Living Like a King

Posted on September 3rd, 2009

Want to wrangle the Texas mystique? Then head 'em up and move 'em out to King Ranch.
This magnificent 825,000-acre South Texas spread (larger than Rhode Island) embodies ranching history, with vintage cowboys, century-old stables, and its own breed of hearty cattle. After spending an entire day touring its massive operations and visiting with an impressive range of King Ranch employees, I discovered why it’s considered the birthplace of American ranching.
The highlight was speaking with several Kineños (King's men), descendants of the original vaqueros (Mexican cowboys) who've worked the ranch for generations. My conversations with these men were fascinating, covering everything from traditional cowboy activities -- cattle wrangling, branding, horse training -- to developing the legendary King Ranch cattle breed Santa Gertrudis, to overseeing various elements of the ranch's agricultural and entrepreneurial empire throughout the world.

The ranch also owns several noteworthy properties in nearby Kingsville, including the King Ranch Museum and King Ranch Saddle Shop. Both offer extensive (and aromatic) items representing the fascinating legacy of this ranching entity, where cowboys still ride horses, drive cattle, and put in a hard day’s work from sunup to sundown.
After a full day of not-so-hard work on the ranch, I headed 20 miles south to the small town of Riviera for dinner at King’s Inn. It’s billed as one of the best seafood restaurants on Texas’ southern Gulf Coast, and for good reason. Be sure to order the lightly breaded fried shrimp, filled with freshly caught flavor and accompanied by the restaurant’s famous spicy tartar sauce (the waiter was sworn to secrecy, though he admitted it contained bread crumbs, “lots of eggs,” and serrano peppers). This stunning sauce enhances everything from the homemade bread to the accompanying slices of fresh, juicy tomatoes.

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Dad - September 29th, 2009 at 2:24 PM

Hi Andy !

I sent a comment last week on this damn laptop, and then it vanished before I could send it. Very proud of your being chosen to write some outside stuff. The A. Ststmn review was great, too. Good work,Son !!!
Love, Dad

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