At The Longhorn Café, the Fish Sandwich Is a Pleasant Surprise


L-R: The Big Juicy and the fish sandwich
  • L-R: The Big Juicy and the fish sandwich

Should you ever find yourself in fear of forgetting, there are few clearer reminders than a dining room packed with armed forces personnel, construction workers, cowboys, businessmen, and families, that everyone, from all walks of life, appreciates a well-made hamburger. At the Longhorn Café on Rittiman Road, though the lunch rush finds the restaurant catering to a wildly diverse crowd, everyone is clamoring for the exact same thing.

Walk in and snake your way through the line, winding on either side of the bottle-dotted ice trough, and be prepared to order once you reach the register. When the noontime rush hits, the impeccable Southern hospitality of the waitstaff can strain.

While you sit, take in the standard issue burger joint bric-a-brac. Corrugated tin lines the siding of the interior, its envelopment of the wall interrupted only by clusters of license plates, vinyl records, beer advertisements, and taxidermy. TVs drone in the background, arcade games linger unused during the lunch hour, and the palaver of a dozen different conversations rings through your ears, cut only by the muffled sound of your name over a speaker system.

Should you have chosen the Café’s signature burger, the Big Juicy ($4.59), you are in luck. The burger is of the vintage variety, lacking special adornments, twists, or gimmicks. The stiff-topped bun gives away into its buxom underbite, revealing juicy beef, plenty of token vegetables, and a healthy slick of mayo. The classic taste will transport you to your childhood summers, filled with all the simplicity of an unassuming, perfectly made hamburger. The fries, giving but hot and salty, work in concert with the sweetness of ketchup to marry savory, salty, and succulent all into one package.

The fish sandwich
  • The fish sandwich

My dining partner opted for the fried fish sandwich ($6.79), and I have rarely been so impressed by battered cod. With a crunch, the sandy shell cracks open where glistening, moist fish waits to calve off in chunks like the face of a glacier. Smeared with tartar sauce and nearly two inches thick, the sandwich is no peckish afterthought; the fish is meaty, close almost to chicken save for its flake and tang. 

1003 Rittiman Road, (210)

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