Bush’s Chicken will mark National Iced Tea Day on Monday by offering free servings from 2 to 5 p.m. at the chain’s baker’s dozen Waco-area locations, including those in Bellmead, West and McGregor, spokesperson Randy Robertson said.

Those stores combine to sell 3,600 to 4,000 gallons of tea on a typical day, and tea makes up 75% of their drink orders, Robertson said. The chain started in 1992 with a single location on Hewitt Drive and now has 87 corporate and franchised locations. All are in Texas, except a loner in Arizona.

Iced tea burst onto the scene in 1904, when stiflingly hot weather accompanied the World’s Fair in St. Louis, according to nationalday.com. Richard Blechynden, a tea plantation owner, saw an opportunity to offer a refreshing alternative to hot tea, and its success there has continued to spread and evolve, according to the website.

A question posed on Facebook about favorite restaurant teas registered a single vote for Taco Casa, Case Ole, Taco Bell, Dairy Queen unsweet, Schmaltz’s, Rosa’s Fuze peach, McDonald’s unsweet and Katie’s Frozen Custard. Two votes apiece went to McAlister’s, McDonald’s sweet, Chick-fil-A and Abuelita’s. Bush’s Chicken received four votes.

Here’s what a few reporters and editors at the Tribune-Herald said:

  • Waco Today magazine editor Ken Sury: “I’m always good for a Bush’s Chicken sweet tea, though sometimes I have to just go half-sweet because it’s even too much for me.” He also said Olive Garden’s peach tea is good.
  • Managing Editor J.B. Smith: “McAlister’s comes to mind. Not a fan of syrupy Bush’s sweet tea. I’m unsweet by nature.”
  • Education reporter Brooke Crum made three selections: Restaurant, Jason’s Deli; Fast Food, Chicken Express; Coffee Shop, Starbucks Passion Fruit Tea.
  • Computer guru Parker Lockhart likes cinnamon orange tea from Don’s Humidor.
  • Courthouse reporter Tommy Witherspoon said if he cannot buy it at Whataburger, he is not interested. That includes tea.
  • Entertainment editor Carl Hoover: “Afraid I’m a bit of a purist/tea snob. At home, I brew loose-leaf China black teas … with the occasional Russian Caravan blend, chai or jasmine tea for a cup of hot tea. Big fan of sun-brewed tea (Lipton’s). Most restaurant/fast-food iced tea isn’t strong enough (not to mention most aren’t brewed but use concentrates); Schlotzsky’s comes closest.”
  • Editor Steve Boggs, chatty as always: “Sorry, I don’t drink much tea.”
  • Waco City Hall and higher education reporter Rhiannon Saegert: “Dichotomy has good loose-leaf tea, if that’s what you’re after. I’m a big fan of their Earl Grey. Not to be picky, but tea can burn fast if you brew it at the wrong temperature, and burnt tea tastes so bitter it’s pretty much undrinkable.”
  • Police reporter Kristin Hoppa and opinion page editor Bill Whitaker shared the view that Red Lobster’s Boston Iced Tea is appealing. But Bill acknowledged he is no tea connoisseur. Any tea served sans rusty nail hits the spot. He explained that a tall glass of refreshment once served up by a seafood shack in Port Aransas contained such a prize. He also mentioned a haunt in Abilene “that revealed the perils of reusing one tea bag over several days.”

Clifton Pizza Inn

The city of Clifton in Bosque County has a new Pizza Inn Express. It opened May 30 at the Rangers Convenience Store at 710 N. Highway 6, known as Avenue G in town.

It is the third location for franchisee Donald Haile, whose family-owned Rangers Convenience Stores Inc. started in 1973, according to a press release.

“After having success with our other two locations, I’m thrilled to bring America’s Hometown Pizza Place to the Clifton community and give them a taste of the best pizza around,” Haile wrote.

The new Pizza Inn Express is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily.

Gas prices down

At a time of year when gasoline prices typically are rising, they continue to fall.

The statewide average for regular unleaded hit $2.45 a gallon during the week ending Thursday, a 6-cent drop from the previous week and 31 cents below the norm in Texas a year ago, according to a AAA Texas press release.

Locally, the average fell 4 cents to $2.43, according to AAA.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil has been at about $65 per barrel much of the year and recently dropped as low as $51 per barrel, according to the press release. Last summer, it was at between $65 and $73 per barrel.

“For domestic gasoline demand, summer 2019 has been forecast to reach some of the highest levels on record in the U.S.,” the press release states. “Meanwhile, domestic gasoline stocks are at their lowest level going into June since 2016. If demand rises while gasoline stocks remain low, pump prices could see modest increases, especially if supply is tight in local markets. On the other hand, gas demand could fall, as we’ve seen in recent weeks due to inclement weather from the Rockies to the Midwest and South.”

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