Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Ol' South - Fort Worth, TX

 After a busy morning of working horses and stall cleaning in Texas we decided to break for a late breakfast. We had already tried our hand at the Swiss Pastry Shop earlier in the week for a late breakfast and was burned so we decided to go back to the ever faithful, Ol' South. The coffee is always hot and food made to order.

German Pancakes were ordered for three. I like that they take the time to create a table side show of squeezing the lemon, pouring the powdered sugar and then mixing it. It makes it seem like you r meal was handled with love and care. 

They are then individually wrapped up into a little ball, I am not sure why they do that. As soon as the waitress walks away I unwrap mine and eat it laying out flat. 

Like so... As you can see my pancake looks quite small, I ordered the Dutch Baby. It is made the exact same way as the others just a smaller portion size. That is my bacon up there in the corner, extra crispy all the way.

Done. My favorite breakfast in the books.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Dominos - Product Review

One of the really cool perks about being Melissa Good Taste is I get a lot of emails from people wanting me to review their products on my blog. I am not going to lie, getting sent free products to try is kind of awesome. It keeps my job interesting to say the least. While I was in Texas, I was contacted by a Dominos representative and was asked to review their new Specialty Chicken menu item. 

They were so cool to make a delivery to our hotel room that night. It was kind of refreshing to have a night off from dining out and just grub out in our pajamas in the room.

This is it! Dominos new Specialty Chicken - Boneless chicken covered with a variety of fun toppings. This was the "Sweet BBQ Bacon" and far and away my favorite. The combination of flavors were awesome and to be honest it is a new inventive way to eat the toppings that you favor on a protein base rather than bread. 

The next option we got sent to try was the "Spicy Jalapeno Pineapple". It wasn't bad, just not my favorite. I think this one appealed to Scott because he really likes Hawaiian pizza and this seemed to be a play on that.

Other Specialty Chicken options are: "Classic Buffalo" and "Crispy Bacon and Tomato". I am very excited to try them both at my local Dominos.

They also included a pizza as a complete surprise to complete our meal. It was the "Pacific Veggie" on Thin Crust and it was outstanding. I liked the Specialty Chicken as an appetizer and this pizza as a closer for sure. It was sliced in easy to handle squares so the toppings didn't slide off on pick up.

Before that night I couldn't remember the last time I ate at Dominos. It just wasn't a place I thought about but this meal was a wake up call! You can get really good pizza, appetizers, chicken, pasta and sandwiches for a fair price from this national chain! Give it a try, I was thrilled to be given the opportunity.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Michael's Cuisine - Fort Worth, TX

While in Texas a big storm blew in on the day James and Cowgirl Kate arrived. They checked into their hotel, met us at the horse show and declared themselves famished after the long day of travel. Scott did some restaurant scouting on his own and suggested we dine at Michael's Cuisine, an old school place with new school flavor.

The stormy weather made me crave soup more than I already do and this was terrific. It was a spicy Carrot Soup and I highly recommend it if it is the special. It was creamy but not heavy.

The salads were pretty standard. Bright, clean flavors with liberal doses of cheese and dressing. That is the kind of salad I embrace with both arms.

I should have loved this. It meets all of criteria for a fantastic meal. Scallops in a white wine caper sauce flanked buy a tasty fried rice. It should have been my thing. But, you cannot use low quality seafood and get away with it. The scallops were cooked perfectly but they just tasted a smidge funky. I did not get sick and I did eat my fair share so I knew they must have not been too far gone but it did lower my love for the experience.

When I saw Chicken Scalloppini on the menu I knew Cowgirl Kate order it like she knew I would order the Scallops. We are pretty predictable. She loved it, the portion was huge as there were two pan fried breasts on her plate so James helped her out of course. She opted out of the spaghetti as the side and doubled up on vegetables.

Cowboy Ron ordered the Crab Cakes as his entree and I was very jealous. He said they were delicious and it made me want to throw one of my funky scallops at him. I hate it when I order poorly!

James ordered the Oven Roasted 1/2 Chicken and he said it was very good. Moist, tender chicken and its pan juices made for a highly enjoyable eating experience. He elected the chicken be served with a salad and he did not mind it sharing a plate with his hot entree, I would have preferred it separate.

Last but not least, my handsome husband's Petite Filet was pepper crusted and cooked to perfection. The sauce served with it was an Ancho-Bourbon concoction and he thought it was just out of this world. He was so pleased with the size of the entree, quality of the meat and the uniqueness of the sauce.

Everyone at the table loved their meals except me, which is very rare. I did love the soup so I cannot write off the entire experience. I am not opposed to returning to the restaurant to give my dining experience another shot. You will see me again, Michael's!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Swiss Pastry Shop - Fort Worth, TX

Scott and I have spent months together in Texas and most always have stayed at the same hotel, taking the same route to the show every morning and evening. The Swiss Pastry Shop is on the route and we always wanted to stop in and try it. We had some free time on an off day and decided that we would finally quench our curiosity thirst.

I consider myself 100% Swiss. I know that I absolutely am not, in fact I am just a mere 25% but it was celebrated in our family like we were very much so. I can remember going to Swiss picnics with my grandparents growing up and can match my Mom's polenta and stew up to anyone we tries to say they do it better. My dad hosts the Elk's Swiss Night every year so I am really proud of my Swiss heritage.

As you first walk in you are greeted with glass cases of all sorts of baked goods. They tempt you to look in and salivate...

I had my eye on a few things I knew I wanted to take back to the room with me for later.

Scott wanted traditional breakfast of eggs, hash browns and bacon. Out came a huge plate of food and he immediately tried to pawn off his sausage. He doesn't care for it as much as I cherish greasy breakfast meats. He requested salsa (Swiss Salsa?!) for his eggs and it came out like fire! Very spicy. Who knew?!

I opted for Pancakes and a side of bacon because I am in love with overdressing it with butter and syrup. It creates a soggy mess that I absolutely cannot get enough of these days. The bacon acts as a salty break from my plate of syrup. Breakfast doesn't happen often with us so when it does, I go all out.

I took Banana Pudding to go because I love it and Texans really know how to do it right. It seems like California doesn't embrace the pudding the same way. 

I don't have much bad to say about the Swiss Pastry Shop's breakfast except it lacked Swiss food. I would have been thrilled to order polenta and stew, toasted torta or a tray of their best unique sausages. We were impressed though with the friendly service of the breakfast so we went back at 11 the following week to repeat our experience. We apparently missed breakfast and had to order lunch. I think Scott only wanted bacon, eggs and toast on a plate but the waitress stood her ground claiming breakfast was over. So we ordered off the lunch menu and it was not great. 

Go for breakfast and to drool over the baked goods!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Lanny's Alta Cocina - Fort Worth, TX

When we are in Fort Worth I wear many hats. I am first and far most, horse preparer to the stars: Cowboy Ron and Scott - grooming, spoiling, graining, spoiling, wrapping, spoiling, loping... all the important things. I am head laundry lady, occasional stall cleaner and full time comic relief. But, what I am mostly taken on the trip for is restaurant adviser, "Melissa, where are we going to eat tonight?" So, I always have to have an original list ready. 

That is what brought us to Lanny's Alta Cocina just a few blocks from the Will Roger's Coliseum. When you walk in don't be alarmed it seems like it may actually be someone's home or possibly a dentist's office but keep on stepping and be sure to have a reservation, the space is small so I am sure it fills up fast.

We were started off with an amuse that I didn't snag the details of but it basically tasted like a well made sausage, with a little kick and a tasty sauce that was a cross between barbeque sauce and mole. That was the most generic description ever but it did its trick and we already began salivating for what was about to come out next.

After Cowboy Ron read through eleven pages of wines we all decided to forgo the grape and have a Pomegrante Margarita. The weather was nice and we were feeling sassy so went went for cocktails instead. On the first round we were served our margaritas straight up, nice ice. We had a few suggestions amongst the group on how it could be better prepared. 

 Fantastic, warm rolls came to the table and I knew by eating one I would just open the flood gates of eating many, many more. They were too delicious to be made anywhere but steps away and I could probably made a meal out of just them and a stick of butter. Fortunately, I composed myself and stopped the carbohydrate consumption after two, possibly three.

Cowboy Ron wanted to sample a variety of appetizers so the waiter was so kind to coach us through what might be the best representation of the restaurant. Starting up top was Ahi Tuna Tartar served with Pepita Lavash, Huitlacoche Crepes with Tomatilla Sauce, Cochinita Pibil Tamales with an Apple mole. My favorite was the tamales, the meat was deliciously tender and sauce a smoky, savory masterplace - first place! Second, was the Ahi Tuna. It was so fresh and had a little kick with chile on the crisp cracker. Third were the corn crepes, they were just a tad doughy for my taste. But, what do I know?! It was Cowboy Ron and Scott's favorite!

Round two, with ice addition!

I know you are thinking scallops?! Again! I know, I know - I am a straight up sucker. These were fantastic. I loved the presentation but the delicate, clean flavors were just to die for. The scallops were seared to perfection, parsnip puree super creamy and the cauliflower and almonds added that right amount of crunchy texture. Amen!

Cowboy Ron went for the Seafood Paella and declared it was the best he had ever had. I know he is nice to everyone about everything but I do believe him as I saw him wipe his plate clean to consume every last drop. The seafood was fresh, rice flavorful and vegetables looked cheery bright!

Scott ordered the Carne Asada thinking it was going to much different than this elegant plate. Who would have thought carne asada could ever look so chic?! Well, it can apparently and this is how they do it here. The serrano wrapped asparagus came bundled and looking cute as well as all the baby gnocchi. Those were fabulous as they were seared in brown butter, I ate most of them directly off his plate.

 Dessert was light and simple as I ended up doing my same old thing over digestion and after dinner conversation. The custard was smooth and perfect so I lingered over the dish.

Start to finish the meal was outstanding! A highly recommend dinner spot for anyone traveling through Fort Worth. I will be back and encourage if you have not given it a try to do so during the NCHA Summer Spectacular in July!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Road Food - Texas to California

Scott and I are driving home from Fort Worth and I think we have purchased every type of junk food possible. I have eaten more bags of Funyuns than I can count, slurped entirely too much soda and may or may not have squeezed melted Reese's directly into my mouth. The shame...

On one stop I mixed things up a bit and got hot dogs fresh off their rollers and fancied them up with all the fixings! The jalapeƱos and onions later turned out to be a poor decision.

To soothe the burn from the hot dogs a logical choice was clearly a Little Debbie Chocolate Hand Pie. 

I can tell you one thing and one thing for sure, when I get home some changes will be made. Could Melissa Good Taste actually be craving vegetables?!...

Friday, April 18, 2014

Great Outdoors - Fort Worth, TX

When Scott and I are at horse shows we are in the stall area 90% of the time. Whether it be waiting on our time to show, doing chores or just hanging with our horses this is our home away from home. I have worked on making it more cozy with beach flooring but I am thinking next time I will include reclining chairs and possibly a hammock and some tunes to rock out to...

Just down the street is a great place for me to pick up sandwiches to go so we can enjoy our lunch in those same stalls while we work. I cannot think of a better lunch, in fact I will probably have it again today.

The lines are usually long but not to worry, the sandwich makers are fast so it moves along quickly.

Throughout the show I grabbed many sandwiches go. I always experiment on bizarre orders for Scott because he loves everything. You really cannot go wrong, the bread is fresh, vegetables crisp and sandwich meat savory and plentiful.

I order the same thing every time - Turkey and Swiss or a croissant with extra mayonnaise, dijon mustard, pickles, peperoncini, tomatoes, light lettuce, salt and pepper. That is pretty much the perfect sandwich to me. I usually am not a big sandwich person because I am a large fan of eating deconstructed food, I like tasting one flavor at a time. The only exception to that would be gravy, gravy goes well with everything.

Ok my friends, have a good day... I am off to care for some beautiful horses and take in another Texas day!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Eddie V's - Fort Worth, TX

The night of Cowboy Ron's big win at the NCHA Super Stakes we decided to go big and celebrate with a meal at Eddie V's. It was pretty late when we walked in as he competed in not one, but two finals that night. The waitress was kind and let us take our time even though the restaurant was empty.

Bread came out to the table quickly as they knew we were hungry. Bread and butter never tasted so good! Ravenous...

We decided to go for cocktails that evening and a margarita sounded lovely. I had been on a horse all day long so to be able to relax at the end of the day was just like heaven. I have to admit it was pretty nice to let loose knowing you were riding the champion horse! 

We started off our meal sharing the Seafood Tower complete with Maine Lobster, 8 Gulf Shrimp, 8 Oysters, and Jumbo Lump Crab. This was a meal in itself! We were jam packed with protein but I feel like I always have room for more seafood...

So how about a big piece of halibut, topped with crab in a light butter and white win e sauce with sliced garlic. The dish was light and lovely I was munching away until I got to the middle of the fish. It was not cooked quite I all the way through to a doneness that I was comfortable with. I had the waitress take it back for them to re-fire and by the time it got back to the table I was stuffed and completely exhausted.

It had been a long day so dessert was out of the question. All I wanted was to go to sleep, have a late wake up call and possibly a foot rub. One of those things happened as we had to get up early to get Ruben worked in the morning for Scott to show. Horse show life isn't easy but days like this make it all worth it.

Congratulations Ron Malone and Rubys CD - 2014 NCHA Super Stakes Amateur Champion

Monday, April 14, 2014

Kona Grill - Fort Worth, TX

Scott Good Taste is a big fan of golf so we went to the new Kona Grill to watch the last day of The Masters. We took a seat at the sushi bar in front of the four screen television to take in the last nine holes!

The new restaurant is beautiful, hip and trendy. 

Although we were at the sushi bar they were kind enough to let us order off every menu including Happy Hour. The BBQ Chicken Flatbread is exactly what Scott wanted. The chicken, BBQ sauce, red onions and cilantro are divine. The cheddar cheese is weird and does not quite fit but the portion size is huge so you get what you pay for.

I was craving lighter fare so I went for the Oriental Salad complete with all things I love: Napa Cabbage, red bell pepper, green onion, cilantro, Raman crunch, carrots and a sweet soy dressing. I was hungry, hungry so I added a filet of Salmon on top. It was perfection!

Scott and I were still hungry after watching Bubba Watson school the poor young guy so we ordered a sushi roll to compare it to Blue Sake and Sushi. We went for the Yamanda Roll because it had "crunch" that is what Scott was craving. The fried seabass, crab, cucumber, avocado and wonton crisps were very tasty. I am not sure it was the best sushi but it served it's purpose.

I am more than excited to return to Kona Grill to have a healthy lunch of salad and salmon. I encourage all my Fort Worth horse show friends to give it a go as well!