We Got Takeout at This Marfa Deli and Can't Wait to Go Back

Nicole Akers

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Para Llevar-(take out) in Marfa, TexasPhoto taken by author.

Marfa, TX--My family enjoyed some time camping in Marfa recently. On one day we wandered into town, less than a mile from our campsite to see what was happening.

The area is in a desert, and as you might expect, is dry and dusty. Marfa is known for its art scene and cowboy chic vibe. The town is friendly and relaxed. If you know anything about Marfa, you've likely heard of Marfa lights:

"Strange lights, seemingly without a source, dance across the horizon in an unexplained phenomenon. Some have attributed them to car headlights and electric lighting, yet they were documented by Native Americans long before these inventions. No one really knows what they are, but they can be seen most nights. The official Marfa Lights Viewing Area is located nine miles east of town on Highway 90."

While we didn't see the lights in person, we stumbled into a fun little deli called Para Llevar. The Spanish translation is literally "to take away." The irony is not lost on us that we ate in at the place that literally says, by its name, that you take the food away with you.

We ordered a pizza and a brew to sip and rounded the corner to wait for our order to come up. The food came up quickly, but in an open-air, outdoor family-friendly environment. We were in no rush. In fact, we relaxed a bit and stretched out our feet as the conversation ensued.

The kids enjoyed playing pool at an older table that was under shelter but could also soak up the moisture in the desert environment, like a sponge. If you're serious about your pool game, this isn't the place to bring your competitive spirit. We enjoyed breaking the rules and letting the kids make up some rules of their own. Our idea was to foster fun and smiles. It seems to have worked as no one was in a hurry to leave.

But, in Marfa, there's comfort in relaxing and the idea of "mañana." Not laziness, but the idea that things go slower in this small town. And, if something doesn't happen today, it may happen tomorrow.

When our pizza came up we were impressed. A simple pepperoni pizza, at a reasonable price.

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Marfa, Para Llevar, pizza.Photo taken by author.

Doesn't it look good? We thought so. The kids were excited to eat a slice and then run back over to the pool table for another game. Enjoy a bite, then play pool, and run back and forth as often as desired. If you dare to defy the deli's name to take food away, you may enjoy the food even more if you plan to stay and take in the fun, relaxed environment as you partake of food.

The locals like to talk about the Marfa lights and invite you to stay up past dark to see them for yourselves.

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Marfa Lights.Photo by author.

What is the source of the lights? No one knows for sure, but there's plenty of speculation and the whispers of various possible sources are part of the attraction.

Travel Awaits says:

"Mysterious lights dancing on the horizon randomly throughout the night in the rough, uninhabited terrain. Cynics say that the lights are the reflections of car lights or campfires in the night. Locals viewing from Shurley Ranch describe them as dusty plasma clusters created by underground electrical energy. Whatever they are, they are still a mystery!"

If you're in Marfa, view the lights if you can, but don't miss the takeout deli at Para Llevar. And, if you dare, eat the food as take in.

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Professional freelance writer | Happy Mom of 2 bringing you amazing tips on parenting, travel, & lifestyle with a touch of humor & sarcasm | Dog Mom | Bestselling author.

Austin, TX
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