What a wonderful week I had! I was bummed that I could not afford to jet away to my favorite tropical island (Jamaica!) for a luxurious getaway. The economy is squeezing my pocket like most American’s these days, so I had to be content having a “Staycation” in Texas. With a little luck and some good friends, I was able to swing a pretty decent time despite the lack of funds.
First came the luck. I watched the first Cowboy game of the season at my local Red Robin which offers happy hour specials during the games as well as always friendly staff. If you RSVP’d on Facebook for the watch party, it put you in a drawing with the grand prize being two tickets for the Cowboys vs Redskins game on Monday night September 26. I was lucky enough to have my name drawn at the top of the third quarter, even though Romo choked in the 4th for a loss to the Jets. One of my close friends assured me they would bail me out of jail if I found myself on the field in Dallas pimp slapping Tony for similar shenanigans, so I recruited a road buddy and was off to Dallas.
We stopped in Waco for lunch at the Elite. Waco is home to Baylor University which I attended as well as my parents before me. In fact, the Elite was one of their date spots in the late 1950′s and is still a popular meeting place today. My first tweet of the day was this picture with “Having CFS and DP at the Elite in Waco.” For you non- Texans that is chicken fried steak and Dr. Pepper. The soda was invented in Waco and the mascot Baylor bear was famous for swigging a cold one during games and for tourists. I don’t think PETA lets them do that anymore.
Getting to Jerry’s World for the game was an adventure in itself. My friend Dax commandeered a couch from a buddy for us to stay on. Parking for the game is minimum $40 but I heard about a shuttle they were running from Humperdink’s, a local brewpub, for $10 each. Dax talked me into parking in some random lot with a shuttle for only $8 but we ended the evening having to take a cab back to the lot because we could not find the meet up spot after the game. If you go, use Humperdink’s shuttle. We ended up there drinking beer after the game anyway and it would have cost less. Plus the beer is pretty good and the fans are friendly. Fortunately, Romo did not choke in the fourth this time and thanks to some phenomenal defense, the Cowboys won! And thanks to the plastic flask Dax snuck in, we did not have to pay $8.50 for a Coors Light.
On the way back to Austin we stopped at Ruby’s Cafe in Jarrell. It is less than a mile off the highway near the Flying J truck stop. I had heard this place had fabulous CFS (that’s chicken fried steak if you are paying attention) and they did not disappoint. The Elite’s was good but Ruby’s was slap your mamma good! They also do a large variety of veggies daily. You have to have mashed potatoes with CFS and I got creamed corn as my second side. The potatoes were delicious but I really loved the creamy sweet corn that had a just right spicy kick to them. I will definitely be making more trips to Jarrell to try more as well as some of the pastry items in the window of this picture.
I will finish birthday tales tomorrow including details of the lovely ladies in the picture at the beginning of the post. Time to head home for now!
UPDATE! Part 2
My actual birthday this year was on Wednesday and it happened to coincide with the Ambiente Wine Importing Co. portfolio tasting in Austin. I was invited to the tasting by my buddy in the wine biz Buckley Wineholt in celebration of my birthday as well as his ironing out the final details to open his new shop Urban Wine and Liquor at the Austonian. The store will offer wine, spirits, beers, barware, imported cigars and cigarettes, and a choice of artisanal foods including Texas-produced items. The shop’s 2,615-square-foot storefront on Congress Avenue will be designed by local design-build firm Bercy Chen Studio. I have had the pleasure of attending several wine tastings by Buckley and I cannot wait to see what he stocks his store with.
Here are some of my favorites: