Well, if it isn't the worst I'd hate to see what beats it. This one has it all - 80's hair, bad acting and an eagle that, well...you'll have to see it to believe it!
Like any big city, BIG D has its share of BIG NAME restaurants - some shine bright on the dining scene and some fade-to-black before you can check 'em out.
So, when Miss Charlotte and I got a chance to sample a new BIG NAME restaurant in
Baja Dallas Plano recently we shot up there as fast as four Michelin's would carry us up the Tollway. "Hey," I told my blogger babe, "in this economy we'd better get up there before this one goes bye-bye."
The object of our five-alarm food fest was The Capital Grille at the Shops at Legacy.
It's a beautiful restaurant and Managing Partner Greg Cavanagh has made sure that this Capital Grille location is big enough for BIG D, but decidedly intimate. The restaurant located on the corner of Legacy Drive and the Dallas North Tollway, has seating for 400 but the layout and décor make it possible to carry on a dinner conversation using your inside voice.
In the spirit of full disclosure, they knew we were coming (a death in the family kept us from the press opening a week earlier) but we ordered off the regular menu and Charlotte didn't even ask for special treatment like ketchup or extra jalapenos (kidding, I'm kidding).
We shared our culinary preferences with Capital Grille server, John Jones and asked him to pair some wines with his best recommendations for the evening. Thanks to Chef Aaron Valimont's wonderful work in the kitchen, he didn't let us down.
Chef Aaron Valimont
Chef Aaron Valimont
John suggested starting with The Capital Grille's signature drink - the Stoli Doli. It's a pineapple martini made with fresh pineapple flown in from Hawaii that's sliced and put into a large, glass jar filled with Stoli vodka. They let it sit for seven days and then serve it straight up and very cold in a martini glass. The result is smooth as a Miles Davis solo and just as powerful.
Appetizers were next. We tried the Pan-Fried Calamari with Hot Cherry Peppers ($14) paired with a Selbach Riesling. The crunchy calamari had just enough breading to hold the spices on the chewy strands. Charlotte, not really a calamari lover, was won over with the light, peppery heat balanced by the delicate taste of the squid.
Fresh Mozzarella, Tomato, Basil with 12-Year Aged Balsamic ($13) came next. John explained that Capital Grille makes its own fresh mozzarella - every two hours. Dallas is home to some great mozzarella - Paula Lambert's Mozzarella Company makes some of the best I've ever tasted, so I was curious how it would match up. The Capital Grille's in-house mozzarella with aged balsamic served with thick, fresh tomatoes was an outstanding salad and easily the best I've had since dining at Auberge du Soleil in Napa Valley.
...the espresso cake was slap-a-prison-guard good.
I think I may have mentioned this before, but Charlotte and I loooove movies. There's nothing we like better than kicking back with a bottle of wine and watching TCM or the latest delivery from our Netflix queue. It's a weekend ritual around our house.
You can't escape the pull of Milford-Haven, the setting for Days of Our Lives actress and award-winning author Mara Purl's enticing new novel What the Heart Knows (Bellekeep Books; September 2011). This fictional, coastal California town offers a simpler life with amazing views, small-town kindness and infinite possibilities for romance. No wonder, it attracts so many interesting characters.
Miranda Jones, a 30-something artist, has moved to the area to be closer to the wildlife that inspires her work. She finds comfort and support from her two polar-opposite girlfriends Samantha Hugo, a brilliant environmentalist with a long-buried secret, and Sally O'Mally, a café-owning Southern girl in a complicated relationship. When trying to follow their hearts' desires, the three encounter a rebellious Native American student, a gruff builder with commitment issues and a handsome heir to an oil fortune.
To celebrate the launch of actress-turned-author Mara Purl's Milford-Haven novels, we're giving away a heart-touching gift set including:
Click "Read More" for details on how to enter. Contest ends Sept. 8!
Chef Anthony Stewart of the Pritikin Longevity Center and Spa proves low-fat foods can be delightfully delicious in these two recipes showcasing summer fruits: Chilled Tomato and Watermelon Soup and Merry Berry Parfait (yum!).
Turning 53 was a light-bulb moment for Boomer Melynda Commiato. That's when the Texas native decided it was "time to take care of me."
When a mommy trucker and a daddy trucker love each other very much...well, you get the idea.
"Jeez," I thought, "I didn't know the Today Show had been sold to the National Enquirer." I'm usually pretty good at keeping up with what's going on in the world. I know all about Rick Perry, the debt crisis and Charlie Sheen, but I totally missed NBC-Universal selling out to a supermarket tabloid.
Well, a couple of minutes later they made good on their headline. Turns out that yes, a 74-year-old grandmother was actually mauled by a family of raccoons. She was trying to shoo them out of her yard and they turned on her like the CUJO FAMILY. This of course kind of killed my theory that all we really have to worry about are Iranian nukes and zombies.
I don't know grandma's full story, but I can sympathize with her. I've had my run-ins with ducks, rabbits, snakes, skunks, deer and of course, Chuck our neighborhood chupacabra. And since I'm not Marlon friggin Perkins, my wild animal stories don't usually turn out very well either.
I couldn't take time off to sit on my front porch all day wearing a wife-beater
T shirt holding a BB gun, so I did the next best thing.
Bob begins most weekdays with a 5:30 a.m. workout. Carrying a golf club to fend off the geese, foxes and other clever critters that roam Colleywood before dawn, he heads outdoors for a brisk 2.5-mile (more or less) walk. Our neighbors love his routine because my good samaritan always picks up their newspapers and places them on their porches. I love that he's staying in shape.
Sometimes, I think about joining him. But it's dark. The temperature's always too hot (try almost 90 degrees before sunrise now) or too cold (make that 20 degrees in January and Bob will still say, "No problem.") And did I mention that those critters are hungry?!!
So instead, I go to our family room for 30-and-30 with my personal trainer: Wii Fit Plus. That's 30 jackknives and 30 minutes of walking with weights, a program that's been endorsed by my exercise-obsessed oncologist. But lately, I've been longing for more variety.
As Sheryl Crow is fond of saying "A change could do you good." That's why Bob and I have teamed up with the folks at HealthyFitBodies.com to give away their Top Trainers DVD set, a dream team of personal trainers in a box.
We're offering one lucky boomer the chance to win the Top Trainers DVD set. Designed for women, this calorie-blasting collection includes:
Click "Read More" for details on how you can win this $89.95-value prize package ... FREE.* Contest ends Aug. 24!
It's no secret that Charlotte and I like our music. Charlotte looooooves her iPod - she can't get dressed in the morning without dancing (seriously, y'all) to Sheryl Crow, Gram Parsons or The Get Up Kids. Me? I like music too, but it's a timing thing. Mornings are for news, weather and sports. Evenings are for tunes ranging from Van Morrison to my man Miles Davis. What can I say? Opposites attract.
No time to bake? You can still treat yourself and your guests to homemade cookies thanks to one of our favorite recipes from Food.com. My friend Bev, one of the best cooks I know besides my Mom, turned me on to these speedy delights!
We live in Texas and spend big chunks of the year at the beach. Both of these places can be so unbearably hot and humid during the summer that the only sensible thing to do is sit on the front porch and drink (meebe that's why we all talk so slow y'all). As any southern Boomer brother will tell you, the weather and sun can play hell with your skin. By Labor Day, I usually look like 40 miles of bad road.
We're remodeling Blogger HQ to take in some attic space and create a new home office. We've hired our favorite contractors Doug and Christine to tackle this job and basically turn our lives upside down for the next two months. Join us as we find out if remodelers and home owners can peacefully coexist and/or discover if it's OK to hide a body in a construction dumpster.
I'm starting to figure out this whole remodel deal. Remember Darwin's Theory of Evolution where he reveals that J. Fred Muggs is really our daddy? Well, I've come up with the THEORY OF REMODELING. Never heard of it? What'd you do that day we discussed it...cut class and play Frisbee golf? Ok, try and keep up 'cause it's only three steps:
BOB'S THEORY OF REMODELING
1. A guy in a flatbed truck drops off his "lumber package" (that's what she said!). If you're a lucky homeowner, he will do his level best to keep his "package" from totaling your garage as it slides off the truck.
Gene Tyler during taping of HGTV's Donna Decorates Dallas
2. Your hot water turns cold and you replace both water heaters.
Oh yeah, don't forget this important part of the theory, YOUR DRINKING WATER TURNS BLACK.
3. YOU WIND UP ON HGTV.
That EEEKKKKK (rhymes with SHRIEK) sound you heard is Charlotte jumping up and down after getting a text from the HGTV show host telling her we've been "picked" for a new reality series. What's up with that? As Moses told the children of Israel after coming down the mountain, "Here's the deal, y'all" (in my head Moses is southern and sounds a lot like Burl Ives in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.)
It all began innocently enough. Shelley Tyler told Charlotte a local designer was looking for projects for an upcoming show on HGTV called Donna Decorates Dallas. She said it'd be focused on homes in the Dallas area - they're really interested in Collywood - and they start filming in a few weeks.
Before I could summon my inner Nate Berkus and say "Dahling, do these drapes match the duvet?" I was talking to a producer and film crew from HG-freakin-T-freakin-V