Dining Guide

If you’re ever in the Orange area, be sure to stop off at a little slice of heaven called Old Orange Cafe. The restaurant, opened in 1990 by Susan Childers, serves everything from Caesar salads and Cajun grilled shrimp to burgers and BLTs.

David Claybar, the current owner of Old Orange Cafe, began cooking in college with his grandmother and mother.

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Owners Chuck and Debra Lafayette with son Aaron. Chuck and Aaron cook in the kit
The Reuben is loaded with corned beef topped with sauerkraut and served on grill

When Chuck Lafayette, a former offshore boat captain from Jacksonville, Florida, opened his sandwich shop nearly 30 years ago, he knew it wouldn’t be easy for his restaurant to survive in downtown Beaumont. He needed a plan and a vision to keep his business thriving in an area where customers would not be plentiful after their work shifts ended at 5 o’clock.

The restaurant opens early enough (6 a.m.) to attract breakfast customers on their way to work, but closes early as well (2 p.m.).

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Patillo’s owner Robert Patillo (right) visits with customer Glenn Parsley, who h
Link plate with beans, rice and potato salad. Don’t forget the pickles and onion

When thinking about the best barbecue in Beaumont, Patillo’s definitely comes to mind. It’s also the fourth oldest barbecue joint in Texas, so it’s always garnering statewide attention.

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With spring underway and the blistering summer heat just around the corner, Southeast Texans will appreciate the newest tenant of the Westfield Shopping Center in Beaumont — Sub Zero Ice Cream and Yogurt. The shop at 3939 Dowlen opened March 12.

Owner Scott Hawk knows just how unbearable the summer heat can get, being from the piney woods of Buna, himself.

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I awoke early one Saturday morning, ate a banana and had a glass of orange juice, and headed out the door in search of top notch competition barbecue. This quest had me going to Huntsville for the Shotgun Fred’s BBQ Showdown. It is the closest Kansas City BBQ Society event of the year, and I was happy it was only a two-hour drive from home. I arrived at 10 a.m. for the judges’ meeting and just in time to judge the first side dish – beans.

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The first time I had Frenchy’s chicken, I was living in Houston about 15 years ago, and my co-workers insisted I give it a try. Being from the Beaumont area, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. It was the best fried chicken I’d ever tasted. It had a certain seasoning to it that I never forgot and even craved when I was in the mood for chicken.

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Wood Fired Grill inside Jerry Nelson’s Hill Country has been open for nearly a year now, and if you haven’t had the opportunity yet, you really need to give it a try.

The venue’s décor sets Wood Fired Grill apart from any other restaurant in Beaumont and is alone worth the visit. It has a warm, inviting feel that is reminiscent of a visit to the Texas Hill Country.

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Gyros, Chicken Quesadilla, Bobby Patel

Bobby Patel bought Kampus Korner Restaurant in 2009, ran it for a semester and then shut it down for remodeling.

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French Quarter Bar & Grill

When thinking of the French Quarter in New Orleans, good times, great music and the best food around come to mind. And with Mardi Gras right around the corner, what better time to visit Southeast Texas’ own little slice of the Big Easy right off I-10 East in Vidor — French Quarter Bar & Grill at 500 South St.?

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General Tso’s Chicken is served on a bed of broccoli.

When Mike Mak’s father, S.K., and mother, Nancy, emigrated from Hong Kong to the United States, the couple was looking for the perfect city to start a new restaurant. After living in Chicago for a short time, S.K. hoped to find some place with a little more temperate climate.

“He didn’t like the cold weather,” Mike says.

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