Chasing the Holy Grail/Mid-Season Recap

rThere must be a concession stand in the great state of Texas that serves some kind of Chinese food.  I don’t know why I am convinced, and I am on a mission to find that stand, but I am.  I thought we were on the way to the holy grail when we passed a temple Friday night while driving the Loop around Amarillo.  We weren’t.  I also thought we were going to Dallas.  We weren’t.  I was confused and lost all night long.  Cap said she had a surprise for me.  I thought Chinese food was the surprise.

We arrived at HIGHLAND PARK around 7:15. We left the house at 7:05.   That should have been my first clue.  But, my eyes got REAL BIG when we passed the temple.  All I could think of was crab wontons made from fresh crab meat from Boston and deep fried in a wonton. (I think that’s what it is, a wonton.)  One thing you need to know about Cap is she knows everyone from a small town.  I don’t think Michelle DeShong was from a small town, but Cap knew her. She was in the HP concession stand which was a fund raiser for Junior Class.

We ordered the Chinese chili cheese dog and a pickle made from a Chinese sea cucumber.  (Not really, but you see what was on my mind!)

Both were good!  The chili cheese dog was the perfect concession stand fare, hot (off the grill, we thought) and covered with tasty chili and cheese.  Do you notice I always add jalapenos?

Here’s a couple of odd, random thoughts.  Why is there not Chinese cheese?  There is American, Italian, Mexican, Swiss, Cream, German, Goat, Irish cheddar, Muenster, the French make a lot of cheese, Greek’s, and even Cottage.  You just don’t hear about Chinese cheese. What would it be called?  There are probably touswands of Chinese cheeses, but you don’t see them in United or World Market!

(That was too funny to correct my typo, so I left it.)

The reason I wanted to get the pickle was two-fold.  First, we never think about getting one and the second, because I saw this adorable kid missing his two front teeth.  When you bite into a GOOD, DILL pickle, it makes a crack, AAANNNDDD it makes your face go inside out!   Want to make it better?  Sprinkle Tabasco on it before the next bite.  There’s nothing cuter than a snaggle toothed kid sticking the WHOLE pickle in the side of his mouth and tearing off a hunk like someone tearing off a piece of beef jerky.  That sideways bite mark makes me laugh every time.  Picture that! (That was the other random thought)

 

Next stop Tokyo!  (for my kids again and my thought process of the night)

 

RIVER ROAD!

My eyes got big, and my hopes were high again when we saw Godzilla at the game.

Finally, Chinese food!  Nope.  But, The Road has a fantastic selection of foods! Hamburgers, hot dogs, 3 kinds of Pizza Planet Pizza, popcorn, pretzels, fries, caramel apples, and much more.  We met some great people there!  Stephanie took our order and Lori Peterson, representing the River Road Booster Club, offered to be our blog contact.  For the first time, we found a guy who would share the food with us, so we weren’t so tempted to eat the whole darn thing!  We settled on a pretzel, cheese pizza, and DDDEEEELLLLUUUX French fries.  The cheese pizza was classic PP Pizza.

Always good.   The pretzel filled up the entire plate.  I know, Doc.  You said to cut out the salt, but it is a MMMUUSST on a pretzel.  Then, add cheese sauce and mustard, Mmmmmm!

Loaded fries, and loaded says it all.  Crispy fries covered in nacho cheese and chili.  Then they asked, “Do you want bacon on that?”  DUH!  If someone asked, “Do you want bacon on that bug?” I would say, “%$^#, yes!”  There are two ingredients any chef should not have to ask if you want, BACON AND EXTRA BUTTER!  DUH!  Pile it on!  They did.  Add jalapenos, and M-O-M (man-o-man)!

Get you some of that!

Great job, Road!

Recap for the last 5 weeks’ most memorable foods:

Childress: sausage wrap        Quanah: chili cheese dog and Mexican stack

Lefors: Baked potato       Shamrock: chili cheese burger      Pampa: Variety

Panhandle: corn dog and fried cheese

White Deer: fries      Logan: hot chocolate       Gruver: Homecoming chili supper

Happy: cheeseburger   Highland Park: pickle    River Road: loaded fries   EL Camino: ’nuff said

 

Top 3 so far, in no particular order:

Quanah:  If the lights are on, you need to stop for food!

Pampa:  Couldn’t eat it all.  SOOO many things to choose from.

Lefors:  Hidden Jewel.  I think there is a lot more there, and I want to eat the grill master’s foods!

 

P.S.    Cheese wontons!  I forgot.

Happy-Lemonade-History

Well, I’m happy!  Clap along if   you   thought   the   hamburger   was good!  Clap clap clappity-clap!

Clap along   cause   the   chili was   real food!  Clap along   cause the people    do not frown.

Clap clap clappity-clap!  Clap along   cause we   found   the stadium   in town.  Cause I’m happy!

(It’s hard to type rhythm!)

I didn’t use the British guy one time.  No ranting this time.

 

Damn train…

Oh, yeah!  No ranting because we’re HAPPY!

  TOOT!  TOOT!

 

What a town, Happy, TX!  Where else and how else would you want to be other than Happy!

Good folks, good food.

Burger hot off the grill.Fresh veggies.  Tomatos!  I’m not running for VP. (Remember Dan Quayle?)  But, they looked and tasted like tomatoes.  Onions.  Fresh-peeled, right off the head lettuce. Whole pieces of lettuce.  Not the shredded kind.  Pickles and jalapenos, if you wanted, and cooked from the heart by people that cared.

Nachoes, yes nachos, again not running for VP, were good.  I actually ate all of them.  The chili had real meat!  The cheese was not plastic-y .

Even the bottom chips had meat and cheese on them.                                                              Good job, Happy!

Thank you!  Thank You!  Thank You!  So far, as of today, we have had 2200 views of this blog.  That kind of blows our minds.  So, we have set our goal for 100 MIIIILLLLIIIOOONNN views!  (I watched Goldfinger on a recent sleepless night.)  You see, “they “say that we could get 1 cent per view.  So THAT, would make us a cool mil.  I’m not of that.  You better check my math.  So, share us with your friends and PLEASE SUBSCRIBE to the blog. It‘S FREE!  We know absolutely nothing about blogging or what we are doing!  But, if you subscribe, you can give us your opinions and let us know where you would like us to go next.  I keep telling Cap that I want to find a concession stand at high school football game that has Chinese food.  She calls b.s. on that, BUUUTTT if you knew where that stand was, we could go!  When we introduce people to the blog, they love the idea.  And, everyone has a favorite place from when they were in high school.  SUBSCRIBE and give us your opinions and suggestions.

 

Last Friday night’s weather was crazy.  As we headed south, we drove directly into stormy weather.  We were headed to Kress.  Kress, when we get there we are expecting something Kangaroo!  The game got called due to weather….”lemons”.  Next time, Kress!

 

 

We kept asking each other, “What should we do?  Where should we go?”  We had a lemons.  No where to go ’til we got to Tulia.  We needed gas, so we made the circle back to the Pilot station.  As we did, we saw a restaurant that was open.  “Let’s go there after gas.”  While we were filling up, I put the squeegee shine to the windshield just like NASCAR and the guy that USED TO BE at the gas station!

When I was a kid, (And, I am assuming most of you guys reading this are Caps’ age!) there was ACTUALLY  a guy, at the “SERVICE STATION”, who would put gas IN not ON the car for FREE!  He would check your oil and clean your windshield.  He never left a smudge. Man was fast and good!  I used to watch from the back seat in admiration while Mom got $5.00, yes $5.00, worth of gas in the station wagon to last all week.

As we walked into the restaurant, the one we saw on the turn, at 7:45, they informed us they were closed! Lemons!

As we were leaving, I asked Cap if she had ever been to the El Camino.  Of course! Eeeevvvverryyyone from Gruver has been to El Camino.

So off we go!

Lemonade!

“Don’t Touch the plate.  It’s hot.”  When you hear these words you know pretty much what you’re eating….

I don’t care what “they” say, change ain’t always good.  Don’t move my cheese.  EL CAMINO did NOT move the cheese. It’s time for a little history here.  El Camino opened 50 years ago.  The original building was the Conoco station in town.  Delta Lee McClure opened the El Camino, and it’s been in the family ever since.  Gayle McClendon is running things for the family now.  Justin, a family member and excellent waiter,gave us the history low down.  The cooks have been there 35 years, Bobby Sanchez and Linda Busbealle.  That’s what a person wants.  They want to go in, sit down , order the #6, and it comes out the #6 every single time because Bobby and Linda know how to make it and still love doing it. Whew! That was a long one.  We, of course, had the chili relleno plate!  They use Keeter’s meat, which is locally owned.  Hot Sauce, what we call it up in these parts, is homemade and faaaaannnnnttttttassstiiiicccc!  It’s hot.  Go figure.  Those exxxxcccceeellllennnnt rellenos they have are hand battered, no matter what any one else says.  Just ask Justin.  They have to make extra’s this time of year for the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons.  Check out the art work in El Camino too!  Most all of it is Kenneth Wyatt’s work.  Beautiful.  If you haven’t been there in a while, I highly suggest making a trip.

Thank you, El Camino, for not changing your home goodness food.

 

Divide and Conquer

My hometown has often been called the Arctic Tundra of Texas.  That name might seem a bit extreme, but like Friday night, if you’ve ever experienced a north wind hitting Gruver, you know EXACTLY what I’m talking about it!  Game time was a WINDY 48 degrees.  It was C-O-L-D!

That didn’t get in the way of a great time visiting with friends, tasting some traditional Gruver Greyhound treats, and watching some of a barn burner Homecoming football game.  Yes, readers, it was my 35 year reunion.  No OLD jokes, please!  I get enough of that from my kids!  Later, in this blog, Darren will probably make some wise acre crack about being younger than me.  Nothing but LIES!

Homecoming at Gruver, for as many years as most can remember, starts with THE Chili Supper.  One long-time resident and friend of mine said, “I know we had it in 1966 when I was in first grade!”  He was celebrating his 40 year reunion!  Too much visiting and catching up kept me from the proper detective work to get the actual start date, but y’all, at least 52 years!    It’s location has moved a time or two, but the food is the same.  Tammy Mitchell and crew made this year’s supper, and it was excellent!  Each ticket gets you a piping hot bowl of Texas chili (I wish I had this recipe!) topped shredded cheddar cheese.  Jalapenos are optional, and you get a handful of good ol’ saltine crackers on the side.  

Then, oh Lord, you get the best homemade cinnamon roll you have ever tasted!  The rolled layers are the perfect width, not too doughy, and in between is the sweetest buttery, cinnamon-sugar mixture. (Maybe someone from Gruver will share this recipe too!  I’m playing my home-town girl card here!  PLEASE!)  If that wasn’t enough, the cinnamon roll is also covered with a thick swipe of, I think, buttercream icing!  Yum! Yum!  Yum! Yum!  Yum!  Darren’s doctor will be happy to know I didn’t eat all of either, but it was hard to leave it, but I also had to visit the Greyhound Grill!

Gruver’s high school and athletic complex were renovated a few years ago, and someone really smart designed the inside/outside concession stand that services the gym and football field.  It also has a commons area where the chili supper was held.  It really is a cool setup!  Krista Davis is in charge of the stand, and they are raising funds for the Senior Class of 2019.  I also saw Lee Bob Harper in there!  It was a busy, busy night, and you could tell how hard everyone was working to have happy customers.  Krista suggested I try the cheeseburger brown-bag. Five bucks got me a flat-top grilled, juicy burger dripping with a slice of melted cheese on a warm bun with crispy, fried, crinkle cut fries, just like you would imagine from your favorite diner!A condiments table is staged outside with all the freshly sliced veggies you could hope for, so I could dress the burger the way I wanted!  I like mine with mayo, lettuce and pickles, and I was only going to have a bite, but it was so good, I had 3…or 4!  I almost forgot about the fries!  They killed it with those, mainly because they use seasoned salt!  Every one I tried was hot, crisp, and perfectly seasoned.  I didn’t even get the drink and candy that was been included in the brown bag price because I didn’t need that temptation at all!  It is a delicious deal and one I can highly recommend.  GO HOUNDS!

Darren headed northwest to Logan, New Mexico.

Lost in Logan

OK, I’m going to rant a little so forgive me.  I always try to stay PG in the blog, but I could slip up.

The reason I went to Logan was to play golf at 12 Shores, a beautiful, beautiful golf course.   The staff is very friendly, and the house we rented on the course, near the lake, was excellent.  If you are a hacker like me, it’s a fun and hard course.  I recommend if you’re close to it, and even if you’re not, stop in, see Katie, the pro, and play.  The course is a hidden jewel in the area.

Here’s my rant.  I am techonly challenged. My fault.  I understand it’s my fault.  If it weren’t for Word correction I couldn’t even spell technicly.  I’m not sure why I have a cell phone.  I don’t know how to use the damn thing.  (Sorry!  There went the PG.)  I’m geographically challenged too.  I know in my head when I travel up and down I-40, that I-40 runs east and west. But when some one says, “Well, go east on I-40.”  I still ask, “Is that a right turn or a left?”  So, some of these places I go, I need the help of the little British guy telling me where to go.  Here it goes… How the hell and who the hell lets the British guy tell us where things are in the USA?  I don’t go to Britain and expect some guy with a southern accent to tell me to turn on Downing street, and that I have arrived at my destination to the Queen’s palace.

My first encounter with him (British guy) was going to the golf course.  My buddies were telling me to turn on exit 346.  Then my phone rings.  Very rarely does my phone ring.  So, when it does, I get a little concerned.  I end up passing the exit, thus my geographical challengitis, so I turn on the British guy.  I start turning around going back toward the exit my buddies told me to turn on, and the British guy says, “Turn back around.”  I wind up on some road where there is construction.  We are down to one lane and waiting on the lead car to take us down the road.  I’m late.  I’m always late…

The second encounter was returning from the concession stand to the golf course house.  I missed my turn again, so I asked the British guy.  I’m driving and having hell, one finger typing in the address.  I get it in, and once again the British guy takes me to a dirt road in the middle of nowhere.  I have heard this saying before and laughed at it because it’s funny.  “It’s darker than seven foot up a bull’s  *#!”  I ACTUALLY experienced 7 feet of darkness.  IT AIN’T FUNNY.  It was overcast, cold, and DAAAAARRRKK.  I had to pull over, because that’s what guy’s do, and I jumped out of the car because I KNOW I’m the only one out there and took care of business. Even with the car lights on, I was engulfed in darkness.  17 minutes later, (It only took 10 minutes to get Logan in the daylight.) and I’m still not close, going down the dirt road to nowhere,  and I finally see a farm house.  I had two lame brain thoughts.  Thought one, “RELIEF!  There are signs of life!”  Thought two, “Now I know why farmers get up at the crack of dawn.”  I know they are hardworking guys that feed the world.  I’m very appreciative of that fact, but if I was the farmer living out there, the very, I mean the very first sign of light, I would run outside.  I hate the DDAAARRRKK!

On to the food.

There are some benefits to working in a concession stand, and Friday night in Logan, NM, I saw one of those benefits.  It was cold. I mean fall football cold!  Thanks to my vast knowledge of how to work my phone,  I was not prepared for that cold.  I was wearing golf shorts!  The concession stand that Ms. Chrystal ran was full of volunteers.   See how warm they look!   I ordered fast getting a burger, nachos, and hot chocolate.  We don’t criticize food, but when I first looked at the food I thought, “UH OH.”  But, let me tell you, that burger was good!  It had just the right amount of pepper and salt.  It tasted like my Mimi’s homemade burger with that pepper taste I love.  I just ate it, so there isn’t a picture.  The nachos looked like every nachos I’ve tried.  Man, I don’t know if the chips, cheese, or peppers were different than the rest of nachos I’ve had.  They didn’t look it, but they dang sure tasted great, like the old kind of nachos tasted.  The originals! 

I found the hamburger pic! 

Chrystal and the freshman class, keep up the goodness.  Hope your Homecoming was great!

P.S.   I know you can change the voice of the little British guy…. Technically!