Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Eating my way through the lone star state

I'm currently at my parent's house enjoying the 77 degree holiday weather in Spring, Texas. (For the record, those readers looking to rob my apartment now that they know I am far away from Astoria should know it is locked up and watched by both a tenacious roommate and a fierce guard cat. Also, unless you want a 4-year old Sony Vaio on which the e key hasn't worked in months...well you should probably move to greener pastures.) One thing I'm enjoying about being back in my hometown (besides not being at work and being able to go jogging outside) is the food.

New York is a seeming food mecca that should have every type of cuisine known to man (and some fusions they just make up when those options get tiresome). But there are a few things that I find Texas has New York soundly beat on. The first is obviously Mexican food. You can get some excellent Mexican food in New York, I grant you, but you also end up paying for it. Cheap, good Mexican food is the norm here, such that those modifiers would be redundant. In New York, "cheap" Mexican involves "guacamole" that has clearly never seen an avocado and far more closely resembles pea soup. Also, inexplicably, cheese fries.

The second thing, despite all the trendy "Southern comfort" food places in the city, is chicken fried steak. You would think, and maybe this is being a Tex-pat talking, that slathering a plate-sized piece of steak or chicken in batter, deep-frying it, and slathering it in white gravy would be popular anywhere. Strangely, this isn't the case.

Finally, and this is really the most important: kolaches and donuts. Kolaches, for those readers who have never experienced these little pillows of heaven are rolls filled with sausage and cheese and any number of other delicious options. They're originally a Czech or Polish thing brought over to Texas and, I think, parts of the Midwest. There is a place by Grand Central called Kolache Mama that claims to sell these. Trust me, they do not.

They don't photograph super well, but, trust me, these taste better than the slightly-misshapen eggs they appear to be.

The other issue is donuts. New York is a bagel city and thus not terribly worried about the taste of their donuts. That said, relying on Dunkin' Donuts (or worse yet: deli and bodega donuts) for all your donut needs just isn't right. If you're ingesting half of your daily sugar in one meal, you might as well enjoy it. And as far as I'm concerned, with the possible exception of fresh Munchkins, these just aren't worth it.

At any rate, this will likely be my last post while I'm home, so I want to wish all my readers a happy, food-filled holiday wherever you are! I shall enjoy the precious edible regionalism while I'm here and be thankful I can run outside again.


  1. I love kolaches. Yummm. I noticed you didn't talk about the delicious Pei Wei, but I guess that's not a regional thing. You could probably get something similar in New York. :)

  2. Haha, clearly not mentioning Pei Wei was an oversight! Very tasty! Although, it's true, Chinese food is not something New York has a shortage of.

  3. I miss Mexican food so much. There was a Mexican food stand at Sheffield's Christmas Market, so I took a chance and tried a burrito. It was extremely bland. And I was sad.