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Friday, July 24, 2009


Andice General Store
FM 97
Florence, TX 76527
254 793-3971

When you're told that you can get the best burgers and brisket in Texas, how can you resist making a short trip for lunch? We couldn't, so five of us headed to the Andice General Store, a little place where the road makes a T (as in Texas). There's no way you can miss it. Andice seems to consist of the General Store and a post office. Population is about 25.

Picture in your mind's eye the general store of movies and books. Picture the store of days gone by with its shelves of everyday necessities. Andice is no modern convenience store. It is as laid back, casual, and friendly as one can imagine. You can buy cold coke in the bottle. I'm sure the “regulars” sit and talk, and because I sometimes live in that “movie” world, I might even look for Ike Godsey behind the counter. We did, indeed, chat with the owner, Alan Thomas, behind the counter. He stood beneath the huge blackboard listing the burger and brisket variations and all the other things we could order. Lots of hard decisions to make there because everything is so tempting. We finally do decide, place our order, and take bench seats at one of the long, vinyl-covered picnic tables that make up the middle of the store. Condiments are kept in empty oil cans. Wall decorations are old-time gas station accessories. It's wonderful.

While we wait for our lunches, we might wish to visit the lavatories, but don't look inside the building. Outside, at the back of the property is a two-sided building and I think I am heading back to an old fashioned outhouse. Thankfully the inside is modern! But it does give us a start.

Back inside our lunches are ready. Rob and I ordered the brisket. I love brisket. I loved my mother's and I love New York deli brisket. Texas brisket—or at least Andice Country Store brisket—is different AND BETTER than any brisket I have ever tasted. It arrives in a plastic basket lined with white waxed paper. The brisket is superbly seasoned, slowly cooked until it is tender and succulent without being the least bit stringy or overdone. I put my own condiments on it. I'm a NY ketchup person which I believe goes against the grain here in Texas, but it is obvious that the Andice General Store does not have to smother its meat with some kind of sauce. The meat speaks for itself. On the table are several choices if that's what the diner requires.

Barbara, Stan, and Michael order some variation of burger. Each burger comes with a different collection of toppings. Texas is beef country, and these burgers are big and hearty, each cooked exactly as ordered, and each juicily delicious.

The owner had suggested we try the cole slaw or potato salad or the special onion rings, so of course we did. Normally the baskets come with fries, but the onion rings I had rated way up the list. The potato salad, too, was excellent. The owner was right to be proud of what he served. Everything was scrumptious.

The Andice Country Store is not on a main road, and maybe you will never be in that part of Texas. But if you are, stop in. You will be visiting one of the many hidden treasures tucked all over this country. Whenever you spot one of these treasures, make sure you stop in.

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