I am always amazed at the plethora of incredible local eateries we have around East Texas. In fact, one of my favorite things to do is to take little day trips around our surrounding communities and pop in to see what awesomeness I might discover.

My friend and I recently took a day trip over to Athens and we'd heard about this place and decided to stop in for lunch. I'm so very glad I did.

Railway Cafe in Athens offers "a niche of specialized flavors in a sea of neon franchises." And it's true. We were surprised and delighted at the variety of options on their menu from their potato leek soup served with crisp applewood bacon, their open-faced seared fish sandwich with red onion and remoulade, chicken fettuccine, with Parmesan, cream, and smoked paprika, to their delightful selection of fresh salads.

As we waited for our food, we enjoyed the modern farmhouse vibe and simple elegant environs and excellent service.

Everything was so good and the sophistication of the flavors was quite satisfying. However, not so satisfying that we didn't make sure to save room for the lemon chess pie--which was seriously one of my favorite desserts I've ever had.

I can't recommend enough. I'll definitely be back.

Lemon Chess Pie--officially now one of my favorite desserts