Monday, March 31, 2014


We met friends for dinner at Gloria’s in Dallas at the Addison location.  It was suggested by one of the friends we were meeting, and I think it was a good choice.  She had described it as Mexican food, but I think it has more of a Spanish spin on Mexican food.

We met for an early dinner around 5pm, so the restaurant was almost empty, and we were seated right away.  Our waiter mentioned the happy hour specials, half price wine and discounts on margaritas.  Then he brought out chips with bean dip and salsa.  The bean dip was warm and delicious.  The salsa was spicy, not too chunky or runny and had a nice kick.

My husband ordered a margarita during happy hour.  I don’t remember what all the waiter said was in it, but I think he said it included premium tequila, orange juice, agave nectar and lime juice.  The margaritas usually come on the rocks, but my husband asked for it blended with salt instead.  He said the margarita was really strong and that he only tasted the tequila, but he's not used to drinking much anyway.  It was only $5, so I think he got his $5 worth of tequila.

For his meal, my husband ordered the Enchiladas a la Gloria, which are described on the menu as “a trio of enchiladas filled with shredded chicken, cilantro and white onions each topped with three different sauces: chile ancho, sour cream and tomatillo. Sprinkled with cilantro and queso fresco.”  He liked the enchilada that was topped with sour cream the best.  His meal was served with Spanish rice and pinto beans.  He liked that the rice had corn and peas in it.  He said the veggies were well cooked, but not crunchy; they were firm, and they popped.  He thought the beans were pretty traditional.  They were well blended but thick and smooth, not runny.  His meal came with cilantro on the side, and he dumped it on top of his food.  We’re both big fans of cilantro.

I ordered the Salmon Chimichurri Salad, which was described on the menu as “grilled salmon, romaine lettuce, feta cheese and chimichurri dressing.”  I requested the dressing on the side.  Really, it was just a chimichurri sauce.  It had a little too much olive oil for my taste, but it had a great flavor.  I was impressed at the size of the piece of salmon that came on the salad.  I liked the romaine lettuce and the feta.  Really, it was a delicious salad, and the combination of flavors complemented each other well.

I don’t remember everything my friends ordered, but one of them ordered the Tacos de Brisket, which are described on the menu as “shredded brisket on your choice of corn or flour tortillas. Served with cilantro, onions, spicy tairobi sauce and black bean soup.”  I don’t have a picture of this one, but my friend's 2-year old daughter certainly enjoyed eating the bites of brisket he shared with her.

It was fun catching up with friends at Gloria’s, and I would definitely enjoy eating there again sometime. 

Happy eating!

3 Stacks

We're visiting my husband's sister's family in Dallas, Texas, and last night that took us out to dinner at 3 Stacks BBQ.  BBQ is definitely better in Texas than it is in Los Angeles, so we're happy to get our fill of BBQ while we're here.  It's kind of like a sports bar with TVs and a beer list.  They have a variety of TexMex food and BBQ.

I ordered Contessa's salad, which is described on the menu as "hearts of romaine lettuce tossed with a 1/4 pound of chopped brisket, beans, cheddar, pico de gallo, and crispy tortilla strips. Served with avocado ranch dressing."  I asked for the salad without beans and with the dressing on the side.  I ended up not using the dressing.  It was okay, but I preferred the salad topped with the the spicy BBQ sauce that was on the table.  It was a really good salad.  I had a brisket salad at a BBQ restaurant in L.A., and it wasn't nearly as good as this one.  I could eat this brisket everyday.

My husband was torn between ordering the Brisket Tacos and the Brisket Cheesesteak.  Only in Texas.  In the end, he decided to order the Brisket Cheesesteak, which is described on the menu as "brisket with sauteed peppers, onions, and mushrooms topped with our queso on a toasted hoagie roll."  All the sandwiches come with beans (which are basically BBQ beans) and fresh cut fries.  His sandwich was huge.  I tasted a little of the meat mixture, and it was so good.  I mean, how could it not be?  I also tasted a couple of the fries.  They are very crisp and flavorful fries.

Our niece and nephew were with us, and they both got the kids' Chicken Tenders, which comes with a side.  Our nephew got fries for his side, and our niece got the loaded smashed potatoes.  She licked those potatoes clean.  She only ate one of her chicken tenders, but she loved the potatoes.  Our nephew ate all of his chicken tenders but didn't finish his fries.

My sister-in-law ordered the Club 9 which is described on the menu as "smoked turkey breast thinly sliced served with bacon, lettuce, tomato, and mayo."  Her sandwich also came with beans and fries.  She shared it with her husband.  It was huge.  They really debated on how to even bite into it, but they managed.

We were all too full for dessert, but the kids got dessert anyway.  The kids' meals come with a complimentary ice-cream sundae.  Once again, our niece licked her bowl clean.

I really liked 3 Stacks, and I would totally go back if I lived in Dallas.

Happy eating!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Rosa's Cafe

On Sunday, we were staying in Fort Worth, Texas with my husband's sister and her family.  We went to church with them that morning, and afterwards, we went to Rosa's Cafe with them and some of their church friends.

We got a bunch of tables, and several people stayed to watch the tables.  The rest of us went up to the counter to order.  I liked that there were pictures of the food so you had an idea what to expect.

I love salads, so I asked what the difference was between the fajita salad and the fiesta salad.  I was told that the fajita salad comes in a taco shell with beans and the fiesta salad doesn't.  I don't need beans or a taco shell, so I ordered the Fiesta Salad.  It comes with either chicken or beef, and I chose chicken.  The lady at the counter asked me if I wanted if I wanted iceberg or romaine lettuce, and I said romaine.  I really appreciated that they gave me the option.  It's also topped with tomatoes, cheese, meat, guacamole and sour cream.  I gave the guacamole to my husband because I'm not a huge guacamole fan.

There's also a salsa bar that has salad dressing, salsa and other things on it.  I grabbed some cilantro and salsa from that bar to add to my salad.  I didn't need salad dressing.  It was a really good salad.  I gobbled it up.

My husband ordered a combo.  He always loves a combo.  I don't know what all was on it, but he ate it all.  It came with a couple flour tortillas.  I ate one of them.  You can watch them make the tortillas fresh there.  They taste fresh.  They're slightly chewy, but that's not a bad thing.  They're soft and good even when just eaten by themselves.

It was a fun atmosphere, and we enjoyed eating there with family and friends.

Happy eating!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Sertino's Cafe

On Friday, my husband, mother-in-law and I only had time for a quick lunch, so we stopped at Sertino's Cafe in Port Arthur, Texas.  My first impression was that it reminded me of Panera Bread.  They have coffee, sandwiches, salads, and ice-cream.

I love salads, in case you can't tell from my blog posts, so I ordered the Chicken Salad, which is described on the menu as "mixed greens, chicken breast, cheddar cheese, tomatoes, peppers, red onion and choice of dressing."  I chose honey mustard dressing, which came on the side, which I prefer anyway; however, my overall impression of the salad was unimpressed.  It wasn't mixed greens; it was iceberg lettuce.  The tomatoes were just sliced not diced.  The cheese was just cut into chunks, not shredded.  It tasted good, and I ate it all, but I could've made a better salad at home.

My husband wanted to order the Pastrami sandwich, but the guy working there said they don't have pastrami anymore.  Instead, he ordered the Turkey Southwestern Club, which is described on the menu as "turkey, mozzarella, lettuce, tomatoes, red onion, guacamole, bacon, ranch dressing, and spices."  It was a hot sandwich, which he liked, and he wolfed it down.

My mother-in-law ordered the Turkey Cranberry deli sandwich, which is described as "turkey, cream cheese, cranberry, lettuce and mayo."  She ordered it on sourdough bread.  It was a big sandwich, and she wasn't hungry enough to finish, so my husband ate the other half.  My husband said that cranberry anything immediately makes him think of Thanksgiving.  The sandwich was cold, and he would've preferred it hot.

I don't think we'd go back to Sertino's.  The food wasn't impressive.  They have free wifi, and a lot of people go there to get online or work on homework, but I'd rather go to Panera Bread.

Happy eating!

Thursday, March 27, 2014


We don't have Cheddar's in L.A.  I grew up eating there when I lived in northern Ohio.  We'd go to the Cheddar's in Fort Wayne.  I remember eating their onion rings and chicken sandwiches.

We're visiting my husband's family in Texas, and last time we were here we ate at Cheddar's and had an amazing lunch combo during lunch time.  I didn't remember exactly what it came with; I just knew that I loved it.  This trip, I was really looking forward to eating at Cheddar's again.

We went to dinner at Cheddar's with my husband's mom (my mother-in-law).  I looked over the menu and wanted something healthy.  I assumed the Ultimate Lunch Combo wouldn't be available since it wasn't lunch time.  We asked the waiter, and he said we could get the combo.  It didn't even cost more during dinner time.

With the Ultimate Lunch Combo, you can either choose 2 items or 3 items from the following list: bowl of soup, house salad, loaded baked potato, half of double decker club, caesar salad, monte cristo sandwich, buffalo chicken wrapper.

My husband and I both ordered the Ultimate Lunch Combo and chose 3 items.  He chose a bowl of Baked Potato Soup, which is described on the menu as "made fresh in our kitchen from select potatoes, celery, onions, grated cheddar, bacon."  He also ordered a House Salad with homemade buttermilk ranch dressing on the side and the Buffalo Chicken Wrapper, which is described on the menu as "buffalo chicken tenders, (or regular tenders) cheddar cheese, cabbage, pickles, buttermilk ranch in a flour tortilla."  It also comes with a Honey-Butter Croissant.  He loved all of it and finished it all.  He especially loved the croissant.  It was warm with the honey-butter melted on top.  I tasted his buffalo chicken wrapper, and the chicken had a great flavor.

For my Ultimate Lunch Combo, I ordered a bowl of Chicken Tortilla Soup, which is described on the menu as "grilled chicken, tomatoes, onions simmered with Southwestern spices, grated cheddar cheese, tortilla strips."  I also chose a House Salad with fat-free ranch dressing on the side and half of the Double Decker Club, which is described on the menu as "potato bread, smoked ham, turkey, bacon, aged cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato and seasoned mayo."  I requested it without the mayo.  The soup was good, but there was only one piece of chicken in the entire bowl.  It was more like tortilla soup, not chicken tortilla soup.  The salad was your basic house salad, but it was good and refreshing.  I was under the false impression that the club would be warm not cold.  As a pregnant woman, I'm not supposed to eat deli meat, so I took one bite, realized my mistake, and gave the rest to my husband to eat.  That one bite was good, but I didn't want to chance it.  I also got a Honey-Butter Croissant.  I saved it to eat last, and it definitely tasted like dessert. 

My mother-in-law ordered the Hawaiian Chicken Salad, which is described on the menu as "marinated grilled chicken breast on fresh salad greens with pineapple, pico, tortilla strips, honey lime dressing."  She asked for the dressing on the side and loved the flavor.  She described the salad as the best salad she's ever had.  She couldn't rave about it enough.  Her salad also came with a Honey-Butter Croissant, but she's trying to cut down on carbs, so she let my husband eat her croissant, and he didn't argue.

It was a great meal.  The service was a little slow, but it was crowded at dinner time, so we understand that our waiter probably had a lot of tables to cover.  We probably won't make it to Cheddar's again during this visit to Texas, but we'll probably stop by next time we're in town.

Happy eating!

Floyd’s Cajun Seafood and Steakhouse

When my husband and I were visiting Texas in 2012, his mom and step-dad introduced us to Floyd’s Cajun Seafood and Steakhouse.  We like it so much that we make sure we eat there at least once when we’re visiting Beaumont, TX. 

I love spicy food.  I love Cajun food.  I love seafood.  If you love any those things, you’ll love Floyd’s!

My mother-in-law, husband and I went to Floyd’s for lunch today.  It was crowded, but we still got a table right away even though we were there around noon. 

They greeted us with a basket of garlic bread which they brought to the table.  I was pretty hungry and practically swooned when I smelled the garlic.  I had 3 pieces.  So unhealthy, but so delicious!

My mother-in-law and I both ordered the same thing.  From the lunch menu, we each ordered the Seafood Platter, which comes with 1 catfish fillet, 1 stuffed shrimp, 2 oysters and 2 fried shrimp.  You get your choice of everything either grilled or fried.  We both ordered everything fried except for the catfish which we ordered grilled.  The meal also comes with your choice of one side.  I chose green beans. She got a baked potato.  When our order was ready, she gave me her catfish, and I gave her my oysters.    I already knew I loved Floyd’s catfish from previous visits.  It’s so juicy and flavorful.  The fried shrimp was big and delicious.  I loved it dipped in the provided tarter sauce.   The stuffed shrimp was good.  I’m not sure what it’s stuffed with, but it kind of tastes like the stuffing you’d put in a turkey for Thanksgiving.  The grilled catfish was still my favorite.   But it was too much food.  I ended up getting a to-go box for one catfish fillet and most of the stuffed shrimp. My green beans were green beans.  I sprinkled them with some of the spicy seasoning blend that was on the table.  I’m not sure if it’s TexJoy or not, but it tastes like it.  There was bacon in the green beans, but it wasn’t crisp like I like, so I didn’t eat much of it.  I didn’t get a picture of my mother-in-law’s potato, but it was really big, and she filled it with butter and sour cream.  She mainly just filled up on the potato and oysters and brought the rest home with her.

My husband likes to eat unusual food, so he ordered the Fried Alligator, which was chopped up into bite-size pieces.  It came with a cream gravy, which he said tasted kind of cheesy.  He chose dirty rice for his side.  I asked him how he liked the alligator compared to the crocodile he had in Australia.  He said that he thought the alligator was juicier, so really, he liked it better, but he said, he likes being in Australia, so that gives the crocodile an edge.  He was trying not to eat too much, so he boxed up half of his food before he even started eating.  Wise man!

I hope we get a chance to go back to Floyd’s.  If so, I’m getting more catfish, and I wouldn’t mind trying the scallops.  I love visiting New Orleans, but I don’t think you get better Cajun food there than you do at Floyd’s.

Happy eating!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Pappa's BBQ

My husband’s from Texas, and we just flew back to visit his family and do some interviews for our company, CareerSighted.  His dad and step-mom picked us up from the airport in Houston, and before driving back to their house, we decided to stop for dinner.  My father-in-law suggested several restaurants, but as soon as we heard “BBQ” we were sold.  It’s hard to find good BBQ in Los Angeles, so we want to get our fill while we’re in Texas.

We drove over to Pappa’s BBQ.  My husband and I had never eaten there before. You walk through a line and order your food.  There’s a variety of pork, chicken, sandwiches and more.  Almost everything comes with 2 sides.  They fix your plate for you right behind the counter, so you hardly have to wait at all before you get your food.  That’s great if you’re hungry!  The servings are really big.  My husband and I totally should’ve shared.

My husband ordered the Rib Combo, which comes with 1 beef, 2 pork & 3 baby back ribs plus his choice of 2 sides.  For his sides, he got macaroni & cheese and spicy rice.  He loves ribs and raved about the ones at Pappa’s.  The mac & cheese was actually shells & cheese and looked nice and creamy.  I tasted his spicy rice just to see if it was actually spicy.  It was spicy. 

rib combo w/ rice and mac & cheese
I ordered the ½ chicken and pulled pork.  I wanted to get green beans for one of my sides, but they were all out of green beans at that moment.  Instead, I decided to trade in my two sides for a baked potato.  The lady at the counter asked me if I wanted butter and cheese on it.  I said just sour cream on the side, and she told me that sour cream is “on the bar.”  I had her give me butter on the side.  It was a huge potato, but the amount of butter she gave me (2 huge scoops) was still way too much.  I’m definitely glad I asked for it on the side!  At the fixins’ bar, I got sour cream and chives.  There’s nothing I like better on a baked potato than sour cream and chives!  The pulled pork was incredible.  The chicken was good, but if I have the opportunity to go to Pappa’s again, I’m totally just getting pulled pork!  It was served over a slice of white bread which really soaked in the pork flavor and was sinfully delicious.
1/2 chicken and pulled pork with baked potato

1/2 chicken and ribs with potato salad and coleslaw

My step-mother-in-law, ordered the rib combo. For her sides, she went with coleslaw and potato salad.  It was a lot of food, so she brought a rib home for later.
rib combo with potato salad and coleslaw

My father-in-law ordered the ½ chicken and ribs combo.  For his sides, he ordered coleslaw and potato salad.  He also asked for a plate of white bread which he ate with some of my extra butter.  Maybe it was due to the bread, but he wasn’t able to finish his meal either.  He brought half of the chicken home with him.

I hope it works out that we can eat at Pappa’s again before we leave Texas.  It’s the best BBQ I’ve had in a very long time. 

Happy eating!

Monday, March 24, 2014


served with baked fries, a salad and BBQ sauce

(This is another guest post from my husband.  He made amazing brisket a couple nights ago.  Our house smelled like a steakhouse!)

Growing up, my stepmother made the best brisket I've ever had.  The next time I go home to visit I'm going to see if she'll make it for us.  Jayne and I were in the grocery store a week or so ago, and I saw a 2.5 lbs. brisket, and I just wanted to make it.  I'd never cooked one myself, so this meant doing some research on the internet.  To my delight, it really was pretty simple. 


Brisket (2+ lbs.)
TexJoy (or seasoning)

Rub the brisket all over with TexJoy. 

Place it on a broiler pan, and cover the pan with foil. 

Cook at 250 degrees for an hour per pound.  Remove foil and cook an additional half hour.

Re-wrap brisket in foil, and let it rest outside the oven for 30 minutes.

Carve against the grain.

Happy eating!