THE TEE-PEE MARKET PLACE: Going into Devine from the north you can't
miss this place and if you have an appetite at all consider stopping. You'll be
Named after Thomas Jefferson Devine, the only Confederate except the CSA
President Jefferson Davis to be indicted by the U.S for treason.
Story & Photos by IRA KENNEDY
Out of the cloud of dust emerged a tipi monument.
"What's this?" I mumbled while looking around sorta wild like. "Tee
Pee Market Place. Buy, sell animals and imports, Mexican restaurant, fresh home made
tortillas." I reckon Ms. Intrepid -- assuming I was blind as a potato --
was reading the sign for my benefit. Or maybe she was just trying to calm me down
like when you read a storybook to younguns. "Looks like lunch to me," she
s. Intrepid made straight away for the
restaurant just to the left of the tipi monument. The appearance of the place didn't hold
out much hope but I was fully alive now and my stomach, having digested three cups of
coffee, was busy working on the rest of me.
The restaurant was a clean well-lighted place and
completely silent except for the soft sounding pat, pat, pat of Mamma's tortilla
production back in the kitchen. Young Son came out with a couple of menus then he
and Ms. Intrepid commenced parlaying in Spanish while I pondered the menu, also in
Ms. Intrepid ordered up a couple of Cokes and then started in on
the menu. I saw one word I knew well and ordered tacos stuffed with picadillo.
Well, actually Ms. Intrepid completed my order cause once I got past the taco part Young
Son assumed I was up to speed in Spanish and let loose with a flurry of questions.
The stupid expression on my face shoulda been a clue.
"What'd you order?"
Whatever. I was happy just letting the Coke work its
way through the dust lingering on my tongue like a fat, furry feline. (Oops.)
There was no pile of chips and dip that usually show
up on the table at most Tex-Mex restaurants. And when my taco was served it wasn't
the crunchy kind that shatters into a million pieces on the first bite. It looked
like a burrito.
When I commented on this Ms. Intrepid (who's been on
every continent except maybe the Antarctica) informed me that this was a real Mexican
restaurant, not your angliofied kind found further north. Also the plate wasn't
piled high with rice and beans just so you can walk away with a full belly. I always
figured enough is as good as a feast and this was a feast. And their salsa verde
rivaled that of Zavalla's Restaurant in Mason. The plate held fresh mashed avocado
(no green peas or mayo in this) and a vine-ripened tomato and lettuce salad on the side.
The vote was unanimous. Two thumbs up on this place.
When the bill came it amounted to $8.75. I gave Young Son $12 and he gave me
a confused look holding out the two extra dollars.
"That's the tip," I said forgetting that his
English was on par with my Spanish.
As we walked away Young Son caught up with me and
offered up the two dollars again. Confusion reigned and I thought, "Dang, I
only left a two dollar tip?" I reached in my pocket and matched the two with two
more. Now, with two dollars in one hand and two in the other Young Son was past confused,
allowing us to make a break for the door.
Outside we walked toward the critter pens. I was confused
to distraction and lit into some serious pondering about what just transpired. Here's the
conclusion: Young Son figured $1.25 was a fair tip and my math skills were on par with my
Spanish. Be kind he concluded: Don't take advantage on the poor gringo, maybe he could put
the money toward Spanish lessons. Or maybe Young Son sized me up just right knowing
I didn't have deep pockets, just short legs.
A $5.25 tip for an $8.75 meal. Musta made his day.
When I explained all of this to Ms. Intrepid she said, "Well good, now he can
take his girlfriend out to the movies." (And she thinks I hang out on a
different planet. That's hardly popcorn money these days.)
We perused the used stuff for sale, checked out the
critter pens with horses and goats then ambled further on the the coops with chickens,
rabbits and such.
As we pulled back out on the road we noticed an
Indoor Fireworks establishment across the street . I don't know why we didn't
check it out. I sure would like to set off a few dozen roman candles indoors
just once -- providing I was equipped with an asbestos outfit. As for myself, I was
still trying to sort out the math regarding the bill and what Young Son might do with his
sudden wealth. One trip to a fast food restaurant and he'd be broke again.
Next stop: Bigfoot, Texas.
PAGE 1: HEADIN' OUT / PAGE 2: DEVINE
PAGE 3: BIGFOOT & PEARSALL / PAGE
4: POTEET AND FLORESVILLE
POSTSCRIPT: FAIRVIEW / THE MAP
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