The Sunday Times has two articles about Texas today, both focusing on the Texas art scene. In Hollywood Stampedes a Texas Town, and Tranquility Rides into the Sunset, Whitney Joiner writes about two recent big movies filmed in Marfa, one by the Coen brothers and another by P. Thomas Anderson. Joiner’s focus is on how Marfa is unaffected by the influx of celebrities, as it’s not only used to big movies (Giant was filmed there back in the 50’s) but it’s also become an international art destination due to the Chinati Foundation. But the one thing about the article that tickled me was its notes about Marfa restaurants. Everything closes at 9 and nothing’s open on a Sunday (my header above was taken at Carmen’s Café, in Marfa). So that leaves you with one dining option—the gas station. But oh what a gas station! They have a Texas delicacy there I (now) call a fried burrito. They just call it a burrito, and no, it’s not a chimichanga. It’s a flour tortilla wrapped several times around a simple filling of spicy ground beef (and sometimes beans). And it’s fried a bit, but not enough for it to become super crisp. Instead, there’s a thin shell but you can unwrap the thing and work through the soft, greasy tortilla folds on a hunt for the center. Or not—the filling isn’t the prettiest thing in the world (brown and lumpy) but oh my, it sure does taste good. Growing up, my school cafeteria sold these, and for the longest time, this is what I thought was a burrito, not those crazy overstuffed West Coast concoctions pumped up with rice, beans and anything else lying around the kitchen. This is simple and pure, and if you find yourself in Marfa (or any other Texas town that has a gas station with fried food) do yourself a favor and try one. You won’t be sorry.
In Lone Star Style, Cathy Horyn takes a look at the gallery scene across the state and seems surprised it’s so energetic. Well why wouldn’t it be? Every Texan is an artist, a colorful piece adding the state’s self-created mythical mosaic. Think about it: if you go to Tokyo, and say you’re from Ohio, nobody cares. But if you say you’re a Texan, well then that’s something to discuss. People either love us or hate us, but no matter what side of the fence they’re on, nobody is neutral, and that’s all part of our charm.
Sunday, August 27, 2006
Posted by Lisa Fain (Homesick Texan) at 2:58 PM