EastTexasNewsWebsite BannerAd

Log in
  • Easy Health Tips: Cut the Cheese

    N2101P60004CFILE PHOTO

    By Caleb Fortenberry

    East Texans love their fried foods, their sweet tea, and their cheese. With the new year and sitting at home from all of the Covid-19 issues, folks might have gained a few more pounds than planned.

    Goals change all of the time, but most of can agree we want to be healthy and we don’t really want to be overweight.

    Even if you look to be in fairly decent shape, you could be struggling with some belly fat, especially for guys with the “dad-bod”.

    Well, there may be some stuff you haven’t tried before. Take a look at the list of diets and routines that you may not have considered, to cut your stubborn love handles, belly jiggle, and thunder thighs.

    Cut the cheese!

    N2101P60003C

    No, literally cut the cheese out of your diet. Cheese has a ton of calories in it. It may be the one food item that is sending you over the top in caloric intake. Some people go as far as reducing all fats, with a limitation of 20 grams per day. It may be a good choice for all you carb lovers

    No Soda

    N1805P60021C

    Sometimes cutting out drinks help a tremendous amount as well. One coke contains 39 grams of sugar which is nearly equivalent to 10 sugar cubes for one 12 oz can of coke. Some people drink more than just one coke per day. Imagine the number of calories that would be dropped from this, should someone decide to cut their bad drinking habits - several hundred per day.

    Pick carbs or fats, not both

    N1701P36010C

    If you have a fairly balanced diet, no fried foods, no junk food, then chances are you’re mixing carbs and fats each day. Try changing it up. If you plan on eating fatty proteins like beef, don’t eat any carbs that day. Likewise, if you’re eating chicken or poultry, eat some carbs! Grab a sweet potato and go to town.

    Try fasting

    N0741070

    Some people’s metabolisms just aren’t working fast, which means you probably need to eat less or workout more. Either way, intermittent fasting is a great way to burn off those calories early in the morning. It only sucks for about a week or two.

    Fasting cardio

    N1608P36013C

    Fasting cardio is similar to intermittent fasting. Basically, before you do anything in the morning, especially before you eat, go do some cardio. You burn off about 20% more fat on an empty stomach while doing cardio. So, you could actually cut your workout time down too!

    If all else fails, get help

    N1805P29004C

    Sometimes people try on their own and can never succeed at losing weight. It’s very trial and error. Not every diet works for everyone. Also, some people have thyroid issues or just have chemical imbalances they have no control over. If you’ve tried and failed, there’s no shame. Talk to your doctor and get the help you need.

  • Happy Days Diner & Tammy’s Country Kitchen

    EastTexan Winter2021 tammys 2EMILY WOOTEN | EAST TEXAN Fried steak fingers from Happy Days Diner.

    By Emily Banks Wooten

    “One, two, three o'clock, four o'clock, rock. Five, six, seven o'clock, eight o'clock, rock. Nine, ten, eleven o'clock, twelve o'clock, rock. We're gonna rock around the clock tonight.”

    When I heard that song during my childhood and adolescence I knew it was Tuesday night and time to gather around the TV with my family to watch the beloved sitcom “Happy Days” and see what the Cunninghams were up to. Oh, how we loved that middle-class family from Milwaukee and their idyllic life in the 1950s.

    While it’s not Al’s Diner and you won’t find Richie or Fonzie there, you will find some solid good food at Happy Days Diner in Shepherd, Texas. There’s a jukebox in the front corner and the walls are covered with pictures of Elvis, Marilyn Monroe, James Dean and Humphrey Bogart, as well as a few classic cars.

    The menu is entertaining as all the dishes are song titles from the 50s and 60s.

    On a recent trip there, my 13-year-old daughter and I ordered the “You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet,” which was hand-breaded homemade steak fingers with cream gravy, a choice of French fries or mashed potatoes, a house salad and a dinner roll. She chose brown gravy for her mashed potatoes while I preferred the cream gravy for mine.

    The plate arrived with four beautiful steak fingers that were each the size of the palm of my hand. I kid you not. They were first class. The meat was tender and the crunchy breading was perfect. I’d definitely order it again.

    the “Ooo Baby Baby,” which was two center cut pork chops, fried or grilled, with choice of French fries or mashed potatoes, a house salad and a dinner roll. He ordered them grilled and was a little disappointed. While they were seasoned perfectly, he said, they were so thin that they’d dried out during grilling.

    EastTexan Winter2021 tammys 3EMILY WOOTEN | EAST TEXAN Pork chops from Happy Days Diner.

    Our first experience at Happy Days Diner was in August of 2006. I was three and a half months pregnant with our daughter and we’d stopped there for breakfast on the way to Houston for a day of shopping and a movie. I had two scrambled eggs, bacon, toast and hashbrowns with a side order of chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes and cream gravy. I ate and enjoyed every bite and didn’t think a thing of it. My sweet husband didn’t say a word but just smiled and continued drinking his coffee. Several days later, I accidentally overheard him telling my mother that he’d never given much thought to that whole “eating for two” thing but that he’d certainly witnessed an increase in my appetite as my pregnancy had progressed. We still laugh about that today.

    We’ve had something of a family tradition evolve over the years at Happy Days. After we’ve placed our order, to pass the time as we’re waiting on the food to arrive, we each select our favorite picture of Elvis and Marilyn from the selection on the walls. There are plenty from which to choose and it’s not uncommon for our individual faves to change from one visit to the next.

    And once you’ve satisfied your appetite at the Happy Days Diner, you may also do a little shopping. There’s a rack with a selection of T-shirts for sale, as well as a large array of hair bows and $1 hair scrunchies. You may also replenish your stash of Scentsy wax bars or Avon Skin So Soft.

    Happy Days Diner is located at 6230 US-59 in Shepherd. It’s open daily from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. They don’t deliver but they do offer take-out. The telephone number is 936-628-6515.

    Some time back we received a circular in our local newspaper that was a menu for a place called Tammy’s Country Kitchen, east of Woodville. The menu touted the “best burgers in town” and “breakfast all day.”

    My husband and I decided to drive over one Saturday and check it out. I’d studied the menu pretty closely and had a fairly good idea of what I was planning to order. On the way over, however, I decided to look it up on my Trip Advisor app and check out the reviews. There were plenty and one after another raved over the burgers.

    EastTexan Winter2021 tammysEMILY WOOTEN | EAST TEXAN Cheeseburger and sweet potatoe fries from Tammy's Country Kitchen..

    My curiosity was definitely piqued so I changed my mind about my order once there. I selected a cheeseburger and sweet potato fries and my husband ordered a hamburger and onion rings. Oh. My. Goodness. The reviewers had not overstated. That may have been the best burger I’ve ever had. I’ve wracked my brain trying to determine what it was that made it so good and I still can’t put my finger on it. I do know, however, that there will be more Saturdays in our future in which my husband and I will drive over there for no other reason than to get those burgers again. We enjoyed both the sweet potato fries and onion rings too.

    Tammy’s Country Kitchen is located on 233 US Hwy. 190, one mile east of Woodville. Hours are 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays. The telephone number is 409-331-9

    While they don’t deliver, they do offer curbside pickup.

  • New restaurant takes up old haunt

    032521 restaurant 1PHILLIP SCHMITTEN | TCNS CORRESPONDENT Maria Casas prepares some pico de gallo for the arriving customers.

    By Philip Schmitten
    TCNS correspondent

    GROVETON — Very recently a new restaurant opened in Groveton; Habaneros is the name, and you can find it next door to Los Jalapenos Restaurant next to B&B Grocery.

    The restaurant, formerly known as Wagon Wheel has some new owners, Edgar and Lori Abshire, and they serve up some excellent Tex-Mex food.

    Manager and co-owner Lori Abshire sends out a big thank you to the residents of Groveton, who have been so wonderful with their support and patience while the new eatery gets settled.

    “The folks here have been absolutely wonderful to us,” Lori said. “We plan on staying as long as Groveton will have us.”

    The Abshires have been in the restaurant business for more than 20 years and bring their excellent venue to Groveton.

    “We love the town and the people are so very friendly,” Lori said.

    They offer seating for up to 70 and have a party room for those special occasions. Lori Abshire wants to thank Groveton for making them feel so welcome and look forward to many years of service.

    “We have applied for a liquor license and are look forward to adding Margaritas to our menu real soon,” she said. “We are currently looking for local help as of now all of our staff comes from Lufkin and we would really like to hire some local talent.”

    So, if you are in the mood for some fantastic Tex-Mex, look no further than Habaneros.

  • Save our Stages, yes; trash brisket, NO

    John Cornyn brisket screen grabSen. John Cornyn’s tweet that’ll live in Texan infamy.

    By Chris Edwards

    I was going to open this with some variation of the old adage about a broken clock, but, nah, it’s a new year and new beginnings and whatnot.

    Reelected Senator John Cornyn’s piece of legislation from last year, the Save Our Stages Act, is already helping many live music and entertainment venues across the country.It’s especially noteworthy in Texas where live music is a giant part of our history, lifestyle and economy and many historic venues and the artists/bands who play them were hit especially hard from the pandemic.

    It’s definitely worthy of a big kudos to Cornyn, who co-wrote the bill with fellow senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) The bill gathered an armada of co-sponsors before its passage and is a good example of bipartisan collaboration in this ridiculously divided time.

    But there is another recent development with Cornyn that must be addressed and is certainly not representative of this great state. You see, folks, the senator posted a photograph to social media on Christmas Eve that might just rank among the most un-Texan of things that many people will ever see.
    It was heinous and it was disgusting. The photo featured a Pyrex casserole dish full of what looked like either raw pork ribs covered in ketchup, or maybe meatloaf under a blanket of something red.

    The accompanying text proclaimed it to be a “brisket family tradition.” The next day, he tweeted that the brisket was the best that he’d ever had and cited his wife for the recipe, which, get this: has a cook time of three hours in the OVEN.

    Now before you jump to conclusions and start in with assumptions like “that mean old Chris Edwards is just a barbecue snob,” one thing Cornyn did not do is use the sacred and holy name of Barbecue in vain.

    I know, also, that there are more ways to cook a brisket than bathing it for hours and hours in post oak smoke in an offset smoker, but here’s the rub: John Cornyn is a representative of Texas, which is not just the greatest state in the union but has the greatest barbecue in the world and smoking long and slow with woodsmoke is the only way to cook brisket around here.

    The art of barbecue was perfected in the Lone Star State. Credit it to the influx of German, Czechs and Hispanics, all of whom contributed to the greatest culinary artform the world has ever seen and will ever know. Texans do barbecue the right way (like everything else we set out to do) and Texas barbecue will set anyone’s life on the correct path. The crème de la crème of this artform is smoked brisket.

    No less an authority than the great Guy Clark, who was a true representative of this great state, made mention of barbecue first in his classic song “Texas Cookin’,” which celebrates all of the great delicacies one can find between the Red and Rio Grande.

    Nevertheless, Cornyn was just elected to a fourth term to represent Texas in Congress’s upper chamber, and his Lone Star bona-fides are such: he was born in Houston and grew up in San Antonio. The emphasis, with regard to brisket knowledge, should be placed on that latter aspect. As part of the central Texas region, San Antone is home to some of the world’s greatest brisket, and unless he grew up under a rock, there’s no way he couldn’t have tasted great brisket.

    So, here’s an offer to Sen. Cornyn: I will gladly give you a demonstration on how to prepare and cook a brisket the proper and true Texas way if you will offer your much-needed support to another important cause: Rep. Brian Babin’s H.R. 759, which would help our neighbors, the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe and, ultimately, the regional economy here in East Texas.

    If Dr. Babin’s bill gets through the Senate (it already gathered a huge swell of bipartisan support in the other chamber and passed) it would put the AC tribe on equal footing with other tribes across this great land.

    Save our Stages is a great thing to help out entertainment venues all over the country, so why not help out with a big entertainment option here in Texas? I get that gambling isn’t everyone’s bag, but everything is a gamble when it comes down to it, right?

  • The Texas Bucket List features Pit Row Pit Stop

    pit7COURTESY PHOTO Texas Bucket List host Shane McAuliffe (left) poses with Pit Row Pit Stop owner Frankie Vinci. McAuliffe’s show will feature Vinci’s restaurant this weekend.

    Special to the Enterprise

    LIVINGSTON – Take a step back in time into this retro 50’s diner that’s known for more than their burgers and shakes, they are known for what Texas is known for, Barbeque.

    Owner and Brooklyn born Californian Frankie Vinci went from building theme parks to building a diner to smoke barbeque like a true Texan.

    “I'm a Brooklyn boy, I had no clue what a brisket is. We don't cook brisket in Brooklyn. So, I had to learn four years ago and I guess I got good at it,” said Frankie.

    Not only does Frankie care about his brisket and ribs, he cares about his community and provides religious outreach for those in prison, since it was what helped him during his time behind bars.

    So, tune in on Feb. 13-14 as host Shane McAuliffe visits a righteous man with the gift of giving and great BBQ on The Texas Bucket List. Pit Row Pit Stop in Livingston is featured alongside two other stops - Zito’s in San Antonio and The Stephen F. Austin Statue in Angleton.

    Follow this link to find a station near you! https://thetexasbucketlist.com/where-to-watch.

    pit1COURTESY PHOTO Pit Row Pit Stop in Livingston will be featured this weekend on the Texas Bucket List.

    About the Texas Bucket List

    The Texas Bucket List, telling the tales of the Lone Star State one Texan's story at a time. The award-winning TV series shares the joy, wonder, beauty and excitement of Texas.

    Each week, host Shane McAuliffe sets out to add more people, places, food and music to a list that every Texan should experience. Shane has been recognized with numerous television broadcast excellence awards including a Regional Edward R. Murrow Award, three Lone Star Emmy Awards, the Barbara Jordan Media Award, several Telly Awards, and multiple Texas Association of Press Broadcasters awards.

    He’s a native of Round Rock, and attended The University of Houston. The Texas Bucket List is produced by McAuliffe Productions, LP located in College Station.