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1981 and Now

The Top 12 Texas Junk Foods.

And another import — this one from Dallas — has finally opened in Midtown, in the space formerly occupied by here-and-gone Tex-Mex joint Ruby Tequila's. Gloria's Restaurant offers a fairly straightforward Tex-Mex menu of its own with a few twists, such as its signature "Salvatex Combinations" section. There you'll find dishes such as asado de puerco Salvatex with ancho chiles and black beans. There's also an entire Comida Salvadoreña section with classics like lechón asado and carne adobada.

Finally, according to B4-U-Eat, brand-new bakery JavaCakes in La Porte had just opened on June 4 — and then tragedy struck: The restaurant was hit by burglars and had to close. JavaCakes regrouped, however, and reopened on Saturday, June 30. BY KATHARINE SHILCUTT
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WINE TIME

Like That Wine? Try This One
A guide to Texas wine varietals.

In our cover story a few weeks ago, we discussed the fact that Texas vineyards still stubbornly grow varietals that aren't suited to the Texas weather or soil — well-known grapes such as Merlot, Cabernet and Chardonnay. But they're doing it for a reason: Too many wine drinkers don't want to stray from the varietals they know and love.

So here's a suggestions, Texas wine drinkers: Try a wine that's similar to your preferred grape but that actually thrives here. You just might discover a new favorite, and you'll encourage Texas grape growers to diversify their offerings as a result. It's a win-win all around.

Listed below are the top five grape varietals currently grown in Texas and our suggestions for wines you might like just as much — or even more! — that are actually suited to our rough Texan climate.

If you like: Cabernet

Try: Syrah or Grenache

Both are — like Cabernet — very hearty, rich wines that pair excellently with meat, especially game meat. And we all know how much Texans enjoy their meat. You'll often find the two blended together, as Syrah and Grenache bring out the best in each other: The Syrah brings spicy notes to the jammy, fruit-forward Grenache.

If you like: Chardonnay

Try: Blanc du Bois

The creaminess present in many Chardonnays isn't as pronounced in a Blanc du Bois wine unless you purchase a sweeter variety, which is found at wineries such as Haak Winery. But even in a semisweet Blanc du Bois you'll find oak and bright citrus as well as perhaps even pear and pineapple. Unlike Chardonnay, Blanc du Bois is a varietal perfectly suited to Texas. But like Chardonnay, it pairs very well with seafood, cheese and anything with a creamy sauce.

If you like: Sauvignon Blanc

Try: Viognier

Crisp and dry, this white wine grape prefers a warmer climate (like our own), a long growing season and as little time spent in the cellar as possible. Viognier is meant to be consumed while still young, when you can best taste the same floral and mineral notes that people enjoy in a good Sauvignon Blanc.

If you like: Merlot

Try: Tempranillo

People like Merlot because it's full-bodied but drinkable. You'll find those same attributes in a Tempranillo, since both grapes ripen early. You'll even find some of the very same flavor notes in a Tempranillo as you would in a Merlot: dark fruits like plums and berries as well as leather and the supple softness of vanilla. Even better, you can already find plenty of excellent Texas-made Tempranillos from Pedernales Cellars.

If you like: Pinot Noir

Try: Mourvèdre

People tend to enjoy Pinot Noirs because of their musty, funky qualities. Mourvèdres can offer the same notes — rustic, earthy and with some odd herbal flavors — especially when blended with Syrah or Grenache. BY KATHARINE SHILCUTT

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