Category Archives: Food

All good things …

In 1981 I moved to Houston from college in Golden Colorado to begin my career in the oil patch. West Houston. Katy. Not much was out here back then. Nonmacher’s Bar-B-Q was one of the few food establishments in the area at the time.

Texas BBQ. In my opinion, the best in the Katy area. If I understand correctly, Nonmacher made a name for himself selling BBQ at the Houston rodeo and other venues. John even gave me the recipe for his smoked pork loin that he sold only on Saturdays (two pork loins tied together with butchers twine, stuffed with onions and jalapeños, encrusted in lemon-pepper and smoked). I have made it several times, but it was always easier to get it from him.

But the area grew and many restaurants opened including many BBQ restaurants. Nonmacher’s was in a small strip center with only a few parking spaces. Most of his business was take away.

Nonmacher’s BBQ got some bad press in 2011 when some customers were offended by the “Let’s play cowboys and IRANIANS” poster hanging on the wall. This poster was from the Iran Hostage Crisis (1979 – 1981), a time when U.S. and Texas sentiment toward Iran was understandably negative. The people offended by it had most likely not even been born until well after the event.

John Nonmacher died of bladder cancer in 2013 and his wife Trudy continued to run Nonmacher’s BBQ after his death.

I went get some BBQ today and discovered that they had closed. As the sign says “All good things must come to an end“.

Nonmacher’s BBQ on Facebook

John Nonmacher on Facebook

John Nonmacher Obituary

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