Thursday, March 09, 2006

Regional differences

Sometimes it’s interesting to notice the various regional differences when it comes to food. One of the big things we noticed when we were in Rhode Island a couple of weeks ago was the propensity of Dunkin’ Donuts. There seemed to be one on every street corner. Doug and I made a car game out of spotting the various Dunkin’ Donut shops – the first person to spot a Dunkin’ Donuts punched the other person in the arm (our variation of Slug Bug). Needless to say we both ended the weekend with bruises up and down our arms. In the five days I was there, and the 12 days Doug was there, we managed to go to Dunkin’ Donuts only once, and that’s because I had to go to the bathroom and it was one of the few places that had public restrooms.

Austin, on the other hand, is not a big donut place. There are maybe two Dunkin’ Donuts in the entire town, three Krispy Kremes, and of course, Round Rock Donuts. If you bring donuts to the office, it usually takes until late-afternoon before they are all gone. I’ve even seen poor college students pass up free food if it was donuts. However, breakfast tacos are a popular breakfast in Austin. It’s always a treat when breakfast tacos are brought into the office – you know it’s going to be a good day.

After two weeks of workshops in Rhode Island, Doug’s company is holding a workshop in Austin this week, with several of the participants flying in from Rhode Island. Being big on the Dunkin’ Donuts, one of the guys said that he was excited to find a Dunkin’ Donuts in Austin. Yesterday Doug was in charge of getting breakfast for the workshop. Thinking that he would do something Texan, he brought three dozen breakfast tacos from Taco Shack, a perennial favorite in the Austin Chronicle readers’ poll.

Given the reactions of folks, you would have thought that Doug served them dog food. The New Englanders couldn’t believe that Texans would eat tacos for breakfast. The tacos were not a hit and there were still a couple dozen left by mid-morning. Doug wisely set out the remaining tacos for the rest of the staff and they were eaten within 10 minutes.

Go figure. I guess for the folks from Rhode Island, deep-fried sugar is okay for breakfast, but eggs and bacon wrapped in a tortilla is not.


Anonymous said...

Let's be clear on one thing:

Mrs. Johnson's Bakery has been kicking ass and taking names on the doughnut front for 50 years. Truly the best doughnuts in Austin.

4909 Airport Blvd 512-452-4750

News from Chilli said...

If Jim and I thought that a.m. tacos from the Taco Express were on the menu, we would be calling the vet's office today and making reservations for our two canine daughters - then immediately heading to Austin. We can get donuts here, but nothing to compare with the a.m. tacos from Taco Express!!!!!! I guess I need to modify that as now we would have to wait until the conclusion of track season.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Mrs. J's on Airport definitely rocks!! And Ken's on Guadulupe isn't bad either...

Anonymous said...

Gotta say ditto to Mrs. Johnson's, with a nod to Ken's