Showing posts from January, 2013

Cane Rosso ~ Dallas, Texas

Today we have another restaurant entry from our own Mr. Music! The RJG has yet to go, but we have every intention to do so. We mentioned Cane Rosso in the Cavalli post, as they are the other pizza place in DFW that (currently) has earned the seal of approval from the VPN (Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana). In fact, the RJG hasn't been to any venue in Deep Ellum since my underground radio days in the early 90s. I don't think I've stepped foot in the neighborhood since 1993. And no doubt back then it would have been with Mr. Music and some other running buddies, most likely checking out some new band. My 20 year involuntary holdout will most likely end with a visit to Cane Rosso. Onto the review....

I have always been a big pizza fan (who isn’t?), but it seems like pizza just keeps getting better and better! My most recent love is the pizzeria that claims certification from VPN (Verace Pizza Napoletana) an association which can legally (in Italy) give designation to pizz…

***CLOSED*** Taco Villa ~ Benbrook, Texas

You may recall that last week, while awaiting the NFL Championship games, Mrs. RJG and I journeyed a bit NW to Justin for a light lunch. And for this Sunday, it was the off-week before the Super Bowl, so we decided for a longer country drive. So we went 'a Courthousin' and a' Antinquin'. The RJG is very much an admirer of our Texas courthouses. I'm fascinated by the architecture, the isolated locations, and the history. We even own a coffee table book about them, that I've seen our guests look through intensely - and many our natives to Texas and never paid attention until now. Mrs. RJG loves the little shops that hug the square. As long as she comes home with at least one cute thing for the house, then she considers it a fun and successful trip. We didn't go anywhere we hadn't been before, but we took a slightly different route this time. On this trip we headed SW to Granbury, up to Palo Pinto and back through Weatherford. Granbury, of course, is a de…

Jimmy's Food Store ~ Dallas, Texas

Today's post comes courtesy of Mr. Music. He asked that I post this on his behalf. Before we get to that, just a quick note that Mrs. RJG and I love to go to Jimmy's and buy homemade Italian sausage. We usually get 6 pounds, 3 of the sweet/mild and 3 of the spicy. That'll usually last us a few months. We have yet to try their deli for a meal though. Obviously, after reading Mr. Music's description below, we need to consider that pronto. Though it's tough to be that far down in Dallas and not go to Pietro's...

Last Saturday Mrs. Music and I took the kids for a ride to Jimmy’s Food Store. From Denton, it is quite a ride to East Dallas, but it was a nice day and I had not been in that neighborhood for awhile. I’ve been to restaurants all around Bryan and Fitzhugh and have heard about Jimmy’s for years, but for some reason never made it down there. I finally made a solid decision after recently falling in love with their homemade sausage on a pizza at ll Cane Rosso…

Smashburger ~ Watauga, Texas ***CLOSED***

Last visit: January 2016
Last update: March 11, 2018

It appears Smashburger is beginning to exit our market (including this location) with now 9 locations left as I update this (there were many more). As I said below, they are corporate, so if the margins don't hold up, they will up and leave. There's just way too much quality competition for a place like Smashburger to have impact here. Told ya so. :-)  In any case, I'll reopen this thread with a new location next time I visit. If I visit again. For those of us in NE Tarrant, Southlake remains open.

It appears all along that Smashburger was designed to be the next big thing in burgers. Their website is quite telling. There's no history talking about how Mom spent years working in the back kitchen of a bakery working out a special burger recipe, and finally scraped enough pennies to open her first store. And by word of mouth, it was so popular a second location opened up 10 years later. And finally some investors came i…

In-N-Out Burger ~ Hurst / Grapevine, Texas

Last visit: February 2018 (Grapevine)
Last update: June 28, 2015

Seems we go to the Grapevine outlet as much as the Hurst one, so including both here. I haven't noticed any material differences between them.

Our history with In-N-Out, told not long after a visit to their restaurant in Prescott, Arizona back in 2008.

As we stated in previous reviews, the beauty of In-N-Out is their limited menu. So burgers, fries, shakes, and sodas. That's about it. All at a very affordable price. Fresh ingredients define their hamburgers, the meat, lettuce, tomato, cheese, and buns always seem if they were bought right off the farm and served up steaming hot. Their signature dressing is a Thousand Island basically. The Double-Double is their signature burger. It's a double meat (thin patties so not overly filling), double cheese, and still the best value in town. Oh, and their fries are delicious as well. There's a reason In-N-out is extremely popular. High food quality + Low prices = Su…

Taco Mayo ~ Bridgeport, Texas

Last visit: July 2015 (McAlester, OK)
December 30, 2017 update: The Justin location mentioned below was closed in 2015. The chain is still going, so I I'll just name the Bridgeport location our regular one for now. Not that we get there much.

It was roughly 5 years ago that I first wrote about Taco Casa, and our trips up to Durant, Oklahoma. I mentioned that one day I would write about Taco Mayo. And here we are.

Since my Dad was a traveling salesman (he sold industrial uniforms to large laundries), I spent many a time in the car with him - especially in the summers before I was old enough to get an off-school job. Oklahoma was one of his prime states, and we'd probably travel to Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Enid, or Clinton at least 3 times a summer. According to their website, Taco Mayo started in 1978, and that's within one or two years of when I recall first going here. Dad was a big breakfast eater, and felt lunch was optional. I held the exact opposite view, so on those days…

Hopdoddy Burger Bar ~ Dallas, Texas

(I took/borrowed/stole this photo from the D Magazine website, so credits go to them.)

Many of you will probably remember my series on Keller Goes Burgers and Beer last January and February. In the timespan of a month, downtown Keller ended up with four new establishments cashing in on this concept. Namely: Yourway, Keller Tavern, Bronson's, and Bottlecap Alley. We liked the burgers at all four places, and while the beer selection was certainly better than average, they all could have used improvement in this area. I recall having a distinct conversation with the bartender at Yourway promising new beers would be introduced regularly. About two weeks ago, I snuck into Yourway and took a look at their taps. Nothing has changed in one year. Now to be fair, none of them claimed to be fully stocked beer bars (like Ginger Man does), and I thought they did a fine job on their core product, which is the hamburger. But...

...but if I were owning one of these fine restaurants, I would star…

Lone Star Bar-B-Que ~ Fort Worth, Texas

Lone Star Bar-B-Que is seemingly a mix of my last two posts: Barbecue - but near the intersection of Western Center and N. Beach in far north Ft. Worth. We have two of our official nieces (ages 20 and 13) in from Denver today, and so Mrs. RJG took the girls out to clean out our bank account for a day of shopping, thus leaving Mr. RJG on his own for lunch, perhaps the last one until I head over to a loan officer. Seeing that my meeting schedule was wide open, I took advantage of the situation for a completely "new to the RJG" place. And I let Urbanspoon be my guide today. And as a random choice, none other than Lone Star Bar-B-Que popped up. It seemed very popular with prior visitors, and 'cue sounded good, so off I went to points west.

What you first notice about Lone Star Bar-B-Que is this isn't some dive in the hood, or a country shack where a 5 toothed guy named Otis asks "Whadya hav'?". It's actually pretty nice. You could take a young family h…

3 Parrots Taco Shop ~ Fort Worth, Texas

And this will be our final restaurant to report on from 2012. And while on that topic, I'm going to attempt to keep up throughout 2013 (ohhh... I've heard that before!), something I've failed to do since I started this blog in 2008. So I needed a solution to this dilemma, as I know my schedule will not always allow for blogging. After some thought, one way to keep up is to update posts as I go, rather than get plowed under from a mountain of paperwork. And with that in mind, I plan on doing updates to each former post, on their original post date. This way I can clean the site up as I go - very slowly. So how do I accomplish such a feat? By adding a tag/label. If you want to keep up where the RJG goes to eat, then click on the 2013 update label that you see on the right column. And then of course there will be new additions as we continue to try new restaurants, and/or revisit places that for one reason or another I've never written about here on Regular Joe's Gui…

***CLOSED*** Black Diamond Smokehouse ~ North Richland Hills, Texas

And now we finally get to the end of the RJG Restaurant week ('bout time!). Well... actually we closed it out on the weekend, appropriately enough, with our bi-annual visit to the RJG's all-time favorite restaurant Pietro's.

I'm usually a bit reticent to write about barbecue, since there are many proclaimed (and self-proclaimed) experts on the topic roaming around the blogosphere here in DFW and environs. One of the blogs that we have linked to the right of what you're reading here is actually a published author on the topic (Full Custom Gospel), from no less an authority than Anthony Bourdain. And barbecue has never been my specialty, so what do I know right? And besides, Full Custom hasn't written about this yet, so maybe I can sneak one in...

Whatever my street cred may or may not be, I can honestly assess what I personally enjoy. And after one visit, Black Diamond skyrocketed to the top of my barbecue list. I'll need a few more visits before I can decl…