Culinary Thrill Seekers: Getting ‘messy’ on vacation

Published 2:39 pm Sunday, June 30, 2024

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Frito Pie is a Texas classic that never gets old. Your Texas-based Frito bag is slit open on the side and layered with chili, cheese and lots of chopped onions and jalapenos. That’s how my fantasy goes, anyways. This scenario takes me back to the Eugene Field Elementary School carnival; it tastes like fall.

Visiting my husband’s family in the Harlingen area of The Valley yielded a new-to-me treat.

Enter the “Marranada.” In Rio Hondo, Cousin E. directed us to a “hole in the wall” eatery painted bright yellow. You just walk up to the window. The menu is painted on the wall. Cheetos are a favorite of mine, but I went for big, round corn chips this time. The bag, slit on the side, had creamy white cheese and corn ladled onto the chips. Just get a fork and dig in there.

What does this name mean? Cousin said it translates into “messy” because you can easily drip this goodness all over you. But, YOLO, in The Valley. You Only Live Once, so get messy

Icy Donuts: Jennifer Chang Icy Donuts in Groves makes me smile. So do her breakfast eggrolls. This Groves eatery is a popular hit I hope you’ve tried. Ms. Chang was discussing her fresh ingredients and how they heat up the sausage to bring out the flavor. She gave me a comment about their business technique and said I could quote her: “We never do lazy.”

Come over for a ….: Do you go grilling or to a cookout. Or a barbecue? I read a trend report that found Texas leads in use of the term barbecue. That’s no surprise, but Hawaii came in second with New Mexico and California next. I’d pack up for a barbecue in Hawaii. They grill in Minnesota, South Dakota, North Dakota, Wisconsin and Michigan. Cookouts are likely in the Carolinas, West Virginia, Tennessee and Georgia. It’s all good to me if there’s onions, peppers and pickles set out in each state.

Darragh Doiron is a Port Arthur area foodie who’d love some barbecued SPAM in Hawaii. Reach her at