Pack your fat pants for Texas
Miller, who looks and acts a little like a down home Gary Busey, is like most Texans: an eager evangelist of lovingly smoked and seasoned meat.The County Line, founded in a onetime Moose lodge in 1975, offers Ugg Boots Sale a more homey, family style eating experience in 10 locations across Texas. Its kitschy interior, which includes a “talking” bull mounted on the wall, and its use of dipping sauce makes local barbecue purists cringe, but we found their beef ribs, smoked for 18 hours, to be succulent and flavourful.”It sure beats eating mayonnaise,” Miller joked.On a recent trip through the Lone Star State, travelling from cities like Austin and San Antonio in the hilly central region to the flatter, sun parched terrain of the western half, we found no shortage of good spots for eating and drinking.In Austin, the progressive, black sheep city of Texas, we fell in love with Tex Mex cuisine. At Torchy’s Tacos, a chain of taquerias that began in a trailer, we sampled some of their inventively named tacos, such as the Trailer Park (fried chicken, green chilies and poblano ranch dressing), the Republican (jalapeno sausage and shredded cheese), and the Dirty Sanchez (a disgustingly monikered combination of scrambled eggs, escabeche carrots, and fried poblano chili). My favourite, however, was the rather plainly named Deep Fried Avocado. Start off your meal with a side order of chips with the fondue like green chili queso as your dipping condiment.At the Texas Chili Parlor, we sampled another state staple at an Austin institution that serves its hottest all Ugg Boots Sale beef chili with an “XXX” warning on the menu and as a joke makes patrons sign a release. On our trip, I stuck to the “XX” medium hot chili, and yet my mouth still felt like a blast furnace. The darkly lit, tavern like Chili Parlor also offers other Tex Mex favourites like enchiladas and tamales.If Texas has a state drink, it’d probably be the margarita. At Guero’s Taco Bar, located in the trendy South Congress area of Austin, they take their tequila seriously, offering drinks with names like El Magnifico (Herradura Anejo tequila, Cointreau, and lime juice) and the Longhorn (Corzo Silver tequila, Cointreau, lime and orange juice).A favourite of University of Texas students, the Alamo Drafthouse has also been voted “Best Place To Take a First Date” by the Austin Chronicle because you can get dinner, drinks, and a movie all in one stop. Servers bring your meal and beer to your seat (a counter runs across each row of seats).For extra fun, check out the boozy sing a longs and quote a longs in which audiences sing and speak along to favourite songs.Austin prides itself as the “live music capital of the world.” And while you can find great music almost anywhere you step, it’s worth visiting an old school honky tonk like G Ugg Boots Sale inny’s, where old cowboys and scarf wearing college students can two step to a cracking country band. On Sundays, the windowless tavern is home to “Chickenst Bingo,” in which patrons vie to guess which numbered square a live chicken will use to “mark its territory.”On our way to San Antonio, we stopped 40 kilometres outside of Austin in Lockhart for Texas. Lockhart, a town of only 12,013 people, punches well above its weight as a barbecue mecca.Our first lunch destination, Kreuz Market, has been smoking meat since 1900 and in its current location, a converted red barn, you’ll find a sign listing its traditions, which includes “No Barbecue Sauce (Nothing to Hide).”Like Kreuz Market, Smitty’s offers the no frills dining experience associated with traditional barbecue. Patrons line up at a counter of Lockhart eatery to make their order, which is served with white bread on butcher paper, and eat at tables in a brightly lit cafeteria.The lack of dining panache, however, is more than made up for by the sweet and flaky pork ribs and deliciously fatty brisket.While a trip to Texas is tasty and fun filled, be sure to pack your fat Ugg Boots Sale pants, because we soon learn that friendly locals, who use “y’alls” in their conversation as frequently as Canadians use “eh,” show their hospitality with food.