From Wisconsin to Texas Part II

"Smoking Fun"

A year ago today my father were on a Plane from Milwaukee to Houston anxiously anticipation our campus visits of Texas A&M and Prairie View A&M. After a quick stop at the bathroom and the rental car place (mom reserved us an impala), we stepped into what for a Wisconsinite is paradise 70 degree weather with not a cloud in the sky and a slight breeze. Needless to say the climate was a bit different then the ten degrees and two inches of snow back home. As neither my dad or I had basically any clue where we were going and only a map quest guide and one of those free maps they give out at the rental car places to guide us we began our journey to the hotel. I guess we took the Houston Beltway 8 to 290w, according to the map all we had to do is go west on 290 and we could not miss the hotel. We made a quick stop at an Arbys to satisfy our hunger.
Quickly ordering some burgers we sat down and began to eat when…..cla chink clac hink cla chink. Ooh man I knew that sound, I mean everybody who has seen a John Wayne movie know that sound. I turned and peaked over my shoulder half expecting to hear “Go ahead, make my day”. Yeah oh man this is to cool, “Dad you see that that guy is wearing spurs”. A real cowboy I thought…, but why was he in an Arbys…. Eventually figuring out that hey cowboys get hungry too as I hesitantly asked dad "Is it legal to carry concealed weapons in Texas"? We finished our burgers and started our way back to the car dogging horse apples (a.k.a. Horse Shit) every other step. This was going to be an interesting trip I thought as dad turned the ignition.

A good 45 minutes later we arrived at the LaQuinta inn (basically the cheapest place we could find close the campus, still 40 mins along 290). Arriving at the hotel we unpacked what little luggage we had and took a few hours to nap. By the time 1800 rolled around our stomachs were talking to each of us, “I’m hungry they said”. We contemplated pizza, or going out, ……ultimately deciding on going to a small restaurant labeled the “Harris County Smoke House” (right next door to the hotel) “Hey it was close”.
Not fully knowing what to expect from the place we crossed the parking lot and entered the Harris County Smoke House.

“Brian we are not in Wisconsin anymore” Dad said as we gazed into what was defiantly the Texas style Restaurant. We took our place in the already long growing line and gazed into “Texas”. Old cowboy saddles hung from the ceiling, countless Long Horn racks adorned the walls, Ten Gallon hats and spurs. One could even grab a beer as he waited in line (proved you were of age, although I don’t think anyone would have cared if you grabbed one and were 16).
After what seemed to my stomach an eternity we arrived at the lunch line style servery. “What ya hav’in” the middle aged Hispanic man asked in a rich Mexican accent. “I’m a goin wit the smoked chicken” I responded in what was my lame attempt to sound like a Texan.
Pedro lifted his knife and cut off gigantic portions of chicken slopped them on a plate and covered them with some BBQ sauce. “Hope you’re hungry dad said”. I looked at him a face of uncertainty. Making our way down the line picking up some Corn bread, beans, a bunch of other stuff.
We found an empty table in what was quickly becoming a crowed little restaurant. Looking down at what was a heaping plate of basically meat and beans the phrase Everything’s bigger in Texas ran through my mind. My teeth sank deep into the BBQ dripping piece of chicken. Immediately my body became confused, if this was chicken it was sure different then the stuff back home. As this stuff “Texas BBQ smoked Chicken” just fills every taste bud in your body with goodness…..There is really no way to describe the taste if you ever go to Texas make sure you find some.
Pounding down as much of it as possible, our bellies fat with bbq chicken we walked straight back to the room and hit the sack.


Happy Birthday Grandpa he is 71 today.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

And your stomach was never the same again--the slabs they served were enormous--even Kim got full--now that's saying something.

sarah the great and wise said...

I can not tell if this is a narrative or a real story, so if it is a narrative, good job, if it is not, welcome to Texas!

Was that guy really wearing spurs?