Sunday, January 29, 2012

Fort Worth' s iconic Mexican restaurant

There's nothing like overeating at Joe T. Garcia's to start a Sunday with a smile. Jordan, Christian, and David (Jordan's longtime good friend and first high school boyfriend) and I had brunch there. Christian ordered migas, but we had "the dinner"--cheese nachos (huge), cheese enchiladas, guac, rice, beans, and two small tacos. I didn't eat the rice and gave the tacos to Christian--color me righteous. Almost fifty years ago my first introduction to Tex-Mex was at Joe T.’s. After all, I grew up in Chicago and never ate Mexican food at all. My ex and I went to professional meetings there, and I slowly learned to eat cheese enchiladas, tacos, and guacamole. To this day I scrape the chilies off the cheese nachos. But the thing I love best is the beans. Rumor is that at Joe T.’s the beans are “boracchio,” made with beer. I know they’re also made with lard and are as bad for you as chopped liver, but I do like them.
Joe T.'s has a fascinating history. It began as a grocery store where the original Joe T.'s wife also fixed enchiladas and tamales for workers at nearby sites on the North Side. Gradually it grew and grew as various generations of the Garcia and Lancarte families took over the business. Today it encompasses almost a city block, with outdoor seating in gardens that in spring and summer are lush and beautiful. The restaurant draws celebrities and every other rehearsal dinner in Fort Worth. On a warm spring night, the wait is incredible but well worth it. But if you live in Fort Worth, you know all that.
It made a pleasant start to the day. I slept late--actually I woke up and wondered why it was so light. One look at the clock told me. I read emails, Facebook and the paper, fed the dogs, made the bed, and it was lunch time. Home to work on those galleys.
Joel is less on my mind today, though emails from my sister-in-law have upset me and new details keep springing up. But I'm trying to put it behind me. I am sorry that my four kids will to go to California next weekend for some kind of memorial service, but I'll have an "in-law" weekend. Their spouses and children plan to come for rodeo and stock show.
I have come to one conclusion--and after this the subject is dropped from this blog. My parents may have shaped the kind of person I am, but Joel set the course for my life: without him, I would not be in Texas, and I would not have my children. And if he hadn't left, I wouldn't have had the good career I've had. My life is good, so a tip of the hat to hime for all that.
Now I'm moving on.

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