Texas: It’s like a Whole Other Country
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’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.
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!
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.