BEST IN FOOD & DINING 2017: Part I
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 BBQ | C&J Barbeque
Voted “Best BBQ” 2002-2017
[ cjbbq.com | 4304 Harvey Rd. College Station, TX 77845 979.776.8969 | 105 Southwest Parkway College Station, TX 77840 979.696.7900 | 1010 S. Texas Avenue Bryan, TX 77803 979.8/22.6033 ]
The Manning family has been in business since 1981, and it all started with a gas station selling sandwiches and hot links. Due to popular demand, the barbeque side of the Manning’s business grew, leading them to remove the gas pumps and diving head-first into a restaurant – Aggieland’s beloved C&J’s Barbeque! The Manning family owns and operates all three C&J Barbeque locations to this day – because in Aggieland, tradition is a way of life.
You can find delicious barbeque (and the trimmings) served hot and fresh daily at C&J’s – brought to you by their dedicated staff who work hard to maintain their reputation as Best BBQ in the Brazos Valley. C&J’s offers delivery and catering, and can easily feed large groups of people with high-quality products at a fair price. C&J’s appreciates their customers, and know they wouldn’t be a success without them.
C&J’s is always looking to improve for their loyal customers. Every year they send 2-5 employees to the National BBQ convention to learn new techniques, network with other BBQ peers and bring it all back to the Brazos Valley for you to enjoy.
C&J’s has 65 employees spread across their three locations, and six Pitmasters who strive to bring you the best barbeque and customer service possible. The time and expertise provided by these employees and Pitmasters is crucial in maintaining the excellence Aggieland has come to expect from C&J’s.
C&J’s doesn’t just give the community the best barbeque, but gives back through charitable organizations like Twin City Mission, SOS Ministries, Coastal Conservation Association, Scotty’s House, Mercy Project, Wounded Warriors, Brazos Valley Youth Livestock & Rode, Little Cooks Café, BVCASA and local schools in the area.
C&J’s were voted “Best of the Brazos Valley” because their customers can trust them to be consistent, fast and friendly. C&J’s thanks their employees and management for working hard everyday maintaining C&J’s tradition of excellence. Thank you, Brazos Valley, for your continued support and making C&J’s Best BBQ 16 years in a row!
Best Bakery, Cookie, Food Delivery/Takeout, Sandwich Shop | Blue Baker
Voted “Best Bakery” 2004-2017
Voted “Best Cookie” 2004-2017
Voted “Best Food Delivery/Take-out” 2004-2013; 2015-2017
Voted “Best Sandwich Shop” 2004-2017
[ bluebaker.com | 201 Dominik Drive College Station, TX 77840 979.696.5055 | 800 University Drive, Suite 100 College Station, TX 77840 979.268.3096 | 4500 Mills Park Circle College Station, TX 77845 979.209.0474 ]
Founded in 2001, Blue Baker is a family-owned craft bakery and pizzeria. As an artisan bakery, we bake our products in-house so we are able to provide an extensive menu that can be customized to satisfy a guest’s needs and individual preferences. In addition, our three day bread making process, which focuses on creating small batches of artisan loaves, is a technique that has contributed to the success and growth of Blue Baker. With three locations in College Station and one in Austin, the bakery plays an active role in each community we serve. We demonstrate this commitment with our weekly bakery tours, monthly cookie sales and sales sharing nights with local organizations, and annual partnership with the Christmas Angels program.
The guiding principles of Blue Baker are to enrich the lives of others, strive for excellence, and grow a healthy and admired business. Employees are encouraged to see their work at Blue Baker as a daily opportunity to tangibly contribute to others using their unique creative talents and to memorably serve great-tasting, customized food. Whether this is preparing craft food that is great tasting, fresh, wholesome and nourishing, or by serving guests one at a time in a manner customized to their needs
Our founder, Dave Fox, is a baker at heart, and loves crusty, full-flavored breads and pizzas made by hand with simple, real ingredients. “Our team takes pride in the quality of our baked goods and the food we serve that derives from both the ingredients we select and craftsmanship of our bakers,” said Fox. “What we don’t use are trans fats, dough conditioners, flavor enhancers or chemical additives. It’s a gradual, natural process that transforms simple, honest ingredients into remarkably flavorful loaves and pizza crusts.”
“We are honored by this recognition and feel truly blessed to live in such a remarkable community. Thank you to our loyal guests for your many years of support,” said Fox.
Whether you are looking for a tasty sandwich or a delicious baked good, look no further than Blue Baker. With 16 years of service under its belt, Blue Baker has earned the title of Best of the Brazos for “Best Cookie”, “Best Sandwich Shop”, and “Best Bakery” for 14 years in a row!
Best Burger | Koppe Bridge
Voted “Best Burger” 2001-2013; 2014-2015 TIE; 2016-2017
[ koppebridge.net | 11777 Wellborn Road College Station, TX 77845 979.764.2933 | 3940 Harvey Road College Station, TX 77845 979.776.2833 ]
Nothing says American like a big burger and fries and at Koppe Bridge Bar & Grill, that is exactly what you get! After serving the Brazos Valley for 25 years, Koppe Bridge has managed to create a comfy atmosphere complete with delicious food and excellent customer service! Established as a local favorite, it is no surprise that Koppe Bridge has been voted the “Best Burger” in the Brazos Valley for 17 years in a row!
Koppe Bridge sizzled into business in 1992. The restaurant is named after an old wooden bridge that stretched along the Brazos River until a forceful storm destroyed the bridge in the 1920’s. Legend has it that after the storm demolished the old Koppe Bridge, some of the bridge’s timbers remained on a local rancher’s land and eventually became what we know as the foundation of “Koppe Bridge” as she stands today.
When you dine at Koppe Bridge you are in for a treat! Not only are their burgers and fries delicious, but the size of their food is unmatched. Enjoy a half pound cheeseburger, or choose from their extended menu of baja tacos and cheesesteaks!
Best Butcher/Meat Market | Readfield Meats & Deli
Voted “Best Butcher/Meat Market” 2009-2017
[ readfieldmeats.com | 2701 South Texas Avenue | Bryan, TX 77801 | 979.822.1594 ]
For over 50 years Readfield’s Meats & Deli has been regarded as the best butcher shop in the hearts and minds of many loyal customers. And for the ninth year (2009-2017) their customers have spoken up and voted them as the “Best Butcher & Meat Market” in the Brazos Valley.
Since 1968 the Ruffino family has operated at their Texas Avenue shop. “We sell a lot of aged beef, fresh Midwest pork, Texas poultry, and family recipe sausages,” said owner, Richard Ruffino.
The specialty meats at Readfield Meats and Deli are just as popular. Among the selections available are bacon wrapped filet mignons, smoked applewood bacon, meat kabobs, seasoned and marinated meats, bacon wrapped specialties, fresh muffalatta sandwiches and in-store made Italian sausage. There are a number of meats to choose from, whether you’re buying in bulk or for the week. Readfield also offers smoked turkeys, spiral honey-glazed hams, and party trays for that perfect special occasion, or just because. Additionally, Readfield carries USDA Chairman Reserve Premium Choice and prime beef.
Readfield not only offers quality meats, their deli and market provide everything you might need to cook up a wonderful meal. Boxes of imported pastas, imported olive oils and tomato products, fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, and gourmet imported appetizers and foods line their walls.
Readfield Meats and Deli’s staff stays actively involved in the local community. They support the Brazos County Youth Livestock Show, Bryan Education Foundation, Lions Club PRCA Rodeo, and many local school and church organizations.
“It’s an honor to be reassured that we’re doing our job well,” said Ruffino. “We pride ourselves on the quality of our products and the great customer service we provide and really want to thank the Brazos Valley for their continued patronage.”