Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Don't Settle for Pretenders!

Because of the travel that I do with my job, I eat out frequently. Tonight, I went to "Whiskey Creek Steakhouse" in North Platte, Nebraska. It has been several years since I ate there. It was good then and it is still a good moderately priced place to eat.

One of the things that I find interesting is that many restaurants, especially steak or barbecue restaurants, have attempted a "Texas" theme. They frequently display Western movie posters on the wall, have wooden floors, barrels of peanuts (that you shell and throw the shells on the floor), country music playing, Lone Star Beer neon signs, and things of that nature. I find it humorous -- especially since many of them don't even have locations for their franchise in the Lone Star State. I often ask where the "home" of the chain is located. Usually the answer is a large city in the Upper Midwest or sometimes on the East Coast. They are fakes -- wannabes.

It reminds me of the Saturday Night Cowboys -- you know the type -- they've never been on a horse, probably work in an office, but have a pair of expensive boots and a "snap front" western shirt with a western yoke on the back and pocket flaps. John Travolta started a trend quite a few years back with one of his movies -- Midnight Cowboy I think was the name of it. It was about the guys who dressed western and went to a Honky Tonk on the weekend. Pretenders. The movie Brokeback Mountain (which I intend never to see) created a resurgence in the "snap front" shirts and western attire. It's almost embarrassing to me now to see someone wearing one.

The real cowboys that I know -- and living in cattle country I know quite a few -- often wear tennis shoes, a "gimme" cap and a Harley Davidson T-shirt. You see hats and boots too, but they are functional, well-worn, and dirty for the most part. If you see nice polished boots and a clean felt hat during the week, it's usually a salesman that calls on the livestock producers. I guess what it boils down to is that the real cowboys have nothing to prove. They aren't pretending to be something that they are not. They are just being who they are. It's refreshing when you think about it.

If you want to find a real Texas Steakhouse, go to Austin, Texas, and eat at Ruth's Chris Steakhouse at 6th and Congress (I know, Ruth's Chris didn't start in Texas but it got there as fast as it could). You won't find peanuts on the floor, but you will be treated right and served exceptional beef. Be prepared to pay for the quality -- but you will get quality. If you're looking for a real cowboy, don't look for pointy-toed boots with a glossy sheen, designer jeans, a "snap-front" shirt, and a funny looking crumpled-up loose-weave straw hat with feathers. Come out to the heartland of agriculture. Why settle for a pretender when you can have the real deal.

P.S. I hope I didn't step on too many toes out there!

1 comment:

Texas Red said...

I believe the movie was Urban Cowboy, but close.