We are all (most of us anyway) familiar with the "Dosey Doe," the basic dance step in various dances like the square dance, the contra dance, the polka, and various historical dances. In The Woodlands (and the greater Houston area for that matter), the term "Dosey Doe" has taken on a new meaning - one that refers to a premier venue for live concerts by an ever-growing list of well known musicians who, we are told, really enjoy performing at Dosey Doe.
"The Big Barn" is the original location, situated on the west side of I-45, just along the perimeter of The Woodlands, Texas and where the phenomenon started several years ago. Since then, Dosey Doe's success has caused them to expand, adding two locations; the Coffee House in Alden Bridge, and the Music Cafe immediately north of The Woodlands, in what is technically Conroe.
Initially, The Dosey Doe Music Cafe was only open for a few hours each day; but as the popularity increased, so did the hours. Now it has become a full-fledged showplace, complete with stage and a lot of interesting - if not eclectic - decorations; many of which serving as more than just simple eye candy.
But getting a history and decor background story wasn't the actual reason we were up at the Dosey Doe Music Cafe. Steve Said (pronounced sye-eed), owner of the 'Does, invited us to check out the Music Cafe and grab a bite to eat - which we were happy to do.
Dinner at the Dosey Doe Music Cafe
Super Spicy Southerner
I ordered the Super Spicy Southerner Burger ($10). A 1/3 pound, Black Angus burger on a sweet sourdough bun (a fave of mine), with pepper-jack cheese and skin-on, hand-cut fries. Overall, it was a very tasty burger. The fries were cooked through, and were like eating slices of a fresh baked potato. If you like avocado, this burger came with an 'avocado fan', plus roasted Serrano pepper mayo (on the side; which is good, 'cause I don't like mayo as a rule), pickled jalapeños, green leaf lettuce, tomato and shaved red onion. I'm not sure why my particular burger came with bacon, since it wasn't on the menu that way. Just a bonus, I suppose, and I was glad that it did.
As I mentioned earlier, it was a good tasting burger, although aside from the pickled jalapeño and roasted Serrano pepper mayo (which I did give a try), the "Super Spicy" part of the burger eluded my taste buds. Regardless of a lack of fire, all of the ingredients were fresh, and good quality - as you can see even the cheese had very little, if any, oil in it.
Chicken Fried Chicken
So here's what happened: I told him I was torn between a burger and the fried chicken, so he says, "okay, I'll get the burger, you get the chicken." Of course, at that exact moment I'd made up my mind; I wanted a burger. But it was too late; if you want to review two different meals, you can't both order the same thing. The Chicken Fried Chicken ($9) appealed to me, since it was described as a "hand-battered, double chicken breast fried golden brown, with roasted garlic mashed potatoes, southern corn succotash, and their delightfully sinful pepper cream gravy." And when my plate arrived, it looked exactly as I'd imagined it would. This was aided by the fact that Dosey Doe's chef, Dan McEachern, has perfected the art of battering and ensured his sous chefs do the same.
Sure enough, the breading was cooked all the way though, the chicken still moist and fork-tender (I never even needed that big 'ol knife they supplied), the breading didn't get all funky and fall off the chicken. I did however find myself reaching for the salt and pepper, as it seemed to be a little lacking in seasoning. But what the chicken may have lacked in seasoning, the succotash made up for. Not a traditional succotash (there were no lima beans or lard), this sauteed veggie blend had corn, green peppers, red peppers, onions, parsley and quite a bit of cracked black pepper. I found myself reaching for my water between bites. The garlic mashed potatoes were decent, but frankly I probably needed a larger serving to know for sure if I liked them. Also a bit of a downer was the tiny portion of gravy I received; I had hardly enough to use on my chicken, much less on the potatoes. An easily remedied problem, though, had I just asked for more. And like the mysterious lack of fire in the "Spicy Southerner," I didn't feel like I was being overly "sinful" with the cream gravy, either.
Before our meal and immediately afterwards, I found that I was really feeling cold. Suffice it to say that the Music Cafe's air conditioning works incredibly well. But I'm not one for coffee too late in the day, so I ordered a cup of hot chocolate. They say that everything's bigger in Texas, and clearly, that hot chocolate ($3.15) is Texas sized! It's what I would call a bowl of hot chocolate. The whipped cream and chocolate syrup stirred into that chocolaty bowl of warmth hit the spot. Dessert and warmth for watching the show.
Dosey Doe Music Cafe offers breakfast, lunch and dinner along with live entertainment of some sort almost every night, making it a great place for "date night" or to have dinner with a group of friends. It's a great alternative to the Big Barn, where the ticket price can run pretty high at times, and a lack in forethought and planning might just find you scrambling for new plans if you didn't make reservations. At the Dosey Doe Music Cafe, you get most all the same great menu options (plus a few you can't get at the Big Barn), the same great coffee, a wide variety of fantastic entertainment (it was Open Mike night when we went; a lot of fun) and the cover charges are always low (and sometimes free!) - making it a great answer to the age-old question, "I dunno, what do you want to do tonight?"
Where is you favorite place to get chicken fried chicken or even a chicken fried steak? We plan to sample a chicken fried steak at the Music Cafe very soon.