Showing posts from 2010

Thai Sayarm ~ Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

I think us folks in NE Tarrant are pretty spoiled when it comes to Thai food. We have a triumvirate of Hall of Fame places: Bangkok Cuisine in Haltom City, Sweet Basil Thai over in Hurst, and lastly the great Sea Siam in Keller. We've fawned over these places in the past, and continue to do so. And that doesn't even cover the second tier places, that were they in other cities, would probably be our favorites. Like Thai Chili of Southlake, Nipa's Kitchen and Thai Belknap down in Haltom City, The Magic Springroll over in Watuaga, and Thai Riverside in Grapevine.

It's not like this everywhere though. My first experience with Thai food came in San Francisco in the early 90s, and it was love at first taste. But on returning home to Denver, I couldn't find anything close to that good. As you know, the RJG now also resides in Denver part time, and the wife and I still can't find decent Thai food there. I won't say we tried them all, but a good many. They have a te…

Denver's Old School Italian Restaurants

I know, I know... I haven't posted anything in 6 months. You were checking back every week, then every month and now I've fallen completely off your radar. Sorry about that.

My only lame excuse is that I've been "saving up" for a good one. I've been wanting to write about Denver's Italian restaurants since we returned part-time last year. And you all know how the RJG feels about this style of restaurant. As someone who grew up in Dallas, perhaps I've been more drawn to cities that embrace their history rather than completely demolish it. Only recently has Dallas become more acutely aware of their past. Previously, any buildings not in use have been razed as fast as possible, to make way for the next brand new shopping center - all in the latest architecture naturally.

Contrarily you have cities like St. Louis that are 19th and 20th century industrial ghost towns - places frozen in time because for most everyone who could, they just up and left to the …

2010 NE Tarrant Pizza Summary Pt. 2: Jet's, Marco's, Pazzo, Ti Amo

One of the truisms that the RJG learned while working in SE Wisconsin and Chicago, is that while the area is more known for deep dish pizza, the reality is the thin crust still rules the taste buds of the local populace. And the RJG fondly remembers some great pies he devoured in Racine, Kenosha, and Chicago throughout most of 1997.

With that in mind, the RJG was thrilled to see a couple of Midwestern regional chains sprout up here in NE Tarrant - both in Keller in fact. Remember the RJG is pro small/regional chain and anti Public Company (when it comes to most restaurant concepts). First and foremost is Jet's Pizza, a Detroit area chain now making its way to various states in the Midwest and Southeast. I've only tried the Jet's Boat on the two occasions I've been, which is their version of the calzone. Two large inverted pizzas come with each order. I've tried the meatballs and the sausage, and both are excellent. Great tasting sauce, cheese, meats and, most impor…

My New York Pizza ~ Keller, Texas

When the RJG first wrote the below review, we also added the restaurant to Urbanspoon and was its first rater. A year and a half later, 207 votes are in, with a 90% approval rating. That's pretty amazing when you consider how remote My New York Pizza really is. It's definitely a neighborhood pizza place. On the downside, of the 10% that don't like it, some have left vicious reviews. I think folks need to take it easy when they're negative. There's some bad karma out there and it usually comes back in the same manner. Be careful out there. Try to be kind even when things don't go your way.

One other note, the guy who runs My New York Pizza is a bit quirky (and very nice). Sometimes he opens at a 11, sometimes not until 12. So to avoid disappointment, I'd suggest not going here for an early lunch.

In Part 1 of our pizza overview, we discussed the New York pizza phenomenon, and my own personal history with it. Finding a place that makes a pizza in this most be…

***CLOSED*** Antonio's Mexican Restaurant & Bar ~ North Richland Hills, Texas

As you can see from the below, we've covered Antonio's already. We've vacillated back and forth on our opinion about this establishment. We've even gone so far as to state Antonio's is the #1 best Mexican in NE Tarrant. But times change, as do opinions, and Antonio's has fallen from the top spot (Anamia's in Southlake is the current owner). However, it's still a favorite, though maybe not the favorite. I've taken the liberty to rewrite many sections of the original review, based on recent trips. On this visit, I tried the baby chimichangas with ground beef. The queso topping is declicious as was the perfectly textured rice. The charro beans (which, as usual, I substituted the refried beans for) were a bit too soupy and "bean-like", lacking the yummy bacon flavor I crave - even though there were bits of bacon in the dish. The ground beef was servicable but ultimately lacking in rich flavors. The wife went for the tilapia, served in a tin fo…

Chuy's Tex-Mex ~ Arlington, Texas

New review for Southlake location here

The RJG tries. He really does. He wants to fit in, and see things like everyone else. He doesn't get pleasure out of being a contrarian. But doggone it, here we are again - in the position of naysayer.

Normally I wouldn't even bother with a chain like Chuy's, but there were a few things about it that screamed "come visit us, you must." For one, they're still a small, regional chain. The RJG likes small regional chains. Then there's the slogan "If you've seen one Chuy's... you've seen one Chuy's". Oh, I like that! Non conformity. But most of all, it was the allure of green chile. Complete with a description that the recipe comes from their favorite restaurant in Espanola, New Mexico - and that it's really HOT. OK, sold, we're going!

So the Mrs. RJG and I wandered over to the Arlington Highlands a few Sundays ago for lunch. This was our first trip there, as SE Arlington is not exactly …

***CLOSED*** Pietro's Italian ~ Dallas, Texas

Final visit: February 2016
Last update: December 27, 2017

When Mr. Music told me this earlier in the year, my heart sunk. It was reason enough to stop talking and writing about restaurants. All I can say is this: We did give you advance notice. The below was published on March 28, 2010, so Pietro gave you a good 7 years to check it out. If you missed it, then I'm sorry to say there is no replacement. No other place like it. A part of me went with it too...

January 2014 update: Pietro's is as magnificent as ever. Mrs RJG and I just had another exquisite meal here. It remains my all-time favorite restaurant even after 30 years of going here. I beg and urge you all to try it at least once if you have a hankering for Old School Italian food. I'm sure it will not be here forever. Pietro must be close to 80 now, and it's hard to imagine the restaurant without him. We try to go 3 to 4 times a year, almost always on a Saturday or Sunday because of the traffic to get to inner D…

2010 NE Tarrant Pizza Summary Pt. 1: Campania, Coal Vines, Palio's

This week, let's talk about pizza. My Dad and Mom were natives of New York City and Long Island respectively, so they were very particular about how a "pizza should be". Like most kids, I just liked any kind of pizza, but rarely was allowed to experience it (until about 1974 when Al's opened near Bachman Lake), constantly tormented by my parent's allegiance to their homeland. My parents hated Texas pizza. "That's not pizza" they'd crow. Any New Yorker reading this is nodding their head right now. Even today, with a proliferation of New York styled pizza places on just about every corner, my Mom swears it's not the same. I disagree, since I've spent many months working in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Long Island myself. She just responds by saying "It's not the same in New York anymore either." I can't win... like I ever could anyway. Other New Yorkers tell me the difference is "the water". Strange as it may sound t…

***CLOSED*** Tirelli's Deli ~ Keller, Texas

Tirelli's is looking more and more like a place you'd see in Chicago, Philadelphia, and New York. The windows are covered with blaring specials of sandwiches, pastas, pizzas, etc... In Long Island, South Philly or any Chicago burb, many of these type of restaurants were originally fully operating delicatessen's and butcher shops. Some of them still are. So they would plaster on the window their specials of rump roast or dry salami for x$ a pound. Sometimes with white shoe polish. Somehow Tirelli's has managed to create that same feel here in a modern Texas suburb.

Once inside, the place transforms to the more familiar sites of flat screen TVs and a welcome dining area. You order at the counter - and you'll notice right away that there's a dizzying array of items to choose from. You may want to familiarize yourself with the menu before heading over. All I've had to date is their Philly Cheese and Hot Pastrami on Rye Panini (though it seems more like Texas to…

Schlotzsky's ~ Southlake, Texas

Last visit: December 2017
Last update: June 28, 2015

Schlotzsky's is one of those chains folks tend to miss if you don't live near one. We've been fortunate that in both Texas and Colorado, they are well represented. But it's not something we take for granted, and they would be sorely missed if suddenly they were shut down due to something like bankruptcy. If you haven't been for awhile (or ever), support your local franchiser and give it a shot!

With Schlotzsky's, it's all about the bread. Long before Quizno's showed up, Schlotzsky's pioneered the conveyor belt toasted concept, and their bread reacts well to it, providing the right crispiness and flavors when heated properly. That being said, the Southlake location, going back to the first time we went here in 2003, never got their ovens set right. No problem for the RJG, as he always gets the sandwiches to go, and toasts them again at home! Problem solved. They have various breads, veggie, and…

***CLOSED*** Gerhard's ~ Roanoke, Texas

For regular readers of the RJG, and given my light posting, I cannot imagine there's too many of those - you might remember my thoughts on the lack of German food in the DFW area. I truly feel it's a somewhat ignored regional food tradition. Here's more info on my feelings around this.

So now us folks in NE Tarrant can crow about our own German restaurant. Well, OK, technically not NE Tarrant, but we'll adopt Roanoke for the cause.

Gerhard's is a brand new restaurant in what is shaping up to be a very cool "old town" Roanoke. Thanks to the success of Babe's and the Classic Cafe, many flock to the quaint old one-horse train stop that has now become a desirable suburb of the vast DFW area. They're still in the process of recreating the town that never was, and doing a darn good simulation of such. The Dallas burger institution Twisted Root has been an early adopter (and we went on New Year's Day - it's excellent - and will report eventually …

Chimy's Cerveceria ~ Fort Worth, Texas

Since the RJG cannot seem to get out of his rut of not posting, we are glad to announce that we have our first guest post! Joe Thomas runs The Grapevine TX Online website. Thanks Joe for the contribution!

Originally based out of Lubbock Texas, Chimy's Cerveceria came to Fort Worth several years ago and has been serving up some of the strongest margarita's in town ever since. Their location is really just an alley behind a strip mall on the west side of Fort Worth. If this place doesn't look, smell, and feel like a Regular Joe's type place then nothing does.

It is probably easiest to start with the margarita's which happen to be
named after automobiles. You can get anything from the Cadillac (most popular) to the Porsche or Ferrari or many others. I upgraded to the Porsche and it did not disappoint. The Porsche was huge and even though I do not tend to think of myself as a lightweight I only needed one to do the trick.

The food was very basic tex-mex. Your choices range…