Family Friend and Hero

Eddie Yaklin, a long time family friend to the rescue



Old Song, New Twist


Do you like Miles Fisher? His latest EP marks a new… peak… of professionalism. This is his take on David Byrne’s, This Must Be The Place. A great, great song. And a personal favorite. Brandon



More Than Just a Steak

al biernat's logo

Walking into Al Biernat’s, you immediately find yourself in the bar starring up at the large domed ceiling debating what to drink.  There is always a crowd gathered here and pushing past them to the host stand can sometimes be a chore.  Our group was large so it was going to take a little while before we could be seated.   We ordered drinks and ended up stepping outside onto the patio so that we could hear each other without shouting over the noise from the other patrons.

Our table was ready quickly and we were escorted to the middle of the dining room.  The people watching was spectacular, from sugar daddies with young scantily clad women to full tables of gorgeous 20-30 something’s spending their paychecks on fine food and drink.   Our waiter was very attentive and knowledgeable, especially considering the larger than average size of our party (18 can be a nightmare).

For starters, the grilled tiger prawns with jalapeno cilantro aioli were delicious.  The char grill taste was complimented by the cilantro dipping sauce and really blended the dish together nicely.  The raspberry garlic salad was a bit overwhelming to the palette with the pungent aroma of garlic lingering long after the dishes had been removed from the table.

For the second course, the majority of diners ordered the Prime Rib.  Al Biernat’s has long been known for their generous cuts of tender Prime Rib and tonight’s was no exception.  The meat was nicely marbled, cooked to perfection, and had a fantastic flavor around the meats outer edge.  The sides, twice-baked potatoes were small and reminiscent of TGI Fridays, although tasty it was unfortunate for a restaurant with such amazing mains to have such ugly spuds.  The North Atlantic salmon with wasabi crust probably stole the show, shocking me in a restaurant where I have never ventured beyond the steak section on the menu.  It was beautifully tender with a mild hint of wasabi and lots of great flavor.  The pasta puttanesca with scallops was good, not great with large diver scallops tossed amongst the linguini.

For dessert, we sampled the chocolate bread pudding.  It was dryer than it should have been and the crust was almost too hard to break through without using a knife.  The Pecan pie on the other hand was scrumptious a la mode packed with lots of pecans and gooey brown sugar.  We also sampled the coconut crème pie, which was heralded around the table as the best dessert.  Light and airy it was the perfect way to end our meal.  Again props to the service staff who did not gripe when the meal came to an end, accommodating 16 different credit cards and separating cocktails and wine out by person as well.



A Truism


(973): Coffee is gods way of saying go ahead, get absolutly trashed on weeknights, I got your back



Naughty Dinner

Central 214 logo

Last night we dined at Central 214.  Upon arriving, we were surrounded by a crowd of young hipsters with gelled hair and tightly fitting clothing.  The space was vibrant and excitable, filled with lots of voices carrying on their own conversations at different tables and corners of the bar.  We waited in a short line to speak to the host, who informed us they had lost our reservation.  Quickly, some of the excitement began to flee the room as we took seats and ordered drinks in the bar.  Within 15 minutes, the host came back to us and told us he had found us a table and promptly ushered us to the main table in the center of the dining room.

After sitting down and finally catching our breath, we noticed multiple camera crew running around the kitchen and following waiters through out the dining room.  After inquiring with our waiter, we found out that Chef Blythe Beck, and Kitchen 214 is starring in a new reality TV show on Oxygen Network this fall called Naughty Kitchen.  The naughty refers to some of her dishes and the amount of butter, sugar, and deep fry treatment that they receive.

The waiter brought us fresh bread and the traditional salted butter compliment but with a twist.  For something different, he also brought pimento cheese and trout salad (fancier than tuna) to slather onto the bread.  The most difficult part of the meal followed, which was selecting what to order off the menu.  Everything sounded fabulous and the smells coming from the kitchen were to die for.

Around the table, we started with a medley of appetizers.  The shrimp and cayenne deviled eggs were cooked to perfection with the cayenne pepper on the side to be added at your discretion. The fried green tomatoes with shrimp remoulade were exquisite.  The panko crust was light and not overbearing, perfectly containing the slightly salty green tomatoes inside.  The iceberg blue cheese wedge was also delicious and had a suspicious smokiness I couldn’t quite put my finger on.

For the second course, everybody ordered the diver sea scallops.  The portion was small with only 2 scallops per plate, but the texture was terrific.  The caramelization on top and bottom was flawless and the prosciutto and arugula salad made a nice and light compliment to the dish.  The other dish at the table was the pan seared Strip Loin.  Cutting into the steak it was perfectly medium-rare, and was a tender peace of meat.

For dessert we tried all 3 offering.  The naughty and nice cookies and milk hit the spot with soft chewy cookies and a glass of bourbon infused chocolate milk to wash them down.  The fried peach pie tasted more like a churro then a peach pie, but was still delectable.   The chocolate trifle cake was my least favorite of the three, but I still give it a strong thumbs-up if you like chocolate.

At one point in the meal the cameras and chef came by our table to check on us.  She was very jolly and excited and wanted to make sure we were enjoying our meal.  In conclusion, the food was superb, the portions a bit small, and the service a bit slow.  All in all the dinner was a huge success, and who knows, you might see me on my Oxygen Network debut!

Chef Blythe


First, but not in taste…

cafe Pacific Logo

Last night I went to Cafe Pacific in Highland Park Village.  The antique appeal was quaint and inviting.  Looking around the room, the avg clientelle was older, drinking wine and chomping on lobster tails.  There was an elderly couple next to us celebrating their 50th anniversary while showing every waiter, maiter D, and sommelier, a picture they had brought with them of their first anniversary.  I wouldn’t go as far to say romantic, but it definately has an elegant charm.

The three course tasteing menu offereing was as follows…

for a starter your choice of:

  • Vichyssoise, a cold potato leek soup
  • Salmon Spring Rolls in a Mango Sweet and Sour Sauce
  • House Salad

For a main course:

  • Braised Short Ribs with Shrimp and Spicy Polenta
  • Hawaian Hebe with Cold Asian Noodles
  • Seared Chicken Stuffed w/ Goat Cheese and Mushrooms

For dessert:

  • Lemon Sorbet
  • Pecan Ball (vanilla ice cream rolled in pecans w/ chocolate sauce)

As we sat down, our table was onslaught by sweet potato shoe strings.  Although messy, they were warm and seasoned to perfection.  Shortly after, perfect martinis arrived with bread for the table.  We had an off-menu appetizer, the nightly special, a personal favorite, Oysters Rockefellar.  These delectible oysters were made with the utmost care, and the gooey cheese and fresh spinach stuffing was to die for.  This was followed with tasty, slightly better than average house salads and our salmon spring rolls.  They had a nice crunch and lots of asian flavor.  Nobody tried the soup.

Next was the main course.  As for the braised short ribs, they were tender but they lacked in taste.  The three miniscule shrimp on top were almost insulting.  The best part of the dish was the spicy polenta mixed with the short rib au jus to say the least.  The Hawaiian Hebe on the other hand, shameful they only had one fish offering at CAFE PACIFIC, was dry, dull, and tasteless.  It lacked any color but well done and was complimented by spicy and cold noodles.  The dish was a weak expression of seafood from a restaraunt that vies to be a top contender in that category.  Nobody opted for the chicken.

For dessert it was an overwhelming majority to get the pecan balls.  They were, hands down, the second best part of the meal, just behind the Oysters.  They creaminess of the ice cream was complimented by the texture of the chopped pecans and fabulous chocolate sauce.

Although I feel our dinner was subpar, we did order off a restaurant week menu.  I am of the opinion the menu should have excelled where it failed thinking they would have the opportunity to impress more first time diners and gather a larger clientele base.  After all I have said, I would be willing to go back.  Deep down, I believe, it has to be bettter.  Unfortunately for me and my fellow diners, maybe the kitchen was just having an off night.



Restaurant Week begins…

Dallas Restaurant week begins and I have plans to eat my way across this great city.  I plan to keep you updated on my findings.


Umm, almost as funny as getting a crick in your neck while jogging

  1. Jen: ok please explain to me why there's a bottle of lube in our supply room?
  2. me: nooners.
  3. Jen: haha excuse me?
  4. me: or morners. which is a nooner only sooner.



I think part of a best friend’s job should be to immediately clear your computer history if you die.

(via susieoz)



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