There's an art to becoming a "cafe."

A cafe is not just another restaurant, and could very well serve up its meals with a big scoop that goes splat on a platter.  And we love it.

Three of the best small town cafes in Texas are in rural communities not far from us, proving that a restaurant doesn't need to sit in the middle of a large population to have lunch or dinner all figured out.

Texas Monthly says three of the 40 Best Small Town Cafes are just a short drive from us.  I've mentioned before that I feel like our great Texas cafes and diners are worth planning a road trip around, and this is more proof.  We should totally visit these.

Some of the Best Small Town Cafes, according to Texas Monthly:

1.  THE SHED in Edom.  More people have probably visited this restaurant than actually live in the town.  With a population of 346, Edom doesn't have too many traffic jams, but they may now that the word is out about The Shed.  It's been around for over forty years, and the word on the street is they have some of the best okra in Texas.  Good enough to get the attention of Texas Monthly, and worthy of accompanying the chicken-fried steak and mashed potatoes.  Oh, and they've got something a thousand other restaurants do not, and that's a vegetable stand on the front porch.  Hungry?  Check them out at 8337 FM 279 Edom, between 7am and 8pm any day of the week.

2.  SUE’S ROOST in Eustace is another good spot for chicken-fried steak.  The locals say it's hand-breaded and perfectly seasoned, and there are fresh seasonal veggies on the side that you'll probably be too full to eat after polishing off more important things on the platter.  The roosters on the walls and tables make it all taste better, probably because it's an atmosphere that screams Texas -- unique and something you might not see on the walls at home.  (And if you do, that's cool too.)  Oh, and the pies!  This restaurant is serving up a mean pecan pie, along with the fresh-baked fruit pies too. The population of Eustace is also under a thousand, and something about that tells us this will be a friendly country stop worthy of making it on to one of those food TV shows.  Sue's Roost is at 103 Edgar, and they're open Mon—Sat 7 a.m.—2 p.m. and closed Sundays.

3.  FLORIDA’S KITCHEN in Livingston is right down the road from that famous prison, and they've the bail bondsman ads as part of the decor to fit right in.  And guess's another good place for chicken fried steak.  This one drowns in peppery gravy we hear, and that big breaded patty of greatness sits next to some large, hand-cut fries.  Oh, and more pies here that are so good you'll start thinking you want to make pies at home, and then you realize how much work it takes to make them well and you order another slice from the experts here instead.  We can find Florida's in Texas at 796 FM 350 South in Livingston, but we've got to plan the road trip carefully so we get there when they're ready for us.  They're open Wednesdays from 11 a.m.—8:30 p.m., Thursday—Saturday from 11—9, Sunday 11—4, and closed Monday and Tuesday.

The running themes with these cafes seem to hinge on two things:  Chicken fried steak, and pie!  As a state, Texas is pretty good at making these country culinary creations, and these cafes are the best of the best.  Road trip on, and go hungry.

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