These days, whenever I bump into someone from my hometown of Victoria, the conversation inevitably turns to Bloody Mary shrimp shooters. On the menu at the Pumphouse Riverside Restaurant & Bar, a hangout that is breathing fresh air into the culinary landscape of South Texas, these wee hybrids of a Bloody Mary and shrimp cocktail are tasty morsels that you savor in one spicy swig.
I’m cutting through a slice of Black Forest Cake at Swiss Pastry Shop in Fort Worth, running my fork through the confection’s crispy, crackly layers of golden baked meringue, which are slathered with sweet whipped cream and heavily garnished with dark chocolate shavings and sprinkles. The highly praised pastry—made with egg whites, sugar, and crushed almonds—is, without question, the most well-known and beloved dessert in Fort Worth. It has served as the concluding course of countless luncheons, birthday parties, baby showers, and holiday dinners for decades.
While Austin has dubbed itself the “live music capital of the world,” Denton—home to the University of North Texas’ renowned College of Music—quietly plays on as a world-class incubator of musical talent.
Senior Editor Lori Moffatt recently chatted about briskets, patience, and the importance of fat with Tyler restaurateur Nick Pencis, who revitalized a much-loved Tyler barbecue joint, Stanley’s. Stanley’s dates to 1959, but Nick and his wife, Jen, have modernized the menu and introduced the restaurant to a new generation of barbecue-lovers, all while keeping the longtime clientele happy—no easy feat.
Deviled eggs may be the perfect party food. Portable, protein-packed, inexpensive, pretty, and easy to make, these little nuggets of deliciousness can stand up to myriad flavor combinations, from basic (mayo, mustard, pickle relish) to exotic (cream, truffle oil, pink peppercorns).
It seems that most of the recent food trends in America—the reimagining of ramen, the curious appeal of Brussels sprouts, the surge of gluten-free products, and the widespread adoption of such ingredients as quinoa and coconut water—have centered around buzzwords such as “farm-to-table,” “unprocessed and natural,” “low-glycemic index,” and “organic and locally sourced.”
Mardi Gras—“Fat Tuesday” in French, celebrates the final day of indulgence before Lent. In the United States, the most famous Mardi Gras fetes occur in New Orleans, but many Texas towns and cities get into the Mardi Gras spirit, as well–especially in Southeast Texas, where influences from Louisiana abound.
In the February 2014 issue, writer Eric Pohl takes readers to La King’s Confectionery in Galveston, where saltwater taffy flies off the shelves year-round. Most fans of saltwater taffy have memories of making it (or trying to make it) at home; taffy-pulling is a time-honored group activity that has the added benefit of providing a decent upper-body workout. Don’t attempt a taffy-pull on a rainy or humid day; wait for a dry day and be patient. Here’s a recipe to try.
Fnding good food on the road is always a gamble. Long stretches of Texas blacktop can be a blur of fast-food joints. And there inevitably comes a time when every weary traveler begins fantasizing about a real, home-cooked meal.
As a Texan exiled for 14 years to Arizona, I feel fortunate to have found decent barbecue, chicken-fried steak, and—halfway through my time there—even Blue Bell ice cream. There was no Tex-Mex, though. And, unfortunately, there was a shocking dearth of pie.
The woman at the next table whispered something to me. “Anchovy paste,” she said.
In the heart of Amarillo’s downtown, you might expect to find Tex-Mex and barbecue—but not Continental fare like English trifle, shepherd’s pie, and standing rib roast. But this Texas café has a decidedly European twist. The original owner, Jonathan Early, named the café On Her Majesty’s Service to honor his English roots. Three years later in 1992, restaurateur Mary Fuller bought the eatery, and now folks just call it OHMS Café.