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Come on a field trip to Roanoke

Posted 12:48pm on Friday, Apr. 16, 2010

"Road trip to Roanoke!"

Get used to hearing that mantra from us. We made our first journey (about 35 minutes up Old Denton Highway) to the culinary and cutesy wonderland of Roanoke on Thursday afternoon, and we're seriously considering making it a weekly expedition.

If we don't move there.

The town only has 6,000 or so people, but it's brimming with a restaurant row that can rival some of the best in Dallas and Fort Worth. (See what a little tax incentive can do!)

Roanoke's also got genuine small town charm, which we happily discovered on a spring stroll along the recently re-opened stretch of Oak Street.

Comfort food fans have been road-trippin' to Roanoke for years to go to the original Babe's, and we could smell the chicken frying as we pulled into a space in front of City Hall. But after a lap around and some menu snoopin', we couldn't resist the charm and creativity of Cowboy Chow, chef Jason Boso's juke joint-style restaurant, which is two doors down from his other place, Twisted Root Burger.

We perched ourselves at Cowboy Chow's bar overlooking Oak St. and drank in the cool breezes, some root beer and sweet watermlon tea. Everything we tried, from the mash tater parfait (served in a mason-style jar) to the succulent baby back ribs to the s'more, was wonderful. (Insert waist-band expanding sound here.)

And yet, there are so many intriguing restaurants to try in Roanoke that we'll have to come back next week, and the week after that. ... Oh, the sacrifices we make for journalism.

Gerhard's, the new German restaurant, smelled terrific and according to Teresa Gubbins, it is. With so few decent German joints in DFW, this could become a go-to spot for us, tiding us over till next year's Main St. and a return visit from Schmidt's.

We love the Twisted Root Burger in Deep Ellum, so there's that. And when we stopped in the rustic looking Prairie House Restaurant to check out the menu (steaks, barbecue, etc.) we got an unsoliticed thumbs up from a satisfied diner.

That doesn't even mention Tortilla Flats, which we heard from the lovely ladies at the nearby Book Carraige and Coffee Shop, had great breakfast burritos.

And we didn't just eat in Roanoke. We made our way down Oak and stopped in at Chic, a funky boutique, with enough pink to make Sacha Fashionista blush.

The Book Carriage and Coffee Shop has lots of cool gifts and local art hanging on the walls. The manager said they have live music on their second-floor perch on Saturdays and it just looks like a cool place to hang out. (Did I mention free Wi-Fi?)

Before we knew it, we'd spent about 3 1/2 hours in Roanoke. It felt like a mini-vacation. We made one last at Granny's Cupboard to pick up some scrump-dilly-iscous fudge and peanut brittle to bring back to our co-workers, who missed out on our favorite field trip of the year so far.

No worries, because we'll be back in Roanoke very soon. Brix Pizza and Wine Bar is joining the fun at this foodies' paradise this summer. And, besides, we heard Granny makes an awesome chicken salad sandwich.

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