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Re: Rank of States By Its Food/Drink; Part VII

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Posted by Don, Dueling Bubbas on July 11, 2014 at 15:21:13:

In Reply to: Rank of States By Its Food/Drink; Part I posted by Don, Dueling Bubbas on July 11, 2014 at 15:13:49:

2. Texas
Everything is bigger in Texas. I know that because of T-shirts, but also because itís true. Whereas most states have one style of BBQ -- maybe two -- Texas has four: East, Central, South, and West (Sorry, North). And these styles, particularly Central Texas, happen to be amongst our favorite barbecue in the whole world. Thereís a reason that line is so long at Franklin, yíall. Texans invented their own style of cuisine (Tex-Mex), their own style of chili (no beans!), and the ballpark nachos (in 1973 at Arlington Stadium). There are famous cattle ranches like King in South Texas, which is bigger than all of Rhode Island. There are the big beer producers -- the Lone Stars and the Shiners -- but there are also the small ones, like Jester King and 512. There is Whataburger.

Aside from all that, you could make a damn compelling case that four cities (Austin, Houston, San Antonio, and, okay, maybe (!), Dallas/Fort Worth) are all destination-worthy when it comes to eating, with Houston and San Antonio only recently being given the props they deserve. Say what you want about the prolific talents of NYC, but once you get outside the boroughs, no one is exactly lining up to heap praise on the food/drink in Albany and beyond.

1. California
We didnít want it to be California, friends. We wanted it to be some kind of off-the-radar spot like South Dakota or Texas, but we didnít map the geography of this nation to favor the Golden State; God, or some kind of mapographer did. Letís start first with some numbers. California has 80,000 farms; it produces HALF OF ALL US-GROWN FRUITS, NUTS, AND VEGETABLES. Half, friends. 50%. And you know about the wine, right? 800 miles of coastland with fog, wind, and rain to keep vines interesting, and all of that warm inland and hills to produce more of it than any other state. And who gives a sh*t if Paul Giamatti doesnít drink Merlot? California makes 100 different varietals of wine. Have you ever heard of a Mourvedre?!? I have not, but those grape-stomping bastards make it. And we havenít even gotten to the cities.

San Diego and its fish tacos and craft beers; LA with its innovative food truck culture (Kogi BBQ) and restaurants (Animal, Trois Mec, Baco Mercat); San Francisco with its Mission burritos and a food/drink culture second only to maybe NY in the entire country. But you know what puts it all over the top? The fact that you could take away those places, and itíd still have enough good food cities to be in the top 10. Oakland/Berkeley with its ďanything SF can do, I can do cheaper and potentially betterĒ vibe. San Jose and its cultish ramen from Santouka and Halu. Sacramento and those delicious burgers at the Squeeze Inn with that cheese skirt. Trust me, friends, itís California on a knockout, and it ainít even that close.

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