Beer, barbecue and a spelling bee…


Last Saturday, I experienced a spelling bee that beat all of my previous experiences: an Adult Spelling Bee sponsored by the Friends of the Alpine Public Library at Big Bend Brewing Company to raise funds for the library. A spelling bee competition with beer and a taco bar. What a brilliant concept!

With fond memories of participating in – and winning – spelling bees as a youngster and a life-long stickler for spelling, my only experience as an adult at a spelling bee was as timekeeper for elementary school spelling bees. At Saturday’s competition, there were spelling teams, and spelling the words was a group effort. The first word was “dog” and words progressively increased in difficulty. The sheriff was on-hand to “escort” the losing teams off the stage, handcuffs at the ready if any wordy folks got too rowdy. For a donation, teams that misspelled a word could buy their way to the next round.

For $1, audience members could purchase a sheet and spell along for a chance to win a gift certificate at ReReads. The winning team, the only team to spell “cummerbund” correctly, was called The Spellicans. Big Bend Brewing Company often sponsors community events and the Second-Ever Spelling Bee was no doubt a boon to the library. I am a board member for the Friends of the Jeff Davis County Library and know first-hand how a library cannot thrive without the support of the Friends. Very well done, Friends and Big Bend Brewing Company.

After the spelling bee at the brewery, we drove across the highway to the grand opening of Come & Take It BBQ. We’ve been eating at Come & Take It since they were in Fort Davis, and the new restaurant is the perfect place to enjoy a sliced brisket sandwich and a heaping helping of mustard potato salad. Or a pulled pork sandwich and coleslaw. Or a chopped brisket sandwich and beans. Those are some of my favorites, and the menu has more to choose from.

Did I mention they have a full bar? Homemade fruit cobblers and ice cream? The servings are generous, and I typically take home half of my food.

For the grand opening event, there was live music and dancing on the patio out back, situated in front of a mountain scape with a nearly full moon above us and cool breeze all around us. It was a fantastic West Texas evening.

Come & Take It is open for dinner Friday and Saturday beginning at 5 p.m., and lunch at 11 a.m. on Sunday. Get there early – when it’s gone, it’s gone. They’re located at 2612 W. Highway 90 in Alpine. Check out their website at or call them at (432)837-4227.


Mustard Potato Salad

(inspired by Come & Take It’s Mustard Potato Salad)
5 large red potatoes, cubed (red potatoes stay more firm than Russets when boiled)
3 ribs celery, finely chopped
1/2 medium red onion, finely chopped
3 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup yellow mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
Boil cubed potatoes until they are tender – about 10 minutes. Drain and cool. In a large bowl, combine celery, onion, relish, mayonnaise and mustard. Stir well. Add potatoes and make sure they’re coated with the dressing. Sprinkle with paprika for garnish. Let the potato salad chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours (or overnight) before serving.



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