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 Bayou City Social Club is a newsletter from Mark Fontenot, with the help of his wife Caroline, celebrating all things Houston. 


I was just at the right place at the right time. I was an intern with the team in 2000 in the tour department. The tour manager at the time, Michael Kenny, drove the train in 2000 - our first season in Minute Maid Park. He took a promotion with the team and they needed someone else to drive it. I was picked just before Opening Day 2001 and have been up there ever since. 
In 2004 we were tossing out skit ideas. The movie Napoleon Dynamite was popular around that time and has an amazing dance sequence at the end. We thought it would be funny to have me mimic the dance while it played on the big screen. We had no clue that the fans would love it. We brought it back and ended up calling the skit "Bobby Dynamite" and the name stuck with me. I thought it was pretty cool because I didn't have a name before then. 

There are so many that stick out, so it's tough to pick just one. That's like asking to pick your favorite child, so I'll go with Top 3: 
  • Alex Bregman's walk-off hit in Game 5 of the 2017 World Series, scoring Derek Fisher. 
  • Jeff Kent's walk off home run in Game 5 of the 2004 NLCS against St. Louis. 
  • Daryle Ward's Opening Day grand slam against Milwaukee in 2001. That was my first home run to drive the train. 
Growing up a pro wrestling fan, walk up songs are one of my favorite aspects of today’s baseball game. Like a pro wrestler, I’d want a song that as soon as the first note hits, the whole crowd knows who’s coming up. The song would also have to get my blood pumping as I walked up to the plate. That said, I’d go with Motorhead’s “The Game,” which is used by WWE superstar Triple H.

I truly love everything. I’ve lived in the ‘burbs and in the heart of the city and this city is amazing. There is so much opportunity to succeed, be entertained, raise a family or anything else you want to do. As we saw in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, we have no problem helping our neighbors. We’re a city that reaches to help pick each other up when we’re down. I think that says a lot about who we are as citizens and the love that we have for our city.

Follow Bobby on Twitter

In my opinion, many of the best restaurants in Houston don't have an atmosphere to match. Emmaline does not fit that mold. The food is excellent and the decor makes you want to stay for hours. The nods to European influences (both in the menu and decor) make it a nicer option for happy hour drinks and swanky enough for a celebratory dinner.

We recommend the Seared Fresh Sea Scallops with mushroom, delicata squash, purslane, crispy forbidden rice AND the 
Fire-Roasted Lobster and Squid Ink Tagliarini with pancetta, charred broccoli florets, lemon chili breadcrumbs. And don't skip dessert. 
Switching things up a bit, I (Caroline - because Mark doesn't drink coffee) am taking over and claiming Throughgood Coffee as my current favorite coffee shop in the city. Tucked away on 27th in between Shepherd and Durham, it manages to be hipster enough with a killer pour-over station, espresso old-fashioneds, and music on vinyl, while not being pretentious. Soul Taco, the truck outside, serves simple, delicious, breakfast tacos. There seems to always be an available table which is another huge perk. Oh, and it was opened by Beyoncé's pastor Rudy Rasmus with a commitment to "change lives through good coffee." A portion of the proceeds from every cup goes to Rasmus' charity for Houston's homeless, Temenos Community Development Corporation.

Pro Tip: Buy a biscuit from the pastry chef inside and ask Soul Taco to make it a breakfast sandwich instead. 
In case you missed it, THE MLB BASEBALL SEASON STARTS TODAY!!!! If you're an Astros fan, and I hope you are, you have reason to be excited for the 2018 season. Most teams cannot repeat their success after winning a World Series but the Astros have positioned themselves to be even better as their roster has either remained the same or improved at virtually every position. Here is what you need to know:
  • The starting pitching staff that finished 2017 was already one of the best in the league. The Astros got better by adding Gerrit Cole, the former Pittsburg Pirate ace, giving the staff another top-tier arm but also increasing our bullpen flexibility by moving Brad Peacock to the 'pen.
  • There were a few weak links in the bullpen last season (as seen in the playoffs). The Astros added two proven bullpen arms in Hector Rondon from the Cubs and Joe Smith from the Indians.
  • Last but certainly not least, the Astros provide some of the best hot dogs in the game thanks to Nolan Ryan Beef! Dollar Dog Nights have been moved to Tuesdays this season. Important to remember.
Notable names no longer with the team: Carlos Beltran, Joe Musgrove, Luke Gregerson, Francisco Liriano, Mike Fiers, Cameron Maybin.

Bobby Dynamite photograph from

Custom Orbit artwork by Lindsay Gilmore

Know someone else who may want to join the club? Forward this their way!

Cell: 713.828.6135
Office: 713.622.9339

Copyright © 2018 Mark Fontenot, All rights reserved.

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