Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Trip to Cambridge, Mass.


I recently spent a week doing some professional development in Cambridge, Massachusetts, so I thought I would share my eating adventures with anyone who might be traveling there. Actually, I wasn't that brave as I tended to stick pretty close to my hotel (The Charles) since I was so pooped from class each day.


Legal Sea Food 

Dinner Saturday night and Tuesday night. I had high expectations since I was on the coast. The first dinner being Saturday night they were slammed so I just ate at the bar (full menu). Ordered clams strips and a cup of lobster bisque. The bisque was creamy, well-seasoned and the lobster meat was fresh. The fried clams were huge! It was an enjoyable meal and the bartender took good care of me but the price was steep ($40). A couple of nights later, I ate at the bar again though they were not as busy. I had the baked stuffed shrimp casserole and though it was tasty (how could something with that much butter not be?) it was also very expensive ($26). I would have liked more than 6 shrimp at that price. Service wasn't quite as attentive, though still okay. I guess I should have gone with some New England specialties like crab cakes or fresh lobster. As, it stands, I am just as happy with Pappadeaux seafood.

Henrietta's Table

Breakfast Sunday morning and lunch on Friday. They are known for serving very fresh and local ingredients. Breakfast was awesome, huge mushroom and cheese omelet with potatoes (with a seasoning I couldn't place but it reminded me of German potatoes) and an English muffin with real butter ($9 a bargain, no doubt).  It was the fluffiest omelet I have ever seen! Impeccable service. Lunch was a huge salad with smoked turkey, bacon, avocado, tomatoes, a small sprinkle of bleu cheese and greens ($15).  I also had some broccoli cheese soup ($6). There was a sweetness to the soup, maybe nutmeg? It was all delicious but the server was a grump.



Rialto
Dinner Sunday evening. Fancy hamburger with provolone and prosciutto, served with homemade fries ($15). A little undercooked. I ordered medium-well and they were out of their regular buns so it was served on brioche. I meant to go back another time for a dessert, the menu looked very tempting, but never made it.

The Taco Truck
Supper Monday evening. Fast food. Two carnitas pork tacos with green salsa, cilantro and onions and a Jarritos mandarin soda ($8). Pretty tasty, much better than expected. I was impressed.

The Shake Shack 
Evening snack, Monday.  Strawberry milkshake ($5). Not any better than any other strawberry milkshake I've ever had...too expensive even at tourist prices.

Toscano 
Supper Wednesday evening. I had house-made gnocchi with fresh mozzarella, tomatoes and lots of garlic (around $17).  It was a little mushy and bland, except for the garlic. The bruschetta ($9), however, was very tasty. Complimentary bread and olive oil. Loved the open to the street seating and the service was superior. Very close to the theater so it was quite busy, reservations are recommended. No cream sauce options though. Guess I needed to go into Boston to get some really hearty Italian food.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Enchilada Express--My Favorite Tex Mex in town!

Guacamole salad

Enchilada Express has grown up. They have built themselves a new building with ample seating and are now a more traditional restaurant instead just a take-out/delivery place (though those are still options).  The menu has expanded considerably. If you like Tex-Mex this is your place.



Three types of enchiladas with cilantro lime rice and chipotle potatoes
I took some family there on a Wednesday evening for dinner when you can get "all you can eat" enchiladas for $8.99! You can mix and match from all their 7 flavors (only one is beef though).  My sister got a chimi which she really enjoyed. My mom had a guacamole salad which was nice and fresh (maybe a few too many onions for her).  One of my nieces had tortilla soup and a tostada. She liked the tostada but found the soup too spicy. Me, my other niece and my husband had the enchiladas. Even with all you can eat looming, I still couldn't eat more than 3 and a half.  The three enchilada plate costs $8.99 regularly. I indulged in too many chips with their spicy salsa before my meal came out.

Tostada and charro beans
Chimichanga with rice and chipotle potatoes


I am a big fan of their cilantro lime rice and now they also have chipotle mashed potatoes which were also quite good and as far as I could tell were not made from instant potatoes.We also ordered a bowl of queso to go with the chips but it was a bit small for $4.99.

Next time I go I'm trying the brisket rellenos. Always looking for the perfect relleno that isn't too greasy. In fact, tonight might be a great night to go out!

Service was attentive if a bit slow (still working out some kinks). Value for the entrees is very good.  Appetizers were a bit on the high side. They do have beer and wine but no hard liquor, so no margaritas.

If only it was still close to my house...but it is worth the drive across town. I have no doubt that they will expand in the future, probably to other cities.

2134 S. 27th
Abilene, TX 79602
(325) 232-8682
enchiladaexpress.com

Chck Facebook for specials--
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Enchilada-Express/165097273507086?sk=wall

 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Fuzzy's Taco Shop--Abilene location

For New Year's Eve my husband and I went to a movie at the local mall and then decided to eat at Fuzzy's Taco Shop when we got out of the theater at 8:30pm. Fuzzy's is located adjacent to the mall in small shopping center (used to be a pool hall/bar called Rack Daddy's). As with any new restaurant chain in Abilene it took a while for the crowds to thin out but even so after 3 months of being in business it was surprisingly deserted for a place with a full bar and relatively inexpensive food on NYE.

Fuzzy's is not a sit down and order restaurant. You go through the line and order your food, they give you a number and you pick it up. What differentiates them from fast food is the full bar and the slightly higher prices. This type of establishment should be pretty popular in Abilene with a large Air Force base and lots of college students, especially since they don't close their doors until late (M-F until midnight, 1am on Saturday and 11pm on Sunday) and open at 7am. Plus, they are in a heavy traffic area. The crowd that was in there on New Year's was decided older. Kind of unexpected. There were a few 20somethings and two large groups of 60-70somethings. We were the only people that were in the middle age bracket.


Fuzzy's advertises Baja style Mexican food. The main difference is the addition of cilantro, feta cheese and a garlic sauce on their tacos along with the usual iceberg lettuce, tomato and cheddar topping.  All nice additions to most taco flavors. I ordered a plate so I had my choice of many different meats and three types of tortillas; crispy, corn or flour.  I went with a shrimp tempura (not really tempura batter but fried shrimp) and a spicy shredded pork, both flour. One of them was missing the feta. The plate came with two sides, also of my choice...refried beans and cilantro lime rice. My companion got three tacos; chorizo, egg, and cheese, ground beef and  I believe the third was shredded beef. We also got seasoned chips and salsa as an appetizer. I am not a wimp when it comes to spice/heat in my food but be warned, the salsa has a real kick and lots of flavor. So much so that after eating it, my taste buds were dulled when I ate my tacos. Of all the tacos, we agreed that the shredded pork and the breakfast taco were the best.  Breakfast tacos are served all the time. Salsa and pickled jalapenos are not free, no salsa bar. Skip the side dishes, not impressive and boost the cost more than they should. They do have other items such as burritos, fajitas, tamales, nachos, and some grilled sandwiches.

Taco plate with cilantro lime rice and refried beans
Service was indifferent. Didn't see a manager around. They could use some more people to bus tables and wash dishes. Quite a bit of seating but not a lot a parking. On the positive side the outdoor enclosed patio would be inviting on a less chilly night. Televisions tuned to sports were scattered around but not turned up too loud.

All in all it was an okay experience but not a place I'll regularly visit unless I happen to be by the mall or have friends who want to go. Next time I will try the chips and white queso and/or guacamole.  As far as chains like this, I like Yucatan Taco Stand. The food quality is better.

Fuzzy's Taco Shop
3351 Turner Plaza Drive, Suite 100
Abilene, TX 79606
Ph: 325-701-9521
Facebook

Thursday, October 24, 2013

October 26th is Texas Chicken Fried Steak Day!!!

Texas Chicken Fried Steak Day

October 26th!!!

Gravy underneath instead of on top
Ah, the delights of tenderized, breaded and fried round steak with peppered cream gravy and some type of potato on the side. No, it isn't healthy but it is TRADITION! I prefer pan-fried to deep fried but we know that takes a lot more time to cook and people can be impatient.

There are no Abilene restaurants listed on the Facebook  page in the "about" section as participants in the celebration. Perini's in Buffalo Gap is on there but there is nothing within the city limits. Why?  We have some pretty decent chicken fried steaks served in town.

Below is a list of my favorite CFS places in Abilene in order--

The Beehive--N. 5th and Cedar (no free refills on drinks though)
Cattle Baron Cafe--S. 1st and Leggett
Skeet's Texas Grill--Southwest Dr. and Catclaw
Lytle Land & Cattle--S. 11th and Judge Ely Blvd
Town Crier--Highway 80 and Washington Blvd (lunch special is a bargain)

Best I've had other than my grandma's--Mary's Cafe in Strawn, TX.



Saturday, September 14, 2013

Tokyo Asia Fusion--Abilene's newest Asian cuisine

Tokyo Asian Fusion has a large menu, sushi, hibachi dishes, noodles, fried rice, even Kobe steak and lobster.  We were greeted and seated promptly.  There were very few customers the evening we went. The service was attentive but we also happened to be acquainted with the server.  There is a sushi bar area, a hibachi area and booths and tables. The place has a modern decor with neon and low lighting, black/gray furnishings and geometric booths. The booths are great for dates.

Booths at Tokyo Asia Fusion

We were in the mood for sushi rolls. Let me issue a disclaimer.  I have only had sushi in land-locked locations in Texas so I am not a true expert on sushi. That being said, the rolls at Tokyo were very fresh and sauced sparingly. Other places I have eaten sushi have been a bit too generous with the mayonnaise and "crunchies".  Tempura crumbs should not be on the roll unless tempura is in the roll itself.  I apologize for the lack of pictures. We dug in before I had a chance to take some. Our order consisted of rolls of spicy tuna, shrimp tempura, avocado, spicy crawfish, and a California roll. The seafood was cooked in all but the spicy tuna for those who are timid about eating raw fish.  All were priced between $4.00-$7.00.  Some had rice on the outside and some had seaweed. All were good. I liked the spicy tuna and shrimp tempura best.

Next time we will try the hibachi, a chef's special roll and perhaps some noodle dishes...don't think we can afford the Kobe beef. I hope that Tokyo makes it since it is something fun and unique for Abilene. Give it a try. There are specials at lunch. Located in the same strip mall area as the Abilene Public Library south branch.

 Tokyo Asia Fusion
1441 S Danville Dr
Abilene Texas 79605

  (320)691-1123

Friday, August 9, 2013

Fishbone Grill and Oyster Bar--Arlington, TX


Full disclosure, I know someone who is part-owner. He asked for honest feedback about the place so here we go...

Location, location, location!  The Fishbone Grill and Oyster Bar is right across the street from AT&T Stadium where the Dallas Cowboys play football.  The restaurant/sports bar has been recently remodeled. Parking and the main entrance are in the back.
View out the front window of the Fishbone.  Wow!

I went to eat at the Fishbone Grill with a group of friends. There were 14 of us. Since the place is named Fishbone, I stuck to seafood, fried shrimp tacos to be exact. The shrimp had a Cajun spiced breading which was tasty and the tacos had coleslaw on them as well. It was served with seasoned fries. They put a black pepper blend on the fries that I enjoyed but probably isn't for everyone. Most people in the group ordered some type of seafood but there were some non-fish eaters who got grilled chicken, hamburgers and chicken tenders. Both people who ordered chicken said it had a slight "fishy" flavor. The burger was recommended by the eater.
Shrimp tacos

A popular item is the Mexican shrimp cocktail served in a sauce that was a spicy cocktail sauce/salsa blend topped with a generous portion of fresh sliced avocado with crackers on the side. The shrimp were the small salad-type shrimp. It was quite good but I would have liked to have had bigger shrimp.

The friend next to me ordered grilled Mahi Mahi on a rice pilaf. She loved the grilled vegetables, hush puppies and the flavor of the fish but unfortunately it was overcooked. The strawberry margarita on the rocks she drank was pretty and potent.
Grilled Mahi Mahi plate

Two people ordered grilled crab cakes and they looked very good. I didn't see a bit left on their plates. The presentation could have been a bit better, some lettuce leaves or rice would have dressed them up.  I didn't get a picture of the raw oysters that were ordered. I don't care for oysters but those that like them were pleased.

Crab cakes with Hollandaise sauce

The menu was quite large, kind of a Cajun/Mexican theme. Prices were reasonable for the D/FW area. Service was good. If you find yourself around N. Collins in Arlington, Texas, perhaps at a game or at Six Flags, and you are craving some fried seafood or shrimp queso with a great view of Cowboy stadium try the Fishbone Grill.  Full-bar and patio seating facing the street.

Sopapillas






The Fishbone Grill & Oyster Bar
816 N. Collins St.
Arlington, Texas 76011
(817) 261-5798
http://thefishbonegrill.com/