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The Five-Point Weekend Escape Plan

Find Your Inner Film Buff in Marfa

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2. Where to Eat

Stop by the Food Shark truck for ultra-fresh, Mediterranean-meets-West-Texas street snacks.  

Go gourmet at Cochineal, a design-forward restaurant specializing in nouveau Tex-inspired fare, like Peking duck tacos with citrus segments and a tangy apple-cabbage slaw ($15) and mesquite-grilled quail with celery-root puree ($16). Situated in a former ranch-style house, the red-and-gray color scheme coupled with funky southwestern details like a walled, cactus-landscaped patio look straight out of a Dwell spread, and the place attracts a similarly motley mix of local service-industry folk, in-the-know tourists, and rancher types in upmarket cowboy boots. Start off your meal with one of the excellent cocktails, like the tequila old-fashioned (reposado, mole bitters, agave, $12), and fork over $4 for the bread plate—the house-baked sourdough loaf with a cube of butter coated in black sea-salt and a sprinkling of powdered shiso is worth it. Be sure to ask ahead of your meal for the date pudding with caramel-rum sauce ($12), which takes extra time to prepare. And a word to the wise: This is one of the only restaurants in town open daily for dinner—many only operate Wednesdays through Sundays—so always check hours before making plans.

Reap the benefits of Marfa's recent food-truck boom at Food Shark, a mobile eatery parked from noon to 3 under the pavilion Wednesday through Saturday and serving up Mediterranean-meets-West-Texas daily lunch specials with lots of veggie options (try the Marfalafel: falafel, harissa, and veggies stuffed in a tortilla, $7), and other portable snacks like five-spice beef bánh mì mi or adobo-chicken soft tacos (prices vary). Late nights, be sure to stop by the owners’ other eatery, the Museum of Electronic Wonders and Late Night Grilled Cheese Parlour, where the melted treats are served on old-school Plexiglas-Astroturf trays (open on Fridays and Saturdays from 9:30 p.m. onward, it’s the only late-night eating option in town).

Chill over dinner at Maiya's, a Marfa favorite housed in a high-ceilinged vintage building right on the town's main drag. The restaurant is rightly beloved for its delicious, if pricey, lasagna Bolognese with slow-cooked meat sauce ($26) and roasted salmon with pistachio nut butter ($26), plus salads made with seasonal veggies, like the roasted cauliflower with hazelnuts and dates ($8). Plant yourself at the U-shaped bar to mingle with arty locals and sip a refreshing cocktail like the Paloma, made with tequila blanco, fresh grapefruit juice, and grapefruit soda ($10).

Published on Apr 24, 2014 as a web exclusive.

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