Tuesday, April 7, 2015

bbq and bluebonnets 2015

Two years ago we went to a town outside of Houston, ate barbecue, and took pictures in a field of bluebonnets. Last year, we did something similar. In order to maximize his barbecue eating experiences, my husband has declared that every spring, when bluebonnets are in bloom, we'll take a short trip to the Texas Hill Country for barbecue (for him) and mandatory pictures (for me). This Saturday was our third annual trip.

We had plans to stand in the infamously long Franklin Barbecue line on Good Friday, but those fell through. Instead, some of Andrew's friends (that he's met through twitter/blogging... the internet is magic) had plans to visit a few BBQ places with their families so we met up with them instead. We left the house at 6:15 a.m. to get to a tiny place called Snow's BBQ in Lexington, Texas. It's only open on Saturdays starting at 8:00 a.m. until they run out of food and the pitmaster is a woman who's nearly 80. It's an interesting place. At 8:30 a.m., the line was out the door. Not only were people getting food to go, but they were having large barbecue breakfasts. We got in line when one of Andrew's friends came a few minutes after 9:00 and probably ate around 9:45. When in Lexington, you eat like the locals do, I guess.

I knew we had plans for a lot of food, so I just tried the turkey, which was too dry, and the brisket, which was good. One of Andrew's friends offered a bite of his pork steak, which was pretty good too. It was unseasonably cold for spring in Houston so I froze all morning. Going in the area near the smokers helped, though.

After Snow's, we went on a 25 minute drive to Taylor, Texas for Louie Mueller BBQ. This place has been around forever. In 2013, its pit that was built in 1959 caught fire and they had to build a new one. Instead of throwing away the bricks from the old pit, they realized that suckers like my husband would pay $25 for a piece of trash Texas BBQ history. We now own a signed, numbered brick. Andrew, who hates "stuff" as a rule, absolutely loves it; I think it's ridiculous and am looking for something just as frivolous to buy for myself.

Anyway, back to Louie Mueller. If you follow me on instagram, you'll see that we bought a beef rib, which was larger than my hand. It was delicious. I was advised that the turkey was great, but I was disappointed in it, though it was better than Snow's. I like the feel of the place, though, and the old-timey, formerly bustling town of Taylor, so it's a stop I didn't mind making.

The line at Snow's was like this the whole time we were there | We did stand in the line, but it isn't my favorite in Texas | Outside Louie Mueller | Beef rib vs my hand. And I actually have a manicure for once, thanks to an instagram giveaway.

Since we got an early start and decided to skip stop #3, we had the whole day ahead of us. The Round Top Antiques Fair was happening along our drive home. Basically, antiques dealers from all over the country come to a tiny Texas town (population 90) and set up tents in halls, on farms, and along roadsides. I didn't get it until I went. A friend advised that I go to Warrenton, a neighboring town, so we did. Traffic was bumper to bumper. Ladies were working together to carry park benches and there were rolling carts full of stuff. There were tons of U-Haul box trucks and trailers attached to SUVs - people were not messing around. Since this was a somewhat impromptu trip for us, we weren't armed with much cash (which seemed like a must) and surprisingly, there was nothing I knew I needed. I wanted to love this place - after all, it's where Joanna Gaines gets tons of her ideas and inspiration - but it was mostly overwhelming and expensive. I'd rather treasure hunt in suburban shops, I think.

On the way back to Houston, bluebonnets were farther between than we expected. We were lucky enough to find a semi-decent patch, but nowhere teeming with people like we've found in years past. So, no posed and far away picture, but a selfie is better than nothing.

Another regram, but it had to be documented.

We didn't feel like going home, so we went to a beer bar, The Hay Merchant, for snacks and drinks. I finally got to try Austin Eastciders Cider and got an awesome baked pretzel (because after a day of meat, all I wanted were carbs). We watched some basketball, then went to Siphon Coffee for coffee (and a cookie for me - more carbs). It was a good, busy day and I'm already thinking about barbecue and bluebonnets 2016.

10 comments:

  1. This is such a great tradition! Sounds like a fun day.

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  2. I missed all of this on IG this weekend so for once I don't mind the regrams.

    I absolutely must see these blue bonnets in person. What city would I fly into to be nearest them, and April is typically a good time, yes? Like the freako I am I like to lay my possible trips out many years in advance.

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  3. What a fun (and delicious) trip! I have yet to go to Hay Merchant or Siphon- I haven't really done much in the way of Houston's coffee scene, but I've heard great things. I need to break out of my Dunkin Donuts/Starbucks (which I don't even like!) bubble!

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  4. What a fun tradition you guys have started! I am with you on wanting carbs after all that meat! I'm happy Andrew is meeting friends through Twitter and (your?) blogging. David wants some more/new friends -- it's definitely harder to do when you get older and are no longer in school.

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  5. I love your blue bonnets and bbq tradition!! All of it sounds good and it's cool you got to try out some new places! I'm glad you reposted, I totally missed the hand + meat pic!! It sounds like a delicious day overall!!

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  6. I love the BBQ and bluebonnet trips, great tradition. I would have love to look around that Fair, I love Joanna's style. Though expensive is not my jam, and probably would have left empty handed! Great for inspiration though.

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  7. Aw I love this! Partly because it's special and partly because I LOVE BBQ

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  8. Bluebonnet season is my favorite time of year in Texas. I love that they are wildflowers. I love that there is no exact time that they are going to appear or exact length they will last.

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  9. Sounds like a blast, I love that Andrew now has blogging friends. Are they all local or did he meet some far away friends too?

    As I was reading about the antique sale I was so excited, then you said over priced and I thought whomp whomp. Other than the crowds it sounds like something I would love doing.

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I like comments and read them all but I'm not great about responding to them, so please don't be offended. I would much rather visit your blog instead!