Proud Of East Texas: East Texas Burger Company - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

1/30/05-East Texas

Proud Of East Texas: East Texas Burger Company

Local folk, hobos, and even the infamous outlaws Bonnie and Clyde, have all had a favorite eating place in Mineola for over seventy years.

This oldest eatin' place in Mineola has gone by a variety of names in the past. It was The Green Lantern when it opened in the 20's. Chris Melanie, who won the world middleweight boxing championship under the name of 'Kid Miller,' changed it to The Eat Shop when he bought it in 1930, and owners Debbie and Ken Davis have renamed it East Texas Burger Company. It was the history and magic of this downtown Mineola eatery that first lured Ken from his family's successful Chicago catering business and Debbie out of the corporate world.

You can see some of the past on the restaurant's walls with its' photos an quotes from the thousands of napkin messages left over the years. Town historian, James Dear, knows most of the restaurant's colorful history. He used to eat here as a boy when hamburgers were just ten cents and cokes a nickle. He knows about Bonnie and Clyde's visits here and more recently visits by Sissy Spacek and Dan Rather. Hamburgers are still the top item on East Texas Burger Company's menu, but chicken fried steaks and fried pies are popular too. Ken makes the fried pies fresh each day and won't share his secret recipe even with Debbie.

But something Ken and Debbie Davis both share with customers who come here to Mineola's oldest eatin' place, is a love of history and a love of good food.

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