August 2003 Issue


New Orleans Destination Information

Getting ThereThere are nonstop or direct (one stop) flights to New Orleans from Austin (American, Southwest), Dallas’ Love Field (Southwest), DFW (American, Delta), Houston Bush Intercontinental (Continental), Houston Hobby (Southwest), and San Antonio (Southwest).Eating and SleepingBRIGTSEN’S723 Dante 504-861-7610 dinner entrées $17-$26CAFE DU MONDE800 Decatur 504-525-4544 café au

New Mexico Destination Information

Getting ThereThere are nonstop or direct (one stop) flights to Albuquerque from Austin (Southwest), Dallas’ Love Field (Southwest), DFW (American, Delta), El Paso (Frontier, Southwest), Houston Bush Intercontinental (Continental), Houston Hobby (Southwest), and San Antonio (Delta, Southwest). Ojo Caliente is a two-and-a-half-hour drive from the airport via Interstate 25

About a Girl

Audra Thomas can't read these words and, in a few months, wouldn't remember them anyway. Nevertheless, she has an extraordinary sense of the world around her—and of herself.


Little Shop of Horrors

If you've ever thought of donating your body to science, read what happened at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston—and then ask yourself if a good, old-fashioned burial might not be a better idea.


Making Waves

Photographer Kenny Braun has been surfing the Gulf Coast for about thirty years. So naturally, when the water's just right, he grabs his . . . camera.

Running for His Life

Ten years ago, on a mountaintop in Africa, about to be burned alive by tribal warriors, a teenager saved himself the only way he knew how. Even today, he wonders why he survived.

Ojo Caliente, New Mexico

I THINK MY AIRLINE CONSPIRED TO heighten my appreciation of Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs, a venerable resort between Taos and Santa Fe. After a roller-coaster flight through turbulence east of Albuquerque, the loss of my baggage, and the always-ego-boosting search for an emergency swimsuit, I was more than ready to

Las Vegas Destination Information

Getting ThereThere are nonstop or direct (one stop) flights to Las Vegas from Austin (Southwest), DFW (America West, American, Delta), El Paso (Southwest), Houston Bush Intercontinental (Continental), Houston Hobby (Southwest), and San Antonio (Southwest).Eating and SleepingHUGO’S CELLAR202 Fremont (in the Four Queens Casino) 702-385-4011 It’s so Old Vegas.

Las Vegas, Nevada

GOLF IS NOT NORMALLY THE first thing that comes to mind when you think of Las Vegas. Casino owners have invested billions of dollars to keep you playing indoor games; they want you thinking about slots, not shots. Despite these odds, Las Vegas is becoming one of the top golfing

San Diego Destination Information

Getting ThereThere are nonstop or direct (one stop) flights to San Diego from Austin (American, Southwest), DFW (American, Delta, Frontier), El Paso (Southwest), Houston Bush Intercontinental (Continental), and Houston Hobby (Southwest).Eating and SleepingAL’S IN-THE-VILLAGE CAFE795 Carlsbad Village Dr., Carlsbad 760-729-5448 entrées $4.95-$8.95COLD STONE CREAMERY2967 Carlsbad Blvd., Carlsbad

San Diego, California

AFTER WHAT MY DAUGHTER STERNLY reminds me are almost but not quite six and a half years of parenting, I have a few rules for taking the family away for the weekend: First, fly direct (because, these days, having to make a connection is an agita-inducing proposition). Second, spend no

Get Outta Here!

It's August in Texas. The dog days of summer are barking which means it's time to grab your loved ones and hop the first plane out of state. And you shouldn't go just anyplace. We're thinking of five weekend destinations in particular. Bag packed already?

Food and Drink

Tex-Mex 101

Nachos, tomatillo sauce, chile con queso——will the real Mexican food please stand up? A crash course in Texans’ favorite fusion fare.

New Orleans, Louisiana

WHEN IT COMES TO CONDITIONED responses, Pavlov’s dog has nothing on me. All you have to do is whisper the names of New Orleans’ fabled restaurants—Brennan’s, Galatoire’s, Commander’s Palace, K Paul’s, Bayona, Antoine’s, Emeril’s—and I’ll be salivating at the thought of snowy white crabmeat simmering in an ocean of butter

Colorado Destination Information

Getting ThereFirst, reserve a site for the weekend at the West Chicago Creek Campground (877-444-6777,; toilets, no showers; each site $11 a night); sites 5, 7, and 9 have the most privacy and the best views. There are nonstop or direct (one stop) flights to Denver from


Killing Time

Stephen Graham Jones's All the Beautiful Sinners is a wild-eyed thriller; Amanda Eyre Ward's Sleep Toward Heaven is a tale of grief, forgiveness, and the death penalty.


Bad Air Days

Historically, Southeast Texas and cancer have gone together like, well, pollution and disease. I wish I could say things were different today.



Rain of Error

For as long as there has been a Texas, there have been dry spells when people wished it would rain. One huckster actually tried to make it happen—with the financial backing of Congress.



Maytag Blue Potato Chips

Potato Chips2 1/2 large Yukon Gold potatoes 1 quart canola oil (for fryer) 1/4 teaspoon kosher saltOn a Japanese mandoline, slice the potatoes (skin on) at twice the thickness of a sheet of paper. Have a container of running warm to hot water for the sliced potatoes to

Happy Trails

Happy Trails

Athens has a great square, a freshwater fisheries center, and a fascinating history. Who needs the Acropolis?

Web Exclusive

Working Vacation

Senior editor Patricia Sharpe and writer-at-large Suzy Banks discuss this month's cover story, "Get Outta Here!"

Web Exclusive

Surfer Dude

Kenny Braun talks about waves, waterproof cameras, and the perfect picture.

Books That Cook

Books That Cook

Believe it or not, wine growing in Texas began in the mid-1600’s, when Spanish Franciscan monks planted the Spanish black grape in El Paso. Today, there are more than forty wineries in five grape-growing regions across the Lone Star State. In Touring Texas Wineries, the Cieslas present seven trails to


Fire Roasted Salsa

This salsa gets its smoky flavor and rich color from blistering the vegetables on the mesquite grill. The vegetables may be skewered and blackened over a gas range at home, but you’ll be missing out on the mesquite flavor. A closer alternative is to use soaked mesquite wood chips

Web Exclusive

Tex-Mex Restaurants

AUSTIN El Patio. 2938 Guadalupe, 512-476-5955. Open Mon-Sat 11 a.m. – 9:45 p.m.. Closed Sun. Juan in a Million. 2300 E. Cesar Chavez, 512-472-3872. Open Sun-Wed 7 a.m. – 3 p.m., Thur-Sat 7 a.m. – 8 p.m.. Matt’s El Rancho. 2613 S. Lamar Boulevard, 512-462-9333. Open Sun-Thur 11

Pat's Pick

Word of Mouth

NO BULLFood & Wine recently named David Bull, the 28-year-old executive chef at Austin’s Driskill Hotel, one of its ten best new American chefs of 2003. (Next month we’ll talk to Scott Tycer, of Aries in Houston, the other Texas chef to make the list.)Was there ever a moment when

Primary Flavors

LEAN AND GREEN You can find the slim, distinctive chiles called long greens or Anaheims growing in areas throughout the Southwest United States, but by almost universal assent, the ones cultivated around Hatch, New Mexico, are the best. Supposedly the local soil, altitude, and rainfall provide conditions that make these


NOT MY BACK YARD What’s in a name—or, rather, a slogan? To me, the “gourmet backyard cuisine” at Jasper’s in Plano is about 90 percent gourmet and 10 percent backyard (not that there’s anything wrong with that). What’s more, curtains made of bronze mesh and arty room dividers of pencil-thin




BACK TO THE FUTURE For those of you mid-thirtysomethings and early-fortysomethings who think you’re still cool, I’ve got news: Not. But this month, you can relive your glory days—the eighties. First, rent a few flicks (Sixteen Candles, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, and Valley Girl) to set the mood. Then,



SHAKE, RATTLE, AND ROLL When summertime playlists begin to sound like good elevator music and Paradise Hotel seems like quality TV programming, you know it’s time for a change. And there’s no better way to get rid of a funk than with some live tunes—rocking or otherwise. Check out the


Straight Talk

FOR THE GOOD TIMES Singer-songwriter Kris Kristofferson will be inducted by Willie Nelson into the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame in Carthage on August 16. I’ve always thought that Hawaii has a lot in common with Texas. My old friends always say I’ve gone back home. Oh, yeah?



COWBOY JUNKIESIf you’re anything like the city slicker I am, then the closest you’ve come to experiencing the West is through books and movies —not all of us have that urge to visit a working ranch à la Billy Crystal. But this month we can get even closer to rough-ridin’

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