I can't help but compare the two states in which I've lived. Obviously Texas has Georgia beat on important matters like Mexican food and state pride. But the other day at one of these said Mexican restaurants, I had this conversation with my waiter:
Me: Could I have sweet tea, please?
Waiter: We only have unsweet tea. But we have Splenda and sugar you can add to it.
Me: Ugh, I miss Georgia!
Waiter: Did you say Georgia? That's where I'm from! I hate how there's no sweet tea in Texas too!
Finally, someone who understood. We went on to discuss the virtues of offering both sweet and unsweet to patrons.
See, this happens everywhere I go in Texas. Rarely does a restaurant offer sweet tea. I think this is their reasoning:
"Should we have sweet and unsweet?"
"Nah, let's just make one batch and let the people who like sweet just make their own. Who are we to know how much sugar they want in their tea?"
Now that makes sense. I can understand how this type of conversation could transpire and end in a MYOST (Make Your Own Sweet Tea) situation. But let me tell you why that is NOT ok:
Have you ever tried to sweeten your own tea? Okay, you probably have. But have you ever sweetened it to the point of good tasting sweet tea? Georgia sweet tea? Probably not.
Because when I try to sweeten my own tea, there is no amount of sugar, Splenda, Equal or the pink stuff that equals good sweet tea. If I were to put the right amount in my tea then I would be so horrified I couldn't drink it. Why do Texas restaurants put us in that position?
In Georgia, at serve-yourself restaurants they have two tea dispensers in the beverage center and they are both labeled "Sweet Tea." That makes me giggle but I don't mind because I heart sweet tea and think the other stuff just tastes like brown water. In Texas, they have the same two dispensers, both labeled "Unsweet Tea." Now that just ain't right.
I explained my theory to the waiter at the Mexican restaurant and he said that's what his dad says too--that people don't want to sweeten it themselves for fear they will know how much is actually in there.
So clearly I'm not alone here.
Texas, you have the best queso, the best rodeos, the best ice cream, the best college, the best trucks (if you're into that sort of thing), the best state fair, the best lack of a state income tax. But when it comes to sweet tea I give you a ZERO.
Thank goodness I still have Chick Fil-a, a Georgia based establishment, when I need a sweet tea fix.