Tuesday, November 12, 2013

10 Things Texans Take For Granted

In the past four weeks, I have taken two trips down to my home state of Texas, and in that time, I have realized that I took so much for granted growing up there. I'd like to share some of those things with you now, and regardless of whether or not you've been to Texas, hopefully this list will inspire a deep appreciation for this great state in which Beyonce was born.

Spoiler alert: this list is mostly food-related.



1. Kolaches 


Good morning! Here, have some sweet, doughy, sugar-coated bread with a pool of fruit in the middle. Oh, you want something more savory? Great, we'll just wrap this deliciousness over some sausage and cheese. Now you're all set for the best day of your life. 

I don't understand why these bad boys don't exist everywhere. Kolaches should be the most ubiquitous food on the planet! 

2. HEB


It's just...it's the best, okay? I had no idea I had it so good. 


3. Whataburger ketchup

Via kbat.com

Whataburger is everything that is good about the fast food industry, which is very little, but still...shut up. I'll take a Whataburger Junior over a steak from a five star restaurant any day of the week. It's that good.

Texans will never take this kind of burgery goodness for granted, which is why I'm instead focusing on the ketchup. Whataburger's ketchup tastes like a potion crafted by some kind of witch scientist. It is the absolute perfect balance of flavors (tomatoey, salty, smokey a little?) that there must be some kind of dark magic behind it. Who cares? People of Texas, never forget how good this ketchup is. Never. 


4. Cheap rent, food, and pretty much everything


I've obsessed over this fact in the past, but man, I had it cheap when I was living in Austin! Why didn't I use my wrap-around porch more often? Why didn't we roast s'mores in our fireplace? Why didn't I kiss my dishwasher every single morning?

But it's not just the rent that is cheap in Texas. Tacos, movie tickets, gas -- everything is infinitely more affordable. I'll never forget the first time I bought hair ties in New York City. I nearly wept in front of the Duane Reade clerk.


5. Breakfast tacos


This, my friends, is the Don Juan from Juan in a Million in Austin, Texas. I was introduced to it by my friends Michael and Emily. You are looking at a mountain of potato, egg, bacon, and cheese on top of warm, fresh tortillas. This is kind of like an avant garde example of a breakfast taco, but still, you get the idea. Eating tacos for breakfast is something I did throughout my entire childhood, and it never once occurred to me that people in other places don't think to wrap tortillas around their eggs and bacon.

But they don't. I've brought the concept up to some people up here in New York, and they look at me baffled. BAFFLED. Like I'M the insane one! It's become one of the most significant bummers of my life. 


6. The Alamo Drafthouse (plus, all other Texas movie theaters)

Via tbd.com

Look, I know that the Alamo Drafthouse has non-Texan locations, but it is definitely a Texas institution, and you know it. If you don't know what the Drafthouse is, imagine eating a burger and splitting a pitcher of your favorite beer while watching either a newly released film, or better yet, an incredibly rare B movie from the 1970s in a movie theater where talking and cell-phone usage is discouraged and leg room is plentiful. 

That's the Alamo Drafthouse. But seriously, all movie theaters in Texas can get it. Cheap and enormous just the way they should be. 


7. Texas winters


This is me and my husband before we cut down our first ever Christmas tree in Elgin, Texas. Note that at this point in winter, we are wearing light jackets and smiles on our faces. Today, on November 12 in Brooklyn, I woke up to snow and had to ewok-it around town in my hooded puffy coat and boots. I never knew how anti-winter our Texas winters were when I was living through them.  


8. The glorious hill country


I mean...come on.


9. Shiner Beer and Margaritas


Shiner has made it's way to New York (praise the Lord), but I've seen narry a Shiner Cheer this winter, and I'm starting to get worried. Ruby Redbird was here in the summer, and we all rejoiced, but please, Texas, be a friend and send us some Cheer beer. 

Also, I'm going to say it...New Yorkers cannot make a decent margarita. I don't know what it is, but something is off. Give me a Texas margarita from Chuy's and some chips and salsa any day. 

Man, Texas is so great. 


10. The fabulous people


This is one of my favorite pictures taken during one of the best summers of my life. Scenes like this are plentiful in Texas -- a place where people love their freedom so damn much that they just dance about it. 

But there are wonderful people everywhere, some of the better ones of my life I've met right here in New York, but still, I have got to give it up for my fellow Texans and the many times they have made me smile. 


I'm sure I'm missing something. What would you add to this list?

25 comments:

  1. Tex mex!!! You alluded to this with your inclusions of margs and breakfast tacos but when I was in NY the one time I tried mexican food I deeply regretted it

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    1. Good call, Whitney! I also regret nearly all of my experiences with mexican food here as well. Get it together, New York!

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  2. Next time you're in town you can buy a bottle of Whataburger ketchup at HEB or Central Market. Two for one!

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    1. Just noticed someone commented on your facebook with this info and that you had already known about it! But hey, I'm just giving you extra blog traffic! :)

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    2. LOVING the blog traffic and loving the fact that Whataburger bottled their ketchup. I've been saying they should do it for years. They finally listened.

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  3. LOVE THIS. everything is so true. Let "Ya'll" be our motto for lyfeeee. Cheers (Shiner) to the beautiful state that gave us the queen Bey.

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    1. Love EVERYTHING about this comment. Man, and saying "y'all" is another one! People think I have speech problems when I use it up here.

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  4. Oh boy, I loved this post. And since you asked to add to the list: chicken fried steak, properly done tortilla chips, Central Market, wide open highways, Big Red soda and Blue Bell ice cream, Ford trucks EVERYWHERE, women who say "bless your heart"...the list goes on. It's so easy to feel nostalgic for Texas. It rules.

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    1. Oh man! Central Market...I had totally forgotten what a blissful place that is. And yes, Big Red for the win. Such fantastically true additions.

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  5. Floating the river!

    Oh, and good BBQ, parking lots, and 75-80 mph speed limits!

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  6. Oh my God, I've never seen kolaches before, but they look like the most delicious thing in the world. I want to try them!

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    1. They really, really are. And you really, really should!

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  7. Frontage/Access/Feeder roads!

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  8. Blue Bell ice cream!

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  9. Definitely the feeder roads! Hate the roads up north. Trying to take a left is just plain complicated.

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    1. So true! I completely forgot all about the ease of an access road.

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  10. Aristo's Deli in Clinton Hill carries Shiner Cheer! It's not terribly overpriced (for New York beer prices, at least). Aristo's is on Myrtle Avenue between Ryerson and Hall.

    As a fellow Texas ex-pat in Brooklyn, I can definitely relate to all of these. Nothing like photos of the hill country to make a girl homesick!

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    1. This is excellent news! Thank you, Laurel. I will be making a stop there this weekend if I can.

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  11. Don't forget about southern hospitality! Texans are so polite!!!!

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  12. gas prices. my sister lives out there and gas is always at least 20 cents cheaper than where i am in florida!

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  13. Uumm..Mexican meat markets!..I also doubt they have all the awesome sweet breads from Mexican bakeries. Also, don't forget taco stands!! Couldn't be without 'em

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  14. You can always go to Hill Country Barbecue in NYC for some Lonestar and Blue Bell...Just saying!

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  15. This post made me so homesick! Grew up in Texas and I'm also in Brooklyn now. It's comforting to know there are others around me!

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