...being the observations and navigational extracts
from the ongoing expeditions of San Francisco Piano Pop trio
True Margrit

Saturday, May 01, 2010

The Ideal Texas BBQ Moment

Being Chapter the 11th in the 2010 SxSW March into Spring Haiku & BBQ Tour-a novella

Sunday, March 21st
I awake in the zone of 10:00 am, not entirely sure where I am, or why...hmmm. Oh yes. Rock music. In Texas. The band is True Margrit and they're out spreading the word about their album "The Juggler's Progress". It all sounds familiar. I try it on for size. Yes. It fits.

And now. Perhaps it is time to get up and forage for some strong black tea.

I emerge to a Sunday morning bustle. Our hosts are getting ready for a trip overseas, but we are going to tear them away from their preparations for a bit, for we have a lunch date in the early afternoon at Austin's much-lauded Tex-Mex restaurant, Maudie's. YUM!

I hang out and chat with Julie for a bit. The laptops of all who are present litter the dining room. The internet is utilized. Showers are taken. Phone calls are made. And it's now time for lunch.

We progress in caravan-style to Maudie's. There is a wait, but we are assured it's worth it. There's a Goodwill Shop nearby so Gary & I opt to peruse the wares until our table is called. In due course, we get our table, we sit down & order, and our food arrives. Although I was instructed by many friends to get migas in Austin, I am swayed by the prospect of mushroom enchiladas. I'm not disappointed. They are all that I love--cheesy, corny, savory, mushroomy. I also love the chips--super thin and super crispy. I have heard diners refer to properly prepared deep-fried food as "light" when the item is:
1) crunchy
2) not visibly dripping with oil

Personally, I think this is ridiculous. Don't fool yourselves! It cannot in any caloric sense be calculated accurately as light--it's deep fried! But it can be delicious. Like these chips dipped in the Maudie's salsa. Very addictive, very tasty.

We go back to the house. Andrew fluffs a pillow, lies back on the couch, and composes himself for an afternoon nap. Gary retires upstairs as well. I receive phone calls that lead to a spontaneous mini-Oak Ridge reunion. David Snyder AND Jeanie Haber drop by and we all have a dandy old time catching up.

The shadows lengthen. Talking is hungry work--the time has come. The votes are in. Five out of six Austin residents agree that The Salt Lick is the best BBQ in town--except it's not exactly in town. It's a bit of a drive to the highly recommended location. Jeanie must depart. Julie & David have dinner plans with their daughter. But David Snyder is in. And thus the members of a very sleep-deprived band (plus David Snyder) go on a drive on the band's one day off. In the name of The Ideal BBQ Moment.

We get to The Salt Lick after dark. Nighttime adds to its mystique. The pit is so massive I imagine it as a circle of Hell, and the cooks with their utensils are like demons with pitchforks heaving the mighty slabs of beef like unshriven souls being forced closer to the flames. Amen.

We can't narrow down our desires, so we pretty much order one of everything they have--except turkey. Turkey is where we draw the line. The meats and sides all come out simultaneously and it is all truly a glorious array of Americana in edible form. But the baby-back ribs are the best of all--texture: succulent, flavor: sweet salty smokey tart rich--all at once. We all moan voluptuously. There is no way we can eat all this. Not even. The remaining food stuffs two of the extra-large takeout vessels completely to the brim.

Julie has retired but David is still awake when we return. He had demurred when we offered to bring them something from The Salt Lick. But when we hand over the leftovers he eagerly clutches the containers, his eyes alight.

And he sighs.

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