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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 pleasantly surprised.

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 concluded. 

m.jpg (3879 bytes)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 Spanish.
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     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 Next Pageand he'd be broke again.
       Next stop: Bigfoot, Texas.


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Hill Country Tours
Ira Kennedy, Publisher, Editor, Writer, Photographer and Web Designer