Friday, August 6, 2010

Lamestar Barbecue in San Antonio

County Line Barbecue
San Antonio, Texas

They say everything is bigger in Texas.

Well, one thing is for sure, when the state hits on a good thing, it’s always a big hit – oil, outlaw country, Longhorn college football, Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders, smoked beef brisket . . .

But they’re mistakes are huge too – Lyndon Johnson, his later reincarnation as George W. Bush, Enron -- and joining the union in 1845 AFTER achieving independent nation status.

Of course, Texas already tried once to correct that mistake. In 1861, it seceded from the union only to be forcefully brought back into our “free country” with federal steel and shrapnel.

During the fight over ObamaCare earlier this year, Texas governor Rick Perry brought up the possibility of secession once again.

But was all that “for real?” Can future generations of Americans really look forward to escaping their “democracy” for the new Republic of Texas?

Or was all that secession talk just a big bluff from a loud-talking blowhard at a game of Texas hold ‘em?

Well, when my plane touched the ground in San Antonio, Texas, I was determined to find out.

Normally, when you want to find the real pulse of a city, you look for little hole-in-the-wall places off the main drag.

But when the United States seceded from Britain, it was only because the “radicals” like Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry ended up convincing their lame conservative buddies like Benjamin Franklin to ditch their loyalist leanings.

So today, I needed to find out what conservatives were thinking, and I knew just where to find them -- the lamest of all lame spots.

Tourist areas.

In San Antonio, that means going to the Riverwalk.

The Riverwalk was built during the FDR administration as part of his work projects effort.

Thus it’s a natural place for conservatives to gather and talk about how bailing out their companies was necessary to preserve the free market.

That aside, I do have to say, it does look like a cool place to drink because you can hang out outside by the meandering river.

Another plus is the Riverwalk is only a few blocks from that famous historical site, the Alamo.

But for food adventurers, it’s the epitome of lame.

Everywhere I looked was mundane corporate lameness with chain restaurants like the HardRock Café, the Rainforest Café, Ben and Jerrys and Joe’s Crab Shack.

On a tip, I headed to County Line Barbeque. The original is in Austin and it’s supposed to be great.

But the County Line in San Antonio is in a tourist area where lame rules the day.

The first bad sign was that there was no smoked-wood smell. Of course, I didn’t really expect there to be actual smoking with so many conservatives around, but this was definitely lame.

The inside and outside of the restaurant was also a disappointment.

They tried to throw a bunch of old rusty metal things, signs and canned veggies all over the walls to make it look like at some point the folks there actually cared about the food they were serving.

Even more lame.

I sat at the bar where there was one TV, turned to Fox News complaining about the absolutely-critical-to-the-world-story of Lindsay Lohan being released from jail early.

I heard the murmurs -- “How dare anyone not be in jail in this free country!?!?!?!”

I knew there had to be conservatives around.

I looked around at the attire of the patrons, and sure enough, I saw the telltale emblem of conservatism – Federal Flags complete with stupid slogans underneath that are supposed to sound tough but always mean higher taxes and less freedom.

That pretty much answered any questions about where conservatives were on secession.

They were still Loyalists in love with the Washington, D.C. crown.

Saddened, but not surprised, I ordered the brisket and sausage platter with potato salad and coleslaw as my sides.

To drink, I had a Dos Equis in a bottle. Turns out that while they serve liquor, they don’t serve any beer on drought and their selection isn’t great either.

This was a big pile of stinking lame.

Turns out the barbecue was really good though. The brisket wasn’t dried out – which is mistake all too easy to make – and the sauce wasn’t too sweet.

The sausage was also very tasty and the potato salad and coleslaw were well above par.

As I finished my meal, I thought to myself the San Antonio version of County Line Barbecue was a good symbol of conservatism. Corporate, fake and it surprises you when it actually does something right.

When I got the check, I was even more convinced. It was also way too expensive.

Before I left, I had one more thought. Could it be these weren’t conservative Texans?

Could it be they were just lame conservative tourists coming from states with less importance to the future of liberty?

Driving to the airport the next day, I saw this sign for Lone Star Beer which gave me some hope.

The truth is, San Antonio is a great city, and I can’t wait to go back.

And maybe next time, I’ll buy a conservative loyalist a Lone Star and then tell him how stupid he is. Just like Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson used to do.

Rating: Wouldn’t Wear the Shirt if They Paid Me

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