Friday, March 07, 2008

KGM: KPC's Man in Texas

So, I'm here for the Public Choice meetings. Lots of unintentional comedic fashion, and I'm sure I'm part of the show, given my fashion non-sense and ballon-like body.

There were three things salient about my first day.

1. Weather. Really, really cold and windy. And rainy. Mid-40s, 20-25 mph wind, pouring rain on and off. I went for two pretty long walks. It was really cold. Would have been better if I had brought a jacket, I suppose.

2. Food. Obviously one of SA's strong points. For breakfast, I went primal: G/M Steakhouse, across from the Alamo. One of my favorites, for years. You pretty much can't spend more than $8.00, including everything, and that's if you get the main dish, chicken fried steak. I got two tacos, carne guisada and huevos con chorizo, and a coffee. $4.30. The carne guisada is just like abuelita would have made. G/M has many choices, with pancakes and pretty much any "American" breakfast you want. Cheap, solid, real breakfast.

For lunch, I went to Schilos, the famous German deli. Three things are reputed to be worth the trip: split pea soup, Rueben sandwich, and cheesecake. Since these things are all Mungowitz faves anyway...what the hell? I had been walking in polar temperatures without a jacket for an hour, so the calories weren't such a problem. The verdict: Split pea soup--very nice. It helped that I was cold. But yum. Thick and good. Rueben--deceptive. Disappointing appearance, especially if you are used to the east coast presentation of huge sandwich, fried bread, etc. The Schilos Rueben is just two slices of bread, with thousand island dressing, corned beef, and sauer kraut. BUT: Wow. What a difference ingredients make. You wouldn't want to hide this with breading or frying. The rye bread was the best I've had... well...ever.(If you DON'T like strong rye bread, don't get this sandwich). Ditto corned beef: wonderful. A very, very good sandwich. Cheesecake: It was fine. But nothing special. I think the Rueben's remarkable simple goodness had raised my expectations.

Dinner: Out with the publisher for _________, on their dime. We went to Saltgrass Steakhouse. On the riverwalk. They have Shiner Bock draft, which would be silly anywhere else. But it is brewed in SA, so go for it. I think of Shiner Bock as the beer grad students serve because it's cheap, but it has acquired a certain export cachet elsewhere. We all order steaks. I get the Porterhouse, because I am hungry. The salad is okay, nothing special, too much cheese and too much dressing, mostly on iceberg lettuce. Typical steakhouse mediocre salad. Bread is okay. The steak, and fried onions, on the other hand, are tremendous. I don't get steak often, and I admit I was hungry, but this was just about perfect. Cooked just right, tender, juicy: wonderful. I wouldn't want to do that every night, but if you are going to have a steak you might as well go to a real steak place. And Saltgrass is, for the genre, not that pricey and gives good value on sides, instead of making you order them a la carte.

3. In counting, there is strength: Texas can't decide who gets what delegates. Wow! Interesting to read the paper down here. They seriously can't decide, at the county level, who gets what delegates. And, the point in Texas is to hold your county box until late, so you can send it in with the "extra" votes that your guy needs. It appears the delegates from the Texas primary, held this past Tuesday, won't be awarded for sure until...JUNE! Lots of irregularities, some just the result of not reading directions, some...well, some are more sinister. Or, maybe just strange. In the far south counties in Texas, mysterious forces are at work. One county wanted to give its two delegates to: Mike Huckabee. This in the DEMOCRATIC primary, mind you. Reading the newspaper here makes you feel you are reading Robert Caro.


Angus said...

Don't leave us in suspense Mungowitz, where did you eat and what did you have for your 4th and 5th meals yesterday??

Anonymous said...

Dr. Holcombe may want to have his picture re-taken...he seems to have been hypnotized when they snapped the photo on the public choice society page...Caplan, as well, may consider sending his econlib photo out.

Anonymous said...

Shiner is bottled in Shiner, TX.

Jeff said...

Glaring typo on the main page.

Unless Mr.Brennan really is affiliated with "Austrailian National University," of course.

Mungowitz said...

Angus: I got sumpin for your FIRST meal, right here!

Anon: Give me a break. Shiner is 70 miles east of San Antonio. Yes, it's outside the city limits.

Jeff: Brennan's HOME is ANU, he visits at Duke every year. Still, you are right.

Anon: Randy Holcombe's picture...think of the one he must have turned DOWN, to get to that one. And, "picture of Bryan Caplan": THAT is one of the most terrifying phrases I have ever heard. BRRRRRR!

Dirty Davey said...

Such excellent timing--a week from tomorrow I fly out to Saint Tony for a conference in the same downtown area.

Any additional recommendations would also be welcomed!

Steven Taylor said...

I will confess: Shiner tasted the best when I was in grad school in Austin.

Angus said...

I can also highly recommend two places: "Biga on the Banks" and "Acenar"