February 2004 Issue

On the Cover

The Man Who Isn’t There

In word and deed, the George W. Bush now residing in the White House bears little resemblance to the Texas governor I gladly sent to Washington. That's why I'm so ambivalent about reelecting him.



Life During Wartime

Most of the 42,000 soldiers stationed at Fort Hood, one of the largest military installations in the world, are in Iraq or preparing to go. Meanwhile, the loved ones who are left behind wait—and hope they don't hear an unexpected knock at the door.

Where to Eat Now 2004

Now serving: the best new restaurants in Texas, including a glamorous international kitchen in Dallas, a hot sushi spot in Austin, and—the best of them all—a drop-dead room with a globe-trotting menu in Houston.

Family Man

To his suburban Dallas neighbors, Todd Becker was a doting husband and devoted father. They had no clue that he led a secret, lucrative life as a safecracker.


Great Outdoors

Arrested Development

The flat-as-a-mouse-pad landscape bordering the Laguna Madre contains one of the greatest wildlife-viewing regions in North America—and that's not all.

Cartwright's Texas

The Verdict

Getting Robert Durst acquitted might be too tall an order for most lawyers, but for Dick DeGuerin, it was just another day at the office.



Off the Wall

Call it "Glove Story": Being the president of the international Michael Jackson Fan Club means never having to say you're sorry—even now.


Texas Tidbits

Texas Tidbits

The Laguna Madre, which runs from Corpus Christi Bay to Port Isabel, is one of the most undeveloped areas of coastline in the United States.


Attention, Houston: Claire Smith is back. Residents of the Bayou City became the young chef’s loyal followers during the six years that she owned the Daily Review Cafe and mourned when, in 2000, she decamped for Chicago. Happily, it didn’t take too long for her to come to her senses

Pat's Pick

On The Road

Eat! They Said In the game of Where To Eat When on the Road, the surprises behind doors 1, 2, and 3 really aren’t surprises at all. There’s your standard please-drive-forward-and-pick-up-at-the-window hamburger, your country-kitchen chicken-fried steak (which is sometimes simply shoe leather slopped with gravy), and your Italian bread salad

Season’s Eatings

That’s Amore If your relationship (with your sweetie or with chocolate) needs a jump start this Valentine’s, try one of these novel Texas-made gifts. Austin’s Dr. Chocolate (512-454-0555) promises to cure the Valentine’s Day doldrums with one of its Pizzas d’Amore, cleverly garnished with candied cherries (standing in for pepperoni)

Books That Cook

Books That Cook

The Texas Travel Industry Association’s Texas Cooking is a cookbook with an agenda—to make you want to experience Texas. Organized by regions of the state rather than by dishes, this cookbook combines descriptions of the state’s geography, history, and tourist destinations with interesting recipes.The cookbook begins with an overview of


Chocolate Cherry Croissant Bread Pudding

Recipe from Chef-owner Claire Smith and chef Jeb Stuart, Shade, Houston.Chocolate Cherry Croissant Bread Pudding8 croissants 1 cup semisweet chocolate chunks 1 cup sun-dried cherries 6 egg yolks 1/2 cup sugar 1 quart heavy cream, reserve 1/4 cup for Bourbon Sauce (recipe below) 1 tablespoon vanilla extract 2 tablespoons Creme

Image Maker

Associate photography editor Leslie Baldwin discusses assigning photographers, editing pictures, and researching George W. Bush

Web Exclusive

True Crime

Journalists around the nation wanted access to Todd Becker, the all-American dad who also ran a safe-stealing ring, but only executive editor Skip Hollandsworth got him to talk.




HOT TIME IN THE CITY It takes a lot of planning to get ready for the nation’s biggest party. Just ask Houston city officials, who have been preparing for Super Bowl XXXVIII for the past three years. Those who want to revel in the hoopla can attend any (or all)



WHAT, THIS OLD THING? Some women think about killing out of jealousy or love. Others for a Judith Leiber handbag. To fans of Leiber’s work, “handbag” is a dirty word; they prefer “minaudière.” They’ll speak breathlessly of the tiny sparkling jewels or the shapes: the asparagus, the springer spaniel, the



AUSTIN POWER Let me set you a scene, one I’ve participated in often during many a pleasantry-exchanging encounter: “So where are you from?” inquires a new acquaintance. “Austin,” I reply, with a smile on my face. “Oh, you must love it. Austin’s a great city.” Time and time again, I’ve



A MUSE, ME Fernande Olivier must have been a heck of a girl. At least Picasso seems to have thought so between the spring and fall of 1909, when his imagination was so captured by her that he produced more than sixty heads, busts, and half- and full-length cubist representations

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