There’s really no reason to make an overnight trip to Kingsville , unless you want to experience “rustic” ranch lodging. The B Bar B Ranch Inn (325 E. County Road 2215, 361/296-3331, www.b-bar-b.com , call for rate info) sits on property that was originally part of the King Ranch . This B&B on a working ranch provides “rugged pampering” with its hearty gourmet breakfast and 16 guest rooms decorated in South Texas style. The B Bar B draws a good number of people who enjoy using the surrounding ranchland to hunt for antelope, turkey, and quail.
Kingsville isn’t a highly regarded destination for fine dining, but there are a few places worth dropping by if you’re in town visiting King Ranch. One of the best is the venerable downtown Cactus Cafe (1900 E. King Ave., 361/595-7792, $5–15), where you’ll find classic Texas Main Street fare such as chicken-fried steak, thick burgers, fried shrimp, and mediocre Tex-Mex.
Just south of the downtown area is an ideal lunch spot, the occasionally rowdy Big House Burgers (2209 S. Brahma Blvd., 361/592-0222, $4–9). The sports bar atmosphere can be a bit overwhelming on weekends (reminding you there’s a college in this town) but it’s worth enduring the noise and blaring TVs for the immense and flavorful burgers. Try the quadruple burger if you dare. These juicy treats will fill you up, but it’s still worth splitting some of the crunchy fries or crispy onion rings with a pal.
One of the most popular places in town to grab an authentic Tex-Mex meal is Lydia’s Homestyle Cooking (817 W. King Ave., 361/592-9405, www.lydiasrestaurant.com , $5–14, 5 a.m.–1:30 p.m. Mon.–Sat.). Lydia’s is known throughout town for its tremendous breakfast taquitos (try the potato, egg, and sausage), and the machacado plate, featuring shredded dry beef scrambled with eggs along with grilled onions, tomato, and serrano peppers. Lydia’s lunches are legendary too, including the barbacoa plate, tamales, and chicken flautas. If necessary, you can also order gringo fare (burgers, sandwiches, etc.).
Another reputable Mexican restaurant is La Iguana (1920 E. King Ave., 361/516-0214, $4–12). There’s nothing too fancy here, but the traditional Tex-Mex fare is consistently decent, including the chalupas, tacos, enchiladas, and burritos.