I’m happy to have Tio Wally (long-time Me So Hungry reader) aboard to send in his eating adventures from across America. Here he is in Stratford, Texas.
Greetings from Stratford, Texas
N 36° 19.9063’ W 102° 4.3877’ Elev. 3,691 feet
You can enter Stratford, Texas from any direction — it’s at the intersection of US Highways 54 and 287 — and you will see the sign: “Stratford, Pheasant Capital of Texas.” You won’t see any birds however, pheasant or otherwise. At least, I never have. Cows? Sure. Pygmy ponies? Yes, indeedy. But a bird? No sir. Not one, not once. Never.
I take that back. There are birds in Stratford. Chickens, at Allsup’s. But they’ve been parted out and fried.
Allsup’s is a ubiquitous chain of convenience stores in Texas and New Mexico, each with one of those little hot-case delis inside. I don’t usually stop at them due to a lack of parking. But there is a mostly avian-free Allsup’s with yacht parking here in Stratford.
I was glad I stopped at this one because, although I’ve been to a few before, I made an important discovery: Hot Links for $1.09. For another dime you can get a slice of “delicious” — I saw it described as “delicious” on a sticker somewhere — white or caramel-colored white bread. Add some mustard and you’ve got yourself a really great snack.
These are high-quality hot links, some of the best I’ve ever had, in fact. The sausage has a great “crunch” and inside are a lot of red pepper flakes. This may be considered low-end dining by some, but these things are flavorful and highly satisfying. And they are hot.
Allsup’s also sells beef tamales that are pretty good. Although they’re on the small side they’re reasonably priced at 3 for $2.09, or you can get a dozen for $4.99. They come in hot or mild varieties.
Places that sell hot links (or tamales) are few and far between, especially quality ones at such a reasonable price. They are hard to find even in the South. Some of the truck stops carry a breathtakingly awful faux version of them, but they are remarkably terrible, inedible really, and have nothing in common with a true hot link. They’re more like hot dogs that have been infused with red food coloring and chemically enhanced with unidentifiable artificial flavoring. Allsup’s, however, has the real deal!
And so we roll.
Allsup’s, 10 S. Maple, Stratford, Texas
with locations throughout Texas and New Mexico … and one location in Frederick, Oklahoma!
Tio Wally pilots the 75-foot, 40-ton(max) land yacht SS Me So Hungry. He reports on road food from around the country whenever parking and InterTube connections permit.