Posts Tagged With: restaurant

Restaurant Review: Serrano’s Burgers, Arlington Texas

He came home from work last week with a handwritten map scrawled on piece of scrap paper. “We’ve got a new restaurant to try next time we’re in Arlington,” he told me, looking pretty pleased with himself. Truth is, he loves discovering new, out of the way, eateries as much as I do.

“What kind of place?” I asked.

“Burgers.”

I was quiet. Unless they’re homemade, I prefer a different type of meal. His one word answer conjured up thoughts of mass produced, cookie cutter fare on a sesame seed bun kind of meal. The recommendation had come from a co-worker he tells me, noting my silence.  Apparently, the two of them had be exchanging photos during a break at the factory, and after my guy had shared his Canadian vacation pictures, the other man shared some photographs he’d taken for the menu of his sister’s mom and pop restaurant. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and in this case, it had been enough to lead to a hastily hand drawn map.

The opportunity to check the place out came sooner, rather than later, as Saturday night had us making our way through Game Day traffic on I-30 to attend the Arlington Music Hall Rock ‘n’ Roll Revue show. We’d left a little earlier so we could try out Serrano’s Burgers first, before attending the show.

We had been warned that it was a small place, easily missed if you aren’t looking and sure enough, as our GPS announced that we’d arrived, a quick look around from left to right had us scratching our heads and doubling back to take a closer look. We finally found the location, in the center of a small strip mall,  cozily tucked away between a Hispanic Pentecostal Church and Jackson’s Groceries.

I’ve eaten out enough to know that one should never judge a restaurant by its exterior, so we were undaunted by the nondescript facade that greeted us. Inside, the venue was indeed as tiny as promised. “So small you’d have to go outside to change your mind” is the phrase that is most apt. The decor was pleasant, despite the size, with eye pleasing colors and wall coverings, that let you know this was not your typical fast food restaurant. There were four tables with ladder back chairs on one side of the small room, and an ordering counter on the back wall that displayed a large colorful menu sign overhead. A flat screen television set tuned into the customary sports network channel hung on an opposite wall. There were only two other groups dining when we entered, so we were in luck as far as finding a place to eat.

We approached the counter. For those of you who have been served by people who are irritated that they’ve had to leave an intense text conversation in order to do their job, you’ll know just what I mean when I tell you how pleased we were to be served by a  very hospitable young man, who patiently waited while we decided what to order.

The pictures on the menu board were indeed as mouth watering as I’d been told. Serranos serves meals all day long from breakfast tacos, to a lighter lunch menu that includes street tacos (pork, steak or lengua (tongue))  and tortas, as well as a selection of burgers. The house burger is the Serrano Burger, which included both serrano and jalapeno peppers.

“Are Serrano peppers hot?” I asked, my green Northern upbringing shining brightly for all to see.

A man sitting at the table directly behind where we stood, injected with one word “Hot!” Judging by his obvious southern drawl and wide opened eyes as he uttered the single word, I quickly concluded that the house burger was best left for the more daring.  We both settled for the Bacon Cheeseburgers for a very reasonable $6.50 each, that included fries and sat at a table.

The friendly man behind the counter, soon brought out or drinks, which earned further bonus points with me. This was definitely not a McBurger place. He reappeared again shortly after that, with the order for another table, and took the time to come and tell us that our meal would be right up. He was right.

Now — just because the service was fast, let me promise you this was far from assembly line fast food fare. The meat is apparently not frozen which explains the quick turnaround time from order to table.

The burgers are handmade and the bacon is real. The over-sized buns were grilled and the produce used for the toppings was crisp and fresh. The serving sizes are more than ample for an evening meal. This was no sissy burger, but rather, an honest to goodness, two handed masterpiece that had me sighing contentedly after one bite. The fries were seasoned, and definitely not greasy. This was a five star burger served in a down home, mom and pop establishment, that I hope will be around for years to come.

After dropping just a little over $14.00 for two platters and two drinks, for a meal that was as delicious and fresh as it would have been if I’d made it at home, coupled with prompt, friendly service from someone who seemed genuinely happy to take our order, I know we’ll be going back again very soon.  This is hands down the best burger I have eaten anywhere, ever.

Serrano’s Burgers is located at 1821 S. Fielder Road, in Arlington, Texas.

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Restaurant Review: Drew’s Place

Drew’s Place Serves Up Home Cookin’ Southern Style

When I go out to eat, I prefer to feel as if I’m eating at home. I want to feel welcomed and I want the food to taste as if it came from someone’s kitchen, as opposed to out of a box or container and heated in the microwave.

We’d been meaning to try Drew’s Place out for awhile, but we usually remembered on a Sunday, which left us disappointed, since its the one day of the week that the restaurant is not opened. When you consider that it’s family owned and operated, it makes admirable sense. Finally this past Saturday we found the doors open, and the lunch hour rush had passed.

Criteria Number One was met as soon as we walked in the door, as were led to a table by a waitress with a welcoming smile, and a warm demeanor. It was as if we were guests in her home.

 We ordered sweet tea, and by the time she arrived back at our table with mere minutes later, we knew what we wanted to order. The menu had no shortage of southern favorites – fried chicken, catfish and pork-chops, but we had our heart set on the special we’d seen on the sign outside the front door — chicken fried steak.  The special stood out to us for two reasons. First, chicken fried steak is one of our favorite eat-out choices, and secondly the special of $7.99 included our sweet tea. As experienced diners, we knew that most restaurants more than made up for the discounted specials, with the prices they charged for the beverages.

Choosing the sides was a little more difficult – we had a choice of two each, and narrowing it down wasn’t easy, when presented with choices such as collard greens, mac n cheese, and beans. In the end I we both chose the mashed potato and I settled on the candied yams, and my dining companion chose fried okra. We had a choice of cream or brown gravy, and cornbread or toast, as well.

In a matter of the same amount of time that it took for our sweet tea to be served, our dinner was brought out from the kitchen. The chicken fried steaks were each served on its own plate, with the sides individually accompanying them, on another. We were both pleasantly surprised and appreciative that the mashed potatoes were cooked just the way we like them, fried – just like Grandma used to make them. The candied yams were delightful and the fried okra, a vegetable side that we find difficult to master, and easy to ruin, was wonderful. I could tell my partner was enjoying himself, because he didn’t utter a single word to me until we’d finished eating and then, he did something completely out of character — he ordered dessert – a lovely, moist, to-die-for piece of chocolate cake for us to share.


In the end, we both walked out with full bellies and a smile, and our wallet was only just under twenty dollars emptier. We’ll be going back very soon.

If you’re looking for a meal, that makes you feel as if you’ve been invited to sit in at friend’s dinner table – I recommend Drew’s Place whole-heartedly. The service is friendly, without being overbearing, the prices can’t be beat and the food is as good as Grandma makes! It’s the kind of place friends recommend to friends.

Drew’s Place is located at 5701 Curzon Avenue  Fort Worth, TX  and their phone number is (817) 735-4408.

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Restaurant Review: Tres Joses

Tex-Mex restaurants are everywhere in Texas, and it is my personal mission to visit as many of them as I can.  They come in all shapes and sizes and aside from the fast food versions, I love them all. I particularly love the roadside taquerias, but sometimes I’m in the mood for a sit down and be served kind of meal.  One night last week it was simply too hot for this Northern girl to cook, so we rooted through the coupons that came in our monthly ValPak envelope, and found a ‘buy one get one free entree’ at Tres Joses. Perfect. Out the door we went.

Pulling up in the parking lot, I had a suspicion we’d made the right choice judging by the numerous cars, although I was bit concerned about not finding a table during the peak hours of evening dining. Worries were gone the moment we walked through the brightly painted front door. The dining area was vast and although there were many people already enjoying their meal, we were escorted to a table immediately.

Our waiter appeared moments after we were seated, took our drink orders and noticed the coupon on the table. He asked us to sign it, and then disappeared.  I have to admit I had concerns about getting less than prime service after that, but I couldn’t have been more wrong, because he quickly appeared with a large basket of warm tortilla chips, and a bowl of salsa and another of a black bean dip. Honestly – I could have made a meal of this alone. The chips were sprinkled with what we suspect might have been paprika, giving them a great spiced up flavor that didn’t compete, but complimented the salsa and amazingly flavorful bean dip.

Our meals were delivered within a very reasonable time, and lived up to our expectations and then some. I had ordered a chicken enchilada entree, Carlitos and my companion had decided to try the Chile Renello de la Casa.  Both were excellent.

Chile Renello de la Casa

Carlitos (Chicken Enchiladas)

Our first visit to Tres Joses will not be our last. The service was not only efficient, but friendly and the food was superb. The prices on the menu were extremely reasonable and even without the coupon our meal would have been well within our working man budget. We will be back.

Tres Joses is located at 4004 White Settlement Rd, Fort Worth, TX

Phone: 817-763-0456
http://www.tresjosestexmex.com/

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