Best Chips and Salsa in Bryan College Station

One of the best parts (if not the best part) about eating at a Mexican restaurant in Bryan College Station is the chips and salsa before your meal. With hundreds of restaurants in BCS, we set out to find the BEST chips and salsa in the area.

After narrowing it down to only local restaurants, we sent a survey out to our staff asking everyone to reply with their top three favorite restaurants in BCS with the best chips and salsa. Once collecting the responses and tallying up the results, we ended up with a total of nine restaurants to try out. Over the span of a week, we tried the nine combinations.

To ensure the judges didn’t know where the salsas were from, no logos were visible on the bags of chips or on the salsa containers. The judges – which had to be a minimum of 8 people per sample (generally between 8 and 12 judges) – were given a universal score sheet used for every salsa sampled. The scoring sheet consisted of six, 5-point Likert scale questions, ranging from strongly agree on one end of the spectrum, to strongly disagree on the other end. First, we asked judges to rank the color, spiciness, thickness and freshness of the salsa. Lastly, we asked the judges to rank how well the salsa went with the partnered chip from the restaurant, as well as the overall taste of the salsa.

After all of the salsa’s had been sampled and ranked, we tallied up the scores from the scoring sheets. It was decided from there that the top three winners in no particular order were:

Casa Rodriguez

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Jesse’s Taqueria and Bakery

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Mad Taco

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We then traveled to these restaurants to interview the owners and managers about what makes their salsa so great! Check out the video below to hear what they had to say and behind the scenes footage of them making their salsa. Next time you’re in BCS, swing by one of these awesome salsa spots or check out some of our other restaurants in the area.

I’m just here to taco bout salsa,

Madeleine

Turkey Day Under the Tailgate Tent

What goes better together than Thanksgiving and football? With everything from the traditional to the newest and most innovative Pinterest recipes, we have your Thanksgiving tailgating menu covered for you. Get ready to relax, watch some football and stuff your bellies with some delicious Thanksgiving dishes.


The Main Entrées
Turkey is the main staple for most, but when you are tailgating it is a little hard to think about spending four to six hours grilling, roasting or smoking turkey. This Thanksgiving, get ready to blow your tailgate crowd out of the water with your newest recipes.


 

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Pulled Turkey Sliders
Easy to cook and even easier to eat, these sliders will make you realize just how boring a plain old turkey can be sometimes. No knife and fork needed with these bad boys; just get ready to sink your teeth into something that will make you feel really grateful. See the Recipe

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Smoked Turkey Legs
If you are still looking for a bit more traditional Thanksgiving entrée and do not mind a longer cook time, we have just the recipe for you. Smoked turkey legs are not only a staple at your local Ren Fest, but a perfect Thanksgiving dish that will not leave you hungry before heading off to the game. See the Recipe


Some Savory Sides
What would Thanksgiving be without the staple sides? Get ready for delicious side dishes sure to have you unbuttoning your jeans.


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Bacon Wrapped Mashed Potato Bombs
Tailgating can be messy and finger foods are always easier on the cleanup crew. These mashed potatoes bombs will make clean up and eating delicious and easy. See the Recipe.

 

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Cheesy Green Bean Casserole
Whether your grandmother or your mom makes it, you have to have Green Bean Casserole on Thanksgiving. Casseroles may not seem like the perfect tailgate food but they are probably the easiest to prepare, make and bring anywhere with you. See the Recipe.

 

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Mac & Cheese Bites
Who could possibly have a Thanksgiving dinner without macaroni and cheese? While the cheesy deliciousness of mac and cheese may seem like an easy dish to make for a tailgate, we just made it even more delicious and easy for you. See the Recipe.

 


Delectable Desserts
After all that turkey and possibly a little nap, you have to be ready for the best part of Thanksgiving; the desserts! Whether you are team pumpkin pie or pecan pie, we are ready to get rid of those cravings.


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Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes
With a new spin on Pumpkin Pie, you won’t need forks and plates — just a sweet tooth and some room in your stomach. See the Recipe.


Drinks for the Adults
While the holidays can be a daunting and exhausting time for anyone, tailgating is supposed to be a fun time. One of the things that makes tailgating so much fun are the drinks!


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Apple Pie Jell-O Shots
We looked high and low for the perfect drink to make your Thanksgiving tailgate the best one yet and these Apple Pie Jell-O Shots seem to be just the thing. Tiny but powerful, these Jell-O Shots are to be handled with care. A couple of these and the turkey will not be the only thing putting you to sleep. Remember to have a good time but also to drink responsibly. See the Recipe.

 


 Drinks for Everyone
With our last and final recipe, we wanted to leave you with a sweet taste in your mouth about Thanksgiving tailgating. This drink is sure to leave you satisfied and go great with any one of the dishes we recommend.


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Cranberry Citrus Punch
Sweet and a little sour, this Cranberry Citrus punch will make a perfect drink for any of your dishes and sides. See the Recipe.

Some of these awesome dishes will have your tailgate the best there is. Your crew will be ready to watch the Aggies #BTHOLSU and maybe even a little nap after wards. Thanksgiving is just around the corner and so is the LSU game so get ready!

Feeling Like A Visitor: Aggieland War Games

A better name for this blog might be “Feeling Like A Kid Again”, because I haven’t played laser tag since I was a teenager.

But a couple of weeks ago, I found myself suiting up (which consisted of three red buzzers Velcro-ed to a headband that was attached to my gun) at Aggieland War Games after a long day of meetings to pit coworker against coworker. We had a group of 12 that split nicely into two teams. It was a good size for the facility and gave us a lot of room to sneak around without being on top of each other, but we probably could have gone up by a few people and still been able to find our own hiding places.

I think I was never super enthusiastic about laser tag because I didn’t find much joy in arbitrarily shooting my friends, but this was different. This was tactical laser tag. There was a mission. A purpose.

Yes, there was a warm-up where you just tried to shoot people on the other team, and the last exercise was a “last-man-standing” exercise (that I definitely didn’t win), but most of the hour was filled with a variety of missions that required strategy and teamwork.

During one mission, the teams had to locate a briefcase with a “bomb” inside. The team that ended up with the bomb on their side of the course lost. I have to say, I did pretty great on this one. The other team found the briefcase first, but I found the person carrying it, eliminated them, stole the briefcase and got it to a team member who then hid with it until time almost ran out.

There were other team challenges such as guarding a target on your team’s side of the playing field, while trying to shoot the other team’s target, and keeping a touchpad lit up with your team’s color the longest. The staff was great about explaining all of the rules, and keeping the games light and fun.

As an added bonus, it’s a pretty good workout. One of the staff members said people average over 4,000 steps in an hourlong session. On that note, my coworkers have a tip for you: Pencil in time after the games for a shower.

If you want to give it a shot yourself, Aggieland War Games is open Wednesday through Sunday for open play. Check their website for hours. They do take walk-ins, but if you have a larger group, it’s probably best to call and book ahead. Their phone number is 979-431-4327.

Happy tagging!
Elizabeth

Get Out on Aggie Gameday!

Whether you forgot to get tickets or you are just not feeling going to a game on Saturday, the Bryan College Station area has so many options to pick from when it comes to some not-so-gameday activities. So let’s dive in and see what exactly you can explore, eat and see on a gameday weekend!

Football Friday

Explore Downtown Bryan

If you’re not from Bryan College Station, one of the first places you should stop by is Downtown Bryan. From unique shops to delicious local eateries, there is nothing you can’t find while exploring Downtown Bryan. Shops have everything from custom cowboy hats and glass-work to vintage clothing and furniture. Take a stroll and discover beautiful landmarks such as the Queen Theatre or go through the endless array of books Carnegie History Center and Public Library has to offer.

Swing by Downtown Bryan!
Location: 216 W 26th St, Bryan, TX 77803

Eat Local

With an assortment of small but amazing local restaurants in Downtown Bryan, you will be sure not to leave hungry. Looking for something savory to fill you up? Proudest Monkey is known for their incredible gourmet burgers and their milkshake martinis. How about a treat to end the night on a sweet note? The Chocolate Gallery has dozens of hand crafted chocolates, scrumptious cupcakes that will be sure to have your sweet tooth aching and homemade gelato. Whether you are a BCS resident or a wandering traveler who just happened to land in town, the eateries in Downtown Bryan will not let you down.

Want to visit where I went? Snag some local eats at The Village Café!
Hours: 8:00 AM – 12:00 AM
Location:
210 W 26th St, Bryan, TX 77803

Football Friday

The Friday before every home game, Downtown Bryan puts on a free show/concert at The Palace Theatre. Local artists bring their talent and soul to fill the outdoor space and the fact that it is free only makes the experience that much more fun.

Want to visit where I went? Dance it out at Football Friday at The Palace!
Hours: 7:30 PM – 11:30 PM
Location: 105 S Main St, Bryan, TX 77801


Aggie Gameday

Wake Up!

Even though the rest of Bryan College Station may be preparing for the game with some early tailgating, you might want to spend your Saturday morning a little differently. Instead, grab a cup of coffee from one of the amazing coffee shops here in the BCS area to wake you up and get you ready for a fun day of exploring. The vibe and even better coffee at Sweet Eugene’s will have you ready to conquer the day in no time, while Harvest has their own specialty, hand brews.

Want to visit where I went? Grab your java from Sweet Eugene’s.  
Hours: 6:00 AM – 1:00 AM
Location: 1702 George Bush Dr E, College Station, TX 77840

The Chicken 

Want to avoid all the game day craziness while still getting to watch the game and still get the Aggieland experience? The Chicken is not only the oldest bar in Bryan College Station, it is also a favorite Aggie spot. Relax and watch the Aggies play in Kyle Field while munching on some Tijuana fries and playing pool. The Chicken is known for their great selection of drinks at their bar but also their amazing food which means that when you catch the game there you won’t leave you starving and potentially sweaty.

Want to visit where I went? Check out The Dixie Chicken.
Hours: 10:00 AM – 2:00 AM
Location: 307 University Dr, College Station, TX 77801

The Gates of North  

After you have watched the Aggies beat whoever they played that week, take a stroll through Bottle Cap Alley and head through Northgate to see which pub may just be your new favorite hangout spot. With specialty drinks and half off shots on game days, Northgate is definitely the place to be after a long day of Aggie football. Hang out with your friends or make some new ones while celebrating a well-deserved victory.

Want to visit where I went? Enjoy a night out on Northgate!
Hours: 6:30 PM – 2:00 AM
Location: 329 University Dr. College Station, TX 77840


Sunday Fun-Day!

Bruncher’s Bliss

So you have had a long night of celebrating an Aggie win and now you are ready to relax and enjoy your Sunday. Start your Sunday off right with brunch at one of our amazing brunch spots in Bryan College Station. Taking the trip out to Hullaballoo Diner will ensure you some amazing food and great time. Hullaballoo not only has some amazing food, but is also one of Reveille’s favorite spots to hang out.

Want to visit where I went? Grub at Hullaballoo Diner!
Hours: 9:00 AM – 9:00 PM (Saturdays), 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM (Sundays)
Location: 15045 FM 2154, College Station, TX 77845

Library or Museum?

When it comes to really cool attractions in the BCS area, The George Bush Presidential Museum is definitely one to see. Besides their incredible exhibits, the George Bush Library also has some gorgeous scenery. Take a stroll through the gardens or spend some time throwing out a fishing line in their catch and release pond. It is a wonderful place for family pictures or some quiet time by yourself.

Want to Visit where I went? I spent my day at The George Bush Presidential Library and Museum!
Hours: 9:30 AM – 5:00 PM
Location:
1000 George Bush Dr W, College Station, TX 77845

There are so many fun things to do in Bryan College Station on Aggie Gameday in addition to or besides going to the game! If you want to know more, tweet us @visitaggielandvisit our website or check us out on Facebook

Happy Gameday’ing!
-Victoria

Tips from BCS Pitmasters

If there is one thing Texas is known for, it’s barbecue. Texas has some of the best BBQ places in the nation. Bryan College Station is no exception to this rule of thumb. We went around BCSTX to ask just a few of our Pit-Masters for some tips and tricks for those of us less knowledgeable in the trade.

Our first stop was C&J BBQ. C&J started in a gas station in 1981. It has come a long way since then, with 3 locations in the Brazos Valley. C&J still holds true to that down-home Texas charm, serving up brisket, sausage and other BBQ essentials to the Aggie faithful. Justin Manning, GM of C&J BBQ, gave us the low down on some tips to keep your brisket safe in the smoker.

We then went over to DBQ BBQ to meet with owner Derrick Barre. Derrick had some great tips for brisket lovers. He is an Austin native and Clemson graduate who decided to come down to College Station and open his own BBQ joint. DBQ specializes in brisket, pork tenderloin, and a DBQ original “Barbecado”, which is a smoked avocado on a bed of beans with your choice of meat on top. DBQ has been in action for several years now.

Take a look at some of the tips from C&J’s Justin Manning and DBQ’s Derrick Barre.

We also got in touch with Kreuz Market. They gave us a few helpful tips as well.

  1. Practice, practice, practice – the key to good BBQ is practicing over and over again to make sure. You can then tweak your methods and find what you want.
  2. Always wrap meat in butcher paper. This keeps the moist.

Kreuz’s original location was old fashioned. No forks. No sauce. Just right BBQ. They have changed their position of “extra” when moving to Bryan. They now offer forks and BBQ sauce for those so inclined. Kreuz will also bring back its football season specialties such as Brisket Frito pie, smoked chicken tacos, and pig wings.

Aggieland is home to many other BBQ greats. Fargo’s in Downtown Bryan has been ranked as one of the top BBQ joints in the nation for several years running. Kreuz is also one of the top BBQ restaurants in the state, and they have a location on Highway 6. College Station is also home to Buppy’s BBQ, J. Cody’s, Lamar & Niki’s Pit Barbecue and Soul Food, Sodolak’s Beefmasters and Texas chain Rudy’s BBQ. Whether you’re cooking it up for a tailgate, or just dropping into BCS for a weekend trip, swing by any of our BBQ spots for a great meal and maybe a few tips too!

Meet the Intern: Tiffany

This weeks “Meet the Intern” features Tiffany Ross, the servicing/events intern here at the Convention and Visitors Bureau. Read below to learn about what past POTUS she would take to the beach with her, her best memory in Bryan College Station, and see the photo she would submit in her application to be the next Bachelorette! 

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Tiffany in her favorite place she’s ever traveled, Italy.

-Where were you born and where did you graduate high school?

I was born in Tobyhanna, Pennsylvania! I moved to Texas when I was four and have been here since. I graduated high school from Grapevine High School!

-If you were a contestant on “The Bachelor”, what would your dress look like getting out of the limo and what would you say to the Bachelor to get him to remember you?

My dress would be a black long-sleeve short dress that is beaded and has a deep v in the front (yes, I’ve thought about this before). To get the Bachelor to remember me, I would probably tell him some smooth pick-up lines or just put a picture of me in his pocket because then he couldn’t forget!

-What are you studying and why did you choose that field of study?

I am studying Communication with a minor in English. I chose to study Communication because it is such a broad major that can lead into many different fields post college.

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Tiffany and her sister.

-If you were about to karaoke, what song would you choose and who would you sing it with?

I would choose to sing “Man! I Feel Like a Woman,” by Shania Twain. I would sing it with my sister, Kristie, because she is my best friend and sings just as badly as I do!

-What do you do at the CVB and what is your favorite thing you’ve done so far?

I am the servicing/events intern so I help with site visits for clients as well as help plan and execute conventions around the Bryan College Station area. My favorite thing that I have done so far is take a couple from Austin on a site visit around the BCS area. We got to take them to a bunch of cool places in the area that even I have never been to before so it was awesome getting to go as well.

-If you could stay a weekend at any beach in the world, what beach would you go to and which President of the United States (living or dead) would you take with you?

If I could stay a weekend at any beach in the world, I would choose to stay in Santorini, Greece. I would take John F. Kennedy.

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Tiffany at bid day for her sorority, Alpha Chi Omega.

-What’s your best memory so far in BCS?

My first game in Kyle Field as a student. I will never forget how amazing it felt inside there and how pumped the crowd was to watch the Aggies win!

-If you had to get turned into an animal, what animal would you choose and why?

I would choose to be turned into a corgi (type of dog) because they are so cute and always happy.

-What’s your favorite meal you’ve had in BCS and where was it?

The Lobster Mac-N-Cheese at Napa Flats. I indulge in it way too often but it is amazing!

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The photo Tiffany would send in if applying to be the next Bachelorette because, “carbs are better than selfies.” Yas Tiffany, yas.

-You just won $1,000,000. What’s the first thing you buy?

An all-inclusive vacation to somewhere tropical.

-Why did you choose to attend Texas A&M?

Because of the tradition. When touring A&M, I could tell instantly that this was not a school I was just going to attend for four years, it is a family that will be a part of me forever.

-Would you rather spend a day in Tree Hill with Chad Michael Murray or be the Queen of the United Kingdom for a week?

I would MUCH rather spend a day in Tree Hill with Chad Michael Murray. Spending a day in Tree Hill with any of the characters on that show would be my ultimate day, I am obsessed with it!

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Tiffany and her boyfriend, Jackson, at Seaside Beach.

That’s a wrap of our interns for the Fall! Stay tuned for more fun posts as we finish out the semester & more interns in the Spring!

Unique Off-Site Venues

Have you ever attended a conference where you were stuck in the same hotel room all day long and seriously considered climbing out of the bathroom window? Or maybe you attended a workshop where you went to a hidden gem for dinner in a tucked-away corner of downtown, and it was the neatest experience of your weekend. Luckily, Bryan College Station is known for having unique off-site venues that add adventure and excitement to any conference. Check out the list below on awesome places to book your next meeting or conference in Bryan College Station!

1. Astin Mansion

Built in 1924 by Roger Q. and Nina Heard Astin, the Astin Mansion is a paragon of the grand 1920s style. This architectural gem has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places in an effort to preserve and share this treasure with our community for years to come.

In 2004, the Astin Mansion was purchased as a Special Events Venue, and has been voted “Best Wedding Venue” by The Knot Magazine, won countless floral awards, and received many recommendations from past brides, companies, and organizations.

Astin Mansion’s main mission is to provide impeccable service, quality products, cutting-edge design, and a relaxed environment. They also strive to give back to the community by assisting local nonprofit organizations. Astin Mansion is located just three blocks from Historic Downtown Bryan, so it is the perfect place for an off-site event! Whether you’re looking for a change of scenery for a meeting or you’d like to plan an elegant dinner, Astin Mansion is the place to go.

astin-mansion

2. Grand Station

Opening in 2007, Grand Station was created based on the owner’s dream to expand upon the sport of bowling. By bringing it together with other adventurous activities that are both fun and healthy for people of all ages, it has become a destination where the whole community comes together to enjoy the good company of their friends and family in a safe, clean, exciting environment.

With 40 lanes of bowling, a two-story laser tag arena (the biggest LASERTRON, laser tag arena in all of Texas!), arcade games, mini-golf, great food, a sports bar, and the friendliest staff in town, they’ve really got something for everybody. That’s why they like to call Grand Station “Your One Stop Fun Spot.” So during your next conference or meeting in BCS, take the crew out to Grand Station for a night of fun!

grand-station

3. Benjamin Knox Art Gallery & Wine Depot

One of the most unique event venues in Bryan College Station is easily the Benjamin Knox facility. Benjamin Knox, an American Artist and Texas Aggie class of 1990, invites guests to enjoy a variety of art set amid a venue inspired by railroad architecture. Included on the premises is a rare historic 1905 caboose and spacious wood decks with vintage style lighting.

The Depot, a newly renovated College Station Depot, is now a large open art gallery space that can accommodate 120 people for a sit-down meal and 200 people for a standing reception. The beautiful Wine Depot Bar, complete with railroad antiques and large flat-screen TVs, is in the glassed-in porch of the depot and can be separated by giant pocket doors. Their excellent wine menu boasts over 50 handpicked wines and beers for you to choose from with special event pricing for cash bar capabilities. The intimate and private Event Room is a separate art gallery space that features a historic antique hotel bar, stone fireplace, club sound system, TVs, and full media capabilities.

The Caterer’s Kitchen and Buffet Room offers an extensive list of preferred professional caterers to accommodate your event from hors d’oeuvres to steak dinners. Benjamin Knox has a full private kitchen that can serve both the Depot and the Event Room. Adjacent to the kitchen is the buffet room, which is a separate gallery space.

benjamin-knox

4. Coulter Airfield

Coulter Airfield is conveniently located near Texas A&M’s football stadium, Kyle Field, which is located approximately 10 miles southwest of Bryan. Whether you’re in town for a conference or for a one-day meeting, book Coulter Airfield for a unique off-site experience! The event room at Coulter Airfield can accommodate up to twenty people, and is used for conferences, film festivals, annual balls, and much more. Amenities include free Wi-Fi, full and self-service Jet-A and 100LL aviation fuel, a conference room, flight planning with computer access, hangar rental/hangar development, a pilot’s lounge and a courtesy bar.  

In order to rent a hangar for a large event, contact James Brown at Coulter Airfield. The hangar fits approximately 800 people inside, and with the outdoor area being open, can fit over 1000. It is safe to say it’s very difficult to find an event venue as unique as Coulter Airfield. So liven things up and contact Coulter to book your next off-site event spot!

 5. Messina Hof

Messina Hof is a family-owned business based on the three cornerstones of family, tradition and romance, and is dedicated to produce a gold medal winning wine in every varietal and to maximize opportunities developed from the wines in a tourism destination focused on the best in hospitality, food and customer service.

Located in Bryan, TX, Messina Hof sprawls out over 100 acres. It has both indoor and outdoor event venue spaces, a four-diamond-rated Villa Bed and Breakfast, cuisine served in The Vintage House Restaurant, daily wine tours, wine tasting and wine by the glass/bottle at the Wine Bar/Retail Guest Center, vineyard gardens, a lake waterfall and gazebo.

Messina Hof has an efficient and motivated sales team who represent the face of Messina Hof Winery & Resort. The event staff brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to their customers through attention to detail, professionalism and sincerity while striving to exceed customers’ expectations. With an emphasis on Messina Hof events, weddings, social and private gatherings, they make special occasions memorable under the Messina Hof name.

messina-hof

 6. Brazos Cotton Exchange

The Brazos Cotton Exchange was built in Downtown Bryan in 1904 as the Howell Wholesale Grocers Building by a prominent local banker and businessman. The first floor housed the grocery business and the second and third floors contained professional offices and the Brazos Cotton Exchange. The upper floors were closed to the public in the 1960s, preserving them in their original and un-modernized state. From the 1960s until the early ’80s, Stacy’s Furniture was located on the first floor.

In 2005, Anderson Schaefer purchased the building and restored the second and third floor office suites to their original grandeur, adding a modern elevator and air conditioning to the building for the first time in its 100-year history. Papa Perez Mexican Cuisine occupies the first floor and the original Brazos Cotton Exchange space became the Ballroom, retaining its historic title and returning life to the prominent downtown landmark.

The Cotton Exchange houses weddings, rehearsal dinners, civic/business events, seminars/conferences, receptions, retreats and social events. Its features include a third floor ballroom that has three-sided picturesque views of downtown and the Bryan skyline, original hardwood floors for dancing, caterers kitchen, adjacent to the Historic LaSalle Hotel and carriage rides. Be sure to keep Cotton Exchange in mind when planning out your next BCS conference or meeting!


cotton-exchange

 7. 7F Lodge

7F Lodge is a wonderful setting for business meetings, retreats, company outings, private parties, and receptions. Hidden amidst 14 acres of live oaks and yaupon thickets, 7F Lodge offers a welcome change from the everyday meeting room at a typical conference center or hotel.

With indoor and outdoor event vicinities, 7F Lodge is the perfect place for a day excursion. The pavilion located on the property is a great place to bring a group together for a retreat or meeting space. The Old Brazos Biscuit Company, purveyors of fine cuisine and western entertainment, can provide Chuck Wagon Catering with a taste of Texas History for selected events. Additionally, the 7F Chapel is a beautiful place to sit outside for some fresh air during a conference. Even if it’s just for a day, be sure to contact 7F Chapel to find out about all of the beautiful amenities they can offer you and your organization.

 

Shake things up, and make your next event in Bryan College Station one everyone will remember for a lifetime! With so many new venues and hotel properties popping up everyday BCS will most definitely have that unique touch you’re looking for. As always, check out our website or contact our staff for a list of all of the great event venues in our area and more contact information for the ones listed above.