One thing you’ll notice when you arrive in Texas is that we take our food very seriously. Chalk it up to Southern Hospitality, or an advanced appreciation for the culinary arts, either way, you won’t leave hungry.
Heritage is a meaningful influence on Texas food today. We pass down family recipes on scraps of paper, cookbooks, and the spoken word. Ask your favorite Texas chef where they learned to cook their signature dish, and chances are they will give you a relative’s name. Maybe even a name that’s hard to pronounce.
We have families here in Texas who can trace their ancestors back to their home country, and with that history, the traditional dishes of their native land, including this one. It might take a few generations, but somewhere there is a record of which great grandparent made the journey or set up camp here.
Take all the food festivals as an example of food traditions in our area. The Fort Worth Food and Wine Festival, which provides a sampling of the city’s best restaurants, lasts for four days. It takes that long just to make your way through the roster, it’s so extensive.
Towns surrounding Fort Worth pay homage to their preceding family members through festivals, with a spotlight on the accompanying menu items. Ingredients and combinations include those from Poland, Germany, Italy, Spain, Latin America, and Native Americans.
What’s For Breakfast?
Nothing starts your day off better than strong coffee and a delicious breakfast. Keeping with the traditions of ranchers and cattle drivers, the first meal of the day gets you going, and keeps you productive during the early morning hours.
We’ve whipped up a few examples of typical Texas breakfast items, categorized by flavor.
Breakfast tacos are a staple in most Texan’s diets. If the flour tortilla is full of potatoes, eggs, cheese, and spicy sausage, known as chorizo, it’s the genuine article. Breakfast tacos are best when fresh, so go straight to the source, via food truck. The food truck craze is not as prevalent as a few years ago, but only the strong survive. Jessie’s Burritos/Sheppard Mobile Food Truck in Wichita Falls is still on the go, and ready to serve.
Huevos rancheros are fried eggs on a corn tortilla, usually topped with chilis, cheese and maybe beans or sour cream. If you’re in the Houston area and craving some quality Huevos, Yale Street Grill is the place to be.
Migas, the word translates to “crumbs,” were once fixed as a way to use leftover tortilla pieces. Now, migas dishes are a traditional breakfast menu item and take center stage at restaurants like Cisco’s Restaurant and Bakery in Austin.
Crepes, German pancakes, and strudel are all examples of morning meal recipes we inherited through family cultures. Ol South Pancake House in Fort Worth is the top pick with locals for these plate-sized treats. You can order them topped with fresh fruit, powdered sugar, or chocolate chips; calories don’t count at Ol South.
Staples of American or Southern-style breakfasts might seem like odd combinations to the uninitiated, but once you try these dishes, you’ll understand our loyalty.
Biscuits and gravy are the best (biased opinion) use of flour, plus other ingredients on the market today. Flour, butter, eggs, milk, and sausage if you go that route for your gravy, blend together harmoniously, much to the delight of our taste buds. Oldwest Cafe in Denton is a champion biscuits and gravy maker; we’ll save you a spot.
Chicken and waffles are expressions of contrasting food groups but don’t knock them, until you taste them. Sweet, salty, crunchy and savory all make themselves known with this divergence. Lucky’s Cafe in Dallas serves them up, hot and ready for your fork.
Shrimp and grits at Ellen’s Southern Kitchen, also in Dallas, takes the art of grits to a whole new level. Grits are ground corn boiled in milk or water. The elements are simple, but the taste is far and beyond plain. Cajun spices, cheese, fresh shrimp boost this concoction from so-so to fabulous.
Willing and Ready Tour Guides
Are your taste buds clamoring for a sample of “top of the morning” in Texas? We are always happy to show folks around town and recommend our favorite dining establishments. Call or click today to satisfy that biscuit craving.