Zizania Texana

There’s a restaurant I have found that draws me in whenever I’m in the area. It’s not a quaint place or a romantic venue, but it has something no other restaurant in the area has: nostalgia.

It’s wood and stone with dark black and brown paisley carpet. The cowboy decor of cow heads, wooden stage coach wheels mixed with neon beer and TVs silently boasting professional sports of the day. Not my typical style, but the food is excellent and the location is one of the best. It sits near just above the rush of (especially after lots of rain) river water. In warmer weather, when the sun is still up late, college kids, pups, and families dive in and splash about the year round 70 degree water.

While watching the water gush over the dam and rushing away in big fluffy white waves is fascinating, the allure to the area has more to do with friends who introduced me to this place on my first trip to the area.

It was an odd first trip here, but my friends seemed not to notice. Maybe I hid my distraction well or they were kind enough not to remark on it.
We sat overlooking the river debating football and generally getting to know one another.

It was a good time all in all, but still it was the intangible feeling and one brief moment in time that brings back past memories when I stop by the dam on the river.

It was a short conversation by the banks of the river with one of my friends that I will never forget – the one that gives me pause on my way out every time, the one that left a nostalgic imprint.

My friend who lives in the area called me over to the bank. We stood there, just the two of us, watching the slow movement of the river as it approached the drop. The water was crystal clear and the salt grass bent and swayed in a dance between the rocks in tune with the slow moving river.


I learned in a few minutes that the water was always crystal clear and a consistent 70 degrees year round because it flowed from the springs just north of where we stood. It was a moment in time where everything was as it should be – calm, happy, peaceful – everything was in sync.

I remember looking at the clear water with the dancing salt grass and then turning towards her. Her eyes taking in the water, but focused on the past.

It was the only time during that trip that I saw my friend as I had remembered her. It was the nostalgia in her eyes as she described the river, the smile of peace, the soft honey chuckle of past memories known only to her.

I come here, sit at a table (funny – it’s always the same table and it’s always open on my rare visits) that over looks the dam and rushing waterfall. I take a moment to remember my friends and the first visit then I put lots of moments to pen my thoughts – past and future.

PS: On the way out, I always stop at the bank and take a moment to remember that conversation and push away the whimsical thought that someday we will reconnect as we did for that brief moment.

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