Ah, the great state of Texas. A job had us in Stephenville (west of Dallas about an hour and a half) for a full week. Part of my love of travel is food, and finding what the best local cuisine has to offer. Being based in Kansas City, I knew Texas would have nothing to offer me as far as BBQ went. KC IS the capital of BBQ, and that was it as far as I was concerned. The locals kept insisting that we should try the “Hard 8,” and I thought why not. I would be happy to entertain their feeble attempt, but I wasn’t going to be too impressed.
The Hard 8 has all their smokers and grills outside. You stand in a line and then pick whatever meat you want right off a big grill.
You can get as much or as little of each item you want (except chicken, only halfs). The grill steward then weighs your tray and you go inside to get fries, drinks, etc. Another feature was free little cups of Keystone beer.
I got a couple of ribs and some brisket. The ribs where fantastic, brisket was good. My pride was shattered. Perhaps these Texans could do good bbq. I hated the thought but could not deny the evidence in the plate of bones in front of me.
The next day we had lunch at “Woody’s.” More bbq. I got a brisket sandwich. I about fell out of my chair when I bit in. Best brisket sandwich I have ever had. My whole world was messed up now. This Texas thing apparently was not a fluke. Damn. We ate BBQ for every meal after that. I am home now and on a strict salad diet.
Now that I have your mouth watering, the shoot was in cattle country. We were doing an ag shoot, and were in close proximity to cows, very close.
The dairy farm we were on would flush the pens out each morning and evening with a bunch of water. The waste water then flowed through a series of canals and then over a little waterfall into these long shoots.
These shoots trapped the poop and the water continued on its way through a series of lakes, until it was clean, and then went back to the start to do it all again. The poop, was dried, and then scooped up and used as fertilizer to grow the feed for the cows. It was a pretty cool circular system.