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North Texas Town Cooking Up Its Reputation

By Joel Thomas, CBS 11 News
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Roanoke

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ROANOKE (CBSDFW.COM) – It’s a strip of eclectic restaurants, from wine and pizza to one of the top ranked restaurants in the state.  Each eatery has personality and is within walking distance from one another.

You can eat a buffalo taco, enjoy top-ranked schnitzel, or try oyster-infused vodka. But these options are not in a big city.  They are in the small town of Roanoke, with a population of just over 6,000 people.

Surrounded by fields where crops are grown, Roanoke is growing a reputation as a food-lover’s destination.  “We found it by accident,” said Gerhard Pelzer, whose eponymous German restaurant was just ranked one of the ten best restaurants in the state by. “We came here to visit some relatives and we found something was going on off the beaten path. And we talked to the city manager and we talked to the mayor and we got closure very quickly and decided let’s do it.”

The city built a pedestrian-friendly main street past ever-popular Babe’s Chicken. The broad sidewalks are lined with antique-looking streetlamps, benches, stores and, of course, restaurants. Word slowly leaked out that Roanoke was developing into a city hungry for new business. Now there are 40 restaurants in roughly a six-square mile the area, and the city’s reputation is spreading.

“Our friend looked up and saw that this is a top ten rated German restaurant,” said Jesse Hamilton, who traveled 20 miles from Denton to Roanoke. “So we came down here. We had no idea that it was such a good variety of restaurants.”

“You wouldn’t believe that some of them are coming from at least 50-miles away,” Pelzer said about his customers, who he said come for the made-from-scratch-daily food.

“We’re already making plans to try the taqueria and tortilla place,” Hamilton said.

Roanoke is now inviting Super Bowl fans to feast in the small town trying to fashion itself as the Unique Dining Capital of Texas.

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