Texan BBQ

Y'all are missing the whole point. I can assure you of that, as I used to live in Austin. For several years in a big Steamboat Victorian at 1200 Windsor Road, and later up on the slope of Mount Bonnel, which at that time was rather wild country. Coyotes, Armadillos, Raccoons, Deer, Cougars. My nearest neighbor found a Cougar snoozing in the back of his pickup one morning. Scared the poor pussycat so bad, he jumped clear over his head getting away.

He was unusual. Had himself several pet Tarantulas. He had tamed them, and tried to get me to hold on in my hands, but I never did like spiders. I didn't want to insult him but the nicest big spider in the world gives me the creeps.

Austin is built atop the Austin Chalk layer of limestone. Laced with caverns. There are geological marvels all around if you are interested in that sort of thing.

I hear it has grown out of its britches in the last 45 years since I left, but it was a wonderful place once.

I hope you get to experience the great cricket swarm. It only happens maybe twice or thrice a century, but it is not a thing to miss if you have the chance. Quadrillions of them came into town when I lived there, attracted, apparently by the tall mercury vapor light towers in a star pattern above the city. Slithering down Guadeloupe, all four wheels skidding on crickets up to two feet deep. You just never get that kind of lubrication elsewhere.

Anyway, you don't dine on pasties in Austin. It is the home of some of the greatest Mexican restaurants North of the Rio Grande.

And the barbecue is of a quality you can't find anywhere else. They don't even know what barbecue is outside Texas. It isn't roast beef with "barbecue sauce" slathered all over it. It can't be made with charcoal, either. Charcoal gives it a chemical taste. Got to be real live coals you only get by letting naturally seasoned Oak, Pecan or Hickory or some other hardwood logs burn down to coals, then shoveling them into the pit and cooking the meat in the smoke for 8 or more hours, real slow, keeping it moist with a rag on a stick dipped in "Sop". No catchup in it. (shudder, gag, retch) Some beer, and herbs, and oil.

It is one of those things you have to grow up with in order to really understand. My wife is "barbecuing" some beef right now. She does a creditable job for a California girl. But I miss Texas, and most of all tonight, I miss the barbecue.