Friday, April 10, 2015

Home on the Range and Restaurant Review

L to R:Clint Eastwood, Yul Brynner, Paul Newman
So we’re off to run some errands and since I’m not driving I’m looking out the window. All of a sudden I get a glimpse of Paul Newman. No, I think to myself, that can’t be. A few minutes later, I see Yul Brenner; still, I doubt my eyes. Then I see Clint Eastwood. Okay, this is just an anomaly of the particular street we’re traveling along. A few days later, on a different street, I spot John Wayne and Lee Marvin. Now I’m on a quest. How many more Hollywood cowboys are there in North Richland Hills, Texas? As it turns out, there are a total of ten.

L to R: Steve McQueen, John Wayne, Roy Rogers
North Richland Hills (NRH) was established as a part of a land grant. In about 1848, W.S. Peters began helping family groups develop this area into an agricultural community. The area remained a rural farming and ranching community for more than 100 years. Eventually, Clarence Jones decided to subdivide his dairy farm. There were 188 homes in the first part of the subdivision, which was restricted to brick and masonry construction. The streets there were named for local families. The second section, added in 1954, was named for automobiles. As the community grew, the North Richland Hills Civic League asked that Richland Hills (a community to the south and already well established) annex their NRH so that people living there would have access to already existing city services. However, this request was turned down and shortly thereafter the community voted to form their own city, creating their own fire department, city government, and community support groups.
L to R: James Dean, Clayton Moore, Jay Silverheels, Lee Marvin
NRH has a lot of art in public spaces and the Signal Art Program is just one of its efforts. It was fun to drive around the city trying to spot the traffic signal boxes that are decorated. Along with the Hollywood cowboys, there are four other decorated boxes: two are for school mascots, one depicts an apartment complex and the fourth has a patriotic theme. One day soon, before it gets too hot in North Texas, we’re going looking for the rest of the art available to the public in North Richland Hills.

What we ate…
Although it’s not in NRH, just north in the suburb of Keller, we discovered a lovely little Mexican restaurant (for information about my rating system, see Reading the Reviews).
Four carrots
Maria Cuca’s Mexican Cuisine (800 S Main St, Keller, TX; 817-741-0213) is in a strip shopping center that has had restaurants come and go on an unfortunately regular basis.
Clockwise from top: Taco, sauces, chicken enchiladas,
beef enchilada
Parking is the biggest problem in this area, and getting across four lanes of traffic can be an issue. However, we’re hoping that this place stays here for a very long time. From the time we arrived, the service and attention were top-notch. Along with the tortilla chips came three bowls of sauce: the traditional salsa, green sauce, and roasted pepper sauce. The salsa is spicy and full of tomatoes; the green sauce will make your eyeballs sweat; and the roasted peppers have a nice smoky flavor. The roasted peppers were actually the mildest of the three. Dave ordered a frozen Margarita which came with swirl of red through the center of the drink. Neither of us knew what it was, although the taste was delightful. We asked the waiter and got into a discussion about how Margaritas were made, what flavors were used and so forth. He brought me a sample of the mango Margarita; this was so yummy I could have had it on pancakes! I generally order something that includes a crispy taco so that I have a basis for comparison against other restaurants in which I’ve eaten. This time I got a taco and a beef enchilada. Although the enchiladas had a bit more chili powder than I prefer, the taco was very good. Dave had chicken enchiladas with a tangy sour cream sauce and crammed full of what appeared to be breast meat. We both liked the beans and rice. We are both looking forward to trying their offerings again, this time with mango Margaritas and maybe even dessert.

John Wayne
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