Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Spring Creek BBQ and a Smoked Chicken

Last week I ate lunch at Spring Creek BBQ with a ten dollar gift certificate from my Long Term Substitute job.

Usually, I base anything I write about concerning BBQ places on their sliced brisket.  Last week, however, it was a smoked chicken that was the protein of choice.

What struck me was that the chicken fell off of the bone ... literally.  The flavor was good and the smokiness penetrated the whole of the meat, but it paled in comparison to the beans.

The beans were well cooked and had just enough tooth left to them for texture.  Flavor was outstanding and needed nothing in the way of additional seasoning.

Was the meal as good as other BBQ joints in the area?  No, but it is good enough for a meal on a weekday.

Next time, it is the ribs or brisket.


Wednesday, May 18, 2016

When Attention to the Customer Experience Goes Wrong

Just a quick review of Little Caesar's Pizza Pizza off of Sawdust Road at the Wal-Mart entrance.

This car, which belongs to an employee of the pizza place decided that his need of a convienient parking spot was greater than the paying customers that had to walk past four business entrances just to order, wait and retrieve their paid fpr pizza's.
All pf this happened on 18 May 2016 at 4:30 p.
The Manager even told him to move his   car, but in the several minutes I stood there waithing for my food, the car never   budged.
This is how far he decided to park from the front door.
Seems to me that Little Caesar's needs to remind their employees that this is a business that prides itself on the speed in which the customer can get in and out.
Today, that one employee left me with a foul experience that I soon will not forget.
The pie was OK, the access to the front door sucked.

Monday, March 02, 2015

Chicago Deep Dish and Texas

I have finally found out about Chicago Deep Dish pizza the other night when I ordered from Gino's East, 25657 I-45, The Woodlands TX, next to IHOP and Harley Davidson of The Woodlands.

The actual eating of the pie was really good, but what I experienced after ordering for pick-up was not at all fun.  

Now, remember, this is NOT the kind of pizza we usually order for take-out.  No, this is something that has to be planned at LEAST an hour in advance.
Not that that hour did me any good.

When I arrived, my order was wrong.
I had ordered a "Meaty" pie and instead, there was a Supreme waiting for me.  After informing the Matron of the mistake, I was forced to wait another hour on a relatively comfortable bench until my slab of Deep Dish arrived.  The Manager, Nadia Shike, was accomodating and quelled the angry customer in me.

My wait was not without its reward ... I was comped for the mistake, so I will let the eternity that passed during my remake go by the wayside.

Getting the pie, I made note of the very real heft it had.  I mean, this pie was in a weight class all on its own.

This was no ordinary deep dish pizza that I thought of when I think of a deep dish pizza.

This was a massive disk of dough, four kinds of meats, cheese and a sauce that is unlike anything currently being served anywhere in The Woodlands Texas.

If Texans had invented deep dish pizza, I feel that this would be what it would be ... Big, heavy and meaty.

The only concrete thing I brought out of my bivouac inside of Gino's is that pizza as we currently know it is NOT a dining experience ... We have call and carry.  

Gino's East Chicago Style Deep Dish pizza is what going to a pizza place during the 70's used to be ... A sit down place to enjoy the smells emminating from the kitchen and the kind of place that the art of conversation can be practiced with your significant other or a group of friends.  It is a place where the kids are encouraged to scribble on the walls with a sharpie.

I will be returning there for another pie, but this next time, I'll have a seat in the booth and practice my waxing rhapsodic with my family.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Noodling Around

Well, I was hoping to have some pictures of the lunch I had at Noodle & Company but my iTouch screwed me over by deleting the whole posting AND pictures.

That said, I will wing it.

The place in question is at 1555 Woodlands Mall right across from the Pinecroft shopping center.

It was quite active this Friday at mid-day so this was a good sign that I was in for a decent meal.

I ordered the Regular size Japanese Noodle bowl ($5.97) with extra shitake mushrooms ($1.00) and  grilled chicken breast ($2.99).

The service at the counter was polite and pleasant.  The speed in which I received my meal was fast.  This would be a good place for a speedy lunch.

The bowl itself was a mingling of seasoned, wok fried udon noodles in a sweet and spicy sesame sauce.  Interspersed in the bed of noodles were sizable buttons of broccoli and my mushrooms.  Carrots were present, but the thin strings they use only added a hit of color and very little flavor.  Perhaps a angled, bias cut would do for better flavor.

The best part of my meal were the fresh, clean bean sprouts topping the pile.  Each was cool, crisp and had a very pronounced snap when I bit through them.

The spiciness of the sauce worked well but I wanted more from the chicken bits that masqueraded as chicken pieces.  A slightly larger portion of the meat can be served at the $2.99 charge to add to my noodles.

I would buy this bowl again.

To wash it down, I had a Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA ($2.99).  Not the best pairing, but on its own, a fine and balanced brew.  I should have tried the Sapporo Lager instead.

Maybe next time I will save the pics before I add them to the blog.


Monday, July 21, 2014

No Junk June - The Aftermath

Well, the No Junk June has been put behind me and I have had a chance to reflect about what I learned.

What was it that I learned ... I learned that it is far easier to avoid fast food than I thought possible.
It is harder to eat healthy meals every meal of the day and have healthy snacks ... I never thought that I would get tired of a crisp Gala Apple, but I did.

I lost absolutely no weight during this month, but I did see my desire for crunchy, green veggies grow.

Was it worth the deprivation of fast food for the month ... you bet it was.

I tried new vegetables in new ways with different cooking methods.

I also know that I don't like some vegetables that I thought I might like.

I found several lettuce varieties that were, to me at least, downright noxious and not worth growing in my garden.  In fact, they get pulled up this week and tossed in the compost bin.  I do not like them Sam-I-Am.!

That being said, I am, however, going to eat more salads with ingredients that are rift with micronutrients and other amounts of necessary minerals that my body has been needing for years.  I might not be the ravenous beefeater that I thought all Texas Men needed to be, but I am getting a better, more sensible diet in this trade off of lifestyles.


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

No Junk June Part 2 ... The Everflowing Salad

Week one flew by and then two ... salads have been the main meal for me during lunch.

I have been adding different things to them ... mushrooms, radishes, carrots, pineapple, plums, pears, apples, ground beef, sardines and various canned beans.

If variety is the spice of life, then this everflowing salad that changes almost every day should last me the month.

More to come.


Monday, June 02, 2014

No Junk June Challenge - Part 1

Well, June is here and I am participating in our Company "No Junk June" challenge.

My goal is to go without fast food for a whole month.  This is not as easy as I had thought given the subject of what I like to write about ... and that something is food.  Well, maybe not fast food, but food that is not the best type for me to eat.  Needless to say, we do eat our fair share of fast food in my house.

With our busy schedule, we don't have a whole lot of time to make a meal and dine at the table.  Nope, ours is a household of "we gotta get Quesadilla Girl to after school sports and pick up Burger Boy from his friend's house" about 4 days out of the week.

Apparently, this is a LOT of folks routine when school is session.

This leaves me to really focus on the two meals that I can control ... Breakfast and Lunch.

I am trying my best to make them good meals.

Today it was breakfast tacos from Murphys and a very large salad with garbanzo beans.  Protein, dairy and roughage.  Mmmmm ... this week is starting off with a bang.  I am serious about that, I love fresh veggies and salads ... especially when I can grow some of the fixins in my own backyard.

My dinner will just have to wait this week until school ends and the Missus can start prepping up the meals that I can cook when I drag in after a day of work.  Then we can focus on those.

So, I open my email and there it is ... the Excel Spreadsheet declaring that I am officially in No Junk June for the duration.  Oh joy.

I open it.  Oh joy.

There in front of my eyes is an actual tracker spreadsheet that has NO controls over it!!!  OH JOY!

Pencil whip, Here I COME ... or do I.

I need to take a step back here and think for a second about what I am doing.

As someone that struggles with eating healthy, this will come as a boon to me in making better choices for myself and my soon to be very unhappy and ungrateful family.

Personally, I look forward to a better diet.  Hopefully this challenge can get me part of the way there.

I'll keep all of you posted.


Monday, October 14, 2013

Chuy's Finally Disappointed Me

I have finally been disappointed by Chuy's in The Woodlands.

Saturday, a staple of Tex-Mex for our household fell shorter than the Texans did against the Rams on Sunday.

Chuy's is one of those restaurants that gets me in the door with one signature dish.

For me, that signature dish is the Southwestern Chicken Enchilada ... with two eggs.

I have eaten this dish at every one of their Houston area sites and I have never been disappointed with the quality of the dish ... until now.

It was Saturday afternoon and we arrived with the whole of my spouses family in tow for a one hour wait ... which is normal for a weekend visit at that time of the day.

After we sat and plowed our way through chips and salsa, queso and their wonderful creamy jalapeno sauce, our order came.

After the dishes were passed out, I began to tuck into what is usually a feast for the eyes, tongue and nose.

My eggs were there on display just begging me to smear the creamy yellow yolks all over the top of the enchilada ... only, there was not so much yolk to smear around.  They were just a touch overdone and the yolks had begun to congeal.

I lifted my fork and plunged it into the mass of blue corn tortillas, chicken cheese and green sauce that lie under my overdone eggs.

I cropped a wedge from the circular presentation and began to chew.

The tortillas were rubbery.

The chicken was a bit on the dry side ... what chicken I could find hiding under the blue rounds of maize.

The cheese and sauce that were usually in abundance were MIA as well.

I looked over at my wife and we both shared the same expression of disappointment with our meal ... she ordered the same as I, but one egg atop the pile.

She and I have been coming to Chuy's for almost two decades together.  We would make the drive down to the one on Westheimer, inside the loop, at least every month during our first few years together.  Since the Woodlands store opened, that has been our home site when we want Tex-Mex.

I still go to the ones on Westheimer, inside the loop and the one near the beltway ...

I have talked up Chuy's to friends and visitors to Houston indicating that I have never had a bad meal there.

Now I have to admit to my first mediocre meal and find it in myself to give the Woodlands store another chance.

I will have to do just that because my wife still enjoys their Green Enchiladas a lot.

Perhaps another dish needs to be ordered the next time ... maybe something with Elvis in the name.


Temptation of the Tandoory Taco

Sometimes you want to try something outside of your comfort zone just to see if you are up to the task.

For me, travelling out of the zone usually includes food from the sub-continent ... otherwise known as Indian Food.

Indian cuisine has always stymied me ... usually with their curries.  I really had no idea how well balanced and tasty curries are until I walked into Tandoory Taco.

Just outside of the door, you begin to get a hint of the flavors that await you inside.  The spiciness of the chilies ... the marjoram notes along with the smell of freshly baked Naan.  I am sure that I am completely missing a lot of the flavors that are found in curry, but those I distinctly remember welcoming me upon entry.

Burger Boy and I took a look at the menu and decided on some basic Indian inspired tacos.

I took control of a chicken Yolo taco and a hot chicken Yolo to see what the differences were.

Burger Boy settled for a beef taco that was mildly spiced.

These arrived in our hot little hands a few minutes later and we enjoyed them ... right on down to the very last bite.

This was my first taste of Indian cuisine that I enjoyed and I was determined to come back soon.

Well, the week went by and I managed to talk the Missus into doing take out from them.

I also wanted more of their Chicken Yolo tacos.

I ordered the Yolos ... two of them on their Naan bread.

My first mistake.

I opened up the foil wrapper and was consumed by a spice profile that reminded me of the nuclear hot sauce my brother makes with ghost chilis.

My eyes began to water with the first bite.  My throat was just shy of peeling away.

Mmmmmm.  This was getting me and I was enjoying it.

I finished off the first one and began attacking the second.

My second mistake.

Little did I remember that during my first experience with the Tandoory Yolo, the method of delivery was a tortilla ... not Naan.

This slapped on the inside wall of a ceramic oven piece of bread acted like a dry sponge and soaked up every bit of curry juice it could during the trip from Tandoory to my house.

The Naan sponge was depositing the fiery liquid that leeched into it all over my mouth, lips and fingers.

The resulting chemical peel of the more tender parts of my flesh were coming fast and the layers could be felt removing themselves from my cheek.

The heat was tremendous, but the flavor was also a thing to behold ... because behind all of that peeling was sweet, tangy, earthy and alien flavor that danced across my tongue like a Bollywood movie scene.

The Tandoory Taco is beckoning me back to try some of their more traditional curries and several of their Indian tacos.


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Rib Suckin' Lip Smackin' BBQ Goodness

Oh My, have I found an Oasis of slow cooked succulence ... Corkscrew BBQ just off of Budde Road across from the Goodwill drop-off parking lot.

I had been hearing about this joint for over six months from my Mother-in-law.
"This is some of the best BBQ I have ever had!" - six months ago.
"It's tender and some of the best I have had in a long time.  I just love it!" - three months ago.

Well, this last Friday, I had the afternoon off and was in the vicnity of Corkscrew, so I made an impromptu visit to this house of smoke and bones.

It was hot and the line was several diners deep and getting deeper as I stood there.  Just those two signs told me that this should be worth of the wait.

When I made it to the counter, I ordered the two meat lunch ... Turkey and Ribs, two sides of "why don't cha surprise me" with a glass of unsweet tea.

I sat on the wooden picnic table with another felllow that was slightly heavier that I am.  The bench sagged under our weight and a conversation was struck up with the possibility of us breaking it before we get a chance to eat. With that revelation, I got to break the proverbial ice.

I introduced myself, only to find out that I had come across my other brother Darrell.  As usual, we both got a chuckle from it.  I asked him a few questions ...
How did he hear about this place ... his cousin
Had he ever eaten here before ... nope, first time for him as well
Do ya live nearby ...  across the freeway

OK, he was a local, like me.

His lunch was called first and a few seconds later, I got the call to pick up my grub.

I asked for some relishes to accompany my BBQ and I was greeted with a handfull of pickles and another handful of raw, sliced jalapenos.  Hmmm ... makes one wonder if there is something to hide under the heat of the crispy green pepper slice.

I dug in with the ribs and was met with a seasoned piece of tender, flavorful beef that was cooked just enough to not fall off of the bone, but slide off at the slightest pull.  The flavor of the smoke penetrated the rib without overpowering it.  Even a slice of that raw jalapeno added to the flavor of the beef.  I had a little issue with the rivulet of beef fat oozing down my chin, but that's why we have paper towels.

So far, I was enjoying this meal.

I got to the turkey that was hiding under the ribs and found that it was also flavorful and well seasoned.  It paired well with my mac-and-cheese and my cabbage slaw that found their way on my plate as the "surprise me" sides.

The dining area is no frills ... this place is all business when it comes to the meal.  Expect a very spartan setting.  Plastic chairs, folding chairs and wooden picnic tables ... all under a metal awning sandwiched between the pit building and the trailer.

While I savored my meal, the parade under the awning held professionals to stay at home moms with their toddlers cavorting around picking up pea gravel while we ate.  It was a nice atmosphere to enjoy some very good BBQ and go people watching.

I plan on going back this week or next to try the pulled pork or the brisket.  I wonder if I can bring my own beer.


Turns out I can bring my own Beer ... or wine for that matter.
Go to for a menu and fun facts about this eaterie.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Not Even a Good Rental Movie ... By Any Means

The Watch Poster

"The Watch" ... What a hunk of crapola.

I have been known to rent movies that are, by and large, plain old bad.
Not Baaadd ... or Wow! That was so bad! ... No I like those movies that take a bit to enjoy.
Ask my better half ... and you will find out that I lean toward movies that are poorly directed, poorly acted and grossly over hyped.

I went into this thinking that "The Watch" could be one of those movies I could enjoy.

How wrong I was.

The perpetrators ...
Ben Stiller ... a bit funny, some good acting chops.
Vince Vaughn ... another of those actors that can pull off some visual humor.
Jonah Hill ... Liked him in "Moneyball."
Richard Ayoade ... who is this guy?  Oh well, he is just trying to make a name for himself alongside some known actors ... I get it.

The victim ...
Me and anyone else that casts their eyes upon this steaming pile of offal that some elephant dropped from under his tail right before he slurped up that next trunkful of water ... no wait, the offal reference is too nice for this waste of studio money and about 20 minutes of my life that I will never get back.  No, this movie is a drip of pee down the side of a hot, sun-exposed urinal that just makes a stain against the porcelain as it dries.

This was one of those rare movies that I had to stop.  Not because I wanted to ... oh no ...  I HAD to stop it to prevent myself from losing IQ Points!

My advice to anyone thinking about renting this is that it is a block of time that can be better spent picking ones nose with a straight razor or arguing the finer points of belly button lint deposition methods.


Friday, November 02, 2012

Roughaging It

My lunch partner bailed on me today ... even AFTER we scheduled our get together. A few calls, some text messages later all is copacetic and rescheduled for another day.

Even though I am going solo today, I am having a hankering for roughage.

Sometimes demands of my body determine the culinary choices for me. Today, I am cursed to keep it simple and savory.  Too much BBQ and Chicken Wings this week are having not-so-good effects on my dietary needs ... today my body is screaming for veggies.

I ambled down the street and ended up at Jason's Deli.

It was here that I decided to scour the old GI tract with their Chicken Club Salad.

I barely sat down when my salad arrived. I got a small quantity of Ranch dressing to glop on it ... I spread it around and began to toss it at the table ... mmmmmm.

I find that salads are inherently hard to critique.  What I also I find is that it is hard, very hard to screw up fresh veggies that have been cleaned and prepared correctly.

With that in mind, let me focus on the proteins dispersed in this bed of crunchiness.

Chicken, as the name implies, is the focal meat in my lunch.

I love chicken, but today's helping was a touch overdone... it seemed almost an afterthought to use it in a salad ... the breast was clearly destined for their superb chicken salad mix used on their deli-licious sandwiches.

No, what made this dish tasty was the bacon and avocado.

Little strips of porcine goodness interlaced with the creaminess of the ripe, ever-so-slightly firm slices of fruit made a lot of forkfuls all that more enjoyable.

Hints of the herbs used to season the chicken poked around my mouth from time to time just daring me to try and identify them. Basil ... Thyme ... Sage. All of these come to mind now that I think of it.

When it is all said and done, my Chicken Club Salad satisfied my hunger ... visually and internally.

This Jason's Deli is just off of Westheimer across the street from Beck's Prime.

My salad was $7.99. A somewhat decent value, but this can be had from home for a LOT less if you are willing to put in the effort.


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Tacorrito on Chimney Rock and Westheimer

Uptown Galleria can have its share of surprises ... today I managed to find a small, out of the way place near the office to lunch at.  Tacorrito.
I've been looking at this place from my office window for a while ... well, today is the day I give them a try.

I walked over toward the strip center to Tacorrito... after dodging traffic (Houstonians still do not know the meaning of a STOP LINE) then mopping my brow (Whodathunk it would be almost 85 in October) I placed my order and promptly plopped my butt down into a chair located at one of the two expanded steel tables wedged in between concrete filled pipes sunk into the sidewalk.

Shortly thereafter, I was presented with my meal in a black, non-descript take-out container.
I had ordered the Baja Tacos, grilled, with a Coke Zero with the chips and salsa starter.

I opened up my styrofoam food container and was greeted with two bright purple and green fish tacos, refried beans and spanish rice. 
I wish there was smell-o-blogging ... this had an aroma that was savory and crisp.  Diving into my first taco, I soon found that it was not too hot to bite.  It was well spiced and wrapped in a warm, soft double dose of corn tortilla goodness. It also had plenty of red cabbage dosed with a hint of fresh cilantro and sauced with a concoction that does not overpower the protein at all. 

With gusto, I wiped out the next one ... it made for some tasty nosh.

Now, some folks never talk about the sides ... fortunately, I have never been one of those folks.

Beans, refried, spiced and warm with a touch of fine grated cheese ... Not those other refritos that remind you of wall paste ... No , these beans had FLAVOR! And like the tacos, its not running roughshod over the foundation of whipped pintos. It makes me wonder what the nachos are like ... Maybe next visit.

Rice also accompanied my meal.

To me, rice is a staple of many dishes and holds no surprises. I did like the veggie bits and the texture, but c'mon... Its rice for goodness sake.

Overall, i will say the visit was nice and the food was better than I had anticipated.

For a small, hole-in-the-wall restaurant, it is remarkably tasty and affordable. A great value for a filling lunch on short notice.

Tacorrito is at 2721-2 Chimney Rock. Its open seven days a week, Mon-Thurs 10a-10p, Fri-Sat 10a-11p and Sun 11a-10p. Delivery and Take-out with two very small tables in front. 713-622-8226 (TACO), or order online at


Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Fast Food Benchmark Burger ... Scratching That Dormant In-N-Out Urge!

For those of you East of Arizona, you may not know about one of the best burgers ever to come off of a flattop ... In-N-Out ( Burger.

On a trip to San Diego, I introduced my family to this fresh and tasty piece of West Coast Legend.  Granted, it almost cost us our lives as I dashed across several lanes of traffic to narrowly make the exit ... but I told them it was worth it as their pulses neared a normal rate.

I simply told them that THIS was the bestest burger ever to come out of a fast food setting and that they HAD to try one.

Now, If you have had one of these burgers, then read no further ...
Just close your eyes and remember the smell of the grilled patty ...
The juiciness of the tomato ...
The tangy hit of onion ...
and Finally the crunch of the fresh leaf lettuce dancing on your tongue ...
No, just reminisce by sitting back and feel the drip of the burger on your chin as you gnaw your way through this gastronomic dopamine love-fest, sandwiched between a toasty bun.

OK ... for those of you that are still with me and not some drooling mess slumped in the easy chair or are in the middle of searching for your car keys to dash off for a double-double, let's find out what I'm talking about.

As you should know by now, my Daughter is not the kind of child that searches out beef burgers, oh no, on the contrary, she is the Quesadilla Queen when it comes to fast eats. Cheese and a tortillas are her weapons of choice against hunger. But after tasting this magical mix of moo meat served up with melted cheese on it, she declared that this was indeed the best burger she has ever had from a fast food restaurant ... Jerry Built included.

Burger Boy, aka my Son, wolfed his down in nothing flat and even commented about the properness of the yellow mustard. 'Nuff said ...

My Wife came away from this dining experience with a new sense of what a fresh made burger should be like. She enjoyed it so much we went back twice the week we were there in San Diego.

Freshness takes a toll on your payroll, but In-N-Out sees the benefit of forking over the dough for a full staff. I did a count on the number of folks that this particular In-N-Out had behind the counter ... apparently it takes 15 people to manage the production of this meat masterpiece.

The payroll is justified in the way the counter hummed with activity. The folks working there were cheery and helpful. It reminded me of a well run Chick-Fil-A.

In-N-Out is all about basic. The written menu is simple ... Hamburger or Cheeseburger ... single or double ... fries, soda or shake. That's it in a nutshell. Basic. Simple. Hard to screw up.

Then you get to the unlisted menu items. If you are in the know on all unlisted ways to have an In-N-Out burger, then you are a true connosiuer of all things In-N-Out ... I salute you!

Then there are the un-initiated ... the un-schooled in burger-eese ... the un-tapped sources of burger afficionados that have yet to revel in this diverse methodology of culinary change-ups, in other words those of you that don't live near an In-N-Out Burger stand. This is for those of you that are not versed in these burger types, the following link can give you insight to these unlisted ways to have your burger.

I said Basic ... and Basic means exactly that for In-N-Out Burger's methodology on burger manufacture. This also extends to their side dishes.

Their sides are simple ... french fries, period. Nothing else. So simple that I should have keyed in "side," ... singular. No Onion Rings ... ever. We need to get it through our thick heads ... THERE ARE NO ONION RINGS ON EITHER MENU!!!!! The onion slices are for the burgers. Don't even try to order some Onion Rings. It ain't gonna happen ... never, never, ever. Get over it.

Now, out of all of the places for me to not be chatty about a side dish, this is one of them. Their fries are hand cut, just like a lot of burger places in your neighborhood ... I like them, but this place is about the burger, so no french-fry review this time. I will say that they are very good.

There is not much hooplah over their shakes either. They compare to just about any major chain ... its an ice cream base and flavoring. They have the Henry Ford number of flavors ... three to be exact. Chocolate, Vanilla and Strawberry. If you want more variety in your shakes then hoof it on over to Sonic or DQ for their cornucopia of flavors.

I would like to go on about In-N-Out, but like them I am keeping this basic.

One final thought ... not having an In-N-Out Burger in Houston is a travesty, but I make it to California every few years or so ... I'll just have to feed my In-N-Out Urge when I get there.


UPDATE - After traipsing around on their website, I discovered that I have only a four hour drive to get my In-N-Out Urge taken care of ... Dallas of all places is a new venue for In-N-Out.  I cannot wait until they figure out that Houston is where the REAL burger money is found!


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Commemorative CLIF Bar ... Not One For The Record Books

This week I had the opportunity to try one of the Limited Series, Commemorative CLIF Bars that had made its way to my Local Grocer.  The only one I saw available was the "Gary's Panforte" Bar.

This concoction of "Fruit, Nuts and Spices" hit me a little caddywhompus. 

I am a big fan of the CLIF Bar flavors out there, but I can honestly say that this is not one of them.

Let's take a gander at why I am not the biggest fan of Gary's Panforte ...

The initial sight of this slab of fodder reminded me of just that ... fodder.  This was a smashed up, squashed slab of fodder we fed to our horses.  Rolled oats, molasses, grains and nuts all pulverized into this mass of dark, grainy horse feed.

Visually, this is a mess ... but then again most of the CLIF Bar products are.

Only after the spiced scent rose up to greet my nose did it make any sense ... at least to me it did.

This concoction reminded me of smelling my Mom's Mincemeat Pie that she would make during the holiday season.  Mom, don't get all riled up now, but I have never been a fan of ANY mincemeat pie.  Even yours ...

Back to the smell of this thing ... first and formost, there is the smell of ginger and allspice.  the molasses aroma only hits after the first bite rolls back to the rear of your mouth and the full nasal effect is realized.  A few chews and the ginger fades into a blend of sweet and earthy hints from the pistachios and almonds that pepper the mass.

I bought two of them at my Grocery Store just to see if I could enjoy them on separate days.  Monday's snack was a failure because of mincemeat memories ... this is why I bought two of them.  Wednesday's was easier to eat, but I am still not taken away with Gary's Panforte.

If you like mincemeat pie or a handfull of a raisin/tropical fruit filled trail mix sans the carob or chocolate, then this CLIF Bar will satisfy ... if you are like me, then no amount of eating this concoction will change your mind.  Especially when there are quite a few other flavors of CLIF Bar to choose from.  For me, it's a Crunchy Peanut Butter or Mint Chocolate that I try to carry with me.  Even the Chocolate Chip manages to make my taste buds smile.  These are the ones that I keep on hand during my rides.



Friday, June 15, 2012

Jerry Built

There's a new burger in town ... Jerry Built.  It is across from the Woodlands Mall next to Lake Woodlands Drive and the first mall road entrance after the I-45 crossover.

I have seen this place for a while and I finally got around to dining there with my kids this afternoon ... "Gourmet" burgers are having to fill very large shoes in my book.  sometimes a place says they have gourmet burgers, most of the time they just have overpriced ones.  Today, I was surprised by my meal.

Jerry Built says their burgers are "Homegrown." When they say homegrown, they mean it.

Their beverage bar is at the back of the place.  When I was getting my tea ... which in itself is not bad, but not outstanding ... I noticed the bakery off to the left.  These guys make their buns from scratch ... SCRATCH!  They chop all of their fresh veggies used on the burgers that day ... probably within the last few hours.  Put this together with the quality beef and you get an above average, bordering on great burger that my finicky non-burger loving daughter ate with gusto.

My son, the Burger Boy, loved the mustard cheeseburger but really had a not so lovely comment or two about the "organic" mustard.

The following really are his comments:
"Mustard is an important flavor on a burger and it really needs to be strong."
"The flavor of the organic mustard was too weak to be much of a flavor on my burger."
There, from the Burger Boys' mouth ... organic mustard is not very tasty. Go figure.

My daughter had few comments about her meal ... but her main comment was aimed specifically at the corn.

My Little Girls "Not So Sweet" Grilled Corn

She said, "My corn wasn't sweet like the sign said."

That made me pause from taking a bite from my burger.  She made a comment about her food.  She never comments about her food.  So, coming from her, my interest was piqued.  I took a bite ...
Well, she was on point with the sweetness issue. I delved in for another taste ... Again, I was also disappointed in the lack of sweet that their "sweet corn" had in it's starchy, not so juicy kernels. It was like nibbling little packets of gooey, not so tender raw corn ... sans flavor.  Chances are good that ths corn was still on the far side of raw.

Now that the problems with Jerry built have been addressed, let's get on to MY choice ...

My burger is not really a burger ... I chose the chicken as my protein ... it was uniform in thickness and cooked to perfection. The veggies included some grilled onions that really accentuated my chicken to a tee.
What really caught me were the "sweet fries" listed on the menu.
I have had sweet potato fries before ... see my blog on "The Glenn" in Denver, CO. from 2010. So, this flavor is not uncommon to me. What was uncommon was the portion size. It was a BIG ASSED LOAD OF TATERS!
Good flavor, a hint of the "sweet" from the yam and a nice finish of salt.
Put the flavorful food in the interesting decorum and you can have a fun meal while drawing on the walls.

Take a look at Jerry Built the next time you have a hankering for a tasty burger ... you wont be disappointed.


Monday, June 14, 2010

The Glenn in Denver Colorado

Last week I had a drink and dinner with an old friend.  I let him take me to one of the local watering holes he frequents.  We ended up at "The Glenn" at 11140 Irma Drive, Northglenn, CO. 80233, (303) 255-1400.

The burgers were good ... in fact one of the best I have had west of San Antonio.  The sweet potato fries were sweet, salty and quite grease free.  I recommend them wiht any of the burgers they serve.

What caught my attention, besides the guy in the red hat, flamboyant ink spalyed up on arm and down the other, who was hitting on some MILF at the bar (and losing out all the while), was the Geeks Who Drink Quizmaster.  I believe her name was Jennifer, but don't hold me to that.  I did have a bit to drink before I left and the reference page I wadded in my pants pocket may not have made the plane trip back to Houston.

This quiz that this blogging group holds in quite a few states I might add, is amusing, quirky and very simple to do.  A General knowledge can gather you some points, and so can kissing a little ass along the way.

Even thought Dan and I only stayed for four rounds, we managed to score 14 points (skipping round 3 to eat) along the way.

I had fun, drank some fresh New Belgium beer and walked away happy.

I'll be back at least once, cause I wanna finish the quiz, and have a brewski.