Texas Wine of the Month: Hilmy Cellars Saignée of Sangiovese 2013

This wine, by Hilmy Cellars, is called Saignée of Sangiovese, named for its production method. Saignée is a by-product of red winemaking. During the fermentation of a red wine, about ten percent of the juice is bled off. This process leaves a higher ratio of skin contact on the remaining juice, making the resulting red wine richer and bolder. The leftover bled wine or “Saignée” is then fermented into rosé.

Lanna Thai

As the only area restaurant dedicated solely to Thai food, Lanna shoulders high expectations from local devotees of the cuisine. We found the entrées to be hit or miss. The curry and coconut milk of the massaman curry, for instance, was pleasant with a slight sweetness, but the “medium heat” we requested resulted in no heat at all, and the added chicken was on the dry side. The green curry sauce of the Tornado Shrimp offered much more flavor, vegetables that were fresh and crisp, and a welcome touch of spice. (5/14)

Uptown/Top Ranking

One of the most exciting new bars in Texas is Wonderland, from the creative mind of Austin barman Jason Stevens. Stevens’s impressive résumé includes a long stint heading up the bar program at chef David Bull’s acclaimed Congress restaurant, and the same team is behind this latest venture. 

Texas Dreamin’

Like a scene from an old western, the streets of big Texas cities are littered with the bleached bones of famous restaurants from afar. Their owners thought they would open here to thunderous applause, only to discover that cracking the Texas code is harder than it seems. Remember Craft, BLT Steak, and Charlie Palmer, in Dallas? Or Bank and Katsuya, in Houston? What about Coyote Cafe, in Austin? The longest-lived, Tom Colicchio’s Craft, lasted only six years.

German Potato Salad

It’s picnic season, a time when we congregate at long tables laden with hearty mains and their humble sidekicks. And the heavyweight among the latter is undoubtedly potato salad, its lustrous bulk crushing limp-noodled macaroni salads and insipid slaws alike. Indeed, the dressed spuds are best buds with all kinds of edibles, like burgers and fried chicken and, of course, barbecue.

As You Might Expect, All Of The Most "Taco-Crazed" Cities In America Are In Texas

Real estate blog Estately.com has proven, incontrovertably, something that we all already knew was true: Texans like tacos more than anybody else likes tacos.

In a post on Estately called "The Most/Least Taco-Crazed Cities In America," the blog analyzed the fifty largest cities in the U.S. to determine which cities loved tacos the most, and which city residents were content to drive through a Taco Bell. The methodology is perhaps a bit suspect, but quantifying taco love is an inherently subjective enterprise, and we'll give them some credit for at least revealing how they came up with the list: 

To determine the level of taco enthusiasm in the largest 50 U.S. cities, Estately looked at three things.

  1. Percentage of each city’s restaurants serving tacos (souce: Yelp)
  2. Percentage of Facebook users in each city expressing interest in tacos (source: Facebook)
  3. Level of internet searches related to tacos (source: Google Trends)

We'll take just a moment here to savor a string of words like "level of Internet searches related to tacos," but then continue on with the list, in which each of the top five cities are right here in Texas—with seldom-remarked-upon Arlington taking the number one spot.

Behind Arlington, the list includes Fort Worth, Austin, Dallas, and San Antonio, while Houston clocks in at #9 (tied with Los Angeles)—behind taco-mad non-Texan cities like Long Beach, Oklahoma City, and San Diego. El Paso—the final Texas entry in the top fifty—lands at #15.

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