One of the highlights of a recent family trip to far West Texas was sitting at a tiny table in a tiny courtyard, enjoying good food and unique drinks at a bright orange-accented oasis where you have to know it’s there to find it: Squeeze Marfa (owned by a Swiss woman, Verena Zbinden. Yeah. Really.)
Marfa is an interesting little burg in the Texas Mountain Trail region; it not only tolerates, it welcomes all sorts of people….think Key West in Texas….while not losing appreciation for its ranching and cowboy heritage.
Like so many other funky outposts, it transformed itself from your standard small town (albiet the county seat of Presidio County and near where the sweeping western Giant was filmed) to creative/arts haven because one guy moved there and opened a art gallery and studio; in this case, Donald Judd’s Chinati Foundation.
As a result of Chinati and several other quirks of history, there is an embarrassment of arts, culture and culinary riches in Marfa. Squeeze is only one of several great places to eat, but we particularly liked it because there was none of the pretentious silliness or high prices that can start creeping in when a town gets full of itself.
More than the juice bar that was its humble beginnings in 2004, the Squeeze Marfa menu now included fresh sandwiches, soups and salads.
The juice bar heritage lives on in smoothies, “creamsicle sodas” (my Dad really liked his) teas, juice squeezes, coffees (I loved my iced Mexican Spiced Chocolate frappé) plus assorted baked goods and daily specials.
Locals and visitors come and go; some grab one of the few tables inside, others – especially those who bring their dogs – work their way into an outdoor spot.
Because of Marfa’s mile-high elevation, the temperatures are generally pleasant and skies are clear. There’s free WiFi if you want to catch up on work, but do make time to sit and relax.
You’ll find yourself saying, “I can’t believe this is in the middle of nowhere,” and then you’ll catch yourself, because in Marfa, you ARE somewhere.
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