Open for booze-ness

It was a holiday gift for those who like to imbibe. Spec’s, the Texas-based chain of beer, wine and spirits stores, opened another El Paso location the week of Christmas.

The store is at 2501 N. Mesa, in the former CVS building near UTEP. You might remember that Mesa Street Grill once stood in that lot.

El Paso burgers

Former advertising exec Morris Pittle is flipping burgers in Austin. Well, actually, he owns a burgeoning eatery called Jewboy Burgers – that’s its real name – recently featured in Austin Monthly magazine.

The El Paso native says he learned how to make a good burger by watching the cooks at Rosco’s Burger Inn. Now he offers options like Hatch green chiles, house-cured pastrami, chile con queso and latkes on his burgers. 

After years in advertising – he ran Two Ton Creativity in El Paso – Pittle started his food career with an Austin food truck just four years ago. Last fall he expanded into a brick-and-mortar restaurant, serving burgers with a Jewish-Mexican vibe.

“I grew up in a Jewish household, and that household happened to be in El Paso, where Mexican food is everything. It’s the best food in the world,” Pittle told the magazine.

Pittle’s keys for a great El Paso-inspired burger: grill some onions, then cook the meat on top of the onions to keep the burger juicy; no tomatoes on a burger, ever; and peppers are a great way to boost flavor without adding salt. 

History lesson

From Construction of the U.S. Capitol began in 1793, but work stopped in 1814 because of the War of 1812 between the United States and the British empire.

In August 1814, invading British troops set fire to the Capitol and the White House, doing extensive damage to both.

Why? Maybe because a year earlier, in 1813, American troops had set fire to a capitol building in the British colonial city of York, now called Toronto.

The United States, just 36 years young, took on the world’s greatest naval power because the British were trying to restrict U.S. trade, the Royal Navy was impressing American seamen, and the former British colony wanted to expand its territory. The war ended in 1815.

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