Friday, April 15, 2016

Will travel for food….

Dave, Vince and I eat out a lot. Sometimes it’s because we want to travel somewhere and
L to R: Dave, Cynthia, Vince
take in the sights, but other times we’re running errands, get hungry, and see a place that we’ve not tried. This rather short blog is a review of several places we’ve eaten while we’ve been between adventures. For information about my rating system, see Reading the Reviews.

Four Carrots
Bayou Jack's Cajun Grill (200 N Oak Street, Roanoke, TX 76262, 817-490-7800) is a rather new establishment that purports to have Cajun food – and they do a good job with it.
Top L to R: Fish and Chips, Menu
Bottom L to R: Crayfish, Mahi Mahi
Andi and Steve had several pounds of crayfish that they said was excellent. Dave had fish and chips that he said were pretty good. The fish was well cooked, but breading didn’t stay on it particularly well. The fries, on the other hand, were excellent. I had Coconut Crusted Mahi Mahi that was very good; the fish was well prepared and I could actually taste the coconut. The mixed vegetables that came with it were excellent. Service was very good and the staff were very willing to talk to us about the recipes of the dishes we’d ordered; the prices were in line for what was served.

Mena's Tex-Mex Grill (1851 N Greenville Avenue, Suite 500, Richardson, TX 75081, 972-
Left T to B: Soft and crispy tacos, Taco plate
Right T to B: Menu, Chips and salsas
235-6300) is a cute little place within The Shops at Eastside complex in Richardson. We went at lunch, but some other friends stopped by for dinner and had to wait more than 30 minutes for a seat. The restaurant is nestled among some apartments and next to other places to eat and to shop. Bek had a soft and a crispy taco; she really liked her meal, particularly the sides of sauce that came with it. I had the Taco Plate; the crispy tacos with fresh veggies and tasty rice were excellent and the beans were good. We both liked the fresh, crisp chips and the two types of salsas. Service was very attentive and fast; the lunch prices were excellent. We want to go back to try some of the other dishes on the menu.

Three and one-half carrots
Hanami Sushi Teppan Bar (1925 Airport Freeway, Bedford, TX 76021, 817-283-5188) sits on a little hill with a great view of the freeway. Dave and I were rather late for lunch so the 
Top: Chop sticks
Middle L to R: Salad, Soup
Bottom: Sushi, Bento box
restaurant was almost empty. There are two rooms: one is for hibachi while the other is for ‘regular’ dining. Depending on what you choose, lunch come with onion soup, that Dave said was very tasty, or with a salad that I thought had a nice, slightly spicy dressing. Dave had a bento box with tempura shrimp and a California roll that he said was yummy. I had two small sushi rolls, one with eel and the other with tempura shrimp; they were both very good. The staff is efficient and 

friendly; the prices were a bit high.

Three carrots
Many times we go back to our favorite places rather than remembering that there are new 
Top L to R: Menu, Chips and salsa, Salad
Bottom L to R: Sauteed beef, Fried shrimp
places to experience. Puerta Vieja Mexican Grill (101 Town Center Ln, Keller, TX 76248, 817-562-5301) was one of those places that we’d heard about but had not taken the opportunity to try. It’s a small place in the middle of the Keller government district. It has an outside seating area that welcomes dogs if they are well behaved. The menu has dishes from El Salvador, Peru, and the traditional Tex-Mex. The Lomo Saltado a lo Pobre is sautéed beef with peppers and onions, topped with an egg served with white rice and a plantain; Dave liked this Peruvian dish fairly well. I sampled the Salvadorian dish Camarones Empanizados, which are breaded and fried shrimp served with yellow rice and black beans. The fried shrimp had a very fine batter that didn’t overwhelm the flavor, but what I liked the best was the rice. It was large-grained, and tender, with a subtle rather buttery flavor. We went in on a Saturday so there was no lunch menu; the prices were high. We may give the restaurant another visit during the week to check out the lunch menu.

Top L to R: Restaurant, Chicken dish
Bottom: Chicken and broccoli 
The Royal Thai (5500 Greenville Avenue #608, Dallas, TX 75206, 214-691-3555) has been around for quite a while and is generally crowded at lunch time. Cary and I had to wait a bit, but service was efficient and diners didn’t dawdle. Cary had Lahd Na, a mixture of chicken, broccoli and wide noodles; she enjoyed it. I had Pad Bai Grapow with chicken and baby corn; it was very good. Service was attentive, even though the restaurant was fully occupied; the prices were reasonable. Although they were busy, we weren’t rushed through our meal by the staff.

Tres Casas Mexican Grill (208 N Main St, Keller, TX 76248, 817-753-7003) is a funky little
Left T to B: Chips and salsa, Chilaquiles
Middle T to B: Fajitas, Migas
Right: Table design
place with not much seating inside, but a larger area outside. The food was fresh and plentiful. We went in for breakfast and were glad we’d arrived early. The waitresses are fun, putting up with our shenanigans with good grace. Dave and Andi had Chilaquiles with eggs on top; they both really liked their meals. I had Migas; the cook was kind enough to fix them without onions so I really enjoyed my breakfast. Steve had Huevos con Fajitas that he said were quite tasty; again, the cook had no issues with preparing the food to his specifications. We all enjoyed this place and will most likely visit it again.

Two and one-half carrots
Drunken Donkey Craft Bar & Scratch Kitchen (1821 S Main Street, Keller, TX 76248, 817-337-0284) is a sports bar with food service. We gave it a try because it advertised a 
Left:BLT with salad and fries
Right T to B: Logo, Club sandwich
‘scratch kitchen’ and we had heard that the prices were good. Unfortunately, simply because large amounts of food are provided doesn’t mean that it’s any better than anywhere else. I was not pleased that the bacon on my BLT was undercooked. The salad that came with it was nothing special. Dave said that his Big A$$ Club was not outstanding in any way, nor were the fries. Although the music was good, it overcame conversation; we almost had to yell to give the server our order. We also weren’t particularly impressed that the walls were plastered with TV screens.

Two of the restaurants I’ve reviewed need to be updated: The Rufe Snow Café (Cruisin’ Keller) has changed hands; the food and service are no longer the quality that they were dropping their rating from three carrots to two carrots. Maria Cuca’s (Home on the Range) is expanding and that makes us happy because it’s one of our favorite places; it is maintaining its four carrot rating.

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