Flashback: Top 10: Ways to Know You Are in Texas

Originally posted 29 January 2009


#10: The weather forecaster is describing the day as breezy and the wind speeds are over 50 mph. It isn’t windy yet because the trees aren’t touching the ground.

#9: Complete strangers wave at you. This is especially true in small towns.

#8: When driving in west Texas that strange smell is oil and it is the smell of money.

#7: If you are in a small town during the fall the entire town closes down for the high school football game.

#6: Barbecue is beef usually brisket and possibly sausage served hot.  The good places smoke the meat using mesquite wood.  Also, there may be only one choice of sauce and it is served warm.

#5: People know the difference between queso and cheese sauce.

#4: In a restaurant the server doesn’t act like it is strange to ask for salsa with just about anything not just Mexican food. When ordering eggs servers usually ask if you want salsa.

#3: Even though you are driving at least 75 mph other cars are passing you in the slow lane.  This is especially true in Houston.

#2: Within a two minute period you see two different Bubba’s in trucks towing another truck .

#1: It is possible to get Dr Pepper at just about every restaurant even if it serves Coke products. Further you are not offered the other stuff in lieu of Dr Pepper. Most people know that Dr Pepper is not a Pepsi product.


Taco Wars

Taco Truck in Los AnglesIn Los Angeles the battle is brewing between taco trucks and traditional restaurants. The city of Los Angeles has passed a new law that will fine for parking a truck for longer than an hour to $1000 or 6 months in jail. Currently the fine is $60 for staying parked for more than 30 minutes. Restaurant owners claim that the Taco trucks unfairly steal their business and the law is needed to protect their livelihood. The truck owners believe they are being unfairly targeted by the city.

One of the things I miss about living in Texas are the taco stands or trucks. They offer inexpensive alternative to the usual fast food. The fare is authentic Mexican food and quite different from gringo style tacos. The tacos are usually served on corn tortillas with meat, onions, and cilantro. That’s right no cheese. Tortas are my favorite. Tortas are Mexican sub style sandwich. Tacos, tostados and cheese quesadillas sold for a dollar. While tortas and quesadillas with meat cost about $1.50. Of course that was about 5 years ago so I am sure the prices have gone up a little.

Instead of passing laws banning competition maybe the restaurants should offer a better value. The actions on behalf of the resturants reminds me of Demolition Man where the only restaurant available was Taco Bell. Do we really need to put people in jail for selling tacos? If the owner of a taco stand has business licenses, health inspection and pays taxes then they should have the right to be in business. One on the Taco stand owners mentioned in the NPR article even paid rent for the curb space he uses.