Archive for the ‘Restaurants and Eating’ Category

Peter’s Family Restaurant, Largo, FL

9 September 2016

Peters Family Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I had breakfast at Peter’s Wednesday morning. I got there about 0730 and it was pretty much empty. It’s another in the plethora of family restaurants in the area.

I had a country skillet. Now, I like skillet meals as they are usually just a mess of flavors, and that’s a Good Thing. 🙂 This one was advertised as having green peppers, but I asked for them to be not there, and they weren’t. The rest of the meal was some home fries, ham, onion, sausage, and cheese, with a couple eggs (over easy). Two things that were kind of odd, the cheese was a couple slices of American laid on top of the mound of other stuff, right under the eggs, and the sausage was basically links that had been cut up. I’m a bit particular, but I like my sausage as ground up and cooked in with the meal, and I prefer shredded cheese. Beyond my whining about that, it was a pretty good skillet. As is my custom, I cut up the eggies so that the yolks ran down into the mess of food. It was very good.

The meal came with some wheat toast, that hosted some grape jelly. I had some decent iced tea to drink. Service was very friendly. The place was uncrowded (more like mostly empty), so I had time to digest the USA Today while I ate. My check was $9.31. I would happily go back.

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Kristina’s Cafe, St. Petersburg, FL

8 September 2016

Kristina's Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I’ve mentioned before that the Tampa area is filled with small family restaurants that resemble east coast diners in that they have a huge menu. I visited three of them on this trip, the first one being Kristina’s.

I had the pot roast. It wasn’t what I expected. It was presented as a slab of roast beast, lying on a bed of egg noodles, and with a red sauce with carrots and onions spooned over it. Although it’s not what I expected, it was pretty good.

I had a small bowl of rice pudding for dessert.

Service was very fast and friendly, and the iced tea was good. My check was $10.49. I’d have no problem going back.

Red Mesa Cantina, St. Petersburg, FL

8 September 2016

Red Mesa Cantina Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Continuing my current business trip, I had dinner with a group of work friends at Red Mesa. There were 11 of us, and I figured that it would be hours, but I have to say up front that the server was outstanding. I never ran out of iced tea, and stuff got to the table in good time.

That being said, this is not a true Mexican place. It’s more Tex-Mex and stuffy. Regardless, it was good.

I got the table a couple bowls each of refried beans and queso con carne to dip our chips in. The beans needed some salsa added, but the queso was great stuff.

I had a beef burrito, it was filled with shredded barbacoa, cheese, and the like. I gutted it to eat it, and the filling was great stuff, just the right amount of heat, and wonderful flavor.

The iced tea was very good, and kept refilled in spite of the size of our group. Our server, as I mentioned, was very attentive, and we had our orders taken, food dispensed, and checks taken care of very efficiently, and he was a very friendly guy. My check was $47.20, but bear in mind that my meal was actually about $12; the rest of it was the appetizers, and a $6.80 forced gratuity (that I significantly sweeted, I will add, the guy busted his tail). I would go back again. The place was only a couple blocks from my hotel in downtown St. Pete.

Longhorn Steakhouse, Tampa, FL (Westshore)

8 September 2016

LongHorn Steakhouse Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

So I am in Florida this week on business, and I had a couple really good meals.

I’m starting with Longhorn. I can count on Longhorn for a decent steak when I don’t want to take a chance. It was even so here.

I had my standby ribeye. It came a perfect medium, and was very tender and flavorful. I had most of a baker with bacon, cheese, and butter. The soup was a bit of a disappointment. I always get the baked potato, but I received some chowder. The correct soup came right before the steak, and the flavor was off. Didn’t really matter, the steak made up for it.

Service was OK. The iced tea was GREAT as always. My check was $23.32. Reliable.

B’s Restaurant, Chandler, OK

8 September 2016

B's Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

As we headed out of OKC last Friday, we needed dinner, and Chandler was just up the road. B’s is in a hotel right off I-44, nice and close.

Erin had a cheeseburger that seemed to have decent flavor, but it was overcooked a bit and charred. Raegan had catfish, and while she enjoyed it, it was a huge amount of food that she couldn’t finish. I had a ribeye steak that was outstanding. That steak was about 3/4″ thick, perfectly cooked medium, and was darn near fork tender. It was seasoned a bit (they say right on the menu that they love to season), but the seasoning didn’t overwhelm the beef.

Sides were OK. The iced tea was very good, and service was OK overall. Our check was $58.29, that included the very good pecan pie that Raegan had to go, mostly right there in the place :).

Granny’s Kitchen, Huntsville, AR

8 September 2016

Grannys Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

This wasn’t the only restaurant in town (in fact, there are a couple others that look worth checking), but it’s good.

We cruised through Huntsville on the way to the Ozarks last Saturday on our NW Arkansas drive. There’s a creek right below the place that I really liked.

I had chicken fried steak. It wasn’t the best I’ve had, but it was FAR from the worst. I rated the CFS a 9 out of 10, mainly because a 10 is 100% fork tender and just bursting with flavor. There were a couple tougher places on this one. I had a cup of chili also, it was OK. The green beans and mashers with gravy were OK.

But… Raegan and Erin got pulled pork sandwiches. Oh my gosh, that was the best pulled port I’ve ever tasted. Fortunately, I got to eat about a third of Erins sammich. Wow, that stuff was tender and had amazing flavor. I liked the fries as well.

The iced tea was excellent, and the service was very friendly. Our check was $41.56. Good stuff.

Roma Italian Restaurant, Harrison, AR

8 September 2016

Hot dang, I’m at TPA early, and they have desks with power and good WiFi, so I’m going to play catch-up on some restaurant posts!

Roma Italian Ristorante & Pizzeria Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Raegan and Erin and I did some very relaxed driving through Northwest Arkansas last weekend, and we had a good dinner the second night in Harrison. The front desk person recommended Roma (not Roma’s), it was a good recommendation.

First of all, Roma is one of the Stealthy Chain Of Italian Restaurants That Is Not A Chain. The giveaway Spaghetti The Works was on the menu.

We got there about 1840 and the place was not even close to crowded.  I had Spaghetti the Works.  Aside from the fact that the marinara was a little more orange than I’ve experienced at the other places, it was perfect, a big pile of noodles and a ton of meat sauce, mushrooms, and a very good meatball.  Raegan had manicotti and Erin had chicken fettuccine al fredo.  All were outstanding.  We had the usual table bread, and some of that outstanding al fredo to dip the bread in, and it was just great.

Service was friendly and just right.  Our check was $50.30.  You probably can’t do better for Italian, or much better for anything else in Harrison.

El Sombrero Restaurant, Oklahoma City, OK (N. May)

31 August 2016

El Sombrero Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I noticed this restaurant a couple months ago but haven’t had a chance to try it until this past evening. There have been a number of these in the OKC area over the past couple years, in particular one in Midwest City that I liked a lot, but that location closed unexpectedly. I’ve also eaten in a location near Britton and May.

It was very good. Five of us from St. John’s had dinner there last evening. I noted two references on the menu to steak and shrimp guisado dishes. I’m not a huge fan of shrimp, so I asked if they had any non-shrimp guiso and she told me that the Guisado Dinner was beef and potatoes in a green sauce. Sounded pretty good, and it was! The beef was diced up, tender, and the potatoes and guiso mix was the perfect spice level for me. Just outstanding flavor. The meal came with beans and rice, and not a bit was left. Erin reported her enchilada dinner as very good, and Reagan had a chimi in lunch size that she said was OK.

The iced tea was very good and kept refilled. Service was fast and friendly. Our check for three was $35.17. I will happily return for another meal.

Papa Reno, Bellevue, NE

25 August 2016

Papa Reno's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

This restaurant is in the location once occupied by my beloved Mama Alvino’s. I will try very hard not to compare the two.

I had lunch here today with a work friend. We both had calzones. Mine was pepperoni and sausage. The calzone was not that large, and I thought that it was very light in the stuffing (read: there wasn’t much pepperoni or sausage). There was quite a lot of cheese. I would like to make a recommendation to the staff: you might not want to cut the calzone in half before serving, as it spills its cheese guts out; I think it should be plated and served uncut. The crust was pretty good, just the right amount of chewy and decent flavor. The marinara was OK, and each calzone comes with some on the side.

They don’t have real iced tea, but the Dr. Pepper wasn’t bad. Service was pretty fast. The food was OK. My check was $10.64. I will go back, and probably try the pizza next time.

La Mesa, Omaha, NE (Northwest)

25 August 2016

La Mesa Mexican Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tonight I met a work friend here for dinner, as it was roughly between our hotels. And like the rest of the La Mesa outlets, it was outstanding.

As usual, I had mixed chicken and beef fajitas with no bell peppers. Except it showed at the table with bell peppers, and got taken back and replaced very quickly. I dumped my beans, a lot of the excellent salsa, and lettuce on the meat, and squeezed the lemons from my iced tea over the resulting mess, then ate it! It was, simply, perfect. All cooked nice and tender, and with tremendous flavor.

The iced tea was wonderful, the conversation great. Service was perfect. Our check for two was $35.85.

Just a great meal. La Mesa is one of the best Mexican restaurants I have been to, anywhere.

Garden Cafe, Omaha, NE

24 August 2016

Garden Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

After I got my hair cut this evening, I did a Google search, and was surprised to see a listing for the Garden Cafe nearby.

There used to be about 10 of the Garden Cafe outlets around the Omaha and Council Bluffs area, and there was even at least one in Kansas City I really liked them, in particular their potato casserole dishes. Regrettably, over time more and more closed.

So I headed over there. It seemed to be the same as the chainlet I thought it to be. I ordered an Omaha Potato Casserole. When it got to the table there was at least a quarter of a chopped red onion, and some pickles. I did a little configuration change by getting rid of the onions and chopping up the pickles over the meal.

It was excellent. The amount of ground beef was prefect, the potatoes were cooked all the way through, there was copious cheese, it was great!

Service was fast and friendly. The iced tea was great. The meal came with a blueberry muffin (pretty decent) that I had as a snack an hour ago. My check was $13.35. Overall, a very good meal that I will be happy to repeat.

Texas Roadhouse, San Antonio, TX

21 August 2016

Texas Roadhouse Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

We had dinner here evening before last with Ian in the San Antonio Food Tour. 🙂

We had called ahead for seating, and when we got to the restaurant at 1730, it was packed, with a long waiting line. Fortunately, we only waited five minutes since we had called ahead.

Ian and I had steak, both of us had ribeyes. Both steaks were cooked perfectly to order (medium and medium rare), and were very good cuts. Mine had no spots that were not tender.

Raegan had a grilled shrimp dinner.

Nothing was left of any of these meals. Service was very good, we never ran out of iced tea. Our check was $60.56. Good food.

Red Robin, California, MD

9 August 2016

Red Robin Gourmet Burgers Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I haven’t been to a Red Robin in ages, having sworn them off for increasing cost while decreasing quality. However, in this case, when a small group needed to get lunch, but didn’t have time to drive, and the other option was Olive Garden, Red Robin was suddenly the answer.

I had a Whiskey River BBQ Burger, which wasn’t much in the way of BBQ. The burger was cooked well enough, and had decent beef flavor, but it just wasn’t that outstanding. The steak fries were OK.

Service was kind of slow, even though the place was largely empty from 1140-1245. My check was $15.35. The iced tea was pretty good. I will not be seeking out Red Robins, as I think that the cheeseburger was not worth $15, but if I was in the same situation where we needed to be near, I would still go.

The Lighthouse, Solomons Island, MD

9 August 2016

The Lighthouse Restaurant & Dock Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I had dinner here this evening with a group of work friends. It was pretty darn good.

The rest of the table had seafood of one form or another, including oysters, soups, and other stuff. I had a New York Strip, 14 oz and a perfect medium. The steak was very tender and had better than average flavor. I had a baked potato with cheese, butter, and lots of bacon, and applesauce. The baker was very good, but the applesauce had a not-entirely-pleasant sharp aftertaste. I ate all of it, regardless.

They have very good iced tea. Service was just right for allowing us to sit and talk, not rushed, and very friendly. My check was $41.35, which was not bad for a steak of that quality. The rest of the crew reported their food as excellent.

Miller’s Cafe and Bakery, Littleton, NH

6 August 2016

Miller's Cafe & Bakery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

After Erin and I did some hiking, we headed back to Littleton to meet up with Raegan, and get lunch.

Miller’s was almost empty when we got there. The menu was kind of limited, but Erin and I got a club sandwich. The sammiches were very good, not too big, and filled us up after the hike. They came with some penne pasta noodles. They didn’t have any iced tea, so I had a Coke.

Service was very friendly. Our check was $26.21. I thought that while the sandwich was OK, the menu was a bit limited.

The Airport Diner, Manchester, NH

6 August 2016

Airport Diner Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

For our last night on this combined work/vacation, we wanted to hit a diner. The Airport Diner was pretty close.

First of all, I had one of their custom root beers. Very good.

Raegan and I had the turkey dinner. There was quite a bit of food on the plates. The turkey was very tasty, but just a touch on the dry side. It had very good cranberry sauce, and decent mashers and dressing. I really liked the gravy.

Erin had chicken fingers, and ate all of them.

They only had Gold Peak iced tea, so I had a very good Coke. Service was fast and friendly. We would go back. Our check was $38.86.

Moe Joe’s, Manchester, NH

5 August 2016

MoeJoe's Family Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Today we were in Manchester after visiting the nearby Scout Museum. We picked Moe Joe’s as it was on the same side of town.

Erin had chicken tenders; I tried one and it was very good. Raegan and I had burgers. She had a swiss burger, and I had a bacon cheeseburger. The burgers were made from decent beef, and were cooked medium well. They had good texture and better than average beef flavor. The bacon was mostly pretty good and crunchy, but a couple chunks were burned. Raegan had some OK onion rings, and I had slaw that was passable.

We followed up the main meal with various ice cream sundaes, that were pretty darn good.

Service was exceptionally friendly and right on the money. They didn’t have brewed iced tea, so we had water (me), Mt Dew (Raegan), and a root beer float (Erin). This place was good, I would be happy to go back. Our check was $50.85, pretty good value, I think.

Victoria’s Diner, Boston, MA

4 August 2016

Victoria's Diner Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

This was the best meal I have had in the Boston area, ever.

We started out with some excellent iced tea. Great stuff. I had a bowl of beef stew that I would have been happy to get anywhere. Big chunks of braised beef, veg, and wonderful broth, all tender and highly flavorable. YUM!

Raegan had baked haddock, and ate all of it, reporting it excellent. Erin had a bowl of mac and cheese, it was great, as I had about 10 bites of it. She liked it too. I had steak tips with mashed potatoes, gravy, and baked beans. All excellent! The steak tips were tender and had great beef flavor. I loved the mashers and gravy. The beans were good also. I could finish the tips, but between the stew, Erin’s mac and cheese, and the tips, I left a small pile of taters and 80% of the beans.

We finished the meal off with a huge piece of very good chocolate cake.

Service was very friendly and fast. The food was excellent. The iced tea was welcome. Our check was $80.14. Recommended, I would go back any time.

Blue Hills Grill, Canton, MA

4 August 2016

Blue Hills Grille Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

After we walked up Blue Hill, we hit the Grill for late lunch.

First of all, the iced tea is very good. Really nice after the slightly sweaty walk. Raegan got a turkey wrap, really good turkey in that. Erin got fish and chips, it was two HUGE pieces of fish, and one of those was her limit. Finally, I got shepherd’s pie, and it was perfect, one of the best I’ve had, and done in the traditional style.

Service was very friendly, the food was great. Our check was $55.57, a bit expensive (perhaps we are noting this is a trend for New England). Again, the iced tea was great. Very nice place, would be happy to eat here again.

Olivio’s Pizza, Norwood, MA

3 August 2016

Olivio's Grill and Pizzeria Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

We had been thinking about pizza for a couple days, and decided that tonight was the night. I found Olivio’s from Google and we headed that way.

Just so you know, go to the counter and order, then go sit down, and they will bring your food to you.

We started off with some decent buffalo wings, and Raegan had a Greek salad. They didn’t have iced tea (too bad), so I had DP, not bad.

Our dinner was a large (14″) pizza that Reagan and I shared. Her half was ham and mushrooms, mine was a Meat Lover’s, minus the salami. Erin had a small chicken parm. Both of these are hand tossed, thin crust pizzas, and both were better than average. The crust was crispy but not tough, and the toppings were very good. Kind of unusual, the sausage was largish slices cut from the sausage log-style.

Service was very friendly. The place was not crowded. Our check was $55.89. We ended up bringing about 2/3rd of Erins pizza, and about 1/3 of our pizza, back to the room with us for a snack, or breakfast :). Not bad at all, I would be happy to go back.

Not Your Average Joe’s, Seekonk, RI

2 August 2016

Not Your Average Joe's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

OK, that’s a silly name for a restaurant.

We picked the place out pretty much at random, driving the east route between Newport and Providence.

An observation: we felt the menu was a little on the limited side.

Erin and I had fried chicken. In both cases, the chicken was significantly overcooked, and a bit stringy and less plump than I like. It had OK flavor. Erin had creole fries and a biscuit for her sides, and I had mac and cheese and onion straws for mine. The sides were pretty good. The chicken came with honey flavored with siracha, which while it was interesting to try, I don’t know that I would seek it out. I liked the mac and cheese, and the onion straws, but I left a pile of the straws, I just could not finish them. Raegan had a cup of chowder and a goat cheese salad. I also had a cup of chicken noodle soup that was right on the edge of being chicken stew, really good (and HOT coming to the table).

They had brewed iced tea that was very good. Our server was very attentive and friendly. Our check was $62.66.

We left quite a lot of food behind, but really have no way to store it. Too bad.

Benjamin’s, Newport, RI

2 August 2016

Benjamin's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I’m keeping up this trip!

We took a lovely cruise around Newport this afternoon, and afterward stopped at Benjamin’s for lunch.

Erin had a HUGE Seafood Macaroni, it was great but there was no way she could finish it. I had a HUGE (note the trend?) fish and chips, it was very good but there was no way I could finish it. Finally, Raegan had a HUGE Lobster Salad Roll, and… she liked it a lot but there was not way to finish it. The chips (fries) were pretty decent, but the slaw was vinegary and sort of flat.

Erin and I had some very good NE Clam Chowder also.

The tea was a concentrate and not very good. The Coke was OK. Our check was $70.75. We should have shared something. Service was fast and friendly.

I don’t like fish much, but that fish (it was cod, I asked) was pretty good.

Paul’s Pasta, Groton, CT

1 August 2016

Pauls Pasta Shop Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

This place was great! The building is pretty neat, we ate out on the deck, with a great view of the Thames River and New London. We got there around 1900, and had a 20 minute wait.

We started off with some excellent garlic cheese bread and marinara. The bread was very good, and the marinara was excellent, thick and with great flavor.

Erin and I had fettuccine al fredo with chicken. Hers was the small (one chicken breast) and mine was large (two chicken breasts). The fettuccine was excellent, not too rich, and the noodles were perfect. Neither of us could finish our dinners.

Raegan had lobster ravioli, and while she said they were very good, again, it was hard to finish them as there was so much.

Service was good despite how crowded the place was. Our check was $54.34. They had pretty good iced tea as well, brewed there. The only thing I would count down is that the chicken in our meals was breaded, fried, and then put on the bed of noodles, when it should have been sauteed and tossed.

I would contrast this meal with our lunch. Cost was about the same, but the quality of this meal was far better.

Good stuff. I would eat here again any time.

Filomena’s, Waterford, CT

1 August 2016

Filomena's Market Cafe & Ctrng Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

We hit this place for lunch today traveling between Milford and the Mystic area.

We all started with a cup of very good clam chowder. The meals were a Caesar wrap, which Raegan reported was OK, a philly cheesesteak, which Erin liked, but it was huge and she could not finish. I tried a good chunk of it; the beef was pretty good. Finally, I had a burger. The beef was pretty good, the bun was huge, the fries were OK.

The tea was concentrate and not good. The Coke was OK. Service was very good. Our check was $55.30. For what we got, it was pretty expensive and not that good. The best part of the meal was the chowder.

Sammy’s BBQ, NYC, NY

31 July 2016

Sammy's BBQ Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Erin and I dropped Raegan off at the Majestic to see Phantom of the Opera, and there was Sammy’s right across the street.

We got in there at 1920 and had immediate seating.  First of all, very good iced tea (for me) and lemonade (for Erin)!  We had buffalo wings as an appetizer, and again, very good.

Erin had a Sammy Special, which is a thick sandwich with brisket and cheese.  It was very good, but too much for her to finish.  She had chili cheese fries, which were really good. The chili had no heat but decent flavor.

I had a two-meat combo of pulled port and brisket.  The pulled pork was pretty darn good, tender, but not as smoky as it could be, and a little dry.  The brisket was great, tender and smoky, and cut a little bit from the wet side of the brisket. My sides were mac and cheese (EXCELLENT!) and beans.  The beans might as well have been chili.  There was as much brisket in there was beans (a darn good thing, in my view), and they tasted great.  The mac and cheese was baked, and just perfect.

The only issue I had was getting refills.  The tea was served in a small mason jar, and I go through the stuff pretty fast, so I was waiting with an empy jar several times.

Regardless, this was pretty good BBQ.  It was kind of expensive at $57.55 for the two of us, but it is in NYC.  I would not mind going back.

Homeslice Pizza, Durango, CO

20 July 2016

Homeslice Pizza North Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

After getting off the trail from three days of backpacking, our Scouts were hungry! We were at the nearby Community Center for showers, and called in our pizza order (for 20!) to give Homeslice some warning.

They treated us very well, we got there and were seated on the small patio around a cool serving area. The pizzas started coming in about 10 minutes. Our crew went through five large pizzas (pepperoni, supreme, greek, cheese, and something else) pretty quickly. Drinks were provided with glasses and pitchers of several beverages, including a welcome pitcher of Dr. Pepper!

The pizzas were thin crust, and were very good.

Our server was seemingly always there and smiling, which was especially hard when the first round of drinks were dispensed, which meant a lot of back and forth with pitchers.

I don’t know what the check was, but the pizza was excellent, and I would gladly go back again.

Pepperoni Grill, Edmond, OK

4 July 2016

Pepperoni Grill Kitchen & Winebar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Raegan and Erin and I had dinner here last evening. We have been to the location in Penn Square Mall several times, and had expectations for this location. They were met.

We started with a very good Caesar salad. I had chicken parmesan (with a side of fettuccine al fredo), Raegan chicken fettuccine al fredo, and Erin tortellini florentine. All of this was excellent. The chicken parm was plump and perfectly cooked, and the al fredo was excellent. The only real complaint I would have is that the chicken with Raegans al fredo was sliced and grilled, instead of being diced, sauteed, and tossed with the pasta. It was also a bit overgrilled.

The place wasn’t very crowded. The iced tea was pretty good, and service was quite attentive. Our check was $71.21; a bit on the expensive side for three, but OTOH, we all went home with a lunch for today (very unusual, if you know my appetite! 🙂 ).

Johnnie’s, Edmond, OK

12 June 2016

Johnnie's Charcoal Broiler Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Raegan and Erin and I had late lunch here today.

Very straightforward: each of us had a cheeseburger. Mine was a double with chili. The burger was very, very good. It was cooked with a nice crust for texture, and had great beef flavor. I usually ask Johnnie’s to go light on the shredded cheddar they pile on.

Erin got fries (and this was the only down, the fries were a touch undercooked), and we also had onion rings, perfect!

The meal was topped off with a big slide of chocolate pie. The iced tea was excellent. Our check was $44.60. Not bad at all for the quality of the burgers. Great stuff.

Smokehouse Bob, Muskogee, OK

12 June 2016

Smokehouse Bob's Bar-B-Que Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Ian and Erin and I were taking a lunch break from working in Muskogee and headed to Smokehouse Bob.

They were out of chicken, ribs, and pulled pork, so we all got brisket. It was excellent. Cut a bit wet, it was tender and smoky and so flavorful. The kids both got fries. They were rough cut, deep fried, and had a bit of salt on them, and they were perfect. All three of us thought those were some of the best fries we had had. I had potato salad and slaw. I finished the salad but not the slaw, I just ran out of room.

Service was very friendly. The iced tea was excellent. Our check was $32.00. This place was great! I look forward to eating there again and trying the stuff they were out of.

Carl’s Jr, Midwest City, OK (Well, Really About Cheeseburgers in General)

7 June 2016

Carl's Jr. Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

This isn’t really about the Carl’s location. It is a commentary on the sad state of fast food cheeseburgers.

I was looking for a cheeseburger today, and thought to hit up The Garage in MWC.  The place was crowded, and I was wanting to get back to work, so I headed across Crutcho Creek to the Carl’s there.  They used to have good burgers.

I got a Super Cheeseburger.  It was…  OK at best.  It had an actual crust on it from flame grilling, so there was some texture.  But the patties were small, and they had no flavor whatsoever.  I could taste the cheese (a little), the lettuce, and the mayo, but no beef flavor.

Fast food places that do cheeseburgers (I’m looking at you, Sonic, Braum’s, Burger King, McD, Whataburger, Jack In the Box, and the like), please stop serving us up meat with no flavor.  I don’t mind paying six or seven bucks for a fast food burger combo, but I want it to have some flavor and some texture.  LIKE YOU USED TO HAVE.

Burgers that were good were common.  I remember my friend Harold kidding me in 1985 that I had eaten cheeseburgers for dinner something like five days in a row, with no issue (day 1, Braum’s, day 2, BK, etc.).  One thing I remember with some fondness is the bacon cheeseburger at BK, and the Ultimate Cheeseburger at JITB.  Sometime in the past 5-10 years all that has just gone away.  The last JITB burger I had was about five years ago, when a location opened in MWC.  I went in there after it opened with high hopes, and didn’t even finish the burger, it was that nasty.

There are still good burgers.  Chili’s, The Garage, Irma’s and a host of other places come to mind.  Five Guys and Smashburger are two relatively new entrants that are very good.  But most of these places are sit-downs, and a lot of times I want to get and take back to the office quickly.

But Sonic and Braum’s should be ashamed.  Sonic did something different recently, but since I’ve been to five or six locations, it’s not consistently better.  Some are still just as crappy as before (59th and Sooner, MLK and I-44, 122nd and I-35 all come to mind).

If you are in charge or have influence at some of these places, please break your mold of thinking and get some better beef.  Please?

To finish, my check at the Carl’s was $7.32.  Service was very friendly and fast.  I like the breakfast items they serve.  Burgers, not so much.

Is it too much to ask for an El Pollo Loco in the area?

Hickory House BBQ, Marietta, OK

6 June 2016

Hickory House Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Of the hundreds of times I have been down I-35, I don’t think I have ever stopped in Marietta. When I was coming back from a trip to Richardson back on 30 April, it was early afternoon and I needed some lunch. I saw a sign referencing Hickory House, and since I’m always up for BBQ…

First mistake, they seated me in a room full of OU stuff. When I hit the restroom, I passed a room full of OSU stuff. Oh well ).

I had my usual, a two-meat dinner with chopped brisket and ribs. The ribs first. Decent smoke flavor but a little on the tough side, with a lot of meat. About an 8 on a scale of 1 to JTs. The brisket was excellent, more coarse chopped than fine chopped, and very juicy but not swimming in grease. Really good. I think I had slaw and fries for my sides.

Regardless, the iced tea was great and service was very good. My check was $17.87. Hopefully, I won’t wait another 30+ years to visit Marietta.

Judge’s Char Grill, Midwest City, OK

4 June 2016

Judge's Char-Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I had lunch here back on 02 October 2015.

I had the Chicken Fried Steak platter, with a slice of chocolate pie for dessert.

I should have just had the pie. The CFS was not very good at all, tough and tasteless. I didn’t even finish it, it was so bad.

My check was $19.50. The pie and the iced tea were the best part of the meal. Not recommended.

San Marcos Mexican Restaurant, Oklahoma City, OK (Meridian)

4 June 2016

San Marcos Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

We’ve been to several of the San Marcos locations in OKC, and like them. Back on 23 February, Raegan and I were headed to a Girl Scout shooting club event, and we needed dinner. San Marcos was close.

We both had our usual meals. Raegan had seafood mixed with veg, and I had pork guisado chili verde. Both were great as expected.

We had iced tea that was strong and good. Service was friendly and fast. Our check was $26.30. I like the chainlet, they make great Mexican food.

Marco’s Pizza, Oklahoma City, OK (SE)

4 June 2016

Marco's Pizza Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I like Marco’s. When this location opened last Fall, I was happy as it is only about a mile from my office. I had lunch here back on 10 May. Except for one small glitch, it was a great experience.

I ordered at the counter. I asked for a small pepperoni pizza and some chicken wings. The pizza was just as ordered, but I got chicken dippers instead of wings. As I was afraid the dippers would be tossed, I took them anyway. The pizza was great! The dippers were so-so. I thought they were tough and had little flavor. I will certainly get the wings next time, I know they are good.

My drink was a 2L DP to go. My check was $23.29 (yes, a little expensive, but it’s essentially two entrees). Great pizza.

Pizzaria Gusto, Oklahoma City, OK

4 June 2016

This is the first in a series of (again) delayed posts. Life gets in the way of having fun on occasion… 🙂

Pizzeria Gusto Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Raegan and the kids and I had dinner at Pizzaria Gusto last night. We were in midtown, we drove by, and it didn’t look crowded, so in we went.

We ate outside in the courtyard area as the temps were pretty nice. We walked through the main dining area, and it struck me as being very loud.

This is traditional pizza from Italy, not Hideaway, so if you were expecting a Big Country you might be disappointed.

Raegan and Erin split a Margherita, adding prosciutto (ham) and extra cheese.  Ian had a Margherita, adding soppressata (salami) and some roast garlic.  I had a meatball pizza. The crusts were hand tossed and pretty doughy but had good flavor.  Toppings were sorta on the thin side (not atypical of art pizza).  No one had any negative comments, but not all that many positive either.  I though my meatballs were bland.

We had sorbet, affogato (think a hot fudge sundae except the ice cream is gelato and the hot fudge is expresso), and a chocolate tart.  All OK.

We all had water to drink as our advance party didn’t find iced tea on the menu.  Service was pretty good.  Our check was $74.24.

We usually spend about $50 at Hideaway for Americanized pizza, so you pay a premium for the art pizza at Gusto.  It was not bad pizza, but it’s probably not something we would do often.

Delta Cafe, Shawnee, OK

3 June 2016

Delta Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I generally like the Delta Cafes. Ian and I were driving back to Muskogee one evening back on 10 April, and we were hungry after working most of the day in Muskogee, and Delta Cafe was open.

He had a chicken fried steak, and I had pot roast. It wasn’t very good. His CFS was tough. The pot roast was also.

Service was OK, and the iced tea was good. Our check was $30.77. It just wasn’t very good.

Butcher BBQ Stand, Wellston, OK

3 June 2016

Butcher BBQ Stand Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Ian and I were headed to Muskogee back on 09 April, it was a nice day, and it was near noon. We decided to hit Butcher BBQ as we were only about five miles from Wellston.

First of all, it’s only outside dining. It was kind of windy, so eating outside was a bit dicey.

Ian and I both got two-meat dinners, both with brisket and ribs. I had mac and cheese as a side, I don’t remember what Ian had (probably fries). The brisket was pretty good, but the ribs had little flavor and were tough.

They don’t have iced tea, just bottles of drink. The dining area had some games. Our check was $37.21. If I was headed into the OKC area, I would wait for Earl’s. If I was headed for Tulsa, I would wait for Five Star in Stroud.

Sonic Got A Little Better

8 April 2016

Yesterday I was in a meeting that went a little long, and I needed to get lunch before another meeting at 1300.  I decided to head to a Sonic just a little way from here and grab a frito chili pie.

When I got there, I saw their ads for the new, improved cheeseburger.  Words like “Destined to become your new favorite”, and “All new cheeseburger perfection”.

I’ve written before (well, several times) about the state of Sonic cheeseburgers.  They used to be sooooo good, and in the past couple years, they are so very bad.  I typically only hit Sonic for breakfast (an excellent breakfast burrito), drinks, or a hot dog.  But sitting there waiting to order, I saw the ad material referenced above, and decided that a chance needed to be given.

So I ordered a Super Sonic Cheeseburger with mayo and lettuce only (they use shredded lettuce, which is what I like).  I have to say that the burger was much better than in the recent past.  This burger still lacked any real crust or texture, but it had better (not a great deal better) flavor.  So there was apparently more meat than sawdust (or whatever filler they’ve been using) on this burger.

So, Sonic.  If your people read this, please up the game a couple times.  First, have the cooks turn the darn grill up a few degrees, and get some crustification (is that a real word?) going on that beef.  While you are at it, have the green eyeshade people pry a few more pennies per burger out and get some better flavor.

The bun, by the way, is OK.  DO NOT go to the gummy disaster that is a Braum’s bun.

I will try another couple Sonic burgers to see if the the one I had was a fluke.  But… the advertising is false.  This was *not* cheeseburger perfection, and it will not become my favorite; there’s a long ways to go there.

Judy’s Cafe, Garland, TX

27 March 2016

Judy's Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I’m only two weeks behind with this one!

I was in the Dallas area last week, and had dinner at Judy’s. I think I ate here once several years ago.

I had the hamburger steak. I asked that the onions be well cooked, but when the mail came, there were large pieces of onion that were not cooked at all, and a few smaller pieces that were. The hamburger steak and gravy were very good. I had asked for the steak to be medium well, and it came medium rare to medium.

I sent Raegan a text and told her to sue to place if I died of food poisoning :).

The mashed potatoes and gravy were very good, and the side veg (corn) was also. I had a cup of very good vegetable beef soup to start.

Service was a little slow and on the curt side. My check was $9.73. Not a bad place, I would like to try breakfast.

Five Star BBQ, Stroud, OK

27 March 2016

Five Star BBQ & Steakhouse Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Ian and I are headed to Muskogee, it was near lunch, and we were passing through Stroud, so Five Star seemed like a good choice.

He got the small (3 ribs) dinner, and I got a two meat with ribs and choppoed brisket. The ribs first. I think they were smoked fast or finished on a grill. That being said, they had decent flavor and were tender. They had little bark and little smoke flavor. I rated them as an 7.5 on a scale of 1 to JTs.

The brisket was chopped a little finer than I usually like (which is 1/2″ or so chunks), but it was tender and had great flavor, without a single piece of gristle.

Ian had fries as one side, and I had green beans. Both were OK. We both had “baked beans” as our second side, but they were really pintos cooked with brisket, and a distinct flavor of chili. REALLY good!

Service was fast and friendly. Our check was $31.16. Pretty good BBQ if you are in Stroud.

Black Bear Diner, Salt Lake City, UT

24 March 2016

Black Bear Diner Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I had dinner here with work friends Monday evening. It was close to my hotel.

I had the roast beef dinner, with the standard sides. It was decent, mostly fork tender, and had decent flavor. It wasn’t the best roast beast I’ve had, but it was good for dinner that night. I had chicken soup instead of a salad.

The iced tea was OK. Service was really spotty. We didn’t get flatware until the meal was tabled, and getting drink refills was on the slow side.

My check was $17.88. I am on the fence here. I have been to a number of the Black Bear Diners in various parts of the West. I think that quality has been dropping, and I wonder if the BBD is falling to prepackaged food as a result of expansion. I hope not.

Moni’s, Edmond, OK

24 March 2016

Moni's Pasta & Pizza Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I know this was our second visit, but I also know it had been more than a year since out first. My friend Mark recommended Moni’s, and it was a good rec.

We got four copies of chicken parm this time. Three of them substituted fettuccine al fredo for the standard spaghetti with marinara. These were uniformly very good, and were all completely eaten except for part of Raegan’s, which went home and then to school for her lunch the next day.

The iced tea was great, and service was spot on (which is to say, not fast service like fast food, but relaxed). Our check was $74.40. A bit on the high side, but the food was good, so I would go back if I were in the north OKC/west Edmond area.

Garbanzo Mediterranean Grill, Colorado Springs, CO

24 March 2016

Garbanzo Mediterranean Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

In the last post (I think) from Colorado Springs, I had lunch the last day there at Garbanzos. This is not necessarily a bad review, but it’s not the kind of food I generally go for. You might really like it. I didn’t think it was bad, but it didn’t appeal to me.

I had the chicken plate (bowl) with rice, tzatziki sauce, lettuce, pickles, and chips. The tea was not very good, so I switched that drink to Coke (IIRC).

Service is at the counter, and was very nice. My check was $11.17. Next time it’s suggested, I will probably go get some brisket at the nearby Bird Dog BBQ, but that’s just more to my taste.

Hacienda Villareal, Colorado Springs, CO

24 March 2016

Hacienda Villareal Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

As part of my December trip to Colorado Springs, several people who had been stationed at Peterson AFB recommended this place for lunch. It was great! We had about 12 people.

I had Pork Chili Verde, and it was perfect. Not too spicy, with tender, flavorful pork chunks in a very tasty verde sauce. I had double beans, and they were pretty darn good as well.

Service was fast and friendly (it helped that we got in there at 1300, so the lunch rush was past). My check was $12.38. Great chow, I’d be happy to go back.

Rocco’s Italian, Colorado Springs, CO

24 March 2016

Rocco's Italian Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tonight, I go back to 01 December 2015. I was in Colorado Springs on a business trip. I hit Rocco’s for dinner.

At the servers recommendation, I had beef stroganoff. It was… OK. I expect stro to have a rich, full flavor that is imparted by the sauce to slow-simmered beef. The beef was on the tough side, and the beef and the sauce were neither rich in flavor, nor was the flavor entirely pleasant. In fact, I didn’t finish the meal (if you know me, that’s really rare).

The iced tea was OK, and service was very friendly. My check was $21.42, which was too high given the quality of the meal.

I think I would be willing to give Rocco’s another try, this time for one of the Italian dishes. But the stroganoff was very disappointing.

Robert’s Restaurant, Salt Lake City, UT

23 March 2016

Roberts Restaurant & Deli Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I had dinner here this evening. It was very near my hotel, and pretty good.

I started off with a Caesar Salad. Good dressing, needed a bit less of the hard parts of the lettuce stalks.

I had a steak on my servers recommendation. I got the 10oz New York Strip, medium. It wasn’t fork tender, but on the other hand it was cooked a perfect medium, and had great flavor. The steak had a pile of very good mushrooms on it, and the sides were mixed steam veg and rice pilaf.

The iced tea was excellent, I am pretty sure it was Earl Grey. Service was just fast enough, and friendly. My check was $22.63. I would be glad to go back.

JG’s Burgers, Dallas, TX

15 March 2016

J.G.'s Old Fashioned Hamburgers Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I had been to a nearby store, so I hit JG’s. It wasn’t the worst burger around, but it wasn’t nearly the best, either. I had the single cheeseburger, with a side of onion rings. The rings first. I don’t know they were cut and breaded there, they were very uniform, and had little flavor. The burger was OK. It was a small patty on a big bun. One thing that was nice, a big bar to dress your burger. I used mayo; that was all I needed. Oh, and some pickles. Regardless, the burger had little texture and not much beef flavor. I sorta think I should have had a double.

My check was $10.88. Service was very friendly. I would go back if someone else wanted to, but I wouldn’t go on my own.

Bob’s BBQ, Paul’s Valley, OK

15 March 2016

Bob's Pig Shop Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

As I was headed from OKC to Dallas, I looked for a place to eat. I really wanted BBQ, and the couple places I looked at first were closed Monday. Bob’s wasn’t, though.

I had the three-meat combo, which was a couple pork ribs, some chopped brisket, and some roast pork loin. So, the brisket was the best. Largest chunks, very moist, good flavor, and tender. The loin next. Very good flavor, the largest part of the meal. Unfortunately, sort of dry and not very tender. Last, the ribs, since those are hardest to do. They were not the most meaty ribs I’ve had. They were tender in part of the meat, but there was also some very tough parts I could not chew through. There wasn’t much bark, and not a lot of flavor.

The meal came with some decent slaw, and my sides were pinto beans (very good) and potato salad (OK).

The iced tea was great, and service was right on the money and very friendly. My check was $16.46. I don’t know that I would rush back for the BBQ. But… the guys at the table next to me got some Mexican food that smelled great, and there were a number of other menu items such as burgers that have promise.

Zaxby’s, Oklahoma City, OK (NWX)

10 March 2016

Zaxby's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I read on Facebook Tuesday that a Zaxby’s had opened in NW OKC. I like fried chicken, so Raegan and I drove out there Tuesday evening after working at St. John’s a couple hours.

Zaxby’s sells chicken, and their own Zax sauce. I got a large plate (7 pieces), that came with slaw (undistinguished) and fried (not so good). The chicken was the star of the show. The breading was thin and flexible, like you would get on sweet and sour chicken at a Chinese place. The chicken had great flavor. The larger pieces were moist on the inside. Raegan had a Nibbler meal, which is essentially chicken sliders. She said they were OK. We also got (fried) cheese bites, OK.

All of the staff was super friendly. Our check was $25.97. If I was running errands and hungry, I wouldn’t mind hitting another Zaxby’s if I drove past one. I don’t know that I would go far out of my way, though.

A note about the staff. They were friendly. One of my bugaboos is saying “thank you” and getting a response of “no problem”. I didn’t hear that once at this restaurant, it was always “you’re welcome” or “my pleasure”. I like either of those much better.

Umi, Oklahoma City, OK

10 March 2016

Umi Sushi and Hibachi Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

This place just opened up about a mile from work. I decided to have lunch here today.

I had Pork Kutsu, which is a pork cutlet breaded and deep fried. It was very good. The breading mostly stuck to the cutlet even after being cut into strips. It was served on a bed of a mixture of cabbage and salad leaves (which I really liked), and with tonkatsu sauce, which is like a thick Worcester sauce. The meal came with miso soup (as usual, a little more thin that a soup ought to be ( 🙂 ).

The iced tea was OK (on the weak side), and service was very friendly and fast. My check was $13.60. The tonkatsu comes in a lunch size for a couple dollars less. Good stuff.

Pepino’s, Okemah, OK

10 March 2016

Pepino's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

This place was great! I was headed from OKC to Muskogee yesterday, and I stopped in Okemah since it was right at lunch.

I had #58 Puerco con Chili Verde. Pretty much perfect. The pork chunks were very large, and they were also quite tender. Not a tough spot on the plate. The beans and rice were OK. The chili verde was outstanding. Raegan would have thought it too spicy, as we all have different levels of spice tolerance, but to me it was perfect. The flavor of the chili verde was cooked into the pork, and after the bite, the spice level dropped off quickly, leaving flavor. Great stuff.

The iced tea was good, service very quick. I was in and out in 25 minutes (mainly because I had a meeting to get to). I would happily stop by Pepino’s again.

Luigi’s, Gainesville, TX

9 March 2016

Al's Luigi's Italian Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Note: this restaurant is one of the stealthy chain of Italian restaurants that is so very good.

Back on 02 January, we were headed back to OKC after a two-day retail run to Dallas. We had stopped in Sanger to eat at Babes, but they were packed. We tried a Mexican and Italian place there, but both were closed. We drove up I-35 to Gainsville to hit Fera’s, but it was closed. We ended up at Al’s or Luigi’s, and we were happy.

We did as we always do at these places, we ordered bread and marinara and al fredo and feasted. Along with Caesar salad. Ian and Erin had chicken parm, Raegan had manicotti, and I had Spaghetti the Works. All excellent.

The iced tea was great, service was great, the food was great. Our check was $40.21, great value. Recommended.

Sicily’s Pizza, McKinney, TX

9 March 2016

Sicily's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

For our second stop in the north Dallas area, we hit Sicily’s on the way back home. It was GREAT! We were headed back home and picked Sicily’s as it was on the way home.

We started off with some bread we ordered, along with both marinara and al fredo to dip it in. And salads. All great.

Raegan got chicken parm, and I got fettuccine al fredo. Both oh, so, very good. We even liked the smells of the food being served around us. This place was good!

If I am in McKinney around a meal, this place will be very high on my list.  Yum.  Our check was $40.21.  Service was excellent and friendly.  The iced tea was excellent.  Recommended.

Sidewalk Bistro, Denton, TX

9 March 2016

Sidewalk Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

This evening, we are going to two metro areas with long-delayed reviews. I start in the north Dallas area.

On 03 April 2015, which was Good Friday, Raegan and I headed down to the Dallas area for no reason that I can remember. We hit the Target in Denton as it carries some stuff Raegan likes to collect, then we hit lunch at the Sidewalk Bistro.

I got the CFS while Raegan got a BLT. Her BLT was OK, but the CFS was OK at best, pre-fabbed in some nameless factory.

The iced tea was OK but service was spotty at best. For this, we had a check for $29.18. I don’t get to Denton often during meal times, and this place will not be on my list of preferred spots.

Boom A Rang Grill, Bethany, OK

8 March 2016

In a third and final diner entry this evening…

Boomarang Diner Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Back on 16 January 2015, Troop 15 was having an aviation-themed camp at Wiley Post Airport. I was headed out that way and looking for dinner, when I saw the always-reliable Boom a Rang.

I had the Chicken Fried Steak, mashers, and the veg of the day. It was not the best CFS I’ve had, but it was pretty good (7.5 out of 10), had decent beef flavor, and was fork tender. I don’t know that it was hand breaded. The mashers and gravy were pretty good.

So was the iced tea, and service as well. My check was $11.15. Not bad.

Blue Plate Diner, SLC, UT

8 March 2016

Blue Plate Diner Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Since I’m on a theme of diners…

Back on 30 September, I was on a business trip to SLC, and had been hiking in Little Cottonwood Canyon. I remembered that I had tried to have dinner at Blue Plate Diner back over the summer, but they had just closed when I got there. I was earlier this time.

I had a chicken fried steak, mashers, and green beans. Classic blue plate special. These guys claim country cooking. None of it was very good. That’s not to say it was bad, as in bad tasting. The problem was that none of the food had much of any flavor. The CFS was pretty tough. It had little flavor. The gravy was the right consistency, but again, little flavor. The iced tea was OK.

So, the meal was bland. I would not go back unless I somehow found out that they had upgraded their beef. The iced tea was OK, and service was friendly enough, although a touch on the slow side. My check was $15.54.

Shortcakes Diner, Stillwater, OK

8 March 2016

Shortcakes Diner Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

In this episode of Blog Catch-Up, we go to Stillwater. Last October, we had dinner at Shortcakes while visiting Stillwater.

All of us got breakfast of one kind or another except Ian, who had CFS. I had a bite of it, and it was pretty good. I had a Country Breakfast, which was eggs, bacon, hash browns, and pancakes. All excellent. Raegan had eggs and bacon.

All in all, a good breakfast. Our meal for four was $52.15. Service was fast. I would go back any time.

Bar D Chuckwagon, Durango, CO

4 March 2016

Bar D Chuckwagon Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

OK, just so you know, you don’t go here for the food. You go for the cowboy singing.

Bar D is a faux village from the American Old West. You show up in early evening and walk around and buy stuff. We were there 23 July 2015. Our Girl Scouts looked at all the shops and such, and then had more fun in the playground area running around.

I will say up front, again, the food is OK, but don’t go here expecting to get the best chow around. As they tell you, they can serve 700 people in 30 min, and in that situation, it isn’t fine dining.

You have three options for dinner: roast beef (which looked to me to be chuck roast braised in BBQ sauce), grilled chicken dipped in BBQ sauce, or (for an upcharge), a ribeye grilled to medium (although mine, Erin’s, and all I saw were medium well). The sides are a baked potato, applesauce, and baked beans. The objective is to get everyone through the line as fast as possible, so no customization.

One very impressive thing: the dining area is usually open-air on picnic tables. The entire area can be covered by a telescoping cover that rolls out from the back of the dining area, very impressive. We had a shower pass by while we were eating, and the cover deployed in about 30 seconds.

During the meal, you get seconds on beans and applesauce, and drinks are kept refilled by roving bands of servers.

After the meal and a dessert of cake, the entertainment begins. The show goes for about 45 minutes, and is five cowboys singing western songs and cracking jokes. They are pretty darn good singers.

So it was a fun experience. The best part was the entertainment, and the food was OK as a bonus. I would go back.

Brown Bear Cafe, Silverton, CO

4 March 2016

Brown Bear Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

We stopped in here for lunch in Silverton on 22 July after touring the mine and walking through town. I only remember what three of the five of us had. Erin and I had cheeseburgers that were good if not spectacular. I also had some vegetable beef soup that was very good. One of our Scouts had a ribeye that she reported to be excellent.

The iced tea was good, and service was a bit on the slow side. Our check (for five) was $80.

Serious Texas BBQ, Durango, CO

4 March 2016

Serious Texas Barbeque Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Can you tell I have some time on my hands this evening? Cranking out a bunch of catch-up posts. I’m going to end the evening with a trio of posts on meals we ate “out” while on the Girl Scout High Adventure Team (HAT) Durango Adventure last summer.

On Monday of the trip (20 July) the Scouts went whitewater rafting. Since I don’t find that appealing, Steve and I ran some errands for the crew, and since that was very tiring ( 🙂 ), we had to fill up on BBQ.

I had a half pound of brisket and an add-on rib. The rib was OK, surprisingly pretty good. The brisket was excellent, tender and smoky. I had cheesy potatoes (yes, that’s the name) for my side, and they were really good, especially after I mixed a little BBQ in.

Service is order at a counter and pick up from there. The iced tea was great! We picked a table next to an open window, we could see the Animas River and rafters cruising by. My check was $17.50. Great stuff.

This Iz It, Oklahoma City, OK

4 March 2016

This Iz It Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

This place is tucked in almost out of sight of 23rd. Ian and I had lunch here in June 2015.

We both had double cheeseburgers, and both were darn good. Ian had fries, I had tots. The burgers were nothing special, just a couple 1/8th lb patties fried up. But the beef was decent and well cooked.

Service was fast and friendly. We will go back. Our check for two was $15.00. Good stuff.

Favorites Cafe, Oklahoma City, OK

4 March 2016

Jimmy's Cafe & Fried Pies Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Another site on my tour of southside OKC. I had lunch here in April 2015. I was pleasantly surprised to find fried chicken on the menu. It was a four-piece meal, and it was not good. Stringy, small pieces with little meat, and seriously overcooked. I don’t think I will be back.

Jimmy’s Cafe, Oklahoma City, OK

4 March 2016

Jimmy's Cafe & Fried Pies Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Oh, this post is late! Last Spring, I had been taking a food tour of OKC between I-240 and downtown. Jimmy’s was one of the places I tried. Curiously enough, I was directed to the place by a persistent Facebook ad.

I hit Jimmy’s at 25 February 2016. I had the Chicken Fried Steak (LARGE!), with mashers and mac and cheese. I have to say, I was underwhelmed with the entire meal. The CFS was huge, it was clearly made there, but it had very liitle flavor. Same with the mashers, gravy, and mac and cheese. I would rate the CFS as a 6 out of 10. It wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t good.

Service was very friendly. The place was crowded, and it smelled wonderful. I would like to go back and try some other stuff based on what I smelt and saw. I just can’t recommend the CFS. My check was $14.39.

J&W Grill, Chickasha, OK

4 March 2016

J & W Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

As I headed home from my last weekend of Wood Badge, I decided to drive through Anadarko. I called my friend and Anadarko native Tammy and asked for a restaurant recommendation for a hungry guy on a Saturday evening. Her advice: head into Chickasha. Hmmm.

So I saw J&W as I came into Chickasha from the west, and had dinner there. I had a large cheeseburger with tater tots. The tots were great, crispy, and hot. The burger was a throwback to my childhood. I had asked for mayo, I got mustard (nto really an issue, I like both). Not a lot of crust on the burger, but decent flavor, and a lot of grease.

The iced tea was OK, and service was friendly. The place is small, and not many tables. I sat at the counter and enjoyed it just fine. I can’t find the receipt, but my check was about $10.00. Good stuff.

Paw Paw’s, Chickasha, OK

4 March 2016

Paw Paw's Hamburgers Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

When I was coming back from my first Woodbadge weekend (11 April 2015), I stopped by Paw Paw’s for a very good burger. In fact, I got way too much food. My meals was a large double cheeseburger with chili, and chili cheese fries. It was a helluva mess 🙂 but very good. The chili was nothing special, no heat and not too much flavor. The fries were really good, great flavor. The burgers were great, with lots of beef flavor, and cooked with a nice crust on them. Great stuff.

Service was friendly and pretty fast. My check was something like $15.

Mama Carol’s, Chickasha, OK

4 March 2016

This is a series of three reviews from places I ate at in Chickasha last Spring while I was taking Scouting Wood Badge at Camp George Thomas.

Mama Carol's Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

On the Wednesday evening prior to my first weekend of Woodbadge, 08 April 2015. I was headed down to camp and stopped at Mama Carols at about 2030. In spite of them closing at 2100, I was fully welcomed. I had the chicken fried steak dinner with mashers and green beans. That CFS was a 9 out of 10. Decent flavor, and fork tender everywhere except one place. I thought the mashers were a little on the bland side, but the gravy was very good.

The iced tea was great and service was fast and friendly. My check was $14.15. Great stuff. I want to go back and try their burgers.

Sheesh Mahal, Oklahoma City, OK

4 March 2016

Sheesh Mahal Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

We had dinner at Sheesh Mahal back on 15 October 2015 with friends from St. John’s. It was great!

I do not recall everything that each person got. But I know that Raegan got Daal Chicken; she liked it but thought it was too spicy (I have a much higher tolerance, I thought it was mild and very good). I had Chicken Curry, a green curry and very tender chicken, great stuff. Erin had a chicken kabob and ate all of it. Others at the table had other stuff, and not much was left. The rice with the meals was all very good, as was the tea.

Service was very friendly, and we all had plenty of time to talk. This is not an eat fast and get out kind of place. The check for eight of us was just over $80, and I think it was great value. I want to go back.

Blue Moon, Edmond, OK

3 March 2016

Blue Moon Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

This is not the Blue Moon in Ada, rather the Asian restaurant in Edmond.

We had dinner at Blue Moon back on 28 July 2015. I started with Egg Flower soup, which was egg drop. It was very good.

For our meals, Raegan got Boneless Chicken, which was sorta the kind of breaded and deep fried chicken used in sweet and sour, but instead tossed with veg. She liked it. Erin had sweet and sour chicken and thought it pretty good, although she was not hungry enough to finish it. I had curried chicken and liked it a lot. The default is with bell peppers, I had that taken out.

The iced tea was good, but the glasses were kind of small and we ran out a couple times. We don’t eat a lot of asian food, but I think we would like to. This was pretty darn good. Our check was $49.40. We’ll be back.

Canella’s, Salt Lake City, UT

2 March 2016

This is another catch-up post from a trip I took to SLC back in mid-July 2015.

Cannella's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

One evening, a group of us that were attending the same meeting had dinner at Cannella’s, near downtown. One thing I noted was that the menu seems fairly limited. I had Fettuccine al Fredo with chicken. I had asked to have the grilled chicken sauteed, and my server agreed, but the chicken came back not only grilled, but just a piece of grilled chicken on top of the noodles, and a miserly amount of al Fredo. The tea was a mint tea, and pretty weak.

Service was friendly enough. We had a group of 10. My check was $18.87. There wasn’t any extorted minimum tip, which I liked.

Apollo Burgers, Salt Lake City, UT

2 March 2016

This is another catch-up post from a trip I took to SLC back in mid-July 2015.

Apollo Burgers, 143 N. Redwood, SLC

I had lunch at this location one day, and it was super busy, but looking at both the Zomato and Apollo Burgers websites, the location does not show.

Regardless, I had a double cheeseburger with fries and a drink. It wasn’t the best burger I’ve had, with minimum flavor and a burger with little texture. The burger was, however, far better than Sonic or Braum’s. The fries were OK.

Like I said, the place was packed at lunch. The staff was friendly. My check was $10.43. I would probably eat at another Apollo Burger, to see if this one was just a little below par.

B&D Burgers, Salt Lake City, UT

2 March 2016

This is another catch-up post from a trip I took to SLC back in mid-July 2015.

B & D Burgers Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

First, let’s look at B&D Burgers. On my first day in town, I was looking at a couple outdoors places for a new pair of boots. I found B&D and liked it as it was on the way to the general area I was headed to, and it was a burger place.

I was not impressed. I ordered a double cheeseburger, onion rings, a milkshake, and a soda. The milkshake and soda were the best part of the meal. The rings were burned, and the burger just didn’t have any flavor at all. None. I can’t recommend it. My check was $10.00 for everything except the shake, and a couple extra bucks for that.

Grand House, Oklahoma City, OK

2 March 2016

Grand House Asian Bistro Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

We are trying some new places along the Classen corridor, and last night decided to give Grand House a try. My friend Spencer joined us, which was great!

Raegan started out with some shrimp egg rolls that she and Erin put completely away. I started with some excellent egg drop soup.

Ian had a sashimi dinner, which at $20 was twice as expensive as any other meal. He has eaten a lot of sashimi, and his opinion was that it was not nearly as good as it should have been. He ate most of it, and shared a part of each fish piece with Raegan.

Erin had sweet and sour chicken. It was a lot of food and she could not finish it. I tried the chicken, it was excellent, really tasty, and the sweet and sour sauce was very good.

The same chicken was used with the lemon chicken that Raegan and Spencer got. I tried some of Erin’s chicken in the lemon sauce, it was OK (I didn’t think it had much flavor).

I had the curry chicken which was thin-sliced sauteed chicken with long strips of onion in yellow curry. Excellent. The default meal comes with bell peppers as well, but I asked for none and they were not cooked in. The only thing I could count down on the meal is that the onion pieces could have been more finely chopped and cooked just a bit more.

So overall, a really good meal. Our check for five was $79.66. That seems a bit high, but if the sashimi and the appetizers are accounted for, it is closer to the mid-$60s, which is reasonable. Service was friendly and just the right level of attentiveness. I look forward to another visit.

Mamaveca Mexican Restaurant, Norman, OK

29 February 2016

Mamaveca Mexican Restaurant‎ Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Over the past year, I have occasionally left the area around Tinker AFB for lunch slightly farther afield. On 11 March 2015, I headed all the way to Norman for Mamaveca’s. It was great!

I got the pork chili verde. Wonderful. Perfect flavor, not too spicy, tender pork.

The iced tea was great, and service was fast and friendly. My check was $15.14.

I need to drive to Norman more often! And I need to try the guiso, and a couple of those Peruvian dishes.

Volcano, Del City, OK

29 February 2016

Volcano Sushi Bar & Hibachi Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I have had lunch here three times, the most recent day was 30 July 2015. The first two times, I had chicken fried rice (very good both times). The most recent time I had pork katsu (which I remember as tonkatsu), which I have not had since a Japanese restaurant in MWC went out of business in 1990. This was really good! Just the right amount of crunchy breading, and the pork was tender and moist. The check for Diane and I was $18.07. The iced tea was OK. Service the first two times was very good, and a little more spotty the last time.

Regardless, it was great.

Hornback’s Shawnee Restaurant, Muskogee, OK

28 February 2016

Hornback's Shawnee Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Ian and I were in Muskogee overnight, and this morning we didn’t like the look of the Hampton’s breakfast, so we hit up Hornback’s as it was very close.

Ian got sausage, egg, and cheese biscuit and hash browns. He liked all of it, but his only complaint was that the biscuit was so crumbly it needed a structural integrity field to hold it together. I had two eggs over easy, ham (and it was a huge slice of ham!), grits, and biscuit and gravy. The eggs were fine, the ham excellent, I think smoked, and very tasty. I liked the gravy in particular. The biscuit was somewhat crumbly but went well with the gravy.

We both had iced tea that was good. Service was friendly and very fast (less than five minutes from order to delivery). Our check was $20.58. Very good.

Fried Chicken at Loaf N Jug

28 February 2016

So this might be more of a sad post than a review. Last summer, on our HAT Durango adventure, we passed through Alamosa, CO. My driving was shift was up when we stopped at the Loaf and Jug on US 160. It was right at lunch, and I went in there and found a small deli.

I got some of the best fried chicken there I have ever had. Large pieces, perfectly fried up, with the skin crispy yet flexible. Wonderful taste, and juicy all the way through. Just perfect. Erin had some chicken tenders and said they were really good as well.

On the way back from Durango a week+ later, we stopped there again. I got more of that chicken, and it was wonderful again.

I complemented the cook on the chicken, and she said that City Market, which owned the Loaf N Jug stores, had elected to close the deli and replace it with a Subway.

I found that very sad. I like Subway, but I love the fried chicken at LnJ, and also feel that we are quite homogenized enough already with a Subway on seemingly every corner. I think that the deli with good local food would be a loss if it were replaced.

I just looked on the LnJ site and it reports that the store has a Real Time Crispy Chicken. I hope it is still the case. I would get that chicken any time.

Roy’s Chicken, Coweta, OK

27 February 2016

Roy's Fried Chicken Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Last May, we were headed home one Sunday evening, and coming through Tulsa. Roy’s was open, and I’m always up for fried chicken, so we gave it a shot. Great stuff.

We all got fried chicken, except Erin, who got chicken fingers. The fried chicken was a mix of dark and light, and it was all good. Crunchy and juicy yet not greasy. We all demolished our meals. The sides were OK as well, mashers and gravy and stuff, I don’t remember it all, but it was good.

Our check was $34.81, good value. The staff was friendly enough. I was surprised at how uncrowded it was at 1900. Recommended if Dixie’s is closed.

Dixie’s Cafe, Coweta, OK

27 February 2016

Dixie's Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I was headed into Haskell for the funeral of a family member back on 09 January 2015 (yes, more than a year ago), and hit Dixie’s for lunch. It was a classic diner/café experience that I realty enjoyed.

I had a Chicken Fried Steak with mashers and gravy, with green beans. A classic diner meal, and PERFECT. The sides were good, the gravy excellent. The CFS was perfect, hand breaded and deep fried, tender, great beef flavor. That CFS is what I expect a CFS to be.

Service was very friendly. The iced tea was great, and served in huge Mason jars (that is really the way that Iced Tea Should Be Served ( 🙂 ). My check was $8.98. Yes, less than $9, for a perfect café experience. I would have had some pie, but I was full from the meal.

I tried to take Raegan to Dixie’s for lunch a couple months ago, and it was Sunday so Dixie’s was closed. Too bad, I look forward to going back. I just don’t get through Coweta that often.

Brownie’s Hamburgers, Tulsa, OK (Southside)

27 February 2016

Brownie's Hamburger Stand Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

So, in the spirit of not playing catch-up, we ate lunch here about 30 minutes ago!

Pretty much a perfect cheeseburger meal. Ian and I both had double cheeseburgers, his plain, mine with mayo. Remembering how huge the fries side was at the Utica location, we split an order here. Ian had a chocolate milkshake, we both had iced tea. The burgers were perfect, in flavor and cooking. The fries, also. None left. Can’t say any more about the meal other than perfect.

Service was fast and friendly. Our check was $21.47. I’d go back any time.

Tally’s, Tulsa, OK

27 February 2016

Tally's Good Food Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

At the moment, Ian is driving us to Muskogee via Tulsa, so I decided to play another round of blog catch-up, Tulsa-oriented. 🙂

Raegan and the kids and I had lunch at Tally’s back on 30 May 2015. We were headed towards NW Arkansas on a weekend family trip.

Tally’s had just a bit of a wait at 1300, there was an entire busload of tourists being fed in addition to the usual customers.

I had the CFS, it was OK. The sides were mashers and green beans. The gravy was OK. Ian had the CFS also, and rated it OK. Erin had CFC, it was pretty good. Raegan had a club sandwich that had more bacon on it than a sandwich deserves, and pretty darn good bacon.

The iced tea was pretty good. Service was very spotty, but it was very busy. Our check was $64.62, kind of expensive for café food. I don’t know that would go back.

Rock Cafe, Stroud, OK

27 February 2016

Rock Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Raegan and I were headed to Muskogee back on 30 October, it was dinner time, and we stopped in Stroud for dinner. I had wanted to try the Rock Café for a while, as it had been recommended by the Discover Oklahoma crew.

I had the CFS. It was HUGE. I am pretty sure I had pinto beans, but I can’t remember the other side. The beans were excellent. The CFS was clearly breaded there, it had voids in the breading. The beef was OK and there were some tough spots I had to use a knife on. The gravy was excellent. Raegan had catfish. She liked it, but it was so big she could not finish it. I can’t remember her sides, but no complaint.

The iced tea was great, and service was very friendly and fast. Our check was $25.42. I don’t know that I would make a special trip to eat at Rock Café, but if I was going by around a meal I would have no problem going back. I would like to try their breakfast.

Fat Guy’s Burger Bar, Tulsa, OK (Downtown)

26 February 2016

Fat Guy's Burger Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Back on 07 November, Ian and I had been working in Muskogee and were headed home. We decided to try Fat Guy’s since it was on several lists of Tulsa’s best burgers.

We got there and an OSU game was playing on the big TVs, so that was cool.

He and I both got Jumbo Double Meat Cheeseburgers, mine had bacon. We both also got fries. This was a mistake, we should have just had one fries as there were a freaking huge amount, seemingly a bushel of potatoes.

The burgers were excellent, with great beef flavor and a nice crust. Drippy as heck, too. The fries were very greasy but very tasty as well.

We had iced tea and DP. Service was order at the counter. It was kind of noisy in there, and crowded. The place is not very big. But they make great cheeseburgers. Our check was something like $25. Good, but on the expensive side.

Elmer’s BBQ, Tulsa, OK

26 February 2016

Elmer's BBQ Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Back in October, I was on my way to the Ozark Mountains to backpack the Butterfield Trail with the Girl Scout High Adventure Team. I had lunch at Elmer’s as I passed through Tulsa. I’m glad I did.

I ordered a two-meat plate (hey, I was going backpacking, I needed protein 🙂 ) of chopped brisket and ribs. The ribs first: they were about 9.5 on a scale of 1 to JTs. Nicely smoked, with a good texture of bark, and wonderful flavor. Nothing tough about them in the slightest. The brisket was pretty darn good as well. Not as much flavor, but very tender, and there was quite a lot of it. I had baked beans (outstanding) and green beans (very good) as my sides.

This place did not disappoint, in fact, it was very, very good. Service was friendly. My check was $23.45. I would be happy to go back.

Cowboy’s BBQ, Muskogee, OK

26 February 2016

Cowboy's Bar-B-Q Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I had not been to Cowboy’s in a long time (10+ years) when I had lunch there back in October 2015. Ian and I had lunch there 19 February. It was pretty good both times.

Both times I had a two-meat with ribs and brisket. The first time, both the ribs and the brisket were excellent. The second time, the ribs were a little on the less-than-meaty side, and a little tough, but the brisket was great again. I had sides of baked beans (OK, but bland), and fries (great).

Ian had a chopped brisket sandwich, and said it was really good, not greasy but juicy. He had fries that were good.

The iced tea was good, and the service very friendly. My check the first time was $15.40, and the second time, Ian and I ran up a check of $33.25. The check the second time was a little high as we both scored cane sugar Coke and DP. My only complaint is that the bottled drinks needed to be a colder cooler. But the BBQ was really good.

Calico County Restaurant, Amarillo, TX

25 February 2016

Calico County Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

You can probably tell that I’m in serious catch-up mode today, as I’m bouncing around all over the place.

Back over Thanksgiving, we were headed to Santa Fe on the way to Pagosa Springs for a ski trip. We managed to get out of OKC around 1600 and pulled into Amarillo at 1930 (hooray for the 75mps speed limits in Texas). Calicos was a great find!

I had the pot roast: perfect. The potatoes and gravy in particular were fine. Ian had a CFS: perfect. The cream gravy was excellent, the CFS hand breaded, thick meat, great flavor, and fork tender. Erin had CFC: perfect. Raegan had catfish: perfect.

You might get the impression we liked the place. I think it’s like Cracker Barrel used to be when they were sorta local. Every food item was clearly cooked right there with good ingredients.

Service was extraordinarily friendly. The iced tea was excellent. We would have had dessert but we were stuffed, and about to climb back in the car for another four hours. Our check was $56.12. I look forward to going back, this place could be our go-to restaurant in Amarillo.

They do breakfast. One gripe: when we came back through, we stayed in Amarillo due to an ice and snow storm in the eastern panhandle and western Oklahoma. We got out of the hotel mid-morning Sunday (we were in after midnight), and got to Calico’s at 1045 Sunday, the exact time they shut breakfast down. I would suggest that maybe Calico’s does breakfast a little earlier on the weekends at least. Maybe noon? Regardless, we will make it there for breakfast at some point.

The Garage, Del City, OK

25 February 2016

The Garage Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I’ve eaten here several times since they opened a couple years ago. The most recent time was a cold and rainy 07 January 2016.

I got a double meat chili cheeseburger and chili cheese fries. The burger was excellent. It was also a heckuva mess. I ate it with a fork and knife. I really liked the fries; they had so much chili that they were soaked in chili joice down below (this, BTW, should not be construed as a problem!).

Service is very loose. My check for lunch was $16.52. The iced tea (and later, DP) was great. A good place to get a darn fine cheeseburger.

Alfredo’s Mexican Cafe, Edmond, OK

25 February 2016

Alfredo's Mexican Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

As I went through my fistful of receipts, there were three from Alfredo’s, ranging from 11 December 2014 to 29 May 2015 to 07 February 2016. I know we’ve eaten there at least six or seven times. It’s pretty darn good.

I always get the Pork Guiso Verde. Just the right spice heat, tender pork, great flavor. The most recent time, Ian had it also and liked it a lot. The only issue we had is that on the big plate, it was about 3/5 beans, 1/5 rice, and 1/5 guiso. Maybe they were running short. Regardess, we got filled up. Raegan and the kids get enchiladas and chimis and fajitas, all excellent. I really like the salsa and the queso, and we’ve had nachos several times.

Our check this most recent visit was $60. The iced tea is excellent, and service is always fast and friendly.

This place is very good, and I think in many ways it is better than Ted’s. Recommended.

Upper Crust Pizza, Edmond, OK

25 February 2016

Upper Crust Wood Fired Pizza Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

We had dinner at this Upper Crust location back on 21 June 2015.

I ordered some meatballs that were in some very good marinara. The meatballs were a little on the untextured (is that a word?) side. I think they needed a bit of crust on them from the baking process. Regardless, they were pretty good, and mostly meat with a little filler instead of the other way around. We also had a Caesar salad that was pretty good.

Ian and I split a pepperoni and sausage pizza that was excellent. We left nothing. Raegan and Erin both had small pizzas, one al Fredo and one Mediterranean, and ate all of each.

The pizza was followed by a large cookie, which was extremely chocolately and very good. Raegan also had a creme soda.

Service was a bit on the slow side, which is to say our server was gone for long periods, then would zoom in and bomb the table quickly then blazing off.

Our check was $73.97, sorta expensive, but we did get a lot of stuff we don’t usually get. The meatballs were $10, and the cookie $8.00. Good pizza, though.

Nicha’s, San Antonio, TX

22 February 2016

Nicha's Comida Mexicana Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

This completes my reviews of restaurants from a business trip to San Antonio. I had dinner with a number of work friends at Nicha’s 14 April 2015. The place was recommended by one of the guys on the trip.

I had Carne Guisada, and it was very, very good. I do not like my food to be super spicy, and the guisada had just the right amount of bite. I thought the portion size was a little on the small side, but it wasn’t so small I was hungry later. The iced tea was very good. Service was on the slow side, but we weren’t in any hurry, so that wasn’t an issue. My check was about $14.00.

Black’s BBQ, Lockhart, TX

22 February 2016

Black's Barbecue Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

This installment of Blog Catch-Up takes us to 13 April 2015 (yes, almost a year ago). I was on a business trip to San Antonio, and had heard great things about “The BBQ Capital of Texas”, Lockhart. I have to say, the food lived up to that hype. We got to SAT and blasted east on I-35 immediately, getting into Lockhart about 1320.

Black’s ordering concept is to specify how much meat you want by poundage, then get sides. I ordered a half pound each of brisket (wet) and spare ribs. Later, when I’m still eating after everyone else was done, I realized they had given me 1.21 lbs of brisket (!) and almost 0.6 lbs of ribs. THAT IS A LOT OF FOOD. I also had some beans and deviled eggs. Those were good, but the reason to go is the meat.

And it was sooooo good. The ribs were tender and smoky. They had less bark than I like (for texture), but they were 9 on the scale of 1 to JTs. They had a lot of meat on them, and were not drenched in sauce. But very, very good.

The brisket was on another level altogether. It was the best brisket I have had, anywhere, ever. It was that good. Tender, yet held together. Flavor, just bursting, great texture and bark. Juicy without being greasy. In a word, perfect. As noted above, there was a heck of a lot of it. I was eating and eating, and I ate all of it. I took a couple ribs back to the hotel, and had them for dinner. Loved that brisket.

The iced tea was perfect. The company was great. The staff was super friendly. It’s probably better that Black’s is so far away from OKC. But I guarantee, any time I am anywhere near SAT or AUS, I will make time for a Black’s stop. It’s that good. My check was $32.36 (the brisket was just short of $20, the ribs a more reasonable $7.76). Make the drive if you are anywhere near, it will be worth it.

Los Cabos, Broken Arrow, OK

22 February 2016

Los Cabos Mexican Grill & Cantina Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

You might think we are eating a lot in the Tulsa area recently, and you would be right. The trips between OKC and Muskogee give new opportunities to eat in the area, and we are taking full advantage.

Friday night, we were in the Broken Arrow area around 2000 and were looking for dinner. Los Cabos only had a 20 minute wait, so we decided to try it.

We started out with chips and salsa, with some white queso with seasoned ground beef. These two items were pretty good. I added two spoons of the salsa to the queso, and it was outstanding, great stuff. The combined flavor of the queso and the salsa was far better than the individual flavors.

Ian got the Enchiladas Especial with shredded beef and chili con carne. He thought they were pretty good but a little on the bland side. I had a Carnitas Burrito with chili con carne. It was huge. The filling was quite tasty, and hotter than heck. As is the case with many burritos, the tortilla got sort of eaten by the juice of the meat. I liked it, but I might get it as a chimi next time if I can.

The tea was very good, and service was quite friendly and fast. We sat outside on the patio overlooking the lake and OK51. It was at touch on the chilly side towards the end of the meal.  Our check was $40.05, which feels to me a touch on the expensive side.

While we were eating our appetizer, we saw a drone fly along OK51, make a turn over the Bass Pro Shop, then zip back east and out of sight.

Los Cabos was pretty good, but I feel the menu was limited. I would like to see some more traditional Mexican fare to go along with the Tex-Mex. What we had was good, though, and I would have no problem eating there again.

Sinbad Rotisserie Chicken, Broken Arrow, OK

22 February 2016

Sinbad Rotisserie Chicken Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Ian and I are headed home from a day of work in Muskogee, and we stopped at Sinbad as it is near the interstate and I like roast chicken.

Ian got a Shawerma and thought it was OK. The beef was a little chewy. I got a half rotisserie chicken with rice. The bird was a touch overcooked, with a roasted flavor, but a bit dried out deeper in.

We had DP for drink (very good) as the tea was not brewed there (too bad). Service was counter and very friendly. Our check was $16.78. I would not mind a return visit.

Hopz Bunz, Tulsa, OK

21 February 2016

Hop Bunz Crafted Burgers & Beer Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Ian and I were heading to Muskogee today to complete working on my Mom’s house, and needed lunch passing through Tulsa. The first place we tried on Peoria was packed, so we walked across the street to Hopz, and were seated immediately.

We started with fried pickles, that came with a ranch dressing (very good), and a chipotle ranch. The chipotle ranch was excellent; it had a nice flavor, and had an impressive bite to it, without burning your taste buds off. We both got cheeseburgers; Ian plain with fries, and me the Old Hickory (which was dressed with a liberal amount of BBQ sauce, not hickory). The BBQ sauce was quite good. The burger also had thin fried onion straws, and they added well-cooked bacon to it. Those burgers were excellent. They were cooked a perfect medium well, had outstanding beef flavor, and a nice crust. Overall, one of the best burgers I’ve had recently, even better than Brownie’s. I tried a couple of the fries, very good stuff.

Service was fast and very friendly. The iced tea was good and kept refilled. The place is open and very noisy, but we could at least talk without shouting. Our check was $31.33. I would go back and eat another of those burgers anytime. Great stuff.

Upper Crust Pizza, Oklahoma City, OK

21 February 2016

Upper Crust Wood Fired Pizza Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

We’ve been to Upper Crust twice in the past six months. The most recent visit was 21 January. As Ian pointed out, Upper Crust is more than just a place to get a good pizza (and the pizza is pretty good). It’s more of a place to have a social experience along with your dinner. It’s a little loud. That being said, there is a good selection of pie here.

On both visits, we started out with decent garlic bread, and really good Caesar salads.

We had a mixture of pies. A pepperoni, a half chicken, and a half ham, pepperoni, and mushroom. The only thing to say is that it was some darn good pizza. Part of it went home with us for Raegan to have for lunch the next day. As I look at the check right now, it sorta looks like we were charged for three pizzas when I know we ordered two (split among the four of us). Regardless, it was good. My gold standard used to be any of the Hideaway outlets, but all of those but the original Stillwater location have suffered a reduction in quality over the past several years, and the Upper Crust pie was better, almost far better.

Service was decent given how busy the place was. The check for the four of us was $69.09, on the expensive side. So Upper Crust lives up to it’s name ( 🙂 ), and is in the “occasional” category.

Pearl’s Oyster Bar, Oklahoma City, OK

21 February 2016

Pearl's Oyster Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Raegan and I have never been to Pearl’s, even though we drive by it all the time. Back on 26 Jan, we had been to a meeting, and when it was over, we decided to hit Pearl’s as it was nearby. We got there about 1845, and were immediately seated.

We started out with a bowl (for me) and a cup (for her) of very good clam chowder. Really, really good.

Raegan likes seafood, so she got the seafood skillet. She reported that it was very good, and helped satisfy a craving for seafood she has had for several months. So that’s a win.

I don’t like seafood, and I was amazed to find fried chicken on the menu, so that’s what I got. It was not the best fried chicken I’ve had, but it was pretty good as well. The chicken was fried up just a little on the stringy side, especially in the center. I do not remember what sides we got, but I know I left some of mine. I do recall asking for some gravy for the chicken, and liking it.

The iced tea was pretty good. Our server was extraordinarily friendly, and kept our drinks refilled. Our check was $53.00. That’s a little on the expensive side for two (in fact, it’s very close to what we pay for four), so I think that puts Pearl’s in the “special occasion” category. There were some other interesting things on the menu I might like to try later.

Ye Old Pancake Station, Amarillo, TX

19 February 2016

Ye Olde Pancake Station Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

In the latest installment of me playing “catch up the blog”, we go to Amarillo, TX. We went skiing at Wolf Creek Thanksgiving week 2015. We had dinner on the way west at a most excellent place called Calico County; they had a heck of a breakfast menu, so that where we were headed this fine morning of 29 November. BUT, they stopped seating for breakfast 15 minutes before the official stop time for breakfast, and since we wanted breakfast, we quickly found Ye Old Pancake Station. It was very good!

We got a bunch of juice and milk and tea to start, and the four of us had all sorts of eggs, pancakes, ham and cheese omelet, grits, biscuits and gravy, hash browns, bacon, sausage, etc. Every bit of it was excellent! And every bit of it was eaten. We waddled out of the place.

Service was a bit slow, but the place was packed. Our servers were very cheery and nice. Our check was $61.46, which was pretty good value given how many extra sides we had, and all those drinks.

I’m sorry the folks at Calico lost our breakfast business, but we had a heckuva meal at Ye Old Pancakes. Great stuff!

Timmy’s Diner, Tulsa, OK

18 February 2016

Timmy's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Back on 03 January, Ian and I were headed to Muskogee to do some work on my Mom’s house, and we decided to hit lunch in Tulsa.  We tried a couple places that were closed, then noticed Timmy’s, and the fact that it was near US169, so we decided to try it.  We got there about 1330.

Ian had a CFS dinner; the CFS was clearly breaded up right there.  It was pretty darn good, tender, and I liked the gravy as well.

I had a Pancakes, Meat, and Eggs.  It was a Significant Breakfast :).  The pancakes almost didn’t get finished (even though they were medium sized).  The eggs were a perfect over easy, and I liked the sausages and bacon (it was very good bacon, crispy).  I was glad we still had an hour drive ahead of us before getting to work, I was full.

We both had very good iced tea.  Service was casual but not slow.  Our check was $21.32, which I think was very good value.  If I were in East Tulsa again and needed lunch or breakfast, Timmy’s would be a good choice.

OKCity Grill, Food Truck, Oklahoma City, OK

18 February 2016

Today I headed out for lunch, and there was the OKCity Grill truck on the parking lot of my office. I walked over and checked out the menu, and saw cheeseburgers, and the truck smelled pretty good, so…

I had the Cheeseburger Basket, which was a cheeseburger topped to my specs, and fries. It was not the best burger I’ve had (especially recently), but it was well cooked and had decent flavor. The fries were OK, but needed just a touch more time in the frier.

Service was fast, and the crew friendly. They had cans of stuff to drink, so I scored DP. My check was $10.00, not bad value, especially given that I didn’t have to drive anywhere. I would eat at this truck again.

Brownie’s Hamburger Stand, Tulsa, OK

18 February 2016

Brownie's Hamburger Stand Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Permit me a moment. Back in my college days, when I was working the evening shift at Tayloe Paper Company, I visited my friend Gary quite often in the vicinity of the University of Tulsa. We hit quite a few cafes in that time, and one of the best was Brownie’s. Unfortunately, the mists of time had dimmed my memory of the name, but I had the general location, and I thought it was on an east-west street like 21st; I’ve tried to locate it on the occasion when we were in the NE Tulsa area around lunch. This past Monday, Ian and I were headed home after working in Muskogee, we were darned hungry, and I did a Google search for “best burger in Tulsa”, and Brownie’s popped up. We checked it out, and It Was The Place I Remembered. Except that being on Harvard, it was a north-south street. Regardless, the interior was the right one!

We were thirsty. Ian got a chocolate milkshake and iced tea. I got a root beer and iced tea. This apparently amazed the servers, look at all those drinks! 🙂

I had a bowl of chili. Our server and I had a miscomm, as I wanted it plain, and I got it with beans, cheese, and onions. The chili was OK. It had little flavor and no heat. I’ve had worse chili, but I’ve had better. It just needed more flavor.

For our main course, we both got double cheeseburgers. Those burgers were small, and perfectly cooked, with great flavor and a nice crust, and a grilled bun. Wonderful burger, and inexpensive!

Ian had fries, they were pretty darn good. The drinks were really good. I had four mugs of root beer, and a tea to go.

For all this, the service was very friendly and fast. Our check was $26.91 (the drinks drove the cost up, but that’s OK). I will remember Brownie’s from now on, and go back. Recommended.

Claud’s Hamburgers, Tulsa, OK

14 February 2016

Claud's Hamburgers Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

We’ve tried to eat at Claud’s several times over the past couple months. Today Ian and I were headed to Muskogee on a Saturday, so we stopped by for lunch. The place is tiny, only about 12 seats (eight at the counter, four in front of a window).

We both got triple burgers, which really was a couple larger patties. Mine had bacon. I screwed up regarding onions; I thought they put fried onions on the burgers, and asked for just a few. In reality, they fulfilled my request by putting a couple raw onions pieces.

Regardless, the cheeseburgers were excellent. Great beef flavor, cooked just right with a nice crust. The best burger I’ve had in a while. We got fries as well, and iced tea, both excellent.

Service was fast. Our check was $25.57. I would eat burgers at Claud’s any time.