Texan Pligrimage

I am a Canadian from the Maritimes, staying for the fall in Waco, Texas, with my fiance, while I apply to grad school at Baylor University. Here you will find an account of my stay in a strange new land.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Rudy's Bar-B-Q

Hello all!

After three weeks of intense study for the GRE, I wrote it last Friday, did quite well, I am happy to report, and have now re-entered the land of the living! It's funny how different the world looks when one is not exclusively focussed on a single event. I went for a long walk alone yesterday afternoon, and it felt like the first time I had been alone with my thoughts in ages. It was a beautiful day. With the breeze, the temperature was probably 18 to 20 Celsius. As the sun set, the wind came up and blew in some lovely mottled clouds, making it cool enough for me to put on the turtleneck I'd brought. I've discovered a park called "Pecan Bottoms" full of old trees and grassy expanses. It's about three or four kilometers from my house, and there are nice clean park benches facing the river: the perfect spot to take a book. I've often bemoaned the fact that I have yet to discover a really tranquil coffee shop in Waco where you could take a book. At least the weather is such, though, that you can read outside if you can once find a good spot for it.

I have few little bits of news which I realized I have not shared, so now seems an opportune time.

1) Matt and I have joined a choir, consisting of mostly Classics professors, and of Dr. Corey, with whom Matt has an assistantship (he's the one who invited us to join). We are a small chamber ensemble who meet for an hour on Friday afternoons to sing early music: you can well imagine that I find this delightful. The idea of the group is more to get together and enjoy music than to perform, so it is low pressure: just an hour's release from the stresses of the day.

2) We've also joined a crop sharing association which is an offshoot of the nearby World Hunger Relief Farm. For $14 a week, we get to pick up a basket full of weird and wonderful vegetables from the farm. Some of my favourites so far have been asian turnips, little mini eggplants, bunches of fresh dill, cilantro, basil and parsley, and most recently, baby cantaloupes! The growing season down here extends into December, so I am expecting many more delightful surprises.

3) We have been lent two bikes by two different charitable individuals: we are now free to cruise the streets of Waco in high style. For a while we only had one: a real roadster, with big wide handle-bars and a basket. I wish I had gotten a picture of Matt on it, because I probably won't be able to, now that we also have a sportier one. These bikes, actually, have been very useful in picking up our Crop-share vegetables. So obviously everything is working out as it should.

But now onto the title-event of this posting: the trip we took with friends last Friday night to Rudy's Bar-B-Q and Country Store (notice that one of the Rudy's locations is listed on the website as "closed due to lightning strike." I'm not sure why this should seem singularly appropriate to me, but it does.). This was a real experience. There are no plates at Rudy's: just big sheets of parchment-paper with piles of meat on them. You buy your meal by the pound, load the meat onto white bread, slather it in "sause," and top with onions, pickles and jalapeƱos. I have oft been accused of being a vegetarian, but rest assured, this is not the case! I LOVED it! Apparently the meat we had this time was a little dry (we ordered lean, so it serves us right), but it was still practically falling apart. We ate at picnic tables in a section of the restaurant decorated to look like a garage. And of course, we were serenaded by country music as we ate. Honest to goodness, it was really fun! Occasionally, when I put myself in a real Texas situation, I have a flash of understanding as to why Texans love their homeland so much. Every now and then...


Anonymous mom said...

I love the "eat meat" airplane on the Rudy's site!

5:25 AM  
Anonymous Matt said...

You forgot to mention the great t-shirts that the staff wear:

"I didn't claw my way to the top of the food chain to eat vegetables!"

12:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Except for being a non-Kosher establishment and lacking Habs paraphenalia, Rudy's has a lot in common with Schwarz's on the Main!


5:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That establishment doesn't sound wonderful to me! But the biking and the veggie farm do! Hi to you both and Happy Thanksgiving.

6:05 PM  

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