" magazine and twice by the San Antonio Express News. Now it is being reviewed by This Old Campsite.
This unconventional eatery consist of a cooking hut that is on the property of the Williams Creek Depot. When you arrive in Tarpley you need to slow down so that you don't miss it. If you are coming from Bandera on FM 470 the Williams Creek Depot will be on your left as you cross the bridge. If you are coming from Utopia on FM 470 it will be on your right just before the bridge. There is a pretty white church with a tall steeple just across the road from the eatery. If you come after 5 pm, look for all the cars and you'll know you are there.
Mac and Ernie's Roadside Eatery is only open on Wednesday from 11-2 and on Friday and Saturday from 11-9 with the dinner menu starting at 5 pm. On Wednesday the menu consist of only one dish. Unless you want to be surprised on Wednesday, you should call ahead to see what's on the menu for the day.
To order your food, you get in line outside of the cooking hut, take a look at the menu that is written on a chalk board and place your order when you get to the window. Have cash available as they do not accept any credit cards. After you order, you find a place to sit, either in the tent provided outside, on the patio under the trees or inside a room adjacent to the general store. The servers will find you and bring you your meal. They do not serve alcohol but you can bring your own and pay a corking fee.
The menu is not what you might expect from a small hut in a small country town. You will find items like those found in nice restuarants in the city. The menu is subject to change depending on what the Stolzers decide they want to prepare on any given day. But no matter what it is, it is good food. Their business card states, "You never know what might be on the menu".
Mac and Ernie's Roadside Eatery is worth the trip. You can visit their website at Mac and Ernie's or call 830-562-3250 for information. Reservations are not required!
Click on the menu so that you can read it.
Outside eating tent
Pretty church across from Mac and Ernie's
This Old Campsite
This Old Campsite
Mac & Ernie's was featured on the PREMIER episode of Diner's Drive-Ins and Dives with Guy Fieri on The Food Network. Watch the Video .