Small Bites: TX Lodge Bar & Grill brings authentic international cuisines to Midland

Small Bites: TX Lodge Bar & Grill brings authentic international cuisines to Midland

Right off the interstate in a stand-alone shopping center sits TX Lodge Bar & Grill, a corner suite with an outdoor patio a large 7-foot sign overhead. Inside, the minuscule space shows off three West Texas-themed photos courtesy of the historical museum and a simple overall look. In fact, based off the décor and name, one might think the establishment is just another steakhouse, giving Midlanders the same ole’ pile of meat like always. However, the menu tells a different story.

“At the time, I was doing MMA and BJJ, but I needed a job to pay my bills,” Eddie Canepa joked. “I got a job (in Milan) in the kitchen just to wash the dishes part time. I started helping them do prepping and then one day the owner needed help cooking because his cook didn’t show up. I didn’t even know what I was doing, but he started training me.”

Now, the Liguria, Italy native clocks in 25 years in the industry, working in countries all over the world: Brazil, London, Belgium, the UK and, of course, Italy. After coming to Midland for a chef position at a (now-closed) Brazilian steakhouse, Eddie met his wife Ellie, a Cuba native. Together, the husband-wife team created the year-old restaurant where they serve authentic Italian, Cuban, and American dishes to the Tall City daily, pulling from old family recipes and their own creativity.

TX Lodge Bar & Grill can be found at 503 E. Interstate 20, Ste. 130. They’re open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Sunday. For more information or to order carryout, visit www.texaslodgebargrill.com and follow them on Facebook (www.facebook.com/texaslodgebargrill) and Instagram (@texas_lodgebargrill).  

Hot bites

You may think putting Italian, Cuban, and American food on the same menu seems a little odd, and I wouldn’t necessarily disagree, but for the Canepas, it’s a way to showcase food from their respective cultures; and if I’ve said it once I’ve said it 100 times, Midland needs the diversity.

Since each dish is made using fresh ingredients daily, you simply can’t go wrong with anything you order. For starters, guests can choose from Brushcetta, Chicken Pear Meatballs, Wings, French Fries, and Breadsticks (not like Olive Garden, that’s not real Italian, y’all). Soups and salads include a Grilled Caesar, the Caesar Salad Tx Lodge Style, a Mixed Greens, and a small and large Tomato Bisque Soup.

As for entrees, choose from Pesto Chicken pasta, Penne a la Romana, a Rosemary Jalapeno Burger, Spaghetti alla Bolognese, a classic Cuban sandwich, Arroz Congri and Slow Cooked Roasted Pork (six hours to be exact), a ribeye, flatbreads and more.

A dessert menu includes cheesecake, German chocolate cake, and a pecan pie with vanilla ice cream while the kids menu covers everything from mac and cheese to chicken strips and French fries.

A few fun facts: If you haven’t already guessed, Eddie and Ellie pride themselves on the freshness and simplicity of their ingredients. To keep in line with this pledge, Eddie only orders 15 to 20 steaks a week from Dallas, so when the slabs are gone, they’re gone. You’ll also find him using a thermometer when grilling steak, a technique he believes everyone should use no matter how many years of experience they may have. He also only uses salt and red pepper as seasoning, letting the combination of natural ingredients talk for themselves.

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