Despite dilettante's pipe dreams, Texas is not an atavistic wonderland of cowboy boots and hard-bitten dudes on whiskey-drinking horses. The “cowboy” archetype has devolved significantly enough that – save for the few legitimate outlaws roaming the cosmopolitan trails – modern day shit-kickers are the clearest representatives of the culture. Shitkickers are crass, stubborn and sometimes chivalrous despite their ill-mannered nature. And here are some of the places where you’re sure to find a few of the species:
An abundance of NASCAR posters and a real lack of cosmopolitan understanding permeate the Shiloh’s quasi-rustic confines. It’s like someone plucked a roadhouse out of southeastern Oklahoma and dropped it on the north side of Woodland Heights.
Jimmie’s (Place) Ice House
Crotchety old honks and their younger charges hold court at this legendary icehouse. Credentials: There’s a fucking chicken coop on the back patio. Beware Kellis: He used to be really skinny before he started that bodybuilding program.
Red’s Country Place
While the entirety of the Wakefield Strip is beholden to a certain “down-home charm,” Red’s excels by being surly. It’s also the only Wakefield bar that serves hard liquor, helping it draw a clientele markedly different from that of the icehouses along the strip.
Lone Star Saloon
Though Downtown is virtually the last place you’d expect to find a bar of Lone Star’s ilk, proximity to the bus station explains away most variables . . . though Lone Star is not purely a shitkicker haven and occasionally hosts a band of frat-boys, hipsters and residents of the nearby Houston House Apartments.
This white-bred spot sits in Hidden Valley, just off I-45 North. They have a $6.50 steak night and “Schnapps Tuesdays,” host biker conferences and have already garnered a respectable shitkicking pedigree, despite being relatively new to the scene.