In Victoria Texas, just a short distance from the the old county courthouse on South Main Street, you can find Fossati’s Delicatessen. On the front of this old building they stake their own claim: “Oldest in Texas.” The Texas Historical Commission Official Medallion certainly adds some credibility to this claim. It seems that Italian immigrant Fraschio (“Frank”) N. Fossati opened his first delicatessen in Victoria Texas in 1882. The building on South Main Street was actually constructed in 1995 by Frank to house his already successful restaurant. According to the text on the THC medallion, Fossati’s Delicatessen is one of the oldest remaining commercial structures in Victoria. On the Fossati’s menu they claim to “rank no less than near the top of the list of bar rooms, saloons and dance halls so dear to our Lone Star state.”
The day I was there, I didn’t see any card games or gun fights. Nothing that would stop you from bringing along the spouse and children. Fossati’s did cause me to think of places my parents frequented years ago. Hardwood floors and dark woodwork, well lit, clean, and busy. There’s a bar on the right side of the room as you walk into the place. At noon on Friday the place was packed, but no one was at the bar. The crowd was predominantly professionals, most likely out of the nearby offices.
Fossati’s is unique. In a time when just about every restaurant is a franchise, a place that marches to its own tune is refreshing. The menu featured popular German and Italian dishes. The service was quite good, based on my experience, and the prices were reasonable. Look this place up when your in town. I’m guessing it’s going to be around for a while longer.
302 S Main St
Victoria, TX 77901
Texas State Historical Commission Sites Atlas – http://atlas.thc.state.tx.us/
Copyright © 2009 by Sam Fenstermacher
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