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Showing posts from July, 2013

Cousin's Bar-B-Q ~ Fort Worth, Texas

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We've written about Cousin's before, when they had a little shotgun shack over in Keller. But with Back Forty recently arriving in NRH, I thought it would be a good time to revisit the mothership. Or actually a branch of the original. They shut down the to-go only place in Keller, so that they could open this very large location in the Alliance shopping area of far north Ft. Worth. This is the second visit here for the RJG. We first went in December of 2010. So obviously we haven't done our part in helping the restaurant along. There's really no explanation as to why we've been infrequent visitors, as I've been a fan of Cousin's since we moved back to DFW 10 years ago.

Mrs. RJG had the baked potato with smoked turkey, and she loved it. I tried the turkey, and it's as good as ever. Cousin's always had the best turkey. They need to show their sibling over at Back Forty how to do it right. And speaking of sibling, since Cousin's has a similar meat…

Viet Bites ~ Denton, Texas

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The RJG just returned from a 6 day vacation, which I hope to report on soon. However, while catching up on e-mails, I discovered that none other than Mr. Music had sent us a fresh review. Alright! So take it away Mr. Music....

A recent drive from the Denton library with Mrs. Music, Music Jr., and Baby Music revealed a welcome sight!  A new restaurant on S. Elm called Viet Bites!  I was just talking to Music Jr. a few days ago about how cool it would be for a real Vietnamese restaurant to come to Denton.  We couldn't wait to go!  I have to admit that it tickles me that my 8 year old daughter often asks me when we can go for spring rolls and pho! 

On Friday night we met another couple at this cute little, standalone building. It looks like it once may have been a one-off taco stand or something similar. As we walked in, we marveled at the rows of fresh Thai basil with their purple leaves and Thai chilies pointing to the sky surrounding the perimeter!

Even under the cute …

Prego Pasta House ~ Dallas, Texas

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The RJG goes from our favorite Denver Italian restaurant, to our second favorite Dallas area Italian restaurant. As many of you all know, Pietro's is our favorite Italian in DFW, and remains the RJG's all-time favorite restaurant. But for close to 30 years, Prego has been right there behind them, providing hearty competition. And like Pietro's, we're infrequent visitors to Dallas anymore, so it's a rare treat indeed when we do dine here. We may have been only a couple of times since I started this blog, so this week's visit gave us the opportunity to finally blog about it. One major difference between Pietro's and Prego, is that the latter is open for lunch. And it's just that opening that allows me to choose Prego when in the area at that time. Mrs. RJG and I were in Dallas for an emergency weekday errand, and we had a bit of downtime right around lunch. Of course we first had to visit Northpark (guess who was behind that decision?) - and then I took …

Mama Louise ~ Aurora, Colorado

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Continuing with our favorite Denver area restaurants, here is our go-to Italian place. We first started going to Mama Louise not long after they opened in the DTC (Arapahoe and Dayton) around 1998 or so. (Prior to that there was a burrito place - I believe it was called "Jalapeno's" that we had eaten at a couple of times). After about a year of infrequently visiting, Mrs. RJG and I became regulars. Rarely would a week go by where we wouldn't venture up from Parker for a dinner. Usually on Friday night. Even on snow nights, we would go. Not long after we relocated back to DFW, owner Kent moved his establishment east to the Piney Creek area of Aurora. I can remember going to the original DTC location as recent as 2004 on a visit, so this must have happened shortly thereafter. The new location is a wonderfully decorated restaurant. Kent has been there since day one, and he's always pleasant and glad to see you. For years, his Mom would be by his side ensuring all …

Potbelly Sandwich Shop ~ Hurst, Texas

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I was beginning to wonder if Potbelly would ever come to Northeast Tarrant. It seemed the chain was avoiding the area like the plague. They've been in DFW for quite some time, and as you can see above, I've been to the Las Colinas location. That was in 2006 when I had an office nearby working for another company. The situation was becoming almost comical. About once a year, I'd go to their website and click on a map for DFW locations. Dots everywhere, except a huge gap of nothingness West and NW of DFW airport. When I was a kid, we had a cat. A cat that disliked my Dad. So every time he would reach from his easy chair to pet it, the cat would take a wide swath around his chair just to avoid him. It seemed Potbelly's was doing that to us.

But they finally made it here. They're in an area of Hurst that is basically being rebuilt around the construction of 183/121 at Precinct Line Rd. Across the highway is In-N-Out Burger that we've written about. The city of Hur…

Tony's Pizza and Pasta ~ Watauga, Texas

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Last visit: February 2018
Last update: June 19, 2016 

Another update here from the RJG archives. When we first moved to NE Tarrant in 2003, there were dozens of these places. I was anxious to try them all, until I realized they were all more or less the same: Eastern European owned, and stemming from the Moni's empire in Arlington. As time has moved on, most of these establishments have shuttered, moved on, shut down by the authorities, etc... The few that are left have carved out their own identity, and are the cream of the crop. And for us, Tony's is our go-to Italian in the area.


Tony's is very similar to most of the $ and $$ Italian restaurants in NE Tarrant, and you can read some samples of that here and here. All the same, unlike many of the Italian restaurants in this category that have closed recently, Tony's continues to be very popular. Their to-go pizza side of the house is doing a land office business, as dozens of folks come in for pickups, and no doubt jus…

Costa Vida Fresh Mexican Grill ~ Colleyville, Texas

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We were reviewing new restaurants in the area, when I saw that they planned on opening a new Costa Vida in Fort Worth. I had totally forgotten about this place, and that reminded me of the one in Colleyville, which is closer than the new one will be to us. Surprisingly this is our first visit here.

Costa Vida is a chain from Utah (Lehi - in the row of towns between Provo and Salt Lake City) that originally came up during the burrito craze of the last couple of decades as lead by Chipotle, Baja Fresh, and Qdoba's. Other than a proliferation of stores throughout the Beehive State, you will find a smattering of Costa Vida's in most of the West and Southwest states.

I zoomed in on the Baja Bowl, which is their variation of the Naked Burrito or Burrito Bowl, and filled it with grilled chicken, pinto beans, rice, red enchilada sauce, and cheese. Now the distinguishing characteristic of Costa Vida is they then push the bowl through the heated conveyor belt (like Quizno's) for a …

El Tep (El Tepehuan) ~ Englewood, Colorado

This is one of the few places, from before this blog anyway, that I can recite the exact first date I visited. It was October 16, 1995. It was a late afternoon on a Monday, when the secretary (err, Executive Assistant) of our department was scurrying about trying to unload a free football ticket for the Broncos game that night. It was for only one seat. And there was probably only one loser in the whole office who would have had nothing better to do that night, and who was unmarried or unattached. Yea... me. About 15 minutes later, coincidentally, I was introduced to our new SAP "basis" lead, who had just relocated his family to Denver from Cincinnati (I was the Oracle DBA on the project at that time). That gentleman we will identify for this blog as Rude Dante (as of May 2018 LOL), who became a lifelong friend that I still talk with frequently to this day (and is now an RJG contributor). So I mentioned to him that I was going to the game. Rude Dante said that he was going …

Denver area RJG reviews

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One of the things that has been gnawing at me for some time regarding this blog has been my total negligence on reporting on places outside of DFW. I managed to get in the Lubbock trip lately, but that's about it. Now part of the reason is the lack of regular visits to a particular restaurant. Or perhaps more to the point: My inability to return. I'm a bit uncomfortable making strong recommendations on places that I've been to once, or that it's likely to be only once for many years. While I would try to refrain from negative reviews, even a positive one can be misleading. What if I just got lucky that one day? However, while that might explain away a lot of my traveling experiences, I cannot use that excuse for Denver.

Quick history of my past with Colorado. I moved to Colorado Springs (from Carrollton) in late November 1993 for a new job. Even though I'd never even traveled to the state at that time, I moved site unseen. I knew it was going to be awesome, and it…

Jack Mac's Swill and Grill ~ Dallas, Texas

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Last visit: October 2016
Last update: December 28, 2017

I met with The Garland Troublemaker for a final time in October 2016. We both moved on to new (and better) jobs in short order. We knew this would be the last visit in our time with Company X. Perhaps we will have a reunion here again!


Interesting that I've met with The Garland Troublemaker for the last two straight weeks. Especially considering I may see him two times a year these days. This visit was from last week, and Jack Mac's is just as great as it always has been. I'll leave the review below pretty much intact, with a few edits and formatting changes. Jack Mac's is incredibly consistent. And one reason for that is Jack is usually there and cooking for us! Great guy too.

It all started with some research on Ratebeer about some local beers that folks were rating. I asked myself "Where are these guys getting this stuff?" In the reviews I would commonly see "on tap at Jac Mac's (sic)" .…