Tuesday, September 1, 2009

South Texas Eats

The Pig Stand, 1508 Broadway, San Antonio, TX 210-222-9923 MaryAnnsPigStand.com Photo directly above.

Mary Ann Hill owns the last Pig Stand (the first opened in Austin) and she has worked there since 1967, some 43 years. The employees' tenures range from six months to 45 years.

The parking lot was filled with '60s cars and most of the dining room was crammed with their owners. Clearly a regularly-scheduled meeting.

I ordered the pig sandwich combo with fries, cole slaw and an onion ring as decor on the top of the sandwich. Richie ordered a straight pig sandwich and an order of pinto beans. The food was "good enough" (roasted, sliced pork loin instead of pulled pork) but by no means "great." Inexpensive.

Smolik's Smokehouse, 501 E. San Patricia, Mathis, TX 361-547-5494 Closed Sunday and Monday.

(Bear with me on the photo arrangement -- still learning.)

My cousin Robert suggested the place and we're still thanking him. As you can see, "unprepossessing" is a good description of it. The interior was sparkling clean even though my sister kind of sniffed a bit at the location and building exterior when we first arrived.

We ordered pulled pork sandwiches which were chopped and sauced and put on the traditional cheap white sandwich bread buns that are the hallmark of a True BBQ sandwich.

Richie had his beloved beans (pinto in this case) and Jane and I had the cole slaw which was so good! The cabbage was snapping crisp and the dressing was an interesting blend of sugar, vinegar and a little something extra. Nothing wrong with the onion rings either which I shared with them.

Smolik's also sells their house-cured dried beef and turkey along with a variety of homemade sausages.

La Famiglia, Beeville, TX (No photo available)

Leonore Rosales opened it in 1953 -- when she was 59. At the time she retired, she had been working in restaurants more than 63 years. The recipes used here are her's and they are mighty good.

It's clearly a family-owned and run place as baby pictures, wedding photos and antecedent portraits hang on all of the walls.

Now owner George R. Benavides told us that his 4th generation away grandfather was one of only seven Mexicans at the Alamo, who fight on our side. Until they all died, there was an annual celebration mass and a dinner to honor them.

His uncle has been with the LAPD for the past 40 years, working undercover, mainly. He graduated from the police academy only to find himself right back in high school-- infilterating gangs, working mostly out of the Pasadena Police Department.

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