Searching for the best food the state has to offer, plus authentic Texas recipes and restaurant reviews for Houston, Dallas, Austin, Fort Worth, San Antonio, El Paso, and everywhere in between.

Texas Wine of the Month: Pedernales Cellars Tempranillo Reserve 2010

This year kicks off with a Tempranillo for Texas Wine of the Month. By now, you should be fairly familiar with the prevalence of this grape. It’s turning heads in Texas blends (McPherson Cellars La Herencia) as well as in single-varietal wines (Inwood Estates Vineyards “Cornelius” Tempranillo). This month, we celebrate a wine devoted solely to Tempranillo grapes—most of which were grown in the Hill Country. It’s an elegant representation of just how great this grape can be in Texas. In fact, it was one of the top 10 Texas Monthly Wines of 2012. And it comes from a winery in Stonewall that continues to make strides in the emerging Texas wine industry.

Disabled Texans Celebrate The 25th Anniversary Of The Americans With Disabilities Act By Filing A Lawsuit

The Americans with Disabilities Act has been the law of the land since 1990. It was signed by President Bush — the first one — and carried a number of provisions ensuring that disabled Americans would have access to equal opportunities.  One guarantee in the law was public accommodations, which required businesses open to the public to be made accessible to disabled customers. But that provision led to a spate of lawsuits in Texas this week, with 32 businesses — including 14 in Austin with a very specific clientele — on the receiving end of the anti-discrimination suits. As the Austin American-Statesman explains: 

The Austin businesses named in the suit include Rainey Street bars Icenhauer’s and Blackheart, and Whisler’s in East Austin; restaurants Curra’s Grill and Dan’s Hamburgers; tattoo parlor All Saints Tattoo; for-profit plasma donation center BPL Plasma; transportation services Austin Overtures Corporation and U.S. Coachways; and men’s clothing store Collective Status.

Also included are three owners of food truck court property on Rainey and Sixth streets that the lawsuits say are inaccessible to those with mobility disabilities: Fremont Holdings, MOQUI and La Corsha Hospitality Partners. Also named is LAZ Parking, which runs a parking lot north of Rainey Street.

Texas Takes On New York: Manhattan Clam Chowder Con Gulf Oysters

July 1, 2015, is a date that will live in infamy. The state of Texas was suddenly and deliberately attacked by the Twitter and blog forces of the New York Times Empire’s food section, whose heinous guacamole recipe is, without a doubt, one of the most alarming and disgusting weapons of mass destruction ever unleashed in the history of mankind:

With those eight words, and that horrid recipe, war was launched between the culinary forces of two great nations. Peagate had begun. So here is our plan of attack. It’s a simple one, but we believe it will be effective: We asked Texas-bred chefs living everywhere from San Antonio to Dallas to the very belly of the Gotham beast to chime in with amazing and breathtaking spins on classic New York dishes.

Listen To Willie Nelson and Robin Wright Host A Podcast About Texas Kitchens

Willie Nelson’s resume is robust: musician, actor, author, activist, entrepreneur, card-trick expert, and more. And now he can add podcast host to the list.  Nelson guest hosted Davia Nelson (no relation) and Nikki Silva’s Hidden Kitchens Texas, a spin-off of the NPR series Hidden Kitchens, which explores the culture and community birthed from canteens. The crooner paired up with another famous Texan who’s seen some kitchens worth nothing in the Lone Star State—Claire Underwood/Princess Buttercup herself, Robin Wright. 

Here are a few takeaways from the 28-minute collection of stories. 

Austin Sparkling Water Start-Up Rambler Wants To Help You Break Your Topo Chico Addiction

As addictions go, sparkling water is pretty benign — it’s as healthy as regular water, with the only real risk being the possibility of burping on a date or something. And that’s good news, because in the non-alcoholic beverage world, sparkling water is as hot as it gets. It’s like methadone or nicotine gum for recovering soda addicts looking to score some of the same satisfaction without drinking a zillion calories a day. 

Here in Texas, “sparkling water” is basically another name for Topo Chico. The 120-year-old company out of Monterrey, Mexico, bottles its gold in the name of an old Aztec legend. It’s the choice of bar-goers looking for a soft drink, bartenders looking for a mixer, or anyone who wants some fizz without any calories or artificial whatevers. But its supremacy is about to get a new challenger in the form of Austin-based Rambler, a sparkling water brand launched by a group of businessmen who plan to make “filtered with Texas limestone” the new buzz phrase in the sparkling water game. 

Meet the Winemaker

How Wes Mickel, a trained chef and hobbyist beer brewer found his way to being one of the first cider makers in Texas is a question he still asks himself on a regular basis. The Arkansas native took on the challenge of making cider from Texas-grown apples purely by happenstance. But as his Argus Cidery in West Austin has grown in popularity and production, he’s found a variety of ways to make dry and off-dry ciders using apples from Texas and Arkansas, and even Mexican pineapple. 

Blind Lemon Sour

The importance of aroma is obvious to anyone who has ever attempted to eat while congested: when our sense of smell is compromised, much of our sense of taste goes with it. Given its significance, it is surprising that the aromatic component of most cocktails is an afterthought, often little more than a zest or peel of citrus. 

Pie in the Sky

It didn’t take me long to see the sights in the miniopolis of Coleman. On a meandering tour of the town of 4,500, a little southeast of Abilene, I cruised past the Shoppin’ Baskit, the county farm bureau, a pawn shop, a family dental center, a plethora of churches, and an even greater plethora of empty buildings. Near the square, I peered through rosebushes to spy on a black-and-white cat asleep on the porch of a once fine old house.

Cornbread

Chili and cornbread. Beans and cornbread. Stuffing with cornbread. The dish is in the cast of many menus, but it always gets stuck in the supporting role. No doubt cornbread’s long history (think hardscrabble predecessors like ash cakes) and cornmeal’s ubiquity in the diet of our forebears led some to take it for granted.

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