Texas’ flavor

The past couple days we have experienced some bits of South Texas culture. Yesterday we went with my Grandma Renaud to eat at a barbecue place called Rudy’s. And today we visited the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo.

Rudy’s

We ate at the Selma location of Rudy’s. In front, it’s a big gas station. We could see lots of outdoor seating, although it had been somewhat enclosed temporarily by tarp walls with plastic windows.

It wasn’t quite clear for us non-regulars where exactly to go to get started (or how to get started), but we figured it out eventually. There were several large rooms with wall-to-wall picnic-style tables. We picked one and saved our seats, then Grandma and I set out in search of the place where we could order our food. This proved to be around a few corners and in the back.

Basically, you order in a cafeteria-style line: drinks from a cooler, then sides, then your meat, and finally dessert. We got some beans and cole slaw (creamy style) as sides and then chose two pounds of “mixed” meats (shredded pork, beef, and turkey in Rudy’s barbecue “sause”). We were given six slices of white bread to go with it, some pickles, and five large sheets of butcher paper.

We had to hunt around for the silverware and napkins. Then it was time to lay out our spread on the table. Everyone got their own butcher paper (instead of a plate). The adults made open-face sandwiches with the meat and bread. Very, very tasty. Jadzia ate three sandwiches herself, which was quite impressive. The beans and slaw were nothing special, but the pickles were quite spicy (I prefer vinegar slaw, anyway).

On the way home, Jadzia kept asking for “mas carne” (more meat). Then after a bit, she changed her request to “mas carne y libro” (more meat and a book).

San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo

I learned about the rodeo when I wanted to find out about attending a Spurs game. Turns out the Spurs are on a two-week road trip so that the rodeo can use the grounds around the AT&T Center, as well as the center itself.

I wasn’t especially interested in seeing the rodeo, as I figured it would be expensive. But it turns out that Fridays are family days, and it costs just $1 for adults to get in (plus $8 for parking). This was a good deal. So we went with Jadzia and Ludi to see animals and cowboy/agro/Texas culture on display.

First we made our way through the livestock areas. We saw turkeys in cages and turkeys in some sort of mini-arena. It looked like they were being judged, and there were lots of folks watching from bleachers. We also passed cattle areas and horse areas.

Eventually we made our way to some kid-specific places. In one, Jadzia could see goats, sheep, chicks, pigs, etc. In this area there were also lots of photo thingies, where a kid can stick their head through a hole and it looks like their head is part of an animal’s body. There were also some display houses, which Jadzia wanted to go through. One of them had examples of animal feed inside, which I explained to her (“This is what a cow eats. This is the food for a pig.” etc). After one educational trip through it, she wanted to continue playing inside as if it were her very own playhouse. She began calling it her “sotano” (basement).

Later we visited a petting zoo, which Jadzia enjoyed even more. She got to pet ducks, goats, an alpaca, and others. We also got some poop on our shoes. After we left the petting zoo, Yoli insisted we wash our hands, so I took Jadzia to do so. As we were there singing “Twinkle, twinkle, little star” and washing our hands, we were suddenly surrounded by what seemed like hundreds of small Hispanic children. And then a goat ran through the crowd of children and they were all yelling. Some began to chase it through the open area. Then a teenage guy across the way swooped in toward the goat with his arms wide open. He was able to corral it and carry it back to the petting zoo.

(re: “Twinkle, twinkle”: According to Jadzia’s favorite video, “Potty Power,” you should wash your hands for as long as it takes you to sing the “Twinkle” song once.)

We visited the various areas with exhibits about agriculture and got several free samples of things like biscuits and peanuts. We also wandered through the Freeman Coliseum where there were numerous vendors selling all sorts of southwestern/cowboys sorts of things: anything you could imagine in leather, chandeliers made of wooden wagon wheels, framed photos of horses, Himalayan salt crystal lamps, and so on.

We ended up eating some nice carnival fare: smoked bratwurst with sauerkraut, and two foot-long corndogs. Jadzia ate about half a corn-dog and enjoyed it.

By 1:00 p.m. it was time to get home for naps and such. As we made our way along, I spotted two girls in Spam-branded clothing. My attention piqued, I looked farther ahead and saw a Spammobile. Yoli has never tried Spam before, so I went up to the window of the Spammobile and asked if they were giving food away. Of course they were. So we each had a small Spam sandwich, and were given “Spam singles” which are individually-wrapped slices of Spam.

It doesn’t get much better than that.

About Josh Renaud

I'm the Emperor of the Renaud Empire, which is to say that I'm the husband of a Boliviana and the father of three daughters and one son. When I'm not conquering lands and expanding borders, I'm a newspaper designer for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Find me on Twitter (@Kirkman) or Google+.
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4 Responses to Texas’ flavor

  1. anita says:

    I have distinct memories of the smell of the livestock from my childhood days at the rodeo. I also remember always seeing vendors selling balloons that were clear and had a bunny-head shaped balloon in the middle. I wanted one so bad-but never got one:( Hope you got lots of pictures!

  2. Carolyn says:

    Josh, I love all the details you give us! It’s like I was there with you – though my hankering for bbq has not been sated . . . yet. I can just see Jadzia’s inquistive, bright eyes as she learns new things. You are an abundantly blessed family. It’s just too bad you won’t be watching your Cowboys in the Super Bowl, but maybe that’s asking too much.

  3. Jerry says:

    Fond memories of the Livestock Show & Rodeo. That tells you something about the times when to see the livestock costs a buck but to park your car costs $8. Now, if I could only get a bratwurst or spam over here in Saudi Arabia…

  4. Josh Renaud says:

    Uncle Jer, we only got the tickets for $1 because it was “Family Day.” I think they would ordinarily be like $5 or $10 each.