Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Gone But Not Forgotten - DePaul's Italian Restaurant

A couple of weeks ago, a friend of mine from high school was kind enough to go back through my blog (back to the very beginning), found one of the original topics (Gone But Not Forgotten) and even left a comment.

I'm not blog-savvy enough to understand why this post did not show up as a "new" comment. Instead, I found it buried back in the August, 2009 archives.

It's an interesting post and bears posting again. So Frankie, I'm putting it at the top. Thanks for hanging in there with me.

Frankie Grizzaffi said... did anyone ever eat at DePauls Italian Restaurant on Shepherd Dr. & 16st St.?

Debbie & I spent every weekend eating there at least one night for years (69-?). Great Italian food and pizza. Family owned by the DePaul family. They had a lot of family photos on the walls. Mr. DePaul was a very tall/robust man, Mrs. DePaul was a short, little lady who gave him plenty of hell. They were very miss-matched in size.

The family lived in the large house behind the restaurant. These folks were really great cooks and sometimes their kids would be there working. Their lasagna was the best I have ever eaten. Debbie loved their manicotti. We even got my parents eating there. Daddy loved their spaghetti & meatballs.

The DePauls & Grizzaffi's became very good friends for years even after they closed the business. The building is no longer there. Now it is a used car lot. What a shame.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Waller - Rocky's BBQ

If you find yourself on Hwy. 290 heading out to Hempstead, Brenham, College Station, Austin, etc., you might want to stop at the new Chevron Station/convenient store/BBQ place we found. Rocky's is located on the south side of Hwy. 290 at Field Store Rd. The place is brand new (signs are still being put up) and a hell of long way from Sugar Land (where I live), but I'd certainly stop in again should I find myself in that neck of the woods.

The owner, Ronn Batt (I've known Ronny since high school, and yes I still call him Ronny) is the owner and used to own the Waller Co. Line BBQ/Shell Station nearby. We reconnected at our reunion about 3 weeks ago, that's how I found out about Rocky's. He wasn't there at the time of our visit (darn, should have called first), but we still stopped for lunch. As Rich said, "we've driven out this far, I want some food." So we ate.

Although Rocky's is a BBQ place, I ordered the old-fashioned cheeseburger (which I've been known to do) and Rich ordered the sliced brisket sandwich (which he's known to do). And as everyone is quite aware by now, I like cheeseburgers. This delight took 2 hands to hold and was one of the best so far. A good old-fashioned cheeseburger with a generous, juicy hamburger patty and lots of fresh condiments. I loved it. It was huge and I could have eaten it all except I would have been miserable. Rich said the brisket was really good, had tons of meat on it, but he would have wanted the brisket sliced a bit thinner. Besides that, he called it a winner.

Nice, new, clean, and good food. Stop by sometime and if you see a guy there with a big smile on his face and answers to the name Ronn, tell him Terry Lee said hi...

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Texas Triple D Takes a Turn

I've just returned from watching the movie Eat, Pray, Love. I had read the book by Elizabeth Gilbert several years ago and as I sat there alone in the theater (yes, I usually see movies alone & will explain later) remembered for the umpteenth time that I am a visual learner. I need pictures, just like in kindergarten. I need pictures, lots of them, to help with my learning process. I'm not stupid, I say kiddingly, just a slow learner. And by this I mean I keep forgetting that visualization is my greatest teacher.

I NEED PICTURES. I am going to write this message on a colorful piece of paper and post it in obvious places in my life to remind myself I AM A VISUAL LEARNER. The book meant so much more to me after seeing the movie. I don't often feel that way after seeing a movie based on a book I have read. But the story holds a much deeper meaning to me now. I want to buy another copy (can't find my original one) and just hold it to my heart and smile.

Liz (Elizabeth Gilbert, aka Julie Roberts) was asked to come up with "her" word. A word that describes her. For example, when she was asked for a word to describe New York, she came up with "ambition." I don't know what my word is yet but I want to find it.

I sat in a dark theater and made notes on the back of a receipt, using a tiny LED light attached to my key chain. This is a sampling of what I wrote:

We (Americans) understand entertainment but not pleasure
Ocean of regret
When you think of someone, send them love and light. Then drop it.
God dwells in me/within me
Where is Bali? Find it on a map
Sit in silence and smile...in your mind, on your face and in your liver
Forgive myself for mistakes and bad choices I've made
Come a little bit closer to hear what I have to say (song from the movie)
Thank you for letting me be myself again (another song)

As the credits began to roll, I sat. Not wanting to particularly stay in the theater but not quite ready to step back into the world, so to speak. Fight the heat, go to Border's, Walgreens, stop by the grocery store...all the things on my "to do" list for after the movie. I didn't want to lose what I was feeling at the moment. It seems so easy these days to have an "a-ha" brief moment and then it's gone. Gone to that place where all good things inside of us reside and are kept neatly filed. Only I rarely remember where I keep the damn file.

There are 3 basic things I immediately took away from the movie (and about a dozen or more to expand on at a later date).

1. I want to go to Rome and learn Italian
2. I want to sit in silence and get back in touch with the God that resides within me
3. I want to unleash passion in my life. Whether it's the love I feel for my husband, my kids and grandkids, myself or my writing.

I had visions of coming home and clearing the table or desk of everything so I could write this. I didn't want to lose my train of thought or the feelings I had. I was able to get to the computer without having to do much except put a bottle of wine in the freezer, setting the timer for 30 minutes (didn't want the wine to freeze..hate when that happens), and let the dog out so her bladder wouldn't burst.

I want to judge less, critique less, accept more and smile more. How that fits into Texas Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, I haven't a clue. But right now I'm going to sign off and go spend some time with my 2 adorable grandsons. Then I'm going to write my message to myself (I AM A VISUAL LEARNER). And later I will begin my search for the word that describes me.

Note: I enjoy going to movies alone. Some have a problem with it, I don't. I'm sitting in silence for about 2 hrs. and have never felt the need for someone to sit in silence next to me.