2016 just rounded the first quarter pole and April is here, no fooling. While it still takes us 12 – 16 hours to properly cook a brisket, time somehow feels like it is moving faster than it used to move. There’s some sort of age-time-continuum deal going on here I think. Regardless, I’m still quite happy April is here. I like the spring time, and lots of things were happening around town this week.
The Houston Open golf tournament took place this week. I remember the first professional golf tournament I went to in 1976 at The Woodlands Country Club. Lee Trevino, aka “The Merry Mex” was in the hunt on Sunday. Lee Trevino never stopped talking. He would talk in his own back swing, and welcomed good times with the gallery. You could hear people laughing at his jokes and one liners from a ways away. Trevino is golf’s version of Yogi Berra with lines like “The older I get, the better I used to be”. If you ever want to have a really great time at a pro golf tournament go to a Senior event. Tickets are often free and the golfers still enjoy the people in the gallery. Another thing I remember vividly about that year’s Houston Open was that it was hot and humid. I recall steam rising up from wet grass, or so that’s how it felt.
The NCAA Final Four is taking place in Houston. Did you know that Tomball’s very own Justin Jackson is a 6’8″ forward playing for North Carolina? Have to admit neither did I until a reporter with a camera came to The Craftory looking for someone to talk to about Justin. We learned that Justin played for the Home School Christian Youth Association Warriors. The reporter bounced around town and then came back for lunch. He said the aroma of The Craftory was too intoxicating to pass up. We did have some Tar Heel fans visit us for a pregame meal on Saturday. They made some nice comments about our Texas Style Barbecue.
Saturday morning looked and felt like it was going to be a special day.
The event of the week for Tomball was the 17th annual German Heritage Festival in Old Town Tomball. Even though the festival is South of Main Street, North Elm Street by us gets loaded up with cars and people walking around town.
Festival organizers and Tomball Police do have ways to navigate the traffic with special rides.
While many of our seasoned regular customers avoid the congestion, we do get to introduce The Craftory to many new faces like Virginia and Bill who have been married for 64 years! This happy couple really enjoyed the front porch listening to Scotty’s Lounge oozing out of the speakers.
It was a different sort of Saturday for us. We got busy in waves over a longer period of time. By the end of the day we were essentially sold out but we stayed open an hour longer anyway trying to get the festival fatigued something to eat and drink.
Then again some loyal fans like The Oliver’s got out early to avoid the traffic and grabbed some breakfast.
This family, like many others, have been supporting us since our farmer’s market days. It’s hard to express how much we appreciate this.
Another special visitor was 7 week week old Noah Kingston. Noah’s mom needed a breakfast taco and a Micheleda. And I do mean need.
Noah is starting to show us a little personality. One minute he looks like his grandad after a few too many Micheledas. Then he looked like one of our customers upon hearing we still have burnt ends.
Like we often do at The Craftory we rolled out some new fun things to enjoy this week. The peach cobbler bar hit the display. Michelle made a white chocolate ganache with white peach & spice, and a nice caramel sauce. Then Michelle layered these with a granola base and white chocolate topping. This bar is on the sweeter side of our scale for those looking for an interesting and unique treat.
The spirit of Tomball’s German Festival put us in the mood for a Bavarian style pretzel. We asked ourselves “Self, why wouldn’t we bake them on our barbecue cooker?” So, we glazed them with a splash of rendered beef fat, seasoned them with our brisket rub and smoked them. The pretzel came off slightly crispy, chewy, mildly smokey, with nice amounts of kosher salt & black pepper. These were a hit. So much of a hit, we are considering adding them as a regular side. What say you?
Before I move on to the weekly picture I have to tell you about my two sandwich moments. I don’t sit down to actually enjoy our own food very often, but wanted to take some time this week to remind myself why we sell so many sandwiches. We use a brioche style bun that is perfectly crusty on the outside and pillow soft in the middle. The bun is toasted up on the flat top, and served warm with the barbecue meat of your choosing. While our smoked meats are outstanding on their own our sandwiches are really tasty. I love a great barbecue sandwich and we have several to choose from.
First I had a straight up sliced brisket sandwich with pickles and onions. Our Verde Q green sauce is really great on beef in case you haven’t tried that yet.
Then I revisited our bird & bacon sandwich. The bun, the runny egg, the creamy avocado, the crunchy bacon, and moist tender smoked turkey all come together for a master piece…just to brag a little. I never wanted this sandwich to end. Have to tip our hats to Chef Greg for our great sandwiches.
Anyways, it’s time for the weekly picture winner.
Shelly Parker beautifully captured our very popular brisket & blues romaine salad.
This salad is so fresh and good that it cancels out two Smores’ bites, a Micheleda, and a cane sugar Dr. Pepper. FYI, Carrot Souffle’ is vegetable dessert neutral, so it never counts against anything thing worth counting. Nice shot Shelly. You have a $10 gift card coming to you and an entry into the quarterly final. Congratulations!
That’s right. It’s time to organize the winners for the first quarter so you can decide who gets their name on a chair. I’ll get that figured out this week so y’all can vote for the eventual winner.
Thanks to all that visit us new and regular. See you around the hood.