Teach Me Texas History, Frontier Texas! You’re My Only Hope!

Teach Me Texas History, Frontier Texas, You’re My Only Hope!
I recently returned from a trip to Abilene, Texas. What a great city!

When you drive into town, you definitely get the idea that cattle were and are important to the community. Back in the 19th century, the Great Western Cattle Trail passed through the area, starting in Bandera and ending in Dodge City. Imagining the cowboys on horseback herding the cattle across this vast Texas landscape, I got a sense of the strength of the cowboy and the passion they had for this area.

While touring the city, I stopped in Frontier Texas!, a state-of-the-art museum that tells stories of outlaws, Native Americans, cowboys, buffalo, and the Texas frontier. An incredible museum, Frontier Texas! truly brings history to life with exhibits using holographic images to tell the stories. Even while touring the museum, I couldn’t help thinking of the hologram of Princess Leia in Star Wars as she summoned Obi-Wan Kenobi through R2-D2. I remember watching that movie in the ’70’s and thinking how cool the hologram was and wondering how it was done. I found myself thinking the same thing when going through Frontier Texas!, wanting to reach into the exhibits to touch the life-sized people while they told their stories of the frontier life in Texas. http://www.frontiertexas.com

20130324-104710.jpgI encourage you to visit Abilene to experience the museum and the other wonderful attractions Abilene has to offer. http://www.abilenevisitors.com

You’ll learn more about Texas’ western heritage and you’ll also find some of the best beef in Texas!

Eat in the Heart of Texas

In Abilene, beef is what’s for lunch and dinner and maybe even breakfast, or at least that was my experience. While visiting recently, hotel employees informed me Abilene residents were proud of their beef. Who was I to argue? So to see exactly what they were taking about, I experienced two different restaurants featuring beef on the menu.

I first stopped into Lytle Land and Cattle Company. Greeted by the mounted head of a longhorn with a toothpick protruding from its mouth, I knew an experience was awaiting me. Even my waiter, Cade, had a western-sounding name, asking if I wanted my tea sweet or unsweet and answering every question with “yes, ma’am” and “no, ma’am” just like his parents raised him to say. I opted for the Mesquite Barbeque Burger and Cowboy Potatoes Au Gratin. The burger was indeed beefy and tasty. You know it’s a real burger when they ask you how you want it cooked and it did not disappoint. http://www.lytlelandandcattle.com

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Later, I joined a colleague and we drove out to Perini Ranch Steak House, located just down the road from Abilene in Buffalo Gap. Located in an incredible atmosphere, the restaurant menu was rustic and appetizing. While you studied the selections, sourdough bread with a salted butter arrived at the table, hot and inviting. I ordered the 8 oz. filet with green chile hominy as the side dish. It arrived, perfectly cooked, along with a grilled jalapeño as a bonus. The steak truly cut like butter and offered a taste of the west I won’t soon forget. We topped the evening off by sharing the Perini Ranch Bread Pudding with Jack Daniels Whiskey Sauce. Tempted by the Jalapeño Cheesecake, I decided a return visit would be in order just to enjoy that spicy dessert at a later date. http://www.periniranch.com

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The dinner behind us, we strolled out to see the patio and I observed something else about Abilene. The stars at night ARE big and bright, deep in the heart of Texas.

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Categories: Travel Texas

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