I know that I have already written a post on Stout extolling the virtues of its sauce, but since it’s Jonas’s birthday today–I feel like reminiscing about the first time we went to Stout.
As previously mentioned, Stout is the place where the Texas Exes meet. This means that on game day it’s a bit…well…crazy. A sea of burnt orange, tables are just for holding jackets & purses because everyone is on their feet yelling, screaming and making new friends. But there are two game days where crazy is taken to a whole new level. Well, not new if you’re from the south and are used to College Game Day. But to anyone who grew up north of the Mason-Dixon line and aren’t familiar with the tradition, a normal game day is daunting enough. But then there are rival days. The University of Texas has two rivals Texas A&M (played on Thanksgiving) and Oklahoma University (played during The Texas State Fair).
Enter Jonas, who once flippantly commented he played college football, he’s familiar with College Game Day. But you’re from here, it’s not the same. I replied. He assured me it was (that comment was met with a very arched eyebrow) alright. you. me. Red River Rivalry. Stout. Next Saturday. I was nice and texted him game day to remind him NOT to wear red if he valued his life [he later thanked me profusely!].
We arrived early and already the place was packed. To me, it was the welcomed sight of familiarity; it was, at this very moment, home. I floated in a fit of Texan happiness, found the only two unguarded seats at the bar and turned to ask Jonas what he wanted to drink. Only, there was no Jonas standing next to me. Jonas was standing just left of the door, ghostly pale and frozen in fear while trying to decide if he should brave the sea of burnt orange or just cut his losses and bolt out the door. I walked back over and gently guided him to our barstools. You okay? “I-uh-wha-uh…yyyyyyeah-wha??” It’s game day. And it’s a big game. Don’t worry, it’ll be fun. What do you want to drink? “I don’t know, a frozen something fruity.” No. It’s game day. You’re choices are beer, beer, or whenever there is a touchdown, whiskey. “I don’t like beer.” Learn. Quickly. And don’t say that too loudly.
Okay, so perhaps I’m being a tad bit dramatic, I couldn’t help it–I would NOT be at the bar with a fruity, frozen drink friend during the Red River Rivalry. But then…out of the corner of my eye, I saw it. Like a beacon in the night, tempting me from inside the beer cooler.
That’s right, Lone Star: The National Beer of Texas! Fearful it was a mirage, I asked the bartender, if that was really Lone Star beer. “Yep, you must have lived in Texas, because only Texans know what that is.” Yes, I am. How much? “$6” HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA no thanks. “Ahhhh, and now I know that you must be FROM Texas. On game day they’re only $4” We’ll take two.
Jonas looked a bit apprehensive. But he was a good sport and you know what? I made Jonas a lover of Lone Star. You see, while I order Lone Star for the sheer nostalgic purposes and to support anything from The Great State of Texas, it’s actually light, crisp, and very refreshing. It’s great for people, like Jonas, who think they don’t like beer.
And did I mention it pairs very nicely with Stout Sauce? Well, it does! That day there were a lot of Lone Stars, a lot of fries and a lot of Stout sauce consumed. Jonas only freaked out one more time when our neighbor tried to give him high five after a great play and he looked at me and said “what do I do? I don’t know her!” You’ve been drinking and cheering next to her for 2 quarters–give her a high five!! The game was a nail biter and in the end–even though OU were the favorites to win–the Longhorns prevailed! Best of all, Jonas learned how tasty Texas beer and how friendly a bar full of Texans could be!
Cheers Jonas, Happy Birthday!!