Peace Out

was attempting to navigate the bar crowd near the front door—feeling like a disoriented tuna swimming through a school of cocktail-crazed sharks—when the irony hit me and I almost burst out laughing: Pax Americana, the restaurant’s name, is Latin for, on a strictly literal level, “American peace.” Peace!!! Really?!! Maybe I was addled from the jostling, but the contradiction struck me as hilarious.

The Other White Meat

Two hours before go time at the World Championship BBQ Goat Cook-off, in Brady, a fellow judge and I are surveying the cooking rigs. The smell of lighter fluid hangs heavy in the air as we walk past the booth of one contestant, where a nearly raw half carcass is roasting on a spit. “I hope we don’t get that one at our table,” my colleague whispers to me, despairing of the possibility of tasting gas fumes when he bites into his lunch.

Texarkana, on the Rocks

The Sabbath is coming to a close in Bowie County, and in the glow of a lavender late-summer Sunday evening, Pastor Dave Seifert, of Wake Village’s Twin Cities’ Baptist Temple, is watching his flock depart. Almost twenty years ago, Seifert came to this county in the northeast corner of the state to get away from the rest of the world. But the world’s evils have followed him here, and now they’re nipping at the heels of the faithful.

Quail

Its hard out there for a quail. Or at least it has been for the past few years. Our bobwhites and blues have been under attack from a confluence of harmful forces that seem designed to quell quail reproduction, among them drought, pesticides, and, worst of all, diminishing habitat. And let’s not leave out the parasitic eye worm recently discovered by researchers at Texas Tech, a nematode whose disgusting habits I’ll save for a non-food-related column.

Texas Wine of the Month: Lewis Wines Swim Spot White Wine, 2013

Before the dog days of summer run their course in Texas—which is probably not any time soon—this month’s Texas wine pick is a perfect patio sipper designed to evoke sentimental memories of taking a dip in your favorite Texas swim spot. Whether it’s a spring-fed river, a lanquid lake, a quite strip of coastal beach, or simply your backyard pool, this refreshing white wine is a perfect way to bid a fond farewell to summer. 

Fate Bell Cup

When Qui opened last year, it did so to a seemingly endless amount of hype. One year in, the bar at Qui is at the top of its game, having won the 2014 Official Drink of Austin competition (presented by the Austin Food and Wine Alliance and yours truly) with a boozed-up tepache, a fermented-pineapple beverage popular in Mexico. 

Southern State of Mind

journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step—unless it’s on a Greyhound bus.

It was the winter of 2012, and 34-year-old Michael Fojtasek had some time between jobs. He and his partner, Grae Nonas, 28, also a chef, badly wanted to open a restaurant in Austin, their adopted home. Fojtasek had grown up in Dallas in a family with Southern roots, and his enthusiasm had rubbed off on Nonas, who is from New England. 

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