When my folks got married, so the family story goes, my Mom, being from Ohio, only knew how to cook meat-n-potatoes. Dad, being a San Franciscan and a total food snob, liked food from all over the world, and was quickly bored with a steady diet of meat-n-potatoes. He got cookbooks for my Mom so she could learn to cook food he liked to eat, and learn she did. Mom was an excellent cook, from stuffed grape leaves, lasagna, egg rolls, schnitzel and the world’s best mac-n-cheese, (which we lovingly call the cholesterol special – a weeks worth in a single meal.)
One thing we seldom ate was BBQ I have a feeling Dad was a meat purist, steak sauce, ketchup and BBQ sauce seldom graced our table when red meat was served. Needless to say, I’m not an expert on BBQ but living in Texas I figure it’s time to, at the very least, make a deliberate effort to appreciate good BBQ. One of the joys of Longview is that we have the pleasure of being the home of one of the top BBQ joints in all of East Texas, Carter’s. I can testify; it’s really good. Carter’s is also where I ate my first Boudin. Boudin is a sausage of sorts, the primary ingredient being rice. I chose it because Texas BBQ tends towards spicy and I wasn’t in the mood for sausage with jalapeños.
However, if you were to judge food’s importance by the number of shops where it can be purchased, it seems that Texans love donuts as much as BBQ. So in the interest of cultural awareness and education I’ve decided that I need to find the best donut shop in Longview. I’ll be tasting one a week, and being on Weight Watchers at the moment, I’ll only finish the ones that I deem points worthy. Steve tells me that it’s only a good process if I always order the same donut. I’ve settled on a plain old fashioned as my standard for a couple of reasons, with no extra flavor, or icing I’ll get the sense of how the baker does with a pure donut, presuming that any other donuts made in that shop will be fairly represented. Then, and more important, it’s my favorite. I am my father’s daughter, a bit of a purist. I’ll let you know the winner when I get there, which may take a while.
Like I said, there are a lot of donut shops in Texas, about 26 donut shops to 20 or so BBQ joints. I even found a Krispy Kreme Burger at The Fork in Gladewater, one of the neighboring towns. I just couldn’t order one, not even with bacon.