November 2005 Issue



Dome Away From Home

Inside the Eighth Wonder of the World—the largest shelter ever organized by the American Red Cross—faith, hope, and charity helped the survivors of Hurricane Katrina begin the process of rebuilding their lives.

Pork Chops

AmarilloDecorated with faux-log-cabin walls and outdoorsman ephemera—“Closed till the fish stop biting” reads a chalkboard near the bar— Montana Mike’s is intended to look like a mountain fishing lodge in the heart of the flatlands. Skip the fish and order the thin-cut grilled chops, which come two to a plate

Meat Loaf

AustinA near-Platonic meat loaf emerges from the to-go window of Dot’s Place; the beefy slices crumble as you cut into them, melding with the tomatoey topping to form a sort of glorious, Southern-style Bolognese sauce. On Thursdays, meat loaf mavens go to Tony’s Southern Comfort for well-textured slices of this

Okra + Greens

AustinGreens always have an undercurrent of bitterness—that’s what makes them interesting. The yummy fresh collards at Dot’s Place (presently in temporary quarters and serving to-go only) balance the bitterness with salt. The humble spot’s stewed okra with juicy tomatoes gives that much-maligned vegetable a good name; the seasoning is Southern

Chicken-Fried Steak

AustinThe color is toasty-brown; the light fried batter is crisp and not too thick; the meat inside is tender—what more do you need to know about the admirable CFS at Tony’s Southern Comfort, a family-operated place in East Austin. A spunky and exceptionally crunchy envelope of fried batter surrounds a

House Specialties

Austin Whoa! You don’t get just some stringy bits when you order chicken and dumplings at Dot’s Place; you get whole pieces of baked chicken. The dumplings, somehow fluffy and substantial at once, may be the world’s best use of white flour. The heavenly nutmeg-and-clove-laced mashed sweet potatoes are not

Cornbread + Biscuits

AustinThe moist cornbread muffins at Dot’s Place walk the line between sweet and unsweet, so as not to offend patriots on either side of the great cornbread divide. Just remember the restaurant is serving to-go only these days. At Threadgill’s, the unsweet cornbread muffins have a bit of texture and

Fried Chicken

AustinTender, with outrageously crisp, well- battered skin, Monday’s bone-in chicken alone is worth a trip to the amenable digs of Tony’s Southern Comfort, where a card table up front displays mouthwatering pies, your reward for the easy task of cleaning your plate. DallasDallas’s well-nigh-mythical Highland Park Cafeteria lives on in


Mashed Potatoes

AustinCan mere mashed potatoes be bodacious? If so, the ones at Tony’s Southern Comfort qualify. Whipped to a fare-thee-well, they are anointed with a thinnish, mild cream gravy. The menu calls them “au gratin potatoes,” but the great cheesy, creamy, well-peppered spuds at Arkie’s Grill are more mashed than sliced;

Restaurant Directory

All restaurants accept major credit cards unless otherwise noted. AMARILLOMontana Mike’s, 4332 SW Forty-fifth Avenue, 806-353-3339. Open Sun—Thur 11—9, Fri & Sat 11—10.AUSTINArkie’s Grill, 4827 E. Cesar Chavez, 512-385-2986. Open Mon—Fri 5:30 a.m.—3 p.m.Dot’s Place, 13805 Orchid Lane, one block south of Howard Lane, 512-587-4222. Open Mon—Fri 11—2.Freddie’s Place, 1703

Pie + Cobbler

AustinThe apples in the filling are crisp, the spicing pitch-perfect, the crust reasonably flaky at unpretentious but agreeable Tony’s Southern Comfort, and the restaurant’s smooth, firm sweet-potato pie is equally worthy of a slice. And don’t overlook the peach cobbler, plenty sweet, with cinnamony crusts on top and bottom and

Yao Got Game

China’s most famous athletic export arrived in the U.S. as a seven-foot-four-inch seventeen-year-old who excelled at every move except America’s most glorified one. Given his upbringing, getting him to stuff the ball in the hoop in rim-rattling fashion was no slam dunk.


Patricia Kilday Hart

Who is Joe Barton?

The most powerful Texas congressman you’ve never heard of. And a partisan hack. And a bipartisan pragmatist.


Music Review


The Meat Puppets flowered in the Arizona desert with a style so unique that it seemed as if no one in the band had ever heard music of any kind. In fact, behind their weird psycho-country-rock was a group with enormous appeal that quickly became an eighties cult favorite. Led

Music Review

Pure Genius: The Complete Atlantic Recordings

The call came in 1954: Dallas saxophonist DAVID “FATHEAD” NEWMAN was being asked to join a band. On the phone, a young RAY CHARLES, who had befriended Newman on the road years earlier. Newman took the gig. It was work. It also became a career. PURE GENIUS: THE COMPLETE ATLANTIC

Music Review

Dos Amigos

If only by virtue of being crossover artists, FREDDY FENDER and FLACO JIMENEZ have each secured a rarified place in Hispanic music. Fender’s earthy Rio Grande Valley hits, like “Wasted Days and Wasted Nights,” got him there, while Jimenez’s San Antonio–style conjunto attracted Anglo ears as varied as Glen Campbell’s

Book Review

Six Bits a Day

ELMER KELTON has been recognized by the Western Writers of America as the best western author of them all, and he shows no signs of slowing down with SIX BITS A DAY (Forge). Set in the 1880’s, his latest novel visits the cowboying origins of Hewey Calloway, Kelton’s popular character

Book Review

Under the Wire

When the United States dallied unforgivably long before entering World War II, young Texan WILLIAM ASH forfeited his American citizenship to join the Royal Canadian Air Force and fight Hitler. UNDER THE WIRE (Thomas Dunne Books), co-authored with Brendan Foley, captures Ash’s short but impressive career as a Spitfire fighter

Book Review


Dallas native CRAIG CLEVENGER burrows deep into the sordid and paranoid realm of illicit recreational drugs with his second novel, DERMAPHORIA(MacAdam/Cage), a fictional crash course in the where and how of designer-drug manufactories. Eric Ashworth’s gruesome tale begins with his regaining consciousness cuffed and chained, covered with bandages, and knowing

Hail to the Chief

For going on five years, my admiration has grown for the weekly paper in the tiny Panhandle town of Miami (above). The New York Times it ain’t, but it tells me everything I could ever want to know about local births and deaths, windblown mail, bad potholes, and good yards.


Pat's Pick


Folks in the wine biz are always fretting about how to make the fruit of the vine more approachable. It’s easy: Just open a wine shop and start serving yummy little snacks (and big snacks) on the side, as Monsterville Horton IV, the owner of Cova, has done in


November 2005 Contributors

Charles S. AndersonYou may not know Charles S. Anderson’s name, but you certainly know his work. He’s created striking images and logos for Turner Classic Movies, Target, French Paper, and Best Buy. And though the designer, who is based in Minneapolis, rarely creates artwork for magazines, he jumped at

Pat's Pick

Upper Crust

As any pie freak will tell you, it’s all about the crust. And crust purists here in Texas agree that for sheer flakiness and tenderness, you can’t beat the pies at Royer’s cafe, in the Central Texas community of Round Top. If you want to verify this yourself, you can

Web Exclusive

The Cowboy and the Lady

Executive editor Skip Hollandsworth on Peggy Jo Tallas (the infamous bank robber known as Cowboy Bob) and rooting for the bad guy.

Made in China

Brook Larmer, Newsweek’s Shanghai bureau chief and the author of Operation Yao Ming, on basketball sensation Yao Ming, sports in China, and writing his first book.

Web Exclusive

Welcome to the Dome

Associate editor John Spong talks about the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, its survivors living in the Astrodome, and new beginnings.


Pie Crust

2 cups minus 3 tablespoons chilled Crisco shortening (do not substitute another brand) 5 cups flour plus several tablespoons 1⁄2 teaspoon salt dissolved in 1⁄2 cup chilled waterCut the Crisco into the flour and work it with a pastry blender or the tips of your fingers until it is

Books That Cook

Books That Cook

When you buy a cookbook that is part of a series entitled, “Great Restaurants of the World,” you know you’re in for some lavish lessons in the culinary arts. Part homage to the famous North Dallas restaurant and part cookbook, III Forks: An Insider’s Look at the Famed Restaurant and


Around the State

Around the State

November—People, Places, Events, Attractions11-2005Checked anything off your life list lately? No, we don’t mean organizing your garage, putting your kids through college, or writing your will. We’re talking birding: Ever made note of a warbler, a hawk, or an egret? Texas is home to more than six hundred species of

Roar of the Crowd

Seeing Red

I cross the Red River regularly for business, and it galls me every time. You see “OU” everywhere, and you can’t say anything, because Bob Stoops owns Mack Brown [“The Eyes of Texas Are Upon Him,” September 2005]. Mack Brown may be a nice guy, but I want trained

Texas Monthly Talks

Robert Rivard

“People speak nostalgically about family newspapers. For every decent one, there were literally hundreds of embarrassingly bad ones.”

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