Drinking West Texas: Marfa

Marfa is a strange little town of about 2000 people out in far west Texas. And I mean west. Almost to freakin New Mexico. Before I went, they told me, “It’s high desert.” I thought that meant something like grand or formal like “high church.” Nope. It’s at something like 4700 feet above sea level. That’s what makes it high desert.

First, the reason for going. My friends bought a 130 year old adobe house out there that they have been fixing up, and they wanted some help completing some projects. Enter Dr. Chad and Dr. Sam. That’s right. Two PhDs went out to help complete a remodel right after Christmas.

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A stylish fence, no? Yes, those are metal i-beam posts.
If you want to know what we did, we built this fence. There’s probably a joke there. How many college degrees does it take to build a fence in Marfa, Texas?

But that’s not why you come to a site like this. Let’s talk drinks.

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The frozen fountain at the Hotel Paisano. High desert means it get cold. Really cold.
We went to Padre’s. The Hotel Paisano bar. And the Lost Horse Saloon. Along with lots of other good places to eat. Marfa packs much more than its weight class in the food department. It’s an artsy town, and those artsy visitors like to eat. Tons of good food in town.

As far as beer goes, there’s Big Bend Brewing based in Alpine. I spent most of my time there drinking Big Bend’s fantastic La Frontera Premium IPA. It’s a great metallic brew with all of the malt and citrus and copper I expect in an IPA. It ranks up there with the best of them. And Texas makes some good ones, as those who read this site should be well aware. La Frontera loses its effervescence pretty quickly, but that just means you have to drink it faster.

Big Bend Brewing's La Frontera. A fantastic premium IPA.
Big Bend Brewing’s La Frontera. A fantastic premium IPA.

With cocktails, I only had a few, and the one that stood out was the Cardamom Manhattan from the Hotel Paisano. It’s was New Year’s Eve, and they tried to serve me their special Manhattan with champagne, but I refused and told them to make something with lots of bitters. The result was a bitter-y unique herbalesque drink that was one of the best Manhattans I’ve had. Kudos to the bartenders there.

So if you have reason to go out to West Texas, definitely check out Marfa. Good food, good beer, and good cocktails. And some freakish sidenotes like the Marfa lights and the Prada Marfa.

Fun in the desert!
Just go in spring so you don’t have to drive through this to get back home. Sheesh

But don’t go in the middle of winter if you can help it. We nearly got iced in and had to travel through treacherous conditions to get back home. Maybe we should have just stayed.

2 thoughts on “Drinking West Texas: Marfa”

  1. Hi! I know this is not a fence design blog, but I stumbled across this picture and I am desperate to find this style fence post. You wouldn’t happen to know where they are from or who manufactures them?

    1. Sorry, Dana, but they ordered the fence posts from a steel manufacturer somewhere around Alpine. The posts were already on-site when I got there.

      What they are, though, are just steel I-beams. You can probably buy them from any steel manufacturer or yard in your area. Then we built panels to slide into the “I” part of the beam.

      Good luck!

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