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IMG_5676Houston is my office space.  It is one of the fastest growing city in America and it is the place where God has called me to serve Him.  Falling in love with a city is easy when the love of the Lord for that city has preceded me.

Yet, my professional occupation requires that I keep a direct channel open to Dallas.  That is where our headquarters is situated.  They make the major decisions and determine the course that I follow while serving here.

Periodically I need to be at meetings in Big D.  Getting to the city in the North is a puzzle.  That bewildering choice is due to the nature of flying compared to driving.

I could fly to Dallas.  The actually flying time is only an hour.  However, you know and every commuter knows that air travel is much more than actual flying time.

Houston is so big that it takes and hour to drive to either one of our two airports.  Of course when we all fly we have to arrive at the airport two hours early.  We need to entertain the security folks.

A little arithmetic makes the choice of the journey a puzzle.  To fly takes one hour to commute to the airport plus two hours early arrival for check-in and security and buffer plus the one hour actual flying time.  The total is four hours.

The drive time to Dallas and our headquarters is four hours.  When I fly I have to arrange for transportation once I arrive in Dallas.  If someone picks me up then I do not have transportation around the city once I arrive.

If I drive to Dallas, then I can also leave when I want, makes stops along the way and return when I want.  My seat is always comfortable and frequently my wife joins me so the company is exquisite.  Rest stops on the journey are also up to me.

One of the discoveries on this journey is the meal service en route to our destination.  Remember this is Texas.  In this part of the world BBQ reigns.

Half way between Dallas and Houston is a tasty BBQ location.  It has the unique traveling grill that often marks its location.  The designers shaped it like a giant single action revolver with the BBQ smoke coming out of the barrel.  You can’t see this when you are flying on a plane.

photo credit: brucefong cellphone photography

 Dallas was our destination.  It was the first of undoubtedly many road trips to our Headquarters for one of the finest theological educations that is possible.  Our Houston campus is growing and we need to keep the lines of communication and prayer between our two cities as wide open as possible.

The weather was very hot.  We didn’t eat much on our journey.  But, the liquids kept our whistles wet. 

Some snacks kept our tummies happy.  Some times it was salty other times it was sweet.  But, always it was modest.  Hot weather has a tendency to do that to the human body.

But, our minds were focused on saving our appetites for a pleasant dinner.  After a day of meetings and introductions, the sun set low enough for us to lay out our plans for dinner.  We check on-line and decided to give a local eatery a chance.

We were the only ones who were there.  It is a small establishment with limited parking.  But, we felt excited to see what the local city buzz was about this place.

First, we ordered our ala carte entrees.  My bride’s choice was scallops.  I chose duck.  Together we selected their Brussel sprouts as a shared side dish.

Pleasant conversation took over and time passed quickly.  Our meal showed up with a kind of aroma that makes a modest day of eating shockingly ready for deep satisfaction.  The sprouts looked wonderful. 

But, we all turned our attention My Bride’s dish.  Her scallops made me second guess my choice.  It’s a good thing that she always shares her dinner with me.

When we both took a bite of that savory scallop, we released our “umm good!” at the same time.  They were fresh, sweet, tender and flavored to gratify the palate.

But, I was not to be disappointed.  My duck was succulent, tender and full of flavor.  The combination of vegetables that blanketed my meal was delicious.  The sauce was not too overwhelming and the preparation in the kitchen had removed all of the tough parts of the duck meat. 

 Do you see the blueberries that were used to bring just the right amount of fruit sweetness to this dish?  It has to be one of the most memorable duck dishes that I have had in recent days.  If you’re ever in the neighborhood, stop in and give Urbano Cafe in Dallas a try; it was delicious and delightful.

photo credit: brucefong cellphone photography