If you ever find yourself in Rusk, Texas- there is a great little cafe on the square. Tony and I found Holland Crossing Cafe this past week as we were doing some business in that little town. The courthouse and square are very quaint. The cafe is casual with a friendly atmosphere.
The special of the day was “all you can eat fish and shrimp.” Now in most cases, this would not at all appeal to me as I am very picky about my fish (mostly I don’t like it, for some reason it usually tastes fishy) and I love shrimp, but fresh. Normally these small town cafes will offer frozen shrimp that is not very appealing. Catfish is not uncommon and usually done well- if you don’t mind your fish tasting fishy. But Holland Crossing surprised me. I walked over to take a look at the buffet and saw some shrimp that looked like what I cooked at home and since the buffet cost no more than the Hamburger Basket, I decided to give it a try.
I am so glad I did! The shrimp was so good. The breading was light, almost like tempura and the shrimp was very fresh and cooked just right. The way to tell if seafood is fresh is to take a bite. If the shrimp or calamari or lobster has a nice “pop” to it as your teeth sink into it- it is fresh. If you have to pull back on the bite to get it loose and it feels like biting into a rubber band- not fresh. Sadly, most seafood you get in this part of Texas is rubbery. So many people don’t think they like seafood and I really think it has to do with not being served fresh stuff. Not only was the shrimp good, so was the Gumbo. The gumbo had good flavor and just a touch of heat. When I first got my plate there was no fish out. As I finished my shrimp, the gal in the kitchen bought out a fresh batch of catfish. Given the freshness of the shrimp, I took a chance on the fish. Perfect. Not a hint of mud or fishyness- it was really good.
The only flaw I found on the buffet was the actual lettuce. It was fresh and crisp, but it was just a standard iceberg mix. I find that really sad given the fact that the romaine and loose leaf varieties are the same price if not cheaper. However, the rest of the salad bar had a lot of great choices- fresh mushrooms, cucumbers, carrots, bacon bits, etc.
Tony had a ham and turkey sandwich that was served on a croissant with chips. He really liked it. Several customers were served hamburgers and those looked great. Being located across from the courthouse means that a lot of sidearms walked in on their owners. This was a bit out of the norm for our usual haunts, but the deputies usually know the good eating places in town.
There are several other attractions in the areal. The Texas State Railroad is in Rusk and there is a really pretty park downtown. This area of Texas has a lot of early history in it that is marked by the historical markers. I reccomend this little town for a great day trip to expose your kids to some our colorful Texas history.
While you are there- give the Holland Crossing Cafe a try!