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!

 

 

 

Grandkids Get in the Game!

This week FFFN had some very special taste testers.  Darren and I are grandparents to 5 great kids, and because we love all things “grand” they were responsible for where we traveled and what we tasted.  Four of these are the children under 8 that know Darren makes THE WORLD’S BEST PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY SANDWICH! And, they know the secret.  Shhhhh!

Our pregame was hanging out with the newest to the bunch.  This little beauty, Dawsyn, is only 7 weeks old, so she’d rather drink bottles and sleep than talk about corndogs and nachos!  Soon, Baby Girl, Soon!  We’re completely in love with those cheeks and hands!  I covered her with Gammy kisses before we hit the road.

    

Will, age 2, was staying with us while his parents were getting ready to make the move to their new home, and he was excited to go to the “baseball” game with Poppy.  You’ll have to ask Will about that one!  LOL!  Our first destination had to be Panhandle, one of those great, small towns where kids play football under the stands, and the community is so close-knit you feel it as soon as you arrive.  Our 4-year-old granddaughter, Braylee, was getting to cheer in her 1st PHS Little Cheerleader night.  It was the perfect chance for a blog “yell out”.  We missed it.  Anyway, Oh My Goodness, it was so stinkin’ cute!  It was a chilly 58 degrees, but Braylee ran, chased, and CHEERED her heart out with those great pom poms and the perfect cheer bow atop her head!

                        

Will wanted to see THE Panther, but when we went to find him, he said, “No, I don’t want to see Panther.  He’s a little scary.”  I’m with him.  Costumes always scared the bejeebers out of me!

Time for the FOOD!  Panhandle’s stand has been run by the FFA, Future Farmer’s of America, for more years than anyone can remember.  This year, Shane and Melissa Miller, PHS Ag. teacher and wife, are in charge.  Their crew is doing a fantastic job as usual.  A shout out to the FFA Booster Club who awarded $1500 in scholarships last year, and they hope to raise even more this year.  Great job!  Please support them in any way you can.

When we were kicking around ideas for this blog, my son’s, raised in Panhandle, both remembered the fabulous cheese-on-a-stick.  I guess it was about 25 years ago when we first tried that delicacy, and we weren’t disappointed this time.  Not.  At.  All!  Wow!  Delicious, creamy cheese deep-fried in a sweet corn batter that just melts in your mouth with every bite.    There were no leftovers because we all sampled a bite!  Yum-mo!  I bet the Queen of Englund would love it!  Will had a corndog, and it was no joke!  The fresh, deep-fried hotdog (Writing wiener always makes me feel a little weird.  See, I feel weird!) in the same yummy batter, was devoured until about 3 bites were left for Poppy and Teagan to finish off.  Teagan, our 6-year-old, also had popcorn and hot chocolate.            

This is the best picture I have taken so far! Love!

I’ve never tasted better of either!  By the way, I have no Doc that told me not to taste too much!  Whew!  The popcorn is super buttery, perfectly salted, and the hot chocolate really tastes homemade.  I mean you can really TASTE the chocolate in that rich, creamy drink.  Gaw, who doesn’t like the popcorn chocolate combination!  Landon, our older grandson at 8, was our nacho taster   and clean-up crew for just about everything else!  He and T had worked up quite an appetite in the previously mentioned under-the-stands football.  Landon likes it simple, just chips and cheese, but as you can see in the pic , there is a healthy amount of both!  I sneaked a bite, and the cheese was warm, gooey, and had just the right amount of spice for kids and adults alike.  Braylee’s popcorn was waiting for her as she finished her cheering at half-time.  I didn’t want you to think that precious thing was left out of the tasting! Darren had a sausage wrap.  I think a pattern is developing.  He has had sausage every week so far! (Sponsor, please!  Hillshire Farms?)  He was expecting German sausage, but this one was Polish.  Still juicy, still yummy, and wrapped in a warm, flour tortilla.  The clean-up crew said, “Delicious!” 

At half, it was time to move on down the road.  Another Carson County town was having their Homecoming, so off to White Deer we went.  Arriving at the gate and after a diaper change for our little trooper, Will, I got to visit with a long-time friend at the gate and learned that Darren had just walked in without even stopping to pay!  (Usually, we get in free anyway!)  Sorry!

White Deer has a really cool, new facility that includes a HUGE concession stand!  They have space to move and groove in there and look at the digital menu!

That is a first in our travels so far.

Huge stand + enormous Homecoming crowd = very busy workers

That said, to be honest, we were all pooped!  (Except the diaper.  It was clean.)  All grandparents can relate!  We did not do our job of getting names, organizations, etc., and we were pretty dang full.  We apologize to the folks of WD, and if you are from the great little town, please accept our apology and give a shout out in the comments to the hard-working people there.  They deserve it!

 

We did try a tasty cheeseburger that was run through the garden.  Thumbs up!  We also had a really delicious Frito pie.  It was good because it was fully loaded with chips, classic, chili, and warm nacho cheese.  Every bite was perfect.  If you look closely at the picture, (Put on your glasses.) you’ll see some French fires on top!  I don’t know whose idea that was, but it was a good one!  They were exceptional, perfectly fried and crispy.  We were wishing we had gotten a whole pile.  We’ll do that next time for sure!

Winners this week:

Kids’ Favorite:  Panhandle Cheese-On-A-Stick.  It is probably going to make it to the Play-offs!

Kids’ Runner-Up:  Panhandle Corndog

White Deer’s Best:  Fabulous French fries

 

Great job, everyone!  See you next week1

To Interstate 40 and Beyond!

Travel Kit!  We are much more prepared!

As you can tell, useless information is what I’m full of. (Never end a sentence with a preposition). I used to call someone on a land line and ask,  “Mr. So and So, is such and such there?”  He would reply, “No.” I would respond, “Where’s he at?”  He would say, “Between the A and T.” I never knew what that meant.  Still don’t.

Useless information#1:  A guy said, “Hey dude, what makes you a food critic?”  Good question.  We are not critics. But…I am world famous (primarily to children under the age of 8) for making THE WORLD’S BEST PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY SANDWICH.  See, I mix the peanut butter with…can’t tell you. That’s the secret.  If you have seen me make it, then you know.  I made a PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY SANDWICH FOR THE QUEEN OF ENGLUND.  (Not England.  That’s a whole different story). That’s where the credentials come from…

The very best thing about this blog is meeting people.  Meeting people makes us happy.  Set aside personal or political views and focus on FOOD.  Now that’s what it is all about. Everybody eats something.  You go to a Friday night football game, and people come from everywhere.  The concession stand may be THE meal for Friday.  Man, we have had some gooood fooood!

Useless information #2:  Remember the hair thing…useless info, but it explains a lot if I met you and forgot your name.

This week we rolled up in the fantastic town of Shamrock.                   

The guys at the gate let us in for free! We didn’t know they were hungry. 😊 Maybe they already heard about the blog.  LOL!!!

                      

We met two fantastic people at the concession stand.  Cathy Blain was one of those people. She has worked in the stand for 8 years, and she is retired Navy. Nuff said.  Thank you for your service!  Then, we met Charlene Poole.  I can’t really single out Charlene because all the Pooles are on the “paytold.”  If you don’t know what that means, then good, you don’t want to know, but the Pooles have been manning the concession stand for the last few years.  The cause for the concession stand is for the Fighting Irish Band.

The menu was large, but we settled on the sausage-on-a-stick and THE chili cheese burger.

                                                       

I hate to steal words from another person, but… it was the Bomb. THE chili cheese burger was the best.  I’m not kidding, THE best I have had so far.  It was not sloppy.  Most burgers like this have chili that runs down my arm and shirt. (Tide Stain Stick, we need a sponsor 😊).  That kind of sloppy burger has absolutely no taste because you are eating so fast to keep the stuff off you.  It’s not enjoyable.  You’ve been there.  Shamrock’s had just enough chili that it was in each and every single bite.  And, the mustard!  It was the same, just enough so I got a bit of mustard with every bite.  DELISH!  Patent that burger.  I didn’t eat it all, (Doc’s orders!) so we shared with the gatekeepers.

Future gatekeepers keep that in mind!

This week’s palate cleanser! Shamrock’s buttery, salty popcorn.  Yum!

Next stop Toyoko!   Meet Buck!                 

 

 

No, It was Lefors.           

The last time I was in LEFORS,  I was like 8.  My little private school played them in football.  My brother-in-law was the quarterback. We called him “Roger.” Not Staubach, just ROGER.  That is a whole other story. We solved ancient mysteries while we were in Lefors.  The first mystery was the location of the stadium.  This is not a crack at Lefors.  It is a crack on our stupidity.  I think we drove through the entire of town of Lefors while the Australian accented guy on the GPS kept telling us we were in, his pronunciation not mine, LEFFERS.  Then we opened our eyes and read the sign telling us where the stadium was located.  We were there 15 minutes before “lightbulb” shined!  Just so you know, those of you traveling up and down I-40, the construction zone has even spread to Lefors!

Mystery #2 was the actual pronunciation of Lefors.  We took it from the pit masters and volunteer firemen, Craig Seely and Sy Brown.  If the fire chief says it is pronounced one way, then that’s the way for me.  I always thought it was LEEEfors.  Nope!  It’s LAAAfors.  That’s the way I understood it.

On to the food!

Craig and Sy turned it on. They had help from the one I guess was really running the show, Bridgette Parks, president of the athletic Booster Club who takes careof the Pirate concession stand.  These guys got it going on.  Besides the concession they cook brisket all year round.  The concession menu short list was over-the -grill quesadillas, beef, or chicken. They also had burgers, dogs, and baked potatoes.  I’m sorry we can’t try it all even though I WANT TOO.  Dang it, Doc!  We had the chicken quesadillas which were perfectly cheesy and full of tasty shredded chicken.  We LOVED the chili, cheese, baked potato.  Bridgette suggested the loaded fries but the baked sounded soooo good, and she loaded it with creamy butter and topped it with sour cream.  I also added (I call in hot sauce.) Picante, and it just all melted in my mouth!  Sorry, Doc!

        

I also had a Ring Pop (You don’t get one of those every day.) for dessert.

We had the best shout out FFFN!!! See video.  Thanks guys!  Click the link!        IMG_1167

 

Let’s go to Pampa.  

Man, Oh Man, Oh Man!  Have you ever heard of the Fair?  Well the fair ain’t got nothing on Pampa.  I mean Nothing! When we were young the Tri-State fair was a big, big thing.  Still, to this day, people go to the fair for the food.  You want fair food?  Go to Pampa on home game nights.  Funnel cakes, fried Oreos, walking tacos, and pulled pork tacos. We tasted the previous two.    

The walkers were loaded with everything taco and very tasty and filling.  Nacho Cheese Doritos were the perfect vehicle!  The pulled pork tacos were made of fresh, soft-corn tortillas and topped with homemade slaw.  They also had a choice of sauces, mild to HOT!  There were tents with burgers, corn-on-the-cob, and cotton candy.

We also sampled bunuelos, fried flour tortillas sprinkled with cinnamon-sugar,   and we horchata, a Mexican milk concoction.  Both were deeelicious!  What a Fantastic, Fantastic idea!  Each and every booster club, wrestling, volleyball, softball, soccer, band, you name the booster club, everyone had a booth to raise funds for their group.  And, the food was Wooooonderfuuuuuulll! We couldn’t get to everything, but we will be back!

             

Winners tonight:

Beast (BEST) Burger: Shamrock

The BEST Choices: Pampa, I’m thinking you might win it all.  We will see!

Our choice and overall winner: LAAAfors loaded baked potato.

P.S.  The queen of Englund never showed up for her world’s best PB&J.  That was rude…..

Tastes on 287!

Week one of Food Fight Friday Night is complete!  Just remember as you’re following us, that fun is the goal as we describe food, places, and the people we meet along the way.  If you’re looking for poetic or perfect writing, this may not be your place. If entertainment, giggles, and some great concessions are what you need… smile, read on, share the news, and LIKE us everywhere you can, so we get LOTS OF FANS!

If you read the introduction to this year’s FFFN you know this came to me while not sleeping one night. We don’t have a plan, director, or producer. We just hop in the Buick that we fondly call “Buck” and drive ‘til we see lights or a game. (Hopefully, BUICK will advertise or link to our blog! LOL!) Usually we are heading somewhere in Texas, New Mexico, or wherever. We don’t have a set plan.  NONE!

I Mean NONE!

If we have to plan, it won’t be fun.  So, concessions stands, you won’t know we’re coming.

Neither will we… 🙂

Here is a little useless information.  I know I may look like Andrew Zimmer (minus the orange glasses), but I’m not.  I just had a checkup, and my doctor, who’s a friend of mine, said, “Hey dude, you need to lose a little weight. Why don’t you eat a little better?” I told him about this idea, saying, “Doc, I think I’ll be eating pretty well.”  He agreed!  Also, my memory is as long as my hair!  If I forget a name or misspell your name, it’s hereditary. That’s what I blame it on anyway.

We started off a little rough this week.  We forgot some essentials, like a knife, so we can cut off samples.  I did agree with the doc not eat the whole thing, although it has been really hard so far!  We forgot plastic trash bags, (see picture) hand and chin wipies, Pepto Bismol, Tums, or Rolaids.  (We hope you advertise or link someday! That’s the ONLY reason I brought those names up. Lol)  The food was way too good to need those things!  We also forgot a bib for me.  There is no pic for the obvious embarrassment reasons.  Those who know me understand.  Later my grandson said, “Poppy, you make a mess!”

We rolled into Childress, TX early. I mean EARLY.  Our mistake, but we thought, “Heck, we will beat the crowd.” Well, let me tell you, we BEEEEEEAAAAATTTTTT the crowd!  We were like the people that leave church while the preacher is praying before the invitation hymn, so they can beat the crowd to their favorite restaurant or get their favorite seat in Sunday school. But, you had your eyes open when the preacher said, “All heads bowed and all eyes closed,” so you saw them sneak out! That EEEEAAAARLY. I think you get the point.

So, Ms. Cindy, who runs the Childress concession stand, wasn’t ready for us. She was gracious!  I mean, man, GRACIOUS and SWEET.  Some of the things that are so good about small town concession stands are the people who work in them and for what cause. Childress’s stand is a fundraiser for the freshman class. People who work the stand don’t get to see the whole game. So thank them. It takes a lot of time.

On to the food!  Ms. Cindy gave me the concession stand favorite, the SAUSAGE WRAP. The wrap was FOR REAL!  It had a big piece of smoked sausage, the size of my wrist.  Man, it was good!  I wish I would have put onions and mustard on it, but it didn’t need it.  The wrap was one of those things I promised the doc I wouldn’t eat the whole thing, so I pulled it in half. (forgot the knife-see previous note and pics)  I would wrap it back up, and as we drove down the road, I would reach down into the floorboard, (pic!) unroll it, and take another bite.  Thank you, Ms. Cindy. I wish we could have tried the rest of your menu, and in the words of Arnold Schwarzenegger, “We’ll be back!”

We thought we were just going to take our lump for being there early and drive on down the road, but as we were leaving the parking lot we saw a table lined with ladies dressed in the blue Bobcat colors.  It’s a good thing we saw them!  We pulled in front of a trailer rig already parked, and probably cut in front of them. Sorry, whoever you were. That was us. The Childress Women’s Council had concocted a table of goods.  Jay Hardin’s smoked, pulled pork sandwich, chips, (Lay’s, we hope you advertise or link us someday-see pic!) and a drink, all for seven bucks!  GREAT deal and a GREAT cause because this organization helps provide a shoe closet and school supplies for the community, and they raise money for scholarships as well.  Please support them in more ways than buying a sandwich when you get a chance.

Let’s get back to the food.  Jay, I don’t know what wood you smoked the pork with, and I don’t need too.  All I know is when I opened the wrapper…I gained a pound just by the smell.  Then I added the Flying V barque (I hate spelling barque.  Kinda’ like I hate spelling Albuque) sauce on it, and a few more pounds were added!  Sorry Doc. Cap asked the creator of that sweet ‘n tangy, delicious sauce if she would share her recipe on our blog.  Her quick reply, “Nope, but you can buy it in locations in Childress and way down the road in Stratford, TX!  Check that out when you get a chance!

We used the Lay’s potato chips (sponsor please) as a palate cleanser for the next stand. Can’t eat just one palate cleanser.

Oh well!

 

 

 

 

Next stop, Tokyo! That’s for my kids, if they read this dang thing. They’ll think that was funny, funny!

It was Quanah, TX.  We weren’t late to Quanah.  In the past, I had only driven through Quanah and knew nothing about the town, so when we pulled into the stadium, I saw that arrow in the ground and the word, “Indians,” and I didn’t have great hope for good food.  My history class in high school was a long time ago.  All I could think of was corn and buffalo. (tatonga)  I think that’s how it’s spelled.

BOY! WAS I WRONG!

The lady at the gate let us in free.  After hearing what we are up to with this food blog, she said, “Boy, I hope it’s good tonight!”   It was!  Ms. Melissa ran the stand. Quanah’s  proceeds go to THE PRIDE OF THE TRIBE QUANAH INDIANS BAND. They fed 76 band members that night! Good for you. The band members got a great, great burger.

Here is a little history.  Melissa and crew used the new grill for the first time that night.  They received many donations for the grill and the new cooler. So, from us for them, Thanks!

Those of you that grill know half the flavor from the grill is from the old previous smoke. NOT TONIGHT!  The burger was just like eating one from home. Better actually. It had a great, smoky taste and it was fresh. GOOD!

 

 

 

 

 

We try to ask someone at the stand to recommend the best thing on the menu or the specialty. Ms. Melissa said, “Tonight it is the Mexican stack!”  IT STACKED UP!  I mean, TALL. It was loaded with her specially seasoned ground beef, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, sour cream, and jalapenos all over Fritos. (link and advertise, please)

Messy, delicious, satisfying,   …and we needed a nap!

The big hit for me was what the guy behind me in the line suggested.  I’m sorry I forgot his name.  Please see reference above about my memory and the length of my hair.  When you ask someone what they are going to eat and they say, “I’m gonna’ get three of them!” well, you better get one!  The chili cheese dog was the BOMB!  I love hot dogs.  I know my dogs. That was the whole litter of dogs!  That guy new the story too. The chili was the K&R restaurant recipe.  I am assuming it was a local joint.  BOW-WOW-WOW!  Fantastic, cheese drippin’ all over the dog, chili just the right consistency, not too thick, not too runny, PERFECT chili cheese dog! We ate that too fast to get a picture!

Childress, you were at a disadvantage on Friday. That was our fault, and as promised, we will be back to have another taste!

 

 

That said.  Quanah won Week One of FOOD FIGHT FRIDAY NIGHT!   

See you next week!

 

Let the FUN Begin!

High school football season will soon kick off, and for a couple that loves road trips, sports, and FOOD, it creates an opportunity to combine the three into a weekly Friday “date night”!  Darren, my guy, laid awake one night hashing out this idea a month or so ago, and since then we have devised what we think is the perfect plan.

“What,” you ask, “Are we up to?”

We are going on a weekly adventure to find the BEST home-town CONCESSION STAND FOOD!

When I was a kid, growing up in Gruver, a very small town in the Texas panhandle, concession stand food, in my memory, was fabulous!  The baseball concession stand comes to mind with its homemade chili to top Frito pies.  You know the ones that scalded your hands because the bags of corn chips were just slit down the sides and topped with piping hot goodness.  In high school, I remember I couldn’t wait to play basketball in Sunray because they had the most delicious, juicy hamburgers.  When my kids and I moved to Panhandle, football season meant getting to devour the famous cheese on a stick.  Since that time, while pulling our weight in fundraising for clubs or raising our kids and attending various sporting events, Darren and I have eaten, for lack of a better word, TONS of concession stand food!  In our weekly escape, we will set out to taste-test the best of the best, visiting towns all over the state and making some awesome new memories.

Each Friday we will pick two or three (or more) concession stands to visit.  We will sample, fill out a scorecard, and report back on our blog the following Saturday.

Score Card

Pretty simple, but we also want it to be fun for the organizations that are running the stands. So we’re using the “food fight” to promote your club, school, etc.  You can invite us!  You can send recipes for us to post on the blog!  We will advertise  your specialty foods!  Right here on…

Food Fight Friday Night!

What could be better than writing about your best concession stand fare and hopefully sending more patrons your way to raise more money for the groups doing the work?

Each week you can visit this site, see pictures of our destinations and the delicious food we taste, and join in the fun!

We’ll kick off on Friday, September 7th!

Oh!  Check out the great recipe in the menu above!   😉

See you soon!

Darren and Cappi