If you’re going to Big Bend, you want to stay in a relatively central location. It’s a huge park, and there’s a lot to see.
The place to stay is Chisos Mountain Lodge, centrally located and with a range of accommodations. You can camp, or stay in one of a variety of rooms. All rooms have microwaves and mini fridges, and most have air conditioning. Wifi is blessedly limited to the lodge and the visitors center, and all are television-free. Well, all but one. There’s a restaurant and bar (with really good Bloody Marys), and there’s a convenience store nearby with necessities such as butter pecan and cookie dough ice cream, doughnuts, peanut butter, and hot dogs.
If that isn’t enough for you, there’s a dining room. Start with the Texas Toothpicks (fried jalapeños and onion strips) appetizer, which are pretty good, or one of the predictables — wings, hummus, and so on. You can get a jalapeño-marinated pork chop with chimichurri,
pan-seared trout with pineapple-mango salsa,
or a chicken-fried steak (our correspondents failed to ask whether it’s pan fried or deep fried, alas), a ribeye , tacos, pasta, or a vegetarian option. Regardless, the results will be the same:
Have some blackberry (or pecan) cobbler for dessert.
You can enjoy all of this while dining on their veranda and watching the sun set.
The Lodge serves breakfast and lunch as well as dinner, but if you so desire, you can have a buffet in your cottage with the finest products of the convenience store; or enjoy the same on a picnic. Your call. Or — stay tuned — you can go to Boquillas Restaurant.
The best lodgings are the five Roosevelt Stone Cottages, each with a porch. There’s one VIP cottage, reserved until recently for government officials. That’s the only unit that has its own dining room and a television. Stay away from it, unless, of course, you’re there during March Madness or the fourth Saturday in November. It’s good to disconnect, but there are limits.