Tis the season for driving around the state visiting friends and relatives. And we're not complaining. Last week's jaunt to Houston and DFW took us past Woody's Smokehouse
on I-45 (we're still raving
about their candied jalapenos to anyone who'll listen), and we also had time for dinner at Houston's Strip House
-- one in a swanky, pin-up themed steak chain that serves good meat and over-the-top sides (don't skip the potatoes fried in duck fat or the truffled creamed spinach) -- and a drink at Warren's Inn, a much-loved downtown bar where motherly barkeeps pour heavy in a collision of worn Craftsman and Indistinct European Revival kitsch.
This weekend we're back in The Fort, as a friend calls it. Our first stop: a barbecue institution, Angelo's
on White Settlement Road, which has been serving dry-rub 'cue since the late '40s. The third generation is working the pit, and the generational torch-passing seems to be taking -- the pork ribs are fall-off-the-bone perfect. Angelo's is also famous for serving ice-cold schooners of beer under rows of game trophies (we like the table under the buffalo head; there's a relatively new alligator hide above the ordering counter -- no word on whether it came from the Trinity River) It feels like the game room in a fraternal organization's clubhouse -- one with a liberal membership policy. Today, we'll get our veggies and fruit at the Zen-inducing Cafe Modern
-- the New American food is very good at the Fort Worth Modern's in-house restaurant, but it's the view of the reflecting pond at Tadao Ando's art temple that draws us back every time we're in town.
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I hope you're enjoying your holiday weekend, too, and that wherever you're eating, you're enjoying the company of friends and family.