This Notable Texas Drivateria’s Best Kept Secret is No Secret Anymore
A few nights ago, I asked my wife if she ever craved dessert after dinner, to which she answered, "Yes, I wish I could go through the Mack Eplen's Drivateria and order their Lemon Ice Box Pie."
To which I answered, "I would love to have those Pink Thumbprint Cookies." The argument was on. My wife said, "James Mack Eplen made himself famous for two things - the Mack's Square Burger and his Lemon Ice Box pie."
So I reached out to Mack's great-niece, Terri Eplen-Kleen, to settle the argument about Eplen's most famous recipes. Terri stated that her uncle Mack's Lemon Ice Box pie and Square Burger are "the top most requested recipes that people are always asking for." She then added that the Pink Thumbprint Cookies are in the top five.
With that argument settled, I asked Terri if there was any way she would ever share the secret family recipes with me, and said I would swear an oath to NEVER share them with anyone else. I then learned that the secret recipes are not-so-secret anymore (as you'll see in the video).
Terri has gathered all of the Eplen family's "secret recipes" and published them in two cookbooks, "Mack Eplen's Best Kept Secret Volume 1" and "Volume 2" (published by Create My Cookbook). My wife then informed me she already owned the two autographed cookbooks and had ordered them years ago.
While Mack Eplen's Drivateria was a west Texas favorite from the 1930s until the mid-1970s and is dearly missed today, one can now create these favored recipes at home. Terri can also be found on Mack Eplen's Facebook page where she shares what she cooks from time to time.
Terri shared that Mack's "Square Burger" was an Eplen family original, until Wendy's restaurants decided to copy it. But Wendy's could never figure out that unique taste. Terri tells me the secret ingredient is a carne guisada seasoning her great-uncle used to flavor all the burgers.
So if you're hankering for something from Abilene's history, try the not-so-secret recipes from Terri Eplen's cookbooks (order Vol. 1 or order Vol. 2). If you are cooking, give me a call and I'll be right over.