Everyone who visits Texas wants to see the “cowboy life” and the famous longhorn cattle. All of these are great things, and you can see them in the Fort Worth Stockyards.
The area, known as the Union Stockyards, has been a central hub for cattle drives since 1866 when ranchers drove cattle up the Chisholm Trail. Cowboys were able to fuel up on good food and supplies for the long road ahead. It wasn’t until 1893 that the stockyards were officially called the Fort Worth Stockyards Company.
Today, the stockyards are an attraction for visitors and locals to delve into the old cowboy lifestyle and experience some southern food and nightlife.
This past Monday, my parents and I visited the stockyards. We were excited to get out and see some of the unique spots. The first thing to catch our attention was food and then the cattle drive.
Each day at 11:30 A.M. and 4:00 P.M. people can see an example of a miniature cattle drive through the streets. Along the walkways, photo ops are available with live longhorns. These select cattle have been well trained and are friendly as your dog at home. Some of them even like being brushed.
After the cattle drive, we checked out the stadium where the classic rodeo is held. There’s a hall of fame as well inside. It’s nice to see the traditions and history of the rodeo. Living in Texas you see the event as an every day common thing, but walking through these halls shines light on the cultural aspect and influence it truly has in our wonderful state.
If you like learning about history and don’t want to just look at pictures, you can head across the street to the historical museum.
On top of the rodeo and cowboys, they do include some great places to shop, drink and eat. There’s even a little train and cattle maze for children. Want to try riding a bull? (Preferably if you’re sober.) They’ve got that too but mechanical style.
Talking about the stockyards wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t mention BBQ or even a restaurant in particular. Come on, it’s Texas, who doesn’t love the food here? Every foreigner who’s visited has gained at least 10 lbs after visiting our bountiful state. That may have been disheartening, but they went away with a smile on their face.
Since my parents and I were quite hungry after the long morning, we decided to hit up Riscky’s Steakhouse. It’s upscale atmosphere gives you the high end of the old country life. The ceilings are high, decorations eclectic, and food authentic. They have an assortment of unique drinks and appetizers.
We weren’t too hungry, but wanted to try a variety of foods, so we hit up the appetizers. The three dishes we tried were the calf fries with gravy, shrimp stuffed jalapeno poppers, and escargot. Two of the dishes are unique in the aspect that people normally don’t know what they’re made of. Calf fries are made from the balls of a calf. Gross… yes, but wonderfully delicious! As for the escargot, it’s snails covered in tasty garlic and cheese. The thought might be disturbing, but the taste will outweigh that by far! Make sure to put the escargot on the pieces of bread. It provides a great balance.
If you should visit the stockyards later at night, there are an array of bars from Neon Moon Saloon to Billy Bob’s Texas (or as we call it, Billy Bob’s). Make sure to visit the later for a good taste of country dancing music. It’s one of the largest dance halls in Texas.
All in all, the Fort Worth Stockyards is the place to hit up whether you’re young or old. Every bit of the Texas culture can be seen here. The rich history comes to life, and any one can become a part of it. No matter where you go here, you’ll always get a warm Texas smile and southern hospitality. Let’s not forget our police. We still have some of the classical sheriffs around town.
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