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MEMPHIIS’ OLDEST CAFE…

August 15, 2012 Leave a comment

Our last day in Memphis began as gray and rainy….we dodged raindrops on our way to the rental car and began to look for our next food destination…

It was called The Arcade…and it claimed to be Memphis’ oldest cafe…and while it wasn’t a Triple D spot it was featured on Man vs. Food….

ADAM WAS HERE…

We drove through the wet streets of downtown…. it took a little bit but with the aid of our GPS we found it….we parked on the street, made our way in and out of the rain…

We were shown our seats and it was apparent from the first few moments that this place ooooozed history….kinda steppin’ into a time machine back to the days when cafe’s ruled America….you could tell not much had changed since back in the day and it was very cool to be in a place that had been around for…..ever….

The waitress brought our menus and took our drink order….we both went with coffee and water….

As we looked through the breakfast choices we found it hard to choose….there were some wonderful items listed and it was here that you might come to understand the problem with a Food Tour…..as much as you might want to “PIG-OUT’ at a particular joint, you know that just a few hours later you’ll be sitting in another spot having to choose from their menu…..

So, you have to learn to temper  your appetite and not go “HOG-WILD” so to speak…

I found something called the Redneck Breakfast…..four biscuits with four sausages covered in country gravy, two eggs, hash browns and I added a side of bacon….

The Wife went with the World Famous Sweet Potato Pancakes…..they came with hash browns and a side of bacon…

While we waited for our food we chatted about Graceland and how good the fried chicken at Uncle Lou’s had been….it had been a great trip so far…..and we still had Nashville on our horizon….

Our grub showed up and I wasted no time in digging into my gravy covered sausage and biscuits…..yummy for my tummy……this was great stuff…..the gravy was creamy and thick….the sausage had a little spice bite to it and the biscuit was light and flakey……Mee-Ma would have been dang proud…..

I sliced into my over-easy eggs and was about to begin mixing everything together on my plate when I got the sound…..just a foot or two from where I was about jump off into Eatsville…..a throat cleared……I stopped…..my fork hovering mid-air…..I looked up and saw the “I want a taste” look….I smiled and asked…..”Want some?”……

We both sliced off sections for the other to try and I must admit I’m glad she insisted on trading bites…..her sweet potato pancakes were delicious….an unusual taste…..but a very good unusual taste……the sweet potato mix with the warm maple syrup……worked very well together….

I really wanted to clean my plate but was reminded we had a BBQ lunch not too far down the road….one last spot to try in Memphis before hitting the road for Music City, USA…..so, I dropped my fork and chunked my napkin in my almost cleaned plate…..

It was really neat to eat in a place that not only offered great food but had a historical tie to it’s city…Memphis is steeped in history….being a true Son of the South, I appreciate its rich southern heritage……and to be seated in a place that has such deep roots makes one stop and think…..think of all the people that passed through the doors…..history is very cool…..

Memphis is a great place to visit….and The Arcade is a must….

Now for the Brisket Picture of the Week…..

Ok……here’s one more…..

http://www.arcaderestaurant.com/

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THE MOST IMPORTANT MEAL OF THE DAY…

January 23, 2012 4 comments

Those who claim to be nutritional experts tell us that Breakfast is the “MOST IMPORTANT MEAL OF THE DAY”….and while I would never think of myself as an expert in maintaining a proper diet or even what to eat and when you should eat it…..I do have my own philosophy on MEALTIME…

To me…the “MOST IMPORTANT MEAL OF THE DAY’ is your “NEXT” meal….I mean who hasn’t been starving at some point in the day and just couldn’t wait to sit down to lunch or dinner???

At that point how important is your breakfast??

I get that Breakfast might be a determining factor in what sort of day you may have….starting the day with a good Breakfast gives one the right “KICK IN THE PANTS” to get off on the right foot….but to me whatever meal is approaching is the “MOST IMPORTANT MEAL”….

And this brings us to what makes up a “GOOD BREAKFAST”….again I bet what the “EXPERTS” say and what FatJoe says are night and day….my idea of a “GOOD BREAKFAST” involves eggs, pancakes, potatoes, bread and lots and lots of pork…..bacon would be #1 on that list….

The FatJoe-EE of the day is who served the best “GOOD BREAKFAST” in the Year of Our Lord….2011….three of my choices come from Hawaii …..sorry I know it’s a haul over there….but The Best is The Best….

#5 – Stuffed French Toast, Splasher’s Grill (Kona)…Hawaiian Sweet  Bread stuffed with cream cheese, covered in warm berries and coconut….with 2 eggs and bacon

#4 – Pancakes and Bacon, Victor’s Deli (Houston)…Everything here is great….but the pancakes are huge and delicious

#3 – Peppered Bacon and Red Potato Omelet, The Black Walnut (The Woodlands)…Fluffy eggs filled with spicy bacon,  potatoes, red onions, sour cream and two kinds of cheese

#2 – The French Toast, The Coffee Shack (Kona)…Homemade Luau bread,dusted with powdered sugar, served with grilled Portuguese sausage…with a beautiful view  and Geckos to boot

#1 – Luau Omelet, Island Lava Java (Kona)…Fresh eggs filled with slow roasted Kolua pork, grilled pineapple, onions, cheddar and jack cheese…served with rustic potatoes and apple-smoked bacon….this could have been served in Vidor, Texas and it would have still been #1….the fact that I was eating this and looking out over the Pacific only made it more perfect!!!

BEST OF THE REST: Taqueria Arandas (The Woodlands), The Breakfast Place (Spring), Belle’s Kitchen (Houston), The Egg & I (Houston), Furr’s (Spring), The Shell Gas Station (6700 FM 2920 Spring), Shipley’s Donuts (Anywhere) and Aurturo’s Taqueria (Spring)…

Those that aren’t so much: Denny’s (Bacon Pancakes) & Big Island Grill (Kona)….nothing like starting the day with a big dang disappointment…

Texas monthly just published what they claim to be the 50 best breakfast spots in Texas….sounds like a great starting point for next year’s competition….

Next Up…..Best Deserts….

BREAKFAST WITH BUBBA AND SEAN….BUT….NO BUBBA….

October 26, 2011 Leave a comment

It was Saturday morning and my itinerary called for a breakfast meeting with the Brothers-T…..Sean & Bubba…..the meeting spot was Furr’s…..who can diss an all you can eat breakfast buffet ??

I rolled into the parking lot at Louetta and I45 about 7:30ish and saw Sean waiting…..but….no Bubba….

About the time I said, “G’morning”, I saw Sean on the phone…..it was Bubba….not feeling well…..

So, the Dynamic Duo was down to a Swell Single….

But never fear….Sean is more than capable of holding his own and providing wonderful breakfast conversation….besides….Furr’s had been his idea…

We discussed many things one of which was….the Sausage Sauerkraut balls at Wunsche Bros….Sean provided the quote of the day….”The sausage and sauerkraut provide a dichotomy of texture and flavor….”

I’m not really sure what that means…..but……even writen down it sounds…..really smart….

Now, I had eaten at Furr’s for dinner one evening when The Wife was outa town….and if I remember right I gave it somewhat mixed reviews….the all-you-can-eat-buffet idea is always a plus…..but some of the food was kinda hit and miss….so I was walking in with the idea…the hope…..that this was gonna be better than the dinner meal….

We got inside and paid our fee and then were shown a table….we ordered coffee and then headed for the endless supply of breakfast foods….on the very first steam table I found had a couple of things I’ve always wanted to try as a combo…..and this seemed the perfect time to give’em a whirl…there sitting before my hungry little eyes was…..waffels……and…..fried chicken….for years on the Food Channel I have seen many places that serve Chicken-n-Waffels….and have always wanted to give ’em a try…..just have never had the chance…..I know there are places in the Houston area that serve this Southern Delicacy…..but I have yet to step into one…..

The waffles were small so I put them on the plate and then tonged a chicken leg. on top of them…found the syrup and poured….I then scooped up some hash browns and  piled on the bacon…. having a full plate (the first one of the day)…..I headed back to the table….

WHAT CAME FIRST?

I’ll have to admit…..the chicken-n-waffle combo………….R O C K S !!!

The golden brown fried  chicken mixed with the waffle/syrup combo…..ooooo-la-la….its the whole salty/sweet thing…..two opposites colliding in your mouth….whoever or is it whomever…..thought this up….was pretty dang smart….you have to wonder sometimes where ideas like this come from….I mean you’re sitting around….you’ve just fried up some chicken and then you what…..the light bulb pops up over your head……”Say, let’s make some waffles and see how this chicken tastes on top”……what came first…..the waffle or the chicken……that question has plagued mankind for hundreds of years…..we may never know….

Needless to say….I enjoyed it….

My second trip found me plating some eggs, some sausage gravy and biscuits, and more…..bacon….

ROUND TWO....MORE BACON...

My friends….this breakfast buffet was really good…..great would be stretching it a bit…..but this is good food and lots of it….the endless coffee tops it off nicely….

Between the food and the conversation it was a nice way to spend a Saturday morning….Bubba or no Bubba

http://www.furrs.net/

BREAKFAST WITH A VIEW AND…..GECKOS

We were making an early start south from our condo and headed for the Eastern side of the island….I guess part of your brain still keeps your home-time clock and so we’re heading for bed about 9:30ish and waking up at 5:30ish….which is kinda cool cuz you can wake up with the sun and get going early before those with hangovers even begun to stir….

As we made our way down Hwy. 11 (pretty much goes around the whole island) we were searching for a little place called The Coffee Shack….the view was supposed to be as wonderful as the food….and breakfast is the most important meal of the day….right? Although, it has been FatJoe’s philosophy that the “next” meal is the most important meal of the day….and I did know a pre-med guy in college….so…..I would know….

WAITIN' ON 'EM TO OPEN...

Well, this place wasn’t too far from home-base and when we pulled in to the roadside parking lot at 7:26 we saw that they weren’t quite open…..it’s Island Time….I mean any respectable joint in good ol’ Texas is open for breakfast before the rooster gets going….but here time is not very important….the locals get going when……..ever…….

The Wife stepped inside and the woman shooed her back out….it would be about 15 minutes…

We decided we could suffer through the extra wait and sat back and enjoyed the view from the road….a very lush canopy lay before us and little did we know it paled to what waited for us after we got to go inside….

Finally the lady opened the door and we shuffled in…..W O W…..it smelled like Granny’s kitchen on Granny’s best day ever….the smell of fresh baked goods and bacon filled the fresh island morning air….I smile at the woman, who moments before had been the guardian of the gate and she directed us to sit wherever we wanted….we stepped out onto the balcony and were struck with the beauty before us….it opened up onto a valley of green which turned into the beautiful blue of the ocean….

HARD TO DECIDE WHAT'S PRETTIER....THE VIEW OR THE FOOD...

One could not ask for a more beautiful backdrop to eat some delicious food…

We looked over the menu and it all looked good….I zeroed in on the French Toast with a side of Portuguese sausage….The Wife and The Friend debated on what they would “share”….a little background here….before I entered the picture The Wife and The Friend were joined at the hip and would “share” each and every meal…..split an entrée and then split the desert…..when I came along….well….let’s just say….FatJoe don’t share….so, now that The Friend is living in LA-LA-Land, The Wife is stuck not getting to “share”…so, this trip has brought Thelma and Louise back together and they can drive off the cliff splitting a meal….

But…alas…..even the most perfect relationships have flaws…..and there was a crack opening up between the girls…..The Wife isn’t a big veggie eater and now that The Friend is one of the left-coasters……well….who needs to say anymore….They both wanted omelets but The Wife wanted meat…..The Friend wanted veggies…there would be no “sharing” today…..tisk…tisk….

15 MINUTES COULD SAVE YOU......

While we waited on the food we noticed some colorful little geckos running around the white railing that surrounded the balcony….they were green with some red mixed in on their backs…..they would run one way….turn around and run back…..there was a little jelly container (the little tin they give you for your biscuits) positioned in the corner of the railing…and they would move down the post, hang and lick the jelly…..who knew…..was very cool to watch….

NUTTIN' TO SAY....

Our food came and it was deeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeelicious……the French toast was made from Hawaiian sweet bread with macadamia nuts baked inside….oh my sweet lord…..each bite was incredible…..with the powdered sugar, butter and syrup it was a food festival in my mouth…..there were four big pieces and I wasn’t leaving without cleaning this plate…..

HAWAIIAN SWEET BREAD FRENCH TOAST

The Portuguese sausage was very good too….a mild sausage that had  been grilled….

Both omelets was tasty…..we all actually shared some of what we had….it was sooo good you wanted everyone to see  you had made the best choice….

WE DON'T NEED NO STINKIN' SHARING....

Of the three breakfasts I’ve had so far…..this has been the best….

Now everything here is pricey…..just is…..but you have to suck it up and endure……right??

http://www.coffeeshack.com/menu.html

CHEESEHEADS ROCK!!

Who would have ever thought that a little boy from Port Arthur, Texas would become a lifelong Green Bay Packer fan and that years later he would live across the street from a guy from Wisconsin?  The world is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too small…..

My neighbor across the street, Robert-Bob, would be a great neighbor even if he had come from…..(shudders at the thought)….Dallas….(btw….the Cowboys….SUX!!!!!)…. he’s just a great guy…..always ready to lend a hand and when neccessary….he plays a mean Texas Hold’Em…..and he’s a real Cheesehead from Wisconsin….

He had been gone for a couple of weeks and I, being the wonderful neighbor I am, was picking  up his mail….and oh my gosh it was such an ordeal…..walking the….what….30 feet across the street in the 1005 degree Texas heat…..and it’s not a straight shot across the street….it’s sorta at an angle…..which makes it even more difficult to navigate….but I persevered and made my way across the furnace-like pavement and got his mail every day…

It was very nice to get a call from Rober-Bob telling me he was on his way home and that he had a surprise for me…..well who the heck doesn’t like surprises…..(well…..most surprises)…..a few hours later my doorbell rang and there he was…..I was glad my neighbor was back safe and I couldn’t wait for my surprise…….he had driven through Round Rock…..so wanna guess what he had brought me?????

You have two choices if you’ve read these postings…..1) Chicken Fried Bacon from the 620 Cafe….or…..2) A 2 lb. donut from Round Rock Donuts…..

2 lb.-er = 1 dozen donuts

Well…..seeing as how CFB might not make the 3 hour drive from Round Rock to Spring…..I was happy to see the BDD….(BIG DANG DONUT)…..he smiled as he handed over the box and I traded him a bag full of mail….not a very even trade if you ask me….I opened the box and, dang it smelled good….2 lbs.  of sugar-coated delight….suddenly all of the daily walks across the sun-baked street were forgotten and all that mattered was the BDD I had in my fat hands…..

We talked about his trip and that we had actually gotten some  much needed rain the last few days….after a few moments he was back on his way across the street and I was left with my surprise…..

I won’t be eating this one like I did the first and only other 2 lb.-er I’ve had….that one I ate in one sitting (about an hour)…..this one I will take a little at a time and enjoy it slowly….

Robert-Bob did good….he knew exactly how to make FatJoe happy….

CHEESEHEAD'S DELIGHT

Round Rock Donuts was featured on Man vs. Food (Travel Channel)….and even if  you’re not up for the 2 lb.-er, their donuts are delicious….I guess if you can pick up a donut and then add some CFB…..your life would be perfect……

http://www.620cafeandbakery.com/

http://www.roundrockdonuts.com/

TACO….SHELLED

Sometimes you just happen on to something that ends up being a nice surprise…

I was on my way back from Walmart  one morning last week and stopped for gas….

There is a Shell station at 5035 FM 2920….near Rhodes Road…..

I got my gas and stepped inside to get a cup of coffee….Shell stations usually have pretty good coffee….

As I stepped inside I noticed a counter that served food….I had no intentions of eating as I was going to have a big BBQ lunch….

But…

BREAKFAST TACO FROM SHELL GAS STATION - $1.59

It smelled wonderful….and the price was right….Breakfast Tacos $1.59…

I couldn’t fight the urge…so I stepped up and smiled at the lady behind the counter….she asked what I wanted and I ordered the chorizo, egg and cheese taco…she asked if I wanted beans, pico de gallo, and sauce…..I said, “Yup”….but had a choice on the sauce….red or green….I asked her which one she liked best and she said the green was the best…..so….that’s how I rolled…..

I was being a very good boy and only ordered one…..and I waited ’till I got home to rip into the foil and eat my (as we would say in Port Arthur…..) Brefess-Taco…

My Brefess-Taco was sooooooo good….the flour tortilla was fresh and warm, the chorizo spicy, and the fixens’ were delicious…..

So…..once again…the gas station food seems to be the way to go….now….like many of you I have had many a midnight microwave burrito from a convenience/gas station….and while there ain’t nuttin’ wrong with eating things in a plastic wrap that are heated up in a couple minutes….that’s not what I’m talking about….a lot of these fueling spots have counter food….and for the most part….it’s very good food…probably not good for you…..but then again….a lot of good eats ain’t good for you…

Let’s don’t be so full of ourselves that we can’t take a shot every once in a while on something that may not be normal…food from a gas station is probably not  on your list of normal places to eat…..but….you never….ever….know….

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