When Jake and Dorothy Roach opened their café in June of 1948, Harry Truman was president, and the latest inventions were the transistor radio and the polaroid camera. But the locals in Stephenville believe the most noteworthy invention in 1948 took place at Jake & Dorothy’s Café: the waffle fry. You’re really missing out if you haven’t experienced the delicious crisp, waffle fried potato at Jake & Dorothy’s.
Then there is the chicken fried steak – served on top of a bed of cream gravy to keep it crispy. Hands down, it’s the best chicken fried steak you will ever eat in your entire life. Ever. In fact, Jake & Dorothy’s Café recently won Dave Campbell’s Texas Football “2022 Best Game Day Grub.”
Known as the City of Champions, high school football is big in Stephenville and the Yellow Jackets have taken the state title six times. Jake & Dorothy’s Café has served meals to their champions for over seven decades, as well as countless visiting football teams. Sports has been a big part of the Café. Kerry Jane Roach, daughter of Jake & Dorothy and now proud owner of the café, recalls how much her parents loved college and high school football. As a track and basketball star athlete she competed across the country and qualified for Olympic try-outs in track and field. Kerry’s contributions to the Yellow Jacket legacy are legendary and she was inducted into the Stephenville High School Athletic Hall of Fame in 2007.
In June, Kerry celebrated the 75th Anniversary of Jake & Dorothy’s Café with special pricing on menu favorites. She was honored with a key to the city and a proclamation from the town’s mayor. Additionally, the Texas Historical Commission awarded the Café the esteemed Texas Treasure Business Award with special recognition for being a family-owned business for over 50 years. Governor Greg Abbott also honored Kerry with a proclamation marking the noteworthy occasion.
Jake & Dorothy’s Café continues to be a favorite for locals, visitors, Tarleton State University alumni and visitors. The café has adapted to meet the needs of changing times by accepting credit cards and becoming a non-smoking establishment, but a dedication to serving great food remains the same.
There are many things that make Jake & Dorothy’s Café one of the state’s top enduring eateries. From the morning coffee crowd to Tuesday Dollar Burger Night, many of the hallmarks that made Jake & Dorothy’s Café one of the state’s top eateries endure. Some say it’s the waffle fries, some say the chicken fried steaks, others love the hamburgers and onion rings. But if you ask Kerry Jane, she’ll tell you it’s the people that make Jake & Dorothy’s Café so special. Come see for yourself and come hungry!