As we settle into life in the Dallas suburbs, we have begun our search for good local breweries. We sure do miss places like Night Shift and Wachusett up in the Boston area, but we're finding new beer to love as well. Turns out the Texas craft beer scene has changed a lot in the 7 years that we've been out of state, so we have a lot to learn. We kicked off our search with a short drive up to Sherman for 903 Brewers. Next, we met up with friends at the local McKinney favorite, Franconia. They take a different approach to brewing, but we loved both tours, and we loved the beers that they're pouring.
First up, 903 Brewers. I have a soft spot in my heart for this one, as it's named after the area code used throughout East Texas, including my hometown of Paris. We made the trip to Sherman around lunch time, so we stopped at a wonderfully dive-y local spot, City Limits, for lunch prior to our brewery visit. They're famous for their chicken fried steaks and for good reason. You get a generous portion doused in creamy white gravy served on paper plates with french fries and a side salad. It's nothing fancy, but to be fair, it shouldn't be.
Bill Smith's Cafe for breakfast. It's the oldest restaurant in McKinney, and when we pulled in, the parking lot was packed (mostly with big farm trucks). If the guys in farm trucks approve of a greasy spoon breakfast spot, that's a good enough endorsement for me! There's kitchy, faded decor on the walls, ranging from old signage to vintage photographs to high school football posters. It looks just how you would expect the oldest diner in town to look (and I mean that as a compliment). I opted for the chicken fried steak and eggs served with hash browns and a side of biscuits and gravy. Please don't ask me how biscuits and gravy qualify as a side, because I just don't know. I figured it was best not to argue! Y'all, this was such a great breakfast and such a great atmosphere. I can't wait to go back! Also, it's starting to look like I can't visit a brewery without first stopping for chicken fried steak. I assure you this isn't the case, but maybe it wouldn't be such a bad tradition to adopt.