Saturday, September 19, 2015

Post-Show: 2015 Rains County Fair

So last week we checked out the "Classics Round the Square" Car Show in Emory, TX which was the kick off of the Rains County Fair.  This week is the fair itself and we checked out:

Rides and Games:


 The Kids' Sheep Riding Contest:


The Chili Cook-Off:


And, of course, the Parade:



See you next year!

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Round About Town

Usually the "Classics Round the Square" Car Show in Emory, TX happens at the end of the Rains County Fair.  This year though, it kicks off the Fair and we were lucky enough to check it out.  And now, because YOU demand it, here are our top ten picks from the show:

10.  1923 Ford T-Bucket

9.  '56 Chevy

8.  The General Lee! (1970 Dodge Charger)

7. 1948 Ford F3 1 Ton

6.  1955 Chevy Sedan

5.  1940 Mercury Eight Convertible

4.  1961 Corvair Pickup

3.  1962 Buick Special Wagon

2.  1933 Dodge DO

1,  1976 Chevy Corvette

Agree?  Disagree?  (You better not disagree about that Corvette!)  Tell me in the comments.  And stay tuned for coverage of the actual Fair.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Junk Find Five: First Monday Sept 2015

It's time to start a new recurring segment.  We'll go to flea markets and swap meets in East Texas and find five interesting things for sale.  They may provide some interesting insight into Texas Culture or they may not.  But they are the five items that caught my eye on that particular trip.

This time we we visit First Monday in Canton, TX (and to be honest, most of these will probably be First Monday since that's the one I go to the most).

5.  Elephant Playground Ride

A little elbow grease and some cleaning supplies would turn this rusty antique into a top notch backyard playground toy.  It has the benefit of not needing extraneous tools or supplies to install (like a McDonalds Playland piece that you find from time to time).  Just clean it up and set it out and the kids are happy.

4.  Tyson Corporate Award

I probably can't articulate why I think this is so cool.  It's just a rare piece that you can't find in any store.  It's an award for "Excellent in Safety Slaughter Facilities Finest".  I'm not exactly sure what that is or what it means but I'm sure Tyson doesn't just hand them out like sticks of gum.

3.  Horseshoe Certificate

Just like the Tyson Award, this is another one-of-a-kind item.  I'm not exactly sure what the significance is but it appears to be a certificate denoting exceptionalism in the field of shoeing horses by some type of national body that regulates that type of thing.  The date is from the year 1907 and I really love that it is framed.  This was important to someone.  And it could be important to you for the right price.

2.  Mickey Mouse Kazoo (Megaphone?)

This has all the traits of a great flea market find: a long lasting character, a weird/vague purpose (it says kazoo, but it's clearly in the shape of a megaphone), and a general retro vibe.  What was this thing?  What was its purpose?  I guess I could just Google it but that would take all the fun out of it.

1.  Grand Canyon Souvenir Plate

These things used to be THE top souvenir from old-school family road trips in the 60's and 70's.  They then adorned the walls of baby boomer houses above the shag carpeting and adjacent to the China Hutch containing the family's prized fondue set.  They all had original artwork and the Grande Dame destination was always the Grand Canyon.  This plate has it all!

I'm very happy with what we found on this outing.  But there's always something else just around the corner at the next flea market.  I guess we'll see...

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Review: East Texas Burger Company

The East Texas Burger Company has spent decades practicing the fine art of cooking great hamburgers.  It’s one of downtown Mineola’s oldest and most popular feedbags.  Expect crowds and a line if you go during meal times. 

While burgers are their business, they have a fairly extensive menu of standard American fare and southern favorites.

The decor is typical of a small town Mom & Pop burger shack with one exception.  Patrons are encouraged to doodle, scribble or proselytize on their napkins which end up thumb tacked along the walls.  This custom wallpaper includes jokes, cartoons, non sequiturs and even political commentary.

Orders are placed and paid for at a counter in the back and patrons can fill up their drinks and pick their table while they wait. Our wait was not very long at all and when our food arrived our feast began.  I went with that day's "Special" which was an East Texas version of brunch.

Most people, when they think of brunch, think of a little bit of breakfast combined with a little bit of lunch to create a new, light meal for late risers who enjoy leisurely grazing.  The “Sunrise Special” takes all of breakfast and all of lunch and combines them into an action packed wrestling match of a meal.

By adding bacon, eggs and hash browns to their signature burger they succeeded in creating a stomach expanding colossus that more than makes up for two meals.  The bacon is cooked well without being too greasy or too crispy.  The addition of fresh fruit may not seem to fit the theme but they work well as a palette cleanser between great big ol' bites.  All in all, both the patty and the egg could have benefited from a little less cooking but that may just be personal taste.

So with sufficient street cred in ambiance, history and especially food, the East Texas Burger Company should be your first choice for a meal in Mineola.  I still need to go back to try the pie.