DHS Plans to Deport Illegal Aliens at Presidio

Created Saturday, 31 October 2009 21:10

Gov. Perry Urges Federal Government to Stop Illegal Alien Transport Through Texas

Plan would move illegal aliens apprehended in other states through Presidio

Key Points

  • Gov. Perry urges federal government to stop transport of illegal aliens through Texas
  • Alien Transfer and Exit Program would bring more than 34,000 illegal aliens through Presidio
  • Texas continues to secure its border with Mexico until the federal government fulfills its responsibility

October 31, 2009

AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry today sent a letter to U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano urging the federal government to stop its plans to transport illegal aliens from other states into Texas solely for the purpose of deportation. The Alien Transfer and Exit Program (ATEP), which is scheduled to begin tomorrow, would transport more than 34,000 illegal aliens per year through Presidio.

“Turning the Presidio area into a way station for the repatriation of illegal immigrants adds responsibility to local authorities and holds the potential of increasing the strain on local and state infrastructure and resources,” Gov. Perry said. “This plan will increase the likelihood that these individuals will immediately cross back into Texas, which is already bearing an uneven burden in dealing with immigration and border security issues along the Texas-Mexico border.”

Gov. Perry noted this program is a result of the federal government’s continued lack of an effective strategy for dealing with border security.

“Texas is proud of its working relationship with the United States Border Patrol, and we have invested significant state resources to assist them in their worthy efforts. We will continue to request that the federal government send the adequate resources necessary to effectively secure the southern border,” Gov. Perry said.

Since January, Gov. Perry has repeatedly urged the federal government, through letters to President Barack Obama, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, to approve his request for 1,000 Title 32 National Guardsmen to support civilian law enforcement efforts to enhance border security in Texas.

A porous border places Texas and the nation at risk from international terrorists, organized crime cartels and transnational gangs. Until the federal government fulfills its responsibility of securing our border, Texas will continue filling in the gaps by putting more boots on the ground, providing increased law enforcement resources and leveraging technology along the border.

In the absence of adequate federal resources to secure the state’s southern border, Gov. Perry recently announced the state’s latest border security enhancement using highly-skilled Ranger Reconnaissance (Ranger Recon) Teams to address the ever evolving threat along the Texas-Mexico border. Additionally, under the governor’s leadership and thanks to action taken by the Legislature, the state has dedicated more than $110 million to border security efforts in each of the last two legislative sessions.

To view the governor’s letter to Secretary Napolitano:

Attached File: Gov. Perry’s Letter to Secretary Napolitano


San Antonio A River Runs Through It

Created Friday, 30 October 2009 13:21

A River Runs Through It

A San Antonio Riverwalk History

The river was always there, one of those which fan through Texas, draining the high plains, running down through the limestone hills, and the coastal plain before draining out into the Gulf. None of the rivers – the Nueces, the Brazos, the Colorado, the Guadalupe, even the River Grand, which now forms the border between Mexico and it’s one-time territorial possession – are deep enough to have been navigatable for more than a little distance. Their valuable service to settlers was in providing a reliable water source, rather than a river-highway into the interior.

And the presence of the river, and the San Pedro Spring (which once burst up out of the ground, gushing like a fountain with considerable force) was one of the reasons that the Spanish established a mission and a sketchily manned presidio, early in the 18th century, which establishments shifted positions very slightly over ten or twenty years, until everyone was more or less content with the arrangement of the string of missions along the river, the presidio, and the acequia – the water-distribution system, which fed the cultivated fields.

Over the next century, as San Antonio grew and morphed from an outpost of Colonial Spain, the river continued to be important to the people who lived along it’s banks. In the mid-19th century, Frederick Law Olmstead (who would eventually contribute a bit of key city-scaping – that of Central Park – to New York City) observed that all the nicest houses in San Antonio had gardens that backed on the river, and swimming and bathing in it was a very popular diversion.

Having been founded because of water, water became an integral part of San Antonio – but now and again, as with all good things, there was just too darned much of it. A disastrous flood in 1921, which drowned fifty people, made it perfectly clear that “Something Ought To Be Done.” The initial plan called for a dam, upstream in Olmos Park, and a bypass channel to route excess water away from downtown. The plan also called for paving over the bend in the San Antonio River between Houston Street and the Villita Parkway, using it basically as an underground storm-drain – but that was where the San Antonio Conservation Society took exception. Wrangling over what to do continued throughout the rest of the decade, while a local architect named Robert Hugman worked up a beautification scheme, calling for walkways at river-level, ornamental bridges landscaping. Hugman wanted to call his development “The Shops of Aragon and Romula” which doesn’t have quite the same ring and brevity of “The Riverwalk” – but he believed in it to the point of keeping his own office in the area.

In 1939, funding became available through the WPA, for the initial 17,000 feet of walkways, some twenty bridges and a number of ornamental plantings, and fountains. In the mid-40’s the Casa Rio restaurant opened. HemisFair, in 1968 added another significant length to the original; eventually there would be eight major hotels, one shopping mall, and the original Casa Rio would face competition from more than fifty restaurants, star-scattered the length of the meandering landscaped promenade. The Riverwalk has been expanding ever since, by fits and starts in either direction, north and south, as residents and tourists discover – or rediscover – the joys of living on the river. Long-term plans call for extending the Riverwalk – with bike trails, meadows and stands of native plants, another thirteen miles or so, all the way south, to link up with the original Spanish missions. Indeed, San Antonio lives by the river, in more ways than the early Spanish settlers could ever have known.


White House Christmas Tree 2009

Created Thursday, 29 October 2009 16:29

White House Staff Select Blue Room Christmas Tree



Chesterfield, MO (October 20, 2009) — A beautiful Douglas-fir from Shepherdstown, W.V., will be the official White House Christmas Tree this year.

The Blue Room Christmas Tree will be officially presented to First Lady Michelle Obama by Christmas Tree growers Eric and Gloria Sundback. The Sundbacks earned this honor by winning the National Christmas Tree Association’s (NCTA) national Christmas Tree contest held in August 2009 in Chattanooga, Tenn., and becoming Grand Champion.

The Blue Room Christmas Tree was handpicked by Director of the Executive Residence and White House Chief Usher Stephen Rochon and Superintendent of Grounds Dale Haney on Oct. 20, 2009. The tree, which was planted by the Sundbacks in 1996, will be cut in late November and sent to Washington, D.C.

Eric and Gloria are no strangers to the White House Christmas experience. This will be the fourth time that the couple has won the contest and presented a tree to the First Lady. “It is always an exciting time and it is interesting to meet all the First Ladies,” Gloria says.

The couple first began growing Christmas Trees in 1956 in western Pennsylvania. In 1959, Eric’s work as a landscape architect took them to the Washington, D.C., area where they began a search for land to continue their Christmas Tree farming on the best soil possible, settling near Shepherdstown, W.V. In 1967, Eric and Gloria started retail lots in Bethesda, Md. and Washington, D.C., which they operated for 40 years before passing the retail side of their business to two veteran employees. Both in their 80s, Eric and Gloria continue development of the seed orchard part of their farm.

The presentation to the White House is tentatively scheduled to take place on Nov. 27, 2009. The tree will be set up in the Blue Room later that day, where the White House Floral Department staff and volunteers will decorate it.

Members of the National Christmas Tree Association have presented the official White House Christmas Tree for display in the Blue Room since 1966. For Real Christmas Tree selection and care
tips, or to find a Christmas Tree farm or lot in your area, visit www.realchristmastrees.org.


For More Information:
Rick Dungey
636-449-5071 (voice)
636-449-5051 (fax)
dungey@realchristmastrees.org (e-mail)


Majik Theatre at Hemisfair Park

Created Thursday, 29 October 2009 13:36

San Antonio’s Majik Theatre at Hemisfair Park

The Magik Children’s Theatre’s curtain opens to Room 207 at an elementary school, where the rowdiest, loudest, rudest and most misbehaved students are paying no attention to their teacher, Miss Nelson. She is a sweet, kind, soft-spoken educator. She asks her students to “please calm down” so she can read them a story. When her pupils stand on their desks, run around the classroom and throw rulers, Miss Nelson’s blood pressure reaches its limit, and she runs into the principal’s office for shelter from her educational nightmare..

Meanwhile, my three companions, Olivia, 8, her sister, Noelle, 6, and their mother Brandy wait to see what happens next. Olivia and Noelle sit on their knees, resting their chins and arms on the seats in front of them, trying to get closer to the stage. Their eyes are stuck on the classroom mayhem.

With Miss Nelson gone, the classroom door opens for the substitute teacher, Viola Swamp. She is a piece of work. Her crooked nose and protruding chin are covered with a smatter of warts. She’s tough and strict. She yells, calling the class to order by loudly rapping her black baton on the desks. The students and audience jump to attention. Who is this ugly creature? Her pupils sit quietly, knowing she won’t put up with bad behavior.

Swamp drills the class on their schoolwork, roundly bawls out the know-nothings, slams her baton on their desks again and again and assigns heavy overnight homework that would buckle the best of students. The audience breathes more easily when intermission begins.

A stagehand and one of the naughty students wearing a glow-in-the-dark, bright orange wig push the stage set 180 degrees on its circular track. Now instead of a classroom, we see the front of Miss Nelson’s prim cottage. In the theater lobby, children juggle ice cream sundaes, popcorn and wrapped birthday presents for two honorees.

Back on stage at Miss Nelson’s home, the once-misbehaved students try to find her before it’s too late. They ask each other whether they will ever see their sweet teacher again. My friends, Olivia and Noelle, whisper between themselves as they wonder what happened to Miss Nelson. Her students dance and sing in front of her cottage, but “Miss Nelson Is Missing” (the play’s title).

The story ends happily. The audience is taught an important lesson in classroom behavior. The show is over in about 50 minutes — just long enough for youthful attention spans. Olivia and Noelle say they had a great time.

“Miss Nelson Is Missing” continues through Nov. 7, 2009. The theater is located at 420 S. Alamo St. in Hemisfair Park. Showtimes are Tuesday through Friday, 9:45 a.m. and 11:30 a.m., Friday at 7 p.m., Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults and children. Phone: (210) 227-2751. No one is turned away because of an inability to buy tickets. The actors are paid employees.

The play is based on a book by Harry Allard and adapted for stage by Joan Cushing. Becky King is the local director and choreographer. The Magik Children’s Theatre encourages literacy by producing only plays based on books children are reading in school. The theater, which opened in 1994, seats 600 people.

**Magik Theatre Miss Nelson Photos© 2009 David Frank_ArtGives



The Majik Theatre is located just across from The Fairmount Hotel at Hemisfair Park.

A benefit for the Heart of Texas Labrador Dog Rescue (HOTLR)will be held at The Faimount Hotel. (An Evening of Giving, Texas Style. November 7, 2009 from 5-9pm.)


Texas Geocache Challenge

Created Wednesday, 28 October 2009 22:54

Texas Geocache Challenge

Join us in a modern day treasure hunt in Texas State Parks

Geocaching is a type of treasure hunt using a GPS unit to help you find hidden “caches” placed by people all over the world. Geocaches are everywhere – from just down the street from your house to the most remote wilderness areas. They range from extremely small containers (35-mm film canister or smaller) to large ammo-style boxes.

We invite you and your family to join us in discovering hidden items while revealing exciting facts and stories about Texas State Parks. All you’ll need is a GPS (Global Positioning Satellite) unit, the coordinates for the hidden treasure (or caches), and a Texas State Park Geocache Challenge Passport Book available at participating state parks or by downloading it here.

We have hidden a special geocache in each of 12 state parks for you to find. In each cache, you will find a logbook that describes a special feature of the park that you can use to answer a question in your Geocache Challenge Passport Book. Also, there will be a special orienteering punch that you will use to mark your Passport Book to claim the cache, and a logbook to sign. You may also want to log your find on www.geocaching.com

The cache should contain small prizes and trinkets left by TPWD staff and fellow cachers. If you take something, be sure to leave something of equal value so cachers who follow you will have something to trade.

We will post the GPS coordinates (or waypoints) on this site Nov 1st at noon. Enter the waypoint into your GPS unit manually, or download it directly from the site www.geocaching.com.

Once you have found all 12 caches, send your completed Passport Book to:

Texas Geocache Challenge – TPWD
944 Highway 71 East
Bastrop, TX 78602

The first 100 returned passports receive a commemorative Texas Geocache Challenge coin. Other gifts will include large stickers and a certificate of completion. So, get out there and find those caches in your state parks, and discover how life’s better outside!

Participating State Parks: (map)

Don’t know how to Geocache? We have special workshops hosted at our State parks to introduce you to this activity. http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/newsmedia/calendar/?calpage=a0213

  • Bastrop SP
  • Buescher SP
  • Lockhart SP
  • Palmetto SP
  • Lake Somerville SP (Nails Creek and Birch Creek units)
  • Monument Hill SHS
  • Huntsville SP
  • Government Canyon SNA
  • Washington-on-the-Brazos SHS
  • McKinney Falls SP
  • Guadalupe River SP

ITEMS TO BRING ALONG Geocaching is a great way to enjoy your state parks. As with any outdoor activity, it helps to have some special items to make your adventure more enjoyable and safe. We suggest the following items when geocaching:

  • GPS unit (of course!)
  • Texas State Parks Challenge Passport Book
  • Map of the area where you are geocaching
  • Water
  • Snacks
  • Pen or pencil (sometimes pens and pencils disappear from the caches)
  • Sunblock
  • Insect repellant
  • Walking stick (some caches are placed in areas such as under logs or in crevices where it would be prudent to test with a walking stick first rather than your hand)
  • Rain gear
  • Small backpack to keep everything together
  • Good walking or hiking footwear


First Texas Geocache Challenge Debuts

Created Wednesday, 28 October 2009 22:48

First Texas Geocache Challenge Debuts Nov. 1

Pilot Effort Will Test Way To Get People From “Online” to “Outside”

Oct. 28, 2009

AUSTIN, Texas — A new program at 12 Texas state parks aims to use technology to draw visitors into the outdoors. The Texas Geocache Challenge will run from Nov. 1 through Jan. 31, 2010, challenging state park visitors to use Global Positioning System technology to find a cache of hidden rewards in each park.

Participating central and southeast central parks are Bastrop, Buescher, Government Canyon, Guadalupe River, Huntsville, Lake Somerville-Birch Creek, Lake Somerville-Nails Creek, Lockhart, McKinney Falls, Monument Hill-Kreische Brewery, Palmetto and Washington-on-the-Brazos.

“It’s a good, healthy way to get out on the trails of state parks,” said Chris Holmes, outdoor education coordinator for Texas State Parks. “We think it will be appealing to families, a really fun thing to do in a state park. The fun thing with the kids is that they literally get to find treasure, so we know they will be excited when they find the cache.”

“Children today are very different from children of the past,” Holmes explained. “They are much more technology-savvy, and our experience at park workshops for families has shown that the kids end up leading GPS activities. This is really using technology to be outside.”

Participants can download a Texas Geocache Passport, as well as the coordinates of each of the caches, from the TPWD Web site. In each of the 12 parks a hidden box will contain small prizes, information about the park, a logbook for cachers to record their visit, and a paper punch unique to the park. Geocachers can use their GPS units to find the containers and then use the punch to mark their passports to verify their visit.

When geocachers have found all 12 boxes, they can mail the passport to TPWD, and the first 100 people to send in their passports will receive a commemorative geocoin. Other participants who finish will qualify for other prizes, such as a map of all 12 parks, Texas Geocache Challenge stickers and a certificate of completion.

The department also is making a low-tech version of the challenge available for visitors who don’t own a GPS device. Outdoor sleuths can download written clues to each of the hidden caches from the TPWD Web site. The department also is working on a Facebook page and a Twitter feed to accompany the challenge, which will allow participants to post photos and descriptions of their adventures.

“We really want people to get outside, and this is another reason for people to go out to state parks, Holmes said. “It’ll be a three-month pilot, and then we are going to evaluate it, and if it’s as successful as we expect, it could go statewide within a year.”

Media Contact: Tom Harvey, 512-389-4453, tom.harvey@tpwd.state.tx.us; or Chris Holmes, 979.229.2886, chris.holmes@tpwd.state.tx.us

On the Net:


Down Beside the Sea

Created Tuesday, 27 October 2009 13:56

Corpus Christi – Down Beside the Sea

The good thing about San Antonio being so far inland is that – well, those hurricanes which hit the Texas Gulf coast are usually pretty well diminished to a stiff breeze and a lot of rain by the time they hit San Antonio. The bad thing about being so far inland – is that it takes a good three hours or so to reach the coast. The good thing about that is – it’s a very scenic drive, either on IH-37 South, or if you hopscotch all across all of south Texas on secondary roads. No matter if the route takes you from Floresville to Kenedy, to Goliad and Refugio and points south- to Port Lavaca, Rockport or Corpus Christi, or anywhere else along the Texas Gulf Coast – it’s all a good and scenic drive, meandering through gently-rolling green hills, threaded with steep-banked creeks and small rivers, which gradually flatten out and then give way to salt-marshes and bayous grown with rank after rank of tall reeds and bamboo thickets. The Texas Coast fishing isn’t bad either.

And at the end of several hours on the road – there is the open sea, beckoning. Not that there is much spectacular when you eventually do get there. The Texas Gulf Coast doesn’t have sugar-white sand beaches like Hawaii, or red-wood shrouded cliffs like California’s Big Sur, but it’s wet and salty and will do very, very well for us – even if it means another two or three hours, driving back home lightly sun-burnt and with scratchy sand working its way between your skin and your damp bathing-suit. A water park, no matter how lavish, just doesn’t have the same zing, the same salt-smell, the same view of sailboat masts bobbing up and down in the marina, or the great hulk of an aircraft carrier halfway between shore and the horizon. The sunset doesn’t paint it all with the same golden-apricot glow.

And although San Antonio does have a Seaworld … there isn’t quite the same air about it, stranded so far from the ocean, the I-don’t-know-what-the-expression-for-it-is that an aquarium on the seafront does, an aquarium like the Texas State Aquarium in Corpus Christi. There is a sense of rightness about a sea-front aquarium, when you are barely a stone-throw from the world underwater. The aquarium in Corpus Christi shelters over three hundred different species of aquatic animals. Reptiles, amphibians, fish and other sea creatures are on display in specially designed habitats, habitats that mimic the natural world as precisely as possible. Visitors can get as close as a whisper, to creatures they would most likely never encounter – or want to encounter, in the wild. Floating jellyfish, stingrays, dolphins and otters – every day, from nine to five. And they have their eye – if they have eyes – that is, just as you watch them.



San Antonio Farmers Market – Pearl Brewery

Created Saturday, 24 October 2009 15:26

San Antonio Farmer’s Market – Pearl Brewery

So, when we went to the yearly San Antonio Herb Market last Saturday, now that it has relocated from under the Oak trees at Aggie Park, to a splendid market-square venue around in back of the old Pearl Brewery stable building … and what did we find, but a weekly Pearl Farmer’s Market, round on the other side!

Gosh, we went for the potted plants and herbal stuff, and there was a whole market breaking out … although, seriously, we should have had a clue, as we were looking for a parking place (under the 281, BTW) that we were in the neighborhood of serious foodie activity, seeing the people staggering away from the direction of the brick smokestack and the exuberantly beaux-arts dome of the old brewery main building, laden with shopping bags and flats of green herbs. That used to be the way that I located neighborhood street markets in Greece, and the very first time I went to the central produce market in Zaragoza, Spain.

All I knew was that the regular weekly street-market was in such-and-such a neighborhood, on a certain day of the week. Or in the case of the central market in Zaragoza, that it was over near the Avenida Cesar Augusto, in a grand 19th century pavilion that was the very latest thing in modern design and convenience in, say 1895. Basically, the thing to look for was people with empty bags, or shopping trolleys going in a certain direction, and other people, with full bags and trolleys, coming away from that direction.


The Pearl Market has a bit to go, I think – before achieving the splendid bounties of fresh flowers, vegetables and fruits, cheeses, meats available in the European farmer’s markets that I was used to, but they have gotten off to a very promising start. My daughter is still a little peeved that I didn’t buy any of the bison jerky – but the roasted tomato pesto from Humble House Foods was absolutely sublime, as a component in a toasted-cheese sandwich. (I spread about a tablespoon on the inside of the bread, so it and the cheese could melt and mingle… food of the gods, people, food of the gods!)

Their hummus dip was very good also, BTW – but they had sold out by the time we made a circuit of the vendors and come back. Oh, well – another Saturday… There were breads, baskets full of sturdy loaves, and I had a mad vision of Crocodile Dundee and a loaf of commercial supermarket bread, and him saying “A loaf of bread? Now THIS is a loaf of bread!”

It was a bit European, in that shoppers had brought their dogs, too. There were a fair number of tables and chairs set out under awnings in the middle, so shoppers could sit and nibble and listen to music … did I mention the music? Yes, there was a live Cajun band, and even people getting carried away and dancing. I have to say that’s one-up on the European street markets that I remember – they did not have live music. And even better yet – the Pearl Market is on a terrace, overlooking a new extension of the Riverwalk; all very pleasant, under an open sky and on about the first Saturday of the autumn, when it is possible to go and walk about on the city pavement for a couple of hours in late morning without people making cracks about mad dogs, Englishmen, and the midday sun.



Texas Parks Make Finding Halloween Fun Easy

Created Monday, 19 October 2009 17:37

Texas Parks Make Finding Halloween Fun Easy

News Release
Media Contact: Tom Harvey, 512-389-4453, tom.harvey@tpwd.state.tx.us

Oct. 16, 2009

AUSTIN, Texas — No matter where you are in Texas, more than a dozen nearby state parks and fisheries centers have a variety of family-themed Halloween activities and attractions to offer.

The fun kicks off a full week before Halloween, with seasonal events at three state parks on Saturday, Oct. 24. From 6-10 p.m., Purtis Creek State Park near Eustace will host a Halloween carnival featuring games with prizes, campsite trick-or-treating and a Halloween hayride. Games are only 25 cents and the hayride is only 50 cents, and park admission fees will be waived for those participating in Halloween events. Call (903) 425-2332 for more information.

On the same night from 7-9 p.m., Houston’s Sheldon Lake State Park will host its annual Natural Halloween, featuring Halloween hiking, night fishing and campfire tales. Call (281) 456-2800 for more information.

From 6-10 p.m. on the same night, Estero Llano Grande State Park, a World Birding Center site in Weslaco, will host its fourth annual Halloween Spooky Science Fest. Activities will include a kids’ costume contest, night hikes, spooky stories, candy treats and science experiments. Admission is $5 for adults and $2 for children 12 and under. Call (956) 565-3919 for details.

The fun continues on Sunday, Oct. 25, with events at Guadalupe River State Park and Sea Center Texas. From 1-3 p.m., Sea Center Texas in Lake Jackson will host the Sea Center Spooktacular, a free event featuring costumes and trick-or-treating. Then, from 6-10 p.m. Guadalupe River State Park will host its annual evening of fun, stories, food and fright of the fun kind. Admission is $5 for adults and $2 children 12 and under.

The festivities kick into high gear Halloween weekend, with nine events planned at different state parks across the state. The Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center’s Halloween at the Hatchery will be held in Athens on Oct. 29 from 6-8:30 p.m. Then, on Halloween night, Caprock Canyons, Fort Richardson, Lake Somerville (Birch Creek Unit), Lake Texana, Martin Dies, Jr., Purtis Creek and Ray Roberts Lake (Isle du Bois Unit) state parks will all host Halloween hikes. Finally, Government Canyon State Natural Area in west Bexar County will host a true Halloween extravaganza from 6-9 p.m. The festivities will include a costume contest, ghost stories, pumpkin carving and treats. Reservations are required: to R.S.V.P, e-mail reservations@friendsofgc.org.

For more information and a complete listing of Halloween events at state parks, visit the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Web site.

On the Net:


An Old Fashioned San Antonio Diner

Created Monday, 19 October 2009 13:55

An Old Fashioned San Antonio Diner at the Alamo

I wouldn’t claim that San Antonio’s G/M Steakhouse is the oldest continuously operating diner and purveyor of fast food, in all it’s infinite varieties and greasy-grilled glory, but at fifty years and apparently going strong, it’s definitely in the running. This, my children, is what fast food used to be, before the days of Micky D’s, BK and Wendy’s drive-up window open to all hours. This fountain of classic fast-food delights – hamburgers, fries, grilled sandwiches, breakfast tacos and chicken-fried steaks (plus all sorts of other steaks) is just across Alamo Plaza from another classic San Antonio institution of slightly longer duration, the Menger Hotel. My daughter and I had lunch the Menger Hotel last weekend, after looking over the Alamo historical re-enactors in the gardens behind the Alamo.

Although the G/M isn’t a classic diner; one of those early 20th century pre-fab restaurants on wheels, the kitchen set-up is reminiscent of one. There is a single narrow lane of cooking area, right by the entrance, a wide grill and deep-fryer, the case of cut slices of pie and cakes on display, and a menu on the wall above – a menu of breakfast, lunch and dinner items.The breakfast and lunch specials are on the inexpensive side; this may very well be the cheapest sit-down place to eat on Alamo Plaza, even cheaper than the Subway, a couple of doors down.And the Subway probably doesn’t have as interesting a place to sit and eat.

It’s an interesting jumble of a classic tall 19th century space with a pressed-tin ceiling, plain mid-20th century diner tables and chairs, and shelves and cases along the walls filled with military memorabilia, photographs and relics. The current owner has a large collection, only part of which is on display. They updated the menu prices at the beginning of the year; most breakfast items are under $5.00, most lunch selections are well under $10.00 – and the décor can’t be beat at any price.

The G/M is at 211 Alamo Plaza, and is open from 7 AM, every day but Tuesday.

Just as a lagniappe:

A recipe for chicken-fried steak – this is a 1985 prize-winner from the Chicken Fried Steak World Championships in Big Spring, which is spiced by marinating in the juice from a can of sliced canned jalapeno chili peppers:

  • Cut 1lb round steak into four portions and pound until thin. Marinate resulting cutlets in the juice from a 4-oz can of sliced jalapenos, for at least half an hour.
  • Combine in a flat pan: 2 cups flour, ½ tsp garlic salt, ¼ tsp salt, ¼ tsp black pepper, 1 Tbsp chili powder, 1 ½ Tbsp paprika, and a dash ginger
  • Combine in another flat pan: 2 beaten eggs, and 2 cups milk.

In a large flat skillet or electric fry pan, fry 5 strips bacon, and when done, remove bacon, reserving rendered bacon fat. Add cooking oil as needed to fry the steaks. Dip marinated steaks, first in the milk-egg mixture, then coat with flour mixture. Fry steaks at 350 degrees, until done, at 350 degrees. Garnish with crumbled bacon and serve with milk gravy.

Other classic Texas recipes are found here – Garry’s Home Cookin’ Eat first, ask questions later!