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Showing posts from 2011

Another Weekend Road Trip I Would Recommend Again ... and Again

It's been a while since I've done a travel piece, but a few days ago I got to escape to my favorite weekend getaway — Fort Davis and Marfa, Texas. 

Sitting on the roof of the Indian Lodge, I look out through the valley of the Davis Mountains. It is quiet. The only thing I can hear is my fingers tapping my computer keys. I feel clean, raw, pure and more fully myself out here. I don’t know anybody, and nobody is expecting anything of me.
Wispy, high clouds brush the blue-gray, autumn sky. A cool breeze tickles my bare feet and lifts my hair. The sun slowly sets over the pale gold winter grass and mountains reflecting peach hues off the high clouds.
I love it here in West Texas.
Lunch earlier that day   For lunch we stopped at the Pizza Foundation in Marfa. It is some of the best pizza I’ve ever had — thin, chewy homemade crust, big slices and even bigger flavor.The cheese has so much flavor that I didn’t want to add salt, ranch or parmesan. I also ordered a Greek salad that was so…

A Lesson Learned from Ron Washington

I know the Rangers lost the World Series again, but failure is a part of life. It's especially a part of baseball. But some people can't live with failure. I was reading an article in Atlantic Monthly last week about how the Angels' pitcher, Donnie Moore, committed suicide because he couldn't accept his failure.

Finding this article seemed to confirm that failure was the theme for the week—at a dinner party I had last night, one friend said her New Year's resolution was to "fail more." She said if you don't fail then you aren't trying. Washington's failure got our team to the World Series not once, but twice two years in a row.

I'm posting this article about accepting failure by one of my favorite writers and a friend of mine, Michael Mooney. I think we all have something to learn from Washington and how he faces challenges in his life. After all, "he do what he do."

Ron Washington: He Do What He Do by Michael J. Mooney

A Discussion on the Trinity River Vision Project

This piece was originally written for the eChaser, the monthly newsletter of the Fort Worth chapters of the Society of Professional Journalists, Public Relations Society of America and International Association of Business Communicators.

The consensus of about 100 people at the Trinity River Vision panel discussion moderated by Society of Professional Journalists Oct. 12 was that the project is one huge, expensive distraction.

Panelists Jim Lane, former City Councilman and Tarrant Regional Water District Board Member, former City Councilman Clyde Picht, Fort Worth certified public accountant Steve Hollern and meteorologist John Basham added their input for the project. Trinity River Vision executive director J.D. Granger and the representative for the city of Fort Worth’s seat remained empty.

“I don’t really have a big for or against The Trinity River Vision downtown other than that it is a distraction, and what I mean by distraction is we in Texas … don’t get enough rainfall,” Basham…

Breakfast at Taco Heads is Amazing!

The best breakfast taco I've had is from the Taco Heads food truck on West Seventh and Carroll Street.

I've had a lot of breakfast tacos, but this one reels me back almost every day. It's embarrassing actually. And I don't order one, but two.

The eggs don't taste like they've been sitting under a warmer for hours. They are perfectly scrambled every time and spill out of the warm, grilled flour tortilla (corn tortillas are also available). Taco Heads doesn't skimp on the shredded sharp cheddar cheese that's sprinkled all over the top either.

The bacon isn't rubbery or undercooked; it's thick and crispy. And the fresh, finely chopped pico adds another layer of flavor to finish off my favorite breakfast taco. The tacos come with their light, spicy verde sauce. You must at least try a bite with this tummy concoction.

Taco Heads just started serving breakfast Aug. 6, and I couldn't be happier. The only thing is I need to tack on an extra hour to m…

Sugar Cookies at Harper's Bluebonnet Bakery

When I was a little girl my mom surprised us with treats.

We would come home from school to find a snickers in the kitchen, some sparkle lip gloss on our pillow or my favorite treat — sugar cookies from the best bakery in town.

Not only did they taste brilliant, but the cookies always highlighted a theme in Fort Worth (like TCU football is here), a holiday or season.

In the fall we would find brown, red and orange autumn leaves, black or purple bats, orange pumpkins and black witches on broomsticks in a white box on our kitchen counter.

Since then my mom has moved away, and now in my late twenties I try not to eat snickers and cookies every afternoon. But the other day she came in for my brother's birthday and brought me a box of these butterflies and T-shirts.

I recommend stopping by Harper's Bluebonnet Bakery's new location and trying one. I have eaten the whole box in a matter of days.

Scotland: Food, Edinburgh and the Highlands

Food Network Visits Fort Worth Institution!

"Ace of Cakes" Duff Goldman tries Mike Smith's coconut pie at Paris Coffee Shop for his new show "Sugar High." Click here for more information.

Forbes Gives Zeke's a Thumbs Up!

The best fish and chips I've ever had anywhere in the world is right here in Fort Worth at Zeke's on Camp Bowie. I'm serious. I don't know what the secret is in their batter, but it's so light and crispy that I can't get enough.

A blogger for Forbes magazine agrees. In July they published a piece stating Zeke's is one of the top 20 restaurants in the country for value "with food scores no lower than 25 and an average price per head no higher than $27." Translation: the best bang for your buck.

I wasn't aware of this article when I dragged five of my friends there a few Friday nights ago. I had warned them that they will have to shower once finished and their diets must be left at home. They were still intrigued ... after all, you know it's good if you have to shower afterward.

As we waited in the slow and inefficiently constructed line we overheard an older couple from Fort Worth saying this was their first time to try Zeke's. They were …

Fort Worth Gets "Lucky"

Fort Worth just got a little luck. No really, Bailey's Prime Plus in Fort Worth is getting a new cocktail menu created by their bar director Eddie "Lucky" Campbell and creative consultant Michael Martensen.

This is something to look forward to if you're already a fan of The Usual's anomalous and matchless creations.

I met "Lucky" a little more than a year ago when he was a bartender at Bolsa in the Dallas Bishops Arts District. His enthusiasm for his concoctions reminded me of a child with a new magic trick, or like Tom Cruise in the movie Cocktail.

He volunteered to make my friend and me samples of his favorites, and the drinks were an experience in themselves. It's great when the drinking is a culinary experience and less of a "how-drunk-can-I-get" experience. They were all unique with fresh and new flavors.

Below is a list of what you will find on the newly available cocktail menu.

The Trophy Wife
Grey Goose, St. Germaine Liqueur, White …

UPDATE: Board Gives FW Food Park the OK!

"YES!" Chris Kruger shouted from his seat in the Commercial Board of Adjustment meeting Wednesday morning.

After an intense hour-long debate Aug. 3 at Fort Worth's City Hall, and months of pushing through red tape, the board gave 7 out of 9 votes (the minimum required) in favor of Fort Worth's first food park.

But not without hesitation.

After applicant Chris Kruger made his case,  a long series of concerns verbalized by the opposing side and the Board made things uneasy.

Questions like:Where are people going to park? Should a park be set up in a chemical-heavy industrial neighborhood where large trucks move to and fro? Will the traffic disrupt the existing businesses? Is it safe for kids to be roaming the streets in this area? The three people opposing the food park all represented manufacturing companies in the area.

"My first reaction was, 'what a neat concept.' My second reaction was, 'where is everyone going to park?'" M&M's ma…

Will Fort Worth Have a Food Park this Fall?

The only things sprouting in this 105-degree desert atmosphere are food trucks. Not the dirty, fried-everything food trucks but creative gourmet trucks that won't have you reaching for the Imodium.

Soon there may be a place where a bundle of these can park and grow their businesses together.

It's not new news. I'm sure you've read on the other Fort Worth blogs there is a potential food truck park moving in behind the Target on West Seventh and Carroll.  I sat down with the man behind the idea, Chris Kruger, to ask him about the park and the upcoming Fort Worth City Council meeting where the park's fate will be decided.

First, what can we expect to see at this meeting? Nine board members will hear Chris' case, which he has seven minutes to present. The people opposing have seven minutes as well. The board members will vote right then and there.  Chris needs seven out of nine votes to have his food park approved. There will also be time where you can add your two …

Ray's Prime Steak and Seafood

I'm a picky eater. Don't get me wrong ... I'll eat anything, but I won't eat it cold if it's supposed to be hot and vice versa.

My thing is that a restaurant has a very specific job: food. If that is your specialty, all I ask is that you prepare it well, serve it hot and in a timely manner.  This is like climbing Everest for some restaurants.

I also prefer a suitable atmosphere and service minus the side of attitude. You serve so get over it! This is what you do!

Ray's Prime Steak and Seafood got it right. The service was excellent and the atmosphere was warm and cozy. The carpeted floor absorbed a lot of the noise so I could hear my twin sister, brother-in-law and my husband talk. Most importantly, the food was delicious and just the right temperature.

And the best part was that it isn't crazy expensive for what you're getting. It's hard to find a nice steakhouse that doesn't blow up your wallet. However I was a little thrown off by the woman a…

Park Hill Café

Newsflash: It's hot outside, and sometimes I crave cool foods like sushi, fruit, salad and cold sandwiches. I was on the other side of town helping a friend move and remembered my favorite summer sandwich was close by at Park Hill Café.

I first met this sandwich ten years ago and we are still in a healthy relationship. It has mushrooms, red onions, bright red and juicy tomatoes, thinly sliced green apples and lettuce stuffed in soft wheat bread. What makes this sandwich is a cream cheese dijon mustard combo they spread on the bread. (I always stuff my Lay's potato chips inside the sandwich for a salty crunch. It is so good with the apples.)

This lunch even inspired me to go back the next day to help my friend pack.

P.S. The quaint neighborhood hangout recently started serving a fantastic brunch. I recommend the brunch eggs. The homemade breakfast breads and hash brown casserole come with the meal. My only complaint is that the atmosphere isn't amazing, but it's comforta…

"Tools for Tomorrow"

As I was leaving Starbucks this morning I saw this box. I've noticed it for at least a couple of weeks and it hasn't been filled yet. The small sheet of paper glued to the measuring piece is a list of supplies needed for donation. 
 So I looked inside surprised to find this.

I immediately thought about the state of our education system in Texas. Have we given up? Or are only those who have children in school paying attention? Because it will affect all of us in some way or another.

I know this doesn't have to do with food or things to do, but it does have to do with Fort Worth. This image was definitely a gadfly for me.

This blog has a new email!

Feel free to contact me with any concerns, questions, ideas or just to say hi.

Out with the new and back with the old

UPDATE: Hui Chuan sold and has been renamed Little Lilly Sushi. It has an entirely new menu. 

Any time a child gets a new toy they seem to forget about the old one. Nothing is wrong with the old toy, it's just not new. The Toy Story movies are all about this phenomenon.

It's hard to keep the modern human's attention for very long and Fort Worth has received many new and flashy toys lately: bowling alleys, restaurants galore, shops and more. With that we've forgotten about our older friends, like one of Fort Worth's original sushi joints – Hui Chuan on West Camp Bowie.

Don't get me wrong, I've enjoyed the new places and they have something different to offer. But nothing compares to the friendliness, intimate atmosphere, calming music and fresh fish like Hui Chuan. It is still my favorite place to eat, especially when craving Super White Tuna sashimi. It comes with a light sauce and a jalapeno sliver. The fish never tastes ... well, fishy.

Today I checked ou…

I Love Fort Worth's Backyard

The only time I can stand to be outside right now is at 7 a.m. when I hit the trails for a jog or walk. This morning I loved seeing this kayaker. It reminded me that we don't have to live in Colorado to enjoy the outdoors (although it helps).  I like to see people enjoying Fort Worth's backyard.

Pie Five doesn't get a high five from me

I have a small voice, and it embarrasses me when I have to yell to place my order. Not only did I have to scream my order at the loud McPizza joint, but the rude staff at Pie Five on West 7th actually told me to order faster.

"You can order your toppings faster you know," said the man behind the counter who almost received a black eye from moi.

"I bet I can, but I'm figuring out my toppings as I look through your pretty glass case ... you really need to be nicer," I said. I was ticked.

As I waited for my pizza to go through the conveyer belt oven, I noticed the place was louder than loud,  really hot and flies peppered the tables. I had to dine in because I was short on time, but wasn't excited about it.

I tried this place a few weeks ago and the staff was a bit nicer but not patient. There were so many options before you even get to the toppings: the crust thickness, garlic sauce, alfredo sauce or marinara sauce. I needed help figuring out what tasted goo…