The Flavor of a Place

What makes a comfort food?  Those foods that make your heart as full as your tummy? I think some foods we associate with people we love, some with events, and some with places. Even the smell of them brings that association to mind. Hot chocolate smells like my husband. Giant Belgian waffles topped with strawberries, powdered sugar and whipped cream IS the Texas State Fair for me.

And as a gypsy’s wife, having lived few places for more than a few years, a longing for certain foods is inextricably linked to a longing for certain places, especially my home state of Texas. So, in spite of the inevitable extra pounds, visiting Texas has to mean visiting certain Texas restaurants. The sense of home and relief eating these signature foods is powerful. And unfortunately, a few days’ vacation isn’t long enough to experience all the important ones, but it is enough to put on the extra pounds. Give and take, I guess.

Our first home-tastes dinner was Mama’s Pizza, and it was just very sad that we only had time to eat there once. Stoney was once a teen manager of a Mama’s, and our own kitchen still benefits from the skills he gained there! Next stop was El Fenix:

If only we could have ordered the whole menu.

Their tortilla chips HAVE to be the best I’ve ever had. They are paper thin, crispy and homemade. That is a chicken enchilda in the middle there, with a puffy taco. Only Texas can bring you TexMex! Next on the tour was breakfast at La Madeline’s with a friend. I wish they would bring one up to Wichita! Another day I dragged Stoney there for lunch. I think he feared for his manly rep, because he ordered the American breakfast for lunch. Bacon and eggs is safe, I guess.

More Mexican: Campo Verde, filled with fond childhood memories and LOTS of gaudy decor. My favorite tacky restaurant! The queso is awesome.

Just a hint of the interior

Not only is it Christmas in here all year long…

fiesta lighting

but it comes with a train that passes throughout the restaurant. What a great place to take little kids!

note the train whizzing by overhead

No trip to Texas could be complete without a visit to Pizza Place in Weatherford. Everyone in high school walked there for lunch at some point, and their pizza is unlike anyone else’s. The decor is high school athletics/graffiti, and staffed by high schoolers. Truly small town Americana. We also stopped at the Farmer’s Market in Weatherford and picked up DUBLIN DR PEPPER! Woohoo! The only true Pepper, baby! Only a bushel of Parker County peaches would have made it perfect, but they must have been holding back the good stuff for the upcoming Peach Festival. I just stood around and smelled the heaven of peachiness instead. I wish I could make this a scratch-n-sniff.

I’m back in Kansas, but at least I still have a case of Dublin Dr. Peppers. Every little bottle is like a taste of Texas!

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