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Tales from Near My Office

Look. I’m not quite ready to process football yet. Even "football" of the JV Ivy League variety, or some other Yankee concoction. I still need a couple of days. And when I can’t process, I’ve been known to eat my feelings like a chubby 14 year old girl that plays French horn and dreams of being a twirler.

There’s a restaurant near my office that emails out their daily menus. They’ve been on a theme kick lately.

So, Monday morning, found me predisposed to food and food-related emails. But it was with a slight twinge of "what the holy hell?" that I opened this email from said restaurant.

Subject: When A Sombrero Meets A Stetson, Tasty Things Happen




Croissant [hmm]

Toasted Bagel with Butter and Jelly [uh]

Fruit Salad [what?]

Breakfast Sandwiches

Breakfast Quesadilla [Sure. You could have gone with the obvious "breakfast taco" …]

Torta Chiso with Queso Blanco [I lived in Texas 32 years. I still have no idea what the hell "Torta Chiso" is. Neither does the Google.]



Chicken Fajita [Would have called it "tortilla soup," but whatevs.]

Minestrone [Ahh. Yes. From the Italian word for soup.]

Salads & Sides

Tex-Mex Salad

7 Grain Avocado Salad

Chipotle Roasted Potato Wedges

[They’ve stopped trying. So have I.]

Pico de Gallo [Surely pronounced "gal-oh."]

Guacamole [Smashed avocado snot does not a guacamole make.]

Proteins [Who the hell calls their menu section "Proteins?"]

Grilled Ancho Steak

Tortilla Crusted Salmon [Amazingly to me, Googling "Mexican Salmon" produced about 3,650,000 results, and it did it in about 0.37 seconds.]


Grilled Chicken with Tomatillo Salsa

Mardi Gras Chicken Pepper Jack Onions and Chipotle Spread [It’s like Greg Davis is making up this menu. No coherence. No identity. Fat people falling all over the place.]

Well, that’s just … appallingly unfortunate. At the end of that email, I found myself not wanting to think about football AND I didn’t want to eat my feelings anymore. Lesser men would have started smoking again.

Instead, I did something quite strange for me. I started doing work. On a Monday morning. Two days after a Texas football game. A scant five days before Texas plays our most horrible, foul-breathed rival in a game that usually serves as a reminder to me there really are still times good must fight evil. And now? Instead of mulling over every single iteration of what 22 players did on 70 plays from scrimmage the game before and how it translates to what 22 players will do on 70 plays the next Saturday, I’m setting agendas for meetings and checking on teams. Not checking on football teams, mind you. I’m checking on work teams. I’m doing real work.


Monday proceeded as if it was your average offseason Monday. Monday of OU week. Sheesh. I’m a broken man here.

The next morning, I’m headed in to the Stone Quarry when one of my BlackBerrys hits me with the Tuesday menu. This place is the gift that keeps on giving there, Clark.

Subject: Two-Step It to Taste Bud Heaven

[Now. I’m clearly biased, but the term "Two Step" is something I assume has to have a connection to Texas. Especially when we’re referring to it as a dance step.]




Fruit Salad [Only Texan if the fruit is encased in Jell-O.]

Grits [Hmm. Grits aren’t very Texan at all.]

Breakfast Sandwiches

Cheddar Biscuit [Red Lobster! FTW!]

Cheddar Sausage Biscuits [Wait. We called this BBQ, right?]

[Would have gone with biscuits and gravy. WHITE gravy.]


Salads & Sides

Southwestern Coleslaw [I can’t even imagine how this turned out.]

Cajun Corn Maque Choux [Look, I know Texas has a few Cajuns. But, based on the advanced level Texas knowledge we’ve been dealing with here, I am assuming this was just accidentally Texas-ish.]

Green Beans with Shallots and Red Peppers [80 percent of Texas thinks a shallot is seafood.]

Roasted Butternut Squash [Oh. Hell. No.]

Cranberry Pecan Wild Rice [Get a rope.]

Macaroni au Gratin [Better be a lot of Gratin.]


Slow-Cooked Beef Brisket [Surprisingly, it wasn’t chicken brisket.]

BBQ Chicken [I’m sure the sauce was to die for.]

Crab Cake [<Insert HenryJames joke here.>]


Pulled Pork with Caramelized Onions [At some point this gets offensive, right?]


Chili con Queso [Don't soups have liquid? Doesn't Chili not have liquid? Good chili, anyway?]

Broccoli & Cheddar [I’d rather eat my Barking Carnival tote bag than try to pass this off as BBQ fare.]

New York is a city of immigrants, and it doesn’t matter if you immigrate from Ghana’s capital of Accra or Texas’ capital of Austin, you’re just as welcome and just as much a foreigner. Except there’s a great Ghanaian place just a couple blocks from my office.