Texas Food

I’ve seen lists and lists of Southern Food, but I think that Texas food needs its own list. I suppose you could make a list for every state, but Texas is a state apart. Hell, the whole purpose of Texas was a way to give Tennessee and Kentucky’s more… colorful citizens a legitimate way to shoot meskins. I think it says a lot about their character that it didn’t bother them much that the meskins were allowed to shoot back; that was only fair.

So here you go. My list of the top ten Texas Foods.

  1. Barbequed Brisket — Dry rub, long smoked, with a deep red, slightly sweet sauce. Sliced on a plate. Chopped onto a sandwich. Piled onto a baked potato. There can’t be too many ways to serve this Texas staple. We have lots of kinds of barbeque here: North Carolina Vinegar style, Georgia style, Mississippi style, Alabama style, but when it is all said and done, I’ve got to have a regular injection of Texas dry-rub brisket.
  2. Beef Enchiladas — We do them differently in Texas. I like real enchiladas, with lots of cheese and a good red sauce, but that isn’t how you do Tex-Mex enchiladas. Red ancho tortillas, a good beef and peppers fill, covered in chile con carne, and topped with a big pile of cheese. That is the only real way to eat chili.
  3. Fried Peach Pies — Don’t start any crap about this being Southern and not Texan. Texas is in the south. The only “native” Texas food is the venison and popcorn the Indians were eating. The rest is stuff that the Kentucky boys and the Mexicans brought with them. This is one of them. A good fried pie is heaven, and a peach pie is the best of the best. I’m not talking about that Hostess powdered sugar crap, either.
  4. Chicken Fried Steak — It is the same thing as “Southern Fried”, but explained for people who don’t know. I had a friend who was entertaining some visitors from Japan, and they wanted some Texas food, so he took them all out for Chicken Fried Steak. They were really digging into it, but they kept looking at each bite as they ate it. He asked them if anything was wrong. “No, it is wonderful! But where is chicken?”
  5. Blue Bell Ice Cream — A lot of the stuff on this list you can do for yourself, but some things you need to leave to the professionals. Ice Cream is one of them. I love all kinds of Blue Bell — mint chocolate chip, Strawberry (with big frozen chunks of strawberry in it), Dutch chocolate, Homemade vanilla. Blue Bell is a half a gallon of Texas that is perfect for a 107 degree August day.
  6. Fajita Tacos — This isn’t that sizzling skillet stuff you get at the restaurants, or the stuff you get at Taco Bell. Corn tortillas, chopped fajita beef, chopped onions and cilantro, and green sauce that burns as much coming out as going in. Don’t pay more than a dollar a taco. This is comfort food. That stuff on the sizzling skillets isn’t the same animal.

    The point of fajitas was to take the meat that no one else wants — tough ass skirt steak — and make it palatable. You pound it out, you marinate the hell out of it, and then you fry it and chop it all to hell. That is a real taco.

  7. Jalapeno Beans — Good red beans with a kick. Pintos with chopped jalapenos. It doesn’t have to be complicated to be good. The goodness is in the wrist. It is how much care you put into preparing it. And when you have it, have it with
  8. Jalapeno Cornbread — Cornbread is a staple. One of the most important things I have inherited is my grandmother’s cast iron cornbread skillet. It hasn’t seen soap in over 50 years, and it won’t see it for 50 more if I have anything to say about it. You take a good cornbread recipe, and you add chopped jalapenos, some cheese, some corn, and you have jalapeno cornbread. Find it and try it.
  9. Mrs. Baird’s Bread — Another thing to leave to the professionals. You make your own biscuits and cornbread, but when it comes to sliced bread and yeast rolls, you go and get Mrs. Baird’s. Bake and Serve rolls were a staple in my grandmother’s kitchen, and we had a ton of kin who would come down from Kentucky and Virginia and stuff themselves silly after dinner with steak sandwiches made with leftover bake and serve rolls.

    Mrs. Baird’s is about more than just really really good white bread. The Mrs. Baird’s factory was on Central Expressway and Mockingbird, right outside SMU. You could smell the bread baking every night for miles, depending on which way the wind was blowing. For decades, they ran tours, and people would take the tour over and over for one thing. At the end of the tour, they would start pulling bread right off the line, tear each loaf in half, and hand a half to each person on the tour with a big slab of butter. The Dallas bakery closed about the time Bimbo bought the company. I miss the smell, but I am glad that the Bimbo people haven’t changed a thing about the bread.

  10. Deep Fried Bacon — Oh yeah. Only in Texas would you find a man who says, “you know, bacon is pretty good, but it isn’t quite fatty and fried enough already. I know — let’s chicken fry that sumbitch!”

Inspired by Acidman at Gut Rumbles

9 Comments

  1. The Fat Guy says:

    Gimme the #2 Especial

    The Everlasting Phelps has a nice list of superiour Texas food posted, and there’s nothing on there I don’t agree

  2. astrofishy says:

    I grew up just downwind from that Mrs. Baird. Boy Scouts and Church trips, uhm, good. Best post about real Texas food – only, you could work in Amy’s, too?

  3. Republic of Fine Tex-Mexuisine

    Then again, Scott Chaffin of The Fat Guy links this post by The Everlasting Phelps about a food list for Texas, and suddenly I am in the Church of Enchilada. Coplas!…

  4. I remember as a child in the 70s visiting my family down in Harlingen and hearing about a local delicacy called ‘fahjeeters’…odd stuff, that, they explained…take the toughest part of the cow’s stomach muscle, beat the living daylights out of it, marinate it a couple of days in cheap beer and garlic, and then roast it with flame and smoke…slice it across the grain, because you didnt want to look like a sissy to the rest of ’em watching, and wrap a greasy lard-injected flour tortilla, and then gnaw on it till your teeth were loose.

    When restaurants started broadcasting the haute cuisine, I was laughing hysterically. *That* old stuff?

    Fajitas have never been the same since, but I sure as heck try when I make em…

  5. Phelps says:

    I don’t work things in because I don’t make changes. I might make updates, I might make also-rans, but I don’t change.I stand by my statements, even when I am wrong.

  6. Gut Rumbles says:

    food fight

    I can’t argue with this post. I have claimed for a long time that Texas is not a legitimate Southern

  7. Random Fate says:

    More food blogging

    Both Acidman and Phelps are talking about food this morning. Phelps was inspired by an old post on Gut Rumbles to wax poetic about Texas food. I live in Texas now, having grown up just outside of Memphis, Tennessee with sojurns in Phoenix, Arizona and …

  8. Matt Heermans says:

    Fajitas are not Texas food, they are mexican food. The only true Texas food is the Southern staples that our fellow Southerners brought here when they founded the state in the 1820’s. Therefore, fried chicken, biscuits and gravy, grits, cornbread etc. are the real Texas food.

  9. Phelp says:

    Mattt, you are a moron. Southern Anglos can bring food and it becomes Texan but Mexicans can’t? Fajitas were already here in 1820.