Let it not be thought that all I got out of Marfa was a brass room key purporting to be Elizabeth Taylor’s at the Hotel Paisano during the shooting of “Giant.” No. I had a kick-ass meal at Cochineal tonight. Descriptions of food are boring. Suffice it to say the romaine-bibb-pecan-lardon-pickeled shallot salad, one succulent roasted quail with ligonberry sauce on sweet potato puree, and — as an afterthought — 4 perfectly cooked salted shrimp on a spicy romesco sauce knocked my socks off. While I was gnawing on the shrimp, I noticed a poor sap in the kitchen whip something into a frenzy for nearly 10 mins. What is that guy doing? I asked my server. The whipped cream. Ok, I’ll have the powder milk biscuit and berries with whipped cream. I should mention that the quartino of temperanillo I had with the previous dishes was smooth and rich as deep red silk. From what planet did this restaurant come? Why the hell is it here?
Otherwise, the road between El Paso and Marfa was lovelier than I expected — until I passed the Prada “store.” Right. I get it. The ubiquity of commodity fetishism. Took me two seconds to justify it marring the view. Back in the car. On to Marfa.
The little city has no gloss, in spite of the art galleries that outnumber every other kind of store. It’s still pretty unrefined. Nothing like Santa Fe, thank god. Turns out, I will be here only one night, instead of two. Never come to Marfa between Sunday and Tuesday. Everything is shut. I’d like to come back and feel what the town is like when there is human life visible on its streets. So, I am making the 7 hour schlep to Austin tomorrow, where for two whole days I will either hoof it or take public transportation.