We passed the Colossus of Texas, David Adickes’ 70-foot-tall statue of Sam Houston, which appears to stand astride I-45 frowning at Dallas-bound drivers, just ahead of lunchtime on Saturday. Fortunately, Old Sam Jacinto also signals that hungry travelers aren’t far from Woody’s Smokehouse in Centerville. In addition to a deli case that justifies the title “Jerky Capital of the World,” Woody’s fills in the numerous modern pickled-goods gaps. We loaded up with Candied Jalapeños (sweet and spicy; consider serving them over Pure Luck’s Texas goat chèvre), tender Pickled Beets, and Smoked Jalapeños, which, like Boggy Creek Farm’s Smoke-dried Tomatoes (boggycreekfarm.com), will change your culinary life.
I never miss the opportunity to sample a pickled egg, either, and Woody’s tempted me with a few varieties — none as intriguing as the Michelada Eggs. I can’t quite make out the Michelada connection — except a reddish tint to the pickling juice, which contains two of my favorite ingredients: anchovies and tamarind extract — but the result is a supremely tangy egg with a little bite. Not for the faint of palate, but I bet they’d make a mean Creole-style egg salad. Order a basket for the holidays at woodys-smokehouse.com.