Anyone who’s ever met me knows I’m a born and bred Texan (to be fair it’s because I met most of those people IN Texas, but I’m also pretty vocal about it up here in D.C.). I made the choice to move up here almost exactly eight years ago, and for the most part it’s worked out pretty well. That being said, there are definitely times when I feel an overwhelming homesickness. Usually it happens when I watch Friday Night Lights and realize I’m nowhere near fulfilling my dream of becoming Tami Taylor.
Every once in a while I come across something up here that kind of has the reverse effect. Something that brings a little bit of Texas to DC, and I have to say, when I find those places, it’s all I can do not to just pack up and move in. The place up here that comes closest to re-creating home (at least the closest I’ve found so far) is Hill Country BBQ.
I love this place. The food is on the pricy side, but it’s good, and the portions are generous. What I love about it though is how much nostalgia it invokes in me. It’s not that it looks like a restaurateur’s (and yes, I had to use the googles to figure out how to spell that) idea of what a Texas restaurant might look like, but it’s like walking off 7th street and right into Hill Country. I may be overstating it, high on BBQ sauce and iced tea, or just driven crazy for want of Texas, but they have nailed the atmosphere.
It doesn’t necessarily replace home, but if I could have my mail forwarded here and live curled up next to the smoker, I totally would. And, as though they needed to win me over, when I ordered a banana pudding to go, they gave it to me in a tiny mason jar:
It’s like they want me to stay forever!
I know it’s weird to write what amounts to a love letter to a place that reminds me of the place I left, so I’ll leave you with this quote from Texas journalist, essayist and playwright Larry L. King. It perfectly sums up how I feel about things that remind me of the Lone Star State:
“For a few precious moments…I am back in Old Texas, under a high sky, where all things are again possible and the wind blows free.”