Monday, September 28, 2009

"let's take the country road"

Last night's dinner: The Woodland
Last night's song: "The Woodlands National Anthem" Arcade Fire

What a busy week it has been. I am sick today with a bad achy cough. So I did something I rarely do and took a sick day. No one wants me coughing and sneezing around the little ones. I think the sickness has a little to do with all the running around we've been doing the past week. I haven't cooked since last Wednesday, which feels really odd. And with the illness, I'm not cooking tonight, either. least not anything too complicated.

All that being said, we had an fantastic weekend, other than my slightly sore throat (that has now morphed into a full on hacking cough). We spent the weekend- which included a road trip!- with the folks from Everything Is Terrible who were in Texas to screen their amazing and surreal movie. We had a fantastic time with these guys and I'm happy to say we walked away from the weekend with seven new good friends. I mean, how can you not immediately love people that walk around a sketchy Houston mall dressed like this? Really- if you like irony, creepy puppets, and gray-area copyright infringement, visit their website. If you like what you see, buy their movie. I watched it twice in 24 hours and laughed just as much the second time around. These people are doing the lord's work.

Ok, enough gushing...onto the road trip recap! We started out in Lockhart, the BBQ capital of Texas. Although we didn't try any (pesky vegetarians, remember?) the EIT guys reported very good things. We went to Lockhart to meet a poster dealer who was kind enough to let us riffle through his awesome collection. No BBQ in my belly, but I did walk away with this beauty to put up in my kitchen.

Isn't it nice? The plot actually sounds kind of cute, and involves a food critic! My sweet husband picked up a copy at Vulcan on his way home for his sick wife to watch while he brings her hot tea with honey. Sheesh- a kitchey food movie and tea? I'll be better in no time.

We spent Saturday evening at the Alamo Drafthouse in Houston, then headed to Poison Girl for drinks. I really liked this bar, even though I was a little turned off by the name at first. It had a really nice atmosphere and crowd. Plus there's a big Kool Aid man on the patio.

Sunday we got up and headed to meet my high school bf and her husband and step daughter for lunch. We ended up meeting in The Woodlands and my awesome, all Woodlands food day was set in motion. Ricos was our lunch destination, and although my fish tacos were a little fishy, the salsa was good and the guitar player dancing the Macarena with a table full of kids was pretty adorable. Plus, we really enjoyed seeing our friends.

Ha- did you like how I did that, there?

We headed back to Austin after lunch, driving up pretty Hwy. 105 through Conroe and Brenham. I can't believe we didn't get Blue Bell ice cream while we were in Brenham. Strike 2 for not taking advantage of good road trip food. But I feel a little less bad seeing that the factory isn't open for weekend tours. While driving, though, we saw 2 people eating ice cream cones in their pickup trucks. Nice.

Last night we ended our party time with the EIT kids at The Woodland. We picked the place where most of them would eat their last Austin meal (at least until they come back to visit us!) and The Woodland did not disappoint. I got my usual- stuffed tomato with toasted orzo, oyster mushrooms, spinach and asiago- which is always immensely satisfying and special. The hit of the table, however, was the Veggie Burger, which is made in house and is the most beautiful red/pink color I've ever seen on something that didn't used to live in a field and say moo. I intended to take a picture of our food, but by the time I had the thought and got out the camera, everyone was already chowing down. I was going to take the pictures anyway, but looking around and all of us happily scarfing our food, I realized that the beauty of that moment wasn't so much the image of the meal. So I just ate and "mmmm"ed along with everyone else. Take a look at the pictures on the restaurant website for an idea of the cool atmosphere. And then go eat there and see how the food holds its own ascetically amongst all the stylized tree bark. Mmm. When can I go back?

I chose the Arcade Fire song because I couldn't resist the Woodland/Woodlands thing. But we mainly listened to Screwston rap when we were driving around. So, in honor of Houston, I present the top 5 alternative titles for this post :

5. "if you've never been to Texas its a picture to paint, cause we doin' it real big in case you thinkin' we aint" -Bun B (not food related, I know. But my Texas pride and my love of food happily coexist.)

4. "on the dining room table... you able to realize I'm the truth and not a fable" -UGK

3. "you can't handle the weight...not like them boys up in the Lone Star state" -Pimp C (R.I.P.)

2. "open up my mouth and you see mo' carats than a salad" - Paul Wall

and now for number one...

"put some south in your mouth" -36 Mafia (who are from Memphis, I know, but recorded a remix of International Players Anthem with UGK that opens with this outstanding lyric. so there.)

There's actually-strangely- a lot of reference to food in Dirty South music. Land of grain? Candy paint? Grills? Anyone else hungy yet?

Thanks to the mighty Alamo Drafthouse, Everything is Terrible, and of course Houston for a killer weekend.


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