Sunday, December 30, 2007

Quickie Review #12: Lochrann's Irish Pub & Eatery

In case you haven't guessed by now, my lovely wife the Rock Star simply LOVES live music! I think she would watch a solo act, duo or band every night of the year if we could afford it. Problem is, we can't. Dining out already puts a serious strain on the Royal Treasury, and to see live music often on top of that might bankrupt the Czardom. And yet, my wife's immortal soul cries out from lack of music, so what to do? Well, the Irish, in their infinite wisdom, solved this vexing dilemma aeons ago by coming up with one of God's great inventions: the pub. Live music and food all for one price. Well, sir, the good people of the Northern Metroplex Environs no longer have to walk ten miles barefoot thru the snow uphill in order to hear good dinner music. They merely have to repair to newly-opened Lochrann's Irish Pub and Eatery, conveniently located just off the tollway on Main next to Frisco square.

Though open a mere three days, Lochrann's was already filled to the brim with hearty revelers when we visited. Genuine Irish handicrafted interior surrounding a central bar. Strategically placed TV's so that one can watch FC Dallas or the Cowboys without spoiling the pub experience for all. Our smiling waiter Carl placed an abbreviated menu in front of us (Grand Opening is New Years Eve) and after selecting Guinness and Jamieson drinks (when in Dublin, etc), my spouse opted for the Famous Homemade Irish Pub Burger, well spiced choice beef with fixings and cheddar cheese which was very good, if a tad overcooked. And as for me, what's an Irish pub without Irish stew? Lochrann's was made from choice beef tenderloin, potatoes, and vegetables simmering in beef broth. Excellent, although a bit overpriced. (They have to pay for the live music somehow.) Speaking of which, guitarist Michael Harrison started his set not long after our arrival, and thoroughly entertained us with traditional Irish tunes ("Whiskey in the Jar") and oldies ("The Boxer", "Brown-eyed Girl"). We left completely sated, and look forward to exploring the complete menu soon. Website is You should visit yourself, and remember:


Saturday, December 29, 2007

Quickie Review #11: Masu Sushi & Japanese Restaurant

If you are a new restaurant in town, what's a very effective way to get the word out, short of a massive, costly advertising campaign you probably really can't afford? Answer: Simply take a copy of your menu and hire someone to place it in every mailbox and on every door in a five mile radius, and just wait for the customers to start rolling in. Upon seeing one of these menus, I showed it to my lovely wife the Rock Star, who immediately displayed advanced symptoms of SWS (Sushi Withdrawal Syndrome). Hoping to forstall need of an operation, I decided a transfusion was in order, and we made plans forthwith to sojourn to Masu Sushi in the wilds of northernmost Carrollton and enjoy a belated lunch.

Masu Sushi and Japanese Restaurant is standard strip-mall bento box decor. Long bar along one side of the narrow storefront. Asian pots, jars and knicknacks and lots of wood, with Sirius Radio Romance station playing in background. Miso soup we selected as a starter was excellent, quite bracing, but beware the spicy edamame unless you like it HOT! Hebron Roll is a standout: spicy salmon roll topped with smoked salmon and Spider Roll, featuring soft shell crab is also excellent, as is the Philadelphia Roll with cream cheese. Stick with the rolls: both the red snapper and mackerel sushi we tried lacked top freshness. Service and presentation are outstanding: the main dishes were presented in a ginormous wooded schooner which elicited squeals of appeal from adjoining tables. Likewise, fresh oranges were brought at the end of our repast, adding a light sweet touch of grace to finish on. No website, call 972 306-4170 for all questions. Seek Masu out soon, and remember:



Since I have just completed my first annual restaurant roundup, it seemed only natural to turn my attention to wines. However, a Top Ten list seemed rather silly, since I have only produced thirteen reviews of wines all year. What to do, what to do? After some intense contemplation, I decided to list my favorite wines that I reviewed in 2007 by region. Please keep in mind that due to general antisnobbishness (and hampered in no small part by budgetary considerations), these aren't First Growth Bordeaux we are dealing with here. All of these wines retail for under $20, which means that they can be quaffed everyday, if desired. Herewith are the Food Czar Wines to Remember for 2007, and the month they were posted.


-Dry Comal Creek Sauvignon Blanc - This years true upset winner, besting heavily favored offerings from better known wineries Becker Vineyards and Fall Creek, this fruity-but-dry pleaser pairs so well with food and stands so well on its own, I have given it the nod here. (November)


-Robert Mondavi Private Selection Sauvignon Blanc - Another winning selection from this underrated white varietal. In all my years of quaffing, I can honestly say I've yet to taste a bad wine from this West Coast megaproducer. (October)


-Black Opal Shiraz - With all due respect to Chile and Italy, name me a country who consistently produces more QV (quality and value) wines than Down Under. (July)


-Perrin and Fils Vacqueras - It should come as little surprise that my one and only Cellar Selection, a righteously good blend of grenache and syrah, should be my top selection from La Belle France. (September)


-Sebeka "Cape Blend", South Africa - If you know my lovely wife the Rock Star, you know she would enjoy this shiraz/pinotage blend with a presence and power that is truly Malbeckian. (November)

HONORABLE MENTION - Barton and Guestier Chateauneuf-du-Pape (December)

I think that will do it for my 2007 wrapups. Stick a fork in me: I'm done. Try all these wonderful wines soon, and remember:


Friday, December 28, 2007


Just the other day, while I was contemplating my navel, my lovely spouse the Rock Star sweetly sidled up to me and chirped, "So, Czar, when are you gonna write your top ten list of 2007? Huh? Huh?" I must be honest, I had never considered doing such a thing until that very moment. (I may be a Czar, but I'm no meglomaniac. Usually.) Now, I remembered why I gave my dear Partner in Crime a Christmas bonus. Her wonderful ideas, genius, and all-around inspiration. So, for the Rock Star, the Wild Thing, the Momma, the Rock, Crazy Cat Lady, Beaners, the nonstop niece, G29, and both of my lovely readers, here are the nonquantifyable, thoroughly unscientific, Food Czar Top Ten Restaurants of 2007, in order of posting:

-Fireside Pies (June)
Wonderful, reasonably priced food in an upscale/downscale atmosphere, Fireside Pies is my favorite restaurant (so far) in The Shops at Legacy.

-Babe's Chicken Dinner House (July)
Let the snobs scoff, but I've recommended Babe's to more people than any other restaurant this year.

-Cafe Gecko (August)
From the pizza to the soups to the Mexican, Austin Ranch fave continues to delight and surprise. Great bar, too!

-Silks at Lone Star Park (November)
Run by the most underrated chef in the Metroplex (Jake Duplantis), you must experience Silks whenever the horses are running (April-July, October-December). Best buffet in town!

-Randy's Steakhouse (November)
Best "special occasion" meal I've had all year! Best ambience, too, like dining at your grandmothers. (And I LOVED my G29!)

-Cooper's Barbecue (November)
The pride of Llano, Texas, this Roadtrip fave was the best single meal I had during 2007. (Double-cut barbecued pork chop, recommended by a fellow Chowhound poster.)

-Louis Mueller Barbecue (November)
Rock Star's all time favorite barbecue is the barbecued turkey at this Taylor, Texas landmark.

-Gregorys Restaurant (December)
Simple French country food served by thoroughly modest French chef in thoroughly unspoiled downtown Plano storefront.

-Amici Signature Restaurant (December)
Another storefront gem, this one in downtown Carrollton. The Rock Star's Shrimp Carbonara had her dreaming of sunny Sicily (or at least Little Italy).

-Rudy's Country Store and Barbecue (December)
Laugh if you must, but Rudy's barbecued turkey was almost the best Christmas dinner I've ever enjoyed (surpassed only by Coopers barbecued prime rib).

Honorable Mentions Worthy Of Mention:
-Trader Vics (June)
-Steve Fields (August)
-Zen Bar (August)
-Cantina Laredo (September)
-Salt Lick (November)
-Tupinamba (December)

Try them all soon. In fact, try all the wonderful places I experienced in 2007, and don't forget my one and only New Years Resolution:


Tuesday, December 25, 2007

:Wine Corner Review #12: Banrock Station Shiraz-Cabernet Sauvignon

Let's face it: It costs plenty of money for a Czar to maintain his domain. I count my roubles every chance I get, and wine is no exception. That is why I'm on an endless quest for quality and value all wrapped up in one low-cost, tasty package. So, when pondering my latest vino to review, the answer suddenly hit me like the train hit my late friend Anna Karenina: What about my lovely wife the Rock Star's "new favorite" value wine, Banrock Station Shiraz-Cabernet Sauvignon? Why not indeed, especially since she lists Empress of Shiraz among her many titles?

The robe of the BS Shiraz-Cab is royal purple, with sangria highlights. The nose contains vanilla nutmeg with subtle hints of cardamon and white pepper. Blackberries and black cherries are abundant on the finish, which works quite nicely with barbecued turkey. Website is if you wish to check out other offerings in their fine value line. Pick up a bottle soon, and remember:


Saturday, December 22, 2007


Quality, wood-fired barbecue is the hallmark and birthright of every true Texan. He insists on it, and demands that it be within easy driving distance of his spread. Back in the oil-rush boom days, it seemed that every crossroads, burg and hamlet featured a dilapidated shack sporting a chimney, a sure sign that the barbecue inside was slow-smoked to a high standard of tenderness and taste. But as the cities grew and natural gas became more readily available, many places lost those structures to the ravages of time and road construction. These days, however, the shack is back, thanks to Rudys Country Store and Bar-B-Q, with two dozen locations and counting, and probably being built near your personal Ponderosa even as we speak. It was in search of the true Texas experience that my lovely wife the Rock Star and I pointed our car north one moonlight Friday night, destination one of Rudy's newest locations in the burgeoning megapolopolis that is Frisco.


Rudy's Country Stores aren't really located in dilapidated shacks. They just look that way, quite charmingly I might add. Real, authentic working gas pumps out front (selling real authentic gasoline). Drive-thru window (one of God's great inventions) which on this starry, starry night was doing a brisk business. Indoor and outdoor patios. A convenience store (the "Country Store") where patrons can purchase snacks, hats, sause (yes, it is spelled that way on the bottles) and shirts with such pithy sayings as "I didn't claw my way to the top of the food chain just to eat vegetables." A rambling, barnlike main dining room featuring wooden picnic tables, rusting signs and a massive metal trough which stores a surprising variety of ice-cold beers and soft drinks. (My wife promptly grabbed a Ziegenbock for herself, I decided to stick with Rudy's excellent sweet tea.) A large, corral-like structure where hungry diners queue up for their share of 'cue. In short, Rudy's atmosphere is one of it's strong suits, and prepares you well for your taste of true Texas. The line in the corral can be lengthy at times, but a veritable army of counter attendants and carvers stand ready to meat your needs. Besides, time in line gives you a good chance to peruse the large overhead menu strategically placed behind the counter. In short order, the Rock Star and I made and paid for our selections, received our basket of goodies and our butcher-paper plates, and staked a place at one of the tables conveniently located next to a flat-panel TV. (True authenticity isn't everything you know; sports watching is another Texas birthright.)


Rudy's barbecue is smoked over oak, which burns slower and longer than the usual mesquite or hickory. The brisket was excellent, if a tad dry. (Proper moisture can sometimes be an issue in the art that is wood smoking; on other occasions my meat at Rudy's was quite moist and tender.) Both of my regular readers know by now my lovely wife's passion for barbecued turkey knows no bounds, and our portion of smoky bird boasted a pinkish tinge and perfect texture and was exceedingly tasty this eve. Rudy's sells its cue in old-school fashion by weight rather than plate, so you will have to purchase sides separately. Do not pass up Rudy's creamed corn, thick and rich with creamy, corny goodness, making a perfect complement to the meat. Rudy's sause is good but not exceptional, but my wife obviously disagreed, making a special trip to the souvenier stand to purchase a quart for personal consumption at home. (UPDATE: The dang sause kinda grows on ya, dagnabit!) In future visits we look forward to trying their dessets, perhaps chocolate or banana pudding, or possibly even one of the Rice Krispy treats. (Yes, indeedy, they are offered at Rudy's). Also, we'd like to sneak up there early one morning to try the breakfast tacos.


Count on Rudy's counter service to deliver the goods in a timely, friendly fashion, although without the boisterous camaraderie of the Round Rock location. (There, the counterman asks if you are a newbie, and if so, they all shout "Hey, Rookie!") Nevertheless, Ronny managed to offer a personal touch when he invited my wife to call and ask for him if she wanted to arrange a ham, turkey, and/or sides for Christmas dinner. The website is if you wish to check out your own catering arrangements.


The pride of Leon Springs, Texas, where the story started so long ago, Rudy's is now seeking to spread the gospel of wood-smoked goodness to every part of the Lone Star State. Visit a location soon, and remember:


Saturday, December 15, 2007


My friends from New York and Jersey are constantly bemoaning the lack of quality Italian food in this blessed hamlet. This comes as no surprise to me, as the Big Apple is the epicenter of all things Italian in this country, and practically every street has a little storefront dive that turns out quality fare that ranks with some of the best fare America has to offer. I have long been in search of such a place until recently when some fellow bloglodytes turned me on to Amici Signature located smack in the heart of booming downtown Carrollton. After checking out their menu online at, I made reservations accordingly, and set out one rainy evening, accompanied by my lovely wife the Rock Star in search of the lost Sicilian chord of gastronomy. (Or something like that.)

Motoring down a busy thoroughfare, we soon discovered to our horror that we had missed our exit and had to double back, in which case there was no way we would make our appointed time. Not to worry, a quick phone call put us in touch with very efficient management, who assured us they would find us a table without delay when we arrived. Score one big customer service point for Amici, and we hadn't even set foot in the place yet. Also, before I begin with the review proper, let me tell you that parking in downtown Carrollton at night is a definite issue; please leave plenty early as the shop has no lot of it's own and you will have to search the streets and nearby community lot for a space to park your buggy.


Amici Signature is a tiny storefront New York style, with a downstairs foyer and little else but a restroom, with an old staircase leading up to the cozy dining room. (It seats only 48 patrons; plan accordingly.) Romantic low lighting and lots of wood, with an open kitchen, and not a lot of room between the individual tables. In short, very, very homey and inviting, much like dining in an artist's downtown loft. As promised, we were seated immediately and turned our attentions to the smallish menu, which featured an insert with the daily specials.


Like many people, the Rock Star likes all things cheese and all things bread, so we decided to start our meal with the cheese bread. In short order, Miguel our waiter brought us two delicious, crusty half-loafs topped with just the right amount of cheese and thinly sliced tomatoes. We quickly devoured every last morsel. Since this was an Italian joint, my wife was hoping for anchovies on her side Caesar salad, but none appeared, and therefore she was slightly disappointed. (Perhaps they are on the more pricey ala carte version; I didn't ask.) I was delighted by the cream of mushroom soup I selected as started, the rather gamy flavor mixing quite nicely with the cheese bread, and I realized that Chef Bartolino Cocuzza really knew his onions.
(No, there were no onions in the soup, it's just a figure of speech.)

Our repast was leisurely paced, which suited us just fine, and in due course, the entrees arrived. The Rock Star had been vacillating when making her main selection, but at my suggestion, she decided on the Shrimp Carbonara: Fettucini with proscuitto, ham, bacon, shrimp, eggs, garlic, and parsley tossed with grated parmesan cheese, a combination that left her positively high with Sicilian satisfaction. My own choice was the Veal Scallopini: wonderfully tender thin-sliced veal sauteed in a lemon butter sauce, which was heavenly in and of itself and really didn't need the two (undercooked) grilled shrimp presented alongside a dollop each of mashed potatoes, corn, and very good sugar snap peas. Amici is BYOB, which helps keep costs down, and the bottle of inexpensive French pinot noir (Burgandy: pinot is the premier red grape of that region) we brought paired well with our choices. Since we had dined on cheese bread and starters prior to our main course, we couldn't even think of making room for dessert.


Like most great restaurants, Amici Signature believes in the tag team approach to service, and Miguel and the ebullient Carol made us feel quite at home. In particular, Carol took the extra time and trouble to make us feel like we were the most important people in the place, the kind of personalized touch that can make the difference in a customers repeat patronage. (Having such a top-notch chef doesn't hurt either.)


I can't wait to tell my Northeast friends about Amici Signature, and feel certain they will beat a path to their door in search of a better gastronomic mousetrap. You should visit as well, and remember:


Friday, December 14, 2007

Wine Corner Review #11: Barton & Guestier Chateauneuf-du-Pape

Whether you're Roman Catholic or not, investigating the history of the papacy can be quite fascinating. For instance, how many of you know that during the 14th Century the Holy See (the crib where the Pope and his homies hang) was relocated to Avignon, France where it remained for almost 70 years? (This region didn't even become part of France permanently until the 19th century, but that's another story.) To protect their investment, said popes constructed a massive fortified castle on a rocky outcrop, which became known as Chateauneuf-du-Pape (the Pope's little castle). Seven popes in all ruled from this roost and developed a thirst for the grape, so a local appelation sprang up nearby to meet their vino needs. French mega-producers Barton & Guestier carry on this tradition today by offering their Chateauneuf-du-Pape, a splendid tribute to the trials and tribulations of so long ago.

The robe of B&G Chateauneuf-du-Pape is a rich magenta, clearly indicating both it's fruitiness and approachability. The nose displays kirsch, leather, and licorice, and of course, minerals (pebbles, in this case). Since this wine is made from Grenache and Syrah, don't be surprised by it's raspberry taste on the palate, with a nice touch of spice, and even a little tobacco. The usual pairings of a du-Pape are wild game and prime rib, but it's fruit-forwardness makes it an approachable accompanist to shellfish, tuna and spicy chicken as well. The website is and can be read in English. Look for the distinctive gold label on the next trip to your local wine shop, and remember:


Thursday, December 13, 2007


When you say the words "French cuisine", what words come to mind? Pretentious? Snobby? Strange ingredients? Not for me? All of these descriptions may be true of some French restaurants (as indeed, they are unfortunately true of too many restaurants in general), but what would you say to food that is classically elegant, relatively affordable, and above all, delivered in a decidedly unstuffy atmosphere? Well, culinary wars veteran Gregory Moreaux has just opened his own shop in historic downtown Plano, and my lovely wife the Rock Star and myself traveled there one recent noontide in search of a leisurely paced lunch.


Nestled in the heart of a very charming block, Gregorys is a narrow storefront built on three levels, with a smallish (50 patrons or so) main dining room, a private room upstairs, and even a rooftop bar which we would very much like to investigate on a warmer day. Parking out front is rather limited, but entrance can also be gained from the communal lot behind the store. Take care in entering from the rear as the hallway is quite narrow and collisions can occur if you are not looking. The interior is rather spartan but well appointed and quite cozy, giving the feeling of dining in an historic townhome. Chris the maitre'd and The Owner Himself welcomed us quite effusely and led us to our table near the front, the better to view the complete charm that is downtown Plano.


Simple country fare is the order of the day at Gregorys, and most lunchtime choices are right around the $10 mark. I always listen to my lovely wife's suggestions, and when she decided on the soup of the day as a starter, I decided to renew my license as a registered soupaholic and join her. In short order, bowls of butternut squash potage were paced before us, along with some delightfully crusty French (what else?) bread, and we began to enjoy. The creamy soup boasted just a touch of curry and whetted our appetite quite nicely for the entrees to follow. Our excellent waiter (no I cannot remember his name; this happens when you get older) gave us the leisurely pacing we had requested and took care of our wine needs as well. (Gregorys is BYOB until after the first of the year, when a full wine list is promised.) We had chosen a chateauneuf-du-pape for our quaff, and were very pleased that this delightful French blend of Grenach and Syrah could accompany our light fare, thus proving that the red-with-red-meat-white-with-white stereotype is a guideline, not a rule. (It also helped that it was served at European room temperature, which is actually close to 60 degrees.) In due course, our entrees arrived. The Rock Star was throughly delighted with her penne pasta with shrimp, spinach, and feta cheese tossed in a basil butter sauce, and I enjoyed my skin-on grilled chicken breast on a bed of couscous with asparagus and spicy tomato sauce. (Honestly I would have enjoyed just a little more spice and a little more sauce, but that's just me.) We don't often order dessert at the noon hour, but what's a Gallic gustatory gathering without creme brulee? We split a tiny but very satisfying portion and declared our repast worthy of Monet himself. (In other words, it left quite an impression.)


Gregory promises to offer wine tastings and cooking classes in the new year and the staff at Gregorys could give lessons in caring for patrons as well. Make sure you greet your customers warmly, take the time and trouble to show a genuine interest in your customers and what they have to say, and always be available without hovering. Oh and it doesn't hurt that your owner is happy to seat patrons himself, periodically check on their needs, and even take phone reservations quite cheerfully. In fact, I could probably count on one hand the number of DFW establishments where the service level is this good.


Check out Gregorys website at soon, as this young upstart in the dining wars will likely get popular quickly. Reserve your unstuffy little corner of French heaven soon, and don't forget:


Monday, December 10, 2007


For more than sixty years, the Dominguez family has been serving Mexican Food Supreme in Dallas, although their single location has changed with the times: first on Fort Worth Avenue in Oak Cliff, later on Northwest Highway, still later on Midway near LBJ, and finally in 1996 moving to the old Crystal's Pizza location on Inwood just south of LBJ, right across from Jesuit High School. If you are in business for that long, you tend to perfect a formula for quality service and value in dining, not to mention the wonderful friendliness that is the owner's trademark. My lovely wife the Rock Star, her delightful mother the Momma, and yours truly journeyed there for lunch late one misty weekday morning.


Even after more than a decade in operation, Tupy, as the place is fondly known to it's legion of fans, retains an air of classy casualness. Large open dining space featuring a curved dividing wall. Large murals highlighted by blue lights. Separate bar area with a news and sports ticker to keep you abreast of our ever-changing world. We were greeted by Jeff, son of owner Eddie Dominguez (a basketball legend at Texas A&M a few years back), put our names on the list (they don't use beepers), and settled into the smallish foyer for a short wait. (As I have stated in other postings, it's usually not a good idea to expect to walk into a place EXACTLY at noon and be seated immediately. Other folks have to eat too, you know.) In short order, we were called and settled into our table by the large picture window near the front.


Tupinamba serves excellent Tex-Mex for lunch, dinner and Sunday Brunch, and yet is rarely crowded at night. Perhaps proximity to Jesuit and so many offices make it a fine choice for the noon meal; more likely, diners can't resist the lunch specials. A dozen or so fine dishes or combo plates, all for $7.95 including iced tea. Since many places charge more than a dollar for the tea itself, this makes for superb value. The Momma loves her some spinach enchiladas (which are not part of the lunch specials) and she was rewarded with two corn tortillas stuffed with Popeye's favorite vegetable and covered with velvety sour cream and very good ranchera sauce. The Rock Star is a fajita fanatic, and her chicken fajitas were well marinated and served on an army of sizzling plates with tasty rice and good flour tortillas. Although Tupy (fried) tacos are some of the best in Dallas, I also love a good chile relleno and got the (ground) beef-stuffed poblano pepper covered with queso and served with slightly soupy but otherwise very good refried beans. We dined on these perfectly spiced delectables and the excellent salsa with just enough bite, and had a blast, a hoot, and a holler (a really good time). Truly a family-oriented place where patrons can feel really comfortable (just ask the lovely ladies laughing loudly at a nearby table). Dessert? Oh, no! To go boxes? Oh, yes!!


Service at Tupinamba is always some of the best and friendliest around, and many of the waitstaff are longtime employees, always a good sign. Also, the Dominguez college affiliation is readily apparent, with plenty of reminders of College Station's finest university, right down to the restroom doors marked Aggies (His) and Maggies (Hers). No website, as this is an old-fashioned family place, so call 972 991-8148 for all the details.


Quality Tex-Mex and great value, delivered by very friendly folks, are yours for the asking at Tupinamba, the place where Mexican food reigns supreme. Visit soon, and remember:


Saturday, December 8, 2007

Wine Corner Review #10: Fredericksburg Winery 150th Anniversary Texas Rose

Fredericksburg, Texas, that marvelous Hill Country haven, celebrated it's 150th-year anniversary in 1996. In commemoration, Fredericksburg Winery bottled a Texas Rose wine, featuring the symbolic Vereins-Kirche building on the label. More than ten years later, you can still buy this slightly sweet vino online through the winery's website at and belatedly celebrate the grueling 70-mile, 16-day journey taken by 120 hardy souls in order to found the town.

The robe is pale peach/strawberry in color (call it peachberry), with orange highlights throughout. The nose is quite subtle and ever-so-slightly fruity with traces of tangerine. The taste reveals strawberry, pomegranite, tangerine, and even a touch of peanut butter on the chewy finish. My lovely wife the Rock Star felt it would be best paired with brie, while my friend the Rock and myself offered that it would be good with any fruit/cheese combination, and would stand up well with just about any spicy food. Please note that as of this writing, Fredericksburg Winery wine can only be bought from the winery itself; they refuse to work with what they feel is the unjust package-store situation in Texas. Please email, call, or order online soon, and remember:


Saturday, December 1, 2007

Quickie Review #10: Jerseyville Classic

Let's face it---I LOVE sports bars and neighborhood hangouts. I love their vibe, energy and just downright friendliness, and when I hear that one has gone beyond the norm to offer quality fare, I'm there! Dallas Cowboys linebacker Akin Ayodele and some other sports investors have pumped new money into the old Doug and Bruski's place in the Shops at Willow Bend, and reinvented it as Jerseyville Classic. My lovely wife the Rock Star and I have visited a couple of times, and are impressed by the entire operation, not the least of which is the quality of the food.

Okay, say you want something other than wings, burgers, or your standard bar food appetizers? How about Adovo Chicken pasta: thin spaghetti covered in a delicious red pepper cream sauce and parmesan cheese and served with grilled chicken and steamed broccoli? Sound appetizing? Well, it is and so is the grilled meatloaf, served with red chili mashed potatoes and steamed veggies. Jerseyville Classic has several other unsportsbarlike enticing entrees, but if you just want the basics, try the mushrooms and swiss burger or the wonderful new sliders or the Zoof (cheese, etc) fries. Lots of TV's, of course, for your sports watching needs, and a very accomodating staff, not to mention $5 pitchers of Ziegenbock beer all day every day, and you can see why this place is filling up with happy customers so far. No website yet, so call 972 202-4599 for all your questions. Seek out this sports paradise soon, and remember: