That Armadillo Has a Long and Strange Tale to Tell
"It was the day before we were about to leave to come back home, and after much negotiating, she finally relented," Goode says. "She called us and said, 'You guys can have the armadillo, but I want to make sure it's going to a good home.'"
Photo by Kaitlin Steinberg Apparently there's a secret entrance in there somewhere...
The Goodes assured her it was (pun intended), and then they set about the difficult task of figuring out how to transport the giant armadillo. Initially, they thought they'd just hitch the trailer to the back of their rented suburban, but they discovered that was against the rental agreement.
"Then we went to Plan B," Goode says. "We found a guy who said he could haul it back down to Houston for us, but there were things we didn't think about, like fitting under overpasses and what kind of route are we going and how we had to get wide-load permits for every state between Wyoming and Texas. All these logistical things we didn't think about. We weren't sure it was going to make it in one piece, but about two weeks later, this guy shows up with an armadillo on a flatbed trailer."
Now, with the imposing gray creature perched out front, the family had a name for the restaurant: Armadillo Palace. They brought in structural engineers to secure the armadillo to the ground and gave it a shiny new armor of mosaic mirror pieces. They also rigged it so the eyes would glow red and it would blow smoke out of its nostrils.
"This is the secret of the armadillo, though," Goode says, leaning in closer as he's telling the story. "The woman who owned it bought it from a guy who was a DJ up in the panhandle. He used to do weddings and stuff out of this armadillo. That was his schtick. The front of it used to swing open, and it's got lime green shag carpet and a couple of turn tables still in there. There's a secret entrance to it, too."
Few other than the Goodes have ever seen the bowels of the much sought-after armadillo, but anyone who drives past that block of Kirby drive can't miss it. It will likely be sparkling in the sun, beckoning diners inside for some venison chili or chicken fried steak.