Brownsville

BBQ Joint Reviews |
June 1, 2017

Vera’s Backyard Bar-B-Que (Top 50)

With roots in Mexico, barbacoa became a mainstay on South Texas ranches, where cowboys were hungry and cow heads were plentiful (Texans were expert at nose-to-tail eating long before it became trendy). Today, most commercial barbacoa is steamed or done in pressure cookers to comply with health codes. Vera’s time-honored…

Lead |
October 13, 2014

Get Bucky

How the merger of two South Texas universities has stirred some complicated feelings about a fuzzy bronco.

Politics & Policy |
April 11, 2014

The Battle of Boca Chica

With support from the Legislature, SpaceX may soon be launching rockets from Texas’ southernmost beach. That doesn’t mean a few nature lovers aren’t still ready to fight.

BBQ |
May 21, 2013

Vera’s: The Last Bastion of South Texas Barbacoa

Since the closing of Mancha’s Meat Market in Eagle Pass, there is only one place in all of Texas—maybe the entire country—that still serves traditional barbacoa: whole beef heads cooked in an underground pit over wood coals. The sign out front of Vera’s in Brownsville says it all: “Barbacoa en…

Feature |
January 21, 2013

Anatomy of a Drug Cartel

The cocaine goes north. The money goes south. And Mexican kingpins like Juan García Abrego laugh all the way to the bank—a Texas bank, that is.

The Culture |
January 20, 2013

76–100

From the Great Storm washing ashore in Galveston to Charles Elmer Doolin cooking up the frito in San Antonio…

The Culture |
January 20, 2013

76–100

From the Great Storm washing ashore in Galveston to Charles Elmer Doolin cooking up the frito in San Antonio…

Books |
January 20, 2013

Pretty Ugly

Why a lavish two-volume attack on the border fence, with photos by Maurice Sherif, misses the mark.

Food & Drink |
January 20, 2013

Let’s Have Mex-Tex

Where’s the best place to get a perfect plate of enchiladas? A chile relleno to die for? A salsa you’ll never forget? Come along on our tour of the fifty greatest Mexican restaurants in Texas, from Hugo’s, in Houston, to Tacos Santa Cecilia, in El Paso. This is not your…

Feature |
January 20, 2013

The Unknown Soldier

Hector Perez loved his country enough to die for it. A year later, his family is still paying the price of patriotism.

Sports |
January 20, 2013

Check Mates

Fernando Spada and Fernando Mendez are the Karpov and Kasparov of Brownsville: chess champions whose lifelong competition has produced a rivalry every bit as fierce as those of Ali and Frazier, McEnroe and Borg, or Nicklaus and Palmer. Did I mention that they’re in the fourth grade?…

Books |
July 31, 2012

Hecho en Brownsville

The grand opening of a new H-E-B in McAllen drew crowds—including several who showed up to hear a native son read from his collection of locally set short stories.

BBQ Joint Reviews |
March 26, 2012

Vera’s Backyard Bar-B-Que

I’m not here to tell you that I’m an authority on barbacoa. I know enough about it to be dangerous, and I’ve eaten enough of it to know that what I ate at Vera’s was something special. The funny part is that the best place to get barbacoa…

Eat My Words |
January 28, 2012

Oh no! Barbecue Stalwart Wild Blue Is Closing.

Little did I know when I wrote the following words nearly four years ago—“Please, patronize Wild Blue before it’s too late”—that my greatest fear would come true. One of the true stalwarts of Texas Barbecue–Wild Blue B.B.Q., located in the near-Brownsville city of Los Fresnos—will shut its doors…

The Culture |
March 1, 2011

Jody Blackburn, Folk Healer and Tarot Reader

Blackburn is the founder of the Magick Circle, in Brownsville, where he offers card readings, cleansings, and spiritual healing. I first learned about folk healing from an elderly woman in my neighborhood named Rita. None of our neighbors in Brownsville liked her much. They called her la bruja. The witch.

The Culture |
March 31, 2009

Ghosts Of War

Happy Texas Independence Day! Read five stories about our state's history, including this piece about the battlegrounds of Texas, which tell an incredible story of struggle, sorrow, triumph, and terror.

Books |
February 1, 2008

Bruce Sterling

The Brownsville native and longtime Austinite has spent most of his adult life contemplating the future: A progenitor of the scruffy cyberpunk fiction movement (he edited the short-story anthology Mirrorshades and co-authored The Difference Engine with William Gibson), he has penned ten sci-fi novels and several works of nonfiction, including…

Texas Primer |
May 31, 1999

Américo Paredes

Which Américo Paredes book was made into a movie starring Edward James Olmos?…

Face |
August 31, 1997

Elka

Like sadistic teenagers who introduce fire ants into an otherwise docile ant farm, the producers of MTV’s voyeuristic soap opera The Real World make casting decisions based not on avoiding conflict but on encouraging it. This season’s stereotypes are a jock, a poet, a comely lesbian, a city girl, a…