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Written by Lori Moffatt

Chilaquiles

In Texas Highways’ new Plates/Cook department, which debuts with this story, we’ll aim to explore Texas’ vast culture of cooking—including recipes, techniques, and tips—and we think there’s no better place to kick it off than with fourth-generation Texan Jessica Dupuy’s latest cookbook, United Tastes of Texas: Authentic Recipes from All Corners of the Lone Star State.

IMG 8321On May 12 at Austin’s Fair Market, bartender Jen Keyser and her team at Geraldine’s, the bar/restaurant at Hotel Van Zandt in Austin, won the “Official Drink of Austin” contest with a concoction she calls “Far From the Tree.”

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San Marcos, home to Texas State Universitiy, offers tourists plenty of ways to while away a weekend, from exploring the city's historic square to summertime tubing on the San Marcos River.

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Folk wisdom maintains that one year in a dog’s life equals seven for you. Some experts say that the math is not so simple, and that a dog’s aging rate differs according to size and other factors. What better place to hash this out than a beer garden that allows pooches?

cocktails

For those of us interested in both drinking delicious cocktails and learning about their history—a fun area of learning that encompasses geography, science, fashion, and language—the Oregon-based magazine Imbibe offers topnotch reading.

jacobysLast year about this time, fourth-generation rancher Adam Jacoby, who grew up working his family’s land in Melvin, launched Jacoby’s Restaurant and Mercantile in Austin, a full-service restaurant and bar that has become renowned for its dry-aged burgers, chicken-fried steaks, and other beef dishes. Along with his partner Kris Swift, Adam has put a focus on recipes and traditions from Melvin, where family members operate a restaurant, raise cattle, and strive to educate the public about humane and sustainable ranching practices.

Biscuits GravyJacoby’s Restaurant and Mercantile in Austin, a full-service restaurant and bar that has become renowned for its dry-aged burgers, chicken-fried steaks, and other beef dishes. It focuses on traditional recipes and educates the public about humane and sustainable ranching practices. Here is Jacoby's recipe for biscuits and gravy.

Anne PattersonIn the throes of a Texas summer, when midday temperatures often hover around 100 degrees Fahrenheit, we Texans are prone to note that “it’s so hot you could fry an egg on the sidewalk.” In truth, you can cook with the sun even when it’s cold outside. As long as you can see your shadow, it’s possible to cook everything from carrot cake to beef brisket in a solar oven.

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It’s a big week for food-and-drink events in Austin.

wine glass1One of the hottest trends in tourism right now is the idea of experiential travel. Instead of taking a tour of an artist’s studio, for example, you might want to take a painting lesson.

haak1Engineer-turned-wine-maker Raymond Haak and his wife, Gladys, didn’t intend to stir up controversy when they started making Texas Madeira at their winery in Galveston County.

Penny-AdamsIn recent years, the town of San Saba—some 100 miles northwest of Austin—has reinvented itself as a tourist destination, complete with shops, restaurants, a B&B, pastoral scenery, and the award-winning Wedding Oak Winery, which opened in 2012 in a historic building downtown.

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