Chocolate, wine and Mexican food. It’s been a good day.

Miss D. and I found that our supply of chocolate wine sauce from 501 Winery in Childress, TX had become sadly depleted.  This would never do, so we headed up Highway 287 in that direction today.

We started with coffee at Ballyhoo.  It’s a weird sort of establishment – part coffee shop (good coffee, too!), part eclectic gift store, part small-Texas-town-with-lots-of-cowboy-history collection of memorabilia.  It’s an interesting place to visit and browse.  Miss D. bought a rather nice top, and is already scheming about what to wear with it for LibertyCon later this year.

From there we headed for the 501 Winery.  It offers a number of local wines, but our preference is undoubtedly for their chocolate wine sauces.  They have dark and milk chocolate varieties using Sangiovese, Tempranillo, Cabernet and other grapes.  They don’t have all varieties in stock at all times, so one has to take what one can get – but we’ve never been disappointed by the flavor.  The image below is courtesy of the winery’s Facebook photo wall.

We came away with three bottles of milk chocolate Sangiovese and one of dark chocolate Tempranillo wine sauce.  With heroic self-restraint, we haven’t opened them yet . . . but that won’t last!  We’ll use a couple here, for ourselves and guests, and we have recipients in mind for the others.

After we’d made our purchases, we asked the winery folks for recommendations on where to eat a late lunch.  They recommended the local branch of the Plaza, a Mexican restaurant about a mile away.  It was a very pleasant surprise to us – clean, efficiently staffed, with really good food, certainly among the best Mexican restaurants I’ve ever patronized.  Apparently the chain is based in Amarillo, and is spreading throughout north Texas.  I hope they open a branch nearer to us soon!  The menu is extensive, and based on our experience, very well prepared and tasty.  I went with the build-your-own-ensenadas option, selecting enchiladas filled to order, and found them delicious.  Miss D. went for a combo dish, La Casa Especial, which she pronounced very satisfying and filling (she brought a lot of it home with her, to consume at her leisure).

All in all, we’re very glad to have discovered the Plaza chain.  If the other branches are as good as its Childress restaurant, we’ll be repeat visitors whenever we pass near one.

As always, no, I’m not being compensated in any way for mentioning the coffee shop, the winery or the restaurant.  We just like to share places and things we like with our friends – among whom I include my readers.  If you find yourself in Childress, TX, or near a Plaza restaurant in north Texas, you could do a lot worse than try them for yourself.



  1. I'd skip the Plaza in Amarillo, unless they have really, really, really improved both food and service over the past year. La Fiesta Grande and Jorge's are both a lot better, unless things have changed greatly since I ate there last.


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