Monday, November 23, 2015

Pink Magnolia

Pink Magnolia has been getting a lot of press since it opened in September.  After reading several reviews from local publications and seeing many pictures of the featured dishes, this restaurant went to the top of my "Must Dine List".  I was finally able to dine there on a recent weekend and I must say that I was quite impressed with Blythe Beck's new restaurant, despite the unassuming location in the Bishop Arts District.
Patio Area
The place was packed when we arrived and despite having reservations, we still had to wait about twenty minutes to get seated.  This is not an uncommon predicament at hot new restaurants, so we enjoyed a seat outside on the patio and enjoyed some libations on a nice fall evening.  After being seated, we ordered the Lobster Jalapeño Hush Puppies as an appetizer.  Although  I didn't intend to share, my wife helped me devour these amazing delicacies, which were served with a delicious Creole mustard aioli.  These hush puppies were a nice twist to traditional hush puppies and definitely set the bar high for the remainder of the meal.
Lobster Jalapeno Hush Puppies
For my main course, the Chicken Fried Ribeye beckoned me to order it and I obliged.  The batter was outstanding and the steak was a tender as any I have ever had.  A knife wasn't even necessary to use and I was able to eat the entire dish with a fork.  This chicken fried steak was amongst the best I have ever had in DFW, but the cream corn and beer braised mustard greens were up to the task of complimenting the dish.  Both the sides were extremely flavorful and I didn't leave a single bite on my plate.
Chicken Fried Ribeye
My wife ordered the Pan Seared Texas Redfish and it was equally incredible.  The fish was perfectly seared and seasoned to perfection.  It sat atop a very tasty side of lobster dirty rice, which did not skimp on the lobster.  The dish also came with a side of spinach, which was the only side that we didn't love.  The spinach was not bad, but I would have preferred it be sautéed a little longer and had a little less garlic.
Pan Seared Texas Redfish
The highly recommended Chocolate Fudge Waffle was ordered for dessert.  The waffle itself only had a mild chocolate flavor, but it  had a flavorful chocolate ganache that was drizzled over the waffle, peanut butter ice cream, and seared bananas foster.  Overall, the flavors went well together and I would have no problems ordering it again.  Although I enjoyed the dessert, I was slightly envious of the table next to us, which ordered the Maker's Mark Banana Pudding.  
Chocolate Fudge Waffle
Although we only sampled a small portion of the overall dinner menu, we really enjoyed the food we tried at Pink Magnolia.  The service was equally incredible and the staff was both friendly and informative.  After dining here, it is easy to see why the DFW foodie world is buzzing about this new restaurant!

Pink Magnolia
Livin the Good Life Rating=4
Pink Magnolia Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Soulman's Bar-B-Que

Watching football games is one of the few things I enjoy as much as eating barbecue.  Rarely do I get to enjoy both in the same evening, but I was able to do so on a night when I went to a high school football game in Allen, Texas.  I knew that a location of Soulman's Bar-B-Que was close to the stadium, so I popped in there prior to the game.

I wanted to try several meat options, so I ordered the three meat plate with turkey, pulled pork, and hot links.  If you read my blog, then you know that I rarely go to a barbecue joint in Texas without ordering brisket, but I decided to pass on brisket this night because the brisket on the block was lean and had all of the fat and most of the bark cut away.  The turkey was not good at all and had the texture and flavor of sandwich meat.  The hot links were fairly ordinary, but did have a little spice to them.  The pulled pork was the best of the three, but was far from great.
3 Meat Plate-Pulled Pork, Turkey, and Hot Link
The sides were a mixed bag for me.  The beans were bland and required the addition of salt and pepper.  I also had the cream corn, which was actually quite good and was the best item I tried on this evening.  It had  great flavor and had just enough peppers in it to give it a Texas kick.  The Texas toast was cold, stale, and needed more butter.
Banana Pudding
Soulman's has three different desserts available: Pecan Pie, Buttermilk Pie, and Banana Pudding.  I tried the Banana Pudding and felt it was lacking much of a banana flavor and had more whipped cream than pudding.  This place was not very busy on the night I visited, but it still took me over seven minutes to get through the line, despite the fact there were only two other people in front of me.  This place was a huge disappointment and will not get a return visit from me.

Soulman's Bar-B-Que
Livin the Good Life Rating=1

Soulman's Bar-B-Que Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

Saturday, November 7, 2015


My wife and I recently celebrated our ninth wedding anniversary.  We usually try to celebrate by gorging ourselves on massive amounts of high quality food, but this year we were just back from some heavy dining during our vacation and were looking for a place that was both tasty and low in calories.  Having heard great things about Rise and their soufflés,  we decided to venture into Dallas and see what this casual bistro had to offer.
Marshmallow Soup
The Marshmallow Soup came highly recommended by our waitress, so we followed her advice and promptly ordered it.  The soup's name is somewhat misleading, because it is actually a tomato bisque with lumps of goat cheese that look like marshmallows and topped with pesto.  The soup was had a very rich flavor and tasted like it may have had a hint of carrots as well.  We both enjoyed this unique soup and the breadstick that accompanied it.
Southwest Chicken 
For my main course, I ordered the Southwest Chicken Soufflé which was topped with tomatillo sauce.  This was my first time eating a soufflé and it was really good, but somewhat bland except for the tomatillo sauce.  My wife ordered the speciality soufflé, which was Corn and Serrano Pepper.  I liked the taste of this one as well, but once again felt it was somewhat bland and a little more spongy than I anticipated.  My wife assured me that this was normal for these dishes and after reading up on soufflés when I got home, I found that this was quite normal and that most have a very "mild" flavor.
Corn and Serrano Pepper
The dessert soufflés were my favorite part of the meal.  My wife had the Praline and I had the Chocolate.  Both were very good, but I felt the chocolate was phenomenal.  The chocolate sauce that topped it was fantastic and I could have drunk a gallon of the thick sauce.  These dessert soufflés are not to be missed when dining here. 
We enjoyed our first experience at Rise and felt it was a perfect place for a romantic night out.  The friendly waitress was extremely helpful and the ambiance of the restaurant was perfect.  A great thing about this place is that you can have a fantastic date night here, but it is also casual and will not break the bank either.

Livin the Good Life Rating=3
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Sunday, November 1, 2015

Prairie House Restaurant

Driving home from a quick trip to West Texas, my wife and I decided to grab a bite to eat at Prairie House Restaurant in Cross Roads, Texas.  This restaurant, which is located on 380 between Denton and Little Elm, is always busy whenever we pass by.  Since the parking lot is always packed, we decided to stop on this trip and try the cuisine.
Dining area and bar
I was pleased to see that they had Burnt Ends as an appetizer.  Burnt Ends are a barbecue item that I cannot turn down and are absolutely amazing when done correctly.  Unfortunately, the burnt ends at this restaurant were a disappointment.  The burnt ends were from the point end of the brisket and had a decent smoke ring, but they were extremely chewy and were seriously lacking in the bark department.  
Burnt Ends
For my main meal, I ordered the Chicken Fried Steak with fries and onion rings.  The onion rings themselves were great, but the chicken fried steak was not tender and the batter was not cooked evenly.  The steak cut fries were horrible in flavor and tasted like they had been sitting under a heating lamp for a considerable amount of time.  My wife ordered the catfish basket and neither of us were impressed with the catfish, which was really bland.
Chicken Fried Steak 
The food at the Prairie House Restaurant was extremely disappointing, but the service was worse.  Our server rarely checked on us and left me without refills on drinks for the duration of my meal.  Instead of checking on customers, the wait staff preferred to gather in groups and talk amongst themselves for most of the time we were there.  There will not be a return visit for me and I cannot recommend this place.

Prairie House Restaurant
Livin the Good Life Rating=1
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