COUPLAND: Old Coupland Inn
101 Hoxie Street
Coupland, TX 78615
Open F-Sat 5:30-10
A short strip of highway connects Taylor and Elgin, Texas and midway between the two you'll see a sign for Coupland. If you've never taken the road up and over the hill to the east, then you've probably never seen the impressive collection of historic buildings that line the main street if Coupland. Barbara and Tim Worthy converted one of those buildings into a restaurant and dance hall back in 1992. After a while they tired of the taxing lifestyle that came along with running a dance hall and sold the business while retaining ownership of the building. A failed venture by one tenant was followed by another who forgot to pay the rent so they found themselves back in the dance hall business again when they reopened the place late last year. They've steadily reopened all portions of the business with the restaurant in full swing and the bed & breakfast getting a face lift.
|Photo by Nicholas McWhirter|
During our visit they were trying out a new menu item that they were eager to get our opinion on. A half a jalapeno was sliced open and filled with chopped leftover brisket and cheese, then the whole thing was hand-breaded and fried. The golden crust had the crispness of a good chicken fried steak and the jalapeno still held on to some of its crunch. The smokiness of the brisket held up even to the heat of the jalapeno. We urged them to make these a regular menu item, which they now are as 'Brisket Poppers'. Order them.
After the brisket poppers were finished, it didn’t take long for a plate of barbecue to show up at our booth. Fatty slices of brisket were a bit underdone, but the smoke in the crust was phenomenal. Dark crusted St. Louis style ribs were exemplary. The meat had just the right amount of mesquite smoke and ample seasoning. The meat needed just a tug to get it off the bone, and a well formed crust gave a textural contrast to the moist meat beneath. A peppery sausage link was also good and sides of surprisingly spicy slaw and mashed potato salad were evidence of the care taken on the food preparation here. A tub of peach cobbler was far more than we could finish at this point, but we gave it our best shot. The dance hall didn't have a show on this evening, so we didn't have the chance to work anything off on the dance floor, but that was probably better for everyone.