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There’s nothing like a good Texan meal, especially around the holidays. Go Beyond the Brisket and learn more about the Lone Star State’s delicious food cultures with our holiday bundle. This collection has books that are fascinating and finger-lickin’ good, and makes a great gift for anyone who like enjoys a Texas taco in the wintertime. Get this bundle today and remember what the holidays are really about - friends, family, and some good barbecue.
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Winner, Barbara Sudler Award, Colorado Historical Society, 2010
It's no overstatement to say that the state of Texas is a republic of barbecue. Whether it's brisket, sausage, ribs, or chicken, barbecue feeds friends while they catch up, soothes tensions at political events, fuels community festivals, sustains workers of all classes, celebrates brides and grooms, and even supports churches. Recognizing just how central barbecue is to Texas's cultural life, Elizabeth Engelhardt and a team of eleven graduate students from the University of Texas at Austin set out to discover and describe what barbecue has meant to Texans ever since they first smoked a beef brisket.
Republic of Barbecue presents a fascinating, multifaceted portrait of the world of barbecue in Central Texas. The authors look at everything from legendary barbecue joints in places such as Taylor and Lockhart to feedlots, ultra-modern sausage factories, and sustainable forests growing hardwoods for barbecue pits. They talk to pit masters and proprietors, who share the secrets of barbecue in their own words. Like side dishes to the first-person stories, short essays by the authors explore a myriad of barbecue's themes—food history, manliness and meat, technology, nostalgia, civil rights, small-town Texas identity, barbecue's connection to music, favorite drinks such as Big Red, Dr. Pepper, Shiner Bock, and Lone Star beer—to mention only a few. An ode to Texas barbecue in films, a celebration of sports and barbecue, and a pie chart of the desserts that accompany brisket all find homes in the sidebars of the book, while photographic portraits of people and places bring readers face-to-face with the culture of barbecue.
In Texas and throughout the South, myriad barbecue joints claim the title of “best barbecue.” Many barbecue enthusiasts would nearly fight to the death to defend their favorite, and the Salt Lick is certainly a contender. But Salt Lick owner Scott Roberts doesn’t care about that. He’s more interested in the smiles on his customers’ faces as they leave the restaurant. With more than 600,000 customers served each year, he may be onto something.
That’s because Roberts is building on the foundation his family laid down more than 130 years ago, as his great-grandparents made their long journey to Texas. On the trail, they prepared food and cooked meat in ways that preserved it. Roberts keeps those techniques because they are simple and proven. His great-grandparents settled in Driftwood in the 1870s, and his grandparents farmed the land and were sustained by its bounty. They helped raise Roberts and instilled in him a love of the rural way of life.
This is not a book just about Salt Lick barbecue. It’s about how the barbecue came to be: a story of respect for the land, its history, and the family that planted its roots in Driftwood and cultivated a well-deserved reputation.
Winner, Violet Crown Award, Writers League of Texas, 2007
Citation, San Antonio Conservation Society, 2009
Scarred by the deaths of his mother and sisters and the failure of his father's business, a young man dreamed of making enough money to retire early and retreat into the secure world that his childhood tragedies had torn from him. But Harry Luby refused to be a robber baron. Turning totally against the tide of avaricious capitalism, he determined to make a fortune by doing good. Starting with that unlikely, even naive, ambition in 1911, Harry Luby founded a cafeteria empire that by the 1980s had revenues second only to McDonald's. So successfully did Luby and his heirs satisfy the tastes of America that Luby's became the country's largest cafeteria chain, creating more millionaires per capita among its employees than any other corporation of its size. Even more surprising, the company stayed true to Harry Luby's vision for eight decades, making money by treating its customers and employees exceptionally well.
Written with the sweep and drama of a novel, House of Plenty tells the engrossing story of Luby's founding and phenomenal growth, its long run as America's favorite family restaurant during the post-World War II decades, its financial failure during the greed-driven 1990s when non-family leadership jettisoned the company's proven business model, and its recent struggle back to solvency. Carol Dawson and Carol Johnston draw on insider stories and company records to recapture the forces that propelled the company to its greatest heights, including its unprecedented practices of allowing store managers to keep 40 percent of net profits and issuing stock to all employees, which allowed thousands of Luby's workers to achieve the American dream of honestly earned prosperity. The authors also plumb the depths of the Luby's drama, including a hushed-up theft that split the family for decades; the 1991 mass shooting at the Killeen Luby's, which splattered the company's good name across headlines nationwide; and the rapacious over-expansion that more than doubled the company's size in nine years (1987-1996), pushed it into bankruptcy, and drove president and CEO John Edward Curtis Jr. to violent suicide.
Disproving F. Scott Fitzgerald's adage that "there are no second acts in American lives," House of Plenty tells the epic story of an iconic American institution that has risen, fallen, and found redemption—with no curtain call in sight.
Rooted in tradición mexicana and infused with Texas food culture, tacos are some of Texans’ all-time favorite foods. In The Tacos of Texas, the taco journalists Mando Rayo and Jarod Neece take us on a muy sabroso taco tour around the state as they discover the traditions, recipes, stories, and personalities behind puffy tacos in San Antonio, trompo tacos in Dallas, breakfast tacos in Austin, carnitas tacos in El Paso, fish tacos in Corpus Christi, barbacoa in the Rio Grande Valley, and much more.
Starting with the basics—tortillas, fillings, and salsas—and how to make, order, and eat tacos, the authors highlight ten taco cities/regions of Texas. For each place, they describe what makes the tacos distinctive, name their top five places to eat, and listen to the locals tell their taco stories. They hear from restaurant owners, taqueros, abuelitas, chefs, and patrons—both well-known and everyday folks—who talk about their local taco history and culture while sharing authentic recipes and recommendations for the best taco purveyors.
Whether you can’t imagine a day without tacos or you’re just learning your way around the trailers, trucks, and taqueros that make tacos happen, The Tacos of Texas is the indispensable guidebook, cookbook, and testimonio.