The stars at night are big and bright

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*clap*clap*clap*clap

DEEP IN THE HEART OF TEXAS!

And to answer your question, yes I do only know that song because of PeeWee’s Big Adventure.  Thank you for asking.

I had never been to Texas, I missed Kiva and KT terribly, and I love any excuse to see this great nation, so I headed to Dallas to see my pals.  I’m happy to report that my travel experience was MUCH better than the last time I flew, and thank goodness for that.  I could not have handled another disaster like my STL trip.

I headed off to Dallas, Kiva picked me up and we headed to their gorgeously renovated new home in the Dallas METROPLEX.   (This is what they call Dallas metropolitan area…it sounds like a movie theater.  Or a transformer.)  Kiva asked what I wanted to do on my trip, and I told her I wanted to eat BBQ, and see cowboys.  So off to Ft. Worth we went.

YeeHaw!

YeeHaw!

Longhorns.  Their horns are...well they're long

Longhorns. Their horns are…well they’re long

We walked around, had some slushy wine (well, I did, Keevs had just a normal slush!) and shopped around at the local stores.  Got all sorts of goodies, including hot sauce, my standard travel Christmas ornament, and some awesome smoked sea salt.  It was a little too early to hit up the bars, but we stopped by Cowtown Winery to do a tasting.

Generous tasting!

Generous tasting!

After my fill of delicious fruity wine, we decided it was BBQ time.  Now Texas is known for their brisket.  I will admit that when I want good BBQ, my go-to is pork.  But I was willing to bend my rules to do as the natives do, so bring on the beef.  (That sounds filthy…I am referring to cow.  Shut up.)

We stopped by Hard Eight BBQ in Coppell, and it was everything I hoped it would be.  We approached this massive grill where you could pick and choose the items you wanted, I have no idea how the employees could stand in front of the thing without melting, so mad props to them.

1 of each, please

1 of each, please

I couldn’t logically pick everything on the menu (or could I?) so I settled on the brisket and jalapeno sausage, with jalapeno creamed corn and mac and cheese on the side, served with freshly brewed sweet tea.  There were two types of sauces, one warm BBQ and another spicy apple cider sauce…wow.  I loved how you could just walk down the row of food, picking and choosing what to throw on your tray.  My kind of place.

YES!

YES!

Jalapeno sausage was by FAR the highlight, and while the brisket was totally fine, I am sticking with my rule:  pork = BBQ.  I refuse to be convinced otherwise.  Because this is America.

We headed back to the house to do some swimming, and then headed to meet KT and Bryan at their gorgeous house for drinks.  We explored the Bishop Arts District (hipsters everywhere!) and then headed to our final destination, Smoke.  The food here was incredible, we started with hummus and smoked broccoli (who knew that was a thing?), various sausages (pictured below), and our dinners were rock solid.  Highly recommend it for anyone in the area!  We ended the night by watching Bryan basically inhale an entire container of tiramisu.  It was majestic.

sausageActual signage: Rabbit – Cow – Lamb – Pig

What we thought the signs looked like: Rabbit – Coyote – Sheep – House cat (hoping this one was inaccurate)

***

The next day we shopped a bit, ate cupcakes, got pedicures, and laid by the pool.  Kiva and Joel’s sweet pup has a habit of freaking out a little bit when swimmers in the pool go underwater (what a good rescue dog!) but has an even funnier quirk when someone gets on a raft.  He sits on their lap.  To save them, or something.

Don't worry Dad.  I'll save you.

Don’t worry Dad. I’ll save you.

Kiva and KT drove me to the airport and we said our tearful goodbyes, so glad I got to spend a weekend with some of my favorite Texans!! (I have to say SOME OF because I do have other Texas friends who I did not visit on this round and who may never forgive me for being so close and yet so far away.  Sorry Stuebe!)

Enjoyed my first trip to Texas, hopefully won’t be my last!

 

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One thought on “The stars at night are big and bright

  1. MMMM, smoked house cat! Let’s plan a European rendezvous! I am looking forward to your posts from Bosnia, keep up the good work!

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