Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Christmas Is Lighting Bright All Over Texas

Like a lot of things in Texas, Santa can be a bit larger than life in the Lone Star State.

You may even come across a Santa Claus brandishing a machine gun from a Texas business rooftop, or armadillos brandishing candy canes, like you see here, underneath Santa on the Longhorn.

In Texas you will find plenty of extravagant Christmas displays, all over the state.

Neighborhood displays, such as the Interlochen neighborhood in Arlington's Christmas light extravaganza which draws so many people police must direct  the traffic.

In East Texas you'll find the Holiday Trail of Lights which trails from six cities in two states, the towns of Marshall, Kilgore and Jefferson in Texas, plus Shreveport,  Bossier City and Natchitoches in Louisiana.

In Texas Hill Country you will find the Hill Country Regional Lighting Trail which runs through the towns of Boerne, Burnet, Dripping Springs, Fredericksburg, Goldthwaite, Johnson City, Llano, Marble Falls, New Braunfels, Round Mountain and Wimberley. In the New Braufels part of the Hill Country Lighting Trail you will find Santa's Ranch, with a Christmas Light Park drive through over a million lights.

Go to our Eyes on Texas Christmas in Texas webpage for information about many of the dozens of Texas Christmas Festivals, including those in Austin, Belton, Canton, Cleburne, College Station, Columbus, Denton, Fort Worth, Galveston, Granbury, Grapevine, Grand Prairie, Jefferson, Johnson City, Marlin, Marshall, McKinney, San Angelo, San Antonio, Richmond,  Texarkana, Tomball, Waxahachie and Wimberley.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Coconut Cake at Sam's Original Restaurant & BBQ in Fairfield Texas

Years ago, sometime near the turn of the century, on a road trip from the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex to Houston and Galveston, something motivated a freeway exit to a place called Sam's Original Restaurant & BBQ.

It may have been a billboard mentioning a buffet at Sam's which was what caused the exit from the freeway.

What is definitely remembered is what a pleasant experience Sam's Original Restaurant was, so much so that a return stop was made on the way back north, and again a year or two later, with Sam's as the destination for a birthday lunch buffet.

Sam's Original Restaurant & BBQ is located in Fairfield, Texas, a town on I-45, north of Huntsville, south of Corsicana.

Several things made the Sam's experience memorable. One was the hot out of the over loaf of whole wheat bread, with butter, appearing as soon as one gets seated. The various BBQed meats were memorably good. But, it was the coconut cake that really sticks in the memory. It was the memory of the coconut cake which probably caused the repeat visits, and this from someone who is not much of a dessert fan.

The screencap above is from the Sam's Original Restaurant & BBQ website.

On the Sam's website we learned the charming story of how Sam's came to be....

In the year 1906 Samuel Augustus Daniel was born. Cooking was always in his blood. At the young age of nine he worked for Mr. Joe Roller in downtown Fairfield selling chili and Hokey Pokey. Sammy quit school in the eighth grade and opened his own hamburger stand. People liked his burgers so much that they called them “Sam Burgers.” During the ‘30s and ‘40s he owned several other eating places, including a popcorn and a hot dog stand on the square in Fairfield. In January 1944 Sammy married Doris Wayne Childs. In 1953 Sammy and Doris opened a small BBQ stand on the south side of town on Highway 75.

It was at this little stand, which had sawdust floors, old school desks for tables and surplus army tin trays for plates that Sammy perfected his BBQ sauce recipe. Doris was busy as well, developing her skills at making the homemade pies and desserts that everyone loves.

Sammy and Doris moved their family to Delaware in 1963 where they remained for three years. They missed Fairfield and their friends so they moved back home and opened another restaurant on highway 75 south of town. It was here where they first started making the homemade bread that is so famous.

Anyone in the mood for a road trip to Sam's Original Restaurant & BBQ? Anyone have any idea what hokey pokey is?

Thursday, December 4, 2014

The Fort Worth Stockyards with the Fort Worth Herd

The Fort Worth Stockyards are the location of Fort Worth's one and only claim to tourist fame.

And Where the West Begins.

The Fort Worth Stockyards are our favorite place to people watch on a Hot summer day in Texas.

Year round the Fort Worth Stockyards attract visitors from all over the world, looking to experience some of the Old American West.

Twice a day, weather permitting, there is a Cattle Drive of the Fort Worth Herd of Longhorns down Exchange Avenue through the heart of the Stockyards. The Herd of Longhorns includes Cowboys and a Cowgirl, or two, as herd drivers.

The Fort Worth Stockyards has a lot of good places to eat. One of our favorites is having All You Can Eat Ribs at Riscky's BBQ, while enjoying the view from the weather protected patio.

H3 Ranch is another good place  to get smoky meats. Connected to H3 Ranch is Booger Red's Saloon, where you can sit on a saddle seat have yourself a mug of Buffalo Butt Beer. Above that is Gar the Texan and one of his ex-wives enjoying a Buffalo Butt Beer in Booger Red's.

Across the street from Booger Red's you'll find Tim Love's Love Shack with another weather protected outdoor eating and music listening area.

Go to our Eyes on Texas webpage  about the Fort Worth Stockyards where you will find a lot of Stockyards information and photos.

For a closer look at the Fort Worth Herd go to our Fort Worth Herd in the Stockyards webpage.

To see the Fort Worth Herd in motion along with other parts of the Stockyards, like the Love Shack, watch the video below...