That is holy smoke you see rolling over the barbecue stand in Knollwood. Dale Bryant thanks the Lord for leading him to the smoked meat business, and business is booming at Smokey D’s Bar-B-Q in the little suburban community north of Sherman.
Nabor Quiroz is a celebrity in the world of handmade homemade tamales. His wife and daughters are in charge of production and he is the company’s primary distribution channel. Known also as “Tamale Man,” Quiroz has been peddling tamales in Texoma from the back of his SUV for more than a decade. Now the family is opening a permanent business in Van Alstyneat the site of the Elmont Farmers Market.
Heading northbound on Hwy 75 in Denison, just before the exit for Hwy 120, the Garcia’s Restaurant sign sits atop the oil derrick as a reminder of just how risky the food business can be. Not that many years ago the seemingly prime location was home to Harper’s, a steak and potato place. When Sherman Town Center’s restaurant row began to develop, Harpers fell on hard times and eventually became Bayou Daddy’s.
When you create something consistently good and price it fairly, the word gets around. Angela Boedeker opened Angela’s Café in a small storefront on Denison’s Main Street in 2007, then moved to South Austin Street. Now Angela’s Cafe is doing big business and has added a bakery next door.
Kathleen’s Kitchen on North Travis Street has become such a fixture in Sherman that it is easy to forget the restaurant hasn’t been serving strawberry salad and potato soup forever.
It’s about meat, or MEAT in the vernacular of the hungry summer grill master. Brisket smoking long and slow, pork chops, really thick pork chops, and of course, steaks—ribeyes, T-bones, the regal porterhouse—all with a char and a sizzle and juice that runs pink and warm when your knife slides through the beef. Got the picture?
Think Wall Street. Very good. What comes to mind? Bears, bulls, stock exchange, high finance, tamales—Whoa! One moment please. What have tamales got to do with Wall Street? Well, it’s all about location. If you are thinking about the Wall Street in the Big Apple, all of those money references are a natural, but if it’s Wall Street in Sherman, then tamales take center stage—Lupe’s World Famous Tamales to be precise.
It’s small for a restaurant kitchen. The four-burner commercial range sits between a sink and a waist-high cooler, which in turn rubs against a multi-level baking oven and warmer. On the weekends, when Devolli’s Italian Restaurant is jumping with customers waiting for dinner, Frank Devolli and his assistant have to watch out, lest they collide somewhere around the tall pot of red tomato sauce that usually sits on the corner of the range.
The most recent book to praise the hamburger, “Hamburger Heaven: The Illustrated History of the Hamburger,” by Jeffrey Tennyson, hamburger is the “hands-down all-time favorite food.” “Lauded for its convenience and versatility as either snack or entree and labeled as both a cultural icon and a cliche, the hamburger—this omnipresent beef-between-bun creation— is a meaty, multifaceted phenomenon,” Tennyson wrote.
We took a vote here at the Texoma Living! editorial office and the majority agreed that in Texoma, eating is a major social event. It’s not just the fact that at the time we were eating cold, two-day-old Hawaiian-style pizza at 3:00 a.m. while working on this section of the magazine.