Port Arthur, Texas is a curious place.
Once a boom town and still an important port and refining town, it hasn’t recovered from hurricanes or economic storms that have beset it in modern times.
Far too many blocks have gaps, where homes and business were blown away or washed away or just went away.
We took a turn of touristy trips during our travels (I’ll explain the difference in being a traveler and a tourist at a later date) and drove through the flat coastal plains to Port Arthur to see the Museum of the Gulf Coast, particularly the Janis Joplin exhibit, but that also will be a later posting.
It was lunchtime when we arrived, and we found, conveniently across the street from the museum, a small local restaurant called Edith’s Place.
It was one of four storefronts remaining in the block, a common site in a downtown that seemed to be largely restricted to government sites rather than businesses.
At that, it was a delightful spot, with a big mural of someone who I presume is Edith herself. The place specialized in Southern cooking, and it delivered.
Vicki went with the red beans and rice, which surely migrated from the not-too-distant shores of Louisiana.
I had a tasty dish of okra, sausage and chicken, served with rice. I had never had that combination before, and it was pretty much better than the sum of its parts.
The peach tea was the peachiest I’ve ever had. Tasty, but it may well be that it was a dollop of canned peaches (with two nice chunks of peach included), but it was an attention grabber.
We chatted with an older patron who recently suffered a broken hip. He was getting around, slowly, with a walker but had a brilliant smile and good humor. We couldn’t help but smile while visiting with him.
I don’t know what the rest of the Port Arthur area is like. But there’s still a positive spirit in that little slice of downtown. Should you ever have occasion to visit while on a drive along I-10, give Edith’s a visit. They close at 2 p.m., so get there for breakfast or lunch.