If You're Gonna Play In Texas

Thursday, December 22, 2011

If you're gonna play in Texas, you absolutely must have: faith, Friday night lights (the real kind), fantastic BBQ...and of course, a fiddle in the band.

My obsession with all things Texas and Oklahoma is old news by now.  I always loved living in those places, but I never really knew how much until I moved to New York.  I longed to live here, dreamed about living here, secretly shopped for apartments on my lunch break.  But as much as I love the big city, I am constantly homesick for the only life I've ever really known.

And when you grew up in Oklahoma and spent a major part of your life in Texas, one thing is certain...

BBQ is a way of life that few outside that area truly understand.  Sure they think they have their own way of doing it, but you all know that it's not the same.  And let me tell you, I have never craved BBQ as much as I have in the last six months.  I'm not entirely sure why it took me nearly six months to give in, but it probably has something to do with being scared of New York City BBQ.  It had the potential to be really, really bad.  So armed with recommendations from my Okie-in-the-City friends, it was finally game time.

My school friend Brian (who is from NY) and I ventured to Dinosaur BBQ this week to work on a research project (and figure out this whole BBQ business).  It's really not too far from me, and it is somewhat famous among New Yorkers who think they know what they're talking about.  So settled along the Hudson River just into Harlem, we found Dino BBQ...

And people, it was like walking into Texas.  So much so that I immediately texted my favorite Texan to tell him so.  The smell of BBQ, rustic painted menus, country music.  Ahhhh...home.  We had to wait a while for a table, but it was worth the wait.  The Texas-sized atmosphere was worth it.  But then here's what happened when we ordered...  When the waitress asked what I wanted for my two sides, I asked about her favorites, since there were so many choices on the menu.  And then here is what she said...

"BBQ Fried Rice"

Yes, you read that right.  And people, I wish there had been a camera to capture the look on my face.  Brian said he had never seen me look that confused...and he sits next to me in Ivy League doctorate classes where I am always a bit confused.  But are you kidding me, BBQ fried rice?  Never in a million years would something like that be even considered in Texas, much less actually put on a menu.  Just to set the record straight, I ordered BBQ Beans and Mac and Cheese for my sides, and they were pretty good.  The food was definitely not Texas, but all in all it was a pretty good substitute until I get back to where they know what BBQ should be like.  BBQ Fried Rice...

So research project planned, I went home smelling like BBQ...you know what I'm talking about, that smokey smell that lasts for days on your clothes.  Normally, I avoid it, changes clothes after BBQ, and do my best to not smell like BBQ in my daily life.  But I realized that I kind of missed it.  The next day, when my classmate sent an email following up on our research project, he mentioned that he felt like he still smelled like BBQ.  And it's funny, because that's such a novelty to a New Yorker.

But it's just how life smells in the great state of Texas.

1 comment:

  1. BBQ Fried Rice. Awesome. that is like LA kind of fare! I'm so glad you'll be back in the homeland, soon, Katie! I know you've missed it. My favorite thing about being a full-time student is that there are these precious breaks where you get to go back home and be ministered to by your family. May this time at home be refreshing for you!