Facebook > Email > More Pinterest Print Twitter Play

Our Most Popular Stories of the Year

2015’s most read in longform, news, food, and general Texanness.

By Comments

We’ve identified a few truths about our readers: You keep savvy with the happenings in our state. You love a good (and, yes, sometimes long) story. You have a fine palate, especially when it comes to smoked delicacies and anything wrapped in a tortilla. And, most importantly, you have an unfaltering devotion to all things Texas.

In 2015, we worked to deliver in each of these categories, reaching across the state to find the stories that you want to read. On our website, we’ve published the news of the day, investigative pieces, food trends, and general Texas musings written both for the magazine and exclusively for TexasMonthly.com. Here are the year’s top 10 most-read stories on our site in longform, news, food, and general Texanness.

LONGFORM

selena-tshirt-opener-800x450

10. “Amor Prohibido” 

Twenty years after Selena’s death, devotion to the singer is as powerful as ever. But what does it mean to love Selena? Jeff Winkler went to Corpus Christi to find out who really owns Selena’s legacy.

greening-houston-postcard-opener-800x450

9. “Green Acres” 

What if Houston were known for its parks instead of its stripmalls? Its bike trails instead of its freeways? Mimi Swartz tracked how the city poured hundreds of millions of dollars into an extreme green makeover.

austin-tice-opener-owen-freeman-syria-800x450

8. “Road To Damascus”

In 2012 Houston native Austin Tice heeded a calling to become a journalist in war-ravaged Syria. His photographs, stories, and tweets shed new light on the conflict—until one day they stopped. Sonia Smith tells his story.

Dixon-Opener-Illo-680

7. “A Deadly Dance”

Two prominent doctors. One beautiful woman looking for romance. And a likable misfit who spun tall tales. Their lives intersected after an intense relationship turned sour, but no one guessed that the path to love would lead to murder. Skip Hollandsworth tells the story.

sarahhepolablackoutillustration-800x450

6. “The Alcohol Blackout”

Sarah Hepola tackles the often fuzzy area between drinking and consent in this powerful essay, ultimately asking the question: In the war against campus sexual assault, why are we not talking about blackouts?

Fruitcake-opener-800x450

5. “Just Desserts”

OK, so technically this appears in our January 2016 issue, but Katy Vine’s story about a shy accountant who embezzled money from the world’s most famous fruitcake company hit the website before the end of the year.

Torti-Greg-Torti-800x450

4. “The Outcast”

Mike Hall gives us a glimpse into the life of Greg Torti, who has lived the miserable life of a convicted sex offender for nearly two decades. It’s exactly the kind of miserable life a pervert deserves, Torti would tell you—if he were one.

JAMAIL_Joe-Jamail-in-his-office_JOEL-SALCIDO_680

3. “The Greatest Lawyer Who Ever Lived”

Joe Jamail, the state’s most famous attorney—and one of the wealthiest—dropped f-bombs and crushed his opposing counsel even in his old age. John Spong profiled the attorney before his death this December.

Santiago-Opener-680

2. “The Talented Mr. Khater”

Francesca Mari’s gripping true crime story of 23-year-old Texan Callie Quinn, who unwittingly set off a manhunt for an international con artist when she moved to Santiago, Chile. baylor-800x450

1. “Silence at Baylor”

Dan Solomon and Jessica Luther investigated a much-talked-about football player at Baylor University who went on trial for the sexual assault of a fellow student. But what did the program know about him, and when?


NEWS

anthony_graves_charles_sebesta

10. “Ex-DA Who Sent Exoneree Anthony Graves to Death Row Is Disbarred”

A small measure of justice was served when the State Bar of Texas stripped Charles Sebesta of his law license and formally disbarred him.

barbie-jeep-800x450

9. “Welcome to Internet Fame, Texas State’s Barbie Jeep Lady”

Texas State student Tara Monroe used a Barbie Jeep to get around San Marcos after her license was revoked for suspicion of DWI. That bit of news might not have made the family Christmas card, but it went down in Internet infamy.

AP_101030154286-728x450

8. “Texas A&M and Texas Tech Should Be Playing A Bowl Game”

How SEC wargaming and Aggie fears got in the way of a much better postseason matchup. And, uh, it should be noted that neither teams’ bowl games were pretty.

Bluebell-Ice-Cream-680

7. “Rocky Road”

Tainted ice cream. A series of recalls. Deaths linked to the company’s products. And a future that is in doubt. What are Texans supposed to think about Blue Bell now?

waco

6. “On #WacoThugs, Biker Gangs, And White-On-White Crime”

In the aftermath of the Waco Twin Peaks shooting, we explored how the media treat incidents of violent crime committed by white people very differently than they do incidents of violence involving black people.

mckinney

5. “What Happened In McKinney”

Breaking down a pool party scuffle between a police officer and a teenage girl, which went viral after a video of the incident hit the Internet.

bluebelltruck

4. “Almost Half of Texas Believes Military Invasion Is Likely Coming; And Finally, The Conspiracy Crowd Finds The Link Between Blue Bell’s Woes and Jade Helm”

Two of Texas’s biggest news items of 2015 collide in one conspiracy theory.

bored-twin-peaks_0

3. “Twin Peaks’ Bad Week Gets Worse With Leaked Internal Memo”

As if Twin Peaks’ PR team didn’t have enough to deal with in the aftermath of the biker shooting, a leaked memo revealed sexist policies for its waitresses.

AP10094884034

2. “All Sorts Of Dirt About Johnny Manziel Is Coming Out Now That The Season Is Over And His Coaches Have Left”

Johnny F—ing Football kicked his year off with controversy. It never really stopped. 4440316752_0e6651aaae_b

1. “The FBI’s List of the Most Dangerous Cities In Texas”

Strangely enough, West Texas takes the top spots.


FOOD

BarbacoaRojaLosTorres-800x450

10. “15 Great Tacos in Dallas & Fort Worth”

A taco tour of Dallas and Fort Worth, from Big D’s Oak Cliff and the Bishop Arts District neighborhoods to Cowtown’s Northside and West 7th strip.

business-loren-steffy-Whatabattle-800x450

9. “Whatabattle!”

What’s the beef between Texas’s most iconic burger chain and its most loyal franchisee?

CAPNROY2-800x450

8. “9 Great Tacos in the Rio Grande Valley”

From South Padre Island to Mission, here’s a taco tour of some of the greatest tacos in the RGV. We’re still drooling over the puffy taco.

Screen-shot-2015-01-28-at-3.53.47-PM_0-800x450

7. “You Call That Texas Chili? Get A Rope”

OK, so it didn’t have beans, but this “Texas chili” recipe from The New York Times offended our tastebuds with coriander and chocolate. Come on, y’all.

treshombres

6. “True Tex-Mex Cuisine’s Long Adios”

Is Tex-Mex a fading cuisine? It sure seems that way in Houston, where it’s getting harder and harder to find the authentic stuff with each passing year.

smoker

5. “The World’s Largest BBQ Smoker Is For Sale In Brenham”

Throwing a really, really, really, really big party and need to feed a whole bunch of people a whole bunch of smoked meats? Long dreamed of owning a “world’s largest” anything? We’ve got the smoker for you.

hopdoddy-burger_0

4. “Twelve of America’s 101 Best Burgers Are In Texas”

The Daily Meal‘s list of 101 Best Burgers in the Country showed a lot of love to the Lone Star State. Now, who wants to go to Hopdoddy?

where-to-eat-now-2015-800x450

3. “Where to Eat Now 2015”

This list had something for everyone—from Mexican to foie gras—and gave us a year of good eatery options across the state.

Opener.jpg

2. “The 120 Tacos You Must Eat Before You Die”

Some thirty years ago, this magazine published its first taco roundup, and followed that up in 2006’s “The 63 Tacos You Must Eat Before You Die.” This year we updated it again with our most exhaustive roundup yet. BBQ-opener-800x450

1. “The Top 25 New And Improved Barbecue Joints In Texas”

You’ll have to wait until 2017 for our next big barbecue list, but this midterm report spotlights some of our favorite new and improved places to get your ‘cue on.


GENERAL TEXANNESS

AP945753315354_0-1

10. “Mack Brown Left Charlie Strong With Nothing, And Here’s The Proof”

A definitive analysis of the last six coaching changes at the University of Texas and the talent (or lack thereof) each of them left behind.

Kyle

9. “Katy Teen Loves To Fish In His Neighborhood Sewer”

Kyle Naegeli is just a regular teen boy who likes doing regular teen boy things. Like hanging out with friends in his suburban neighborhood, wearing Crocs as footwear, and, when the mood strikes him, dropping a fishing line in the manhole in front of his house and seeing what kinds of fish he can pull from the sewer.

20151103_RotanBand_2764

8. “Tiny Band, Big Heart”

We followed one of Texas’s tiniest marching bands as it made its way to state for the first time in the school’s history. As demonstrated by this powerful photo essay, what they lacked in size they made up for in spirit.

© 2011 John Morrison - subism

7. “R.I.P., RadioShack”

The writing’s on the wall for RadioShack, the Fort Worth-based technology chain that finally filed for bankruptcy in 2015 after years of struggling.

darrington-white_0

6. “A West Texas High School Suspended Its Band Teacher For Having A Beard”

Christoval ISD enforced a rather strange policy for employees who work with students when it suspended a band teacher with a beard.

Film-Tom-Rusk-Jeff-Fahey-left-and-Sam-Houston-Bill-Paxton-in-Texas-Rising-680

5. “How Realistic Is ‘Texas Rising’?”

History’s ten-hour miniseries Texas Rising could be enjoyable…if we could quit rolling our eyes and forget, you know, actual history.

640px-Armadillidium_vulgare_001-1

4. “They Are Called Doodlebugs, Dang It”

Dialect quizzes be damned, the gray, many-legged, armadillo-like terrestrial crustacean that curled itself into a ball when threatened are called doodlebugs.

Southtown-San-Antonio-Trip-Guide

3. Texas Trip Guides

The best thing about living in Texas is getting to explore it. Plan a weekend away using our curated guides, with tips on what to do, where to eat, and where to stay.

midwest_0

2. “How Big Is Texas, Compared To Other Land Masses?”

Proving something we already knew intuitively: that everything is bigger in Texas.

Screen-Shot-2015-10-20-at-10.23.01-AM-800x439

1. Y’all, Norwegians Use The Word ‘Texas’ as Slang To Mean ‘Crazy'”

If you’re Norwegian or happen to spend a lot of time around Norwegians, then this fact that absolutely blew our minds might not be news to you, but we thought this was totally Texas this year.

Related Content