Monday, November 9, 2009

The next hot spot

Every Sunday the Washington Post Arts & Living section does a few travel features, and you know who snagged a piece of the spotlight for the first weekend in November?  None other than the Texas Panhandle.  That's right, the place draws you in with its rich history and captivates with..."a vast, silent expanse of flat, arid land that is almost defiantly inhospitable to human activity."  Well, if that's not a selling point, then I don't know what is.

Ok, the article does go on to actually celebrate a few local spots, and while I don't necessarily think of the Panhandle as one of the world's most exciting travel locales, it certainly holds a special place in my heart.  Especially when the details section of the Washington Post directs you to fly into Oklahoma City to get to the Panhandle.  Oh, heavens, Amarillo at least has an airport.  It's even an international airport.

Some of my Panhandle, and specifically, Amarillo, favorites, just in case you ever feel the need to explore that flat, arid land.  And yes, there will be a lot of food involved.  Specifically...Tex-Mex.  There's a lot of other delicious food, of course, so I'll wax nostalgic on those in connection with something else.
  • Tex-Mex rules.  Go to Tacos Garcia and order the Tampico plate.  And then go to Rosa's for anything (and at least one tortilla) and Leal's for the green chile queso and Abuelo's and The Plaza and I wish Paradise Too was still around.  The waitresses knew my family there.  Best nachos and Spanish rice EVER, and Mom and Dad would always spring for the Andes mints at the end of the meal.  I loved that place.  Oh my gosh, Taco Villa!!
  • Stanley Marsh 3 signs.  Not III, 3.  Yes, he's that kind of guy.  A eccentric rich guy who gets a kick out of getting people to put up crazy signs like these all over town:

  • The Tri-State Fair.  I didn't realize what a good show they actually put on until I stopped in at some really unforgettable fairs in Abilene and Lubbock (we're keeping the comparison in the smallish zone, kids - of course the Texas State Fair is awesome) and developed a greater appreciation for the fried ice cream from Amarillo's finest vendors operating out of trailers.
  • People are generally nice here.  That finger lifted off the steering wheel is a greeting, not the finger.  The land of ya'll and howdy.  Something to be said for that.
  • Semi-seasons.  It totally snows in Texas.
There's more, but that'll do for now, ya'll.  Except for one last sunset.  And a few power lines stretching across that vast, silent expanse of land.


Carrie said...

Wow, had the Washington Post run out of every other possible travel locale? I mean, the Panhandle is home and I love it, but I would not direct random travelers looking for fun and adventure there. Did they warn their readers that even the coffee shops close at no later than 9 pm?

Sarah said...

ummm...hilarious that that was in the Washington Post...although, i can't believe they missed international aiport!!! You're making my mouth water with all the talk of Tacos Garcia, Rosa's, Leals, The Plaza, Taco Villa, oh my! But I agree, maybe not the most exciting travel destination! (And there is nothing better than a panhandle sunset!)

Erin said...

I was completely intrigued by the fact that this was in the Post - I mean, really?!? Oh, but Roasters is open until 10! And the one in Hastings is open until 11!! Talk about a sweet nightlife spot.

And I think my mouth started watering again...I might have to grab Chipotle for dinner just to taste something remotely resembling Mexican food.