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Currents

Everything Under the Sun

Some of the stuff we looked into while you were reading last month’s issue

We can tell you where to go for the best burger. We can tell you what to do to help ease the threat of an electrical shortage this summer. And we can tell you why music fans were suddenly love struck 30 years ago.

Hungry for Maybe the Best Burger Ever?

I suggest Jacoby’s Cafe in Melvin, just off Highway 87 in far western McCulloch County. Melvin, population 178, is a jaunt off the beaten path, but this 11-year-old, family-owned restaurant is as vibrant as any urban mecca.

One busy Friday, I ordered the Keltz Burger, a grilled, seemingly caramelized half-pound patty stuffed with a combination of onions, jalapeños and cheddar that seeped flavor into the tender meat. Stuffed on-site, the burger is served on a glistening grilled bun with all the fixin’s—crispy lettuce, tomatoes, onions and pickles that crunch. On the side, get the sweet-tangy onion rings, battered in a peppery coating and deep-fried a golden brown.

The Jacobys serve the family’s fresh Jacoby Brand, all-natural, USDA-inspected beef from cattle grazed nearby. They’re fed Jacoby’s Feed and Seed—another family venture since 1981—raised without hormones and aged at least 21 days before being hand cut. One taste and I knew I’d eat the whole delectable burger. And I did, except for one tiny bite (to be ladylike). From the deep freeze at checkout, I also bought some frozen Jacoby Brand beef, which can be ordered and shipped.

This winter, the family plans to open a second Jacoby’s Cafe in East Austin.

For info: 1-800-329-2080, jacobyfeed.com

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Suzanne Haberman | Staff Writer

Hot as a Griddle

Predictions of heat and drought combined with high electricity demand and limited generation resources could mean a shortage of electricity for Texans this summer, warns the Electric Reliability Council of Texas.

The forecast might seem daunting, but with a little cooperation from everyone to conserve, Texans can ensure that the lights—and the air conditioner—stay on.

Texans in the ERCOT region could require 68,383 megawatts during a period of peak demand this summer, predicts the grid operator for 85 percent of the state’s load. The predicted demand is higher than the all-time record of 68,305 MW set in August 2011. The forecast creeps close to the region’s expected summer generation capacity of 74,438 MW. If power plants unexpectedly go offline, there might not be enough electricity to go around.

One of the simplest steps Texans can take to reduce the risk of an outage this summer is to set the thermostat just 2 degrees warmer. For more ideas on how to conserve electricity this summer and throughout the year, visit energy.gov.

The Flood and the Reign

Music fans might find it hard to believe, but June 13 marks 30 years since Stevie Ray Vaughan’s debut album “Texas Flood” was released. The album received critical acclaim, garnering two Grammy nominations. Vaughan’s energized bluesy guitar playing—described as gritty and raw—earned him Best Electric Blues Guitarist in the Guitar Player’s Readers Poll in 1983.

Vaughan was born October 3, 1954, in Dallas. He died tragically on August 27, 1990. After a concert in East Troy, Wisconsin, that included a guitar jam with Eric Clapton, brother Jimmie Vaughan, Buddy Guy and Robert Cray, he boarded a helicopter to fly to Chicago. Minutes after takeoff the helicopter smashed into a cloud-shrouded hill, killing Vaughan, the pilot and three members of Clapton’s entourage. By then, according to The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll (Simon & Schuster, 2001), Vaughan was firmly established as the era’s premier blues-rock performer.