Monday, August 19, 2013

BBQ INN in Houston

“Directions for eating a Seafood Platter”

    I finally got Kay’s birthday behind me. I know you were worried about that. Since none of you bothered to help me select something nice, I ended up getting practical stuff. A lot of practical stuff. I went to Sam’s.

    Do you know how much of our Tupperware Kay has given away over the last couple of years? Practically all of it. I keep telling her to put her name on the stuff, but noooo. She considers it rude.

    You know what’s rude? I’ll tell you what’s rude. Not giving somebody back their Tupperware. -- By the way, I call all see-through plastic food containers “Tupperware.” Just like I call all lawn trimmers “weedeaters” and all carbonated beverages “coke.” Of course, like everyone else, I call cocaine -- Bernice. My brain? What am I gonna do with it?

    So, where is this leading? It’s leading to a 50 piece Tupperware collection that I got Kay for her birthday. She was flabbergasted. Oh, and I also got her 24 different clips to clamp chip, bread and cereal bags. There are a bunch of small ones, too, for posting notes on the fridge. We don’t do that, but when we start, we’ve certainly got the clip magnets. There are even a couple of large clips that you can really hurt yourself with. Kay even warned. I considered that a dare.

    What else? Oh, I got her a giant bag of shelled pistachios, a bunch of peanut M&Ms and a dozen yellow roses. There may be better looking husbands, but none as nicer. What I’m sayin’?

    The best thing about Kay’s birthday was letting her pick a place to eat. She chose The Barbecue Inn in Houston. When she named the place, I quit eating her pistachios long enough to do the dance of joy. This man can boogie.

About 40 years ago, Virginia’s Dad, Rodger Parker, introduced us to The Barbecue Inn, located on the corner of Crosstimbers and Yale. A less than attractive part of town, Crosstimbers and Yale. However, it happens to be the location of the best fried seafood platter known to mankind.

Rodger used to sing the praises of the BBQ Inn. I hate it when someone does that. I figured it could not possibly live up to his acclaim, but it did. Surpassed it even. That old man even had to tell us how to eat the mountain of oysters, shrimp, fish and stuffed crab.

That’s the kind of stuff we talked about during our trip to the BBQ Inn with Virginia and Freeman. Virginia tried to impersonate her father in telling how he would instruct people how to eat the seafood platter. -- “Don’t eat the salad. It’ll only fill you up. And the fries? Forget ‘em! You’ll never be able to finish your seafood if you eat the potatoes...”

That was Rodger all right. The first time we went with him, the seafood platter cost about $2.50. The price was a little higher this time. It was right at $22. Not bad for the best seafood platter in the Western Hemisphere. (Note: I have never witnessed anyone ordering BBQ at the Barbecue Inn. I’m sure it’s great, but I will likely never find out.

    What made our meal even more special was the re-living part. Do you know where the Hayters and Plilers were during Game One of the 1988 World Series between the Dodgers and Oakland As? We were staying at a ranch resort somewhere in the Hill Country, watching the game on a live feed. It was the first time I had ever heard of a live feed.

When the announcers cut to a commercial, the camera stayed right on ‘em and you could hear them swearing and joking and planning what they were going to say when they went back on the air. I thought the camera man was playing a joke on ‘em.

What was even more astonishing was the fact that Kirk Gibson, a dinosaur of  a player, hobbled to the plate with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, and with a 3:2 count clobbered a homerun. The guy limped around the bases and gave the famous arm pump. I didn’t give two hoots for the Dodgers, but I sure did enjoy the game and the time we spent out there zip-lining, cooking breakfast in a giant skillet, telling stories by a campfire, riding around in the back of a pickup down hillside, rocky roads… 

Yes, those were the days. The days when we would celebrate birthdays with day trips. The birthday person would get $15 to buy something he or she would not normally purchase. Why $15. Well, $10 was not enough and $20 seemed like too much. Hey, we took a vote on it.

But, no more. Between the Pliler grandkids and the weather, something always seemed to come up around birthday time. It’s all we can do now to arrange a meal on birthdays. Speaking of which, it doesn’t sound as if we’ll be going out for my birthday. Virginia said that the BBQ Inn trip will have to serve for Kay’s birthday and mine. She apparently thinks she has that much pull. – She does.

Just for that, I’m going to take my time returning her Tupperware. The Plilers gave us some watermelon last week in a big plastic tub. Unfortunately, I just can’t remember to return the container. You ask me, she shoulda put her name on it.

End  and


  1. Good times! Sure made me want seafood! HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU MOKE!

  2. Thanks, Jill. I've just got to try the BBQ at the BBQ Inn. Maybe one day.