The Druss Road Trip Day 4 – Fort Worth to El Paso, TX

Today we woke up in preparation for a full day of driving.  I have already blocked it out but I believe it was a 9 or 10 hour day.  And down this far south, there is not a whole lot going on.  Along with the loooooong, straiiiiiiiight roads, the thermometer touched 90.  Though the Audi was blowing cool air, it wasn’t cold but it was better than windows down.  Apparently wild wind is an every day occurrence in these parts.  There were multiple signs urging ‘Extreme Caution’ and ‘Dust Storms May Exist!’ Actually, there was no exclamation point but the bold red lettering made it feel that way.  We did not encounter any zero visibility conditions but with the windows open, the howling wind made it hard to hear, think or breathe.  Windows up.

In general, we were blasting BPM and Lithium on Sirius the whole time.  A little house followed by some music of the 90’s kept us running.  At one point, requiring food, we ended up in a Subway that has surely been forgotten by the mother ship.  This shack on the side of the road looked very off the beaten path but was really the only option.  The guy behind the counter asked me if I wanted eggs or eggs white in my breakfast thing.  As he gestured towards the pile of limp yellow circles in a metal bin, I bit my tongue as my mind ran wild with thoughts like ‘Those are eggs?’ and ‘If that’s an egg, I’m Barack Obama.’

We got to El Paso and checked into a hotel that had beds but that you would likely not revisit.  Dave pulled out all the stops and got a workout in at CrossFit 915.  I did not.  That night for dinner we found a boutique burger shack right around the corner, Toro Burger Bar. Turned out to be a great find with a big selection of craft brews.  The Old Chub by Oskar Blues Brewery was especially tasty. Along with it’s ludicrous name it had the tagline ‘It’s like Sputnik!’.  Nobody knows what that means but everybody likes it.

We split the Toro Burger (pepperjack, avocado, Toro sauce) and the SOB Burger (swiss, onions, bacon, BBQ sauce) along with some sweet potato fries.  I deliberately enjoyed some lighter beers with dinner since they had a Double Chocolate Stout Float on the menu that I was salivating over the whole time.  When it came time to order however, I learned they were out of the stout and was crushed.  The bartender was extra friendly however and that along with the quality of the food more than made up for it.  Oh, and I subbed a 1554 by New Belgium for my float that was chocolaty and glorious.  From there – straight to bed.

The Druss Road Trip Day 3 – Clarksdale, MS to Fort Worth, TX

On this day, we headed into Clarksdale for breakfast hoping against hope that our options wouldn’t be limited to Mickey D’s and Subway.  Mercifully, we discovered Yazoo Pass, a café boasting the tagline ‘Always Fresh, Always Friendly!’  They should include ‘Always Tasty’ in there because it was easily all 3 of those things.  In a town that looks a bit old on the surface, this place was a burst of clean, bright niceness.

We were greeted with smiles and dynamite food.  I had the YP omelet with green onions, bacon and cheddar plus biscuits.  The omelet was super fluffy, the fillings were very fresh with a nice bite from the onions.  The biscuits were clearly homemade and glorious.  You, reader, should go there for breakfast right now.

After this meal of deliciousness, we checked out of our lodging of radness and hit the road for the Dallas area.  For lunch, we decided Cracker Barrel was a must, at least once during the trip. Roughly, they have a billboard every 3-6 feet from NJ to CA so it’s hard to ignore.  Dave had an odd looking salad with 2 giant triangles of yellow ‘cheese’ on the side.  He dared me to eat them, I dared him to touch them with bare hands.  In the end, they stayed right there on the edge of the platter, solid and unmoving.  My turkey sandwich had the calories required to suppress my hunger monster annnnnd that was about all.

On the topic of Cracker Barrel, does anyone know the process behind their interior decorations?  It looks like the items were ransacked from a flea market in rural Kansas, circa 1852.  But upon closer examination, there are barcodes on every single item.  We wondered, can you buy this crap?  Or are the barcodes there from when they produce the items by the truck load, at a factory in China?  Though it appears to be totally random, we theorized that if left to their own devices, each Cracker Barrel would have a seriously bizarre mix of doodads on their walls.  I mean, what would the directive be for this sort of thing?  “To maintain the CB brand, please decorate your establishment with lots of random shit that looks sort of old and American-y.”  We decided the mass produced China route with specific guidelines was more likely.

The main stop for this leg was Gas Monkey Garage, made famous by the TV show ‘Fast ‘N Loud’ on Discovery.  If you haven’t seen it and have a passing interest in cars, check it out.  The 2 main dudes are pretty awesome, regularly souping up cars and blowing donuts in their parking lot.  I’m a big fan and though the main shop was closed for filming, we did get a glimpse of Bearded Wonder Aaron Kaufman, the master mechanic.  I bought a shirt, the super friendly girl running the swag room did some cheerleader moves and we generally had a great little visit.

From there, we did a quick jump to the historic stockyards of Fort Worth.  Dave discovered this section of the city and it turned out to be pretty cool.  It’s where all the cattle were bought and sold way back when.  Today, it’s got all the history you can stand plus lots of great bars and restaurants.  We had dinner at H3 Ranch which is known for steaks and barstools made out of horse saddles.  We decided that sitting on a big goofy saddle for 2 hours wasn’t happening and instead grabbed a booth with 3 stuffed buffalo heads observing us from the wall above.  The local Buffalo Butt brew was served in a glorious schooner and was really good.  We both had top shelf steaks and I ordered the homemade peach cobbler to go.  What I didn’t count on was them filling the to go container to the point of overflowing with the peachy goodness.  Even I, known for possessing a hollow dessert leg, could not put down this 5 pound pile of goo.  We DID however sleep quite well.