Showing posts from December, 2011

Flying Saucer Draught Emporium ~ Addison, Texas

There was a time when the RJG had very little use for beer. Unlike many college students, I pretty much eschewed guzzling cheap beer for a cheap buzz. In the 1980s, the US beer industry was all about price. Pale lagers and light beers was all there was to quaff. And at Texas Tech, Coors was the clear winner followed by Budweiser. I didn't dislike the stuff, but I just didn't understand what the big fuss was. Once I started going to Europe later in the 80s, I began to realize what a good beer can taste like. Then my move to Colorado in 1993 opened my eyes up to the craft beer industry. Unfortunately I didn't take advantage of it as much as I should have back then, with only an occasional foray into a brewpub. And I didn't take notes, and I'm rather certain I tried some beers from breweries that are extinct. I finally got serious about beer about 6 years ago, and I've been making up for lost time (especially while in Colorado during the summers). According to my…

***CLOSED*** ZuRoma Sicilian Kitchen ~ Keller, Texas

A few years ago, sometime in the 2004-05 range, the Mrs. and I had dined at the original ZuRoma location in Grapevine near 121. We thought it was good Italian food, and had returned at least once. A couple of years later, while planning a return visit, I reviewed their entry on Urbanspoon, and it was clear a major event had taken place. Best I can tell the original owners sold the place, and the new proprietors subsequently ran the place into the ground. I never sampled this debacle, but as is foreshadowed by now, they did close down shortly thereafter. Meanwhile the original owners opened up in the Ice House in North Richland Hills. We never did go to the hockey arena, but now they also have a to-go only place in Keller, so I decided to try their pizza on a recent evening that Mrs. RJG and one of our official nieces had something else going on. "ya on ya own" in Mrs. RJG speak.

ZuRoma specializes in the "Sicilian" styled pizza, which I sometimes refer to as "…

***CLOSED*** Best Tex Burger ~ North Richland Hills, Texas

Best Tex Burger is in the same Shell station that once housed a Billadelphia's** location, and if I recall right was originally a Chester Fried Chicken.

Best Tex Burger arrives with a feel-good story, that one has to admire. This is the American spirit at its finest.

Onto the food we go. Their website talks about a variety of gourmet burgers and a chicken sandwich option. However, they have recently reduced their menu significantly. All they now serve are hamburgers, cheeseburgers (with a double option on each) and fries. And that's it. As you all know, the RJG is very much in favor of the small menu. So my expectation was set to a high level, figuring that they only do one thing - so it will be awesome. I kept it simple and ordered a double cheeseburger and a small drink. The burger comes out with the condiments on the side and include fresh romaine lettuce, pickles, onion and tomato. They also bring a variety of sauces to put on your burger. But other than the usual suspects …

***CLOSED*** Jalapeno's Mexican Cuisine ~ Keller, Texas

Last update: June, 2013: Jalapeno's moved to the other side of US-377 to Fort Worth. And renamed it Las Pinatas. Review of new location here.

If you live around Keller, the name Jalapeno's can be a bit confusing. There's a taqueria by that name in the old town, with the exact same logo, and yet it's entirely different than this restaurant found on Keller Parkway. Apparently there's different ownership, but obviously they are related in some way. So if you too were confused, as the RJG perpetually is, then I do recommend you try both. We'll cover the taqueria at another time, but today's post will reflect the restaurant only. To the best of my knowledge, this is their only location and not related to other Jalapeno's in and around DFW.

Jalapeno's sits in the old Keller Pizza place (itself no doubt once a Pizza Inn). Upon entry, there's a cavernous space filled with booths and tables - and even an old fashioned 1980s styled video game area. I was …

El Paisano Taqueria ~ Dallas, Texas

Our first Mr. Music review!

I took a trip to El Paisano last Weds with my friends. I’ve been going to El Paisano regularly for over a decade now. I usually don’t go to any single restaurant that often, but I really love this place! It was the first place that really opened my eyes to what are commonly known as “street tacos”. No matter how many I try, El Paisano consistently remains my favorite place for them. Now I won’t say I’ve tried every place around; there are hundreds of them, but I’ve been to dozens. My friends and I meet on Wednesdays for a night out and make El Paisano at least 3 times a month. Tacos are a pretty simple; you’ve got a tortilla, some meat, toppings and the sauce. All of them are important, but for me the sauce is the key! Of course the meat is very important too, but the sauce can propel a “really good” taco to “OMG!”.

At El Paisano there are 3 types of tortillas: maiz which is a factory bought corn tortilla dipped in manteca (pig lard) for $0.99, then there is…

***CLOSED*** Panchita's Mexican ~ Keller, Texas

Panchita's is a new restaurant that opened its doors this August. It's housed in the former Windy City Deli location, and is a couple of doors down from Niki's (featured on this blog somewhere). They are a husband and wife run establishment, and you can tell that they use only fresh ingredients. No large platters of enchiladas here - each meal is individually handcrafted. The food is a mixture of Tex-Mex and Mexican from the interior. There's even a hint of New Mexico, and not surprisingly there's a family heritage from there.

The chips are crispy corn and the salsa served is what we typically see in Colorado: A mixture of tomatoes, chilies, onions and cilantro. It was good with a nice kick. As such I wasn't sure they would have a "hotter" one, but indeed they do. It's a tomatillo based green sauce blended with jalapenos and/or maybe serrano's. Definitely contains more heat and thus smooths out the bitterness typically associated with tomatill…

***CLOSED*** Tres Jose's ~ Fort Worth-TX

Situated at the edge of the tony River Crest neighborhood, Tres Jose's seems an unlikely place to find an authentic Tex-Mex restaurant. We first visited a few years ago while visiting some museums at the nearby Cultural District. And while we await the renovations (and new ownership) to be completed over at the RJG's favorite Ft. Worth Mexican food destination - Fernandez Cafe - we decided to revisit Tres Jose's since we were over in Ft. Worth anyway.

While Tres Jose's is a reliable neighborhood spot, it's not extraordinary. We both enjoyed the blue corn enchiladas with the heavily seasoned chicken doused in a sour green tomatillo sauce. The rice was well prepared, and the charro beans had the right mix of chile's, beans and bacon. The chips are homemade and crispy, while the standard salsa is tomato based with a mild kick, and includes black pepper (something the RJG likes in his hot sauces). We asked for the hotter one, as we often do, and out came a very cre…

Everything German ~ Hurst, Texas

June 2015 update: Everything German has relocated to Hurst. More to come soon hopefully
Two of the most popular posts from the RJG were about German restaurants. The first post was when we took a trip up to Muenster and visited Rohmer's. But even more so was our visit to Gerhard's in Roanoke. We went there not long after it opened, thought it quite good, and wrote about it here. We haven't been back since, but not because we didn't like the restaurant, rather we just haven't taken the time to do so. Just by reading the comments on Urbanspoon, it appears the restaurant is hotly debated amongst those that seem to passionately hate it - and those who love it. Much of the "discussion" revolves around service issues, which quite frankly the RJG feels gets too much attention in today's world. Believe me, service in Europe is far less attentive (note I didn't say worse). We're just a very restless society I'm afraid. We've had a couple of outr…

Princi Italia ~ Dallas, Texas

While browsing the main DFW page on Urbanspoon, a little blurb caught my eye from the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram: "Homemade Italian sausage". The RJG is always on the lookout for good, high quality, homemade Italian sausage, whether from a restaurant or a local grocer. Unfortunately for us folks on the Ft. Worth side of the house, almost all of the great Italian sausage to be found is in Dallas. And even though it was the Startlegram that brought it to my attention, sure enough the restaurant is in Dallas. Preston Royal to be exact.

I spent a lot of my youth in the Preston Royal area. Not that I grew up here (I wish!), but many times my folks and I would "head east" for a weekend dinner out. While still in high school in the early 1980s, there was a great Italian restaurant called Rodolfo's Colosseo that we frequented often (anyone remember it?). He later dropped the Colosseo moniker, and I can recall my last meal being after college sometime in 1988. I suspect he…

Babe's Chicken Dinner House ~ Roanoke, Texas

Last visit: January 2017 (actually it was a catered event, not a visit to the restaurant)

This is only my second visit to Babe's, the first being about 7 years ago with a former co-worker from my days at Lockheed-Martin in Denver in the late 1990s. Mrs. RJG had been curious about what the fuss was, so we took this day to head over for lunch and get us some fried southern food.

Babe's is a now legendary place in the DFW area and it's not an uncommon sight to see large lines on weekend nights. Babe's first opened its doors in 1993 in old town Roanoke, long before anyone else was there. Due to its increasing popularity, Roanoke is now the town that never was, and is a re-creation of a classic old Texas settlement as one might find at the turn of the last century. Lots of independent restaurants and local chain legends line the streets. It's quite an awesome sight to be honest. I think few would argue against the notion that Babe's popularity was the impetus behind…

San Diego Tacos Shop ~ Richland Hills, Texas

San Diego Tacos Shop proclaims to be the "best Cal-Mex fast food in DFW". I'm not quite sure who the competition is, but based on our one visit, I'm willing to give them the title (for now)!

Set in a day-glo mustard colored old fast food taco joint*, San Diego Tacos provides a wide array of every day Mexican fast food, as one would find in southern California. So what's the difference between Tex-Mex and Cal-Mex? Their website provides one chef's view, to which he articulates the various nuances of the two regional food cuisines. The website also describes their menu in detail - and in English. You may want to familiarize yourself with some of it before heading out, because the restaurant itself does not. However, pictures of the food line the wall for gringos like me.

Mrs. RJG, native of Sonora and a two year resident of Los Angeles, went straight for the Sopes which San Diego Tacos describes as "a traditional Mexican dish which at first sight looks li…

***CLOSED*** Red Dog Right ~ Southlake, Texas

December 28, 2017 update: Closed in 2016

Like many folks who live in NE Tarrant, if I have to go to the airport or to the other side, then I must get on Hwy 114 East. Many times I'll do that via Southlake Blvd, and when you do, you'll see on your right a Kirby's Steakhouse, and then Red Lobster and then... whoa... hold up there. What happened to the Red Slobster? It's gone baby. In its place - Red Dog Right. The RJG doesn't shed a tear when the publicly traded company gets replaced with a more local option. In this case, it's still a (local) chain, but I'm guessing Red Dog Right still isn't ringing a bell. And it won't either, as this is a new entry from the folks at Front Burner Restaurants, founded by a Rockfish Seafood guy (guess he knew Kenny too right?).

Front Burner is behind Ojos Locos, Whiskey Cake, The Ranch at Las Colinas... and their most famous brand is Twin Peaks. The name is a wink-wink deal, and what was originally supposed to go into…

***CLOSED*** Cantina Laredo ~ Dallas, Texas

December 30, 2017 update: OK, so the below was written for the Far North Dallas location. Then we had gone to our local restaurant on Grapevine in 2015, and it's now closed! The chain is still quite active, even internationally. So when we do get back to one, we'll update this post and move forward.

Earlier in the week, we once again had a new project kicking off in Plano, so we had employees all over the country fly in for the start. Sounds like a team event to me! As noted last month, we recently went to Pappasito's, and this time we selected a very similar place with Cantina Laredo. Old time DFW citizens know Cantina Laredo well, as it was one of the first "upscale Tex-Mex" places in the area. I can remember going to the one in Addison as far back as the 1980s.

I've always found Cantina Laredo to be reliably good. On this visit I tried the Tacos Cascabel which they describe as "Sautéed chicken with cascabel sauce on soft corn tortillas with cilantro, …