Sunday, April 7, 2013

Day Trip: San Marcos, Texas

A cold spell came through while we were in Lockhart, so we didn’t want to get outside very much. We simply don’t like cold weather. Looking for something to do that would keep us mainly inside, we decided to drive over to nearby San Marcos to look around.

For years, we had heard of the outlet mall in San Marcos, but we had never been there. Getting directions from the friendly staff in the park headquarters, we headed out and located the mall along I-35 on the southern edge of San Marcos. Actually, there are 2 malls, both located on the east side of I-35: San Marcos Premium Outlets and Tanger Outlet Mall. San Marcos Premium Outlets is by far the larger of the two; it really is massive. We stopped in to wander through a few stores, but really weren’t looking to buy anything.

We then rode around a bit, viewing the growing town. It had probably been over 20 years since our last trip through San Marcos, and we were surprised at the vast growth the town has undergone. Texas State University, formerly Southwest Texas State University, has really grown and dominates the community, with shuttle buses visible everywhere. It currently enrolls more than 34,000 students, making it the 5th largest university in Texas and the largest in the Texas State University System.

We found a little grouping of mobile food carts just off of downtown and decided to stop. Since our days in the Middle East, we have enjoyed “street food”. The concept of mobile food trailers grouping together is very popular in other areas of the country, especially Portland and Seattle, but has been slow to catch on in Texas with the exception of the Austin area. So when we came across The Hitch, we pulled in to see what was available.

At this time, only 4 carts are operating, and 2 were closed the day we stopped. One of the closed trailers, the caboose, served mainly Southern style fried food while the other closed trailer served Thai food. Drat! We could have really enjoyed some spicy Thai food. We looked over the menus of the 2 open carts. One served an eclectic menu of various foods, including a curry dish. But we decided to sample the food at St. Pita’s, where they serve “Heavenly Good Food”. We both ordered the Classic, which is essentially their version of a shwarma sandwich. Stuffed with schwarma meat, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, and onions, and topped with their "Saintly Sauce", the sandwich was large and good. My only complaint is that the bread cracked and broke with handling, probably because it had been heated on the grill. But that is a small price to pay for this great sandwich.

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