Category Archives: Food

Academy

Like a scene from the sci-fi movies Arrival or Close Encounters of the Third Kind, National Guard Black Hawk and heavy twin-blade Chinook helicopters fly over my house inbound to and outbound from the Academy corporate headquarters that is adjacent to my subdivision. The top floor of the parking garage serves as a makeshift heliport. Other floors of the parking garage serve a sleeping areas for a variety of first responders, including Texas State Troopers, who have come in from all over the state. Elsewhere in the parking lots, the National Guard has established bivouac with tents, trucks, and communications equipment. Several fuel tankers are also deployed.

Academy Sports and Outdoors (http://www.academy.com/shop/en/store/company-info) is a sporting goods and outdoor equipment company headquartered in Katy Texas next to my subdivision. The first Academy store opened as a tire shop in San Antonio in 1938. It turned into a military surplus store, then began offering sports and outdoors equipment as it evolved into the present day Academy Sports + Outdoors. They have more than 230 stores in 16 states, supported by more than 23,000 team members throughout the South, Southeast, and Midwest. My next door neighbor is the director (manager) of one of the nearby stores. Several of their IT folks also live in my subdivision.

I recently spoke to one of their corporate accountants who estimated that Academy had already donated over a million dollars worth of supplies, equipment, and services to the ongoing Hurricane Harvey relief effort. The photos below attest to part of this contribution. In addition to providing lodging and logistics for first responders, the Academy corporate headquarters and distribution center has also opened their cafeteria to their guests providing both room and board. 

I am very proud to have Academy as my neighbor. If you live near an Academy store, stop by and thank them for the support they are giving the greater Houston area in this time of need.

View of the Academy headquarters from the south

 

View from the west (street view)




 
 One of the back parking lots

Threadgill’s Armadillo 

Timing is everything …

The Mrs and I decided to take a road trip from Catbeard Manor in West Houston to Threadgill’s Armadillo World Headquarters restaurant in Austin. http://www.threadgills.com/

Little did we know it was the final weekend of SXSW. http://schedule.sxsw.com/

Miraculously we just pulled into the parking lot, found the one remaining handicapped parking spot (the Mrs MS grants us tags), and immediately got a table.

 
The Mrs had a top shelf margarita “Herradura”. I had coffee (designated driver). She had fried catfish with “corn off the cob” and sweet potato fries. I had meat loaf with mashed potatoes and gravy (after having meatloaf at home for the past two nights*).

Life is good …

 
* the definition of a meat loaf fetish

The Womack House

The Womack House restaurant was incorporated in 1981 on FM* 1093 east of Fulshear TX, a few months before the Mrs and I moved to Katy TX from Colorado fresh out of college. It was famous for “family style country food” and we ate there often when our kids were little.

Our first son was born in 1983. Coincidentally “Pancho and Lefty” by Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson debuted the same year. The song was still popular several years later and I bought the cassette of the album. “Pancho and Lefty” was one of my first son’s favorite songs. The Womack House had a lounge (bar) and at the time a country-western singer named Clell Conner was a fixture. After dinner we would often retire to the lounge and Clell would play “Pancho and Lefty” for us.


From the Houston Chronicle …

“It was located in an old house with a big front porch with several porch swings,” according to Linda Linn .

And April Andres says she once spied Nolan Ryan dining there.

Bonnie Meyer, a former employee, remembers serving “huge platters of chicken-fried steak, catfish, meatloaf, chicken and dumplings and all kinds of fresh vegetables.

When she worked there, she says, “the (waitresses) had to wear old-fashioned floor-length peasant-style dresses, and we would often sit on the swings outside waiting for our first customers to arrive.

“We kind of looked like the girls on the Chicken Ranch in La Grange!” she adds.

According to Chronicle archives, Womack House closed in 1994.

 • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 

I remember they had little galvanized pails of warmed saltine crackers.

Today I had lunch with an old friend at a Chinese restaurant in a new subdivision near Fulshear. All of this new construction sort of snuck up on me over the years. Roads that I remember as dirt roads out in the country are now four lane boulevards with large tree-filled medians. On a whim, I decided to drive out to Fulshear and see if I could find The Womack House. 



It is now a day care facility, but it is still there (complete with porch swings).

Memories …

 
* FM in Texas stands for Farm to Market road 

References 

http://m.chron.com/entertainment/article/Womack-House-1647309.php

https://www.corporationwiki.com/Texas/Fulshear/the-womacks-house-restaurant-inc/31942959.aspx

http://www.lib.utexas.edu/taro/ricewrc/00535/rice-00535.html

DVD Episode 139 Jan. 16, 1982: Landmark Inn, Castroville / H Graham-Clocks, Marble Falls / J Wilson-Antique Guns, Pyote / Clell Conner-Cowboy Singer, Liberty / Spradley-Telephones, McGregor

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pancho_and_Lefty

 

PS “Pancho and Lefty” is a current staple on the Mrs playlist today. She has both the Merle and Willie version as well as a couple of Townes Van Zandt versions.

 

PPS At one point we had a vinyl album (33 1/3) of Clell Conner’s music that we bought from him at The Womack House. If I can find it, I will address in a future post.