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 Messin' with Texas

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Re:Messin' with Texas Sat, 05/26/12 2:27 PM (permalink)
I'm not arguing with what you saw and tasted in that elotes, but is it possible the combination of lime juice and mayonnaise made you think sour cream?  It's not impossible that they used sour cream or crema (a thinner Mexican version of sour cream for topping tacos and enchiladas, etc.), but the traditional recipe doesn't include any dairy other than the cheese and the margarine (dairy substitute).  I suppose regional differences could allow for the change.
    Michael Hoffman

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    Re:Messin' with Texas Sat, 05/26/12 4:15 PM (permalink)
    Oh, that chicken fried steak plate!
    Just out of curiosity, is the life-size portrait of a uniformed Audie Murphy gone from the rotunda?

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      Re:Messin' with Texas Sun, 05/27/12 11:30 AM (permalink)
      I asked my young Mexican waitress what comprised corn in a cup- although her English was heavily accented, she told me it was sour cream- 
      It probably is a regional difference
      Here's a review Michael Stern did of Fuel City Tacos in Dallas,  as you can see he notes there is sour cream as well.
      I don't know?

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        Re:Messin' with Texas Sun, 05/27/12 2:13 PM (permalink)
        Hmm, I'll have to try it with sour cream sometime.

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          Re:Messin' with Texas Mon, 05/28/12 4:30 PM (permalink)
          thanks for sharing these pictures and history bits. I am trying to diet and torturing myself with pictures of food.
          I agree the corn in a cup does not sound appetizing.

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            Re:Messin' with Texas Tue, 05/29/12 9:39 AM (permalink)
            Thanks SFP&S & welcome to Roadfood

            Corn in the Cup is one regional specialty I won't be ordering again.
            I'll continue the next chapter this evening.
              Michael Hoffman

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              Re:Messin' with Texas Tue, 05/29/12 10:33 AM (permalink)
              WJ, a memory check and a Google show I was off concerning the location of the Audie Murphy portrait. It's in the House chamber, not the rotunda.

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                Re:Messin' with Texas Tue, 05/29/12 7:41 PM (permalink)
                Friday April 27
                For the last 6 1/2 years I've been haunted. Back when I was on CAT duty for Hurricane Katrina back in 2005, I passed by this place several times when I ventured towards town. Unfortunately they were already closed for the day and CAT Duty started way too early (@ 7AM) for me to even consider heading here in the morning.
                I made a mental note and finally had the opportunity to visit.

                Joe's Bakery and Mexican Food.

                The parking lot had a decent amount of cars and it was still relatively early.

                The place was starting to fill up as well. With a good Mix of Anglo and Mexican customers.

                And a bottle of their home made salsa is customarily placed on the table.
                I already knew what I was getting.....yes, another rare day when I order a full breakfast.

                Migas, a local specialty-
                Eggs with tortilla chips, cheese, onions tomatoes and Jalapenos.
                Refried beans and a side of tortillas came with the meal.  
                Their homemade salsa really added the finishing touch to this hearty breakfast. Joe's Bakery was certainly one of the highlights of this trip. And as it turns out, I got a thumbs up from a local Roadfooder (but that's not till the next chapter) when I told him about my visit.
                Since the coffee there was bad (what else was new) after returning to my motel, I walked back to downtown and enjoyed a superb cub at Halycon Coffee-Bar-Lounge- an "only in Austin" experience. Both coffee house, lounge and bar they're open till 3AM on weekends.  
                I spent the rest of the morning trying desperately to get a hotel downtown. Everything was solidly booked due to the Food and Wine Festival. I didn't feel like staying at the dingy Day's Inn a couple of miles north of town which I kept as my back up, so I ended up for the duration of my trip at the Marriott Spring Hill Suites 10 miles north of town for $50 a night on priceline.
                It was now time for lunch, and a short drive  east out of town brought me here.


                BBQ Nirvana

                Southside Market- in Elgin
                Noticing that they sell their hot sauce by the bottle

                I wondered why they would have any sauce?- this is TEXAS for crying out loud!
                You have the option to order a plate or by the pound, since I was planning to have dessert afterwards, I decided to order a combo plate.

                I went with the Brisket Sausage combo, and I really liked that they had a whole pickled jalapeno- They go oh so well with Texas Q
                Here's a better look at the Smoked Q

                I regret not ordering the ribs, the brisket was fine, and the smoked sausage was even better - I believe they refer to these as "Elgin Hot Guts"

                I was very surprised to see they offered sauce- I did take  a very small sample to try - but it wasn't necessary. Overall a fine meal, but I think I enjoyed J Mueller's a little more. I'm still thinking of that beef rib!
                A short distance away in the heart of town was my next designated stop.

                City Cafe
                A place that looks like it's been around forever

                and the decor just screams "Texas"!
                Of course I have found my limited opportunity for pie- 

                I ordered coconut cream.
                I wish I could say it was as good as it looked, the filling was fine, but honestly the crust was as hard as a rock, and overall the pie tasted "stale". Fortunately this is the last item of the trip that left me disappointed.
                I walked around Elgin's small main street for a bit after  I finished the pie.
                This caught my attention.

                Unfortunately they weren't open yet, and I couldn't wait since I had to get to my next destination back in Austin.


                The LBJ Presidential Library and Museum

                and there is the man himself
                Unfortunately most of the building was being renovated and there were only two floors that were open
                There were some interesting tidbits



                Including photos of the national historick park, It would have been great to visit had I had more time.
                Most of the other floor focused quite a bit on Lady Bird,

                but there were a few cool LBJ things too.


                Including a replica of the oval office
                I understand that LBJ had 3 tv's in here and had all three major news networks going at once.
                What a far cry from today's Social Media.

                his hat

                and his boots.
                here is a replica of Lady Bird's office.

                this was actually my second presidential library that I visited. The first was the JFK Presidential Library and Museum in Boston which I visited with Buffetbuster back in January of last year.
                I checked into my new hotel, in a way I was glad it was far from the hustle and bustle of downtown Austin which is practically a 24 hour city, I didn't get much sleep the night before.
                My dinner stop wasn't too far from my hotel, in fact I didn't even have to get back on the interstate- it was only a couple of miles away.

                Ross' Ol' Texan Cafe

                For some reason, I thought Ross' would offer waitress service, they don't. You order at the counter and then they bring the meal to you when it's ready.
                Like Hoover's the day before, I decided to do a mini smackdown

                Another meal of chicken fried steak. This time with fresh cut fries, fried okra and it also comes with Texas toast. This CFS reminded me of the one I enjoyed at the now defunct Massey's in Fort Worth, several years back.  It was good, but does not compare to Hoover's spectacular version.
                I actually ended up chatting with the owner a bit before I left.
                Since I didn't sleep very well the night before, I spent a few hours relaxing back at the hotel before returning to the night life of Austin's 6th street once again.
                I started out at this place which I thought was a brewpub called Lovejoy's Tap Room, on a side street off of 6th street.
                I'm still trying to figure out what exactly I was at. 
                I've been to many brewpubs in my life, some look commercial/corporate , some look like your friend's basement or living room, one actually looked like a college sports bar (In Morgantown WV) but this one takes the cake- It's a dark dank place full of tattoos, piercings and loud loud nu-metal blasting through the speakers. I couldn't even listen to what I was drinking. I've been going to brew pubs now for nearly a quarter of a century, this is the first time I ever walked into one and felt completely uncomtortable and out of my element. I only lasted one drink.. (and I couldn't even remember what it was)
                 I continued on 6th street...and I could see a band through the glass window, I could see a long tuft of blonde hair just shaking all over the place at the drum kit, I did a double take and had to stop.
                Guilty Pleasures is the name of the band.
                Doing mostly 80's chick band music, they did other more contemporary stuff as well including this song by White Stripes.
                The lead singer, looked like  a chubby version of Brittany Spears.
                and like she pointed out at least once during the show
                "We're girls"
                "We've got V*****S"
                "And We Rock"!

                I decided to stay - hey they had Shiner (in bottles) how I could I refuse?
                Afterwards I walked around 6th street once again, back to my Car which was about 1/2 a mile away, drove back to my hotel and called it a night..
                much more to come.....
                <message edited by wanderingjew on Tue, 05/29/12 7:45 PM>

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                  Re:Messin' with Texas Wed, 05/30/12 7:42 AM (permalink)
                  You are probably correct- I didn't notice it- probably because our tour guide didn't point it out- I was more impressed with the chamber floor itself- the house chairs didn't look quite as comfy as the senate chairs.

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                    Re:Messin' with Texas Wed, 05/30/12 10:34 AM (permalink)
                    Glad you enjoyed your Texas trip.I never heard of Piedras Negras de Noche in San Antonio,and I've lived here for ages.Luther's kind of rings a bell in the back of my mind. The name,Piedras Negras de Noche translates as Black Rocks of Night. There is a town of Piedras Negras out west of here in Mexico across the border from Del Rio,TX.I rarely go downtown,but have been to the Alamo and Riverwalk in the past. Never eaten at Good Time Charley's on Broadway, but it is supposed to be good. the only way I like sweet corn is with butter and salt or plain.Don't think I'd like corn in a cup.
                    If you come again to San Antonio, they just opened the Texas Heritage Museum next to the Witte Musem on broadway.They have items from Sam Houston, davy Crockett's fiddle and other things.

                      Re:Messin' with Texas Wed, 05/30/12 3:20 PM (permalink)
                      Spectacular looking bbq from Southside Market!  And I was also underwhelmed by the pie at City Cafe.
                        mr chips

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                        Re:Messin' with Texas Wed, 05/30/12 11:26 PM (permalink)
                        I didn't have pie at the city cafe. I had a most excellent vegetable plate. And i loved the LBJ library. all of which I wrote about three years ago. Enjoying your report a lot WJ

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                          Re:Messin' with Texas Thu, 05/31/12 8:11 AM (permalink)
                          Holly Dolly
                          I deliberately wanted to avoid the touristy Mexican restaurants on the riverwalk. The folks over at Chowhound recommended Piedras Negras de Noche. And they received excellent reviews on yelp and urbanspoon. And it was only two miles from downtown, since I deliberately left my car parked downtown, that was perfect for walking distance. My only gripe was that after their original building caught fire,they moved next door to an old pizza hut restaurant so the atmosphere wasn't the best, but they tried.
                          Mr Chips
                          I wish I could have seen more of the LBJ Library, they mentioned that once the renovations are completed, unfortunately they will have to start charging an admission fee to make up for the costs.
                          I've yet to find a Texas BBQ joint that I didn't like.
                          I'll complete the next chapter this evening...

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                            Re:Messin' with Texas Thu, 05/31/12 7:43 PM (permalink)
                            I began my day at Ruta Maya- a coffee house a few miles south of downtown which I visited previously in 2007. I was surprised to find out they did not have muffins or scones- however they did have breakfast tacos and bagels. Although regionally appropriate, I found it disconcerting to order breakfast tacos at a coffee house so I opted for a whole wheat bagel and cream cheese.
                            After breakfast, I headed back towards downtown, parked my car at a lot next to my motel I stayed at the first night in town. and decided to take a brisk walk downtown. 
                            I did stop to may homeage to this local blues legend.

                            You got it! The late great Stevie Ray Vaughan
                             I then crossed the bridge towards downtown

                            as I looked down towards the river, I could see these folks out having a good time.

                            Now that looks like fun!
                            After my quick jaunt around downtown, I headed back to my car to drive 40 minutes to another local legend

                            Smitty's Market
                            in Lockhart
                            Have I reached BBQ Nirvana?

                            well from the looks of this smoker, I probably have!
                            What's interesting about Smitty's Market is that you order meats on one side- near the smoker and you get your sides in the dining room.

                            I'll admit the sides- slaw and pinto beans were ho-hum...



                            The BBQ was something else- Pure smoked nirvana- the three photos focus on each item- the sausage, the brisket and the incredibly sublime pink prime rib.... I did get a side of white bread, sliced onions, sliced raw jalapenos and pickle......there is nothing finer......... 
                            I was completely full when I left but decided to walk around Lockhart's town square..

                            I believe this is the county courthouse..
                            I had plenty of time before I had to head back to my hotel....
                            I decided to drive another 15 miles south. Although more bbq was simply out of the question....
                            I just had to go see it...

                            City Market- in Luling- the other BBQ Shrine..
                            I walked inside just to see what it looked like- the smell of smoke wafting through the air- there was a huge line of folks waiting to get their meat - unfortunately as good as it smelled, I simply had no appetite left.
                            I walked around the quaint main street.


                            This sign looks like it's been around forever.

                            This sign caught my attention- the Central Texas Oil Patch Museum. It was blisting hot outside and the A/C 
                            inside the museum gave me some brief relief.

                            This was a small museum dedicated to Texas' rich oil history......
                            There were some interesting exhibits..







                            I'm trying to figure out what these two guys are doing...

                            After checking out the museum, it was an hour drive back to Austin....
                            I had one more stop to make before returning to my hotel....

                            Amy's Ice Cream
                            and with a huge line like this, they must serve up some pretty good ice cream.
                            I got in line, and couldn't help observing this sign across the street...

                            You know what I was looking at!- The sign of course- craft beer caught my attention. The other phrase  beneath "craft beer"  I'm certain will capture eveyone else's attention considering their disturbing obsession with it!
                            Anyway...back to Amy's

                            Some really interesting flavors here- I even thought about getting....yes....Shiner flavored icecream...
                            I decided to get something more conventional..

                            Sands of Time Ice Cream in a waffle cone...
                            Creamy cinnamon ice cream with hunks of graham cracker- yes, this was the best ice cream of the trip.
                            I headed back to my hotel just after 3pm. Right in time to hear from Bushie.  Since he lives north of town and I was staying north of town, we agreed that we would do some "roadfooding" north of town and this made perfect sense.....
                            Bushie arrived just before 4pm, we decided on an early dinner. at

                            The Monument Cafe
                            in Georgetown
                            There was some type of festival going on in Georgetown this weekend, so parking was a little scarce. We lucked out and found a spot not too far from the Restaurant....
                            The monument cafe is known for growing it's own Veggies- One of the specials for the evening was King Ranch Casserole-  it sounded just like what the doctor ordered- unfortunately the doctor wasn't delivering until after 5pm- the waitress checked first- and it was a no-go....
                            Ok, I can live with that....
                            Dinner began with a fresh airy light biscuit...


                            Dinner was fried chicken breast with green beans and sweet potato fries- You can tell that these veggies are not frozen or from a can- they are bursting  with flavor- and oh yes- that cream gravy is homemade too..
                            Although the Monument offers dessert- we decided we would go elsewhere for that...
                            After dinner, Bushie and I drove to Hutto- we stopped at one of Bushie's favorite watering holes which was conveniently right next door to our next roadfood stop.
                            I had a beer out of Ft Worth- I believe the brewery was Rahr and Sons..

                            I ordered the black lager- although it's dark - the beer was light tasting and crisp- in fact it was my second favorite beer of the trip.....
                            Afterwards we stopped next door 

                            The Texan Cafe
                            & Pie Shop

                            We decided to get our pie to go- 
                            With a huge selection of pie- it was a difficult decision- unfortunately I didn't have room for two slices....
                            I did go with the elvis pie- A combination of peanut butter and banana- I don't think it had any bacon - at least from what I could tell...
                            Afterwards we drove around Round Rock- and I actually saw the real "Round Rock" now I can add that to Little Rock -seeing the actual rock that the cities were named after....
                            We stopped at one more beer bar before parting ways with Bushie and calling it a night....

                            I returned to my hotel......Since I was flying back home the next afternoon from San Antonio, I decided to relax for the evening while of course....

                            Enjoying my fantastic peanut butter and banana elvis pie- I can't imagine this not getting on a top 10 list at the end of the year...
                            The final chapter sometime after the coming weekend....

                              Re:Messin' with Texas Fri, 06/1/12 7:52 AM (permalink)
                              If you had to choose between pies at Monument Cafe or Texan Cafe, you definitely made the correct choice.  Of course, in a contest like that, there are no losers.  Which of the bbq parlors did you like best?

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                                Re:Messin' with Texas Fri, 06/1/12 8:52 AM (permalink)
                                I'll take a plate from Smitty's, spicy was the hot sausage?

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                                  Re:Messin' with Texas Fri, 06/1/12 10:52 AM (permalink)
                                  Wandering Jew, I'll have to look and see if Piedras negras de Noche has a website. Yes, that was the Caldwell County  courthouse in your photo. Was at Smitty's with my sister and brother-in-law about 3 years ago,when they came down from New York.
                                  We didn't get any sides, just bought a sampling of their meats and eat that,then walked around. Haven't been to Luling in ages. They have a watermelon Thump I think June 22 or so, may try to go. In all the years i've lived here, never have been to the oil museum there. I'll have to check out the City market BBQ too sometime.For my vacation, I'll have to drive to some of these places around here. At least it will cost me a little for gas and food.

                                    Re:Messin' with Texas Fri, 06/1/12 11:17 AM (permalink)
                                    What is a watermelon thump?

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                                      Re:Messin' with Texas Fri, 06/1/12 12:19 PM (permalink)
                                      How appropriate...I'm reading this trip report and the Muzak just fired up Johnny Cash's "I've Been Everywhere".

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                                        Re:Messin' with Texas Fri, 06/1/12 1:49 PM (permalink)
                                        I was going to comment on my favorite bbq in my final comments (Epilogue and Footnotes) but now that you mention it-
                                        The beef rib at J Muellers was just stellar so was the brisket as well..
                                        I'll be honest, Southside Market was just a blur (but still good)- probably because I wasn't very hungry after my big Migas breakfast- however I did like the fact that they had a whole pickled jalapeno- that was a nice touch- If I recell it was either Louie Mueller's or Kreuz's that also offered a whole pickled jalapeno as well when I last visited in 2007.
                                        Everything at Smitty's was just amazing- answer your question...Smitty's
                                        The Sausage at Smitty's wasn't very spicy but was certainly full of smokey flavor.
                                        And....what are you doing listening to MUZAK?
                                        Holly Dolly
                                        Unfortunatley Piedras Negras De Noche doesn't have a website- you can find their reviews on urbanspoon and yelp.

                                        There's lots of great Q in your neck neck of the woods......

                                          Re:Messin' with Texas Fri, 06/1/12 1:58 PM (permalink)
                                          Atmosphere-wise, Smitty's is definitely #1 for me.  Food-wise, it almost depends on the day.  But Smitty's has never let me down there, either.
                                            mayor al

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                                            Re:Messin' with Texas Fri, 06/1/12 8:45 PM (permalink)
                                            It's a dead heat between BLACK'S and Smitty's for me !  Your photos at Southside would cause me to stop next time on our way to Lockhart.
                                            Bushie introduced us to Joe's MIGAS breakfasts almost a decade ago on our first visit to him. While I really enjoyed it, I simply can't eat that heavy a breakfast and have any desire to eat again before dark or later...and that is not my goal when in the BBQ Belt !
                                              Another good job, Dale, Sorry I am so late chiming in...

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                                              Re:Messin' with Texas Fri, 06/1/12 9:36 PM (permalink)

                                               And....what are you doing listening to MUZAK?

                                              I was waiting for the next report installment.
                                              It's piped in through the speaker in my office.  Thankfully I have 2 things:
                                              - a volume control
                                              - full access to the Muzak website so basically the whole building listens to Brad's Radio.
                                                ann peeples

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                                                Re:Messin' with Texas Fri, 06/1/12 10:40 PM (permalink)
                                                The Mayor, and his lovely wife Janet sent me  mess of Blacks sausage this past xmas. My only claim to Texas sausage. Awesome stuff-plain, garlic and jalapeno. Now i think I need to go down to Texas and compare the rest!

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                                                  Re:Messin' with Texas Sat, 06/2/12 10:33 AM (permalink)
                                                  Come on.....everyone knows that this is actually the song that you were really listening to.....
                                                  Thanks, you are correct, as much as I liked Joe's I should have planned by meal itinerary a little better because after that Migas breakfast my appetite just wasn't there to appreciate Southside Market.
                                                  As I was leaving Lockhart, I noticed Black's sign pointing out they had Beef Ribs, if only I had  appetite after my gut busting meal at Smitty's, I would have liked to compare it to  the beef rib at J Mueller's.
                                                  Its interesting that no one has mentioned Kreuz Market after visting back in 2007- I thought they had the best sides...
                                                  I've had every style of BBQ with the exception of Santa Maria Style (is that really BBQ?) I still say the best is in Texas.

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                                                    Re:Messin' with Texas Sat, 06/2/12 5:35 PM (permalink)

                                                    What is a watermelon thump?

                                                    That's how you test a Watermelon for ripeness.
                                                    You Thump it by using your thumb and a finger and flicking it against a watermelon.
                                                    Some people tap it with their knuckles.
                                                    Techniques vary.
                                                    If it makes a kind of hollow sound, it's a ripe one!!!
                                                    Some liken it to kicking the tires on a car. Makes you feel good but doesn't mean anything.
                                                    Here's a blog on the subject:
                                                    Here's the Luling Thump Fest:
                                                    You and Cousin Johnny can enter the Seed Spitting Contest!

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                                                      Re:Messin' with Texas Sun, 06/3/12 6:05 PM (permalink)
                                                      Here's a link to a America's Test Kitchen aka Cook's Illustrated take on elote asada:
                                                      There is a half minute commercial before the video recipe begins.
                                                      This recipe got my mouth watering.

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                                                        Re:Messin' with Texas Sun, 06/3/12 10:47 PM (permalink)
                                                        I've never seen any of the Mexican street vendors use cilantro or garlic, but I can definitely see the benefit of including them in the recipe.

                                                          Re:Messin' with Texas Mon, 06/4/12 1:59 PM (permalink)
                                                          I was just looking over the photo of the pies at Texan Cafe in Hutto.  Everything looks so good.  It really is one of the country's great pie stops!

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                                                            Re:Messin' with Texas Mon, 06/4/12 2:56 PM (permalink)
                                                            FoodBMe is right on the money with the watermelon thump.Stockdale east of San Antonio also does a watermelon festival too,just not sure when.
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