Posts Tagged ‘Texas’

  • 2013 Fawn Crest Meritage – USA, Texas, Texas Hill Country (1/22/2018)

    Opened and served immediately. Poured down the drain shortly thereafter.

    Garnet to dark garnet color in the glass, clear looking throughout. This wine smelled and tasted absolutely horrible. Your wine should never smell or taste like Sauerbraten. Avoid this wine.

    After recently tasting the Chardonnay from this same winery that smelled and tasted like a cat pee soaked dish towel I’m going to guess there are some material wine making issues at this winery. I cannot recommend this winery at all. (50 points)

Posted from CellarTracker


Read Full Post »

Cabernet Grill
2805 S State Hwy 16
Fredericksburg, TX 78624
Phone: (830) 990-5734
Cabernet Grill

Cabernet Grill Fredericksburg

Cabernet Grill Fredericksburg (courtesy of Cabernet Grill)

October 27, 2017

Cabernet Grill bills itself as a Texas Wine Country Restaurant. Located on the outskirts of Fredericksburg, Texas in the heart of Texas Hill & Wine Country Cabernet Grill offers up an array of Hill Country Grilled Fare in a pleasant, rustic environment.

I started my meal with the Hill Country Caesar Salad ($8.00). This Central Texas version of it’s namesake classic is made with fresh whole leaves of Romaine lettuce topped with a creamy garlic dressing, pecorino cheese and peppered croutons. It was good albeit a little small in size and a bit hot tasting from a little too much horseradish. Still, it made for a nice start to the meal while waiting for my entree.

My entree for the evening was the Lobster Topped Chicken Fried Certified Angus Beef Ribeye ($29.00). It was good and odd at the same time. Topped with a green chile cream gravy I’d say remove the lobster and add some more fresh sliced green chile to the gravy and kick up that aspect for a spicy southwestern chicken fried steak in lieu of the lobster presentation. The richness of the lobster was just too much on top of the richness of the fried steak in addition to the rich cream gravy. Too much of a good thing. The three cheese grits were a good side. The vegetable melody was inedible due to an aroma exactly the same as TCA taint. I’d pass on this entree next time.

My dining partner and myself wrapped up the evening with the Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake ($8.00). This sugar bomb was rich, heavy handed on the chocolate and sugar from the three types of chocolates laced with dense cheesecake slices. This is definitely a dessert to split between two people. It is too big for one with so much sugar. A couple of spoonfuls per person is more than enough.

Service was good although at times our server seemed a bit over the top with his comments. Kitchen service was a good pace.

Cabernet Grill features an all Texas wine list. We had a 2016 Lewis Cellars Rose High Plains that paired effectively with the two spicy entrees we had. Plenty of choices to match your meals and overall Texas wines are greatly improved over just a decade ago so go local and enjoy.

Reservations are highly recommended. Major credit cards are accepted. Attire is Casual Friday; Jeans or Slacks plus a nice button down shirt are mandatory in my opinion. Parking is in the lot and street along the restaurant.

Conclusion: Cabernet Grill is a good Fredericksburg dining option. Not necessarily a destination all on it’s own but I wouldn’t hesitate to return if I was in town.

Read Full Post »

Desi Kitchen
1515 S Cooper St Suite D
Arlington, TX 76010
Phone (469) 677-7747
Desi Kitchen

Desi Kitchen Vada

Desi Kitchen Vada

October 13, 2017

Desi Kitchen serves Authentic Indian Cuisine and does it well. Located in an unassuming strip center at the intersection of Park Row & Cooper St near the University of Texas Arlington Campus in Central Arlington this clean, sleek restaurant is a welcomed addition on the Arlington Ethnic Cuisine scene.

When you arrive you head straight to the counter where you place your order before sitting at any open table available. Payment comes later after you’ve eaten your meal. A slightly different spin on normal table service: order at the counter, sit, served, eat and return to the counter to pay. Efficient but my one recommendation here is if you’re not completely familiar with Indian cuisine you visit their web site in advance and research the offerings online so you’re prepared and ready upon arrival.

I ordered a Snack to start of the Vada ($3.99). Vada is a savory snack primarily from India proper. The Vada at Desi Kitchen are typical in the shape of a doughnut. Accompanied by three dipping sauces or Chutney. The Vada were hot and well seasoned and fried just so as not to be oily. The dipping sauces each took the Vada in a different direction, each standing out on their own, mostly building in intensity of spice from one to the other. This Snack is recommended.

Desi Kitchen Goat Biryani

Desi Kitchen Goat Biryani

My entree was the Goat Dum Biryani ($6.99). Biryani is a mixed rice dish typically available throughout South Asian, India in particular. Prepared with your selection of halal meats available each Biryani can be ordered prepared regular, medium spice and Spicy. Please be forewarned that Spicy means Spicy. This preparation is not for the faint of heart. My Biryani was prepared with Goat meat and Spicy. Tons of flavor here from all of the spices used with the mix of rices. Served with two dipping sauces I definitely recommend uses the coconut milk sauce to help quell the spice here. Next time I’ll likely order yogurt as a side, typical for this dish to smooth out the spice level. Moist and well prepared just be aware that it is typical to serve meats in India with the bones still attached. This dish is recommended.

My dining companions had the Chicken Curry ($6.99). Definitely not on the spice level as the Spicy Biryani this flavorful, moist dish packed a spicy kick as well. The curry broth was excellent, evidenced by the bowls wiped clean by the tasty Garlic Naan. This dish is recommended.

Food and wait service was quick and consistent throughout. Major credit cards are accepted. Parking is free and plentiful in the shared strip center lot in front of the restaurant. Attire is casual; shorts and a t-shirt get you in the door here.

Desi Kitchen: recommended.

Read Full Post »

Connie’s Cafe
1700 W. Park Row Drive #116
Arlington, TX 76013
Phone (817) 583-6180
http://www.WEBSITE HERE!!!!!

October 14, 2017

Connie’s Cafe is one of the newest additions to the Central Arlington dining scene. Located in the old Chopped House Burgers location the focus here is on homecooking. Typical selections of Breakfast and Lunch entrees slightly expanded for the new evening hours (was only open for breakfast and lunch the first few weeks).

I had the Daily Special Chopped Steak with regular sides of Green Beans and Side Salad ($8.95). The Chopped Steak was flavorful and typical of a chopped steak but unfortunately it was cooked well done to the point a knife was needed to cut through the tough exterior. Chopped Steak should be fork tender so a slight ding on the preparation. The green beans were good and appeared to be homemade with a solid, smoky ham hock flavor to the broth. Unfortunately I made the mistake of dumping the side of Ranch Dressing onto my side salad (something I rarely if ever do) and the Ranch Dressing tasted terrible to me. Something akin to a Miracle Whip flavor I did not eat my salad. Lesson learned. This entree is only recommended if you can specify preparation be medium to medium rare and send it back if not prepared properly.

My dining companion got the other Daily Special of Fried Catfish. After sharing entrees and sides with everybody at the table the Catfish was unanimously deemed the best thing ordered. Crispy and flavorful with a good firmness inside while maintaining ample moisture and flakiness. This entree is recommended.

Last mistake was ordering a Chicken Fried Steak to go. This apparently gave the server the impression we were done bringing out the to go order along with a finalized check. Pity. Desserts at Connie’s Cafe are homemade and looked appetizing but I guess I’ll have to wait until a return visit to find out having quietly slinked to the front of restaurant with my prematurely prepared lunch check in tow.

Connie’s Cafe is open Sunday & Monday 6:30 AM-3:00 PM, Thursday through Saturday 06:30 AM-8:00 PM. Major credit cards are accepted (pay at front). Parking is in front of the restaurant in the shared strip center lot. Attire is casual; shorts and a t-shirt are enough to get you in the door.

Connie’s Cafe: good enough for a quick and reasonably priced bite if you’re in the area; not a destination unto it’s own.

Read Full Post »

Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken
1067 W Magnolia Ave
Fort Worth, TX 76104
(817) 927-4693
Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken

Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken

Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken

March 3, 2017

Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken is a small sized chain of fried chicken restaurants dotting the United States. Gus’s traces it’s origins to over 60 years ago in Mason, TN. The modern version of Gus’s that reopened in 1984 is now comprised at the time of this writing to 17 locations spread across mostly the South and Midwest with a few outliers such as Los Angeles, CA. The Fort Worth location opened in Fall of 2016 bringing the craving for Gus’s hot and spicy chicken to Cowtown.

The focus here is on fried chicken. Gus’s “Nashville Hot” as I call it is a spicy version of chicken setting back even the most brave of those among us. This fiery version would make just about anybody pause between bites to savor it and hopefully briefly tame the smoking hot chicken as it challenges the palate. Besides various selections of chicken in 2, 3 or half chicken combinations of white versus dark versus mixed Gus’s also offers a other items such as fried chicken tenders bearing their trademark spicy profile. Snacks are chicken only with a piece of white bread, meals are snacks with standard sides of cole slaw and baked beans. There is a good selection of sides that can be ordered individually or substituted for standard sides for a nominal charge per side.

We started our meal with an appetizer of Fried Pickle Spears ($6.50). These made from scratch pickle spears are coated and deep fried to a firm crispness on the outside, warm and tangy pickle inside. It is accompanied by a side of ranch dressing for dipping. Be sure and bite straight down and through these pickles. The spear inside is still firm and will literally pull away from the crunchy crust outside if you pull instead of biting. This appetizer is recommended. There are other southern staples to start such as Fried Green Tomatoes and Fried Okra.

My entree for the evening was the Three Piece Dark Chicken Dinner ($8.95) consisting of one leg and two thighs. The chicken coating is spicy and crisply fried to a perfect crunch on the outside with juicy, flavorful meat on the inside. Each dinner is accompanied by two sides of Cole Slaw and Baked Beans. I substituted for a .50 cent charge the Mac and Cheese and Fried Okra. Both of these made from scratch sides were well prepared with good seasoning. The fried Okra was crispy fried as expected and the Mac and Cheese was a savory bowl of homemade comfort food. This entree and sides are recommended.

We each ordered a slice of pie and shared each around the table to get a good sampling of Gus’s desserts. I had the Chess Pie ($2.95) which was one of the best slices of chess pie I’ve had in recent memory. It was easily the best pie of the evening. Still good and right on it’s heels is the Chocolate Chess Pie ($2.95) full of chocolate goodness melded together with a chess pie. Rounding out our desserts was the Sweet Potato Pie ($2.95), another good rendition of a southern staple in pies. All of these desserts are recommended. Our only regrets were we didn’t have enough room for the Pecan and Coconut pies.

Gus’s is a casual restaurant so jeans or shorts are perfectly fine here. Major credit cards are accepted. Parking can be a bit of search in the always popular medical district. You’ll likely have to park on a side street and walk a block or walk a few blocks from the parking garage.

Conclusion: Gus’s is good southern cooking. I’ll be back but I’ll definitely bring my fire extinguisher. Man that chicken is hot!

Read Full Post »

Los Molcajetes Mexican Restaurant
960 US 287 Frontage Rd
Mansfield, TX 76063
(817) 473-1882

Los Molcajetes Mexican Restaurant

Los Molcajetes Chile Relleno

Los Molcajetes Chile Relleno

February 18, 2017

Los Molcajetes is a locally owned set of Mexican restaurants located in Fort Worth, Roanoke and now Mansfield, Texas. Molcajetes means “Mortar and Pestle” which is used regularly as part of the cooking process of authentic Mexican dishes. The Mansfield location is situated in a shopping center in a free standing building facing the highway frontage road. Housed in what looks like a defunct Johnny Carino’s restaurant the interior is simple light green booths and walnut tables. Be forewarned that lots of families with smaller children frequent the restaurant so along with boisterous patrons charged by potent margaritas the tile floors make for a very loud noise level throughout the restaurant.

The focus here is on traditional Mexican cuisine with the obligatory Tex-Mex dishes scattered throughout. The menu is quite extensive with a large range of selections so you might want to grab a menu upon arrival to peruse while waiting for your table.

We passed on appetizers opting instead to curtail our hunger with the complimentary chips and salsa. The chips were light and crisp and tasty. The salsa however was a different story. You receive two kinds of salsa. A large bowl of regular salsa that tastes more like tomato sauce except on those rare occasions you actually find some of the elusive cilantro hidden inside. I found myself grabbing the salt shaker repeatedly in an attempt to infuse some flavor into the otherwise bland salsa. The other salsa comes in a tiny fast food plastic condiment cup and is a smoky, flavorful but very spicy salsa. It is a much better salsa than the tub ‘o tomato but also quite small and apparently not allowed to be refilled even though we asked.

We all ordered different cocktails and tried each others cocktail to get a good sampling from the full bar. None of the drinks impressed anybody. I ordered the Reserve Margarita which had a somewhat bitter taste on the back of the palate. I followed that up with the less expensive Perfect Margarita which was much better than the original one but still had an odd bitter finish.

Service by the wait staff was fine but service from the tortilla waitress and more important pace of service from the kitchen staff was very slow. So at this point my frustration and disappointment was building. Wait for a table. Loud atmosphere. Wait for service. Wait for food. Barely drinkable drinks. Bland salsa.

Then the entrees hit the table.  Everything changes in that instant. 

I ordered the Chile Relleno Plate ($9.25) and it was one of the best Chile Rellenos I’ve had since last visiting Santa Fe, NM in July 2016. The cheese version I ordered was perfectly prepared with a very flavorful combination of batter and rachero salsa. The entree includes sides of refried beans and rice, both of which where were very flavorful. I could not stop eating. I would’ve picked up the plate and licked it clean if I wouldn’t have embarrassed my dining patrons in doing so. This dish is recommended.

In addition I sampled the Pollo a la Plancha topped with an excellent Guajillo sauce and the Chicken Mole Enchiladas topped with a text book, flavorful dark mole that brought back memories of my last trip to Puebla, Mexico. Both of these dishes are recommended as well.

Los Molcajetes has a full bar and therefore cannot allow BYOB under state law. I didn’t ask for a wine list which I seriously doubt they have but the drink menu is fairly extensive. We had no luck with our four selections so I’d be tempted to simply order a bottled Mexican beer or Iced Tea next time.

Parking is free in the surrounding lot. Attire is casual. Shorts and a t-shirt get the job done here. The restaurant accepts all major forms of credit cards.

Conclusion: Los Molcajetes is a mixed bag. I’d recommend going at off times when the sound level is down and the service level is likely up. Stick with the entrees and ignore everything else.

Read Full Post »

Holiday Inn Express & Suites Childress
3001 Ave F NW
Childress, TX 79201
(940) 937-0900
Holiday Inn Express & Suites Childress

Saturday, July 9th, 2016

OK. Let’s get right to it. This experience flat out sucked.

We arrived around 8:30PM for our pre-paid reservation and were greeted by a note on the door there are no rooms available. I’m sure it’s OK. We have a reservation.

The hotel is swarming with people. Mostly teenage boys and girls running around with plates of stinky, poor quality pizza. After waiting a bit for the backed up line at the front desk to clear I finally moved to the front of the line and identified myself at which point I was finally acknowledged as priority club member. Happens all the time so no great shakes. After signing the registration paperwork I’m handed a set of card keys coded for room 221 while the card key jacket says 202.

Uh, bad sign. I should’ve turned around and left at this moment.

So after assuring us we needed to go to 221 we go up the smelly, overcrowded with teenagers, slow moving elevator to floor 2 and open room 221 and VOILA! It is dirty. Food crumbs on the desk. Linens rolled up in the side chair. Bed unmade. Stinks to high heaven like a bunch of hormone driven teenaged baseball players have been in there farting and eating stinky, poorly made pizza. So needless to say we lug all of our luggage back down the slow moving, stinky, overcrowded elevator.

By the way, they call it luggage for a reason. You lug it.

So we let the front desk know about our room and she starts staring at the clean room list that shows our room is indeed clean dispite our visit to the contrary. After waiting an inappropriate amount of time for the other desk clerk to help her (she’s only been here two weeks she shares; heck of a way to learn on the job if you ask me) she finally gives up and decides to code our keys for room 202 that we were originally assigned and walk us up there herself. So we all climb back onto the stinky, slow moving, overcrowded elevator up to floor 2 and we get to room 202 and low and behold…

It’s occupied.

Yeah, the front desk gave us keys to an occupied room. If you know anything about the hotel industry you know this is breaking a cardinal rule. You can’t even tell anybody who is staying in your hotel, more so let a complete stranger into an occupied room. It’s called security. People get robbed or worse when entering other people’s rooms.

So we all climb back onto the smelly, overcrowded, slow moving elevator back down to the lobby at which point new hire is totally flustered and desparately in need of help from experienced clerk. Unfortunately, experienced clerk is busy compounding my problem by issuing 6 newly cleaned rooms to just arrived guests of the band tour. So I get to sit there and wait until she finishes miss-coding their keys. Yes, I watched her do so. I was also there when two of them later came back down to get their keys fixed.

So finally after a lengthy wait experienced clerk decides to upgrade me to a King Suite and credit my rewards account with 5,000 points. There, that should shut up this trouble making traveler. So off we go to the stinky, slow moving, overcrowded elevator to room 218 (I think) which is a handicapped accessible room (I hate those, they are for handicapped travelers and only be issued to them for said reason) and upon flinging the door open to our luxurious suite we find…you guessed it. Yet another dirty room that has been ransacked by stinky, marauding teenagers.

So we climb back onto the stinky, slow moving, overcrowded elevator and go back to the lobby and I slap all of my possessions right on top of the front desk and ask “Care to try again?”. Yeah, I’m finally losing it. It took this long before I finally lost my cool but even Mr. Steady loses it at some point.

So there is much embarrassment, lot’s of staring at the clean room list, exclamations of “why are they marking these rooms clean when they’re not?” and the like. Ultimately they get their final chance and give me a two queen suite (I reserved King for a reason) up on the third floor this time. Maybe we’ll luck out by changing floors. Apparently floor two is the seventh circuit of hell. So we climb back onto the stinky, slow moving, overcrowded elevator and head up to floor three. We discuss on the eternal ride upward that if this room is dirty we’re demanding a refund and driving home tonight even if it means I’ll fall into bed cranky as hell at 2 AM. So we locate our penthouse and fling the door open and VOILA! A room that appears to be clean! It stinks like cheap spray scent from aisle 11 at Walmart but by god it is clean. So out of desperation we decided to keep the room and drink TWO bottles of wine to dull the pain. Trust me, one wasn’t enough at this point.

The internet was slow. Might’ve had something to do with a hotel full of teenagers streaming everything from Pokemon GO to Sears women’s underwear ads. That’s my guess. Oh well, it was 9:45 by the time we got to a room so we were ready for bed anyway. Yeah, 9:45. Arrived at 8:30. It took an hour and fifteen minutes to get a room acceptable enough to sleep in.

The complimentary breakfast was typical Holiday Inn Express schlock. Comes with the territory I guess. So deal with it and quit your bitching.

Conclusion: I won’t be returning. Ever. There is a Hampton Inn practically across the parking lot. They get my business next time.

UPDATE: the hotel manager finally contacted me and apologized for all of the problems and is working on better training the staff and will issue a full credit for my stay.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »