The Hanging Tree Restaurant

My continuing quest to find the best burgers in the Lone Star State recently me took to Goliad, one of the oldest Spanish colonial municipalities in the state. Goliad was established in 1749 and was originally named La Bahia. The name of the town was changed to Goliad in 1829 in honor of Father Miguel Hidalgo, the patriot priest of the Mexican Revolution. The name Goliad is an anagram of the letters of the name Hidalgo (minus the silent H).
Goliad CourthouseGoliad is the county seat of Goliad County. Like other county seats in Texas, Goliad boasts a beautiful courthouse situated in the town square. The current courthouse was built in 1894 and was recorded as a Texas Historic Landmark in 1964. The famous Goliad Hanging Tree on the courthouse lawn survives as a symbol of justice. This tree was used for both court-approved hangings as well as a number of impromptu lynchings during the infamous 1857 Cart War between Texans and Mexican Texans.
The Hanging TreeAcross the street from the courthouse and the actual hanging tree is the Hanging Tree Restaurant. This eating establishment specializes in good down-home cooking. The restaurant is very clean. Mounted animals adorn the walls and silently look down on diners. The glass top tables frame old historic photos of Goliad and the surrounding area. I love these old and grainy black and white photos of the area’s early buildings and residents.
Hanging Tree RestaurantOf course, I was at the Hanging Tree to eat a hamburger. I ordered a cheeseburger with an order of onion rings along with a cold glass of tea. Looks like the hamburger was a popular choice. I noticed that several other diners had also ordered burgers and onion rings. I could hardly wait.
Hanging Tree MenuA good hamburger bun is just as important to me as the flavor of the meat. A bun is supposed to serve as more than just parentheses around the meat. A bun should enhance the overall flavor of a burger. The first thing I noticed about my cheeseburger was the square bun. This was no ordinary out-of-the-bag bun. This bun was infused with bits of jalapeño and cheese. And it was mighty delicious.
Hanging Tree BurgerBottom line — I’m glad I stopped to eat at the Hanging Tree. Absolutely enjoyed my cheeseburger and onion rings. Also enjoyed the ambiance of the place and the big picture window that frames the hanging tree on the courthouse lawn across the street. I am happy to add the Hanging Tree to my list of interesting places in Texas to eat a delicious hamburger.

2 thoughts on “The Hanging Tree Restaurant

  1. I disagree with your reference to the Hanging Tree as a symbol of “justice” when it is actually a symbol of oppression. The restaurant taking its name after such a marker of INjustice is in incredible distaste and disrespect for the lives lost.


    • Point taken.

      The tree stands as a symbol of justice in the sense that this is where court was held for many years. Those who were charged, tried, and found guilty of having committed capital offenses were put to death there as per the laws of the time.

      For those lynched at this site without due process, the tree would certainly be regarded as a symbol of injustice. Ironically, many of those who meted out injustice during the Cart War of 1857 were brought to justice and hanged at this site for the murder of Mexican cartmen.

      As for the name of the restaurant, that is mail you should send to them.

      Thanks for your comment. Keep exploring the Lone Star State.


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