Showing posts from August, 2013

JavaPrimo Coffee House ~ Hot Springs, Arkansas

Our next entry from the adventures of Mr. Music and family while in Hot Springs, Arkansas.

The first time we stopped by this place, Mrs. Music and ChefGirl just stopped in for a coffee drink. We like to try local places over chains for coffee when out of town and the coffee drinks were very good. Mrs. Music was surfing up a different breakfast place to try since we had been to the English Muffin twice. We laughed when we saw that the place we thought was a coffee shop was recommended for their breakfasts too! 

We ventured in to the very small, but cozy place. It was sort of like Café Brazil, or perhaps a little like Panera with a touch of Obzeet in that they had gifts, cards, creams, and soaps for sale. The menu had some nice breakfast and lunch options. They even had brick oven pizza that looked really good and a few beers on tap: Hoegarden and 2 others with some interesting choices for bottles as well. I also noticed they had quite a few bakery items - all made from scratch. The…

Rolando's Nuevo Latino Restaurante ~ Hot Springs, Arkansas

Well apparently the RJG is now going to be a major player in the Hot Springs restaurant blogger community! This is, of course, due to a recent run of reviews that our own Mr. Music just composed for the blog. He sent in no less than 5 reviews while we were away on vacation this week. That vacation, by the way, was to the San Francisco Bay Area, Northern California, and Southern Oregon. I really want to get some reviews out from that trip. We'll see. I had mentioned in July that we had recently returned from a trip, but never mentioned where. On that trip we had gone to Alberta - primarily Banff and Calgary. I did manage to get some thumbnail sketch reviews onto Urbanspoon for about 5 of the restaurants. Maybe I'll flesh those out here eventually.

OK, onto Mr. Music's latest adventure in Hot Springs!

We had taken a fun trip to Mount Ida to dig for crystals and diamonds at a crystal mine. 

But it was here that we found the most precious gem in Hot Springs! As soon as Mrs. M…

Don Juan Authentic Mexican Restaurant ~ Hot Springs, Arkansas

(thanks to Urbanspoon for the photo)

Two posts in one day! I've been wanting to get this post out from our correspondent Mr. Music. He's obviously been doing some traveling and sent this in during the week. I had a busy week at the office, so here it finally is! Take it away Mr. Music...

The Music family took a little trip to Hot Springs for a last hurrah before school starts! We got into town a bit late and I was concerned that a sleepy town like Hot Springs might not have anything opened late - even on a Saturday night. We tried a couple places at 9:30 and struck out. As fate would have it, we happened on to a little Mexican place called Don Juan. Ahhh, opened until 10pm! Hmmm, Mexican food in Hot Springs, Arkansas? We shall see. 

As we walked in, the décor was totally 70s Tex-Mex like El Chico or El Fenix. We were seated in a booth and they brought chips and 2 cute little pitchers of salsa. The chips were hot and fresh. The salsa had very little heat, but was VERY t…

Lupe's Tex Mex Grill ~ Keller, Texas

Last visit: February 2017

Back to our own grazing range, it was time to try the latest Mexican restaurant entry in our area. We'd been to the Bedford location once last summer, and it was definitely good, but we weren't really wowed by it. And since Bedford is a bit of a haul for us, and the 183/121 construction is a bit daunting, we just let the restaurant fall through the cracks of the RJG dining agenda. But now they've moved up our way, right near our own ranch land, in nearby Keller. The competition is stiff around here, with Anamia's (Southlake), Mi Pueblo (NRH), El Paseo (Keller), Fresco's (Watauga), and the Baja Grill mini chain (based in Grapevine) all nearby and all excellent.

So how did the new Lupe's, opened only a month ago, stack up? Quite well actually. Very well indeed... as in we need to go back shortly.

The restaurant setting is very nice, featuring a well decorated interior and a full bar. It sits in a newish strip mall on the west side of Ruf…

El Gabacho ~ Arlington, Texas

Mrs. RJG and I had a free Saturday, with absolutely no obligations for lunch, dinner, or anything else for that matter. So on days like this, the RJG likes to travel outside of our usual cow pasture here in Northeast Tarrant, and try something new. We've been pretty negligent with Arlington, and so I decided to point our cattle car straight south and see what happens. We both had a hankering for some Mexican food with a beer or margarita, and so with my handy dandy Urbanspoon App at my disposal, we went digging. After a couple of minutes of research, El Gabacho looked like the perfect place to try. And it was.

The first thing you'll notice upon arrival is that it takes a couple of minutes to get your bearings. Even though the restaurant is visible from the street, and there is outdoor patio seating, the actual entrance is inside a nice mini-mall called the Brownstone Village. Once inside the restaurant, you'll be immersed in the world of the Old West - at least according …

***CLOSED*** Daddy Jack's ~ Southlake, Texas

Every time the RJG travels to New England, I like to frequent a seafood chain from Boston called Legal Seafood. They're famous for clam "chowda", New England styled crab cakes, and baked fishes amongst many other things. Daddy Jack's is clearly aiming for that market. Right down to the red and white checkered tablecloths - which is not strictly an Italian tradition.

So is Daddy Jack's really as good as Legal? Well, no, of course not. Legal has the distinct advantage of having the Atlantic Ocean right next to it. But Daddy Jack's is certainly very good, and one of the best seafood houses in DFW.  More casual and less pricey than Trulucks, which the food is on par with.

Nearly 9 full years ago, we took Mr. RJG's official Mom to the Daddy Jacks in Coppell for her birthday. In doing research for this entry, it appears that particular Daddy Jack's is run completely separate from the locations listed here. Perhaps it started as a franchise entry, and later …

Taqueria Burritos Locos ~ Grapevine, Texas

(thanks to Polyonax for picture)

...And so after returning from my cattle drive, I spun tales to Mrs. RJG about my day with Mr. Music in the far off land of Denton. Most of the stories were met with an eye roll, or "better you than me", but it was my description of Taqueria Guanajuato that had her salivating. Mrs. RJG, born and bred south of the border, is always up for a true taste of the homeland. With that backdrop, we decided it was high time to finally try Taqueria Burritos Locos, a very successful taqueria that we once remembered being a Chicken Express.

The first thing you will notice is that Burritos Locos is not a small, fast food place. It is in fact a full service restaurant. And as such, they cater to a much larger audience than a traditional taqueria would. But we were there for tacos and sopes, and so we stuck with the game plan. One advantage of the sit down restaurant, of course, is the complimentary chips and salsa. They provide two, both with a pretty good…

Oak St. Drafthouse & Cocktail Parlor ~ Denton, Texas

As mentioned in the Taqueria Guanajuato post, Mr. Music and I also dipped into Oak Street Tavern for one or two craft beers, before heading back over to the Taco Lady. This is a frequent hangout for Mr. Music, and I was eager to try it. Oak St. Drafthouse sits in a truly a cool setting that they describe as thus: "Being the third oldest house in the City of Denton, we’re making sure to keep the history and integrity of the house alive by making minimal changes inside the house.  (and also not to piss off the ghosts). All of the decor inside and surrounding Oak St. Drafthouse were found at local vintage and antique shops around Denton.  Our extremely large patio beer garden allows for a great time. On the weekends, we open the back bar for your enjoyment.  We have a very relaxing environment where people can carry on a conversation without getting distracted by loud music or tv’s."

Our plan for one to two beers turned into 3 as we met and chatted with Ben from The Be…

Taqueria Guanajuato ~ Denton, Texas

Saturday was a day of music, beer, and dining with Mr. Music and family. After absorbing a few vinyl albums, Mr. Music and I plotted our lunch and afternoon activity. We decided to go to Taqueria Guanajuato for some tacos, followed by a stop at Oak St. Drafthouse for a local craft beer or three (more on that in another post), and then we'd stop by The Taco Lady for some more tacos. And then off to hit Denton's record stores, and perhaps another bar or two. Back to Casa Mr. Music for tunes, and then to dinner with the whole Mr. Music brood (which turned out to be Dough in North Dallas. I'm not ready to write about it though. Need another visit). That was the plan anyway, and for the most part we stuck to it.

I'm not going to write about The Taco Lady. It was definitely good, and I gave it a thumbs up on Urbanspoon, but we weren't wowed. But we were both absolutely floored by how good the upstart Taqueria Guanajuato is. This is exactly how a taqueria should be. We ea…

Taco Villa ~ Fort Worth, Texas

Last visit: February 2018
Last update: June 28, 2015

I often would eat at Taco Villa while a student at Texas Tech in Lubbock back in the early to mid 1980s. Before we go further here, a quick history lesson. Taco Villa was a decent sized regional chain based in West Texas and was started by Bobby Cox in 1968 (Odessa). Sometime after I left college, in the late 1980s, he sold the chain to some investors. From what I understand, they ran the chain into the ground, and Cox wanted to buy back in. About 10+ years ago he bought most of the stores back, and had a friend of his buy the Lubbock locations (and a couple of other locations). So there are two different Taco Villa's, each independently run and with different logos (and we did manage a visit to one in Lubbock recently). The branch that has ventured into the DFW area is the original one as owned by Bobby Cox.

Ask and ye shall receive right? It was only a little over a year ago that if you wanted to go to Taco Villa, you had to ve…

Niki's Italian Bistro ~ North Richland Hills, Texas

We've spoken of Niki's before on the RJG, but there have been some changes since our last update. For one, it appears our loving duo of Northeast Tarrant County Niki's Italian Bistro's are no longer together (aww). The website, and the menu, are very clear in stating that the NRH Niki's is no longer associated with the one in Keller. And the other big change is they have moved across Davis to a beautiful new Tuscan structure that they painstakingly built for well over a year. The strip center location that Niki's had been in, for God knows how many years, needed an update badly. The place was, quite frankly, miserable. So rather than gut the 80's style strip mall, they purchased the Catfish Tucker's Haven across the street. And subsequently bulldozed it (I'm sure it was in worse shape than the original Niki's! One can only imagine all the fried fish - and cigarette smoke - pew). And proceeded to build a very large Medieval Italian styled buildin…