Home » Gate Guarding » That’s What I Like About Texas!

That’s What I Like About Texas!

Texas: It’s like a Whole Other Country

This is the Texas state slogan used on the official website of the Office of Economic Development and Tourism. And they aren’t kiddin! 😀

I became a Texas resident in November, but I’ll never be a Texan. You can’t become a Texan. You’re born a Texan.

After Shiner, we moved about half way between Smiley and Nixon.  I thinks that’s where I learned  how colloquialisms come into play when ordering fast food.

For starters, Sonic is the burger king in rural Texas. In Nixon, they were laying odds on whose well would hit first so they could buy a Sonic Burger franchise. I had my first Sonic burger the other day. It was a tight squeeze, getting the dually into the little drive up slot (like the old A&W’s back home). The girl on the intercom asked if I wanted a mayo burger or a mustard burger? I guess it threw her when I requested ketchup, because she brought me a mayo and mustard burger instead (sans the ketchup).

Dine in or take out, if you’re in a rural area, forget Chinese or pizza, it’s tacos, fajitas and beer. Wine is wimpy. Real Texans drink beer. Even though wine has approximately 3x the alcohol content of beer, it’s a sissy drink. If you insist on ordering it anyway and you don’t see it being poured, count on it coming from a box. And remember if you do have a beer, it’s illegal in Texas to take more than three sips of beer at a time while standing. Southern hospitality. They like you to take a seat when you drink.

But mostly Texan’s seem to love their DQ’s and DQ seems to really love Texans. If there’s a Starbucks on every corner in Portland, there’s a DQ in every incorporated town in Texas.

Back in late February, when it was already about 85 degrees, I was in Nixon doing the laundry when I stopped at the DQ for something to drink.

May I have a diet soda?

No, ma’am, we don’t have that here – y’all have to go across the street to the Super S.

Moving from Iowa to Oregon, I’d just transitioned from pop to soda. Thinking that I was closer to Iowa now, I decided maybe they call it pop? So I tried again.

May I have a diet pop?

No, ma’am, we don’t have that here either – y’all have to go across the street to the Super S.

For a moment it gave me pause. Maybe all they serve is water and sweet tea (in a year, I’ve never seen any unsweetened tea in Texas)? Then I took a closer look at the menu. They had diet Coke listed. Maybe they were out. I gave it one last try.

May I have a diet Coke?

Sure ma’am, what size are you wantin’?

I learned a valuable lesson that day back February. All soft drinks in Texas are called Coke. I have no idea why. I guess it’s like calling all tissues, Kleenex?

So I got to wondering how would one order something else, like a 7-Up? I posed this question on Fork and John kindly provided this answer:

OK…how to order a 7-Up in Texas…
1.) Sit down at the booth or table.
2.) When the act of sitting is complete, remove your hat, use it to dust off your pants, half say/sigh “shooooey, it’s hot out yonder.”
3.) When your waitress/waiter comes up and asks, “How are ya?” You say “Fine ma’am, and you?”
4.) His/her response will likely be something like, “perty good” or “finer n’ frogs hair.”
5.) He/she will then ask you “What kind of Coke do you want to drink today?”
6.) This is where you tell her/him that you would like a 7-Up.

Thanks, John! That’s a perty good answer! 😀

There are more DQs in Texas (600+) than in any other state. Towns that don’t even have a grocery store have a DQ. Texans have a special relationship with Dairy Queen. And the feeling is mutual. There’s a special Texas motto: DQ, That’s What I Like About Texas!

There’s an entire separate That’s What I Like About Texas menu. On it you’ll find things like: TexaSize your soft drink or fries and Texas DQ Add-Ons like Jalapenos and Chili. There’s a special sandwich called Dude – Chick’n Fried Steak. There are Texas T-Brand Tacos, 3 for $3.69.

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There are also the special Country Baskets. You can order Steak Fingers or Chick’n Fingers. Both come with Texas Toast and Crispy Fries and a uniquely Texas dipping sauce: Gravy! No kidding! Not honey mustard or sweet and sour or even BBQ – gravy!

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There are 550 Dairy Queens outside of the United States and Canada. There are DQ’s in 19 countries including 145 in China and 219 in Thailand. I don’t know how they’ve customized their menus, but in the US, nobody has branded DQ like TX.

Next time you’re in the Lone Star State, you might want to say it loud and proud: add a little Texas style eatin’ to my soft serve!

In this post, as in all my Texas themed posts, my observations are limited to very rural Texas. They don’t necessarily apply to life in say, Dallas or San Antonio or Houston. My experiences are all small southern town Texas.

I do know a little bit about life in Houston. It’s illegal to sell Limburger cheese on Sunday. And this is an interesting Houston law – maybe John can explain this one, too: you aren’t allowed to buy beer on Sunday after midnight but it can be purchased on Monday!? Hmm…

Clearly, even after a year, there’s still a lot I don’t get. I’ll end this post with the ever popular bumper sticker: “Everything is more Texan in Texas”.

I don’t really get that either, but then, I’m still mostly a Yankee.

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25 thoughts on “That’s What I Like About Texas!

  1. Pingback: Why Winter Texans AREN’T Snowbirds « FORK IN THE ROAD

  2. We went from Massachusetts to El Paso in 1973. Money was tight so food was never wasted. My DH ordered a roast beef sandwich at a cafe and proceeded to slather it generously with what he thought was piccalilli ( sweet green tomato relish his mom was famous for).
    Did I mention it was a Mexican cafe and that they’d never heard of piccalilli?
    yep Texas was an experience. After 8 years I was thrilled to leave. Now I’m an official resident (of Livingston TX-LOL)

  3. Laughing SO hard–thoroughly lovin’ this Texas-themed-thing. I truly have a love-hate relationship with Texas. After 45 min on the phone with my cousin in Houston, I talk like I have NOT lived in the Pac NW since 1967. But I swear, it’s really true what they say about Texans: “you can always tell a Texan, you just cain’t tell ’em much!” Have a blessed day, Sis!!

  4. Debbie, I have been following your blog for awhile now, don’t remember how I found it. I am the one who types forkintheroad on google to get to it because I am to lazy to create another bookmark. I find your experiences with Texas colloquialisms very entertaining!

    Just a few comments from this humble Texan:

    1. Don’t be putting ketchup on a hamburger, or a hotdog either for that matter. That just ain’t right! Mustard is for hamburgers and hot dogs. 😉

    2. Dairy Queen. I took the family to Missouri (pronounced Misery) to visit grandparents (yes I married a yankee, (shhh)) over New Year’s. Lo and behold we stop in Joplin for gas and there is a DQ right down the street. Looked at the menu, no Country Basket, and no Hungr Buster. My wife asked if they had steak fingers. No ma’am just chicken fingers. Would you like any kind of sauce with that? Doesn’t it come with gravy? We have honey mustard, yada, yada, yada… Dude, where is the Dude? There is no Dude. I better stop here. Don’t get me wrong I like visiting Missouri, but DQ, uh no.

    3. Buying Beer in Texas. No you cannot buy beer after midnight on Sunday-Friday, but you also can’t buy it before 8:00 AM the next morning. You can buy beer on Saturday until 1:00 AM Sunday but you can’t buy it on Sunday until noon. Don’t ask me how I know this ;-).

    Please don’t take a break from the fork, your writing is very entertaining.

    Don

    • Oh Don! You’re a hoot! I guess I’ll just learn to live without ketchup, except in the privacy of my own home. 😀
      You Texans and your DQs. Too funny. So it is true!
      And – I don’t even like beer, but y’all sure do have some odd beer laws.
      Thanks so much for reading and for sharing your VERY entertaining comments!
      You made me laugh so loud and I woke up Henry! 😉
      Weird internet again tonight. I wrote a post I can’t post so I’m re-posting and old one.
      Thanks again, Don. You made my night!
      Debbie

  5. I learned at the age of 18 while working in a local Dairy Queen and not the one you see in Texas, drinks were called Pops, soda & of course we Kentuckians say Coke too.
    Don’t look for Long John Silver or Frazolia (where is spell check) Taco Bell i like them too. One fine day i ordered the 3 tacos at DQ, they were laid in a paper of grease. What a joke!

    Betty

  6. I was so excited when we found a DQ in Iowa. . .so I could get my taco fix! Guess what? They don’t serve tacos. . .what? I had no idea! And some Yankees tell me that some DQ’s in the North only serve ice cream. . .huh? Now that’s just wrong. . .

    Janice
    ReadyToGoFullTimeRVing.com

    • Oh Janice – that is SO funny. I about fell over when I saw tacos on the DQ menu! We went to Taco Bell for that! And, yep, some DQ’s are indeed, ice cream only but I think they all have Dilly Bars! 😉
      Debbie

  7. 600+ DQs? Debbie, I have only ever seen 2 here in Central New York; and they are both closed now. Never seen a Sonic around here either. But Mickey D’s and BK are all over the place. We have a local hot dog stand in the city that only has mustard and relish – you ask for ketchup, you get a lecture. 🙂

    • Drusilla – LOL! Gosh, ketchup must REALLY be a Midwest thing. I had no idea!
      We’ve had DQ’s in every state (all 5 of them) that I’ve lived in, but only Texas has it’s own customized menu! Sonic was new to me, too. We also have a lot of Whataburgers down here. I can’t think of the last time I’ve seen a Hardee’s (maybe they’ve gone out of business) or a Burger King. You do see MacDonalds sometimes – with Tabasco instead of ketchup. 😉
      Debbie

  8. MAN am I a Yankee!!!! And thanks to your friends for the tips on Texas Stop Signs! I’ll make sure not to break the grazing laws! I could use a BELT buster about now. Hey, in past grazing days i could have loaded up on some good and plentiful food. Not goin’ there.

    Hilarious. I called all “pop” Coke for awhile too. However, if someone asked for Pepsi or Mt. Dew, i knew what they meant. May your waitress was sticking to strict Texas principals! Outstanding! 😉 melis

    • melis – Really? You called all pop, Coke? How funny!
      What is even more unusual is that Dr Pepper was invented in Texas. If they were going to settle on one soft drink name I would have thought they’d pick Dr Pepper! 😉
      Debbie

  9. LOL! Andy’s right! We used to have a Blue law that stated you couldn’t purchase anything but food on Sundays.

    • John – Hey, thank for you 7-up help – such a great comment and I don’t think many saw it the first time around!
      It was the: NOT on Sunday AFTER midnight but it can be purchased on Monday part that got me. Do you think it was a legal typo? After midnight Sunday, at least back home, would be Monday…?
      I actually found it on more than one website that seem pretty authentic. Funny.
      In the little town in NE Indiana where I was born, I think everything BUT the tavern was closed on Sundays…
      Debbie

  10. I have never seen more friendly people than Texans. It is one of the reasons I love this State. I love the little towns (all except Cotulla) . Even Tilden is unique in that the town is always busy and there is really nothing there!! Kinda reminds me of the California gold rush only it is gas and oil. Tilden has a brand new laundramat and that alone won my heart! .

    • Oh Jill – LOL! Life is Good when there’s a good laundromat, huh? 🙂
      I rarely go to town, in part due to my great propensity for getting lost, but I agree, the folks I’ve met have all been really nice. 🙂
      Debbie

  11. Hey Debbie… you can become a Texan. I did! I moved here in 1982 and jokingly many people kept asking, “Do you have your papers yet?” Well, after 30 years as a devoted and loyal Texan, I feel I’ve earned my papers. I love Texas and have since the moment I entered it. I’ve never thought of living anywhere else. My favorite bumper stickers are:
    1. American by birth, Texan by the grace of God.
    2. I wasn’t born in Texas, but I got here as fast as I could!
    God Bless Texas and Don’t Mess With Texas!

    Hope you learn to love this state as much as I do. And welcome to Texas and to being a Texan!

    Vicky

    • Oh yes, I love DQ. It’s my greatest weakness. Do you know what they call the DQ sign? A Texas stop sign… LOL

      Another bit of trivia… what do they call Armadillos? Texas speed bumps… LOL

      Enough Texas education for one night… about Sonic, they are notorious for not getting orders right. We never have good luck… Bob likes ketchup too. He understands.

      Vicky

    • Vicky – Thank you for the welcome. My heart is still in Oregon (really, really don’t like hot weather and miss the wild coast) but I’ve found the folks here to be gracious and welcoming!
      For the longest time, Heidi would say, ‘We have to get our Texas citizenship’ – instead of residency. She seems to think it’s a whole other country, too! 😉
      I guess ketchup is more of a Midwest condiment? I didn’t mind, but I did think it was funny since she asked me about ketchup twice and then brought me mustard and mayo instead. 😉
      Do you know what they told us speed bumps were in Louisiana? Alligators! (rough on the alignment)
      We had an armadillo in the ditch tonight – I was a little slow with camera, though. I used to have one that visited every night about 3 sites ago. I loved him, but it drove Henry crazy!
      You’re a great Texas ambassador!
      Debbie

  12. Hey Deb~

    Alot of the towns in Texas do not allow beer sales until after 12 Noon on Sunday. That gives the good Baptists time to get caught up with all the heathens that didn’t go to church.
    Just sayin’…… 🙂

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