BEST IN FOOD & DINING 2017: Part II
Food: we can’t live without it. Maybe for a few hours, but after that, the hangry-ness sets in. Nobody likes to be hangry. Not to worry, the Brazos Valley is home to many incredible eateries that can satiate hunger and bring a food coma-smile to our faces.
Around every corner, we have restaurants that have fed the Brazos Valley for decades and are the locals go-to for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Maybe even a midnight snack. However, over the past decade the population has substantially grown and so have our dining options (YES!). It’s a culinary wonderland! Not to mention the delectable desserts, local wineries and breweries, and food delivery / take-out masters that heighten our dining experiences, too!
Food is a part of our daily routine, and it’s important that we take a moment to appreciate the creative minds who feed us every single day while delighting our palates. Below are the Best of the Brazos Valley 2017 winners across four of the Food & Dining categories.
Best Chicken Tenders | Layne’s of College Station
Voted “Best Chicken Tenders” 2007-2017
[ layneschickenfingers.com | 106 Walton Drive College Station, TX 77840 979.696.7633 | 1301 Wellborn Road College Station, TX 77840 | 1780 Greens Prairie Road College Station, TX 77845 ]
Since 1994, Layne’s has grown into a local icon of chicken greatness, as Aggies learn they just can’t resist those “soon to be famous” Layne’s Chicken Fingers and amazing sauce. Layne’s Chicken Fingers has once again won “Best Chicken Tenders” of the Brazos Valley. Leave your piggy-bank at home, because Layne’s offers one of the most reasonably-priced meals in the Brazos Valley with their Chicken Finger plate costing just $6.50.
Layne’s has stayed true to its roots, continuing to serve their delicious Chicken Finger plates across from the main entrance to Texas A&M. Having consistent good food is Layne’s #1 priority. The atmosphere at Layne’s can certainly be described as unique and laid back with their focus on the delicious chicken fingers and friendly service.
With an extremely dedicated team, Layne’s customer service is second to none. Layne’s knows it is important to keep their employees happy because they are the face of it. Layne’s won the 2015 Munch Madness Championship, beating out over 30 local restaurants. Munch Madness was a food bracket challenge during March Madness, where it was determined by popular vote who the champion would be.
“We are so excited to have opened our newest location in south College Station off Greens Prairie Rd.,” said Adrian, General Manager at Layne’s. “It has the traditional Layne’s atmosphere with tables and booths that are mix-matched and the typical drive through so you can quickly get your chicken fingers to-go.”
Come join us at Layne’s for a tasty and memorable meal. You might spot Layne’s customer-turned-owner, Mike Garratt, who wants to thank all of his loyal customers, staff, friends and family for the honor of being named Best of the Brazos Valley, and for continuing to support Layne’s through the years.
Best Chinese Restaurant | T. Jin China Diner
Voted “Best Chinese Restaurant” 2008-2017
[ tjinchinadiner.com | 3515 Longmire Drive College Station, TX 77845 979.696.3666 | 2305 Boonville Road #650 Bryan, TX 77808 979.776.999 ]
We may be a long way from China, but when you sample the cuisine at T. Jin China Diner, you’ll feel as if you’ve crossed over into the Orient!
When it comes to Chinese food in the Brazos Valley, the variety of delectable Asian dishes at T. Jin China Diner is unmatched. Appetizers include everything from spring rolls and pot stickers to barbecue pork. Enjoy a wide array of delicious soups including egg drop, won ton, hot & sour or seafood, just to name a few. Try their broccoli beef with tender, flavorful meat and fresh broccoli. If you’re looking for something tangier, try their sweet & sour chicken or pork, prepared with the freshest ingredients. If you like it spicy, try T. Jin’s beef with jalapeno, Kung Pao chicken, or Four Treasures with scallops, shrimp, beef and chicken with vegetables in a spicy garlic sauce.
If you have a taste for something out of the ordinary, try their lamb with Sar Char sauce. This dish has sauteed lamb in an oriental barbecue sauce with green onions and ginger. T. Jin’s also offers entrees for the health conscious eater including mixed vegetables with chicken or beef, the vegetable deluxe, or broccoli with bean curd – sauteed broccoli with tofu in a light sauce. These healthy options are all prepared without oil, butter or MSG. And for the kids, T. Jin’s has an affordable kid’s menu with dishes like chicken fried rice and lo mein.
Dine-in or order-out at T. Jin restaurants and find out why they’ve been voted the “Best Chinese Restaurant” in the Brazos Valley!
Best Chocolates | The Chocolate Gallery
Voted “Best Chocolates” 2014-2017
[ bcschocolategallery.com | 211 North Main Street | Bryan, TX 77803 | 979.779.2804 ]
Located in the heart of Downtown Bryan, The Chocolate Gallery has been creating delicious chocolates, cakes, and pastries since their opening in October 2012. Executive Chocolatier, Josh Neubauer alongside Executive Pastry Chef, Ciana Neubauer, make the perfect husband and wife duo in providing the Bryan/College Station area with sweet treats to be enjoyed year round. Congratulations to The Chocolate Gallery for winning “Best Chocolates” in 2017!
The Chocolate Gallery operates with a total staff of six employees who help make the entire bake shop run smoothly. They are also among very
few bakeries in the area that are licensed with Texas A&M University to create the Aggie Ring, the Texas A&M Lone Star logo, and many other Aggie-themed chocolates and pastries. You’ll be sure to receive top-notch service with your order, no matter the occasion.
As their motto stands, “The Chocolate Gallery wishes to provide premium pastries and chocolates, as well as showcase the art of pastry and confections through education and experience.” Don’t miss signing up for their classes! Enjoy cookie decorating for children and adults, cupcake decorating for children, cake decorating for adults, and a butter cream class. For a great night of food and fun with your friends and family, stop by The Chocolate Gallery during Downtown Bryan’s First Friday to see the shop in action.
Aside from their award-winning chocolates, The Chocolate Gallery’s assortments also include custom cakes, cupcakes, cookies, gelato, sorbet, cheesecake, toffee, chocolate-covered nuts, and their newest addition of traditional French macaroons. They also offer seasonal items such as chocolate-covered strawberries, caramel apples, chocolate drizzled caramel corn, hot chocolate, chocolate Easter eggs and chocolate pumpkins.
The Chocolate Gallery would like to thank their wonderful owner, Wayne Carroll, for creating a space where their culinary creativity can take flight and provide our community with an array of delicious desserts for years to come. They would also like to thank everyone in the community who voted them “Best Chocolates” this year for the Best of the Brazos Valley.
Best Crawfish | Shipwreck Grill
Voted “Best Crawfish” 2016-2017
[ shipwreckbcs.com | 206 East Villa Maria Road | Bryan, TX 77801 | 979.823.7477 ]
The iconic Shipwreck Grill has been voted the Best of the Brazos Valley for “Best Crawfish” in 2017! Shipwreck Grill was started in 2009 by Wade and Mary Beckman, Class of ’90. After managing other restaurant concepts across the country, the couple along with their sons Collin and Carson, decided to move back to Bryan/College Station and create their own.
“This is what Wade was born to do,” Mary said. “He’s an excellent cook AND business man – many people don’t realize when you open a restaurant, you HAVE to be good at both.” Shipwreck pride’s themselves on being a family-owned and operated business. “Working as a family, we still get that time together. Being independently owned & operated also means we can make changes to better serve our customers; we can do it the same day – no waiting on approval from corporate,” Mary said.
After 8 years of success, Shipwreck is constantly working to spice things up. “Our menu is a living, breathing thing, and we take our customer’s feedback very personally; we want to serve them what they love,” Mary said. Speaking of their menu, hailing from southern Louisiana, Mary knows crawfish. “We cook it like you would in your backyard,” Mary said. “We are committed to cooking crawfish RIGHT and do everything we do with great pride. We have separate cooks that Wade trains to cook both at the restaurant and off-site boils. By mid-season these guys are master Crawfish cookers!” In a typical season (Jan.-June), they will boil over 50,000 pounds of crawfish!
Something that sets Shipwreck Grill apart is their involvement in the community. You’ll find them at Chamber of Commerce meetings/events (also serving on the Board of Directors and Executive Committee for the Chamber), involved with the Rotary Club, hosting fundraisers, and constantly looking for new ways to give back to the community. “We love B/CS because it’s such a tight-knit community where we can really get involved, make a difference and see that difference,” Mary said. “Wade says if you give people a platform to give, they will because they want to, but just need an avenue – and that’s what we love to do – be a platform for people to give back to our community.”
“Our business is about serving the best product we can and making people happy, however we can,” Mary said. “I think the people of the Brazos Valley get that, and I’m happy that they recognize us for it. Thank you B/CS!”