Friday, January 29, 2010

Fun Fact Friday - What's more Irish than fajitas?

Sure and begorrah! Inasmuch as I've been partaking of the Guinness the last few evenings, and spent an evening at a pub-ish sort of place last night with some former co-workers, I fully expected the restaurant to have an assortment of Irish dishes.
Now, we've not yet had the opportunity to travel in Ireland, but I can't say as I've seen the fourth item on their menu advertised for St. Patrick's Day specials. Maybe that's just me.

And I really do like the Guinness, with its health benefits and all, but fajitas and stout? Doesn't trip anything special for me.

Humanity has been grilling meat since we harnessed the power of fire. That was way back in like 1938 or thereabouts, I'm sure. I think. Maybe.

Anyway, back in the days of cattle drives, the ranchers would slaughter cattle during the drive to feed their cowhands. And the 'less-than-desireable' cuts were given to the Mexican vaqueros as part of their pay. Cow heads, hides, innards and skirt steak were all put to good use. Cow's head stew, menudo (not the band), and grilled skirt were all on the menu.

Over time, the grilled steak became a common household meal in Texas, up through the sixties. In 1969, Sonny Falcon, an Austin, Texas meat market manager, opened the first commercial fajita concession stand at a rural Dies Y Seis celebration in the town of Kyle. At the same time, fajitas made their debut on the menu at the Round-Up Restaurant in Pharr, Texas. Notwithstanding similar dishes served across the border in Mexican cattle towns for decades, the fajita had taken hold on the U.S. psyche. In the seventies, this meal took a step forward and started showing up on restaurant menus throughout the Lone Star State.

In 1982, the fajita took an even greater step. Chef George Weidmann, when opening the new Hyatt Regency in Austin, picked up on the dish and added a sizzle platter to the mix.

The sad part of this process is that as the dish evolved, it moved further away from its roots. Seldom do restaurants use the original skirt steak, opting instead for the more manageable and innocuous sirloin, as well as adding chicken and other meats to the mix. And the dish has evolved into an American melting-pot classic, with flavors that seldom evoke the flavors of Mexico.

Or Ireland.


That Kind of Girl said...

Dude, this post just jacked my hunger level from a manageable 6 to an extraordinary 9.5 -- why are there so many hours left 'til lunchtime?!

Bev said...

Yes, that is a very odd addition to the menu! One of these is not like the other....

Fajitas are almost as out of place as the random girl pic on this post. I'm seeing more and more Mjenks-style imagery popping up on the CDS... I'm sure he's flattered, and I'm not complainin' cuz I do lika de boobies.

Elliott said...

Bev, that's just a Guinness ad...not sure what you're talking about.

TKOG, lunchtime can't come soon enough for me, either. I've been starving since I got up this morning.

calicobebop said...

You know, I never get fajitas. Too much effort - I'm way too lazy for that shit. Gimme a burrito, all that yummy goodness rolled up in a convenient wrapper.

Must get Mexican for lunch...

dogimo said...

A nice cold guinness is just the thing to cool that chicken curry, though!

Nej said...

Fajitas and Irish pub. Two things I wouldn't have put together.

Oh that Sesame Street song is in my head again! :-)

Anytime we leave town on vacation, we search the areas we are visiting for pubs. It's kind of a thing with us. I spotted a new one here in Omaha this weekend that we must try out. :-)

Be nice and share!

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