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13 Inch Lunch: 1942

January 1942. "Roadside stand -- U.S. Highway 80, Texas, between Dallas and Fort Worth." Acetate negative by Arthur Rothstein for the Office of War Information. View full size.

January 1942. "Roadside stand -- U.S. Highway 80, Texas, between Dallas and Fort Worth." Acetate negative by Arthur Rothstein for the Office of War Information. View full size.


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Castlemaine XXXX

There is a dinkum Australian beer from Queensland called Castlemaine XXXX. I met a True Blue Aussie from Brisbane visiting Vancouver several years ago and asked him if he liked Castlemaine XXXX. His response: "Struth, you can start your car with that stuff."

Math on an empty stomach

A dime for a foot-long plus, two bits for lunch. What do I get for the extra fifteen cents? A Pearl and a slice of pie, maybe.

By the way, I have heard that there are people who actually put meatloaf sauce (ketchup) on tube steaks. Disgraceful!

Barefoot on Highway 80

During World War II while my dad was overseas in the Army Air Corps, we lived on a farm just south of Highway 80 that ran alongside the Interurban tracks and a main railroad line that carried train car after train car loaded with tanks, trucks and all manner of military equipment painted olive green headed to ports in Houston to be transported to our troops in Europe. I had to cross Highway 80 to get to school. Nearly all the boys went to school barefooted. My school pictures of that time show the boys barefoot and the girls with shoes on.

They Only Come Out At Night

Hamburgers and beer.

Pearl Beer

Pearl has a long and somewhat checkered history in Texas. It was brewed in San Antonio for decades. It was a decent (for the time) and cheap brew when I was a college drinker in the early '70s. The brand has been punted back and forth between parent companies for years and most recently revived again by Pabst. They do absolutely no promotion of it so it seems to sell as a curiosity to those who remember it's its glory days.

The old brewery site was turned into an extension of San Antonio's RiverWalk and the old brewery buildings were modernized and are now used for all sorts of retail establishments and office spaces. It's worth visiting if you're in the city.

Thanks for the edit, Dave. Re-reading is fun-dimental...and sometimes forgotten.

xXx xXx

The triple XXX was meant to denote the strength (and purity) of the alcohol content. Although not really applicable to beer. The use of the triple XXX was made popular by moonshiners and was a sign that their shine had been through the distillation process three times.

Pearl beer wasn't actually half-bad. Pearl is still brewed in Texas but the company is now owned by Pabst (another Texas based company).

xXx origins

From Wikipedia:

"The triple-X logo has long been associated with Pearl. In fact, it was used at the brewery even before Pearl beer became synonymous with the company. When the San Antonio Brewing Association bought the City Brewery and opened it for business in the 1880s, they used the triple Xs in the brewery's logo."

"Many people wonder where the Xs came from, and how were they ever used on beer. In truth, the three Xs are actually a quality rating system. The system was initially used in Europe during the 16th Century. As European royalty traveled their lands and visited neighboring counties, a royal courier was sent ahead of the official party. The courier's job was to sample beer at inns along the way. If the beer was only average, the courier would mark the inn's sign or door with a single X. If the inn's beer was deemed good, the sign or door would receive two Xs. A mark on an inn of three Xs meant that the beer inside was excellent, and a must-stop for the royal court as they passed through."

Pearl Beer has a long and interesting history and is still produced today in Ft. Worth, TX. The name has its origins in Germany.

A onetime favorite beer.

During my five-month career as an enlisted man at Fort Hood in 1964, I drank more than my share of Pearl Beer. It was my first choice among the brands being sold at the PX. Then I shipped to Europe and my whole perspective changed.

I like to tell people my mission in the Army, with a little help from some buddies, was to deplete the supply of beer in southwest Germany. Somehow we came up a bit short.

If it wasn't misspent, it wasn't a youth

Fulltimer, your memory is very good. I looked at the link you provided, and the Sivils Drive-in was where you remember. Your references are correct as far as I can tell. I also need to change my earlier comment about Interstate 30 replacing U. S. 80 because now I see that from Loop 12 in Dallas to Interstate 35W in Fort Worth, State Highway 180 follows the old routing of U.S. Route 80.

Makeshift Neon

This establishment would have stood out at night, since neon tubing is in evidence. At the peak of the roof is the word BEER, and below it HAMBURGERS. The perimeter of the roof and the eaves are outlined in neon, and the hanging sign also has tubing on it. The transformer for the building neon appears to be behind the centre Royal Crown sign, since that is where the tubing ends. I'm not sure if the "extension cord" hanging out the window is the source of power for all this or not.

Safety First

Yup, safety first when smoking ... call for Philip Morris! That has to be the best sign.

(xXx) (xXx)

Gotta love, and wonder about, the (xXx) (xXx) on the front of the Pearl Beer truck.

Brings Back Memories

But memory is a fleeting thing at my age.

If I remember correctly Sivils Drive In where I misspent a lot of my youth was where Commerce or Fort Worth Ave merged with Davis or Highway 80. If one continued down Davis it crossed Loop 12 and continued into Grand Prairie and passed Yello Belly Drag strip. After that it became Main Street until outside Grand Prairie it was called Highway 80 again.

I think this photo was taken on the west side of Grand Prairie before the city limits of Arlington on the way to Fort Worth.

Pearl Beer? Really?

Just the name says "tastes bad" to me. Marketing genius comes in all grades.

All kinds of sandwiches!

I see on the list they have the Ruby and further down I see they have the Carousel Club! Wow, they do have a variety!

No trace of any of this now

There is about 30 miles separating downtowns Fort Worth and Dallas. This could have been pretty much anywhere along the way. Interstate 30 replaced the part U.S. Highway 80 headed west out of Dallas. Texas Highway 180 follows what was U. S. Highway 80 west of Loop 12. Either way, it's nearly nonstop development between Dallas and Fort Worth now.

I remember, in my youth, people commenting that the best thing about Pearl Beer, brewed in San Antonio, was it was cheap.

A 13 inch hot dog sounds really ... filling, especially with a bun and toppings. Reminds me that September 30th the month-long annual State Fair of Texas opens and every year there is a new, deep-fried offering. This year it's a doh-muff. It's not the strangest, nor the least heathy deep-fried thing they've come up with.

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