Sunday, August 27, 2006

Texas in the Times


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 CafĂ©, 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.

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9 comments:

Tuba Slim said...

I used to hate Texans. And then I met Lisa.

Y'all're all right with this Cheesehead. Just do us a favor and don't send us any more presidents. Unless it's Molly Ivins or Kinky Friedman, that is.

Homesick Texan said...

Thanks Cheesehead....I used to hate tuba players. And then I met you.

Let's get Kinky elect govn'r, and then we can pit him against Hillary.

melissa mcgee said...

ah! my best friend corey (in atlanta) and i will be taking a vacation road trip to MARFA in october - visiting the chinoti and taking COPIOUS photographs of anything and everything in marfa, including the famous marfa lights! he told me there had been a story in the NY times, but i didn't get a chance to see it. great post!!! ps i can't wait for marfa...

Tuba Slim said...

It's a deal. We'll run Kinky against Hillary.

In 2016. When my boy Russ is term-limited out of the White House.

I'll play a tuba solo at Kinky's inauguration, and I'll dedicate it to you.

Homesick Texan said...

Thanks, Tuba Slim, for dedicating your tuba solo to me. That's mighty kind.

Tuba Slim said...

Oops. Kinky turns out to be a bigot. I withdraw my endorsement and will blat furiously if he is somehow elected.

MissE said...

Give me a burrito from an Allsup's convenience store ANY DAY OF THE WEEK!!

Native Texan transplanted to Seattle.....oh how I love your blog....thanks to you I, too, will have a handy dandy Luby's cookbook courtesy of this year's christmas stocking!

Your cheese enchilada recipe is one that I have been trying for eons to recreate from sense memory, but without success...THANKS for putting an end to my quest!!!

Homesick Texan said...

Hi MissE, thanks for stopping by! Yep, it may not be classy but Allsup's makes some darn fine foods. Hope you enjoy the enchiladas!

Anonymous said...

OMG I miss Allsup's SOOO much... I love their burritos, chimichangas and their jalepeno cheese corn dogs. I have been gone for almost 6 yrs and I'm craving them ALL. WV doesn't have anything like them lol so I will have to track Allsup's distributor down and get some delivered here lol

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