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Chomp! Flashback to 1920s with food and ambiance

By jessica rodrigo/
Oct. 5, 2011 at 5:05 a.m.

The Hanging Tree Restaurant in Goliad offers a traditional all-American fare, including meatloaf, chicken-fried steak and homemade chicken and dumplings. Dinners come with fresh, homemade bread, too.

Having grown up in a Filipino household, I wasn't exposed to a lot of Western nuances until I got older.

That being said, I have always embraced the opportunity to partake in things that would be thought of as all-American, and my visit to the Hanging Tree Restaurant, on the downtown square in Goliad, served as one of those occasions.

Once you walk through those doors into the restaurant, you are almost instantly transported to a different time. I often let my imagination run wild, so for me, it was like being brought back to the 1920s (or at least what I pictured the 1920s to be like).

Images of Angeli Wright, one of the talented staff photographers at the Advocate, and me strutting past the tables in flapper dresses with long strands of pearls wrapped around our necks danced in my mind.

We grabbed a booth along the far wall that had long, pew-like benches, and sat beneath a trophy animal hanging from the wall. There were a multitude of animals that adorned the walls and a stage, which from the looks of it offered live music for guests.

Our server brought out some fresh bread and butter, and we ordered our meals after a brief discussion of who was going to order which dish. I opted for the meatloaf and she the country-fried steak.

My dad cooked meatloaf maybe once or twice, that I can remember. I remember him saying to us before we dug in that it was his first time making it and that it was somewhat an experiment. I followed suit in college and remember telling my roommate the same thing.

When it came out, I could smell the salt and the acidity in the tomatoey-ketchupy top. The plate was complete with kernel corn, mashed potatoes and came with the choice of salad or soup before the meal. I had the cream of potato soup, which was flavorful and delicious.

The meatloaf was tender and still juicy, which through my and my dad's experiences, it was something cooking several times would only improve.

The Hanging Tree's portioning was just right for me, because next time, I want to squeeze into a flapper dress and escape to a different time.



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