Best Texas Songs: The Short List If you're new to Texas, you better know Texas music. If you grew up in Texas and you don't know at least these or Pat Green, Dixie Chicks or T Bone Burnett, may a horned toad snuggle in your boots and a Texas tarantula crawl across you when you sleep. Full Story » Alan Nelson
Out of 26 million Texans, you may have an idea to change the world. You may have had several ideas to change the world. But only a tiny minority of you pushed through the U.S. Patent office from application to successful patent. We've seen Texans change the world many times over. Jack Kilby did it with Texas Instruments in 1958 with the integrated circuit, causing the start of the digital revolution, which, in part, is why you can read these words over your electronic device.
Over the last few years, Texas Business has brought its feature: Texas Business Patent of the Day. This list is of the ones that were either extremely clever, odd or strange. One thing becomes apparent from these patents and the patent that runs daily in Texas Business—Texans have a unique mind set.
Though the history of the Corn Dog is disputed, the State Fair of Texas claims to have introduced the Corny Dog sometime between 1938 and 1942. As a paean to that invention that now sits in the freezer section of every grocery store in the southwest, here are the fried foods the State Fair of Texas has introduced, or tried to introduce, in the last seven years.
Don't get caught up with John Wayne religion. For one thing, he's not Texan. He's in some fine movies involving Texas, most notably The Searchers, but none of his movies can make the best cut of Texas movies. Here's the short list.
Unsung Texas Business Journalists Mention that one is a reporter, and there's a spark of interest. Mention that one is a business news reporter, and watch the eyes glaze over. Except to the players, business and economic journalists are unappreciated. While many wish to become sports reporters when they grow up, most do not realize that business journalists cover the Real Game. Mention that reporter covers business, and watch the eyes glaze over. A toast to these below on the short list and the numerous unnamed ones slogging away. Full Story » TexasBusiness.com
Best Texas Mexican Food: The Short List No, we're not going to debate the difference between Tex-Mex, Mex-Tex, Mexican and Texican food. Just know these establishments are the pinnacle of Texas Mexican fare. No brag, just fact. Full Story » TexasBusiness.com
Best Texas Burgers Texas Burgers. . While a hamburger is merely sustenance and gratification for a meal, the memory a good Texas burger can give rise to Homeric odes. The short list. Full Story » TexasBusiness.com
Once there was a restaurant called Burgermakers connected to a beauty shop.
I discovered Burgermakers on a Lunchquest, a long running weekly search for restaurants that I started back in the early 1980s.
The owner, Wayne and his wife ran both the café and the salon at once, walking back and forth through a narrow hallway. It was one of those economic combinations that you never expect for a variety of health and business reasons.
Wayne’s wife had an early 1950s bouffant as high as Marge Simpsons, but dyed a bright blonde. Wayne had bouffant hair that looked like a cross between Elvis and Oral Roberts.
The business was in a section of a town that wasn’t known for code enforcements. The old strip center they inhabited had been vacant for years before Burgermakers and the beauty shop appeared.
My first visit there, I worried about the dual business of women with similar bouffant under old style bubble dryers connected with foodservice on the other. I worried about chemicals and hair making the journey to whatever I ordered. I wondered what health laws were violated as Wayne and his wife wandered to and from their beauty shop customers back to the grill.
After my first meal, I no longer cared about code violations or health laws.
I ordered the 4x4—the siren of all burgers. You found yourself driven by a gluttony you never knew you possessed until you bit into one. And you had to mash it down to get into your mouth. The four-by-four was a hamburger. It was four quarter-pound patties of beef, with four slabs of thick cheddar, and four layers of thick fried bacon, onions, pickles, lettuce and mustard. It was a poster burger for SuperSizing long before trademarked the phrase in the early 2000’s.
Each time, we ate what was the most enjoyable lunch of our lives. We couldn’t believe that something could be so good so often, like Narnia’s enchanted Turkish Delight. We ate and wondered about Wayne and his wife, who we believed adopted their styles in the 1950s, and remained frozen in time. We wondered how they came up with the idea for a burger/bouffant business and came up with several alternate timeline theories.
As we ate our 4x4s, we drank IBC root beer and for dessert, ate a fried chocolate pie. We noted how content Wayne and Wayne’s wife appeared. They juggled food preparation and dye jobs and never would become rich. But they seemed to be the aging Happy Days’ couple in an economic reality of their own creation that sucked us all into another world. We knew we had stumbled into a living legend for we were usually the only ones there.
Then, we all scurried to different havens at work to weather the afternoon in digestive hibernation.
Burgermakers finally shut down after someone veered off the road and crashed into the cafe. No insurance, no means to rebuild and reopen.
Whenever I discover a hair in my food at a restaurant, I don’t feel sick. I feel nostalgic. I still mourn the passing of 4x4s and chocolate fried pies decades after its death, as do my friends and think about the bouffants of Wayne and his wife.
The Texas News Scrawl is a handy reference to stories Texas Business recommends from other news sources. Some of the stories that Texas Business currently suggests include: Irving spends incentive dollars to lure two corporate headquarters and almost 2,000 jobs;Hotels, restaurant operators prep for record Final Four;Star-Telegram presses roll one last time; Robert Rodriguez breathes new life into an old vampire favorite; ClubCorp buys Prestonwood Country Club in Dallas and Plano; Office Depot overcharged Dallas by up to $3.6 million, city auditor finds; Texas power market monitor resigns amid unresolved reform debate; U.S. Supreme Court denies review of Farmers Branch immigration ordinance;and more.