Planning a three-hour tour around Canyon, Texas?
Maybe a visit to the Panhandle-Plains Historic Museum, a trip around the historic courthouse square, a tour of the “new” West Texas A&M University campus, a hike in Palo Duro Canyon State Park, or a show at the Texas Musical Drama (June to August only) are on your bucket list.
Whatever your activity, bring your castaways (I mean friends and family) to relax and eat at Feldman’s Wrong Way Diner.
A landmark for close to twenty years, it started just a block off Canyon’s square then moved to a prime spot just a block west of U.S. 87, the main north/south drag through Canyon across from West Texas A&M.
SO WHY “WRONG WAY”?
According to a 2017 Canyon News feature with owner Danny Bird, the people of Canyon selected the name from a list of a couple dozen possibilities. Wrong Way Feldman was a lost barnstormer and American ace pilot who appeared as one of the castaways on an episode of the classic 1960s television show Gilligan’s Island—and who just might’ve been based on the real-life flier Douglas Corrigan (1907–1995) of Galveston, Texas.
But the bottom line is—there is no wrong way to enjoy Feldman’s. Service is quick and friendly, food is hot and plentiful. The day I visited (cold, gray with the threat of snow), locals were eating burgers, chicken fried steak (the restaurant’s top seller), catfish, soups and salads. I left before the table with three black cowboy hats was served, but their presence convinced me from the start it would be good quality, good amounts, and a good price.
Surprisingly, the décor isn’t all about aviation, Gilligan’s Island, or sixties television shows. You’ll find each laminated tabletop features themed mementos—I ate with the Beatles on my table. Others included vintage signs, Route 66, motorcycle and auto brands, and more. The walls are lined with movie posters, WT uniforms, and souvenirs, and one large wall in the main dining room is covered in clocks. There’s a nice relief of the Lighthouse from Palo Duro Canyon, too. Don’t miss the original script fromGilligan’s Island framed behind the front welcome counter.
Perhaps the most memorable attraction is the large-scale model railroad layout suspended from the ceiling that makes its way throughout the entire restaurant. (I’m an “O” gauge guy, so I watched the train throughout my entire visit.)
The menu is large, certainly enough to please everyone on the TV show. Gilligan might like a burger (there are eight to choose from), while the Skipper seems like a chicken fried steak kind of guy. The millionaire Howells should appreciate some of the higher-priced menu items like a USDA choice ribeye or the house baby back ribs. Remember, most items are reasonably priced—well within an Authentic Texas reader’s budget.
Movie star Ginger would choose from half a dozen salads, no doubt. While I suspect the professor and Mary Ann would enjoy just about anything, I don’t think anyone from the Minnow would be up to the Big Lebowski Burger, with fried eggs, cheese, lots of bacon, lettuce, tomato, onion and a burger, all served between two grilled cheese sandwiches—but maybe you would! Sounds like Feldman’s own eating contest.
Me? I ordered the green chile cheeseburger, juicy and spicy (not hot) at the same time. The fries were crisp. Peach cobbler with ice cream (my splurge) was tasty, with flaky crust. It cut the cold from outside. Best of all, you are encouraged to tell them how they are doing. A small blue comment card is placed on your table with your silverware, and the bright yellow comment box on the way out is an easy way to share your feedback.
I still remember by server’s name— Brenna—and gave her good marks on my comment card. Nothing wrong, here.
Former frequent flier Eric Miller always looks for interesting things to do in airport terminals. Eric also remembers his family’s 1956 Buick Roadmaster Station Wagon—including the portholes over the front tires—a perfect road-trip vehicle.