Tusk to Tail: Notes on whiskey, wine and Alabama

by Dale Cullins (dkcullins@sbcglobal.net) 456 views 

Big ‘D’ didn’t disappoint last weekend even though the game didn’t go as well as we had hoped. The Hogs did show some fight and just about pulled off the impossible on Saturday, but it may still be a few weeks off before we see this team get another win.

Tusk to Tail had a rather cozy crew in Fort Worth for lunch on Friday at Joe T. Garcia’s in Fort Worth. Joe T’s is old school Tex Mex, and one locals and tourist have enjoyed for more than 83 years now. If you are in the area, look it up. You won’t be disappointed. The tamales and the enchiladas are legendary.

Afterward, we headed over to a local distillery that a few of us have become quiet the fan of in the past few years. TX Whiskey, distilled and bottled in Fort Worth on the second oldest golf course in Texas. The grounds were beautiful, and with such a new product, everything was nice and freshly built out of sustainable materials, with special attention given to the history of the place.

Our guide Marshall was a TCU defensive end from the 70’s and remembered playing against Broyles and the Hogs back in the day. He was a hoot, and made the hour-long tour pass quickly. The tour was $15, and culminated in the tasting room with a small pour of the Whiskey aged 2 years and the Bourbon aged 4 years. They are working on creating new products in the future as things get a little more age on them. Give it a try. TX is available in Arkansas.

Lastly, we ended up back in Dallas at Pecan Lodge for dinner. It’s not a proper football trip if you don’t work some barbeque into the menu somewhere along the way, so we held out for a great one. Open for several years now, Pecan Lodge generally makes every list of great Texas BBQ stops. They even make a few top 5 lists nationally. Like most Texas establishments, Pecan Lodge specializes in brisket so if it’s your first visit, don’t be cute. Just get the brisket. The line at 7:30 p.m. was still out the door and down the street a bit. It looked to be about a 1.5 hour wait, but we we were able to get in after only about 20 minutes. This was my second stop now for Pecan Lodge, and I’d have to say that Wright’s BBQ in Johnson, Ark., is doing it just as well as Pecan Lodge. Wright’s serves moist brisket with excellent smoke and bark that is long on flavor. Give them both a try.

This week Alabama is making their way up to the hill for an 11 a.m. kick off. We already knew our chef Brad Davis wanted to take this week off from cooking for his birthday, so I planned to cater in some food. However, with the early start time, we will rely upon our members to bring some dishes and buy a few sweets. Breakfast casseroles, donuts, brats, bacon, and chicken nuggets will all be on the menu.

As for drinks, we will have some champagne cocktails, a Bloody Mary bar, and some hot coffee with Baily’s Irish Cream in addition to our regular offerings, as it will be warming up as the day moves on. It won’t be a large crowd this week. Kids’ activities in the mornings are cutting into a big part of our crowd, and the early start time and opponent are cutting into the rest. I’m guessing we will have 40-50 visitors on Saturday.

Don’t forget that the university will cut traffic off at 7 a.m., so if you don’t have a parking pass, try to be on campus before then. Also, please consider the start time of the game. Everyone from Little Rock and the River Valley will be trying to get onto campus around 9 a.m., so do your best to a little earlier than that. You’ll thank me later.

Finally, here’s a recipe for the Perfect Champagne Cocktail: one-half flute of a sparkling wine (to save money), one-half a flute of OJ, then a splash of a raspberry liqueur down the side to color the bottom of the glass.

Go Hogs! Beat Bama!
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Editor’s note: Welcome to the seventh season of Tusk to Tail – the sport of tailgating as organized, performed and perfected by a group of Hog fans who have been tailgating together sober and otherwise for more than a decade. Tusk to Tail is managed by Talk Business & Politics and sponsored by the River Valley Smile Center … because it’s another dang rebuilding year and you’re gonna need a good smile to get through the season. The diehards may also be followed on their Facebook page. Or follow the crew on Twitter and Instagram, all @TuskToTail.

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