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Written by Texas Highways


My family’s love affair with the chewy and crunchy good taste of Collin Street Bakery’s DeLuxe Fruitcakes began years ago when we sent a cake by mail-order to my in-laws.

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A little more than 25 miles from where my feet tramped, a line of cars waited to enter Lost Maples State Natural Area, whose namesake trees blazed with red, yellow, and orange glory. But I had Hill Country State Natural Area pretty much to myself, and while no maples grow here, this rugged retreat offers a respectable display of fall color.

molcajetaStepping into the brightly colored display area of the Melissa Guerra Latin Kitchen Market in San Antonio was like entering into the kitchen of a good friend, albeit one whose culinary expertise far exceeded that of my wife Laura and me.

MagicOften where we travel and why is motivated by food, whether a journey charted to find new favorites or a desire to return to a place where a great meal—or maybe just a slice of pie—was once memorably enjoyed.

Baytown Race TrackJust east of Houston, where sandy soil meets swampy waters, there’s a town that thrives in the humid breezes of Southeast Texas.


If you’re a recent arrival in Texas, you may not have heard that our state gave birth to the hamburger, but now you know: Allegedly created in the late 1880s at an East Texas café owned by a man named Fletcher Davis, the hamburger was introduced to a larger audience at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair—and the rest, as they say, is history.

bbqtoplongFew topics in the Texas food world get people more excited than barbecue.



Asking readers for their favorite comfort foods seems a lot like asking someone to name a favorite grandchild—the answers frequently come in a flood of options, as they have since we put out the call early this year.

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Just outside the quaint East Texas town of Mount Vernon, County Road 2025 stretches ahead like a postcard from the past. An unbroken tree canopy arches over a narrow dirt road, forming a two-tone traveler’s tunnel—green on top, brown on bottom. I fully expect a Model T Ford to round the bend any moment.

Fort Concho35Some say my lodging for this evening—the commander’s quarters at historic Fort Concho—is home to a ghost. About 13 years ago, an overnight visitor reported seeing the apparition of a cheerful, mild-mannered girl in the building, wearing a peach-colored dress with her hair pulled back.

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As a Tex-Mex-deprived Northeasterner, I try to get my spicy food fix as often as possible during my annual weeklong visit to see family in Texas, and there’s no place more satisfying for Tex-Mex and ice-cold margaritas than the Original Ninfa’s on Navigation.


At Sweetie Pie’s Ribeyes, a popular restaurant across the street from the pink granite Wise County Courthouse in Decatur, there’s no ambiguity about the house specialty.

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