Posts Tagged ‘TX’

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.

The Perot Museum of Nature and Science, Dallas, TX

20 June 2016

This past Friday, after my work finished, Raegan, Ian, and Erin and I headed to downtown Dallas to visit the Perot Museum. We got there about 1330.

One of the reasons I wanted to hit the museum is that they were playing an IMax film about our National Parks. We scored our entry tickets to include tickets for the show at 1415. Raegan got in free as she is an educator, and Erin got a discount for being a student.

We looked through the gift shop prior to show time. The movie was essentially a long commercial for our national parks (I have no problem with that). It was beautifully filmed. It was in 3D format, which was occasionally interesting but didn’t add much to the scenery.

They have a flow through the place. They want you to take a couple long escalators up to the 3rd floor, where you see a small exhibit on earth and space science, including an earthquake simulator. They also have a decent set of fossils there. On top of this level is a mezzanine devoted to birds. This was my favorite level in the museum.

From there, you drift down to level two. I love mineral collections, and while the mineral collection here was on the small side, they had some spectacular large crystals.

The life sciences hall was kind of sparse, but one thing that was pretty neat was some MRIs of the human body showing the midsections. Seeing the relationships between bones and organs was cool.

The hydrocarbons exhibit was basically a long commercial for fracking.

The Innovations hall has some cool hands-on stuff. The best thing was a robot programming station that used a form of Logo on a drag-and-drop GUI to program the robot to roam around the table.

We left right before 1800. It was an enjoyable visit, but was less extensive than other science museums we have been to. We won’t have a return visit for some time, unless they add some spectacular new exhibit. It’s worth a visit.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

Old West Cafe, Sanger, TX

13 February 2016

Old West Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

As I headed from the Dallas area to OKC this afternoon, I was in Sanger, TX just after noon. I saw the Old West Cafe on Google and decided to check it out.

I got there at 1245, the place was about half full. I ordered the CFS with mashers, gravy, and pinto beans. The mashers and gravy were very good. I liked the pintos, even though they had a taste of jalapeno in them. The pepper caused just a little bit of mouth burn, but that went away very quickly.

The CFS has real potential. I would rate this one an 8 out of 10. It was fork tender, and had pretty good flavor. It was clearly not pre-made. The problem I had with it is that it had been overcooked a bit. The breading was quit stiff and a bit hard to chew. I think it needed about a minute less cooking time. The CFS here is likely a real winner if it’s not consistently overcooked.

The iced tea was very good, and service was fast and very friendly. This place was slightly unusual in that all ordering was done with what looked like a smart phone, and checkout was done via iPad with a Square-like signature capture.

I hope to be able to visit again at some point; the place has potential. My check was $12.21.

Southern Recipes Cafe, Plano, TX

11 February 2016

Southern Recipes Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I’m at a business meeting in Richardson, and at lunch suggested hitting Southern Recipes. It used to be just west of here. On the way there, we headed that way until one of the guys remembered that SR was now in Plano. We turned around and headed back north to the new location. Unfortunately in one way, the new SR location is in a space that had been occupied by a very good Italian restaurant. Oh well.

The six of us ordered various things. I started out with some very good chicken noodle soup. I had chopped steak with gravy, mushrooms, and onions. It was very good, to include the gravy and mushrooms. I was not entirely happy with the onions, only about 10% of them were cooked to any extent, mostly they were large and raw.

The iced tea was very good. Service was OK, although a bit on the slow side. Te food was very good, I will continue to go back to SR.

Ten 50 BBQ, Richardson, TX

11 February 2016

Ten50 BBQ Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

This place is pretty good! It is based on the same concept as Black’s in Lockhart. You go through the line, select your meat(s) by the pound(s), thengo through and get other stuff.

I had a half pound each of ribs and brisket (wet). Damn fine brisket, tender and juicy, great smoky flavor. The ribs were pretty good (7.5 on a scale of 1 to JTs), they seemed to come apart in odd ways when pulling it off the bone. The flavor was decent.

I was not a huge fan of the BBQ sauce, but the ribs and brisket were so good I used the sauce sparingly. I had some OK mac (mostly) and cheese (less). The tea was pretty good, and all serve yourself. My check was $28.08. Pretty expensive given the lack of sides.

I would go back, though, with a group. I lament the closure of Soulman’s, but this is pretty good.

Norma’s Cafe, Addison, TX

29 January 2016

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

Back in early December, I was in the north Dallas area for meetings.  On Friday around noon, I headed back towards OKC, and remembered there was a Norma’s around there somewhere.  A quick Google Maps search brought me there.  I got there at 1245, and was seated immediately.

I had a bacon double cheeseburger and fries, just about as straightforward as you can get.  The fries were pretty good.  The cheeseburger was EXCELLENT.  Great beef, grilled with a nice crust on it, the thing even looked good!  The way a burger should be.

Service was very friendly and fast, even though the place was fairly crowded.  My check was somewhere around $12.  The iced tea was very good, and kept refilled.

I will be happy to go back to Norma’s.

Cooper’s BBQ, Fort Worth, TX

29 January 2016

Cooper's Old Time Pit Bar B Que Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

A couple weeks ago we were doing a lot of stuff in the Dallas and Fort Worth areas.  Ian and I had driven by what was claimed in Google to be an El Pollo Loco (but wasn’t).  We found ourselves in the Stockyards area, and drove past Cooper’s, and had to stop in.

Cooper’s has a lot of potential.  You order your meat first, then some sides, then sit down at long tables family style.  Your Q is on butcher paper.

Ian got ribs, I got brisket and BBQ chicken.  The brisket (wet) had decent flavor and was very tender, but it was almost too salty to eat.  The chicken was very good on the first eating, but got quite dry on the inside, so it had been smoked a little too long.  The ribs were very good.  They had decent bark, and were very tender.  I think they were the best part of the meal.  The sauce was pretty thin but was a good addition.

The beans were OK but bland, and the mac and cheese was pretty good.  The iced tea was killer good.

It was a HECK of a lot of food.  The check for the two of us was something like $40.  It was pretty expensive for non-perfect BBQ.  I think that brisket could be excellent, but it was just too salty.  So I would try it again if we were in the area, but I would get about half of the food that we got.  We didn’t finish the sides, and darn near had to be hauled out of there on a two-wheeler.

Rooster’s Roadhouse, Denton, TX

17 November 2014

Rooster's Roadhouse on Urbanspoon

Coming back from our weekend trip to Dallas, we did kind of a lazy explore up past Frisco and on to 380, then to Denton. Ian found Roosters and steered us there. It was very good!

We started with some bacon and cheese fries. I’ve seen this dish with more bacon and more cheese. Regardless, it was OK.

Ian and I got chopped brisket; his was a sandwich and mine the dinner. We both had fries. That was some very good brisket; tender and fatty and tasty. Raegan got a pulled pork sandwich, it was also very good, again tender and smoky. She got okra that was very good. Finally, Erin got a bacon cheeseburger. That was some outstanding burger; the beef was wonderful, and it didn’t need the bacon. Great burger!

The iced tea was strong and kept refilled. Service was fast. The only thing about this place is that is LOUD. It was also packed at 1230 on a Sunday afternoon. Our check was $52.01, decent value.

Norma’s Cafe, Dallas, TX

16 November 2014

Norma's Cafe on Urbanspoon

This place was great! We are in Dallas for a visit to the Dallas Museum of Art, and Norma’s is just a couple miles to the SW. We got there about 1215, and it was packed. We got a table right away (the table was small, and the four of us were a tight fit).

We started with some perfect onion rings. We also got a pile of amazing dinner rolls and cornbread. We ordered a pair of CFS for Ian and I, Erin got a Frito chili pie, and a chicken fried chicken for Raegan. Here was the only issue with the meal, we got three CFS. Raegan decided to go ahead an have it for lunch. Those CFS were great, a 9.5 out of 10. They were kind of gnarled up, but very tasty and clearly breaded there. We had pintos, mac and cheese, corn, carrots, green beans, and mashers and gravy for sides. Every bit of that was eaten and was great! Erin enjoyed her chili pie.

We got slices of chocolate pie, chocolate cake, and custard pie for dessert, and they were all wonderful. The iced tea was excellent.

A note on service. It was bloody crowded in there, but I thought service was just outstanding. The drinks never ran out, everything was delivered quickly, and the two things we asked for extra (some jam for those wonderful rolls, and some extra gravy for the CFS) came in less than a minute. Our server was also super friendly and not rushed at all.

Our check was $71.30. At first I thought it was too high, but fully $20 was the appetizer and the desserts. All of the food was great. I think we got pretty good value. I’d go back any time.

Potbelly, Addison, TX

16 November 2014

Potbelly Sandwich Shop on Urbanspoon

This is the third Potbelly I’ve been to. The first, in the Chicago area several years ago, I wasn’t particularly impressed by. The location at Campbell and US75 in Richardson is pretty good. And so is this one.

I got a Farmhouse salad; it was pretty darn good. Raegan got a grilled chicken sandwich, Erin just got just a cup of broccoli cheese soup, and Ian just got a cup of chili. All of this was very good. Service was fast and friendly. Our check was $33.02. The iced tea was excellent. Not a bad sandwich place at all.

Skillet & Grill, Arlington, TX

26 May 2014

Skillet & Grill on Urbanspoon

This was a great find! We picked it after driving by and deciding it looked good.

I got a chicken fried steak; it was a 10! Fork tender, great flavor. The gravy was very good. I had mashers and pintos as my sides. Ian and Erin both got burgers; I tried a bite and was impressed with the flavor and texture. Raegan got a grilled ham and cheese that was just perfect. The dessert was chocolate pudding that we all enjoyed.

Service was friendly and the iced tea was great. This was a wonderful diner experience, and recommended. Our check was $34.99, I think very good value. I would eat here any time.

A side note. I mentioned to Erin that the restaurant was like any of dozens I had eaten in growing up in the OK/AR/TX area. She had made a comment that the place was essentially “tired”. My take on it was that it was classic! 🙂

Cavanaugh Flight Museum, Addison, TX

26 May 2014

We had just visited a store for Erin, and Ian noted a sign pointing to this museum. We like airplanes, and decided to check it out.

First of all, we got to drive through the toll tunnel running under Addison Airport. I didn’t even know there *was* a tunnel under the airport.

This is a nice museum that occupies three hangers at the airport. They have airplanes on display from WWI, WWII, Korea, and Viet Nam. Most of the airplanes are in very good shape, and some are flyable. There are a couple that not unexpectedly need some TLC. Most of them have a story attached to them, mainly what the units that owned the planes did with them. There were a couple of airplanes from other services.

One thing that was very cool was a couple wooden wings being rebuilt. It was very neat to see the joinery used.

It cost $10 per person to tour ($8 for seniors or military). It’s worth it, I think.

Check our their website at

Black-Eyed Pea, Denton, TX

26 May 2014

Black Eyed Pea on Urbanspoon

Oh, we used to love the Pea. It’s still pretty good.

We were headed home after our Day in Dallas, and the Pea in Denton was right ahead of us. We got there about 2015 to find it almost empty. I had my usual pot roast, and it was really good. Erin had potato skins, and liked them, but only ate one (I tried one, it was pretty good). Ian and CFS, and while he ate all of it, said it wasn’t a good flavor. He also reported it was kind of tough, and that the breading over-ran the beef about an inch all the way around, so the CFS looked bigger than it was. Raegan had a baked potato with bacon and cheese with a caesar salad. We ended the meal with yummy banana pudding, and Ian got a huge piece of chocolate cake which was completely consumed.

Service was friendly, the iced tea was great. Our check was $55.21. Not a bad meal at all.

Urban Taco, DFW Airport, TX

22 May 2014

Urban Taco on Urbanspoon

This place was a pleasant surprise. I was between flights and wanted something a bit light. I certainly got that.

I got two tacos on flour tortillas. One was carnitas (pork) and the other steak. They were excellent! Just a touch on the spicy side, with some raw onion (but not too much), very tasty. And small. The tortillas were about 4″ diameter. That’s it. Each was about three or four bites. Check the photo on Urbanspoon.

Now, that wasn’t bad in this case. I wasn’t terribly hungry after a largish cheeseburger with lunch, so the smallish servings were a good thing. But if I wanted to have a full meal, I would probably want four of five of these.

They have pretty good iced tea, with one free refill. My check was $8.54, not bad.

I.Gemelli Italian Ristorante, Richardson, TX

10 April 2014

I.Gemelli Italian Ristorante on Urbanspoon

A group of us ate lunch here today at the suggestion of my friend Gayle. It was pretty good!

We started off with slices of warm bread, not bad. It came with balsamic vinegar and olive oil, and I asked for some marinara, which was very good. I got fettuccine al fredo with chicken. The noodles were al dente, and the al fredo was decent, although not very rich. The chicken was grilled and sliced; next time I will ask that it be diced and sauteed.

Service was one guy, moving very fast, and doing a great job as the place got more full. The iced tea was good, and kept refilled. My check was $12.94. This place was pretty good, I look forward to another visit.

Dylan’s Burger House, Richardson, TX

10 April 2014

Dylan's Burger House on Urbanspoon

I found this place using Google; I had just played tennis and had a committee meeting telecon, and wanted quick and easy food.

I got a double cheeseburger, it was very good. Kind of peppery, and the beef had better flavor than most. I got an order of chili cheese fries; EXCELLENT. Too much for me to finish, even! For drinks I got iced tea (excellent) and a vanilla milkshake (very good).

Overall, a better than average burger place. Next time, I might ask for a little less pepper on the burger. Service was prompt and friendly. My check was $15.72. A bit expensive, the a good part was the extra drink (the milkshake) and the huge order of chili fries.

I gather this place used to be called just “Burger House”. There are Burger House locations in the metro area, and now they must be checked out.

Williams Chicken, Plano, TX

9 April 2014

Williams Chicken on Urbanspoon

I drove past this place after having dinner last evening. I got a 3-piece all white, mashers with cream gravy, and slaw. The slaw was OK, it was vinegary. The mashers were OK. The chicken was a mixed bag. It was crispy enough, and the pieces were nice sized, and moist enough, but it was not overly flavorful. Maybe the breading was just plain, or something. So the meal was not bad, but it was not something to make me lust for going back tomorrow.

The iced tea was pretty good, and service was fast and very friendly. My check was $10.96. If I were driving past and just had to have some fried chicken, I wouldn’t mind stopping. But I wouldn’t drive out of my way.

Chubby’s, Plano, TX

8 April 2014

Chubby's Family on Urbanspoon

I had dinner here last night for no better reason than it was on the corner opposite where I was having a haircut. It was pretty good!

I got a chopped steak, medium. It comes with brown gravy, grilled onions, and mushrooms. It was perfect. The sides were mashers with more brown gravy (excellent), and some thin-cut green beans with some onion cooked in (OK). Nothing was left on my plate.

Service was right on the money, and the iced tea was great. My check was $8.90. Fast and good.

Popeyes, DFW, TX, Terminal D

18 February 2014

Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen on Urbanspoon

I was headed to Boston last Monday morning, and wanted just a snack before my flight. There was Popeyes a couple gates over, and I decided to check it out. It was not the best first impression.

I ordered a two-piece chicken, mild. They didn’t have any (this was at 1130). None for another 20 minutes (this is a real bugaboo of mine, how does a chicken place run out of chicken, at lunch?). I got a six-piece nugget combo, with slaw. The biscuit was dry. The slaw wasn’t bad at all. The chicken was overcooked, so the nuggets were tough, and had little flavor.

The iced tea was OK. They wanted $1.00 for a refill. Are you kidding me? Service was OK. My check was $6.59.

This was a bad first visit. I don’t write any restaurant (or chain) off on one visit, so I will try again, and hope the next location is better.

Uncle Buck’s, Bass Pro Shop, Grapevine, TX

16 February 2014

Uncle Buck's Brewery & Steakhouse on Urbanspoon

After my flight to PHX was canceled on 06 Feb, I managed to get one of the last rooms at the Embassy Suites on the north side of DFW. Conveniently, the Embassy is attached to a Bass Pro Shops, which has this Uncle Buck’s. Since I didn’t have a car or a coat, and it was bloody cold, it made sense to have dinner here.

I really wasn’t in the mood for a $25 steak, so I got the chicken fried steak after my server said it was breaded there. It was. The CFS was pretty darn good, and decent sized. I rank it an 8 on a scale of 1-10. It came with mashers, green beans, and decent gravy. I was not happy with the green beans, they had some kind of red peppers in them, but I managed to eat most of them. The mashers and gravy were pretty good.

The iced tea was great, and service was good. The place was almost deserted, probably due to the weather. My check was $16.76. Not bad.

Zoës Kitchen, Richardson, TX

13 January 2014

Zoës Kitchen on Urbanspoon

I had lunch here with some work friends back on 12 December. I looked the menu over, and decided on the classic turkey sandwich with potato salad. The turkey was OK but a bit on the dry side. The potato salad was excellent. The iced tea was decent.

This place was crowded at the noon hour; our group of seven split into two tables. My check was $10.26.

I remember being quite hungry come dinner time, and ended up getting a big Italian meal. So Zoe’s is a mixed bag. OK sandwich, but the McAlister’s turkey is more substantial for less money. I might try Zoe’s again.

Paesano’s, Plano, TX

12 January 2014

Paesano's Ristorante on Urbanspoon

I had visited the Home Depot just south of here, and was in the mood to eat Italian, so I gave this place a try based on UrbanSpoon. It was great! I had dinner here 12 December.

I asked for some marinara to dip the bread in; it was smooth and had great flavor. My meal was chicken fettuccine al fredo. First of all, that was a heck of a lot of food. I can put away some chow, and that was right at my limit. The al fredo was the kind I actually like best: not overwhelmingly butter, but you could taste the cream, and it was just thick enough to cling to the perfect fettuccine. The chicken was just the right amount, tender, and sauteed slices, just the way I like it.

I had a salad, but don’t remember much about it.

Service was spotty. I ran out of iced tea a couple times. But the meal was served very quickly. My check was $14.05, great value.

Cowboy Chicken, Dallas, TX

12 January 2014

Cowboy Chicken on Urbanspoon

I had dinner here around 12 December. I have had dinner at another Cowboy Chicken location a couple years ago and liked it. This was a little bit disappointing. The chicken was very dry. I ate all of it, but it required a lot of iced tea. The sides, mac and cheese, and ranchero beans, were pretty darn good.

Given the good experience at my first try, I will go back again at some point. My check was $12.21.

Blue Sky, Amarillo, TX

12 January 2014

Blue Sky on Urbanspoon

While on the way out of town last Saturday in the early afternoon, we drove by Blue Sky, and I saw a sign “Hand Breaded Chicken Fried Steaks”. Well… I pulled right in.

We got there about 1220. About five minutes later, there was a line 20 people long that lasted the whole hour we were there.

Ian and Raegan got burgers. I tried a piece of Ian’s, and it was pretty good beef, well cooked. Erin got a HUGE plate of bacon cheese fries. I got the CFS. It was not the best CFS I’ve had, but it was far from the worst. It was clearly hand breaded, was mostly fork tender, and had decent flavor. It came with very good gravy, and nice fries. Raegan got onion rings as well that were excellent. Note: it’s a LOT of food. The kids got some shakes they really liked, and the iced tea was very good.

This place is order at the counter, then pick up your food when the number is displayed above the counter. Our check was about $52. If you are passing through, you could do worse than stop at Blue Sky. I will again.

Great American Grill, Amarillo, TX (In Hilton Garden Inn)

12 January 2014

Great American Grill on Urbanspoon

We generally try to stay at this Hilton Garden Inn when we pass through Amarillo. We had breakfast here last Saturday.

The food at GAGs is cooked to order and usually a small buffet line. That’s the way it is in Amarillo. The scrambled eggs on the buffet were more chunks. I got a ham and bacon and cheese omelet that was very good, and some bacon as well that was well cooked without being cremated. This was rounded out with milk and juice. Everyone liked their breakfast just fine.

The main problem here, as in past visits, was service. It wasn’t bad, but the place was understaffed for the number of people in the restaurant. They were both friendly, but there was just too much going on for two servers. So eat the breakfast, just be prepared to pitch in yourself if needed (I went and got my order after it sat for a couple minutes, so it wouldn’t get cold). Our check was about $48.

The Garden Inn is a fine example of the HGI chain. We got two rooms, and both were good sized rooms that were very clean, nice large beds, and a largish bathroom. The TV was a little 27 in flat panel that was kind of hard to see from the beds. Wifi was decently fast, even with the pretty full hotel. The front desk staff was very good. It’s a nice hotel.

Chuy’s, Plano, TX

11 January 2014

Chuy's on Urbanspoon

I had lunch here 11 Dec 2013 with some work friends. It was pretty darn crowded, but we didn’t have to wait for a table.

I got the combination fajitas, and they were pretty darn good. The meat was plump and cooked tender and pretty darn tasty. As usual, I didn’t wrap it up in tortillas, but just mixed it all together on the serving platter. The onions were cooked all the way (instead of being a bit raw). The chips and salsa were very good.

Service was a bit spotty, but they were very busy over lunch. The iced tea was really good. My check was $15.89, not bad. I would go back.

Olive Burger, Richardson, TX

18 December 2013

Olive Burger on Urbanspoon

I found this place using a Google search, and had dinner there last night. It was really good, but it was just short of a great burger. I got a #4 bacon cheeseburger, with mayo and pickles. All the burgers are 1/2 lb.

The burger was right on the edge of being great. The beef was really good, well flavored. The texture was perfect. It was well done, and had a bit of charring around the edges. Next time, I am going to get the burger medium well; I think it will be a bit juicier.

The meal came with a dish of green olives, and I got some onion rings that were really good (there were more than I could finish).

My check was $11.34. The tea was Gold Coast, it was OK. The Coke was really good. This place has a lot of potential, and it is near where I work in Richardson; it’s on the lunch list now.

Humperdink’s, Dallas, TX (Northwest Hwy)

14 September 2013

Humperdink's Texas on Urbanspoon

I met my friend Keith and a couple of his Dallas-area family members here for dinner 29 August. I just missed our OKC friends Sherri and Richard, who got to the restaurant about five minutes after I left; it would have been very cool to run into them.

We started out with fried pickles. Those were darn fine, with a very good ranch dressing to dip them in. I don’t remember what the rest of the group ordered, but I got the chicken tenders platter. It came with BBQ sauce and ranch dressing for dipping, and was very good.

Service was pretty good in spite of how busy the restaurant was. The iced tea was very good. Our check was $39.48, which is great value given that there were four adults and a six-year-old. I would gladly go back. And the company was outstanding!

Burger Street, Plano, TX

28 August 2013

Burger Street on Urbanspoon

I had just had a haircut and needed dinner, and Burger Street was about a block away. It was not the best burger I’ve had, but it was far from the worst.

I got a a double cheese combo, a large Coke, and curly fries. The fries were very good, nice potato flavor and just crunchy enough. The burger was not bad at all. It had decent flavor, but it needed to be cooked just a bit longer to give it a nice crust. Good cheese, also!

I would say that the burger was far better than Sonic or Braum’s. Service was fast and friendly. My check was $9.72. If I had an opportunity to eat another Burger Street burger, I would.

Black Eyed Pea, Plano, TX

7 June 2013

Black Eyed Pea on Urbanspoon

This was a very good meal. I got my usual, pot roast, with mashers and green beans. All excellent, and all scarfed down. Raegan got the turkey dinner; it was pretty darn good. Erin started with loaded potato skins (not bad at all, although the potatoes could have been baked just a touch longer) and a cheeseburger. The burger was not very good; it was overcooked, and had patches of scorch. Erin didn’t want to return it, though.

Service was good, and the iced tea was excellent. We finished off with banana pudding that was really good. Our check was $46.15.

Johnny’s Pizza House, Addison, TX

6 June 2013

Johnny's Pizza House on Urbanspoon

We had dinner here while on a pilgrimage to the nearby American Girls store :).

When we got there at 1820, it was completely empty; we nearly drove off. I’m glad we didn’t. Raegan got a small (8″) canadian bacon, mushroom, and green olive pizza. She ate the entire thing.

Erin and I split a large (14″). Hers was bacon cheeseburger (without the onions), and mine was meat plus (pepperoni, hamburger, sausage, and bacon). That was one of the best pizzas I have had in a while. It was probably in the top five, including the outstanding pizza that we had in Bozeman last summer. It had just the right amount of sauce (which was just a touch spicy), the toppings had FLAVOR (yea!), and the amount of cheese was perfect. The crust was a thin crust, which got softer as eating continued, as the crust absorbed some of the meat grease. That, BTW, is not a bad thing.

The tea was pretty good (brewed there!). Cooking time was a little longer, but on the other hand, the pizza crust was nice and crispy.

Again, a simply wonderful pizza. I would eat here any time. Our check was $31.42. Great stuff.

The Egg & I, Richardson, TX

5 June 2013

Egg and I on Urbanspoon

We drove by this restaurant and decided to try it. It was not bad. I got a bacon cheeseburger, with baked potato soup for my side. The soup was pretty good, if a bit thick. My cheeseburger, which was supposed to be medium well, was well done, and then some. It had some more-black-than-brown parts on the crust. Not a lot of flavor, either. Raegan got a cobb salad that was somewhat inundated with purple cabbage; she finished it all. Erin got a chicken wrap with ranch dressing.

The iced tea was really good, and service was spot on and friendly. The place was OK. I wouldn’t mind going back. Our check was $35.87.

Boston Market, Dallas, TX (North Central and Forest)

5 June 2013

Boston Market's Rotisserie Grill on Urbanspoon

I had dinner here with Raegan and Erin last evening. The Boston Market chain has been upgrading their restaurants the past couple years, but this one is a step beyond, with a very nice interior.

I got the turkey dinner, and Raegan and Erin chicken. The chicken first. I used to just love Boston Market chicken. The flavor, moistness, all were great. Over the past couple years the chicken flavor has changed to me. It’s still good, it just has an odd hint of flavor that detracts from the former true roasted flavor. I tried some of Erins dinner, and it had that odd flavor.

I got the turkey because of that odd flavor. Their turkey has always been great. The turkey last night was OK at best; it was kind of flat flavor-wise. Turkey, especially roast turkey, usually is just full of flavor, but this didn’t have a lot.

The sides were all very good. We had mashers, mac and cheese (LOVE that Boston Market mac and cheese!), and mixed veg. Raegan had a piece of pecan pie that went home with us since she was quite full.

Service was outstanding. The tea was Gold Peak, and was OK at best. Our check was $38.02; it seems a bit high, but we bought some cookies ($4) and the pecan pie slice. I’m of mixed feelings about Boston Market; I used to love the place, and now I just like it.

Dickey’s, DFW Airport, Gate C6, TX

27 May 2013

Dickey's Barbecue Pit on Urbanspoon

My friend Harold and I have a running status when we are able to go through DFW around a meal time. We can just text “C6” to the other, and then we know that there is some fine BBQ being had.

I came through DFW a week ago Friday around lunch, and walked from A30 around to C6 to get some BBQ. My meal was a half pound of brisket, mild sauce, and mac and cheese (I usually get the cheese potatoes). This was accompanied by a large iced tea (which is the perfect drink with BBQ). All of this was excellent; the brisket was cut right in front of me, and it was tender and tasty.

I got a refill of the tea to take back to my departure gate. My check was $11.93. Great stuff.

Railhead BBQ, DFW Terminal D, TX

7 May 2013

Railhead BBQ on Urbanspoon

I had lunch today at the Railhead BBQ restaurant in Terminal D of DFW. It was pretty darn good.

I had a two-meat plate. They didn’t have the chicken quite ready yet, so I got chopped brisket and pulled pork. Both were pretty darn good, if a bit on the dry side. They had good smoky flavor, and were fairly tender. A bit of extra BBQ sauce (good, and served hot!) alleviated the slight dryness of the meat.

My sides were BBQ beans (OUTSTANDING!) and green beans (OK, but a touch undercooked and a bit tough). For drink, they had decent iced tea (but refills were $0.81 each; c’mon, guys, that’s pretty cheap). Service was very friendly. My check was $14.31. Not bad value.

Cafe Brazil, Richardson, TX

26 April 2013

Cafe Brazil on Urbanspoon

Ron and I had dinner here this evening. It was very good.

Ron had a ham and cheese omelet and I had a chicken quesadilla. While the quesadilla was very good, it could have used a bit more of the quesa part. It came with some very good salsa to dip the quesadilla, and I changed out the default roast potatoes for hash brown casserole (which I really liked, although it was a $1.39 upcharge).

The iced tea was very good, and service was right on the money. My check was $11.88. Nice place, I would like to add it to my Richardson lunch rotation.

Soulman’s BBQ, Richardson, TX

25 April 2013

Soulman's BBQ on Urbanspoon

This was really good! A group of 10 of us went to Soulman’s for lunch Monday. It’s a large facility and we easily found seats.

I got a two-meat lunch with smoked chicken and sliced brisket. The brisket was very good, tender and smoky and flavorful. Great stuff. That chicken was perfect! It was moist and flavorful all the way through. That might be the best smoked chicken I’ve had. The BBQ sauce was very good (and a bonus, it was hot!). I got mac and cheese and BBQ beans as my sides. The mac and cheese was a bit on the runny side, and OK. The beans were great! They had BBQ sauce, brisket, onion, and some fatty meat (pulled pork, maybe); yummy.

The iced tea was great. The crew was super friendly. This was a superior BBQ experience. My check was $16.65. I look forward to eating here again.

A note: I’ve been coming to the DFW area for years, and this was the first time I’ve heard of Soulman’s. Good recommendation from Kim!

Angela’s At The Crosswalk, Plano, TX

25 April 2013

Angela's at the Crosswalk on Urbanspoon

Ron and I had dinner here Tuesday evening. First of all, Plano has a very nice downtown area! There were a lot of people walking around, eating, and the like, on a blustery Tuesday.

I started off with some fried pickles. They were very good, but there were a LOT of them! They came with a decent ranch dressing. I also got some chili. This was a finely ground chili with no heat, and again, it was a lot of chili.

I got a chicken fried steak; it was very good. I rated it an 8 out of 10. It was fork tender. The breading was a bit thick, but it didn’t detract from the beef flavor, which was very good. I liked the gravy, also. The green beans were pretty good, but the mashers were excellent.

I couldn’t finish the meal, it was just too much for me. The iced tea was good. Service was variable, but overall OK. My check was $22.57. Not bad at all.

Shady’s Burger Joint, Richardson, TX

25 April 2013

Shady's Burger Joint on Urbanspoon

We had lunch here today, a party of 10 people.

I got a double meat bacon BBQ burger. It was very thick, probably six inches. I got it with onion rings. The burger: it was OK. It didn’t have just a lot of beef flavor, but it was OK. The burger had a nice crust and decent texture. The BBQ sauce was pretty tasty. The onion rings were excellent! I asked for sides of mayo and BBQ sauce and made a very nice fry sauce.

Our service was pretty much prompt and attentive. We had one issue: one of our group didn’t get her burger for quite a while; we guess there was a mixup in the kitchen. The manager comp’d Kim’s meal, which was the right thing to do.

The iced tea was great. My check was $15.50, not bad for the huge burger (it was $3 extra for the double meat). I wouuldn’t mind eating here again.

Salt Lick BBQ, Terminal A, DFW Airport, TX

13 March 2013

Salt Lick BBQ on Urbanspoon

I’ve eaten a couple times at the Salt Lick at Will Rogers (OKC), and it was decent BBQ. I had dinner at the DFW location Sunday evening as I was waiting for my flight to Omaha.

I had the brisket platter. It was decent brisket, truely smoked, tender, and pretty good flavor. It came with fries (very good) and baked beans. Those beans were a highlight of the meal, thick, outstanding flavor, with some brisket chopped up in the mix.

They don’t have iced tea (which is to say, they have some crap called “tea” in a fountain), so I had some DP. Service was reallyt fast. My check was $16.50. It’s not as good as Dickey’s, but I’ve had far worse.

McAlister’s Deli, Plano, TX (North Central)

21 February 2013

McAlister's Deli on Urbanspoon

I’m obviously in catch-up mode here.

I had lunch here with a group of friends from a company I work with (Clark was driving, so he went to McAlister’s in spite of *my* suggestion of BBQ!!! :). It was the usual fine meal I’ve come to expect. I got a Choose Two of a turkey melt (which I have really come to like, a lot) and a bowl of chili (good stuff). The tea was excellent also. Service was fast, the food was very good, and the price was very reasonable at $10.98.

Good stuff.

Connected Cactus, Doubletree Hotel, Richardson, TX

18 November 2012

Connected Cactus on Urbanspoon

I had dinner at the Connected Cactus (kind of a silly name) Wednesday evening. I had been out looking at TVs we might buy, and decided to just eat at the hotel. This is my fourth visit to the DoubleTree, and I’ve eaten about 10 breakfasts here that were pretty good.

The breakfast has both a buffet line and a cooked-to-order area for omelets. I have to say, the scrambled eggs on the buffet are so good I have only had the omelet twice. Light and fluffy, and moist, the scramblers are excellent. Unfortunately, the breakfast potatoes are contaminated with bell peppers (so many that they permeate the potatoes). The meats (bacon, sausage, etc.) are all very good, and the bread items are diverse. Milk in cartons (four kinds, whole, 2%, skim, and chocolate) and juices round it out. It’s good value for that buffet.

I had a double bacon cheeseburger for dinner Wednesday evening. It was pretty much a perfect burger, cooked medium well and perfectly juicy, nice crust, great flavor. It came with decent fries. I didn’t like the iced tea; it was concentrate or something that didn’t taste fresh brewed. I asked for Coke instead, and was presented with a glass of ice and a couple cans. It was better than the tea.

Service is always pretty good. My check for the cheeseburger dinner was $15.10, not bad given it was in a hotel. The breakfasts are $10.95.

Del’s Charcoal Burgers, Richardson, TX

18 November 2012

Del's Charcoal Burgers on Urbanspoon

This was a great place for a burger! Last Tuesday evening, our meeting in Richardson had run pretty late, and Ron (having been abandoned by his wife and daughter at Grapevine Mills Mall) and I decided to grab a burger. It’s been a long time since I was downtown Richardson, and it was a pleasant surprise, with a plethora of restaurants, and a lot of traffic at 1900.

I got a double meat burger with bacon, and Ron got a single. Excellent! The beef was cooked perfectly, with a nice crust, and it had great flavor, without being greasy. I got tater tots, and they were a good complement. I made a fry sauce for them. The iced tea is self-serve, and is very good.

We left after about an hour. My check was $9.47. I’m adding Del’s to the lunch rotation, and looking forward to trying some of the other restaurants in *downtown* Richardson also.

Mi Cocina, Richardson, TX

27 June 2012

Mi Cocina - Richardson on Urbanspoon

Had dinner here this evening with a number of friends. I got the Sunset Enchiladas, which are enchiladas with meat in them. I got ground beef. They were very good. Not as large as at lot of places, but that smaller portion size has its advantages. We also got queso, which was very good. The salsa brought to the table was thicker, and a lot hotter than most places. It was good!

The iced tea was a bit weak, but good. We had a hard time getting our servers attention a couple times. The place was very full at 1840 and was still full when we left at 1950.

Overall, a good experience. Would not mind eating here again. My check was about $13.00.

Cotton Patch Cafe, Lewisville, TX

18 October 2011

Cotton Patch Cafe on Urbanspoon

I stopped here for lunch last Friday while headed home. I had put the search term “cheeseburger” into Google Maps, and this place popped up.

I got there around 1345 and left about 1420. The meal came with two really good loaflet of bread, with cinnamon butter; I ate both, one before and one after the meal. I ordered the chicken fried steak (yes, I know, a bit more than a cheeseburger!), and I was darn glad I did. It was a lunch sized steak, and was perfect. Breaded there and fried up just right, flavorful, and fork tender. The gravy was also excellent. I got green beans (with onion and bacon) and kernel corn for my sides, and they were also very good, the beans in particular. The tea was great, I took some with me.

Service was a bit slow but stuff got there. My check was $11.10; great value. I’d eat at one of these anytime.

Romas Italian Restaurant, Dallas, TX

14 October 2011

Roma Pasta House on Urbanspoon

This was another place I saw after I left Ozona last week. I decided to check it out last evening. Overall, a decent experience.

The meal started with iced tea (good) and some interesting small (~1.5in diameter) hard rolls. This came with some very good marinara, that came in handy later.

I ordered the Trio Platter. This is chicken parmesan, on a bed of spaghetti marinara, and with a side of fettuccine alfredo. Taking these in reverse, the alfredo was OK. Not quite bland, but not terribly rich, either. It was OK. The spaghetti didn’t have a tremendous amount of marinara, so I used what was delivered with the bread to enhance the amount. The chicken was pounded flat, and was a bit overcooked. The breading was just a touch too crispy, and the chicken was just a touch touch (as in not completely fork-tender). Not a heck of a lot of flavor (probably due to the overcooking).

So not a the best meal I’ve had, but also not the worst. I would go back here again. My check was $12.44, which is not a bad value.

Back Country Barbeque, Dallas, TX

14 October 2011

Back Country Bar-B-Q on Urbanspoon

I drove past this place last week coming back from Ozona, and decided to give it a try. I went here for dinner last Wednesday. It was a mixed experience.

I ordered a combination dinner, with ribs and chicken. The ribs were OK at best. They didn’t have very much flavor, and were really fatty. I discarded one altogether as it was small and tough. The chicken started out well, not burned, and had good flavor (I got light meat, a breast). But the deeper I went, the dryer it got, and finally it was so dry that the chicken was tough and stringy. I didn’t finish it.

There were limited sides. I got baked beans and brown beans. The baked beans were good, white beans and BBQ sauce. The pintos were decent. They were flavored with significant chili powder, but they also needed a bit more cooking time.

The sauce was sweet (very sweet) hickory sauce. Almost two sweeet.

I would have liked to see some more sides (like green beans, mac and cheese). There were a number of cold sides like potato salad.

Overall, an OK experience. Some of the other meats looked good, so if I were to go back, I would try them. I got there around 1745 and left around 1845. It was mostly empty. My check was $14.30.

Casa Milagro, Richardson, TX

12 October 2011

Casa Milagro on Urbanspoon

This place was recommended by a friend. A group of six of us ate here for lunch today. It was pretty good. I got the El Tres, which was a pair of enchiladas, one ground beef and one sour cream chicken. They had refried beans and rice as well. The meal was a lunch special, and was only $6.50. The iced tea was good, and kept refilled. I liked the salsa, it was dark red and medium thick.

One thing that was kind of odd; the restaurant will not do separate checks. That’s not very customer friendly. I would eat here again, though. We were there from about 1150 to 1240.

Two Rows Classic Grill, Allen, TX

7 October 2011

Two Rows Classic Grill on Urbanspoon

Last night, after a really fun volleyball match, I stopped here for dinner. I was there 2100 – 2150. The place was mostly empty, except the bar was fairly full.

The meal started with chips, queso, and salsa. All were excellent. The queso in particular was really, really good. The salsa was very smooth, and had the perfect amount of bite to it, great stuff.

I ordered a chicken fried steak. That was one fine CFS, I rated it a 9.5 out of 10. It was fork tender everywhere, the breading was perfect, the beef flavor was excellent. The pepper gravy turned out to be barely peppered (a good thing), and it had a lot of flavor itself. It was a good size as well, not so huge as to make me feel about to explode. You have a choice of sides – I got garlic mashers and merlot mushrooms. The mashers were good, and had the gravy on them, but I didn’t finish them as it was extra volume I didn’t want. I ate only a couple of the mushrooms; they weren’t bad, it just that the wine sauce they were in was strong, and wasn’t something that appealed to me (I prefer fruity wines like Zins). So if you like Merlot, the mushrooms will be good. I should have had the onion rings instead. Next time I will.

Service was pretty good, although my tea ran out a couple times. I wasn’t in any hurry, though. My check was $14.38. I would gladly eat here again.

Twin Peaks, Plano, TX

5 October 2011

Twin Peaks on Urbanspoon

I ate here last evening. I was looking for something light, and ended up a little heavier than I wanted.

First of all, if you don’t like the concept of Hooters, you will not like Twin Peaks. The “Great Views” in their motto refer to the staff, who are all very attractive, and dressed to enhance that.

That being said, service was OK, a bit spotty. It took a while to get my tea ordered, and there were a couple times that it ran out. That never sits well with me.

I ordered the small BBQ wings. They were OK, not terribly meaty, but the BBQ flavor was good.

For my meal, I got the ribeye pot roast. While the meat was roasted pot-roast style, I don’t think it was ribeye. The meat had little flavor. It was tender enough. The gravy (brown) wasn’t too bad. The mashers were good, and the vegetable medley was interesting (it was thin green beans, bacon, corn, and onion).

My check was $23.82, not bad for a largish appetizer and entree. I would go back if I was part of a group, but probably not if it was just me.

Ozona Bar and Grill, Dallas, TX

5 October 2011

Ozona Bar & Grill on Urbanspoon

I ate at Ozona a couple times a couple years ago. It had an outstanding chicken fried steak, reported #1 in the Metroplex from D Magazine, and I pretty much had to agree. I do not get down to that area very often, though. So Monday evening, I wanted something different, and decided to head down to Ozona again.

I got there around 1830 and left around 1930. The place was about 70% full, and the Rangers playoff game was on the TVs everywhere. I got iced tea, and ordered the CFS with onion rings, and extra gravy.

That was a perfect CFS. It was breaded perfectly, cooked all the way through, was fork-tender, and had amazing flavor. The size was good also, in that it filled me up just right. The gravy was really, really good also. Not too pepperly, you could taste the flour and milk, and it was a wonderful complement to the CFS. The onion rings were perfect, thin-sliced, tender, well breaded.

Service was really good, the tea was excellent, just a great restaurant experience. My check was $16.46.

It’s probably better that Ozona isn’t in Richardson or Plano, that would be too close…

Mooyah Burgers Fries and Shakes, Richardson, TX

23 September 2011

Mooyah on Urbanspoon

I was sort of aiming at a Tex-Mex place on the corner that Mooyah was on, and when I saw “Burgers” I said right on!

I got there around 1820 and left around 1930.

First of all, I missed a little workstation area where you are encouraged to fill out your order, like they do at WhichWich. Next time.

I got the Mooyah burger, with bacon and cheese and mayo, a small fries, a milkshake, and a drink. The burger was not bad at all. It could have used a bit more flavor, but I’d have another one. The fries were rough-cut and copious. The milkshake was OK, but as I got more towards the end, it developed a slight flavor I would have preferred it not have. The tea was… off a bit. I ended up switching to (weak) Coke.

My check was $14.23. Kind of high, but the milkshake and drink were $3.29 (!) and $1.99. The fries (small) were $1.89, reasonable. The basic burger was $4.59, but they get you for another $0.60 for cheese and $0.79. The place was well lit, albeit a bit loud, and I spent the meal working the USA Today puzzle page.

So… Mooyah is basically a kid-friendly clone of Five Guys. I say kid friendly because it has a writing wall, it’s got bright colors, and the logos and such as “looney”.

The clone comment. The fries are in huge quantity, they are cut the same way, they are served the same way (in a paper cup), and the place leaves boxes of potatoes out on the floor. The burgers are small-diameter buns, and have two patties on the basic burger. The burgers are wrapped in foil, and then placed into a brown paper sack, with the cup of fries placed next to them, and more fries piled on top.

So Mooyah is cloning a lot of the Five Guys concepts. The burgers are good, but not as good as Five Guys for whatever reason.

I’d go back, but I would not get the milkshake.

The website for the chainlet is

Campisi’s, Dallas, TX

22 September 2011

Campisi's Pizza To Go on Urbanspoon

I had dinner at the Campbell and Coit location yesterday evening. I picked it basically by driving by and seeing the sign, and deciding on the spot that some Italian would be nice.

I ordered fettuccine alfredo with chicken. I asked if the chicken was grilled or sauteed, they said grilled, I asked for sauteed, I got grilled. Oh well. The meal was not bad. That’s not to say it was very good. The noodles were well cooked, the meal hot, the chicken OK. There was just not a lot of flavor to the meal. The alfredo did not exhibit the rich flavor I normally associate with the sauce. The noodles didn’t have much flavor beyond flour.

The tea was brewed, but weak.

So overall, I would go back to Campisi’s, but only if I were going with others and they suggested it. I would go a mile south to Cafe Amore first. My check was $13.80.

Marcus Cafe, Richardson, TX

9 September 2011

Marcus Cafe on Urbanspoon

This restaurant is right across the parking lot from Frankie’s Mexican Cuisine.

I get the impression that Marcus can’t really decide what kind of eatery it wants to be. It has Italian, steak, fried chicken, tex-mex, and hamburgers on the menu. It has a pretty nice and classy interior, but big TVs up with ESPN on. The male servers have nice shirts and long pants, and the ladies wore polos and shorts. No one was coordinated. I’m not saying that is good or bad, but the place has an air of class, but implementation, not so much.

I ordered iced tea, and the crispy chicken. I wasn’t terribly hungry, and so skipped salad and such. My server brought out a couple slices of rough bread that was very good. It was accompanied by a dip of olive oil and some kind of think balsamic vinegar. The “vinegar” was very thick, and pooled at the bottom of the dish.

When the entree arrived, I was impressed enough with the presentation that I took a picture of it:

So this is the layout: A “bowl” of mashed potatoes. This is filled up with some veggies. I didn’t think much of these, and didn’t eat most of them. The mashers were pretty good, and they got eaten. On top of this was the chicken thigh, and then on top of that was the breast piece. You can tell from the photo that the chicken was lightly breaded and well fried.

The thigh was really good, the skin was nice and crispy, not too greasy, and the meat was juicy and tasty; it was boneless. The breast piece was not as good. It was dry in places, and the chicken tended to be stringy in next to the bone. It could have been pulled from the fire a bit sooner.

I didn’t see my server often, and towards the end of the meal, he would work with other tables and not even look my way. I sat for probably 15 min before I could get my check. At that time, I asked for a to-go cup for my iced tea, and didn’t ever get it. I waited about 10 min before I said frack it and headed out.

My check was $21.38. A little expensive for two pieces of fried chicken. It was OK, but not spectacular, especially given that the chicken was not cooked perfectly. Service was disappointing. I don’t know that I would go back.

Frankie’s Mexican Cuisine, Richardson, TX

8 September 2011

Frankie's Mexican Cuisine on Urbanspoon

This place is in a small retail area in a neighborhood, and I traveled past it a couple times going to and from work. I decided to try Frankie’s for dinner tonight. It was a good choice.

I got the beef enchilada dinner, which is three ground beef enchiladas, rice, and refried beans. It was very, very good. The beans and rice had great flavor, and the enchiladas had chili con carne over them. The serving size was not huge, but was a good amount of food. The salsa and chips served with the meal were great, the chips were light and crispy, and the salsa was darker, and slightly more spicy, with great flavor. The tea was good as well.

Service was prompt, the meal came to me quickly. My check was $10.83, which I think was a good value. I’d gladly eat here again.

Comparis, Plano, TX

7 September 2011

Compari's Italian Ristorante on Urbanspoon

I’ve driven by this place a number of times over the years. Today, I thought some Italian food would make for a good dinner, especially since I was headed to a nearby sporting goods store to look for sneakers.

I got there around 1745 and was immediately seated as the place was pretty much empty.

My server brought me some of the best, garlic encrusted loaves of bread that I’ve had. It was excellent. I asked for some marinara, it was also excellent, and hot! A salad, with creamy Caesar dressing, was served, and it was also very, very good.

I ordered fettuccine alfredo, with chicken. The chicken is normally grilled, but I asked for it sauteed, and that’s how it was delivered. The dish had the perfect amount of alfredo, and the stuff tasted real – a lot of cream and butter taste, delicious! The chicken was perfectly cooked. It was also a fairly large amount of food. The noodles were al dente. In short, and excellent meal. I ate every bit of it.

I got tea, it was strong and tasted very good.

My check was $17.80, not a bad value. I’d gladly eat here again.

Rick’s Chophouse, McKinney, TX

18 August 2011

Rick's Chop House on Urbanspoon

Last week, a group of friends and I went up to McKinney after work. We were looking for a winery outlet/restaurant, but the place turned out to not serve food. Rick’s was a couple doors down, and we checked it out. We got there around 1930 and were seated immediately; the restaurant was about 80% full.

Service was spotty, let me say up front, but it was just our server apparently.

I got some onion rings for the group as an appetizer. Wonderful! Large, sweet, perfectly breaded, and very tasty. They were served with some excellent (really excellent) buttermilk ranch dressing.

I took a close look at two meals: a ribeye chicken fried steak (!), and the fried chicken. I asked the server, and she reported that the chicken was a whole chicken. Holy crap, I thought. Lois told me that she wanted the chicken also, but that was a bit much, so we split it. Turns out it was a four-piece, which is really a half chicken, so the server was slightly wrong.

The meal came without any fussing with each plate having two pieces, mashers, veg, and gravy. That was some excellent chicken. The breading was light, and stayed with the chicken. I think it was deep-fried floating. Excellent taste, perfectly cooked. The gravy that came with the chicken was some of the best I have had at a restaurant. It went perfectly with the chicken, and the skin-on mashed red potatoes. The one thing I didn’t like – the veg tasted funny, and had bell peppers in it.

The tea was good, but I had a time keeping it filled.

Ron got the ribeye CFS; I bummed a bite from him. It was good, but not great. The steak was hammered flat, and was a bit overcooked. Still had steak flavor, though.

Chuck got salmon, and said it was really good.

The check for the dinner Lois and I split was $29.23. Kind of high for chicken, but it was for two, and that includes the $5 appetizer. So… it’s a chophouse. That description adds 25% to the cost. But it was pretty darn good. The quality of the meal (except for Rons overcooked RCFS) was very good. I would go here again, but not frequently.

Eddy’s Pizza Restaurant, Plano, TX

18 August 2011

Eddy's Pizza Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Real quick review. I got a 12″ Meat Lover pizza. It was OK. The crust was a bit tough (it was almost black on the bottom in one place, so it was probably overcooked). There was plenty of topping (sausage, pepperoni, hamburger, and bacon). Flavor was pretty good.

Service was casual. The iced tea was OK. My check was $15.64, pretty reasonable. I got there at 2030, and left at 2130. The place was about 30% full. I’d go back.

Take 2 (and 3!): La Hacienda Ranch, Dallas, TX

17 August 2011

La Hacienda Ranch on Urbanspoon

I ate at the Hacienda last summer and liked it.

Last week, a couple friends wanted some Tex-Mex, and I suggested the Hacienda, and we headed over there after work. Again, it smelled great!

This time, I got a steak. I didn’t have high expectations. That steak was… wonderful. One of the best I have had in years. Nearly a perfect meal. The steak was a bone-in ribeye, had wonderful flavor. It came with roasted potatoes that I could have eaten until I exploded. It came with mixed roasted vegetables and mushrooms that had great potential, but were ruined by having bell and red peppers mixed in.

That steak was so good, I went there again yesterday. I got the same meal I got last week, except I asked for NO PEPPERS in the roast veg. That turned in into a perfect meal! The steak was served as medium rare (but I let it rest for about five minutes, and it cooked at the table to a perfect medium), the roasted potatoes were perfect, and the roasted veg and mushrooms were perfect. The roast flavor of the potatoes and such was so good I could hardly believe it.

That makes Hacienda very, very dangerous to me! The combination of great steak and great Tex-Mex is a deadly combination to my waistline!

Service was perfect – just the right amount of pass-bys, and the tea (excellent tea, BTW) was always kept full. My check was $34.08, and worth every penny.

It’s probably better that this place is not in OKC. Highly recommended.

Black-Eyed Pea, Richardson, TX

17 August 2011

Black Eyed Pea on Urbanspoon

I first ate at a Black-Eyed Pea in the Garland area with my friends Jamie and Dave, circa 1985. I liked it, and was very happy when one of the restaurants opened in Waco around 1991, and in OKC around the same time. Since the OKC location was on our route home in the evening, we enjoyed many meals there.

Curiously, that Black-Eyed Pea closed about the same time that two other good restaurants within a two-block area also closed (Harrigan’s, and an Olive Garden), around 1996.

So I have not been in a Black-Eyed Pea in probably 10 years. However, I have been driving past one at Belt Line and Coit a couple times a week while living in Dallas, and this evening I decided to try it. I got there around 2030, left around 2110, and was at one of *three* tables occupied.

I got the pot roast; which after I looked at the menu remembered that it was one of my favorite meals. It was really good. Less large than I remember (but that’s OK, I wasn’t really looking for a huge meal), it was tender and flavorful. The meal came with two sides. I got mac and cheese (a little odd tasting, but OK) and corn (OK). The meal came with cornbread (very, very good) and wheat rolls (also very good).

The iced tea was copious and strong. Service was OK.

My check was only $12.75. Pretty good value. I need to add the Black-Eyed Pea to my restaurant rotation again.

Texas Land and Cattle Company, Dallas, TX

27 July 2011

Texas Land & Cattle Steak House on Urbanspoon

This is a chainlet in the DFW Metroplex. I think I ate in one 10 or more years ago, and can’t remember if I liked it or not. But it smelled really good when I drove by a couple days ago, so I decided to give it a try.

I went very basic. Iced tea, large ribeye, side of sauteed onions and mushrooms, and soup.

The tea was good, and my server brought a large carafe to the table – I like that!

The soup was excellent – steak soup, basically small chunks of steak that made up a stew. The broth was really, really good, and the carrots and potatoes were perfect. The meal came with a loaf of decent bread also.

The onions and mushrooms were well sauteed and had good flavor. There were pepper-sized pieces of garlic on the mushrooms; probably close to too much, as the garlic overwhelmed the taste of the shrooms. I ate all of it, though.

The steak was wonderful. A perfect medium, not charred in the slightest, one very small piece of gristle. There was a little pepper on the steak. It was not fork tender, but it was large, it was close to fork tender, and it had tremendous beef flavor. An excellent steak.

I got there around 1815, and left shortly after 1900. The place was about 50% full when I got there, and 75% full when I left. Service was excellent. My check was $20.49.

Urban Eatz, Richardson, TX

22 July 2011

Urban Eatz on Urbanspoon

I had noticed this place across the street from another restaurant last week, or the week before. I checked it out this evening as it is very close to my work location.

I got there around 1920 and left around 1820. The iced tea was serve yourself and very good. I am sipping a refill I brought back to the hotel, and it’s still very good.

The menu is a variety of stuff, sandwiches hot and cold, salads, pizza, burgers. I got a BBQ Burger, which is a 1/3lb beef burger. The beef is EXCELLENT. Great flavor. The burger came with cheese, BBQ sauce, bacon (very crispy and tasty), some fried onion, lettuce, and tomato. It was huge. The bun was wheat, which I liked. I added some mayo and it was pretty much perfect. There were fries also, rough cut.

My check was $11.43. Just a touch more than McDonalds, but far tastier than your typical McD. I saw a pizza there that looked pretty good, I will go back and try one of those later.

Freebirds World Burrito, Richardson, TX

21 July 2011

Freebirds World Burrito on Urbanspoon

Well, this place was different, and good.

First of all, this will inevitably draw comparisons to Chipolte and similar restaurants. That’s OK.

I ate at this location for two reasons: I (yes, even Bill Hensley can have this feeling) could not stomach the thought of a cheeseburger. I didn’t want a sit-down restaurant. This place is a block away from my work location here, and so I went there.

It was pretty good! I got a Burrito Bowl with Carnitas, which is (supposedly) spicy pulled pork. The pork was not spicy that I could tell. It was pretty flavorful, though. I liked it. The bowl has more options than Chipolte. I got rice, beans, and a bunch of other stuff. It was pretty tasty, and it was a lot of food (almost more than I really wanted). I ate all of it. Some of their stuff is priced ala cart extra. I also got a “Rev’d up”, which is essentially a drink and a cookie. They brew their own iced tea, and it was good. The cookie (I got a chocolate chip) was so-so.

I got there around 1945, and left around 2030. The place was completely uncrowded. My check was $10.75, which is very reasonable. I would go back here.

I Had a Lot of Fun Last Night

16 July 2011

I am currently more-or-less deployed to the Dallas area for work. A friend there coaches a community league volleyball team, and needed players due to some regulars being unavailable, so I volunteered. The league play is held in the gym of one of the middle schools of Allen, a very nice suburb of Dallas.

Our game was at 2000, and I got there around 1920 to watch the games befoe ours. I was impressed – there were people ranging in age from mid-20s or less to 60s, it looked like. And there were lots of people involved! While I was there, 8 teams of six people played on the two courts that were set up. Each court had a judge, even. The judge kept score, called in/out, and watched the net.

I had a really good time. We played three games (against the top-rated team in the league). We lost all three, but didn’t get blown out. The play was hard but not rough.

The thing that impressed me about this: my team mates were talking afterward, and these fun leagues are set up in at least three other suburb towns around the MetroPlex.

I think it is great that the city of Allen and the other cities will open their facilities up for this kind of recreation. It’s fun, and it’s healthy. I wish/wonder if we have these kinds of activities around OKC that I have just not heard about.

I would come as a surprise to some that Raegan and I played on a couple bowling league teams in our early married days. I also played community softball. I’m the coach of the St. John’s team when we can scratch up enough members for the Episcopal softball fun league here. I like playing these team sports, and would like to play more. I would be playing on our Division team at Tinker, but the games this year are all during my deployment days; three hours there and another three hours back is a bit much for an hour of softball.

Jakes Hamburgers, Plano, TX

16 July 2011

Jake's Old Fashioned Hamburgers on Urbanspoon

I have heard of Jakes for a while, having been traveling to the Metroplex since the mid-80s. Yesterday, I was returning from a community volleyball league in Plano, and I was aiming for a brand-new Five Guys, but I missed the exit. I saw the Jakes from the next exit, and decided to check it out. I got there around 2020, and left around 2120.

A comment first. Jakes seems like a very friendly place. There were what were clearly frequent customers chatting up the servers and the cooks. There was a lot of laughing and such going on.

I started out with greatly needed iced tea, which was very good, and in a big plastic cup.

I ordered the Jakes Special, which is a medium bun with double meat. The bun had a lot (really a lot, the top was black with them) of very small seeds. The Special comes with 1000 Island dressing and your choice of other stuff. I got it with lettuce. It was a pretty decent burger. I decided I am not a big fan of 1000 Island dressing. Next time I will get the burger with mayo as usual. The beef had good flavor, I’ve had better, but lots worse.

I got onion rings with my meals, and ranch dressing to dip them in. I didn’t like the dressing; it was of a type that when I see it at a restaurant I’m likely to send it back; the stuff is thick, has a sharp taste to it, and a fair amount of grey-green flecks in it. The rings were beer battered, and were not terribly good.

I started the meal out with a vanilla shake – I liked it.

Service was casual, but my tea only ran out twice (I was packing the stuff away). My check was $15.13. Value was not too bad. I would go back if someone else suggested it.

Love & War in Texas, Plano, TX

15 July 2011

Love & War in Texas on Urbanspoon

I have driven past this place a thousand times while driving along Plano Parkway or on US-75. I occasionally wondered at the strange name, as I knew it was a restaurant. I had seen a review of the place on Google that said they had really good chicken fried steaks. Yesterday I went to The Sports Authority store across the parking lot, and decided to try L&W.

I got there around 1215, and left around 1300. The restaurant was probably half full the entire time. My iced tea was good. I ordered the lunch size chicken fried steak.

I ended up getting the lunch sized chicken fried chicken. It… was… HUGE. The thing was about 8″x4″. I asked, and my server said that the dinner portion was not quite twice that size. The CFC was pretty good. The whole thing was fork-tender. The breading had a flavor to it that was almost citrus-like. It was not unpleasant, it was different. The chicken was juicy and plump. There was not enough gravy, but I used some from the mashers and did OK.

The meal came with the aforementioned mashers (which were advertised as garlic mashers, but I could not detect the garlic, which is OK, I’m not a fan of garlic potatoes) and an ear of what was described as smoked corn. The corn was good, but needed to be cooked a bit more.

Aside from dropping my iced tea in my lap (!), the meal was pleasant. Service was just a touch to the less-than-attentive, at least until I dropped my drink. My check was $13.48, which was probably not expensive given that the CFC was dinner+ sized. I do wish I had had the CFS, but if I ever go back to L&W, I will make sure I get it then.

20 September 2011 Update:

I went here for dinner tonight. I got there around 1800 and left around 1930.

I started with a ceasar salad. Not bad.

So tonight I really came for steak. I will say this for L&W – they are consistent. Everything in the main meal was very consistently spicy, in the black-pepper variety of spicy. Except for the smoked ear of corn. Well, even it had some pepper flavor. The skillet potatoes were really good. They come with bell peppers by default. I asked for some without, and my server said that was no problem. The potaotes came without peppers per se, but still had bell pepper and black pepper flavor. The meal came with blackeyed peas – also with black pepper in quantity (I didn’t have more than one bite). The corn was pretty good.

The steak was a t-bone, heavily peppered (black), and occasionally had mild bell pepper flavor. The steak was cooked pretty much medium, like I like. There was good flavor, and the steak was tender, but most of the flavor was overridden by the black pepper. There was no charring on the meat, a good thing.

I ended the meal with a bowl of hot peach cobbler (excellent) topped by some ice cream (yummy!).

The tea was excellent. I did not drop the to-go cut into my lap this time. Service was extremely attentive.

My summary – if you want pure beef flavor, you probably do not want to get your steak from Love & War In Texas. The CFS I got the first time was decent.

My check was $39.40. A bit expensive. i would recommend something else other than the steaks.

Golden Chick, Richardson, TX

15 July 2011

Golden Chick on Urbanspoon

I like fried chicken. Fewer and fewer restaurants offer it, instead offering baked, roasted, or chicken-fried chicken (not that any of those are a bad thing), but I occasionally like breaded and artery-clogging fried.

I have passed a number of Golden Chicks in the Metroplex, and Wednesday decided to try one, especially since it was near work. I got there around 1935 and left about 2000.

I got the #4, which is three pieces fried. The pieces were a wing, a leg, and a thigh. They were not the largest pieces of chicken I have had. They were thinly breaded, which made the skin very crunchy, and didn’t leave large chunks of fried breading. The chickens were not terribly meaty. The flavor was pretty good, though.

The meal came with a small container of average mashers and some gravy; the gravy was fairly peppery.

They serve both sweetened and unsweetened iced tea, that was pretty good.

My order was $7.73. Not a bad price for the meal. Overall, an everage meal. You get what you pay for. I would not mind going back to a Golden Chick again, and maybe next time getting a breast piece, or two.

Twisted Root Burger Company, Richardson, TX

14 July 2011

Twisted Root Burger Company on Urbanspoon

I had lunch here today with a couple friends. The place was crowded and noisy at 1230; we had about a 10-min wait to give our order.

I got a burger with cheese and bacon, a vanilla milkshake, and an iced tea. The burger was excellent, great flavor, cooked a perfect medium well. The shake was very good, cold and just the right consistency. The iced tea was OK.

We left around 1330. Good cheeseburger! Great recommendation from Clark.

Desperados, Garland, TX

13 July 2011

Desperados Mexican on Urbanspoon

I had eaten here a long time ago (10 years or so) and remembered it was good. I went here for lunch today with three work friends, and it was good again.

We got there around 1220 and left at 1255. I ordered iced tea, it was good and strong. My meal was a lunch fajita plate (a little smaller than the dinner size), mixed chicken and beef with no bell peppers. The meat was very good, tender, and with a slight citrus flavor. The one thing that could have been better was having the onions cooked a little more. I let them keep cooking in the dish for about five minutes; they were still a bit crunchy.

Everyone gets chips and salsa. The chips are the thick variety, the salsa medium thick and perfect spice, and wonderful flavor, great stuff.

My fajitas were $10, and the check for the four of us was $44.62, a very good value, I think.

I don’t think I will go 10 years again before going back.

Cafe Amore, Richardson, TX

12 July 2011

Café Amore on Urbanspoon

This place had good reviews online, and was on a list of inexpensive places. I was hungry, and those fit the bill for dinner.

I got there about 1845 (the restaurant was half full), and left an hour later (pretty much full).

I started out with iced tea – really, the only slight downer of the visit. The tea was kind of ever-so-slightly odd tasting. Not so bad that I didn’t have two full glasses.

You get a biggish chunk of very yeasty bread, and a dish with Balsalmic vinegar and oil. Very, very good.

I ordered chicken fettucini alfredo. In a word – excellent! One of the best I have had, on a par with the CFA at Papa Dios in OKC. I ate every bit of it; it was rich and had huge flavor.

Service was good, even though the place filled up with a couple large parties, and I overheard one of the servers say they were a couple people short. I had no problems. My check was $11.84. My entree was one of the more expensive on the menu, so I think this place was good value.


Southern Recipes, Richardson, TX

8 July 2011

Southern Recipe Cafe on Urbanspoon

I have driven by this restaurant numerous times, and decided to check it out this evening. I got there around 1900, and left around 1945. The place was uncrowded.

I ordered a Texas Chicken Fried Steak. They have two on the menu. The “standard” CFS is cube steak, and the “Texas” version is claimed to be ribeye. I think that it’s a blend of ribeye and cube steak, and it’s pretty good, and about $1 more. It’s worth it.

The meal comes with soup or salad. I got chicken noodle soup and liked it. The noodles were thick and firm, and there was a good balance of noodles and chicken. The broth was really good also. The iced tea was good.

The CFS was not the best I have had, but it was far from the worst. It was about 90% fork tender. The breading was nuetral taste, but the beef had really good taste, and it was pretty tender. The gravy was plain. It came with two veg (I got mashers and gravy, good, and Blue Lake green beans, very good).

My check was $11.56, and service was good. I would not mind eating here again.

22 September 2011 Update:

I ate lunch here today with a group of seven others. We got there around 1215 and left 1315. Service was very good given the group of eight.

I had the chopped steak, with mashers and green beans. The chopped steak was cooked well, had great flavor and consistency, and was covered with onions and mushrooms. The onions could have been cooked just a touch longer, but they were sweet and not noxious. The green beans were OK.

Our server brought me an entire pitcher of tea, which was very nice of her (and I put the entire pitcher down during the meal, also!).

My check was $10.48, good value for the quantity and quality of the food. This place is very good.

Cowboy Chicken, Allen, TX

1 July 2011

Cowboy Chicken on Urbanspoon

I was trying to find the Allen In-N-Out, but decided to get chicken instead. Cowboy Chicken is kind of a rustic Boston Market.

I got the quarter white, with sweet corn and mac and cheese as my sides. The chicken had good flavor, but was a little dry inside. The mac and cheese was excellent (my daughter Erin would have loved it) and the corn was really good also. The iced tea was excellent.

So you could do far worse than eat here. It’s fast, and wasn’t crowded at 2005. My check was $9.94, so the cost was reasonable.

Spring Creek Barbeque, Richardson, TX

30 June 2011

Spring Creek Barbeque on Urbanspoon

This was a very good BBQ experiece. I ate here for lunch today; I got there around 1310 and left at 1350.

I ate at a Spring Creen somewhere in the Dallas area about 15 years ago. I want to say it was in Plano, and I don’t think I was terribly impressed, and I haven’t been to another one since. Too bad, I’ve missed out.

I started with iced tea, which was self serve and excellent.

I ordered a combination plate with two meats, smoked chicken and briset. The chicken was pretty darn good, a quarter of a bird, smallish. The smoky flavor was just right, and the chicken was just moist enough. The brisket was outstanding! Tender, smoky, great flavor, it was some darn fine beef.

The meal came with two sides, which are serve yourself. I got green beans and mac and cheese, and both were really, really good. The BBQ sauce was good, a little thin. They ladle it on the meat at the counter, and there isn’t any on the tables, which is surprising. Maybe it was somewhere on a serve yourself table somewhere in there.

One thing of note: they serve a little loaflet of bread with the meal, and I had two visits from a server with a whole basket of the loaflets. The bread was really, really good! I would have eaten three of them with butter, honey, jam, or most anything else you can put on bread, just delicious. And I’m not a big bread eater!

They have a cobbler and ice cream area towards the front of the restaurant, which I will check out next time I’m there.

My check was $14.77. The restaurant was mostly empty the entire time I was there. Recommended.

I just can’t end without a comparison. In the Dallas area, I’ve been a big fan of Dickie’s. I have to say, Spring Creek is just as good. I would not pass up an opportunity to eat at either. And with regards to the other Dallas institution, Sonny Bryan’s, I’d have to put it second behind the tie of Dickie’s and Spring Creek.

Clearly, more research is needed. Yum.

Which Wich, Richardson, TX

29 June 2011

Which Wich on Urbanspoon

I had lunch here today with my friend Gayle. It is near her company and was pretty fast. We got there around 1255 and left around 1340. The location is on Campbell Road, near US-75.

This is a sandwich shop. To order, you pick up a bag and mark your order yourself. You pick what kind of bread (wheat, etc.), and the type of sandwich, then select things like veg (lettuce, etc.). I got a Turkey Bacon and Ranch (TBR), Sun Chips, and a drink. Gayle got a Chicken Salad and a drink.

The sandwich was actually pretty good. It’s in kind of a roll. The bread is really good. The bacon is chopped up; I like it better that way. The ranch dressing was good without dripping out all over the darn place.

The iced tea was Gold Coast, which is highly variable in flavor. Here, it was pretty good. Not great, but good enough that I got two big plastic cups of the stuff.

Our check was $17.92, which I think is pretty reasonable. We were in and out fairly quickly and got some work done as well. I forgot to check to see if the place had wifi until we left. I think you could do far worse than eat at a Which Wich.

Chasin’ Tail BBQ, Hickory Creek, TX

28 May 2011

Chasin' Tail BBQ on Urbanspoon

I have passed this place just off of I-35 for years. I think it only recently changed it’s name. I decided to stop here for a quick lunch on the way back home from Richardson, TX, as I was not hungry when I left, but I was by the time I got up near Lake Dallas.

I got there around 1315 and left around 1400. I ordered a two-meat platter with brisket and ribs. The brisket was pretty darn good, tender and smoky. The ribs were decent also, I give them an 8 out of JTs. The one full rib I got was very good, tender and great flavor, but the other two pieces were ends, and as is the case most of the time, very tough. The sauce was just the right temperature, and was just a bit thinner than I like, but not too bad. The meal came with two sides; I got mac and cheese and pinto beans, both were good.

The iced tea (both sweet and unsweetened) was good.

The check was $19.36. Kind of expensive, especially for burnt rib ends. I would have to think hard about going back again.

Bone Daddy’s, Dallas, TX

17 February 2011

Bone Daddy's House Of Smoke on Urbanspoon

Today at lunch it was suggested that we head over to Bone Daddy’s. The last time I ate at BD’s was probably 10 years ago; I seem to remember it was good then.

Now, it’s important to note that if you or your lunch/dinner companion would be offended by the servers dress in a Hooters, then offense will be taken at BD’s as well. The servers are all young and beautiful and scantily clad. The BBQ is first-rate, though.

There were nine of us, and we had to wait about 10 minutes for a table (given how many people were standing around waiting, I think that was pretty good). The place was CROWDED!

We ordered a bunch of appetizers. There were some tortillas filled with chopped brisket and jalapenos, some deep fried jalapanos, and I got two orders of chiken wings. The wings were very large and the BBQ sauce they came with was very good.

I ordered a two-meat dinner, with pulled pork and chopped brisket. That was some very, very good BBQ. It was tender, smoky, and was a lot of lunch. I got mac and cheese and some ranch-style beans. Both were very good, the beans especially (they were thick and had brisket in them).

The iced tea was very good, in both sweet and unsweetened configurations.

All in all, a very good meal and excellent company. Service was outstanding considering how full the place was. My check was $44.12, but the two appetizers I got for the table were $18 of that, and that includes an 18% forced tip. Our server busted her butt, and so I won’t complain about the forced tip, and I even added a couple extra bucks since she worked hard not only on our table, but at least several others.

The House Cafe, Richardson, TX

17 February 2011

The House Cafe on Urbanspoon

This morning, the hotel breakfast area was denuded, as if a pack of wolves had grazed through. I was still hungry, and needed breakfast, so I did a quick Google Maps search (having 3G is so fast!), and this cafe showed up. It was only about a mile or so from the hotel, I headed over there.

I ordered the (I think) #11 breakfast. Take a biscuit, cut it in half. Put a sausage patty on each. Add scrambled egg to each (although I made my over-easy). Dump gravy over all. Add hash browns. It was really good. The gravy was not terribly rich, but it was pretty good. The sausage patties were perfect, the eggs cooked as I asked. The hash browns were perfect.

I got iced tea to drink, and it was pretty good, except that it was made with Richardson city water, which tastes not so good to my taste.

I got there about 0745, the place was about half full. I left about 0815. My check was $7.25. The service was fast and excellent. This place is on the list for a good, fast breakfast.

Fox and Hound, Richardson, TX

16 February 2011

Fox and Hound on Urbanspoon

First, a warning: This restaurant is a 100% smoking restaurant.

It stinks.

The Fox and Hound was suggested by a work friend, and six of us went there for lunch today. We got there about 1215, and found a table immediately. Service was pretty good. I got iced tea; it was not very good. I ordered a quick lunch special of chicken tenders (five, I think), that have no sides (like fries). The chicken tenders were beer battered and were pretty good.

One thing that was neat: the restaurant had about six pool tables that were free to use. One of my work friends and I played a pretty lousy set of eight-ball games :).

We left around 1335. My check was $9.18, kind of expensive for what I got. I guess the free billiards makes up for it.

But the smoke smell is pretty nasty. I would guess that if it were dinner, or the place crowded, then the smoke would be intolerable.

Pappasito’s Cantina, Richardson, TX

14 October 2010

Pappasito's Cantina on Urbanspoon

I have eaten at this restaurant numerous times, but not in five or so years. We decided to go here for lunch today, in a group of nine.

We were seated in about five minutes (they needed to push a couple tables together) when we arrived around 1135.

We had our drink orders taken quickly and the drinks arrived quickly (and were kept refilled). I ordered two chili con queso with some beef added. They were a bit small, but were good. The chips were also good, very thin and hot.

I ordered a three-enchilada combo, two with beef and one with chicken. These were pretty darn good; the chicken was best, it had a great flavor. It was a lot of food, and I should have had the two-enchilada combo.

We left at 1300. My check was $31.55 (yes, expensive, but the two quesos I bought for the group was $13.80 of that). Service was excellent.

Scotty P’s, Plano, TX

14 October 2010

Scotty P's Hamburgers (Plano) on Urbanspoon

We had Scotty P’s recommended to us as an excellent cheeseburger place, so three of us went there after work this evening. We went to the location on Parker.

I got a Harrington (apparently, the different locations name certain burgers differently, probably reflecting local flavor). The Harrington is a cheeseburger, with mayo, lettuce and tomato. It’s a third pound. I got a double meat, so it was a 2/3 pound, which was frankly too much cheeseburger; the burger was not overflowing with beef flavor. The burger was a bit too dry, being cooked more well done instead of the default medium well. It came as a platter, with some OK fries.

You can ask to have the cheese pre-melted here for the burger. Interesting concept.

The iced tea was OK, and serve yourself. My buddy Ron bought dinner before I could, but my meal was about $10. I would eat here again, but I would ask them to be sure not to overcook the burger.

Austin’s Grill, Holiday Inn, Richardson, TX

13 October 2010

This restaurant is in the Holiday Inn in Richardson, TX. I have eaten in Austin’s for breakfast, lunch, and dinner many times over the past 20 years, but not for the last 10 or so. This evening a couple co-workers and I decided to have dinner here.

I got a New York strip. The steak had pretty darn good flavor, but it was a touch overcooked. I had asked for it medium, but it came to the table right on the edge of medium well – there was little pink or light color in the steak. It came with two sides, and I got a double order of roasted potatoes. These were OK, if bland. The potatoes needed some onion or herbs of some sort. They were also a touch overcooked. I got iced tea, and it was good.

Service was… OK. One thing that I remember over the years is that service has not been a priority here, and it wasn’t again this evening. We had a longish wait for drinks, and then another for the order to be taken. I ran out of tea twice. In this entire restaurant, there were four tables occupied at the peak time. The food arrived in a timely manner.

We arrived at 1800, and left at 1900. My check was $21.11. We will see how they do for breakfast tomorrow morning.

Fuzzy’s Taco Shop, Richardson, TX

24 September 2010

Fuzzy's Taco Shop on Urbanspoon

I had lunch here yesterday with two friends, as it is near their company. We got there around 1150, and it was almost full.

I got a Combo Plate, which is one taco (soft or hard shell) and an enchilada. I got ground beef for both of mine, and soft for the taco. The plate came with two sides, I got refried beans and “Latin Fried Potatoes”, which seemed a lot like my Gringo Fried Potatoes. I liked the enchilada, which was kind of small. The beans and potatoes were good also. I was not a big fan of the soft taco – there was something missing there, it seemed dry or something, even when I added queso and salsa to it.

Speaking of which – I ordered queso and chips and salsa for appetizers. Clark also got chips and salsa. The amounts were HUGE, it was far more than the three of us could eat. The chips were dusted with a red powder (I think paprika), and the queso had pico de gallo spooned in. The queso was more white cheese than yellow. Both were good, but I think one order of both/each for a group of four would be fine. The salsa was a bit spicier than most places, and so was very good.

We left around 1240, and it was packed! Fuzzy’s is loud inside when there are lots of people there. My check was $10.14.

We were at the Richardson, TX location. I did not know, but realized when I looked at their website just now, that Fuzzy’s is a chainlet around the MetroPlex, and that they are opening stores in north Texas, Norman, and… Madison, WI (kind of a leap, I think). I would not mind going back again.

Hiking Eisenhower Park, San Antonio, TX

28 August 2010

I was in San Antonio for a meeting at the beginning of this week. When I got there Monday, I drove out to a big state park to try hiking, but the place was closed. So after the meeting Tuesday, there was not enough time to drive out that far, so I picked Eisenhower Park. It was about a 10-min drive from my hotel. Tuesday was unique in that San Antonio set a record high of 103F for that day. There was an occasional breeze, but the humidity was in the 90%+ range, so by the end of the day I was soaked! Shorts, socks, shirt, pretty sweaty. The good news: there was an Academy at the turnoff for the park, and they had boots on sale! So I bought a new pair and broke them in on this hike. I hope they last as long as the Cherokees I bought in 1992.

There were water fountains in the park, but I didn’t see any faucets, so you might want to fill up your water bottle before coming out.

I got there around 1400 and hiked until 1700. There were thunderstorms brewing the entire time I was there, but I didn’t get any rain. The clouds did block some of the sun, making it slightly less relentless. There were maybe three cars in the parking area when I got there. There are a lot of pavilions and picnic tables around the parking area.

First of all, this is pretty much desert.

A significant part of the trails are paved, so part of it is accessible. I chose to take the Hillview trail, which essentially goes around the perimeter of the park. It starts off as a road, but then quickly changes to a path.

Note the little thunderstorm in the distance. That puppy kept the park shaded for the first part of the hike, very nice.

In several places, they have this sign.

I looked the entire hike, but no cougars (darn it). In fact, there was little wildlife. Some birds and a couple squirrels was about it.

This is typical of the trails. Nice and wide.

The first part of the trail (the southeast part) is next to a quarry. There are several signs on the fence that say “Quarry, Danger, Keep Out”. One of the signs is next to a park with kids toys to play on, on the quarry grounds, so I thought that kind of amusing.

While I have always thought of San Antonio as flat, it is in close proximity to the Texas Hill Country, and as such Eisenhower Park has some elevation changes. You can see the trail is uphill a bit farther on from where this picture was taken.

On the west side of the park, but not on the highest point, is a nice observation tower. You can see a quarry and downtown from there pretty well.

A little later, a thunderstorm that had brewed up north of San Antonio moved into view. There was some wind damage from the storm, and I think it came from a microburst. In this picture, you can see the characteristic “backsplash” of the microburst downdraft.

I took a detour off the Hillview trail on to the Red Oak trail. It goes a bit down and back up, and is a lot rockier. You get to do some stairstepping along here was well.

Coming down the northeast part of the Hillview trail, I started seeing more thunderstorms to the northwest of me, headed generally my direction. I had intended to take another trail, but decided against it since I was hearing more and more thunder.

This was a nice park, and a nice way to spend a couple San Antonio hours not in a hotel room. I logged 3.9 miles per the GPS. The sweating part was not so much fun, but it was a pretty area, you couldn’t hear much in the way of traffic or machinery, and it was close to the metro area.

This is the GPS track map overlayed on Google Maps.

And this is the altitude plot. It looks seriously hilly until you look at the scale – about 200 feet total.

Fun hike, recommended. One thing I noticed was there there have been a number of Eagle Scout service projects at the park, including some of the trail signs, the maps, etc. I think that is great!

Cool Things From The Air, SMF-DFW-OKC

28 August 2010

When I was coming back home from Sacramento week before last, I saw some neat things from the air.

Just after taking off, we flew a bit farther south than usual out of SMF. We flew south of Mather Field, and I saw this, and it looked interesting.

Well, after I got home, I went back to Google Maps and started looking, and that interesting thing is… (drum roll…) a landfill. Yes, a trash dump. Big woo.

Later there were some more interesting things. I am always interested in seeing mining operations. They leave such holes and scars on the ground. This one is the Round Mountain Gold Mine in Nevada.

I’m always up for geologic stuff. This looks clearly like an old volcanic flow. It’s in Nevada just north of US 6.

The pilot announced we would be flying over Cedar City, UT. That got my interest, since Cedar City is the turnoff for a very scenic drive through the Utah mountains over to Bryce Canyon. I think I caught a flew glimpses of hoodoos, but it was through clouds, so none of the photos really turned out.

After overflying the Lake Powell region, we got into mountains, and I saw this nice little lake and town.

I did a lot of Google Maps searching, and the closest I came up with was Farmington Lake outside of Flora Vista, NM. It’s about 35 miles away from the next thing I took a photo of, which is about three minutes flying time. But the problem is that it does not look just right. I’ll keep after it.

Speaking of that next thing, we flew over the dam for Navajo Lake. The dam is in New Mexico, but the lake runs up into Colorado.

Soon we got to the area of Taos NM, and the deep canyon where the Rio Grande flows just to the west of Taos.

Just past Taos is the group of mountains that include Wheeler Peak, the tallest in New Mexico.

This flight took us to the south of the valley that Angel Fire lies in, and just to the south of Philmont.

Now, I have an obsession with Philmont Scout Ranch, the backpacking camp for the Boy Scouts. The following batch is a group I took of Philmont as we flew WNW to ESE just south of there.

Mount Baldy, tallest on the ranch at 12Kft+, is to the left.

This is Cimarron Canyon, home to the Cimarron River, which is roughly the north-south dividing line for the Ranch.

This is Tooth Of Time Ridge, which runs west of Base Camp. It is dominated by the Tooth of Time.

This is the base camp area. We were too far away to see buildings.

This is the south end of the Ranch.

And finally, Black Mesa of Anasazi legend.

Soon we flew out into the Texas Panhandle and saw Amarillo.

This was just southeast of Amarillo. The black smudge is, I believe tornado damage (from vegetation being stripped from the ground). These tracks don’t last more than a growing season. I saw similar tracks from the air after the May 3 1999 Moore tornado.

As we continued into north Texas, we saw Wichita Falls, home of Sheppard AFB.

As we descended into DFW, we passed the through the temperature inversion layer. In this case, it is characterized by dust and smoke trapped underneath the layer, and clear air on top of it. Hence, brown underneath, blue above.

Finally, as we came into OKC, we passed west of the Museum of the American Indian just southeast of downtown Oklahoma City. It’s make progress.

That’s it!

Cool Things From The Air, DFW-SAT

27 August 2010

Monday I flew from OKC to SAT via DFW. I saw a couple cool things.

We flew out to I-35 east, and ended up over I-35 north of Waco. I looked down at one point, and saw an airport near a lake. This turned out to be the Temple, TX airport and nearby Lake Melton.

Nearby is Killeen TX and Fort Hood. What caught my eye was the two large rectangular structures that are just right of center. It turns out that these are a set of large parking areas for trucks and stuff. There are also smaller buildings that I presume are maintenance buildings.

Finally, we flew over Austin. Here is both a wide angle, and a closeup of downtown.

It is a short flight, so that’s it!

The County Line, San Antonio, TX

25 August 2010

The County Line BBQ on Urbanspoon

I started off this evening not terribly hungry, and very sweaty after my hike. A quick shower left me hungry, so I drove out to find something close and fast.

I drove past The County Line and thought I would check it out. It’s decor is an old saloon. Now, there is a County Line in Oklahoma City, and I thought from the different decor that they were not related. After checking the website, turns out they are the same place. Another location that I have eaten in is at Austin, with friends Jamie and Jim.

So since I had BBQ for lunch yesterday, I thought I would get a steak. I settled on a chicken fried steak. It was excellent! The basic CFS is $9.99, and the large is $12.99 (the large is TWO of the basic CFSs!). The CFS was mostly fork tender, but I had to cut through a couple tough places. There were also a couple voids in the breading, but not too big. The breading was not too sweet like it is a lot. I did have to ask for extra gravy. The gravy was interesting. It had some garlic in it, but you could also taste the flour, so it was made locally.

The meal came with two sides. I got mac and cheese, and it was cheesy and yummy, Erin would have approved. I also got pinto beans, and they were pretty basic. One thing about the sides – they were in a big soup cup.

I got iced tea – it came in a big plastic glass and was kept aggressively refilled.

I got there about 1810 and left about 1848. They have wifi (it’s WPA, the key is “Barbeque”). Service was good. The place was probably 50% filled the entire time I was there. My check was $12.95.

Taqueria Mexico, San Antonio, TX

25 August 2010

Taqueria Mexico on Urbanspoon

One funny thing. I looked this restaurant up on Google, and got a hit for the website; it belongs to a place in Waltham, MA.

We ate here for lunch on the recommendation of the local folks that we were meeting with. It was good! We were recommended to get one of the lunch specials. I didn’t see any of those that are one of my regular tex-mex meals, except for chicken fajitas, so instead I got flautas. I’ve never had those before. They are corn tortillas wrapped around (in this case) ground beef (chicken is also available). They were OK, but were a little crunchy on the ends. I asked for some chili con carne to dump on them, and the server said “you mean gravy?”. HOT DAMN, I could say YES with confidence, and sure enough, I got some chili gravy shortly thereafter, which I promptly dumped all over the flautas. The meal came with a bed of lettuce and tomato chunks (yes, R2, I ate all of them), beans, and orange rice. It was all very good, and was not a huge amount of food.

The meal started with a salsa that was hot. Literally heated up and steaming. It was fairly spicy as well. It was a bit thinner than I like, but the taste was great. The chips were pretty standard. I got iced tea, and it was good and strong and kept refilled.

Service was excellent. We had a group of eight, and got 15% force-added for a tip. The service was good, though, and I left some extra. My check was $8.62, a good value for the taste and portion size. We got there about 1115 and were out at 1215.

Jacala Mexican Restaurant, San Antonio, TX

24 August 2010

Jacala Mexican on Urbanspoon

A co-worker mentioned several times over the past couple years how much she enjoyed “chili gravy”. Now, that’s a combination of two of my favorite words, so I of course asked what it was, and was informed it was kind of a heavy chili con carne.

Well, I’m in San Antonio, so I have to try chili gravy. I did a little research, and found that Jacala has the finest in the city (note this is not a universal sentiment, but there was a lot of commentary about Jacala, and it was close to the hotel).

Started off with salsa and chili con queso. The salsa was thin and had decent spice heat. The queso wasn’t very spicy, and seemed to be velveeta. The tea was good and refilled often.

I got the Mexican Meal (I think it was #24), which is three cheese enchaladas and a puffy beef taco, with beans (I have seen references to “puffy tacos” on marquees all over town). I upgraded the enchaladas to chicken enchaladas for $0.20 each. The puffy taco was a smallish tortilla that has been cooked up to be sort of air filled and fluffy, and then had beef, lettuce, and tomato. The enchaladas were covered in… chili gravy! They were pretty darn good also. The beans were pretty standard.

Overall, this was a good meal. I would not recommend getting the queso, but the rest was good. I was there with a coworker. We got there about 1745 and left about 1915. The restaurant was not crowded. My check was $16.75, of which $5 was the queso I would not recommend. Service was good.

Grady’s Bar-B-Que, San Antonio, TX

23 August 2010

Grady's Bar-B-Que on Urbanspoon

This is a real-time post!

I’m visiting the San Antonio area. I ate at Grady’s a number of years ago, and liked it, but I had to explore around a bit to find it. I’m at the location north of the airport on Nakoma.

I got a two meat dinner with brisket and light chicken. The brisket is just a bit tough but has great flavor. It has a bit of “regular” sauce that I would normally call mild.
The chicken is wonderful! Moist and full of smoky flavor, just great. The sauce really brings out the flavor.

The standard sides are potato salad and pinto beans. The beans are plain and simple. The potato salad is great! Creamy mayo and just a hint of mustard, no big nasty chunks of celery or anything like that.

The iced tea is serve youself, and strong and good.

I got here at 1155 and the place was pretty much empty. My check was $10.39.

I would not mind eating here again.

La Hacienda Ranch, Dallas, TX

12 August 2010

I picked this place at random as I was driving in Dallas. As I walked up, it smelled good.

I got iced tea and some queso. The iced tea was good, and the queso was hotter than the hinges (not spicy, rather from the stovel the spiciness was just perfect).

I ordered mixed fajitas. I started working on my USA Today crossword, got about three answers, and here came dinner. Literally 2-3 minutes. The chicken was well cooked, the steak medium, but the onions really could have used a bit more time before showing at the table. I moved the onions around a lot to try to get them cooked a bit more.

The fajitas were tasty, though. I made three with tortillas and ate the rest off of the plate. The steak was just a touch on the tough side.

I got there around 1840 and left around 1915. The place was only about 40% full the entire time. Service was excellent, I never ran out of tea. My check was $22.59. Good stuff!

A New Traffic Control, About Time!

12 August 2010

I am currently in Richardson, TX on a business trip. I have seen two traffic signals that implement something new.

The left turn lanes are “left on green arrow only”, but they have been modified such that if the arrow is flashing yellow, a left turn is OK if there is no oncoming traffic.

I like this. I think it’s stupid to sit at an intersection trying to make a left, and there is no oncoming traffic, so there is no danger, and you are sitting there wasting time. I have thought a long time that there should be no left turn arrows that go directly to red stop, but that they should go to green yield and go.

So this is a good thing.