It was Bud Kennedy‘s reporting of a birthday party that caught my attention this week, reminding me that Jake & Dorothy’s restaurant in Stephenville, Texas has a 65th birthday coming up. On June 12, the restaurant will celebrate by offering its open-face chicken-fried steak sandwich platters for 65 cents.
Kennedy’s article did much more than remind me that we plan to visit Jake & Dorothy’s on the 12th. It also served to carry me down memory lane, and for the next hour I must admit that I wandered through old roads of some very special memories of days gone by.
Jake & Dorothy’s was an icon in the town of Stephenville as well as across central Texas before I was even born, the couple well known for putting out good food for a good price while also finding the time to sit and visit for a spell with the diners.
By the time Ric and I came along, Jake & Dorothy’s was the place to get a burger or a chicken fried steak, and the homemade pie was certainly a calling card while Jake and Dorothy kept the hot coffee coming.
The restaurant was also the place to go for post game meals and celebrations, and people like us drove miles to get there. Of course, it didn’t hurt that Jake & Dorothy’s was probably the only place open that late back then. As was the norm for that day, the cigarette smoke wafted slowly upward as the various conversations swirled throughout what we called the café as we celebrated a victory or nursed a loss as the case might be.
By the time our youngest daughter was an elementary student, the world had whirled a little faster, offering us many choices for both our culinary tastes and our late night celebrations and yet when offered with a “special day,” where did she ask to go? Yep, Jake & Dorothy’s. Why? Because by that time, the old café was the only place that still offered tiny juke boxes on the wall of each booth!
Julie and I capped off many an afternoon of one special outing or another by sitting in a booth at Jake & Dorothy’s, feeding a juke box while sharing a piece of pie and making memories.
To see other birthday specials offered during the birthday week, be sure to check out Kennedy’s article.