November 1999


Water Under the Bridge

Nov 1, 1999 By Paul Burka

Henry Cisneros’ power derived from his ability to bring people together. It was supposed to get him elected governor, senator, president. He’s finally the president, all right —of a Spanish-language TV network. And all thoughts of a career in public life are in the past.

Joy of Mex: San Antonio

Nov 1, 1999 By Texas Monthly

Aldaco’s 100 Hoefgen, Sunset Station; from downtown, go east on Market Street under I-37, north on the service road, right on Commerce, and right on Hoefgen; 210-222-0561. Last year twelve tables, this year fifty: Tiny Aldaco’s has moved into a cavernous but spiffily remodeled railroad terminal practically next door…

Joy of Mex: Reynosa, Mexico

Nov 1, 1999 By Texas Monthly

La Fogata Calle Matamoros Ote. 750, 011-52-89-22-47-72. A great place to cool your heels after tramping around Reynosa. The white walls, dark carved-wood bar, and arched stone window frames exude serenity. Cabrito (order the shoulder cut) is tender; the butterflied beef filet (medium-well-done unless you specify otherwise) comes…

Joy of Mex: Nuevo Laredo, Mexico

Nov 1, 1999 By Texas Monthly

EL DORADO Belden at Ocampo, 011-52-87-12-00-15. The point of visiting the former, original Cadillac Bar is not to eat, though you can certainly do that here. The point is, and always has been, to have an ethereal Ramos Gin Fizz, laugh and carry on, see somebody you haven’t seen…

Joy of Mex: McAllen

Nov 1, 1999 By Texas Monthly

MARIA BONITA 1612 N. Eleventh, 956-687-7181. Carved lava-stone columns add a touch of Mexican character to an otherwise unremarkable space, and the food is more authentic than is the norm hereabouts. Grilled items, a specialty, are served on tabletop braziers to keep them hot (ask for a platter so…

Joy of Mex: Matamoros, Mexico

Nov 1, 1999 By Texas Monthly

BIGO’S PARRILLA Avenida Alvaro Obregón 48 at Azucenas, 011-52-88-16-25-29, and one other location; personal checks accepted, no credit cards.“Todo al carbón” (“Everything’s grilled”) at this little brick-fronted cafe on a major tourist strip. Families and dates chow down on good, smoky fajita meat in the world’s smallest corn tortillas.

Joy of Mex: Laredo

Nov 1, 1999 By Texas Monthly

COTULLA STYLE PIT B.B.Q. 4502 McPherson, 956-724-5747. You can get decent, not-too-Americanized Mexican food at busy, barnlike Cotulla, which is famous for its barbecue and its huge variety of mariachis (borderspeak for “soft tacos”). Guacamole: 4.5 (avocado and fixings). Chips: 3. Salsa: 1 (totally bland). EL TACO…

Joy of Mex: Ciudad Juarez, Mexico

Nov 1, 1999 By Texas Monthly

CASA DEL SOL Avenida Lincoln at Calle Ignacio Mejía, 011-52-16-13-65-09 or 16-00-88. Casa del Sol makes the most original chile relleno in Juárez—a beautifully simple ancho (a dried, ripe poblano that’s been plumped up) filled with sour cream and ricottalike panela cheese. It tastes like a sun-dried tomato, but…

Joy of Mex: Houston

Nov 1, 1999 By Texas Monthly

BLUE AGAVE 1340 West Gray, 713-520-9696. Order pollo gordo (“fat chicken”) and you’ll be gordo by the time you finish the generous breast stuffed with spinach and pepper cheese in chipotle cream. Your wallet, however, will be thin: Most entrée prices are in the teens. This trendy, exuberantly tacky…

Joy of Mex: Dallas

Nov 1, 1999 By Texas Monthly

CUQUITA’S 2326 N. Henderson, 214-823-1859; cash only. Pozole (hominy stew) and lengua (tongue) make the menu more Mex-Mex, but there’s plenty of Tex-Mex at this fine place. The homemade lemonade is a nice little appetizer all by itself, and you’ll still feel like ordering simple and flavorful burritos (bean,…

Joy of Mex: Galveston

Nov 1, 1999 By Texas Monthly

THE ORIGINALMEXICAN CAFE 1401 Market, 409-762-6001. With its bright, bouncy colors, paper flowers, and pots of bougainvillea on the patio, the Original could have been created by central casting. Depending on what you order, you’ll finish with a smile or a grimace. The fajitas Jalisco, so tantalizingly described on…

Joy of Mex: Austin

Nov 1, 1999 By Texas Monthly

CHANGO’S TAQUERIA 3023 Guadalupe, 512-480-8226. This bright little taquería near the university is great for a quickie (meal). The menu is minuscule, with mostly tacos and burritos, and you stand in line to order, but the corn tortillas are handmade right on the spot—a mesmerizing operation—and the food…

Joy of Mex: Fort Worth

Nov 1, 1999 By Texas Monthly

BENITO’S 1450 W. Magnolia Avenue, 817-332-8633. What a find! You’ll think you’ve died and gone to Mexico when you walk into this little old-fashioned place. Sopes—thick corn-cake tarts—come smeared with refried beans, grated cheese, and (unfortunately) tasteless green-chile sauce. A gigantic Oaxaca-style chicken-and-mole tamal wrapped in a banana leaf…

Place in the Heart

Nov 1, 1999 By Kathryn Jones

When you fall in love with a piece of land in Texas, you quickly learn that it changes. And it changes you.

The Outsiders

Nov 1, 1999 By Pamela Colloff

Amarillo is a city where conformity counts, so the death of a punk at the hands of a football player had more than a little symbolic significance there. So did the jury’s decision to keep the killer from going to jail.

The Joy of Mex: Recipes

Nov 1, 1999 By Texas Monthly

The Big Enchilada Enchiladas Zacatecanas from Las Manitas, Austin Quick: define “enchilada.” Most people would say it’s a rolled or folded tortilla filled with something savory, topped with a sauce, and blanketed in melted cheese. And that would certainly be one correct definition. But if you go by the etymology…

Joy of Mex: El Paso

Jan 20, 2013 By Texas Monthly

CAFE CENTRAL 109 N. Oregon at 1 Texas Court, 915-545-2233. This chic upscale spot is more a continental than a Mexican restaurant, but the Mexican dishes it does have are original and excellent, including wonderfully crisp bacon-wrapped prawns in a chipotle marinade, lovely puntas de filete (sliced tenderloin)…


Renaissance Man

Nov 1, 1999 By Jordan Mackay

Laugh not, wretch, at the man in the tights: Twenty-five years after George Coulam founded the Texas Renaissance Festival, it hath been a big success.

Wild Town

Nov 1, 1999 By Jesse Sublett

Through the eyes of novelist Jim Thompson, Fort Worth in the twenties seemed appropriately noir.

The Rap on Jazz

Nov 1, 1999 By Jeff Salamon

Is there a place in the genre for hip-hop influences? Houston pianist Jason Moran thinks so.

Time of Nic

Nov 1, 1999 By Michael Ennis

Sixteen years after rocketing into the Whitney Biennial, Dallas photographer Nic Nicosia is still on the cutting edge.

First Person
Eyes Wide Cut

Nov 1, 1999 By Jim Shahin

I can see without my glasses for the first time since childhood, which is why I’m a fan of LASIK surgery. But don’t take my word for it; ask Troy Aikman.

The Screenplayer

Nov 1, 1999 By brucegriffinhenderson

Anne Rapp’s first script for Robert Altman, Cookie’s Fortune, was critically acclaimed. The second is now being filmed in Dallas and stars Richard Gere. Not bad for a girl from a tiny Panhandle town.


Texas Primer
Mickey Leland

Nov 1, 1999 By Anne Dingus

DURING THE SIXTIES AND SEVENTIES, emotional issues abounded—civil rights, the Vietnam War, women’s liberation. But what outraged social activist Mickey Leland the most was hunger, and the fact that it existed in his own Houston neighborhood. Early on, Leland’s passion for helping the common people catapulted him into the spotlight.

Around the State
Around the State

Nov 1, 1999 By Texas Monthly

Ricky Martin brings his hipness (and hips) to Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio. Plus: The Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame in Hico rounds up a few heroes; a Spring Storm makes a fall premiere in Austin; the No Tsu Oh Festival turns Houston upside down (and backward); and four hot…

The Inside Story
Ally McMeal

Nov 1, 1999 By Eileen Schwartz

Forget the recipe secrets. What we want to know is how senior editor Patricia Sharpe—the Calista Flockhart of Texas Monthly—keeps her slender figure. For this month’s cover story on Mexican food (see “The Joy of Mex,”), Sharpe dined at more than 120 restaurants on both sides of the…

Roar of the Crowd
Hits and Misses

Nov 1, 1999 By Texas Monthly

FOR US TEXPATRIATES, JOHN CAMPBELL was an excellent choice for “The Texas Twenty” [September 1999]. We miss a lot about Texas and, in particular, Austin. Sadly, friends and co-workers in Southern California don’t get it when we rhapsodize about Central Market: “A grocery store? Whatever.” We try to explain the…

State Fare
State Fare

Jan 20, 2013 By Patricia Sharpe

From Francesca’s at the Westin La Cantera Resort in San Antonio.


Corn-Serrano Grits

Nov 1, 1999 By Texas Monthly

1 ear of corn 2 serrano chiles 1 cup yellow stone-ground corn grits 1 tablespoon basil, cut in strips 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil salt and freshly ground pepper to taste Preheat oven to 375 degrees or heat up a grill. Roast whole corn in…

Mojo Sauce

Nov 1, 1999 By Texas Monthly

3/8 cup olive oil 3/4 cup lime juice 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic 1/2 teaspoon cumin 1/4 cup fresh oregano (1/8 cup dried) 3/4 teaspoon salt Whisk ingredients together and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Margaritas From the Kentucky Club

Nov 1, 1999 By Texas Monthly

salt (coarse if available) 1 ounce white tequila (Herradura is excellent) 1 ounce Controy (Mexican orange liqueur) juice of 1 Mexican lime ice Moisten the rim of a cocktail glass with lime juice and invert in a saucer of salt. Shake tequila, liqueur, lime juice, and…

Cilantro—Pumpkin Seed Shrimp

Nov 1, 1999 By Texas Monthly

Cilantro—Pumpkin Seed Sauce 1 bunch cilantro (cut off large stems) 1/4 cup raw pepitas (pumpkin seeds) 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese or queso cotija 1 1/2teaspoons minced garlic 1/ 4cup olive oil Purée all ingredients in a blender to a pestolike consistency. Shrimp 2 tablespoons olive…

Chile Rellenos with Guajillo Sauce

Nov 1, 1999 By Texas Monthly

Guajillo Sauce 1 pound ripe Roma tomatoes 1 pound tomatillos, husks removed 1 large white onion, peeled and cut into eighths 6 cloves garlic, peeled 1 ounce guajillo chiles (approximately 4 chiles; guajillos are about 4 inches long, reddish-brown, and smooth-skinned; they are sometimes labeled “cascabel”…

Spicy Tomato-Avocado Salsa

Nov 1, 1999 By Texas Monthly

1/2 bunch cilantro (cut off large stems) 2 scallions, white part and some of the green stem 1/2 medium onion, peeled 2 tomatoes 2 serranos or 1 jalapeño, stemmed (seeded if you wish) 1 avocado, peeled 1/2teaspoon salt or to taste Divide first 6…

Enchiladas Zacatecanas

Nov 1, 1999 By Texas Monthly

Chicken Filling 1 whole frying chicken, giblets and excess fat removed 1/2 medium onion, peeled and sliced 1 clove garlic, peeled 1 tablespoon salt 2 tablespoons butter or margarine 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced 1/2 medium onion, peeled and chopped 1 medium…

Lamb Loin and Spicy Grits

Jan 20, 2013 By Texas Monthly

Corn-Serrano Grits 1 ear of corn 2 serrano chiles 1 cup yellow stone-ground corn grits 1 tablespoon basil, cut in strips 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil salt and freshly ground pepper to taste Preheat oven to 375 degrees or heat up a grill. Roast whole…


Hot Box
CD and Book Reviews

Nov 1, 1999 By Texas Monthly

MUSIC Roy Orbison The Roy Orbison Official Authorized Bootleg CollectionOrbison Records HOW TIMES HAVE CHANGED. Bootleggers of music, once reviled as thieves of intellectual property, are now being recognized as archivists, Bob Dylan’s “Royal Albert Hall” concert of 1966 being the most notable example. Now comes one of Texas’…

State Secrets
Divide and Conquer

Nov 1, 1999 By Paul Burka

What is George W. Bush up to? Twice he has criticized his own party, charging that congressional Republicans were trying to “balance the budget on the backs of the poor” and that the GOP has concentrated on economic issues at the expense of “human problems that persist in the shadow…

Sergio Troncoso

Nov 1, 1999 By Katy Vine

“I am a writer from a particular community in Texas,” says 38-year-old Sergio Troncoso. “It’s not even El Paso. It’s Ysleta, the east side of El Paso. I grew up around cotton fields and combines.” That environment has emerged in Troncoso’s stories years after he left for the East…

The Ex Files
Michael Nesmith

Nov 1, 1999 By Patricia McConnico

I knew what I wanted to do when I was four years old in nursery school and stood on a chair and pretended that I was directing an orchestra. When I was around nineteen, I was playing guitar and decided that I wanted to be a folksinger. But the problem…