Tag Archives: fried food

An Order of Warm + Fuzzy. Fried, Please.

There are some places you visit that just make you feel warm and fuzzy. That’s why I love living in the South – you get that feeling a lot here. And generally speaking, the smaller the town the more warm and fuzzy it gets. People say things like “I know you don’t want a salad. You’re my cheeseburger baby.” Only in the South…

Downtown Anniston

Downtown Anniston

I’ve been in Anniston, Alabama this past week for work and dined with the team at Damn Yankees on downtown’s Noble Street. Don’t let the name confuse you, this place serves serious southern food.

The North turned South

The North turned South

The special was a butterflied filet, stuffed with cheese, beer-battered, fried, and smothered with sausage gravy. When my new colleague, Betty, ordered this, even the waiter admitted that he had not been brave enough to try it. That is when you know you made a strong order. Well played, Betty. (And, she said it was incredible.) My shrimp and grits were perfect, too. The grits were precisely how I love them- melting in my mouth.

Told you this was serious.

Told you this was serious.

We were in Anniston to work on a project for the Anniston Army Depot. When I initially learned about the project, I was intrigued. I had never worked on a project quite like this and was looking forward to the challenge. And, working at an army depot… what on earth would I wear? Clearly this could be an opportunity to expand the wardrobe.

The closest I will ever get to working for the CIA.

The closest I will ever get to working for the CIA.

While I can’t talk about the project, I’m pulling a sentence from Wikipedia, that any of you could access, because you all need to know about the important work they do.

“The depot is designated as the Center of Technical Excellence for the M1 Abrams Tank and is the designated candidate depot for the repair of the M60 Patton tank, AVLB, M728, M88 Recovery Vehicle and M551 combat vehicles. During the Iraq War, over 1,000 M1 tanks, howitzers and other armored vehicles were stored awaiting re-engineering.”

Our troops and their families have given so much. And I am so proud to say the people who work at the Depot- at EVERY level- work incredibly hard to ensure they are safe. No detail is too small to be important.

I’m already looking forward to seeing my new Anniston friends again in February.


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“It’s Boots + Chaps. It’s Cowboy Hats…”

For two weeks each February the Livestock Show and Rodeo makes its way to Houston. 2012 marked the 80th year of the rodeo and it was high time that Danimal was able to attend. He acquired his first pair of cowboy boots the week prior so he would now look legit. The rodeo has three primary components: the livestock show, the carnival, the rodeo (bull riding, etc. plus concert). We were able to see the livestock show and carnival for a cultural experience Dan won’t soon forget.

And they call the thing rodeo...

The big show takes place inside Reliant Stadium. Depending on who the headliner is that night, seats can sell out in advance. (Some nights there are crowds of over 70,000!!!) If you want to see the bull riding, calf roping, and entertainer of the night, I suggest buying tickets when they go on sale. Everyone from George Strait to Beyoncé has taken the stage.

Chicken Fried Anything

Danimal and I headed to the rodeo with my brother, Bud, and his fab girlfriend, Kara. We made our way straight to the carnival zone. After all, we were in need of some sausage on a stick or chicken fried fill-in-the-blank. I’m not kidding – they sell almost anything you can imagine in a fried fashion. From there it was time to waste some money trying to win a life-sized stuffed animal. (Surely there was room for that in our carry-on luggage.)

Zero bottles down

We began with the milk bottle game and completely missed. Danimal did manage to do well enough at balloon darts to win us a miniature bear. Clearly we have room for improvement. The best bang for you buck is the quarters game. (No, not that quarters game…) It has the lowest buy-in with seemingly the most challenging road to victory. The quarter must land within rainbow without touching any lines. It is a good place for kids or game-challenged adults to spend their time.

Tiny Pink Bear vs. Giant Sponge Bob

Daninmal and Kara are normal human beings that enjoy rides. We Holders, not so much… While I consider myself adventurous, daring I am not. Out of peer pressure (or perhaps love) Bud and I agreed to ride just one ride that night. Speed was determined to be our best possible option.

NEVER again

Seriously, what were we thinking!!?? Speed is a double-spin ride. We survived. We won’t be doing this again. Our hearts still start beating fast thinking about the experience.

$cholarship Money


For me, one of the most enjoyable parts of the rodeo is the livestock show. Chicks, roosters, pigs, lambs, steers and goats (over 27,000) from across the state make their way to Houston. This is a great chance for kids to see farm raised animals up close. Texas 4-H and FFA students are able to participate. This year the livestock and wine auction raised over $11M benefitting the youth of Texas.
I hope you have officially added the Houston Rodeo to your ‘to-do’ list.
Photo credits: bull riding – seriouseats.com; livestock show- McCasland Farms

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Filed under Food, Travel Recommendations, Trips with Friends