Get the green chile burger

One of El Paso’s favorite burger joints, the Charcoaler, gets some very tasty attention in the February issue of Texas Highways magazine.

It’s one of the three restaurants profiled as “classic Texas drive-ins” that perfected curbside dining decades ago, as in very pre-pandemic.

The magazine writes that the Charcoaler was the first restaurant in El Paso with an intercom and drive-thru window. And once you’ve got your flame-grilled burgers, you can enjoy them while taking in a view of the Franklin Mountains. 

They’re open for curbside dining, of course, during the pandemic, from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. seven days a week on North Mesa near Sunland Park.

The other two drive-ins featured are Snapka’s in Corpus Christi and Watson’s in Denison. 

From Kickpin to college

One of the two Frank brothers who started the Kickpin pop-up store is going to college this fall. And that means one of his younger brothers will take over the high-end sneaker boutique.

Drew Frank, who is now 17, will attend the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor starting in September. Brother Jamie, now 16, will run the business until he goes to college the following year.

They started the store when Drew was 13 and Jamie was 12. Their youngest brother Lane, who just turned 13, does a weekly sports podcast called School Yard Sports.

Balmorhea update

We’re kind of sad to report that there’s still a lot of construction going on at Balmorhea State Park, which means it’s closed for the foreseeable future. Texas Parks and Wildlife says it will announce a reopening date sometime later.

Officials say the pandemic has caused delays in getting materials for projects underway and it’s slowed staffing and timelines.

All of the park’s septic systems are being replaced, an old chain link fence around the pool is being upgraded to wrought iron and stone, and repairs are being made to the campground and San Solomon Courts.

Built in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps, Balmorhea is the world’s largest spring-fed swimming pool. Generations of families have enjoyed swimming and scuba diving in its crystal-clear water.

The water temperature stays in the 70s all year, perfect for a Texas summer.

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