Monday, August 15, 2011

Houston Part I: BBQ n' Beer

{have you ever noticed the cloud shadows from a plane?}

We just got back last night from a wedding weekend in Houston, and I'm still basking in the glow of long chats with old friends, and late night dance parties that go by way too fast.  I've got lots to share, but what better place to start than with the food?  So today, I bring you my adventures in Texas BBQ and Texas beer!

The first thing we did when we got off the plane in Houston was head to Goode Co. BBQ with our wonderful friend and Houstonian, Rich, for a real Texas lunch.

When we got out of the car, Rich pointed out that the restaurant is right in the same shopping center as a pet store, a gun shop, and a taxidermist...(me to Brian: "Toto, we're not in California anymore...").  So basically, this little strip mall has got you covered for all of your animal needs.  Buy 'em, hunt 'em, stuff 'em, or eat 'em.

The good(e) people at Goode Co. also give you cold frosted mugs for your beer.  It is such a small gesture, but it means so much to men.  (It really is the little things with them, isn't it?)

We all got brisket sandwiches and they were good(e) (OK, fine, I'll stop).  But really, it was delicious.  It was a lot smokier than the tangy Carolina BBQ I'm used to, and the meat was cooked just perfectly.  Hearty and smokey and so savory.  

{love the cow hide table tops}

Afterward, Brian and I debated whether the decor should be deemed "novelty" or not.  Maybe this is just how they do down in Texas.

{right above our table}

{old school saddles}

It was a perfect welcome to Texas meal!  Thank you Rich!

And now for the beer portion of our programming!

My second lunch in Houston consisted of beer and pretzels.  (I told you German is the new vegan.)  Another Houstonian friend of mine, Anna, invited me to go along with her to Saint Arnold's Brewery, and of course, I obliged.

Saint Arnold's is Texas' oldest craft brewery.  Before we ditched our tour (when the guide ventured into a non-climate controlled area of the brewery - crazy crazy idea in August), I learned all about what it means to be a craft brewery.  I mostly forgot it all after the second beer, but I think I remember the tour guide saying that a craft brewery makes more than 15,000 cases of beer per year (less than that would qualify it as a microbrewery), and doesn't use rice as a filler (like they do in making Bud Light).  So craft beer is pure barley goodness that is a little less hipster than a microbrew.

And this Saint Arnold fellow - who the heck is he anyway, right?  Well, he is a guy you wish you had known.  He was a bishop who performed a beer miracle.  No joke.  He apparently used to go around spreading the beer word, urging people to "drink beer!  It's good for you!" and according to legend, when parishioners went to collect his remains after his death and all they had to sustain themselves on the long journey was a tiny drop of beer in a big mug, he used his powers for good and made that beer multiply so that the mug held enough for all of them!  A never-ending beer mug!  Like Hannukah but with beer instead of fire!  I haven't heard of a better use of miraculous powers since Jesus turned water into wine.  Fabulous.

{every step brought us closer to air conditioning}

{we got to keep the glasses!}

{best stamp ever}

What a fun day.  I'm so thankful to have such wonderful Houstonian friends, and to have seen more of Houston than just the inside of a hotel room.

I still have two more days of Texas fun to share with y'all, so stay tuned!!!


Leslie said...

Two points:
1) German being the new vegan only works if vegan food was ever decent. German food is far superior. Says the WULFF.

2) I really hope the "fabulous" in there was said with the proper enunciation.

Ashley said...

Ha no one can argue with the WULFF! And you can be sure that we both know how "fabulous" was meant to be said :)