The Busy Bee Café sits alongside the railroad tracks in old Pearland. Though the building looks relatively new, a sign over the door reads, “A Texas Tradition Since 1935”.
We found the Busy Bee Café by accident while cruising through Pearland looking for cool “stuff” to write about for this blog, and as is often the case . . . it just “spoke to me”. “Hey buddy . . . yeah, you in the red pickup. Try me out. You’re gonna like it!”
My wife called the surroundings cute. Straight-back wooden chairs at café-style tables beneath an open ceiling, and giant Lone Stars and Texas memorabilia hung on the walls. The hand-dipped Dreyer’s ice cream station at the counter was an unexpected surprise. That’s when the café spoke to her, “Hey lady . . . yes you with the old guy on a mission. Try me out. You’re gonna like it.”
There was an awesome list of Texas-style comfort foods surrounded by local advertising from front to back in the brown paper menu. An ad for Long’s Auto Repair and Wrecker Service was posted above the heading BREAKFAST SERVED ALL DAY, and smaller spots for Studio Five Eighteen Salon and Right Price Movers were paired with the list of thirteen burgers and sandwiches, and five poor boy combinations … all “served with fries or chips”. I was going to like this place.
The waitress was small town friendly and offered suggestions from the fried catfish and baked potato stuffed with taco meat or barbecue beef, to homemade meatloaf and smothered chicken. But today was one of those days when you have to say to yourself . . . let’s do it.
I ordered the house specialty – chicken fried steak with white gravy. My sides were fried okra and fried green tomatoes, and the most incredible homemade corn casserole that I had ever eaten . . . ever. The top was crispy, it was filled with giant kernels of whole corn, and the flavor . . . it was oh, so tasty. Just like grandma never used to make.
Stuffed with the entrees we only sampled the old-style cornbread and rolls, but did take a couple of containers filled with blackberry cobbler for the road. Hours later they were still amazing.
If the Busy Bee Café has been serving meals like this for more than 70-years, it’s no wonder why it’s been a Texas tradition since 1935. It will no doubt become a tradition for me when traveling through Pearland in the days ahead. It spoke to me. It said, “You’re gonna like it,” and it was right.
The Busy Bee Café is at 4009 West Broadway in Pearland, Texas 77581. Call ahead at 281-485-8690.
Michael Baxter is the Texas Travelin’ Man
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