Friday, April 29, 2011

Thai Riverside, Thai, Grapevine-TX

Last visit: April 2011

First listed in the RJG: May 3, 2009

We first started frequenting Thai Riverside when the place was known as Thai Rice, sometime in the 2003-2004 era. New ownership brought improvements including an interior spruce-up, an upgraded menu and new flavors. On this visit, our first in nearly two years, we learned that Thai Riverside again has changed owners. Not so many alterations this time around, exceptions being a new menu and a handful of new recipes, though the owner assured us that most everything was "the same".

That's unfortunate, since as you may have gathered from the "first visit in two years" comment, Thai Riverside isn't one of NE Tarrant's finest. Nor is it near the bottom either but somewhere in the middle. That is to say, Thai Riverside is a "serviceable" Thai restaurant.

On this visit we sampled the Chicken Satay for an appetizer, and for entrees we had the Cashew Chicken and Chicken Basil. All of it was good, not nothing captured the imagination.

Thai Riverside is in an area that has a dearth of Thai restaurants, and is the best offering for miles around. Much better than the overpriced and overexotic Thai Chili in the nearby Southlake Town Square. If you live in the area, and have the means, I'd suggest driving to Sea Siam in Keller or Sweet Basil in Hurst. But if pressed for time, and craving Thai food, I would more than recommend Thai Riverside for to-go orders. And the interior is pleasantly decorated with mood lighting, to ensure a nice dining experience as well.

Thai Riverside is located on Northwest Highway, just east of TX-114. It's buried in a strip center (on the Park Blvd street side). BTW, the Google Map is wrong, and has Thai Riverside way east closer to the Gaylord. Just take TX-114 to Southlake Blvd/Wall. Go straight through the light, and make a right at the next light (Northwest Highway). Make a left at the first light (Park) and left into the shopping center.

Thai Riverside on Urbanspoon

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Definition of NE Tarrant geography

So exactly what and where is Northeast Tarrant County anyway? The obvious answer is it's all the suburbs northeast of Ft. Worth but still in Tarrant County. And while that's about 80% right, for the purposes of this blog, we define a slightly modified version.

To start, we'll go to the old Ft. Worth suburb of Haltom City. The corner of Beach and 121 makes up the SW boundary. From there we'll draw the southern boundary. Roll upward northeast on 121 to Hwy 10, and continue east/northeast to 183, which takes you to the southern entrance of DFW airport. This is Euless and defines our SE border. The airport is a natural eastern border. Going north along the airport takes up to Grapevine. By the Grapevine Mills outlet mall is the Tarrant County line, and makes our NE border. The northern boundary of Tarrant is our border with a couple of exceptions: 1) Trophy Club and 2) Roanoke. Both are technically in Denton County, but they're fairly isolated, and feel more as part of the NE Tarrant family than the towns of Denton County. I-35 W makes a convenient western border and the Texas Motor Speedway at 114 and I-35W is more or less our NW boundary. I-35W down to I-820 is our western front. 820 going east to Beach and back down to 121 completes our loop.

What's in: Haltom City, Richland Hills, North Richland Hills, Hurst, Bedford, Euless, Grapevine, Colleyville, Southlake, Westlake, Trophy Club, Roanoke, Keller, Watauga, Alliance airport area, far north Ft. Worth (north of I-820, east of I-35W).

Outliers not in: Flower Mound, Arlington, Saginaw, Coppell

We're not going to be too legalistic with all of this. But more or less, that's the area defined.

FWIW, we live near the confluence of Southlake, Colleyville, Keller and North Richland Hills - so those areas tend to get the most microscopic coverage from us.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Fuzzy's Taco Shop, Tacos y Margaritas, Southlake-TX

Last visit: March 2014

Rating: Buy

Other NE Tarrant locations: North Richland Hills, Grapevine (2), Euless, Fort Worth (Alliance), Haltom City, Roanoke (SE Denton County).

While DFW and Texas remain their main focus, Fuzzy's has now gone National is one of the most rapidly expanding franchises in the country.

Fuzzy's Taco Shop first opened near TCU in Fort Worth and was an instant hit. Our first experience with Fuzzy's was a visit to the North Richland Hills location on Rufe Snow about a year ago. This location used to house the RJG's original favorite DFW Thai restaurant - Top Thai (they moved to Las Vegas in 2005). Later it was a Bar-B-Cutie, which we never got around to trying (they're a Nashville, TN chain and they still have two locations in Allen. They also have 3 stores in Valencia Spain!). However, once it became Fuzzy's, the original pizza place (at least we think it was - according to the Top Thai owners) had finally found its popularity.

Not long afterward, Fuzzy's took over a two time loser Chinese restaurant location (Blue Fish being one of them and something with Eden in the name) in Southlake. And once again, the place is packed to the rafters. And it's at this location that we tend to frequent most.

What you're seeing here is the beginning of a food empire. And why not? Basically this is upscale Taco Truck food, and the public is clamoring for it. Why worry about health code violations, when you have an established name brand behind you?

Their tacos are excellent and feature a wide variety of choices from grilled or tempura shrimp to shredded pork and onto more traditional offerings like shredded beef, chicken, and spiced ground beef. Soft or hard corn shells are offered. They also have breakfast, burritos, tortas (called grilled sandwiches here), salads, and soups. Be sure to try their habanero sauce - it's definitely got a kick. And the RJG really appreciates their beer selection. Not just the standard crappy Bud and Miller, but they have a wide selection of regional and microbrews (on draught too, including Fort Worth's own excellent Rahr & Sons Brewing). Nothing beats a good Moose Drool (a brown ale from Big Sky Brewing of Missoula, Montana) with a shredded chicken taco and habanero sauce!


Fuzzy's Taco Shop (Southlake) on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Chuys, Plano location

Since we pretty much lambasted the Arlington locale, I think it's only fair that I give credit where credit is due. I had met some business associates at the Plano location off of US-75 about a month ago, and my experience was entirely different, including an excellent tasting lunch. So when they say "If you've only been to one Chuys, you've only been to one Chuys" they really mean it! Their salsas with the chips are still terrible, but everything else was quite good. Thumbs up for this location!

Chuy's (Plano) on Urbanspoon