Rita’s Water Ice Blues

Has anyone ever heard of a Texas hot? When I heard the radio DJ start talking about them I was clueless. I chalked it up to being new to the state. But as it turns out… A Texas hot is a hot dog served with chili… That originated in Patterson NJ. None of the Texas born and bred DJs had any clue what they were. Maybe the Jersey folk assumed that all Texans ate was hot dogs? This got me to thinking about other regional foods. I will always consider myself an east coast girl at heart since I lived most of my life in Pennsylvania. Some of the regional foods I am missing in Texas:

1. Wawa hoagies (not subs!)

Wawa is a convenience store similar to 7-11. They are quite common in eastern PA, NJ, MD, and DE. Their hoagies have a somewhat cult following. Now you order them through a touch screen. You can pick exactly what meats, cheeses, and toppings you want… and in what quantity! Apparently they recently added whole wheat buns. My favorite is a 6 in hoagie with turkey, lettuce, tomato, banana peppers, pickles, honey mustard and “little bit of mayo.” In the summer, a different hoagie is featured each month in Hoagiefest!


 2. Bagel breakfast sandwiches

Chewy toasted bagel, warm drippy egg, gooey melted cheese, and a slice of tomato. This was my favorite college breakfast.


I have yet to find a good bagel in Texas…and no kolaches don’t count. Kolaches are basically a hot dog or sausage wrapped in dough. Kind of like a big pig in a blanket?

3. Deep dish pizza

I know… this type of pizza originated in Chicago… somewhere I have never been. But my favorite neighborhood pizza place served the best sausage deep dish pizza.


4. Pretzels

What can I say bagels, pizza, pretzels… I like my carbs. The best pretzels… huge soft philly pretzels served from a street vendor. Light on the salt but heavy on the mustard.


And yes… the pretzel should be as big as your head.

Now the one I miss the most…

5. Rita’s water ice

Rita’s water ice is probably my favorite summer treat. According to their website:

Rita’s signature product is our Italian Ice, which is much smoother than a snow cone and combines ice with real fresh fruit; made fresh daily at each location and served within 36-hours of mixing.  

My favorite treat is called the Gelati. It’s like a water ice and soft serve parfait!


There are so many incredible flavors its hard to pick a favorite. If I had to decide I’d probably go with mango. In the fall, they have a pumpkin pie cream ice! If anyone wants to mail me a tub, I can stop singing the Rita’s water ice blues.

Without a nearby Rita’s (one just opened an hour away!!), I settled for Mexican coconut ice cream for dessert.


Time for bed so I can get up and clean watch my DVR episode of Glee.

Question: What is your favorite “local” food?

3 responses to “Rita’s Water Ice Blues”

  1. Julie H. of Spinach and Sprinkles says :

    I am a Kansas girl, but did move to the east coast for 6 months to live and teacher…. I had food with drawls when I moved away from New York! I missed all the bagels, pizza, and pretzels! HOLY COW did I miss them!!! I’m not a huge fan otherwise but there is something over there!!! Oh and Rita’s!!!!!! Geeze I miss Rita’s too! So AMAZING!!!!

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