Cajun French: le béquine (lu bā-keen) – bacon
Snook, TX population 511. Why in the world would we want to visit – what possibly could be of interest? For John, it has been about five years in the making. That’s how long it’s been since he first heard about Snook. Maybe more specifically, what Snook offered the foodie culture – chicken fried bacon. That is correct – fat, dipped in fat, fried in fat.
Most of you know we are pescetarian and now bacon! We are not opposed to trying new items, meat and all. A trip to Snook was one of the main reasons we visited Bryan/College Station, TX.
On a cool, spring day we headed south to Snook arriving just before the lunch crowd. The quest brought us to Sodolak’s Original Country Inn. This is your typical small town diner/restaurant – nothing fancy, just down home cooking.
Laurie ordered a dinner salad and was willing to taste John’s order. His order consisted of Chicken Fried Bacon as an appetizer and the entrée of Chicken Fried Steak. Veins were clogging just reading the menu.
The chicken fried bacon was not near as saturated as we expected. The coating was light and crisp and the bacon had been rendered before battering. It was served with a side of white gravy. Laurie preferred dipping the bacon in ranch dressing and John went after the gravy. The serving was hefty consisting of six large strips of bacon.
On to the entrée. The chicken fried steak was a small order and the meat just about covered the plate. It was served with a small side salad, mashed potatoes, white gravy, and Texas toast.
While we had a go box for the bacon, the entrée was completely eaten. When paying for our meal we asked how big was the large order of chicken fried steak. Answer: two steaks. Okay, maybe they have hefty appetites in Snook.
Besides the food, another interesting aspect of Sodolak’s was the walls. More specifically what was on the walls. They were covered with shirts from fire departments not only from Texas, but from other states as well. Once again we asked, how that came about. Answer: Texas A&M (TEEX) has a fire training school and the students often visit Sodolak’s for what else, chicken fried bacon. One fire department gave a shirt and it went on the wall. Others did not want to be left out and so it began – shirt giving. Now most all the walls are covered with shirts and they are trying to decide what to do with the ones that are still arriving.
Snook is also home to Chilifest. An annual charity event since 1991, with a two day chili cook-off and country music festival. The small town of Snook swells to more than 50,000 for this event. Since starting, the event has donated over $900,000 to area organizations including Burleson County Go-Texan, Boys & Girls Club of Brazos Valley, and Snook Volunteer Fire Department.
Our original plan was to visit Snook on a Saturday. Luckily we visited the College Station Tourist Information Center first and was told wait until Monday or Tuesday to go to Sodolak’s. That was unless we wanted to get involved with 50,000 rowdy students and young people. We thought about it and then decided a calmer time would be better.
Leaving Snook, we were overfilled yet happy to have satisfied the desire for fat, dipped in fat, fried in fat – chicken fried bacon at Sodolak’s. Should you try it – of course – at least once.