A Homesick Texan’s Guide to New York

There are times, no matter where you are, when you must have a nacho. 

“Mexican food and barbe­cue” is the answer nine out of ten Texans in Manhattan will chorus when quizzed on what they miss the most, be­cause New York versions of both are really rotten. “I go to Texas a lot so I can eat Mexican food when I’m there, but in New York I find I have to act like a dictator to get it decent enough to eat,” says Dan Jenkins, a Sports Il­lustrated writer and author of Semi-Tough. “I always have to ask what kind of cheese they’re putting in the enchila­das and make sure they don’t put sour cream on top.” Other Texans in New York are just as specific about what they miss. “Chicken-fried steak and my family,” says Abilene’s Joe Armstrong, publisher of Rolling Stone magazine. “I make a lot of long-distance phone calls home and I visit my friend Liz Smith, the writer and Texan, who cooks chicken-fried steak whenever I get hungry for it.” Denton’s Dan Casey, an architect with Edward Larrabee Barnes, misses dining outdoors. “The way I remedy it is to borrow my neighbor’s roof terrace when they go on vacation, which isn’t often enough!” Casey’s wife, Karen, who’s with Oxford Press, misses french-fried onion rings from Austin’s Split Rail. Laurie Jones from Kerrville, a New York magazine senior editor, can’t get enough cans of Rotel tomatoes for her chili con queso recipe or Pace picante sauce. “Friends bring it up by the box load and when my parents come they bring frozen tamales from Kerrville’s Tamale Factory.”

Journalist Merry Clark, a former Daily Texan editor, still has her mother send her clippings from the campus newspaper. Eddye Lou Hock, who’s from Austin, an assist­ant buyer with the May Com­pany, misses the sounds of Texas, “especially summer sounds like insects in trees and lawn mowers

More Texas Monthly

Loading, please wait...