Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Max's Wine Dive - Fort Worth, TX

You know I am always looking for new restaurants to explore so when I discovered Max's Wine Dive on 7th Street in the Cultural District of Fort Worth I was very happy. I had reservations and we were seated at a tall top in the very small dining space. It was buzzing with diners as the restaurant was quite full but I loved all the action.

We were treated with Chicken Meatballs by the Chef. He was placing them down left and right to patrons. I love that! It is such a fun way to get excited about your upcoming meal. It tasted alot like Chicken Fried Steak and Gravy, which I think is fantastic! 

After placing our orders the Chef surprised us with another goodie, Peanut Butter and Jelly Wings! It was actually Thai Peanut Sauce and a Blackberry Coulis but it was so much fun I could hardly contain myself. The fried chicken was messy but I had a great time getting my hands (and face) dirty. Yum, yum!

Scott went pretty simple for dinner and ordered a Grilled Cheese with Tomato Soup. It really is a classic order when done right and this was! Guyere, provolne and a red pepper pimento cheese made this the perfect melt. I enjoyed the fried chips too, they were light and salty!

Cowboy Ron went for the Fried Chicken Dinner and loved ever bite. The pieces of chicken were moist on the inside and crunchy on the outside. The greens and mashed were tasty but served a little cold to his liking. The problem could have simply been because he dug into the chicken first, the taters may have been afterthought and cooled during his chicken devouring. 

And now for my wonderful dish, Blackened Diver Scallops. Three perfectly cooked scallops came afloat in jalapeno creamed corn complete with candied bacon and popcorn shoots. How delicious does that sound?! It tasted as good as expected and I recommend it to EVERYONE! Even to non-seafood lovers. It will make you a believer!

The house treated us to a sweet treat before we waddled out. How does a warm Bacon Sugar Cookie served with Blueberry Mascarpone sound? It was out of this world!! Cowboy Ron and Scott Good Taste let me do must of the calories damage on this one as I consumed 3/4 of this solo. It was just so good! They cut the regular amount of butter and replaced it with bacon lard so it was fatty, smoky heaven! I would go back for this again and again and again...

Max's and Chef Stefon Rishel surpassed all my expectations with our dinner here in Fort Worth. I do a lot of research on restaurants and Max's showed up on the radar but I never visited it before now and I feel foolish for not dining sooner! Make sure you make a reservation, order a bottle of Goldeneye Pinot and bring your favorite foodie friends. This place is fun!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

La Madeleine - Fort Worth, TX

Scott and I arrived in Texas last week and were welcomed to rain! Rain and warm weather has made the countryside so green! The rain fooled us into seeking a comforting setting and what could be more so than a quaint French cafe? 

I am not going to lie Le Madeleine is a little confusing when you walk in. You have to place your order or choose to take from the food line right when you walk in the door. It makes for an awkward experience when you feel pressure to hurry up and order something as the hostess stares at you. I felt the pressure and made my decision of Tomato Basil soup pretty quickly. 

All Scott wanted was coffee and breakfast. Eggs, tomatoes and a croissant is all he wanted. He made the hostess's life easy. I stared at her blanking a little too long for comfort deciding what I wanted with my soup.

Surely a French Dip from a French cafe would be tasty right? Despite the greasy au jus, which did not offend me at all, it was a hell of a sandwich. My only complaint was that I only ordered a half! I could have really dug into another side of that sandwich! 

I noticed the bakery case on my way out and as I lie in bed typing this I am kicking myself for not getting a little somethin' somethin'. A lemon tart or a chocolate macaroon sound really good right now!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Kona Grill - Fort Worth, TX

I was a little bummed out from my last post so I decided it was time to post some positive. We love the Fort Worth dining scene so I decided that a lunch at one of our favorites would make us very happy! Located just a short drive from the Will Rogers Coliseum we scored a parking spot right up front, beating the lunch crowd.

We decided to start off our mid day meal with a Margherita Flatbread complete with mozzarella, parmesan, tomato, basil and balsamic reduction. It easily could be shared with 4 people, but it is so delicious that 2 people could wolf it down too. 

This Oriental Salad with salmon is just out of bounds delicious. The shredded cabbage, cilantro, pepper, almonds, crunchy ramen and sweet-soy dressing is just sublime. The salmon is an additional fee of $6 but well worth it. It makes a tasty salad a sustainable meal that will keep you satisfied until dinner time. 

Scott did flips for the Ahi Salad complete with strawberries, pineapple, red onion, wontons and a red pepper dressing. He too, thought the protein was just enough to make you feel comfortable and not need a snack before our night time meal. Great salads are the best! I love, love wonton strips on a salad, that is for sure!

Cowboy Ron wanted to experience the goodness of the Oriental Salad and I do not blame him. He thought it was just as lovely as I did. He also wanted a couple pieces of sushi with his meal. He said it tasted fresh and would return to explore more rolls.

Thank you Kona grill for being a consistent staple in our dining routine while here in Fort Worth. Keep pumping out tasty salads and fresh fish please!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Button's - Fort Worth, TX

First off, I usually brag, brag, brag on Button's. We have always had a good time and left satisfied. Last night I went in with the same expectations and even made a reservation on Open Table. I checked in with the host and was seated in the bar, not the most desirable seat in the house but it worked.

As soon as we were seated we ordered the Fried Green Tomatoes because it was always a favorite of ours from past visits. When it was placed in front of us it looked NOTHING like and tasted what it did in 2012... 

This is what is what it looked like in 2012 - It looked as delicious as it tasted. Last nights version with its flavorless gravy and floppy ham was just sad. 

We thought ordering the Flash Fried Skrimps would make things better but it was just food. The shrimp was served nice and hot, I knew it was made immediately for us. I appreciate that.

Cowboy Ron ordered the Oxtails and it looked like a mess of food. I hope it tasted better than it looked because I was staring at it during my entire dinner service and it looked very unappetizing.

Scott ordered the most expensive steak on the menu and it looked and tasted like something the Golden Corral could have produced. It was as thin as jerky, they really could have sent out a more quality cut of meat. The medium rare order was more medium, and not to the chefs fault - It was so thin the carry over cooking baked the steak right through.

My Shrimp, Fish and Grits was blandsville due to the same gravy that was used on the green tomatoes. I was happy with the catfish but the grits and flavorless gravy just brought down the quality of the dish completely.

I figured maybe ordering dessert could salvage the meal but the "Pecan Sweet Thang" was so sweet, it hurt our teeth. That did not stop me from taking bites of vanilla ice cream and nibbling on the crust under the pecans. I am not a quitter.

Let me finish by saying, I have always loved Button's because the food was so tasty and it is was something different from what I was used to eating. The difference in a couple years is astounding! The food quality low, service quite snarky and the worst of all - the host did not honor my Open Table reservation so I was dinged for not honoring a reservation! It was not so busy that they should have missed it, in fact there were three employees at the hostess stand. 

Get it together Button's.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Pacific Table - Fort Worth, TX

Danger! Do not read this post or go to this restaurant if you are not prepared to go shopping before your meal... J Crew, Banana Republic, Anthropologie are all located within feet of this restaurant!

I have always heard great things about Pacific Table but from my two last trips to Fort Worth I just wasn't able to squeeze it in. Scott and I browsed around the outdoor shopping mall killing time, after working Ruben at the NCHA Summer Spectacular practice pen and started to get pretty hungry. Delighted to check a new restaurant off my list we took a seat at Pacific Table. 

As we sat down I noticed that in their wine case they were featuring Turley Zinfandel I knew it had to be a great restaurant if they were that focused on detail. Turley is terrific!

Their lunch menu is outstanding. There truly is not one thing I wouldn't love to eat but I just couldn't get past the thought of the Singapore Chicken Salad. Roasted chicken, snow peas, cabbage, sweet peppers, mangos, cilantro, avocado marcona almonds and coconut lime dressing. It was the most refreshing, tasty salad I have ever had. I was totally content.

Scott went with one of their sandwich specials which was a Shrimp Po' Boy. Four large, tempura fried shrimp were served with bread, dressed lettuce, rings of red onion but the real challenge was getting it in your mouth at the same time! Hard to eat but totally delicious. The real kicker were the Rosemary French Fries, they were worth the order alone. Thin, crispy and totally addicting! A must order.

The menu at Pacific Table is a hard one for me because everything is seafood driven and is paired with all things I enjoy. They serve sushi, small plates of fried oysters (yum!) as well as large pieces of the freshest of fresh. I cannot wait to go back and try dinner! I am getting hungry just thinking about it.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

TJ's Seafood - Dallas, TX

Just before we left for Texas I had an appointment to get my hair done. My regular gal had to cancel so I went for the option of having someone else doing it in the salon for the first time. Big mistake! My normally golden blonde was suddenly a brassy orange and I was devestated. I made the trip and for 1500 miles stared at my new do and was not having it. One phone call and I was hooked up for a hair recovery at ERA Salon in Dallas, Texas. Just across the street was this shopping mall and a place we could squeeze in lunch before my appointment.

TJ's Seafood Market is filled with terrific to-go fresh fish options but it also serves lunch! I loved looking through the case of seafood options but was starving so we ordered up, took a number and sat at one of the tables in the small eating area. 

Scott went for the Halibut Tacos and a cup of Seafood Chowder. The fish on the tacos was great and the smoky salsa was sneakily hot, hot, hot! The chowder was jam packed full of pieces of fish, shrimp and potatoes. It was very hearty! 

 I ordered the chowder as well and tried my best to not scald my mouth while eating it. It came out hot, just how I like it. The crab cake was heavenly. I haven't had a good one in so long so it was nice to savor every bite. I almost wish I had ordered two and skipped the chowder. It was that good. 

As for my hair, this is how is turned out... They salvaged the color but recommended I do my hair a favor and cut off a few inches... or 5. I was hesitant as I have always loved long hair but was ready for a change! What do you think?

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Chicken Express - Amarillo, TX

We left for Texas in the wee hours of Sunday morning and did a pretty great job of steadily moving our way East until we hit Moriarity, New Mexico on Sunday evening. We put up the horses, got a room and woke up and hit the road again. By about 11 we both were hungry and in Amarillo. A stop for fuel and horse watering, gave me my one and only shot for lunch... Chicken Express!

I have not only never heard of Chicken Express but never had the opportunity to dine at one either. It is obviously filled with menu choices of all things chicken but fish fillets as well! You now I loved that! I opted for the extra crunchy pieces of chicken tenders, a side of corn nuggets, biscuit and gravy and a little dessert of apple pie to go. The chicken was fried to order and totally moist. What a winner! The corn nuggets were also a fun little snack, all I needed was maybe a dipping sauce of ranch and they would have been solid. The biscuit was tasty and didn't even need to be dipped in the gravy, eaten alone was fine. The apple pie, was good enough for hankering a sweet tooth craving.

Back on the road, I felt satisfied and enthusiastic for having tried a new fast food option while in Texas. With Chicken Express under my belt, what other "chain" should I tackle next?

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Rudy's - Texas BBQ

As I type this we are just finishing packing for our trip east to the great state of Texas! Fort Worth is where we will call home to compete for fame, glory, prizes and cash! Cowboy Ron will meet us there as we drive the horses out tomorrow morning. Thinking about Texas makes me think of things like, Rudy's BBQ!

 A franchise that is hooked up with a gas station for easy fuel and feeding! The restaurant is served cafeteria style, order, pay get your silver ware and chow!

They offer their not so secret BBQ sauces and rubs for sale, all of which were very tasty. 

What did I enjoy? The turkey was unbelievably moist and tasty! I suggest you get some slices of it! that is how they serve food by the way, by the pound or rack if you are interested in ribs. I also sampled the Green Chile Stew, it was not spicy so if you are looking for a kick maybe try something else. They serve slices of bread with everything, I wish I told them to save mine because I didn't eat it. I feel bad seeing food go to waste. If they have Banana Pudding grab some, you will not regret it.

So now that I am in the Texas spirit I am ready for a whirlwind of fun with the horses, food and of course friends! Wheels up, we are Texas bound!