Deep in the heart of Texas

A picture of the South Congress Cafe in Austin, Tx.

Image courtesy of Shu Tu, licensed under CC 2.0 BY SA.

As happens every few years or so, I spent this past weekend in Austin, Texas. (Austin is, of course, the only part of Texas that anyone in my family will admit to going to. We spit at Houston.)

Rather than being down there to hone my South by South Best* skills, I was in town courtesy of my cousin, who–kindly–agreed to be bat mitzvahed*, so that I might eat many breakfast tacos and migas.

She, like her brother a few years ago, interpreted a portion of Leviticus in a way that made my heart swell. Leviticus, for those who are unaware, is mostly full of rules that most folks in the family flavor of Judaism don’t really follow, as mixed fibers are great and smiting is not so much. It takes some skill to really consider what that means for a modern reform Jew, and of course my cousin was great and at the end we got to pelt her with marshmallows. (Ritual pelting = my favorite quality in a faith.)

So that was great.

Equally wonderful was Austin itself, a city that–much like the entirety of Sweden–I know mostly from the tales of people who used to live there (combined with occasional snippets of television and atmospheric lifestyle blog posts).

Unlike Sweden, Austin does not have any sort of fish product weirdness going on. Instead, it is the land of migas*** (fried corn tortillas + egg + cheese + beans + happiness) and breakfast tacos (basically the same thing, but inside the tortilla) + the truly insane South Congress Cafe carrot cake French toast.

“Carrot cake French toast,” you might say, “But that just sounds like deep frying cake and calling it a breakfast food because Texas.”

And you, dear hypothetical reader, would be correct. For an added dose of insanity, it is served with coconut frosting as “syrup,” because you have already crossed that line by even looking at the French toast’s menu entry.

It is truly a thing of beauty. (And trans fats. But mostly? Beauty.)

So of course that was what I had for breakfast on my last day of a whirlwind little visit to the heart of America’s last great separatist nationstate.****

I regret nothing. (I regret pretty much all of it. Mmmm.)

* True story: ran into this guy while at SXSW the year that I went. I, along with the rest of my star-struck coworkers, cornered him in a bar and he was very nice.

** Be the bat mitzvah? The fact that I do not know this is why I did not attempt to mumble along with the Hebrew this year.

*** For an Arkansan variant taught to me by my father, feel free to just toss some Fritos in with some scrambled eggs and melt some cheese on top. They say, incidentally, that this is what you taste right before you have a heart attack.

**** Actual conversation I had with a Texan friend: “Why do you fly Georgia’s state flag below America’s?” “Because that’s what you do?” “In Texas we fly our state flag level with it.” “Of course you do.”

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3 thoughts on “Deep in the heart of Texas

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