Day Trips: Monument Inn Restaurant

Houston area eatery overlooks the busy ship channel

Photos by Gerald E. McLeod

The Monument Inn Restaurant in La Porte on the far eastern side of Houston has a window to the world with a classic menu of seafood.

Named for the San Jacinto battleground monument a short distance away, the restaurant overlooks the Houston Ship Channel where oceangoing vessels from around the world make a sharp turn into Buffalo Bayou. All around the eatery the lights of refineries and factories twinkle like fireflies.

A fun thing to do is arrive at the restaurant from the north on the Lynchburg Ferry. This is the ferry that Santa Anna made famous as his planned escape route from the battlefield in 1836. Of course, the ferries have been updated several times since then. Harris County has operated the free two-boat system since 1888.

The oldest continuously operated ferry in Texas connects Independence Parkway from I-10 to TX-225 on the south. The five- to 10-minute ride is offered Monday through Friday from 4:30am to 8pm and Saturday and Sunday from 11am to 6:30pm. The Lynchburg Ferry often doesn't run on major holidays.

A favorite of the after-church crowd, the restaurant menu covers a little of something for everyone. According to a server, the restaurant serves more than 1,000 free cinnamon rolls on a busy day. A meal in the second-floor dining room is a Mother's Day tradition.

Seafood is the kitchen's specialty, but they also have steaks, pasta, and an étouffée with an authentic Cajun accent.

The Monument Inn Restaurant is at 4406 Independence Park­way South, just north of the San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site and the Battleship Texas. For hours or reservations, call 281/479-1521 or go to

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Monument Inn Restaurant, Houston Ship Channel, Buffalo Bayou, Lynchburg Ferry, San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site, Battleship Texas, Cajun dining, seafood

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