How often do you have this conversation? “Where would you like to eat tonight?”
The response, “Wherever you want to go.”
“You tell me where you want to eat.” And the conversation goes back and forth for several minutes or until the individuals decide to stay home and eat sandwiches.
I’ve often said that Humble went from having no place to eat to having too many restaurants.
Those who wanted to “eat out” in the 1940s and ‘50s didn’t have the conversation. The small cafes located on Main Street usually closed by 6 p.m. Therefore, they were not an option for dining out in the evening. The only options included Roy’s Café and The Log Cabin.
Roy’s Café, which was also called Crossroads Café, was located next door to Duran’s Texaco Station on Hwy. 59 between Main Street and FM 1960. Duran’s was the first service station in Humble to be open 24 hours. Not only was Duran’s open all night, but Roy’s Café was, too.
The patrons of Roy’s Café could order hamburgers or plate lunches. In addition, the café was known for its breakfasts. While it attracted truckers, it also provided a place for the locals to eat someplace other than home. It is said that at one time Roy’s Café had car hops which allowed the patrons to dine in their own car rather than go into the café. The location on Hwy. 59 created opportunities for the residents of Humble to broaden their horizons by meeting folks from other towns. Roy’s Café was not only a place for dining, it opened doors to a broader social world.
The Log Cabin was another favorite eating establishment which offered a unique dining experience with the food being served “family style.” A group was seated at a large table and all ate the same food; there were no individual orders. The entrée was ordered and side dishes were served with it. A large platter of fried chicken, a big bowl of mashed potatoes, a bowl of gravy, and two or three bowls of vegetables along with a plate of fresh, hot yeast rolls would be placed on the table which was set with individual place settings. The food would be passed around the table and each person took a serving from the dish. The good news was that if some food was left, the diners could have seconds, but everyone at the table ate the same food just like at home. The best part was that Mom didn’t have to cook that night and someone else washed the dishes. The Log Cabin was known for its tasty food and lunch or dinner at The Log Cabin was a special event.
Mr. and Mrs. Ward opened the original Log Cabin restaurant in a log cabin building on Lee Road. When the road expanded, the business moved farther south into a larger building. As growth in the area increased and roads were paved, The Log Cabin had to move again. The owners selected a location on the east side of Hwy. 59. The building was no longer a log cabin, but the business continued to flourish.
When the state of Texas planned to widen Hwy. 59, the Wards faced moving their restaurant for a third time. By this time their children were adults and had no interest in continuing the business. The restaurateurs made the decision to close the beloved eating establishment and enjoy retirement. It was with sadness that we lost The Log Cabin, but other restaurants and fast-food places were coming to Humble.
Along with the new restaurants in town, Atascocita Country Club opened and offered a restaurant for its members and their guests. The residents of the Humble area were now able to have that dreadful conversation about where to eat tonight. Still today we miss having hamburgers at Roy’s Café and the family-style meals at The Log Cabin. Decisions were easier when we had only two eating establishments.