February 2012 Issue

Features

John Mueller (above left) at his trailer, in South Austin. Aaron Franklin (above right) at his restaurant, in East Austin.

Of Meat and Men

John Mueller was the heir to one of the great Texas barbecue dynasties. Aaron Franklin was an unknown kid from College Station who worked his counter. John had it all and then threw it all away. Aaron came out of nowhere to create the state’s most coveted brisket. Then John

Feature

Sex, Lies, and Hit Men!

Yvonne Stern knows that her husband, the wealthy Houston attorney Jeffrey Stern, had a steamy affair with a woman named Michelle Gaiser. And she knows full well that two years ago Gaiser hired a series of men to kill her. But she refuses to believe that Jeffrey was in on

The Paper Chase

Houston attorney Bill Kroger and state Supreme Court chief justice Wallace Jefferson are on a mission to rescue thousands of crumbling, fading, and fascinating legal documents from district and county clerks’ offices all over the state. Can they save Texas history before it’s too late?

Web

Feast

RESPLENDENT WITH crystal globes, Philippe Starck–designed transparent “ghost chairs,” and a smart black, white, and gray color scheme, Feast burst onto the scene in San Antonio’s vaguely bohemian Southtown neighborhood five months ago like a New York runway model crashing the ladies’ bridge club. Owner and principal designer Andrew Goodman

Sweet Symphony

How two rare Stradivarius violins at the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra brought Michael Shih and Swang Lin, who both grew up in Taiwan, together.

Miscellany

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes

For all the stories that we publish in TEXAS MONTHLY, there are always more that we don’t publish, usually because we run out of space and time. In a state that spans 261,232 square miles and contains 25,145,561 people, it’s a safe bet that the things we could

Cover Credit

Cover Credit

Photograph by Dan Winters. Food styling by Paige Fletcher. Styling by Lauren Smith Ford.

Roar of the Crowd

Roar of the Crowd

Breakfast Options While “Up and Eat ’Em” included many excellent places, any list that doesn’t mention Norma’s Cafe and the Mecca, in Dallas; the Elite, in Waco; or Ol’ South Pancakes, in Cowtown, is seriously flawed [December 2011]. 
Bill Robinette
Dallas You missed the best: Kerbey Lane,

Columns

Letter From Ingleside on the Bay

His Town

In 2004, after Marty Rathbun left the Church of Scientology and settled on the Texas Gulf Coast, he thought he had put his difficult past behind him. Then the Squirrel Busters showed up.

Reporter

Ben Kweller

The musician and former front man for Radish on moving to Austin, pretending to be a label mogul, and getting his electric guitars out again.

How to Cut for Sign

After a harrowing skirmish with the Comanche in 1860, Charles Goodnight cut for sign to track down warriors who had escaped. That practice, in which a person searches for people or animals by “cutting,” or studying a section of land for clues, may seem like a lost art of the

Melanie Steele, Wig Master

Steele, a Colorado native, moved eleven years ago to Austin, where she is now the wig master for the Austin Lyric Opera. She has toured the U.S. and Mexico with the Broadway production of The Lion King and served on the beauty crew of the world premiere of Elton John’s

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