Thursday, October 17, 2013

Review: Chuy's

Dawn and I were going to an early afternoon movie, so we thought we'd try out the new Tex-Mex restaurant in town. I didn't realize till I visited their website that they have an Elvis section in every restaurant. I noticed the Elvis items on the menu, but didn't see the section. 

The chips and salsa were very good, a little bit of spice, but good. They went very good with the Dos Equis we ordered to wash it down with. 

I always have to have cheese dip to go with my fajitas. It came out before our food did, and I was a bit thrown back when it was orange. I've been to a few places before with orange cheese instead of white, but it's definitely not the norm. As you can see in the picture, it had a little heat to it as well. 

We were sat at the world's tiniest table (I can't confirm this to be true. There wasn't any form of certification to prove this, but it surely seemed like it was.), so the fajita set up took up nearly the entire table. 

Although the pictures have a yellow tent to them, the food was really good. Everything was jam packed with flavor, and the spices were enough to open up the sinuses. The tortilla shells were fresh and homemade and delicious. 

All of the food was amazing, the decor was cool, the beer was cold (uh oh, you know what's coming don't you) ... BUT ... the check came and wowzers was it not cheap. We ordered the Chicken Fajitas for 2, 2 beers, and a cheese dip, and it was $10-$15 more than any other Mexican restaurant we've been to. I don't know that it's enough to keep us away forever, but it's enough to keep us from being regulars.  

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Review: Allen and Son Barbecue

On the way home from our Raleigh trip, my boss and I stopped at Allen and Son Barbecue. I've heard nothing but good things about it, so when I spotted that it was near by, it was a must that we go. 

The GPS was weird for the location we went to. It has you turn back on this sharp turn, and then says it a little ways up the road. However, it's actually on the corner of that fork in the road. 

As soon as we walked in and sat down, I couldn't help but notice the gigantic cast iron pan. Just imagine the cornbread you could make in that bad boy. 

My boss and I both went for the pulled pork plates. No matter what, it comes with slaw and fries on the side. 

The pork, flavor, and sauce was very similar to that at Scott's BBQ. Wait, did I just compare someone else's BBQ to the place that I say could be the best ever? Yep! The sauce was a little more on the vinegar side than Scott's was, so I can't say it's as good or better, but the flavors were all very similar. They both half a little heat built in, but not enough to light you on fire. 

The fries were good, and the slaw ... I didn't touch, but the sweet tea was amazing. Again, I'm not a huge sweat tea drinker, so when I want to bath in it, it must be pretty dang good. I snuck in a chocolate chunk cookie before we left too, and it was just as good as you would expect. 

If you're ever near Raleigh, or any of their other locations, make sure to check out Allen and Son ... you won't be disappointed. 

Friday, October 11, 2013

Review: Kyle Fletcher's BBQ

To celebrate our 3 year anniversary of being together (yes, I understand once you get married it's not an anniversary, but it still has to be acknowledged), my company thought it'd be a great idea to plan an event that I would need to be at, 4 hours away from home. 

To make sure the trip wasn't a total loss, my boss and I decided we'd hit a few BBQ joints on the trip. 

We were just about to hit Charlotte, on our way to Raleigh, and decided to look through the gps to find something to eat. He comes across Kyle Fletcher's, and we were able to figure that it wasn't too far off the interstate so if it didn't look good we could turn around. 

I'm driving down the road, the gps says we still have a little ways to go but a huge cloud of smoke boiling up from behind this building catches my eye. I tell my boss "either that's the spot or we need to call the fire department." I look back at the gps and the extra distance it was telling us we'd have to go, was because there was a median and I had to do a U turn. 

I pulled into the little bitty parking lot in my semi truck (not really a semi truck, but it was a rental truck for the trip and a lot bigger than I'm used to driving), and my boss says to me "at least we know they cook with wood." 

Now, I'm a big sports fan, and when a place is decorated top to bottom with one of my sworn enemies "swag" ... I've been known to let that alter my opinion on the place. I despise UNC (University of North Carolina) almost as much as I do Clemson, and Kyle Fletcher's is ceiling to floor (literally) in UNC posters/pictures/figures/shoes/autographs/jerseys etc etc. I apparently didn't drink my haterade that morning, because I was able to put that to the side and take the experience in with an open mind. In all honesty, it was actually a pretty cool environment (for what it was). 

My boss ordered the chopped pork plate, and I was all set to do the same, but the ribs just kept drawing my attention. I went with the half rack plate with fries and beans and a sweet tea. 

One thing about Kyle Fletcher's, they don't go skimpy on their serving sizes. My boss's chopped pork came in a basket the same size as my ribs did, and it was 1/2 full of pulled pork to the top. As you can see, they didn't pull a Bacon Bro's and give me 4 bones as a half a rack. They gave me 8 full bones of juicy tender ribs. 

I sampled some of the chopped pork, and it was really good and tender. You could tell they used a very basic rub (if not just salt and pepper) to let the pork really shine with the wood smoke. The ribs were great and perfectly cooked. I added just a dab of their sauce and cleaned my plate/basket. The fries were good, but definitely not their main focus, but the beans made up for any let down the fries might have left.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Movie Review: Captain Phillips

Captain Phillips is Tom Hanks's newest movie, inspired by the 2009 cargo ship hijacking by Somali pirates. I'll go out on a limb and say it'll be his next award winner. 

The movie starts off showing the relationship strain that a job like this can have on two people. His wife kisses him goodbye and wishes him well as he flies to shipyard to take over the cargo ship. 

Once Captain Phillips boards the ship he checks multiple doors and locks, and tells crew members to make sure all doors are locked because they will be heading into dangerous waters. The crew isn't thrilled about the direction they're heading, but with only one way to go, they have to put their worries aside and continue marching on. 

The next morning Captain Phillips wakes and has the crew run through a hijacking situation, in an almost psychic move. The crew sets up the water hoses, which turnout to be their only defense against smaller, quicker boats. 

The crew bands together and does all it can to keep the pirates off the ship. Once that fails, they then do all they can to help each other survive. 

This is one of the best movies we've seen in a very long time. It'll make you laugh, it'll make you cry, and it'll blow you away all at the same time. In 20 years when they put together a "Best of Tom Hanks" collection. This will be in there with Forrest Gump, Saving Private Ryan and many others. Hollywood has actors, good actors, great actors, and then you have the level that Tom Hanks and a select few are on by themselves. 

Before we even made it out of the theater Dawn turns to me and says "I'm making an executive couples decision. If this doesn't get 5 pigs I'm punching you in the face." So ... to save my face, and because it's deserving ..