Essays on People's Platelist Finalists

Bud's cafe is worthy of a "bucket list" of "must-dos before dying." His restaurant experience is THE reason folks come to Round Top. His cuisine speaks for itself, but it is the entire experience of this hidden Hill Country village, the Texan ambiance, Bud's sense of humor, the Texas drawl - the whole package that makes Royer's Cafe a consummate experience! Quaint Texas paraphernalia decor reflects owner Bud Royer's whimsical ways - like charging $1 if you DON'T get Blue Bell Ice Cream (made in Brenham, TEXAS) on their delectable pies. There are delicious reasons for a PIE OF THE MONTH CLUB. Bud GAVE us a mammoth yeasty plate of cinnamon rolls in consolation when we moved from Texas, mouth-watering just at the thought! Bud's friendly folks present a Texas welcome to THE BEST pies you'll ever put in your mouth. Don't worry if you forget your reading glasses. They provide a set on each table, to make sure you can see the menu! The worst thing about visiting Royer's, is trying to decide which pie to eat! Yeah, they have great entrees, delectable sides of featured cafe fare, but IT'S THE PIES. This house specialty keeps them going, expanding, and growing! Those of us who live states away, intentionally visit Royer's when we're in Texas. The only reason I'm glad I don't live in Texas, is that if I did, I would be going, expanding and growing – just like Bud's business – a culinary gift in an entrepreneurial package. Genius!

CHRIS SCHWARTZ, Frank's Diner, Kenosha, Wis.

Chris owns and runs Frank's Diner, which is the oldest continuously operating dining car restaurant in the country. She and her partner Lynn create excellent breakfasts and lunches on a daily basis. Their garbage plates are their most famous dish and are trademarked because of it. Their restaurant is very popular and can have a wait time of over an hour on weekends, which people happily wait for because of the delicious food and atmosphere. I, in particular love their pancakes and Wow Burgers. Every time I come in, they greet me (and most others) by name. They manage to have fun with their customers and chat with the people at the counter while cooking. Not only this, but they manage to support a number of other businesses and are present at nearly every festival and event the city runs.

GARY TATMON, Carroll's Diner, Houston, TX

Hello, my name is Jimmieka Mills and my father-in-law Gary Tatmon is the best Chef in the WORLD!

Gary is the most compassionate and generous person I know. He and his immediate family relocated from California to Texas which is where his family resided, and he and his sister opened a diner. I have never known Gary to throw any food away at the diner. Food is always given to those in need, and he even hires homeless people from the neighborhood to work busing tables washing dishes and taking out trash.

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