Oakwood owl counting
pilgrims at the Stryx end gate,
"Whooo passes this night?"

Sunday, January 11, 2015

The Star of Texas

It does seem like every smalltown restaurant in the southern heart of America is unduly proud of their Chicken Fried Steak if you ask for a recommendation. They are so sincere I keep falling for it. On my way to the Rio Grande Valley I hit another one in Belton, Texas. Worse than that, I also bought into the Fried Okra and Fried Potatoes as sides. This must be something you have to grow up with. For instance, I brought my own pail of Pickled Herring with me to Texas. I grew up with it and it doesn't seem to be available in Texas. Anyway, the fried everything meal was awful (again) and helped contribute to my four pound weight gain on the trip down.

An aside, the young waiter who tricked me with his sincerity has never been outside of Texas, never been as far north as Dallas, but he would like to travel someday. Ah, someone who wants to expand their world. Yep, he loves football and would like to travel to various football shrines to watch football games. Oh, what the hell, he was raised in Texas where football is a religion. More power to him.

The other contributor to my weight gain was well worth it, a restaurant we have visited in the past. According to the smaller sign on the front the Star of Texas Restaurant in Falfurrias, Texas it is "THE BEST AMERICAN AND TEX-MEX FOOD IN TOWN". Modest and nicely understated. Falfurrias is town of 5000 people out in the middle of nowhere ... and the food is the best I've found anywhere in Texas so far. Sometimes Mexican food is two dimensional - bang, favor then heat. This isn't particularly hot and when you take a bite the favors come to your mouth in waves, sometimes fives flavors deep. I ordered one meal to eat in situ, and another to take with me to Alamo for my evening meal. Just in case. Both meals really should have been enough for two meals, but it tasted so good I didn't stop until I had licked the plate clean. Four pounds in three days.


Anonymous said...

As a native to the great state, I must agree with you. Ever since they started canning wallpaper paste and calling it cream gravy, the incredible cfs of my youth has disappeared. When the natives forget how to cook their own heritage, the culture is greatly diminished. The sad fact is that the true "Home" cook is quickly becoming a thing of the past. If you are exposed to 2nd and 3rd rate food by the people who love you the most, what can you expect from those trying to make a buck so they can feed their children 2nd and 3rd rate food. Here's a trick to judge the possibility that you might be able to get a serviceable cfs. Ask for a small bowl of the gravy with your drink order. If they can't make a gravy that you can eat like soup, don't order the steak. It will suck as well. My father once told me all you need to be happy in life is good gravy and wild women. I am having trouble lately finding either. "Crazy" and "Wild" are not synonyms. When I find a truly wild woman who can make real cream gravy, she better not be married or there's gonna be trouble. Feral Cyclist

Anonymous said...

Feral Cyclist

Adena said...


Take a look at this article. It made me rethink my understanding of the cuisine in the Rio grande valley and how my racial, national, and class privilege influence the food I have access to. This is especially important considering that according to the article higaldo county is one of the poorest and most obese in the country because families cannot afford or access healthy food.

Adena said...


Gunnar Berg said...

Thanks for the link. It reinforces what I have seen ... and it is reflectd in what the grocery stores carry. Two days ago I had to pick up basic food and a couple of hardware items so I went to Walmart (over HEB). I noticed there is a whole section devoted to cheap candy - not just the end of a row, a whole section! Next time Sprouts in McAllen, but as you say the food there is priced beyond what most can afford. Real food costs real money, and also people have to learn what to buy.

George A said...

@Feral Cyclist: truer words were never spoke.