THE COASTAL PLAINS: We're talking about low rolling hills with
lots of sky. On this trip we crossed the muddy San Antonio River several times,
brunched at La Enchiladita and came upon a double striped road.
THE COASTAL PLAINS
First, Nixon for Brunch
Story & Photos by IRA KENNEDY
You might as well know now. Ms.
Intrepid wants to go to The Texas Coast. Now, I'm a Hill Country Boy at heart
and I'd rather put up with tics and prickly pear in my pants than jellyfish and sand in my
Being a guy and all I noticed that just 26 miles this side of
The Coast was the Fannin Battleground State Historical Park and, nearby, Goliad State
So, somehow, I managed to convince Ms. Intrepid we had see the Coastal Plains
before going to The Coast. Or maybe she was letting me get used to the notion of
"Going to The Coast" kinda gradual.
real Texan is obliged to "Remember the Alamo" and "Remember
Goliad". Like most Texans I saw the Alamo early in my youth but I'd never laid eyes
on Goliad -- it being so close to The Coast as it is -- so now I had the chance.
The first obstacle on our trips is figuring out how
to get somewhere without going someplace we've already been. So naturally we breezed
through Luling, and right past our favorite fruit & vegetable stand before
we knew we needed to stop. Just down the road was Nixon, Texas -- one of those places you
go to just so you can say you've been there.
On the way we saw a "No Center Stripe" road
sign right alongside the striped road. This happened more than a few times on our
little adventure and it got me to pondering all over again. Is Highway Department
shorthanded? Why do they do all that work and then don't finish the job by laying
claim to their accomplishment?
Later on we came up on a double striped road -- now
this needed a sign [see photo above]. Something like "Extra Yellow Stripe"
just so folks won't think they're seeing double like when they've had one longneck too
many. For the life of me I can't imagine the least reason for a three lane highway
when the middle lane is about three feet wide.
We stopped at a convenience store in Nixon around 11
in the morning to avail ourselves of their facilities. That's when I saw Ms.
Intrepid eyeballing those plastic-wrapped sandwiches in the cooler. (What was she
thinking?) I surmised straight away that we were headed for another bad food day if
I didn't do something quick.
"You know, there's probably a real restaurant
"You're right. Let's go."
With that we piled back in Nigel the Land Rover and
continued south on Hwy 87. A couple of blocks later, at the intersection on
Roosevelt Street, we saw a cluster of cars around a Mexican restaurant. It was La
Enchiladita or El Zarape depending on which sign you were reading at the time. The
best sign, however, was the crowded parking lot.
Although the place wasn't all dolled up outside, the
interior was another matter. I took a liking to this place right off. Clean
and well lighted, all of the tables were covered in Mexican blankets wrapped in a sheet of
plastic for easy clean-up. The ceiling fans had bright red chili peppers for blades
and there wasn't a velvet bullfighter painting to be seen. The wall decor consisted
of yet more Mexican blankets fanned out in a half circle beneath sombreros.
Teeny-tiny blankets and sombreors filled in some of the empty spaces in between.
( Ok, I'll fess up. Ms. Intrepid has me hooked on
those interior design cable TV programs even though they never hang any critter mounts or
weapons on the walls -- not even a nice collection of gimme caps or a few wore-out
Steatsons. And they are death to ceiling fans.)
The crowd was kinda thin so I reckoned everyone in
the place came in their own vehicle. As you might expect, service was prompt.
We both ordered Huevos Rancheros with refried beans (what else?) and sausage. Now
this was the neat part which nearly defies explaination. The sausage was served up
looking like a pine cone that mated with a waffle iron. (I shoulda photographed this...)
Seems they sliced a sausage down the middle, cut a few
horizontal and verticle lines on the flat side and then deep fried the whole affair. They
came out rolled up tight, inside out, in curlycue cones.
(Ok, I'll fess up. Ms. Intrepid has me hooked
on the cable cooking channel. But there's one thing about those shows that has me
stumped. They'll serve up snakes and eels still wrigling from stage fright, but when's the
last time they prepared a really difficult dish, like possom or armadillo? Never.)
The food was great and, being past hungry, I wiped my
plate clean. It could'a been cleaner yet if I'd had buscits rather than tortillas to
work with. I pondered on licking the plate but suprisingly enough refrained, even
though Ms. Intrepid is absolutely a goner when a dog show is on TV.
Anyway, the food was muy bueno and the
price, under $10, was a bargain. Back on the road we were headed for Cuero.
PAGE 1: NIXON / PAGE 2: CUERO
PAGE 3: VICTORIA / PAGE
4: GOLIAD / THE
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