I’m currently on the road, attending Jane and Michael Stern’s annual Roadfood gathering this weekend in Texas (will be blogging and offering up some photos on Monday, hopefully). A massive delay in our Amtrak train from Dallas to Austin yesterday forced some improvisation, and we rented an aging Mazda 6 station wagon and drove the 200 miles after lunch at Love Shack in the Ft. Worth Stockyards (the burgers were overcooked, but the country soundtrack was killer) and took a quick spin through the city’s arts district. Louis Kahn’s Kimbell Art Museum is worth the trip as is Tadao Ando’s Modern Art Museum though both collections are eclipsed by the architecture.
I-35 between Ft. Worth and Austin is two lanes of eighteen-wheelers packed cheek by jowl with the occasional car thrown in for variety. It’s a life-size slot-car derby, and I spent much of the time with fingernails dug into the steering wheel. Midway, past Waco, I needed a mental health break, and we pulled off into a Sonic, the drive-in chain you see ads for on TV but that doesn’t exist in Minnesota. (They’re coming, I suspect, but the climate is ill-suited.)
Our drinks came in massive Styrofoam cups, narrow at the bottom, huge at the top (cup-holder friendly, American ingenuity!). At mid-afternoon, drinks are half-price, but the volume of ice to drink was only satisfactory in that it didn’t require a bathroom stop before Austin. When I opened the lid, I found the famous crushed ice that Southerners, particularly Texans, love so much they eat it plain, by the cupful.
Crushed ice is largely a thing of the past in Twin Cities restaurants and bars (Yum! had it for awhile), but it is the optimal soft drink/iced tea ice and is plenty fun to munch on if you can take your hands off the wheel.