Saturday, February 21, 2015

Cavalli Pizza

Several years ago (pre-blogging days), my family and I visited Cavalli Pizza in McKinney's Adriatica Village.  We enjoyed the visit to the Neapolitan style pizzeria and thought the food was good, but for some inexplicable reason, we haven't dined their since that visit.  My oldest daughter wanted to go grab dinner one night, so I took her to Cavalli Pizza.  
My dinner date for the evening
We asked to be seated on the patio, but my daughter got cold and we asked to move inside.  When finally situated,  I ordered the Pizzette Fritte for an appetizer.  Pizzette Fritte is fried pizza dough topped marinara, basil, and shaved Parmesan.  It was my first time trying this particular dish and I liked it from first bite. I particularly liked the sweet flavor of the fried dough, but I also liked the freshly shaved Parmesan and marinara as well.
Pizzette Fritte
For pizza, I ordered the "Smoky".  This pizza had fresh mozzarella, smoked mozzarella, San Marzano tomato sauce, grilled chicken, and bacon.  I have to say that this was one of the better pizzas that I have had with chicken as a topping.  The flavor of the smoked mozzarella and bacon really gave the pizza a burst of flavor.  My daughter ordered the kid's sized "New York", which was topped with mozzarella, tomato sauce, basil, and olive oil.  Her pizza was pretty basic and wasn't near as flavorful as the one I inhaled.
The Smoky
The New York
For dessert, we tried the S'Mores calzone.  The dessert was stuffed with nutella and topped with large marshmallows.  This dessert was savory, but not as good as similar ones I have had elsewhere.
S'Mores Calzone
I enjoyed my second visit to Cavalli Pizza.  The pizza is tasty and the service was very good as well.  This restaurant also has a nice patio area in the back.  The patio area has a view of Adriatica Village and would be a great place to dine on a pretty day.  While this pizzeria is very good and one of my favorite pizza joints in McKinney, I am not sure that I would put it in my top three Collin County pizza joints.   If you are in McKinney and want an authentic Neapolitan Pizza joint, you cannot go wrong by giving this place a try.

Cavalli Pizza
Livin the Good Life Rating=3
Cavalli Pizzeria on Urbanspoon

Friday, February 13, 2015

Perry's Steakhouse and Grille

It has become a yearly tradition for my wife to take me out on a dinner date for my birthday.  My wife claims that I am hard to shop for, but she knows that I will always appreciate a good meal.  Unfortunately, we waited a little long to make reservations and my two favorite restaurants were booked.  We decided to go to plan B and try Perry's Steakhouse and Grille.  The Frisco location of Perry's opened up in late 2014 and we were looking forward to trying the restaurant's second DFW location.
Dining Area
We started our dinner date by splitting the crab cake appetizer.  The dish came with two crab cakes of medium size and were cooked perfectly.  The breading had great flavor and they were served with an excellent buttery-flavored sauce.
Crab Cakes
The Perry's Famous Pork Chop came highly recommended by several people, so I knew I had to order it on this visit.  It arrived as one of the biggest pieces of cooked pork I have ever seen, but our waiter carved it up table side and cut it into manageable pieces.  The pork chop was very tender,  had exceptional flavor, and was one of the top 3 pork chops I have ever eaten, but it was very fatty.  I love great marbling on beef, but don't care for excessive fat on my pork.  Considering the fact that it costs as much as a steak, I highly doubt I would order this item again.  That being said, I am still glad that I ordered it so I could see what all the fuss was about. 
Perry's Famous Pork Chop
My wife ordered the filet and it was cooked to a perfect medium rare.  As you might expect, the filet was very lean and extremely tender, but I particularly liked the flavor of the melted butter on the pepper-crusted steak.  I love steak and if I had to do it over again, I would have ordered a steak instead of this very good pork chop.
For our sides, we ordered roasted cream corn and the night's special, which was lobster mac n' cheese.  The cream corn was excellent and had some peppers to spice it up, but the lobster mac n' cheese was disappointing considering the fact it alone cost as much as many entrees.  The lobster mac n' cheese was seriously lacking in the lobster department and was flavorless to boot.
Roasted Cream Corn and Lobster Mac n' Cheese
For dessert we ordered the Rocky Road Bread Pudding.  My wife loves bread pudding and I love chocolate, so we thought it was the perfect compromise.  The butterscotch bread pudding was packed with chocolate chips and topped with a caramel sauce, candied walnuts, and the biggest house-made marshmallow I have ever seen.  This dessert was huge, but neither of us could stop eating it.  This was the most delicious item we had all night and the best dessert I have had so far in 2015.
Rocky Road Bread Pudding
Overall, I was very impressed with the service and the restaurant is a beautiful venue.  For the most part, the food was very good as well.  I was somewhat disappointed with the high fat content on the famous pork chop and was very disappointed in the Lobster Mac n' Cheese, but the appetizer and dessert more than made up for it.  The food, the location of the restaurant, and the great service should keep this restaurant very busy.

Perry's Steakhouse and Grille
Livin the Good Life Rating=3
Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille on Urbanspoon

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Wild Burger Grille

While visiting family in Lubbock, I decided to get out of the house and run a few errands.  After getting all the items that I needed, I knew that I wanted to have lunch somewhere and wanted to try some place that I had not tried before.  After browsing Urbanspoon, I decided to try out a burger joint, Wild Burger Grille.

I ordered a 1/2 pound bacon cheeseburger with fries that I ordered "wild", with cheese bacon and chives.  The patty was extremely juicy and had great flavor.  The bacon was cut into smaller pieces, which was nice because I got the taste of bacon in every bite.  My decision to upgrade my fries to cheese fries was also a good one.  The house cut fries were delicious and topped with plenty of bacon and cheese.  The burger and fries were both great and the portion was even big enough to fill up a big guy like me.
Bacon Cheeseburger and Cheese Fries
My first visit to Wild Burger Grille was a good one.  I really enjoyed the burger and fries that I had and really want to try some of the specialty burgers on their menu.  The service was great and the kitchen gets your burger out quickly.  This place place serves up a quality burger and I see a return visit next time that I visit Lubbock.

Wild Burger Grille
Livin the Good Life Rating=3
Wild Burger Grille on Urbanspoon

Rodeo Goat

Many of my friends from the Fort Worth area have been raving about the greatness of the burgers at Rodeo Goat.  Although I rarely travel to Fort Worth these days, the restaurant has been on my radar, especially when I found out that the owners were going to open a Dallas location of the popular burger joint.  The location in Big D finally opened in mid-January and I actually dined their on the first weekend they were open.
Kitchen Area
My brother was with me on this visit to Rodeo Goat and we decided to start with the Cheese Fries No Surprise, which includes cheese, bacon, and jalapeƱos (which we asked for on the side).  They also have a Cheese Fries Surprise, which also includes brisket chili on top.  The cheese fries were awesome and were better than any I have had in the last couple of years.  
Cheese Fries No Surprise
The restaurant has a large selection of burgers and several that are not on the Fort Worth Menu.  The burger I ordered was called the Terlingua and was topped with Havarti cheese, brisket chili, onions, corn chips, and garlic-herb mayo.  I rarely get burgers topped with chili, but this burger was highly flavorful and was easily one of the top ten burgers I have had in DFW.  My brother ordered the Nanny Goat (basic burger) and gave it a big thumbs up as well.  The hand cut fries were also delicious.
Terlingua Burger
I also ordered a Pecan Fried Pie, which was another good decision. The crust was perfectly cooked, flavorful, and topped with powdered sugar.  The pecan pie filling inside was piping hot and had great flavor.  I quickly devoured this delectable treat, even though I was stuffed from the cheese fries, burger, and more fries.
Pecan Fried Pie
Did Rodeo Goat live up to the hype?  Absolutely.  I foresee many future visits to this burger joint and there are many burgers on the menu that I want to try out.  The service was very good, especially considering the fact that it was opening weekend.  I can't wait to go back to Rodeo Goat.

Rodeo Goat
Livin the Good Life Rating=4
Rodeo Goat on Urbanspoon