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Fort Worth Sizzle

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Post #92 – In which Mike travels to Texas for work. 

SUV with longhorn rifle rack – Check

Googlemapped directions from DFW Airport to Fort Worth Omni Hotel – Check

Roadhouse Country station on satellite radio – Check

I hit the Texan freeways with my old friends Merle, Johnny, and Patsy.

Had it all planned out: get work done on the plane to free up my afternoon, arrive in Fort Worth with enough daylight to explore downtown, take instagram worth-y pictures, learn some history, and write-up a quaint little blog post.

I park the Jeep and step out into this:

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Blazing sun, 108 degrees F, or, 42.2 C to the rest of the world.

There’s a moment of shock—a gasp—then rapid pooling of perspiration on my brow and groinal region.

“Holy devil’s butthole!” I squeak, almost passing out, partitioning the painful sun from my pale face with a translucent hand.

Sprint inside the Omni Hotel.

“Is it hot out there, yet?” the receptionist asks me.

“Uhh, yeah,” I say, sweating like Robin Williams circa, well, I suppose the entire 80’s .

“I can tell. Your credit card is hot.”

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36 Degree Swing

After a couple of complimentary bottles of water, I set out, intent on bringing my readers the very best of North Central Texas: a walk-a-bout to disprove the gun-toting, cattle-driving, bible proselytizing generalizations of the region.

Outside, only two blocks down, and hyperhidrosis has opened the valves full torque. I’m panting, at sea level, and I’m very aware of the burning tips of my ears.

 A man runs down the street in shorts, tshirt, and headband; not 50 feet later I hear a “whoosh!”, and look to see the runner—not on fire—but instantaneously relegated to ash that scatters and blows away in the hairdryer breeze.

Defeated, I head back inside.

Before you judge —if this were Thailand, or some other exotic, equator straddling region, I would have kept going. But it wasn’t/is not, so I bring you the very best of the inside of the Fort Worth Omni.

In the Room

This is the remote. Never, ever touch this device, for it has a billion germs on it, and you’re more likely to contract hiv by changing to the golf channel then raw-doggin’ with the local ‘zine’s page 36 masseuse.

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These particular pillows are very nice; modern cowboy style (cowboy chic?). Accent pillows are to be kicked off the bed along with the comforter…while still wearing shoes. Do not let your hands, skin, or texan jesus forbid – your face – make contact with the pillows, no matter how clean they seem. Cesspool of DNA.

And ladies, never sit on the pillows – you’ll get pregnant instantaneously.

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Always test the bouncity of your hotel bed. It’s imperative to understand how you will sleep and to show your neighbors, even if you are traveling alone, that you mean big business.

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Around the Grounds

Serious for a moment— I’ve said before, I’m no hotel critic, but the Fort Worth Omni is a beautiful place with some great lines, and zen-ed out areas.

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Once the weather chills to a tepid 99 degrees  —I venture out again—and snap a pic with a ten foot bronze gentleman with a penchant for parted hair, and short blondes.

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A JFK tribute—to the layman—seems more suited 35 minutes away in Dallas where his assassination occurred, but Fort Worth hosted Mr. Kennedy’s last speech. To commemorate his vision for the country, highlighted in said speech a day before his death, they (the folks of Fort Worth) erected this tribute, which reads — ‘Dallas Killed Him’.

I head over to the southern chain Flying Saucer Draught Emporium. Life tip: always eat at a place with the words ‘Flying Saucer Draught Emporium’ in it. The food (Saucer Dipster – basically french onion dip with extraterrestrial flare) was really tasty with a great local beer (Southern Star Buried Hatchet Stout). Though the spicy ‘Rocket Tots’ would come back to haunt me hours later while I was running on a treadmill.

Guts: “Uhhh, Mike. We have a problem.”

Me: “Nonononono I’m running!”

Guts: “Ahhhhhh!”

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The Vittles, Ya’ll!

If you’re ever in the Fort Worth area – make sure to eat at Ellerbe’s Fine Foods on Magnolia Ave. It’s advertised as a farm-to-table restaurant typical of those so popular with the kids these days.  Ordered the pheasant, and was disappointed when I received my food as I thought I had ordered the ‘peasant’.  The pheasant was delicious, but oh how tasty would human meat be…

Donnor party of 3, Donner par-ty of 3.

If you’re in the general Dallas airport area (Coppell), in an unassuming industrial wasteland passed the stripclub row,  go to  Hard 8 BBQ pit; a place I have been dream cheating on Marti with since eating there last week.

The place is run by a guy who looks like Champ from Anchor Man

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whAAAMMY

Rest assured, it’s amazing. There’s a pavilion outside, with two massive grills, roaring with hickory smoke,  to queue around. Waiting outside, near the heat source is basically the same temp as satan’s nethers, but the meat sizzle/smell is pure heavenly bliss.

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Sausage, ribs, brisket, kabobs, bacon-wrapped shrimp poppers, corn, chicken, pork chops, sirloin, ham – all this BEFORE getting to the sides.

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Vegetarian Nightmare

My plate tops out at 1.1 lbs of meat. I walk in to sweet central air-conditioning for some side dishes, and to gorge on a bit of carnivore heaven before heading to the airport. When TSA scanned my body, they were so impressed by how much meat I had consumed they gave me a sticker.

I worked; I ate; I drank — thanks, TX.

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Stay tuned, Roamers:

Next week I travel to Wisconsin to find my favorite beer. Then, I camp on an uninhabited island with a guy named Coyote.

43 Comments Post a comment
  1. You went on a run post-tot?! Damn son, that Texas heat must’ve friend your brain (which would explain a lot about just about every decision coming out of Texas). Everyone knows the only activities that one should do post tater tot binge are lay on a couch while complaining how full you are and nap.

    August 23, 2013
    • haha! the heat affected my synapse seemed like an awesome idea at the time. In other news, I’ve found a natural alternative to rocket fuel.
      Will totally complain and nap next time I’m in Texas.

      August 23, 2013
  2. Holy cow! Seriously. You’re in my hood. By the way, Coppell likes to call itself a “bedroom” community. I don’t know why. I think it has something to do with American Airlines. Hard Eight is my loyal follower’s favorite lunch spot. Maybe you saw him if you were there on a day of the week that ends in day.

    August 23, 2013
    • Are you serious, Honie? Damn, wish I knew.
      The houses in Coppell (after getting through the industrial part) were huuuge. Pretty sweet.
      Wow – wordpress really has created an even smaller world. Not sure I could eat it everyday, but I sure as hell would try if I lived near Hard 8!
      Thanks!

      August 23, 2013
      • Yeah, I don’t live in Coppell, but you were like 5 minutes from my house. I can hear flight attendants say, “please raise your seat backs and tray tables” that’s how close I am to DFW. The heat is pretty impressive, isn’t it? I escaped it for a few days last week and went to San Francisco where I met blogger Allan Smorra from Ohm Sweet Ohm. That makes three so far! If you are ever back in the area, let me know. Oh, and TSA Texas gives everybody that meatbody sticker. It’s part of the 2012 Cattleman’s Ya’ll Come Back Campaign!

        August 23, 2013
        • Your flight attendant comment made me giggle.
          Quite impressive. Humid/hot – worse than New Orleans.

          Crap – now I really wish I had put something on FB or here – would had loved to say hey, grab an adult beverage with you.

          I still have the sticker…thinking about getting it tattoed.

          August 23, 2013
          • Nice. A Texas Tat. Next time, perhaps…drinks are on me. okay seriously, now I’m done. promise

            August 23, 2013
  3. Good stuff. I lived in Dallas briefly and hated it so I moved a lil ways down the road to Tarrant County and loved it. It’s not always as backwards as the rest of the world thinks all of Texas is. Close, but not always.

    August 23, 2013
    • I spent a lot of time in Dallas in the early 00’s – wasn’t a huge fan either. Oh I know – just playing the generalizations. I actually really enjoy visiting TX – the people are nice/helpful and I love the culture/history.
      Any opinions on the best city to visit in TX?
      Thanks, Donofalltrades!

      August 23, 2013
      • I’m more of a hootin’ hollerin’ get drunk sort of chap, so the Stockyards/Fort Worth is right up my alley. Austin is probably more your cup of tea were I a gamblin’ man. The only other city I visited was San Antonio and I would not subject anyone to that city ever. I don’t see the appeal of the riverwalk and the alamo is most underwhelming, but that’s just me.

        August 23, 2013
        • Me too – didn’t make it to the Stockyards, but felt strangely attracted to the area. Good to know – will keep San Antone on the no-go list.

          August 23, 2013
      • I know you didn’t ask me, but Fredricksburg, TX is a great German influenced town with excellent restaurants and tourist attractions. Austin of course, if you can handle the crowds. Also McKinney is good for a day trip, and my town, Grapevine, has a lot of Main Street festivals throughout the year. Be advised, Grapevine is a drinking town with a historical problem. I think maybe Bonnie and Clyde blew through here before they were captured. Dallas is not a fave of mine, once you’ve seen the book depository, well, you get the picture…BUT there is an area of Dallas, the Bishop Arts District that has a sort of Austin vibe. Lockhart Smoke House there has amazing, no sauce required, BBQ. There you have it, Honie’s tips for visiting Texas. Everything else is just a big hair dryer.

        August 23, 2013
        • Thanks for the tips, Honie.
          Writing these down for future trips.
          Someone mentioned Lockhart as the #1 over Hard8, but we didn’t have time. Maybe they deliver….

          August 23, 2013
          • Lockhart runs out of meat every day. The line is long. The first time we went, we didn’t know the drill. We sat down at the bar, thinking we’d get a menu and someone would serve our meal. Yeah, no. That is not how it works. You stand in line and go to the kitchen where three guys are serving it up cafeteria style THEN you can take a seat and get a beverage. Worth the wait and yes, it WAY beats Hard8 by a Texas long shot, and you can guess how big that is! okay I’m done now.

            August 23, 2013
          • Let us know next time you are headed to the Lone Star State- however we do refer to moist brisket, just so you are prepared!

            August 29, 2013
            • Heck yes I’ll let you know!
              …I do prefer tender brisket over…moist…brisket.
              Thanks, Lockhart Smokehouse!

              September 2, 2013
  4. I thought you said 11 pounds of meat!!! Great hotel tips. I am always grossed out although looking back on my trip to Europe, I was so exhausted at 2 AM, I dropped into bed face first on those throw pillows.
    Hot, hot hot! We were in Vegas when the temps never dropped below 114. We trudged from sprayer head to sprayer head.
    Have fun in my homeland; the land of cheese and happy people! I didn’t spend too much time in La Crosse, but my brother graduated from UW-LaCrosse and played in a band called Mr. Blink!

    August 23, 2013
    • My eyeballs wanted 11 pounds of meat…
      Omni’s are generally nice, but the Fort Worth one was really, really cool.

      Ewwww, lucky you didn’t get pillow plague. Yeah…TX was second to Vegas heat. That’s a whole other ballgame.

      (I’m actually back already :)) But I did have a lot of fun. That’s Awesome! I got to see the UW-LC football field from Grandad Bluff. Pretty cool town.

      August 23, 2013
      • It has the river and rolling hills and great beer!

        August 23, 2013
        • Spotted Cow was the second best beer I’ve ever had. And I got back in C-bus to find you can’t get it outside of WI. NOOOOOOO

          August 23, 2013
  5. I’ve lived in Dallas for most of my existence and while I have hometown pride and love the food, I find it quite boring and dominated by suburbia. So, if you haven’t been yet and come back to Texas, I definitely recommend hitting up Austin. My favorite Texas city. Super weird, super quirky, lots of music, lots of culture. Although I suppose I AM a little biased since I’m a 20 year old UT college student so Austin would suit my interests more so than Dallas.

    August 23, 2013
    • Hey alcantaria!
      Austin has been on my list for quite some time – just didn’t get the logistics right to road trip down there. Any suggestions on where to go in Austin? Restaurants, etc?
      Thanks!

      August 26, 2013
      • In a nutshell since I could go on and on:
        -Juan in a Million – cheap, authentic Mexican restaurant; Magnolia Cafe – quirky eatery that basically serves everything 24/7. They also make their own sauces daily; Mandola’s – fabulous Italian restaurant; Kerbey Lane- famous for their queso and pancakes (although typically not eaten together); Hopdoddy’s – awesome burger bar with even more awesome milkshakes; Homeslice Pizza; Salt Lick- not quite in the city but they’ve got kickass barbeque; Clay Pit – Indian Food!; Trudy’s & Chuy’s – both great TexMex eateries.
        Basically, it’s best to hit up all of South Congress, especially on a Saturday afternoon. Many neat restaurants–and shops–are along this road. And don’t forget to hit up the food trucks. They’re everywhere, mostly 1st St., w/ one of my faves being Bananarchy, a frozen banana stand. Strange, but delicious.

        August 29, 2013
      • Other places to check out are the Graffiti Park (beautiful and constantly changing), the State Capitol (duh), Zilker Park (where ACL is held), floating/kayaking/stand-up paddleboarding (SUPs) along Lady Bird Lake or any other body of water, and of course, THE University of Texas at Austin. Sorry, the comment(s) did end up being quite long, but hope this helps, mabukach!

        August 29, 2013
        • Holy crap, Alcantaria!
          This is awesome. And coincidentally, perfect timing, as I might be heading to Austin in October. Apparently there’s a music fest during the weekend I might be there…
          Seriously, thank you so much. Great, great recommendations. All written down in my (travel nerd alert) ‘Texas’ excel sheet. :)

          September 2, 2013
          • Haha! You’re very welcome, although I know I can be a little overwhelming sometimes when it comes to Austin. Any other inquiries just let me know.
            (And by music fest you mean ACL? If so, super excited for you, you’re gonna love it!!)
            Cheers!

            September 2, 2013
            • Not at all – I love it. The more options the better.
              Will do – I’ll let you know if I will be there.
              Yes! The ACL! Looks like a lot of the shows are already sold out, but we’ll see what happens.
              Thanks again!

              September 3, 2013
  6. You and Kennedy Statue should hangout more often, especially if you can find a bronze suit that fits you as well.

    August 24, 2013
  7. Oh, how I love traveling with you, Mike, hysterical! Thanks for everything except taking me on the vegetarian nightmare (it was), with the corn-on-a-stick looking objects in the lower right marinating in urine eliminating any fantasy of sharing a meal “with you” there. Oh, and one humble suggestion: “Rocket Trots” might provide a more concise name + visual, thereby eliminating any further need to illustrate (though I do like the rocket picture). :)

    August 26, 2013
    • Literally corn on a stick wading in butter. Heart attack much?
      Ok, rocket trots made me laugh really, really loud. Shit, laura, I need your help writing this stuff!
      How’s life? How’s the chicken?

      August 26, 2013
      • :)
        Life is good here, just been in lazy, lazy-blogger warp for a while… Chicken laying eggs and recently re-located to a new home where she can be with other chickens! Thanks for asking.

        August 26, 2013
        • Good to hear. I think everyone’s in lazy-blogger mode.
          Hooray Chicken!

          August 28, 2013
  8. Non-Flapdoodle-ental #

    PLEASE COME TO LAHORE!!!

    September 29, 2013
    • Lahore, Pakistan?
      That would be awesome! Are there giant spiders in Pakistan? I know nothing about Lahore – time to study up.

      September 30, 2013
  9. Teehehe, that place was my home for almost 30 years! I think you just reminded me of why I finally moved away…

    January 4, 2014
  10. Antonht #

    They sure make some good bbq in Texas, I sure dont mind 30 celc. that we have in sweden, but those days when i lived in texas and it were 42+ C were haaaard days!

    August 6, 2014
    • That is definitely roasting hot!
      Sweden via Texas? How did that happen, Antonht?

      August 7, 2014
      • Antonht #

        well, I’m a member of the LDS church, so I lived there for 2 years as a missionary.

        Else I wouldn’t say there is much to do in Texas except to eat good food ;) (and of course sweat pretty bad in august!)

        August 8, 2014
        • Makes sense –

          Texas: we sweat, we eat! :)

          August 14, 2014

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