Lubbock, “Hub of the Plains” & Leader of the Mains.
By Ana de Cozar × Vaughn Lowery
Located in Northwest Texas, Lubbock earned the name “Hub of the Plains” in 1909. It’s appellation was followed by Lubbock County’s expansive business markets, which resulted in its numerous appearances in national survey rankings. Among them, we find Lubbock as the 24th Best City for Small Business in the U.S. in 2017 by ValuePenguin, No.7 on Forbes’ List of 19 Opportunity Cities in 2014, the 15th Best City to Start a Business in 2016 according to WalletHub and the 6th Best City for 20-Somethings in the U.S. in 2016 by Move.org.
But as we say in the title, not everything is about business in Lubbock. 360 Magazine had the pleasure to visit the Texan city of opportunities, and had a taste of its terrific culinary range.
Our team stayed in the West Texas’s only AAA Four-Diamond hotel, the Overton Hotel & Conference Center. The Overton is located in the heart of the “Hub City”— just steps from Texas Tech University. As Lubbock’s largest hotel conference center, The Overton Hotel & Conference Center is the ideal destination for corporate business events, weddings, Texas Tech visitors and visitors to Lubbock, Texas. At the Overton, we had a reception of grilled veggie display for those green lovers and a fiddlehead fern. But we can highlight their dessert selection, the strawberry cheesecake mousse shooters combined with a bavarian cream with fruit truffle mousse shooters is all you need to satisfy your sweet palate.
Another delicious option for a lunch in Lubbock was Evie Mae’s Pit BBQ. Quickly becoming a local favorite, Evie Mae’s was recently featured on the cover of Texas Monthly as one of the Top 25 New and Improved BBQ Joints in Texas. Here, you’ll discover melt-in-your-mouth brisket, green chile sausage, homemade sides and an assortment of gluten-free desserts. Arnis Robbins nicely greeted us while we tasted the brisket and an outstanding gluten free cornbread with sausage. For dessert, we had ice cream on a gluten free brownies.
Another option is the La Diosa Cellars. Hidden in the heart of downtown Lubbock, La Diosa Cellars offers an exceptional wine menu along with Spanish-inspired tapas and live music. In this Lubbock must-see you can try an escargot accompained by 3 different hummus: pesto/basil, cranberry/beets and garlic lemon.
Moving up to dining our first selection is the West Table Kitchen and Bar. This upscale restaurant and full bar offers a unique style of food and beverage to its patrons. Be sure to check out their website for their seasonally evolving menu. Here, 360 Magazine met Cameron West, who provided us with an amazing Caesar salad with anchovies, short ribs and bread pudding. Cagle Steaks, a pure Texan family-owned steakhouse serves specialty steaks, barbecue, smoked salmon, grilled chicken, fajitas and more in a Southwestern, casual atmosphere.
On the other hand The Crafthouse Gastropub is the dining restaurant you can’t miss. Be sure to try the Texas Burger, named in Texas Monthly’s 2016 list of the Top 50 Burgers in Texas. You’ll also find a wide variety of dishes and a Sunday brunch menu that’s both sweet and savory. We tried lamb chili and baked cheddar with swiss, roasted red peppers, green onion and mayo, and also steak frites.
After a big meal, 360 Magazine picked up the best dessert options at Lubbock. If you ever dreamed about building your own dessert, Pie Bar Drop is your perfect hot spot. We created an Oreo pie filled with crushed vanilla wafer with pecan, a pineapple coconut filled with crushed graham cracker, caramel drizzle and coconut savings on top. Yes, unreal but glorious for your palate. Yet we had our dessert, a good shot for those instagram bloggers while enjoying a coffee would be The Coffee Shop with its friendly decoration.
Keeping up with Lubbock’s succulent food array, we discovered marvelous breakfast selections at Arbor Hotel & Conference Center. A locally owned and operated hotel, is a true jewel to West Texas. The new hotel features a year-round outdoor hot tub, conversational fire pits, hotel bar and much more. The hotel offers 3,000 square feet of meeting space as well as a pre-function space. We enjoyed a Chuck Wagon Breakfast with National Cowboy Symposium, true made in Texas!
The advance of agriculture in Lubbock made it the marketing center that it is now, and in that process wine making had an important role. We selected our top winery, and it is clearly not an easy selection in this Texan county. Here there is a list of our top wine stations:
- At the Funky Door Bistro & Wine Room you can “wine and dine” like nowhere else. Known for its fondue and wine bar, this fine-dining restaurant showcases some of the most unique varietals of wines and pairings of food. We tried their salmon and sashimi ahi tuna.
- The Wine Nest is your place if you love music. Three vineyards, one family-owned winery and multiple award-winning wines, all located just on the outskirts of Lubbock. From aromatic Malbec to sweet Gewürztraminer, wine lovers with any palate will enjoy the selection we tasted at Trilogy Cellars. The Wine Nest is a premier boutique wine and gift store, perfect for shopping, sipping a glass of wine and listening to live music.
- Find award winning wines at Pheasant Ridge Winery. It proudly boasts the oldest vines in Texas. The bold flavor and character of their wines reflect the Cox family’s mastery of wine production. Pheasant Ridge received the first gold medal ever awarded to a Texas red wine for their Cabernet Sauvignon in the San Francisco Wine Competition in 1986.
- Tour and tasting at the Llano Estacado Winery. The simple mission of Llano Estacado, from its beginning in 1976, has been to embody the potential of Texas wine. Today, Llano Estacado is the largest, bestselling Premium Winery in Texas, producing wines of World Class Quality, and has been an ongoing pioneer in introducing not just Texans, but also the entire world to the great wines made in the Lone Star State.
- Tour and tasting at McPherson Cellars. Our new friends The McPherson family has been a part of Texas winemaking for over 40 years. Owner and Winemaker Kim McPherson greeted us and showed how he has beautifully restored the historic Coca-Cola Bottling Plant, located in Lubbock’s Depot Entertainment District, into a world-class winery. We tasted their Texas wines that have won over 600 medals in state, national, and international wine competitions. They also sell cute wine merchandising, such as the famous T-Shirts with messages like “My doctor says I need glasses” or “This wine is making me awesome”.
360 crew surely adores food and wine, but Lubbock had much more to offer. During our visit to the northwest city of Texas, we discovered enough from our country at the following attractions:
- National Ranching Heritage Center-Dedicated to preserving and interpreting the history of ranching, it is a museum with seven exhibit galleries and a 19-acre historical park. Authentic, restored ranching structures dating from 1780 to 1950, tell the story of how early ranchers and their families adapted to a harsh environment. Annual events include Candlelight at the Ranch, an event hosted in December to recreate a frontier Christmas, and Ranch Day, an April event designed to make history come alive with cowboys, chuck wagons and horses. We were surprised by some goodies like the Smith and Wesson model revolver or the Native American real Comanche Feather Headdress.
- Lubbock Lake Landmark– Smithsonian Magazine named Lubbock Lake Landmark one of the top five destinations to see evidence of first Americans. In fact, signs of human life from 12,000 years ago have been uncovered at the Lubbock Lake Landmark, the oldest continuously inhabited site in the country. This internationally recognized archaeological and national history preserve provides a perfect family outing and regularly hosts Night Hikes on a 3-mile scenic trail through the Yellow House Canyon.
Texas stands for its art in many aspects. They are well known for its modern art and the beautiful Marfa is an exceptional demonstration. Lubbock possesses art exhibitions as well;
- You can experience an interactive art space like no other at Lubbock’s Tornado Gallery. Tour the gallery that showcases Tony Greer’s Plasma sculptures featuring Xenon tube pieces and other neon objects. Learn more about the process of creating these masterpieces and the art of glassblowing. We loved those @unityinglass pieces.
- Roberto Bruno was the best architecture artist in Lubbock and his house remains as a must-see. He moved to Lubbock in 1971 to teach art at Texas Tech University’s school of architecture. He started working on The Steel House in 1973, two years after sculpting a similar piece of art, which inspired him to build something bigger to live in. This three story, 2,200-square-foot house overlooks Ransom Canyon, and remained uncompleted before his death in 2008. The city also counts with several murals and a photographer alley, where the creativity spreads around the streets.
A city is not a city without its nightlife. 360 Magazine especially enjoyed performances of Charlie’s Tout and Jaime Wyatt at The Bluelight Live. Other music selection we had was at Lubbock Moonlight Musicals. It inspires audiences throughout the summer with fun and exciting musicals at their outdoor amphitheater located in Mackenzie Park. Making use of local talent, as well as bringing in various Broadway professionals, Lubbock Moonlight Musicals is able to produce shows that thrill all audiences, from sophisticated theatergoers to first-timers. We saw a fascinating performance of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain.
With a flourishing restaurant and bar scene, not to mention the unprecedented rise of craft beer and creative cocktails as of late, there’s truly something for everyone in America’s finest city. You’ll also find championship golf courses, museums, and some other awesome restaurants as the Chimy’s , Giorgio’s Pizza and Torchy’s tacos within city limits.
Other honorable attractions include:
American Wind Power Center
Bayer Museum of Agriculture
Buddy Holly Center
Charles Adams Studio Art Project
Museum of Texas Tech
National Cowboy Symposium
Silent Wings Museum
Vietnam Center and Archive