Tag Archives: Texas Restaurants

Hanukkah Texas Style

Kenny & Ziggy's New York Delicatessen restaurants will offer Enchilatkes during Hanukkah 2018. The Tex-Mex dish is made with potato latkes topped with cheese-stuffed jalapenos, sour cream and pico de gallo. Photo: Kenny & Ziggy's

Houston based Kenny & Ziggy’s New York Delicatessen restaurants is offering “Enchilatkes” during Hanukkah this year.   The dish features traditional potato latkes topped with deep-fried cheese-filled jalapenos, avocado slices, sour cream and pico de gallo. Yum.

Photo from Houston Chronicle.

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The Frisco is Closing

Austin Landmarks on the Menu - Food - The Austin Chronicle

Red is weeping today as The Frisco on Burnet Road in Austin will be closing up shop on July 29.  From his early days, Red always enjoyed many a Fabulous Frisco burger with plump fresh cut fries and a dinner salad with 1000 Island with his family and later while sitting at the counter at the iconic spot in North Austin.  And he even enjoyed the occasional splurge of a slice of banana cream pie.  Red was fond of one waitress in particular who always asked him “Do you use ketchup?”  To which Red always wanted to reply that he not only used ketchup – he abused it.  In recent years, Red almost always stopped at The Frisco when he was in town even after it moved a mile or so up Burnet Road.

The Frisco was the last of the Night Hawk chain of restaurants.  The Night Hawk was started in 1931 by Harry Akin, a former Austin mayor, on S. Congress.  A second location near the UT Campus on The Drag was opened in 1933.  Other locations were in San Antonio and Austin.  Akin was a pioneer in desegregation and his restaurants were among the first in Texas to break the color barrier and serve all people.  His restaurants were also largely staffed by women and minorities.

Red is inconsolable.

Today in Texas History – May 6

From the Annals of Hamburgers –   In 1999, Whataburger opened “Whataburger by the Bay” in Corpus Christi.  The restaurant is a tribute to founder Harmon Dobson featuring  – not surprisingly – views of Corpus Christi Bay and and a life-size bronze statue of Dobson by the entrance.  Dobson began in 1950 with a humble stand located on Ayers Street in Corpus Christi.  Dobson was killed in a plane crash in 1967 but his family continued the business.  Whataburger now has more than 700 locations from Arizona to Florida.  Red still remembers the first time his Dad took him to a Whataburger in Victoria. Dad had long talked about what a great hamburger they served and Red was pleased to confirm those reports for himself.

Fire Guts Cleburne Cafeteria

The greatest cafeteria in Texas was destroyed Monday night when a blaze consumed the Cleburne Cafeteria on Bissonnet Street.  The Houston landmark was almost entirely gutted by the blaze.  The CC was celebrating its 75th anniversary this year.  The CC had been rebuilt after a fire destroyed the previous structure in 1990.  The CC – notorious for accepting only cash and checks – has been run by the Mickelis family since its inception and the walls were decorated with the art work of founder Nick Mickelis.  George Mickelis, son of the founder, was distraught over the loss of his father’s artwork – much more than the loss of the cafeteria itself.  But it appears that a few of the paintings may have survived the blaze.  The loss will be felt throughout the community and especially among its loyal patrons who packed the restaurant at lunch and on Sunday afternoons.  Mickelis vows to rebuild again.  Red will be back for the grand re-opening.

Photo from KPRC. 

The Most “Texan” Restaurants in Texas

Jessica Hamilton of the Houston Chronicle gives her opinions as to the “most Texan” restaurants in the Lone Star State.  Her unimaginative No. 1 is the Big Texan Steakhouse in Amarillo famous for its 72 oz. steak challenge.  Red was pleased to see that Mary’s in Strawn – a place frequented by Red y familia – was on the list.  If you are driving I-20 between Abilene and Fort Worth and have a hankering for some fresh fried frog legs, Mary’s is your place.   Make the short detour north to Strawn, but expect a wait on Friday or Saturday night and remarkably cold beer.

Finally, Some Good News

The Dallas Morning News reports that the Taco Universe is Expanding.  Along with Red’s waistline.

From Dallas to Fort Worth, you’ll find more taquerias than ever serving righteous Mexican street tacos. Then there are the restaurants and food trucks that tuck Asian fusion fillings into tortillas. Velvet Taco’s tikka chicken taco, Good 2 Go Taco’s Thai Juan On, and Ssahm BBQ’s Korean tacos are among the mavericks with a following. In between these extremes are Mexican chefs and disciples of Mexican regional cuisine who tweak classic tacos with gourmet ingredients.

Gabriel DeLeon, chef-owner of Mi Dia From Scratch in Grapevine, adds gourmet specials to his stable of traditional tacos.

“The street taco craze started a few years ago. From my standpoint, it got boring. Chicken tinga, al pastor, fried fish — everyone has these traditional tacos, even food trucks and gas stations,” he says. “Chefs are trying to elevate tacos. An upscale environment is suited for upscale tacos.”