Written by Lori Moffatt
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.
Last 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.
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. It focuses on traditional recipes and educates the public about humane and sustainable ranching practices. Here is Jacoby's recipe for biscuits and gravy.
In 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.
One 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.
Engineer-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.
In 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.
As chickens chortle in the background and the raspy buzz of a distant tractor mirrors the clackety-clack-clack of happy cicadas in the surrounding oak trees, I lean in closer to try to comprehend what I’m hearing: That plants can communicate with each other. I’m here at Travaasa, a resort and spa about a half-hour from downtown Austin, and I’m touring the 3 ½-acre farm near the equine stables with Farm Manager Kim Grabosky, who clearly loves her work here.
My horse Annie, a 16-year-old chestnut mare with soulful eyes and long lashes, relaxes her ears and ambles calmly toward me in the round pen, then breaks out in a yawn so wide I think she might be laughing at me. But things aren’t always as they seem. Wrangler Jodie James tips back his hat and looks upon us with a glimmer of pride. “That’s just about the biggest compliment a horse can pay a person,” he tells me in a calm drawl. Say what?
The fun is in the anticipation, say some, in the moments before you take the plunge, eyes wide open. Others praise the adrenaline rush and elements of surprise that make you feel unmistakably alive. I love all of it, but also the euphoric moments afterwards, when I can’t wait to repeat the experience.