|Eat a two dollar breakfast in a former B-29 base and some might say your life is complete. That is precisely what is offered by the Dalhart Airport Café in Dalhart, Texaswhere breakfast is served all day, as God intended.
Heathens like us, of course, prefer lunch when its lunchtime. So during our midday visit, my companion and I both ordered green chile cheeseburgersstaple food of the Southwest. The burgers are offered with chips ($3.50) or fries ($4.25). We chose fries. The chile (or, for Texans, chili) could have been hotter, especially for us desert dwellers, but the hand formed hamburger patties were fresh and flavorful, and we were happy. The fries were pretty good, too.
Our waitress, Jolanda, was wearing a T-shirt bearing an image of Goldberg, the popular pro wrestler, and we engaged in a rousing dialog about him, the geriatric Hulk Hogan and other body slammin arcana. My dining companion, who knows only slightly more about pro wrestling than I do, grew quite interested in the topic, and suggesteddespite Jolanda's insistence to the contrarythat Hulk Hogan was not too old and shouldn't be forced to retire.
But by the time dessert was served, wed cooled down enough to enjoy every bite. Three types of pie were available that day: apple, peach, and pecan. We tried apple and peach. Both were delicious, with a delightfully flaky crust and excellent consistency that only homemade from scratch pie has. Served a la mode (thats French for overhand, I believe), we gobbled up our pies and vanilla ice cream in no time flat.
Other treats on the menu include a variety of the aforementioned breakfastseggs, potatoes, pancakes, breakfast burritos, English muffinsall ranging in price from $1.50 for a simple one egg breakfast to $4.25 for a build-your-own three egg omelet. Lunches and dinner are fairly standard, with a decent sampling of burgers and sandwichesplus four meat entrées, served with salad, fries, gravy and Texas toast. Nothing on the menu costs more than $4.75.
Bidding farewell to Jolanda and the locals who had come for lunch, we took a moment to appreciate our surroundings. The small red, white and blue structure sits on the corner of a large airfield, surrounded by cattle and very flat farmland. The café is in an old prefabricated metal diner, but by no means does it appear run down. On the contrary, the place is spotless, while still retaining a sense of cool retro nostalgia. Its as if youve been transported 40 years back in time to a spic 'n' span diner, complete with chrome and new vinyl on the furniture and malts at the soda fountain.
We paid for our fuel and added the amount of our lunch ticket on the same credit card at the FBO. This is a standard practice in Dalhart, as the café itself doesn't accept credit cards. The attendant diligently took the exact change from his money box and hand-delivered it to the waitress in the café across the ramp just as we powered up to taxi to runway 21.
A strong, steady quartering headwind awaited us as we made our departure. There are some things you can always count on in the plains of West Texas. The wind was 22 knots, and an excellent lunch for two with dessert, not including tip, was $13.05.