domingo 14  de  abril 2024
TRAVEL

Lubbock, reasons to visit this Texan city

Home to award-winning wineries and breweries, and a diverse selection of cuisine, this destination holds unexpected finds

Por JESÚS HERNÁNDEZ

MIAMI.- Northwestern Texas is known for its wineries and peaceful cities, and Lubbock is not the exception.

Located in the High Plains of Texas, the city where the beloved rocker with geek glasses Buddy Holly was born and raised lays on a vast area, flat land which lies to the east of the base of the Rocky Mountains.

If you are looking for a quiet city, away from the crowds, where u can easily drive and park your car almost anywhere for free, Lubbock is for you.

Although Lubbock seems to be quiet, along Broadway Street you will find interesting buildings and venues where you can have a nice breakfast, a good lunch or dinner or a drink at a local bar.

We went to Monomyth for breakfast, where brothers Trenton and Randall Jackson serve everything from latte and cappuccino to cortado and americano coffee. Try the Bacon Onion Quiche, you will be surprised.

A wonderful place for breakfast, lunch, or dinner is Cast Iron Grill. Here you can taste home-cooked Southern classics and a skillful selection of pies.

Teresa moved from Dallas to Lubbock with her family and she wasn’t happy at all, but after a couple of years she fell in love with the city and opened Cast Iron Grill in an old gas station.

“My aunt told me about pie recipes, and it took me a few months to get ‘em right,” she said with a wonderful Texan accent that makes you tune your ears.

And today, after 10 years, her place and old-fashioned pies are extremely popular.

More

Of course, Texas is Texas, and you will find tacos and Tex-Mex food somewhere, but there is a growing army of chefs in Lubbock you must pay attention to.

If you are looking for a pleasant lunch or dinner, La Diosa Cellars, The West Table, The Nicolett and Neighborhood F&B will exceed your expectations.

However, you are in Texas, and you want to try some tasty BBQ. Evie Mae's BBQ is the place to be on the outskirts of the city. Here Arnis and Mallory Robbins smoke over 700 lbs. of meat a day at their brick-and-mortar location. They are opening a barbecue pit in Miramar Beach, in the Florida panhandle.

Step into the Brewery LBK on Broadway and you will experience delicious craft beers made with local ingredients.

Westside

On the west side of Broadway Street, as closer as you get to the famous Texas Tech University, you will find more restaurants, shops, and bars.

We tried Bier House, where spicy fried chicken and delicious corn biscuits compete with lamb burgers topped with red onions and Tzatziki.

In the evening, when the Sun goes down, music sparks from rock to rap and contemporary dance.

Two more blocks and you arrive at, you got it, University Drive. This corner is full of restaurants, shops, and bars where classmates spend time together and you feel comfortable with.

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However, special attention should be given to the bar and restaurant Midnight Shift, at the Cotton Court Hotel, which is open most of the day.

Shawn, from San Antonio, is the bar manager, and he´s been working on the field for over 40 years. “Whiskey sour is traditionally made with rye whiskey or bourbon, lemon juice, and egg white”, an ingredient that tames the tart flavor and creates a richer, smoother texture, “but today the egg white is optional”, said the expertise bartender.

Bekah, graduated from college in psychology, got a job as a bartender at the Midnight Shift, and she assures she is happy with: “It’s so easy to get to know people, and here I am, talking to people.”

Eastside

Late in the evening, around 10 P.M., bars and clubs flash around Downtown Lubbock.

Recommendations? Bekah suggested Blue Light and Shotgun Sue’s Saloon on Buddy Holly Avenue, and Bodine's Cocktail Parlor one block off the road.

At Blue Light the doors open at 9 p.m. and they host a different performer every night, from country and folk to rock music.

We enjoyed the Junior College Touring Ensemble on a Wednesday night, presented by the Entertainment & Music Technology program at New Mexico Junior College. And the band proved they know how to rock.

Wineries

With over 310 wineries located in Texas alone, the state boasts of both small and big wineries that focus on tourism to further promote their brand.

Today Texas is one of the largest wine-producing state in the United States, and close to 90 percent of the wine grapes grown in Texas are grown around Lubbock: Spanish, French and Italian grapes.

Red wine goes from Malbec and Pinot Noir to an impressive Tempranillo, as white wine goes with Chardonnay and Viognier, but Albariño white wine is the winner here.

You find high quality wine at McPherson Cellars and Llano Estacado, as well as English Newsom Cellars. They all work with passion to bring wine lovers the best product.

Winemaker Kim McPherson learned from his father Dr. Clinton “Doc” McPherson, a pioneer of the modern Texas wine industry 40 years ago.

“He wasn’t sure what he was doing when he brought Albariño and Tempranillo grapes, but he was able to make the best possible wine, and I think we have archived that,” Kim said.

What makes northwest Texas one of the greatest wine producers in the country? The answer is rich soil, altitude, no disease troubles, no humidity and change of temperature overnight.

Matt Bostick studied the world of wine in Italy. And today he is the Sommelier/Hospitality Director of Llano Estacado Winery.

“We’re still learning. Everybody does,” he said. And he’s right, even world known producers, like France and Spain, are still learning every day.

Arts

The world of art in Lubbock goes along with contemporary art, and The Charles Adams Studio Project is a good example.

This is a privately-owned non-profit organization that oversees over 20 studios and exhibition spaces in Downtown Lubbock, where local artists find a place to be. Each first Friday of the month they host First Friday Art Trail, allowing visitors to connect with each artist.

Also, Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts, which is credited as a driving force behind the downtown revitalization plan using the arts to stimulate economic development.

You also find the Helen DeVitt Jones Clay Studio, where locals can attend classes, workshops, and enjoy studio memberships.

Every April the city celebrates the Lubbock Arts Festival, which is considered the largest art event in West Texas. Features include visual artists from around the nation showing and selling their artwork; performance stages with musicians, actors, and dancers; children’s art area; special exhibits and more entertainment.

Ranch life!

The ranch life is more than an occupation, and the National Ranching Heritage Center is proof of that. This museum-park expands along 27-acres and features a collection of authentic ranching structures, including houses, ranging from the 1780’s to 1950’s that tell us the story of ranching in North America.

Visitors can explore the evolution of ranching life through exhibits that display artifacts, tools, and memorabilia. You can either walk around or enjoy a guided tour to explore the structures.

Bill, the driver, remembers how his grandfather used to have a ranch and protected his property with barbed wire, and he will be happy to assist you.

Don´t miss The Barton House, an example of Queen Anne style architecture, as it was relocated to the Heritage Center from Hale County.

The museum-park also hosts educational programs, annual events, and demonstrations that provide insights into the cowboy way of life and how they played a role in shaping the American West.

Yet cowboys are still out there. There are still cows that need tending. So, uh, yes.

As far as a cultural phenomenon, there are people that wear cowboy boots and hats, like big belt buckles, and fancy themselves to be cowboys.

How to get there

Lubbock has a convenient and modern airport that is located 15 minutes from the city.

Well-served with restaurants and shops, the LBB has non-stops flights from Dallas and several other U.S. cities.

Where to Stay

The city has plenty of places to stay overnight. From low-priced accommodations to designed hotels. We stayed at Cotton Court Hotel by Valencia Hotel Collection.

Located on Broadway Street, right in between Downtown area and Texas Tech University, this hotel opened in 2020 with ample rooms that resembles the 1950’s with an attractive combination of brick, wood, stone, and metal that follows the Texas Country architecture.

With a restaurant and bar, the 4-star hotel features an outdoor swimming pool, a fitness center and plenty of parking.

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