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Paul Qui to Curate Selection of Eateries for SXSW

Jan 18, 2013 By Layne Lynch

Austin’s South by Southwest (SXSW) festival is embracing a much more prominent culinary element this year with SouthBites, a curated line-up of gourmet food trucks and trailers. Paul Qui, executive chef/owner of East Side King and the yet-to-be-opened Qui, is in charge of orchestrating the new event. According to the …

Guns in school and everywhere else

Jan 17, 2013 By Paul Burka

I can’t conceive of any valid argument against expanded federal background checks for gun sales. We came within one vote on the Public Safety committee when Bush was governor of passing a requirement for background checks, and my recollection is that Bush killed it with a phone call.

Does Perry’s fundraising hint at his plans?

Jan 16, 2013 By Paul Burka

UPDATED: 2:29 pm The governor raised $3.554 million during the fundraising period that ended on January 15. His total cash on hand is $6.028 million. This level of activity (or inactivity) strongly suggests that Perry is not running for reelection. It is nowhere near enough for a governor’s race–remember that…

So, about that budget . . .

Jan 15, 2013 By Paul Burka

I don’t get it. We have the biggest revenue estimate in the history of the state, $101 billion, and it appears that the House and Senate want their budgets to be under 2011 numbers, which was the worst year in the history of the state. This is absolutely nuts.

Week 1 in Review

Jan 14, 2013 By Paul Burka

The most important thing that happened in week one was the comptroller’s revenue estimate. For the first time in several sessions, the state has enough money to address long-neglected issues. Money makes all the difference in the world. When there is money in the treasury, anything is possible. When…

Day 0

Jan 7, 2013 By Paul Burka

As Yogi Berra is reputed to have said, “It’s deja vu all over again.” Tea party members made the rounds at the Capitol today, as they did on the day before the 2011 session started, in the hope of persuading lawmakers to oppose the reelection of Joe Straus as speaker.

The Aggies and the Ecstasy

Jan 7, 2013 By Paul Burka

I attended the AT&T Cotton Bowl game on Friday, which is no longer played at the Cotton Bowl but rather in Jerry Jones’ mammoth Cowboys Stadium, often referred to in extraterrestial terms like “The Death Star” or “the mother ship.” The place to be during the game was the Chancellor…

Dewhurst’s terrible year

Dec 31, 2012 By Paul Burka

One has to feel sorry for David Dewhurst. Has any recent Texas politician ever suffered through a worse year? He lost a Senate race that he was heavily favored to win; his campaign account is missing hundreds of thousands of dollars, allegedly due to the actions of his…

NY Times casts doubt on Tea Party’s future

Dec 31, 2012 By Paul Burka

From the Times: The Tea Party might not be over, but it is increasingly clear that the election last month significantly weakened the once-surging movement, which nearly captured control of the through a potent combination of populism and fury. Leading Congressional Republicans,…

Science and the fetal pain abortion bill

Dec 17, 2012 By Paul Burka

The justification for the legislation lies in a fact (or, rather, an assertion) that cannot be proven: a fetus can experience pain starting at twenty weeks. My source is an article that appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association for August 24/31 2005 under the headline…

The gun debate

Dec 17, 2012 By Paul Burka

I’ll state my position plainly. I don’t believe that the Second Amendment should be read as allowing Americans to own assault weapons. The Founding Fathers never envisioned the kind of arms that Americans possess today. Criminal gangs have more firepower than law enforcement. That said, here is an…

Sneak Peek: The Wanderer Goes To…

Dec 13, 2012 By Jordan Breal

While the first issue of 2013 is en route to newsstands and your mailbox (because you are a Texas Monthly subscriber, right?), here's a little preview of some of the sights, sounds, and tastes I discovered while on assignment in...can you guess which Texas town? (Click through to find out.)

Ch-Check It Out: Eatsie Boys Brick-and-Mortar is Now Open

Dec 13, 2012 By Layne Lynch

One of Houston’s most popular food trucks, Eatsie Boys, has officially gone brick-and-mortar. The much-anticipated, much-hyped Eatsie Boys Cafe opened its doors to Houston diners this morning. Eater Houston first broke the story. Owners Matt Marcus, Ryan Soroka, and Alex Vassilakidis have been working on the restaurant project since…

Justin Timberlake sets his eyes on Austin barbecue scene

Dec 12, 2012 By Layne Lynch

According to a story in the Atlanta Business Chronicle, a new barbecue restaurant is coming to Austin in 2013. And this is no ordinary barbecue restaurant; it’s backed by Justin Timberlake. Yup, that Justin Timberlake… The Austin restaurant is part of a 30-city nationwide expansion…

Simpson mulls race for speaker

Dec 7, 2012 By Paul Burka

Has the anti-Straus faction adopted a strategy of divide-and-conquer? That is, putting forth multiple candidates for speaker, which would muddy the waters and dilute the vote for Straus. The problem with this strategy is that neither David Simpson nor Bryan Hughes has demonstrated that he has the gravitas to be…

$19 billion dollars

Dec 7, 2012 By Paul Burka

That is how much Rick Perry has spent on recruiting companies to come to Texas—more than any other state in the country—according to the New York Times. Perry got a lot of attention for this story, but is it wasn’t the kind of attention that will benefit him…

Feast announces shutter on Twitter, Houston diners shocked

Dec 5, 2012 By Layne Lynch

In case you haven’t heard, Feast, Houston’s first notable snout-to-tail restaurant,  announced it will close its doors for good in August 2013 after their five-year lease comes to an end. The shocking shutter announcement came via Twitter last week: “So the bad news is we’re closing in 9…

Latin Bites chef visits Peru, brings home new menu inspirations

Dec 3, 2012 By Layne Lynch

A few months ago, Latin Bites executive chef Roberto Castre took a trip to Peru to attend Mistura, an exciting culinary festival that takes place in Lima every year. During the culinary visit, the acclaimed chef encountered some new trends and restaurant dishes that have become all the rage throughout his…

RedState’s Erickson praises Cruz choice for chief of staff

Dec 3, 2012 By Paul Burka

It’s Chip Roy, who was the chief ghostwriter for Rick Perry’s Fed Up! Erickson is especially impressedthat Cruz did not turn to a K Street lobbying firm for a chief, as many new members do. Erickson writes: [The decision] signals Senator-Elect Ted Cruz is not going to…

First Look at the Pass, Houston’s New Hot Spot

Nov 29, 2012 By Patricia Sharpe

Ahem. If you’ll scroll down to the seventh picture, below, you’ll see that there are only two macarons on the plate. There were initially three macarons, but yours truly grabbed the third one and demolished it in one bite before realizing that I had not taken a picture. Damn! It…

Ethics commission could supplant Public Integrity Unit

Nov 29, 2012 By Paul Burka

This is a terrible idea. The ethics commission has a long and undistinguished history of being toothless. The system is set up to fail. The commission grabs headlines by levying huge fines ($100,000 in the case of Court of Criminal Appeals judge Sharon Keller, $29,000 against Supreme Court…

Huffington Post: Grover Norquist to back Perry in 2016

Nov 29, 2012 By Paul Burka

The article, by Chris Gentilviso, says: Almost a year removed from his 2012 presidential run, Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) is turning his attention to future elections. Perry said on Monday that he is planning to “make an announcement” about “future political plans”…

Simpson will oppose vouchers

Nov 27, 2012 By Paul Burka

State representative David Simpson (R-Longview) is a politician who is hard to categorize. He is totally independent and doesn’t care what others think of him. Nor does he shrink from conflict with the likes of TPPF and Michael Quinn Sullivan. From the Longview News-Journal: Longview’s state lawmaker…

Perry names chief of staff Boyd to TX Supreme Court

Nov 27, 2012 By Paul Burka

The appointment of Jeffrey S. Boyd is cronyism, pure and simple. Mr. Boyd has one of the skimpiest resumes I have ever seen for a high judicial appointment: * Senior partner in a prominent law firm (Thompson & Knight) * Chief of staff for the governor *…

Thanksgiving Dishes from Renowned Texas Chefs

Nov 21, 2012 By Layne Lynch

Turkey Day is upon us, and an abundance of families will be cooking fall-centric dishes at home tomorrow. In case you’re looking to scrounge up some last-minute Thanksgiving recipes, here are a few offerings from a handful of talented Texas chefs. Roasted Pumpkin Soup with Absinthe Crème Fraîche from Jason Dodge of Péché …

Frum here to eternity

Nov 16, 2012 By Paul Burka

I just read a review on the Huffington Postof David Frum’s new ebook, titled “Why Romney Lost (And What the GOP Can Do About It.)” A lot of Republicans don’t care for Mr. Frum, who was a speechwriter for George W. Bush, and regard him as an apostate…

Drug testing: a solution in search of a problem

Nov 15, 2012 By Paul Burka

When the state’s leaders decide to implement drug testing of the state’s poorest and most vulnerable citizens–those who are trying to get by on unemployment and/or welfare benefits–they might as well hang a sign in the rotunda that says “OUT OF IDEAS.” We have so many problems in this state,…

Sway Announces Opening Day, Releases Highly Anticipated Menus

Nov 14, 2012 By Layne Lynch

The wait is over! Sway – a contemporary Thai restaurant on South First Street in Austin – will open its doors on December 9. For those who haven’t followed news about the much-anticipated restaurant, Sway was originally supposed to open this past summer. For over a…

Karl Rove forms circular firing squad

Nov 12, 2012 By Paul Burka

PoliticalWire.com reports: Despite a terrible showing on Election Day, Karl Rove believes that American Crossroads and its more secretive issue-advocacy arm, Crossroads GPS — which allows donors to remain anonymous — are here to stay, the Washington Post reports. “Rove is pondering new missions for Crossroads to…

Davis win boosts Democrats

Nov 7, 2012 By Paul Burka

Democratic legislative candidates lost most of their races on election night, but there were two notable exceptions. One was Wendy Davis’s victory over Mark Shelton in the race for a Tarrant County Senate seat. With 228 of 349 precincts reporting, and only 6 outstanding, Davis had an insurmountable lead. The…

Out on a red limb

Nov 6, 2012 By Paul Burka

One thing that is all but certain to emerge from this night will be a different political status for Texas. If Romney wins, Texans will be going off to Washington to join the government—you know, the one they love to hate. (Already there are rumors of KBH for Secretary of…

Campaign Cocktails: Check out these Election-Inspired Drinks in Houston and Austin

Nov 5, 2012 By Layne Lynch

Is Election Day making you feel boozy? You aren’t alone. A number of Texas bars and restaurants are planning for customers to drink in ecstatic celebration or deep sorrow tomorrow after hitting the polls. If you’re in the mood for drink or two after casting your vote, check out some of these election-inspired cocktails from around Austin and Houston.

R-rated redistricting emails could roil speakers race

Nov 4, 2012 By Paul Burka

Earlier today, Erick Erickson, of RedState.com, posted a juicy story about the race for Speaker of the Texas House: Despite efforts by grassroots organizations, new media writers and others, most of the coordinated efforts against conservatives by Straus and his allies regarding Texas redistricting have been hidden from view. Speaker Straus…

Friday’s battleground state polls (from Five Thirty Eight)

Nov 3, 2012 By Paul Burka

I’m sure some of my readers are 538 deniers, but I’m not hesitant to say that I’m a believer. I was surprised to see Karl Rove’s latest article in the Wall Street (on Friday): It comes down to numbers. And in the final days of this presidential race, from polling…

16 polls

Nov 2, 2012 By Paul Burka

I’m sitting in my office at TEXAS MONTHLY staring at a computer screen filled with sixteen polls. Fourteen show Obama in the lead. Two are ties.

ABC/Washington Post Poll: Bush to blame for economic woes

Nov 1, 2012 By Paul Burka

I bring this up because of Jeb’s speech that Obama is always blaming somebody else for the nation’s problems — in particular Jeb’s brother.Well, the brand-new ABC News/Washington Post tracking poll has weighed in on the issue, and here is the verdict: Who do you think is more responsible for…

The Hole Truth

Nov 1, 2012 By Paul Burka

How deep is the budget hole that was dug by the 82nd Legislature? Here are some numbers that describe the extent of the problem: 1. Medicaid was underfunded by $4.7B 2. To pay for the full 24 months will cost another $4.7B 3. That still leaves Medicaid caseload growth (to…

Halloween Cuisine: Texas Halloween Treats to Sink Your Teeth Into

Oct 31, 2012 By Layne Lynch

If you’re looking to diverse your Halloween diet beyond candies, chocolates, and confections, check out some of these Halloween-inspired cocktails and cuisine from around the state of Texas. Philippe Restaurant/Phil’s Wine Lounge Phil’s Patch L’Autumn (Houston) 1.5 oz. Stolichnaya Vanilla vodka .75 oz. pumpkin pie syrup (recipe…

Latest swing state polls

Oct 31, 2012 By Paul Burka

Here are the latest polls from the battleground states: Ohio: Obama 50%, Romney 45% (Quinnipiac) Florida: Obama 48%, Romney 47% (Quinnipiac) Iowa: Obama 50%, Romney 45% (Public Policy Polling) Michigan: Obama 48%, Romney 45% (Detroit News) Pennsylvania: Obama 48%, Romney 44% (Franklin and Marshall) Virginia:…

Stephan Pyles Digs up His Roots at Stampede 66

Oct 30, 2012 By June Naylor

Stephan Pyles After watching Stephan Pyles and eating his food for more years than we want to admit, we know good and well that he never does anything small and subtle. Given that he’s a fifth-generation Texan, proud of his Big Spring upbringing in that understated way that most…

The Baselice Poll

Oct 30, 2012 By Paul Burka

It’s hardly worth looking at Texas polling. The only suspense is how big the Republican margin is going to be. According to Baselice, it’s 16 points. [Romney 54, Obama 38]. That is a huge differential. Not so long ago it was 9. The Cruz-Sadler differential is even worse [Cruz 48,…