Tuesday, January 27, 2009

New Restaurant Category - Breastaurants

Well, you learn something new everyday. Since I started this blog reviewing restaurants, I just had to write about this. I was just doing my favorite past time, reading the newspaper, and came across an article in the business section about a new category of restaurants. It is the "breastaurant" concept.

Hooters has been around for a long time. While other restaurants in our economy are not doing very well, Hooters is showing increased profits. Doing so well in fact, that their concept has been copied by others and they are being considered the "role model".

The Smoke Pit in Ft. Worth has been around for a long time and they are doing well. The owner claims the lunch rush on Friday is extremely busy. "They come in for the pork chop on Friday, it makes 'em crazy.

There are several new competitors in the area. Wing House, Sweetie Pies, Bone Daddy's and now, Twin Peaks, which opens this week about a mile from my house. Texas is the number one leader for "breastaurants". Texans are always so proud. We think everything is bigger and better in Texas.

I don't think I will be writing a review about any of these in the near future, but I am sure the food is fantastic. You know that is what everyone goes for! Just like the articles in Playboy.

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Monday, January 26, 2009

Note To Self - Movies

There are several movies out right now that look good. The problems is that when I am ready to go see one, I can't remember what I want to see. So Lolly, here is your list:

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button - 167
Doubt - 104
Last Chance Harvey - 92
Revolutionary Road - 119
The Reader - 122

I really want to go see all of these, but it will be a challenge. In case you are wondering what the numbers beside each one mean, let me explain.

I have never been diagnosed with ADD, but I do have a few of the characteristics, and I have passed them on to my children. Sorry kids. I just can't sit still for long periods of time. I can't ride in a car for more than an hour before I go crazy. I can't sit on a plane for more than 2 hours. I can't sit in a movie without falling asleep.

I have to be really psyched up to go to the movie. It has to be something I really want to see, and then I have to be really rested. I always fall asleep. It doesn't matter what time of day I go, it just happens. We went to see Marley & Me on New Years Eve afternoon, and I slept.

I don't have a real problem with sleeping, but I usually miss about 15 minutes of the movie and have to ask Pops to give me an update. We don't watch movies at home because it is much worse. When you are laying down in a dark room with a blanket and pillow, there is no doubt I will be asleep within the first 5 minutes. I can usually hold out for about 30 minutes at the theater. The only time it becomes a real problem is when I snore.

Back to the numbers. I have checked each movie to find out how many minutes long they are. That is the number. I'm thinking that I probably won't make it to see Benjamin Button.

Update: We went to the movies yesterday to see Last Chance Harvey. It was a cute entertaining movie. I took an Excedrin Migraine (has caffeine in it) before we left the house and I didn't even fall asleep!

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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Please Pops, Can We Go?????

I have written many times that some of our favorite restaurants are owned by Tristan Simon at Consilient Restaurants. He owns, Hibiscus, Fireside Pies, The Porch, Cuba Libre and more. He has a new one, Victor Tango's that we have not tried yet.

He has been working on Westside Tavern in Los Angeles for quite a while, and it looks like it is ready to open. Pops got this invite and sent me a "teaser" email asking if I wanted to go. I would love to, but I don't think I can justify the $$$$$ for a meal.

Airfare, hotel and Disneyland tickets for the whole family. I will never be able to go to LA again without going to Disney. That was such a fun trip and now that the rest of the family knows about it, I would have to take everyone.

Maybe one of these days we can do it. Until now, I will just have to settle for the restaurants around here.

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Friday, January 23, 2009

Cadillac Ranch

I have been thinking about this post for a few days, because I am not real sure how I feel about this restaurant. It seemed really good as I was eating it, but the farther I got away from the meal, I'm not so sure.

But first, I need to address Kara's comment about Sweet Tomatoes, a new restaurant in Irving. I have not been to the new location, but a couple of years ago, I went to a Sweet Tomatoes in Tampa for lunch. It is very similar to Souper Salad, but has a bigger selection. If I remember correctly, a huge salad bar, bread bar, pasta bar and soup bar. If you like Souper Salad, I think you would like it.

Now to Cadillac Ranch.

It is located in the old Bahama Breeze (Caribbean style restaurant) off of Mac Arthur and 114. I read a review about in in the Star Telegram that was great, so I couldn't wait to try it. I was disappointed when I saw the inside. It looked like Bahama Breeze with a few Texas artifacts on the walls. The outside looked very Texas, but the inside didn't quite match.

We started off with cornbread, onion rings and their specialty oysters. I did not try the oysters (as I don't like something that reminds me of slimy eyeballs), but everyone else thought they were great. The cornbread was really good, but it was almost too sweet. I can't believe I am saying that. I always like everything extra sweet, but this was almost like cake with sweet honey butter on top. A little too much.

By the time we ate the appetizers, we were full, but went ahead and ordered entrees. My "meal before I die" would be Fried Chicken, Potato Salad and Baked Beans. They had chicken with potato salad so there was no other choice for me. I was disappointed in the chicken. The coating was really good, but it was a batter instead a coating, and it was just too thick. The first couple of bites it was good and then it was kind of gaggy. The same with the potato salad. It was very different and first few bites were good, but not so great the more you ate.

One really neat thing that have on the menu is BBQ ribs with Dublin Dr. Pepper BBQ sauce. Anyone who know me well, knows that I don't have blood running in my veins, it is Dr. Pepper. It is my drug of choice. They even had the sauce in a Dr. Pepper bottle with a lid that they "ceremoniously" opened. I tasted a bit and it was pretty good, but not to "die for".

We had banana bread pudding for dessert. It was good.

I would like to give Cadillac Ranch another try. I think they are headed in the right direction, I just need to order some different things.

When you go out, there are things that can make or break a meal. We went out with some great friends that night, so that enhanced the meal. The waiter was very nice, but he really annoyed me. He interrupted us constantly to ask how everything was. While I appreciate his service, it was way too much and got annoying after a while. We had a hard time keeping the conversation going because he kept interrupting. Especially since every time he did it, he got down on his knees and grabbed the arm of my chair and touch my shoulder, so he could be face to face with us.

I have issues with people getting into my personal space. There needs to be enough space between my face and yours so we don't feel each others breath. When I am at church and we share an armrest, don't hog it and touch me. When I am on a plane, don't touch my arm or my waist with any part of your body.

Oh, that is another story . . . .

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Saturday, January 17, 2009

Tuscany Art In Dining

I know it is kind of a strange name, but that is what it is. Tuscany is a new Italian restaurant in Grapevine. We went a couple of weeks ago on a Saturday night around 7:30 and didn't have any problems getting in. We really enjoyed it.

The menu looks like a book. Several pages with pictures that the owner took in Italy when he lived there. There are a lot of choices. The bread was also good.
We did not have steaks, but it looks like that is one of their specialties. The steak menu reminds me of Bern's in Tampa, Florida. You order the type of steak you want, choose the weight and the thickness. They had several sauces that you can choose from.

We started out with salads. They were the only part of the meal I was disappointed in. I got the Italian salad. It was very small and tasted like the lettuce was soaked in pepper juice. It was so tangy that I almost couldn't eat it. Pops got the Caesar and he said it was just okay.

For our entree, I had the Chicken Scallopini and Pops had the "Tuscan Fermo Grande". It was shrimp, crab, scallops, and mussels with a great creamy sauce.

The pasta page on the menu is interesting. There are several different pasts and lots of sauces to choose from. We were so full that we didn't get dessert.

It was a good meal and we will go back.

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Friday, January 16, 2009

The Best Pedicure - EVER

Several friends have told me how great the pedicure at Coldwater Creek Spa in Southlake Town Center is. I finally decided to try it and was not the least bit disappointed.

I made an appointment for the "essential pedicure". I tried to get the "ultimate", but they were already booked up when I wanted my appointment. The "essential" is their basic pedicure. It is far from basic.

After checking in, the receptionist led me to the "relaxation room" where she offered me a drink and brought in a warm wrap for my neck. I sat in a very comfortable chair with an ottoman, reading a magazine until it was my turn. They had relaxing music, which I usually find annoying, but it was not bad.

When I went back to the pedicure station, it looked very different from any others I have seen. There were chairs with curtains between them. First I sat in the chair and put my feet into an empty bowl. She brought over a pitcher of warm water and poured it over my feet. After I soaked for a few minutes, she leaned the chair back, and put fluffy blankets over me.

The chair felt like it had a feather cushion. I was laying back in sort of a sitting position with my feet hanging about 6 inches off the chair. Hard to explain, but very comfortable. She put a bean bag mask over my eyes, got me a new warm neck wrap, did a little aromatherapy and I was in Heaven.

The greatest part is that you just lay there. You don't move your feet at all. There were scrubs, masks, heated towels, heated booties and I don't know what else. It was all so relaxing that I caught myself dozing off a few times. The girl that did mine was very nice, but I did not feel the need to carry on a conversation, and it was totally relaxing.

When she finished (an hour and fifteen minutes later), my feet felt great, nails looked good, and I could barely walk out of there. The last thing she did was more aromatherapy for energy. I can't say that it worked because I felt like Jello walking out.

Pops is the pedicure king. I would love for him to get to have one, but this is pretty much a female place. Sorry Pops.

I will gladly accept gift cards for any occasion.

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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Something New

We have been to a few new restaurants this past couple of weeks and I am anxious to write about them.

Friday night, we tried to go to a new place, Neighborhood Services. We were anxious to try it because the former executive chef at Consilient Restaurants has opened up his own restaurant. Consilient Restaurants have great food, so we were expecting big things.

The only big thing we got was a big fat line. We arrived at 6:20 thinking we were early. The joke was on us. After a 10 minute wait in the valet line, I got out of the car to get on the list. By the time Pops got inside, I had just learned about our 1 1/2 hour wait. We went back outside and got the car out of the long valet line. We will try to go earlier next time, maybe 5:00? They do not take reservations or parties larger than 6. That did not seem to deter anyone.

The night was not lost. We headed a few blocks down the street to one of our favorites, Celebration. We sat out on the patio (crazy thing to do in January, but okay when it is in the 70's). We had a great meal.

Saturday night we went with our friends Mike and Amy to Cadillac Ranch. I will write later about the restaurant, but I have a funny story about Mike and Amy.

I was teasing them that their night with us should have been way more exciting than their Friday night. As owners of a funeral home, they have an interesting life.

For their "date night" Friday night, they drove a few hours away to look at a hearse they were thinking about buying. From there, they called a good friend, the casket salesman, and went to eat at a restaurant on the lake called "Dead Fish Grill". Now how is that for a date night? They brought us a brochure from the funeral home that they had visited because it has some "unique" services. As part of it's services, they have a one hour bubble bath for the body. If you buy the next package up, you can have a visit during the bubble bath. Quite interesting.

So in the coming days, I will write about:

Cadillac Ranch
Tuscany Art in Dining, and
The ABSOLUTE BEST pedicure I have ever had

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Monday, January 12, 2009

I'm Done

If you see me walking around a little bit fatter, don't blame me, blame Karsyn.

Guess what she did today at the gym. If you guessed "pooped", you are right. I decided that I am done going with her until she is potty trained.

If I did go, and had a personal trainer (Belinda), this would be what my journal would look like.

MONDAY:Started my day at 6:00 a.m. Tough to get out of bed, but found it was well worth it when I arrived at the health club to find Belinda waiting for me. She is something of a Greek goddess - with blond hair, dancing eyes and a dazzling white smile. Woo Hoo!! Belinda gave me a tour and showed me the machines. I enjoyed watching the skillful way in which she conducted her aerobics class after my workout today. Very inspiring!Belinda was encouraging as I did my sit-ups, although my gut was already aching from holding it in the whole time she was around. This is going to be a FANTASTIC week-!!

TUESDAY:I drank a whole pot of coffee, but I finally made it out the door. Belinda made me lie on my back and push a heavy iron bar into the air then she put weights on it! My legs were a little wobbly on the treadmill, but I made the full mile. Belinda's rewarding smile made it all worthwhile. I feel GREAT-!! It's a whole new life for me.

WEDNESDAY:The only way I can brush my teeth is by laying the toothbrush on the counter and moving my mouth back and forth over it. I believe I have a hernia in both pectorals. Driving was OK as long as I didn't try to steer or stop. I parked on top of a GEO in the club parking lot. Belinda was impatient with me, insisting that my screams bothered other club members. Her voice is a little too perky for that early in the morning and when she scolds, she gets this nasally whine that is VERY annoying. My chest hurt when I got on the treadmill, so Belinda put me on the stair monster. Why the heck would anyone invent a machine to simulate an activity rendered obsolete by elevators? Belinda told me it would help me get in shape and enjoy life. She said some other crap too.

THURSDAY:Belinda was waiting for me with her vampire-like teeth exposed as her thin, cruel lips were pulled back in a full snarl. I couldn't help being a half an hour late - it took me that long to tie my shoes. Belinda took me to work out with dumbbells. When she was not looking, I ran and hid in the restroom. She sent another skinny witch to find me.Then, as punishment, she put me on the rowing machine -- which I sank.

FRIDAY:I hate that witch Belinda more than any human being has ever hated any other human being in the history of the world. Stupid, skinny, anemic, anorexic little cheerleader. If there was a part of my body I could move without unbearable pain, I would beat her with it. Belinda wanted me to work on my triceps. I don't have any triceps! And if you don't want dents in the floor, don't hand me the stupid barbells or anything that weighs more than a sandwich.The treadmill flung me off and I landed on a health and nutrition teacher. Why couldn't it have been someone softer, like the drama coach or the choir director?

SATURDAY:Belinda left a message on my answering machine in her grating, shrilly voice wondering why I did not show up today. Just hearing her voice made me want to smash the machine with my planner; however, I lacked the strength to even use the TV remote and ended up catching eleven straight hours of the Weather Channel.

SUNDAY:I'm having the Church van pick me up for services today so I can go and thank GOD that this week is over. I will also pray that next year my daughter (the little brat) will choose a gift for me that is fun -- like a root canal or a hysterectomy. I still say if God had wanted me to bend over, he would have sprinkled the floor with diamonds!!!

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Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Torture Chamber

I affectionately call 24 Hour Fitness the Torture Chamber. I hate to exercise. There is nothing fun about it. I have not lost any weight, don't feel better and see no redeeming value. But I do it anyway. Why? I don't even have a good answer for that.

This precious little thing only adds to the torture.

Since she refuses to potty train, I tell her before we go, "Karsyn, no pooping at the gym." She always repeats it after me and smiles.

Today when I picked her up, I said, "Oh Karsyn, you are so sweaty." The babysitter told me she played in the water fountain. Karsyn kept telling me she needed to wash her hair.

And guess what else she did? She has pooped at the gym every single day that I have taken her this week!

It's a good thing she is cute.

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Friday, January 9, 2009

Pappasito's DEAL

Pappasito's is one of our favorite places to eat fajita's. Not too crazy about the chicken, but the beef is as good as it gets. We got an email Wednesday about their new special and we were there that night.

Every Wednesday night between now and February 11th, it is half priced fajita night. This is a ton of food. We usually split the fajita plate for one, so we ate really cheap and brought home a bunch.

Great food, great deal, don't miss out on Wednesdays.

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Thursday, January 8, 2009

My Favorites

I am so glad that the new shows started this week. I love having DVR so that you can watch an hour long show in 30 minutes.

This is what I have set on my DVR as series recordings:

The Bachelor - One of my all time favorite shows
Desperate Housewives
Grey's Anatomy
American Idol - Can't wait for next week
Private Practice
Real Housewives of Orange County
Prime Time & 20/20
Dancing With The Stars
Dr. 90210
Girls Next Door
Dr. Phil
Oprah - Not too crazy about her anymore, but I always watch her show
The View - Landrie calls this the "night night show" because I watch this in the afternoon during their naps

I can actually get Pops to watch a few of these with me. His favorite is Grey's. He also likes Private Practice, Desperate and will watch Idol and The Bachelor. He HATES Real Housewives of Orange County and Girls Next Door.

Do you have any suggestions on anything else I might need to add to my list?

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Wednesday, January 7, 2009

My Two Favorite Girls

Here is a picture of the girls on Christmas morning. They loved their new wheels and I am sure they will have lots of fun with them over the next few years.

You can see who is in control behind the wheel, and who is in it for the joy ride. I think that will be the story of their lives for the next 15 years.

Before you know it, they will be behind the wheel of a real car. I am not ready for that. I want them to stay little for as long as possible because I love to hold them in my lap.

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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The "B" Word

I am trying so hard not to use it. It is a big struggle. I like to be busy and active ALL the time, and this time of year, there is just nothing going on. It is especially exaggerated when we are just coming off of a busy three months.

The weather is not cooperating either. Dreary, cold, rainy days are not my favorite. So what did I do yesterday to try to combat my bordem?

Karsyn and I went to the gym for the first time in 3 months. Pops got me some new Skeechers for Christmas and after about 10 minutes, I could tell that I was getting a nasty blister. I lasted 20 minutes on the treadmill and decided to call a time out. My legs and feet were both dying.

If you read Jennifer's blog, you know she has been trying to potty train Karsyn, unsuccessfully. I hate potty training and diapers on a 2 3/4 year old are disgusting to me. Whenever we go to the gym, I always tell Karsyn, "No pooping at the gym", so I don't get called out. They don't change diapers. Surely she can hold it for 30 minutes.

No, not yesterday. I got her and she had a massive load. As we say, "Good thing she is cute."

I fed her lunch and put her down for a nap, and she took a really long one. What did I do with my free time? Clean out kitchen cabinets and put in new shelf paper. FUN.

Still trying not to use the "B" word.

The highlight of the day was watching "The Bachelor". Pops is not into TV, but he has gotten to where he will watch my shows just so we can be together. He used to read when I was watching them. It is much more fun to have someone to watch them with you and give a running commentary, than to watch it by yourself.

Today should be better. I don't know if I can make it to the gym. My legs and feet are dying. I have a 3 hour hair appointment, book club (I haven't even bought the book) and then Pops.

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Monday, January 5, 2009

There's A New Blog In Town

I set up a blog for Pops last April. He has been telling me he was going to start his blog, and after 8 months, he finally has. The name of his blog is Legacy Leadership. Check it out.

His first real blogging event was this guest post on my blog.

Welcome to the blogging world Pops.

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Sunday, January 4, 2009

Thank You Friends

There are several people who leave really nice comments on my blog and I really appreciate it. I have a lot of fun with it.

There are several of you that don't have blogs; like Stacy, Kelli, and GiGi2 that I can't write back to. I just wanted to be sure and say thank you, that I do read your comments and appreciate everyone of them.

GiGi 2 is my grandmother-in-law (we share our two precious granddaughters). She leaves the sweetest comments almost every day.

I appreciate all of you!

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Saturday, January 3, 2009

Pop's & Lolly's Big Adventure

I hate to use the "B word", but I am going to go out on a limb and use it. I find this time of year so BORING. You go 90 miles an hour between Thanksgiving and Christmas and then it all ends so abruptly. For the last several years, we have gone out of town during the week of Christmas and New Years. This year, I just couldn't get my act together and plan anything big.

We went to the Hilton Bella Harbor in Rockwall for the night for New Years Eve and went to our new favorite restaurant, Blue Canyon. While we had a great time, one night away just didn't cut it.

Lately, I have been seeing all the ads on TV and the huge beautiful billboards around the Metroplex for WinStar Casino in Oklahoma. Boy, they make it look fabulous. Go to Rome, Go to Italy, Go to Beijing. They caught me; hook, line and sinker. I was ready to go. I tried to keep my expectations low so I wouldn't be disappointed.

Only an hours drive, we excitedly went north to Oklahoma. I went to the ATM, got my gambling money in hand and was ready to win big. We pulled up around 6:30 and the parking lot was crowded, but not near as crowded as it was going to get. We made our way through the entrance, and headed to the steak restaurant. We were starving.

My first hint that it was not going to be grand was when I called for reservations and was told you don't need any reservations at the 3 restaurants. After about a 10 minute wait, we were seated in a restaurant that looked like Denney's with white table cloths. I am thinking that Denney's might have actually been better. I had fried shrimp. I am not sure what was inside of the breading, but I am still debating whether it was shrimp. It was really mushy.

We paid our $50 bill and headed to win big money. I at least wanted to win my dinner money back. I was feeling lucky because while we were waiting for dinner, I put $1 in the penny slot and won $2.55. Woo hoo, big money. Just think if that would have been a $100 bet.

The casino looked like a giant warehouse with more slot machines than I have ever seen in my life, and everyone of them was occupied. Much to my disappointment, the only table games were poker. I can't play poker because I can't count that fast. The only game I play is roulette. We walked through the entire casino. The only difference between Rome and Beijing were a few decorations hanging from the ceiling. We played a few penny and nickel slots without winning anything and cashed out. I lost $21 and Pops lost $5. The meal was a definite loss, but the adventure was priceless.

As we were heading down I-35, there was a line a mile long waiting to exit. About that time, I saw that the WinStar had Bingo and I missed it. Pops asked if I wanted to turn around and go back, but I decided I had had too much fun for the night. As we say, we made two trips. Our first and our last.

We had fun together. We always do. There is no one else I would rather spend my time with than Pops, even when the entertainment isn't that great. We headed to Braums and made it home in time for the 10 o'clock news.

I hear the Bellagio calling my name.

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Friday, January 2, 2009

Year In Review

I was just finished reading the paper and was noticing the past few days that they have had articles about what went on in the world during the past year. I started thinking about my life and what has gone on. Not much, but here it is:

Most of the first part of the year was spent remodeling the kitchen. I didn't think it was ever going to get done. I still need accessories to get it completely finished. I have actually even cooked a little bit.
  • Justin and Jordan moved out together. Jordan was already living in her own apartment and Justin had moved back in with us for a little bit between apartments. We are finally empty nesters again and we love it.
  • I turned the big 5-0. Don't really love it, but I don't have much of a choice. It just sounds old and I don't want to be old.
  • Janelle turned 21. My baby is officially an adult.
  • Pops resigned his administrative job in July and his last official day was December 31st. Yeah. He will be on sabbatical until May. Now he can do what he loves most and have absolutely no stress at all.

We had a fun year of traveling.

  • Fredricksburg
  • San Antonio
  • San Diego
  • Hawaii
  • England
  • Scotland
  • Hollywood & Disneyland (The best trip of all)

We don't have any plans at all for this year. I'm excited to see what 2009 will bring.

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