Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Lunch at a Cathouse

For Donna's birthday, I let the old girl pick where she wanted to have her birthday meal. She decided on Miss Hattie's Restaurant in downtown San Angelo.

Now, there is a bit of history to this place. It's full name is Miss Hattie's Restaurant and Cathouse Lounge. The actual building housing the restaurant was constructed in the 1880's and was, at that time, home to the San Angelo National Bank. (see history) The bordello was actually two buildings over and upstairs, if I understand correctly, and there was a tunnel which connected it to the bank for the convenience and "discretion" of its patrons. The bordello began business in 1902 and continued operating until closed by the Texas Rangers in 1952. Today, you can tour Miss Hattie's Bordello Museum. Times are somewhat limited, so check the website. By the way, Miss Hattie's was not the only bordello operating along Concho Street.

Entrance to the Bordello Museum.
The restaurant is in the building on far right. This was, as I said, originally the bank building. The bordello was in the upstairs section of the larger building on the left. 

Boardwalk in front of the restaurant
Entrance to the restaurant
This was our second time to eat at Miss Hattie's. It's a nice place, and the building maintains many of it's original features, such as pressed tin ceiling. They have a full lunch menu with a variety of items, including a "Brothel Burger" that was acclaimed at one time as the 28th best burger in Texas by Texas Monthly magazine. I've not tried the burger yet, but intend to some time.

For her lunch, the birthday girl ordered grilled chicken pasta, which is a grilled chicken breast served over fettucine tossed in Alfredo sauce. I ordered the chicken fried steak.

The meal for each of us began with a small salad, consisting off a few tossed greens, 1 slice of cucumber, and half a slice of tomato. Rather meager pickings, I'd say. My steak looked good when it arrived, but my disappointment soon began to build. First, the menu clearly stated the steak is served with mashed potatoes, and I was served French fries, which I'm not a big fan of. The vegetable of the day was a helping of sweet corn. Neither the corn nor the fries were hot, just lukewarm at best. I began cutting into my steak. It was not until my fourth bite that I finally tasted meat. About a one inch perimeter of the steak was nothing more than crust. One of my standards for a good chicken fried steak is how tender it is; I expect to be able to cut a cfs with my fork. I had to use a knife several times on this steak.

My chicken fried steak. Gravy was served on the side. About half of the steak was crust.
Donna's pasta dish started out well. The chicken actually had a good flavor, but as she worked her way through her meal, she found the chicken to be tough.

Donna's grilled chicken pasta
The waitress was attentive, but there was a lot of waiting involved for us. There seemed to be long gaps of time from sitting down, being served drinks, ordering our meal, and being served. Once we finished our meal, it took us about 25 minutes to pay up and leave. I don't know what the precise problem was; as I said, the waitress was attentive, but the process seems to be out of whack. There were plenty of wait staff for the number of patrons in the restaurant.

Interior of restaurant
So, we were disappointed in our meals. Will we go back? Yes, we will. Our previous experience was good, and we like the menu. I think it is just a matter of figuring out what to order. But the environment is nice, and prices are reasonable for this type of establishment. But you can bet I won't order the chicken fried steak again. I might just get that brothel burger.

It was nice of Donna to let me go to a brothel on her birthday.

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