Saturday, July 21, 2007


Olenjack's Grille: Good score for Arlington

Olenjack's makes a strong first impression the minute one walks through the door. The high ceilings and open lay out contribute to the restaurant's good energy. On a recent Friday night, we arrived with a group of six eager to try the new restaurant opened by Brian Olenjack (most known for flexing his culinary muscles at Reata and the Chisolm Club). Based on the size of the dinner crowd, we weren't the only ones curious about Brian's new adventure.

While waiting on our table, we wandered to the bar area for a cocktail. FWAmie and I ordered a dirty vodka martini, while BigD-CC questioned the bartender, Jason, about martini selections and he informed her he could make whatever she wanted. Problem is...BigD-CC did not know she wanted. Apple martini? No. Cosmopolitan? Nah. After a short conversation, Jason figured out that BigD-CC is the type of martini drinker that likes pineapple and vodka (think Wedding Cake Martini) so he suggested he customize a martini for her. Jason returned to the table with a pinkish concoction that satsified BigD-CC's martini tastebuds! Big props to Jason for being so accomodating. By the way, our dirty martinis ($9) were delicious as well.

After a short wait, our group was seated in the spacious dining room. As I reviewed the menu, I found myself hoping the food tastes as good as it sounds. The menu was loaded with choices and the prices were surprisingly reasonable. There was a large variety of fish selections and steak selections. Entrees ranged from $12-$29 which the higher priced items being the steaks. Most of the choices were under $20 and many were under $15. The menu even offered a number of sandwiches for $7-$9, which is unusual for a dinner menu, especially in a restaurant that felt as nice as Olenjack's.

BigD-Megan ordered the grape tomato bruschetta ($6) as an appetizer. Less tomatoes and more mozzarella cheese and balsamic reduction made this app a little different than the more traditional bruschettas you might find at places like Taverna, but I was a fan. FWJoey and I ordered the calamari ($6) which was steak cut rather than the circled calamari which in my opinion is much better. The tomato dipping sauce was also better than the usual aioli or other mayo based sauce often served with calamari. While the calamari was above average, we would probably try another appetizer on our next visit because so many of them sounded yummy such as the pulled chicken ravioli with cilantro garlic butter ($6) or the tequila & brown sugar glazed shrimp ($9).

For entrees, three of us ordered fish ranging from trout to halibut to mahi mahi. FWAmie enjoyed the trout ($15) and said she would order it again. BigD-CC chose the delicious halibut ($22) with maple mashed sweet potatoes and broccolini which she would also order again. I was debating between the mahi mahi ($14) and the striped bass ($19). Upon the recommendation of our server, I chose the mahi mahi and boy was I glad I did. One of my favorite ingredients in this entree was the pancetta (italian word for bacon). The saltiness of the pancetta paired nicely with the mahi mahi and made this dish unusual and tasty! I recommend a glass of the Drylands Sauvignon Blanc ($9) with the mahi mahi.

BigD-Megan was torn between the boneless half chicken ($13) and the chicken pasta ($12), but ended up going with the boneless half chicken topped with dried tomatoes, capers, roasted garlic, fresh artichokes, broccolini and asparagus. She gave the dish two big thumbs up and said she would order it again.

FWJoey and FWMatt have similar tastebuds (they both love the chicken cordon bleu at Sapristi) which explains why they both chose the chicken fried steak ($11). Both gave the dish, including the mashed potatoes, good reports and said they would order it again.

The portions are very generous which means we had no room for dessert. In fact, we did not even look at the dessert menu!

Next time, and perhaps every time, I am in Arlington, I will plan on eating at Olenjack's Grille!

Olenjack's Grille - located at Lincoln Square
770 Road to Six Flags East Suite 100 · Arlington, Texas · 76011
817.226.2600 ·

Sunday, July 15, 2007


Sushi Axiom: The chic new kid on the block

The strip center exterior of Sushi Axiom is boring, but walk through the door and discover Fort Worth's chic new sushi hotspot. The interior has a hip vibe that makes it fun for a date. As you may know, I am a huge fan of Edohana so when I heard that the former manager was opening his own restaurant, I was eager to try it. On our first trip, FWJoey and I tried the calamari ($7.00) which I thought was too heavy on the black pepper, but FWJoey disagreed and thought the black pepper made this spicy calamari some of his favorite in town.

The menu offers a very large selection of cooked and uncooked items as well as a huge selection of martinis. Every roll tried has been good with favorites including the Colonial Roll and the Axiom Roll. The sea bass was a tasty entree, but the chicken spring rolls were boring and bland. A better starter was the crab spring rolls ($5). Sushi Axiom better than Edohana? No because both places offer delicious food. Things that are better about Edohona include: Slightly larger specialty rolls and the TEMPTATION roll. Things better about Sushi Axiom: Larger interior which means less of a wait, hip scene, and more extensive offering of appetizers, entress and martinis. For me, I'll keep going to both of these yummy sushi joints!

4625 Donnelly Ave,Ft Worth, TX 76107
817 735 9100



FWJoey and I recently tried Dutch's, the new burger joint on University. The burger was quite good and a little unique thanks to the sweet bun it was served on. The side items however were big disappointments. The french fries ($2.00 to add to the burger) were limp and tastless. The homemade onion rings (also $2.00 to add to the burger) fell apart the moment you picked one up and the black pepper in the batter did not work. Since you have to have a good side item with a good burger, we do not plan to return to Dutch's any time soon.


Best french toast ever consumed...

If you want to try the best french toast ever made - you will have to travel to Granbury to stay the night at the charming Iron Horse Inn. This is the only way you can experience the homemade breakfast that Judy and Bob will prepare for you! Our breakfast began with a large plate of fresh fruits made up of cantaloupe, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and bananas. Then came the amazing french toast! (By the way, this french toast was better than the carrot cake french toast at the South Congress Cafe in Austin). What made this toast so fabulous is probably the fact that it soaked in a special mixture overnight. The mixture consisted of eggs, milk, orange juice, nutmeg, cinnamon, and taragon! After soaking overnight, the toast was topped with butter and chopped pecans and placed in the oven for baking. Once the baking was done, the large ball of delicious homemade sausage was added to the plate before serving. I don't think I can ever order french toast again because I know that all french toasts after this one will be an utter disappointment.

The Iron Horse Inn is a lovely bed & breakfast located near the downtown square. The house was orinigally built in 1885; however, a fire in 1905 destroyed everything except the basement/wine cellar. Another house was reconstructed in approximately 1906 which is the house now being enjoyed by multiple visitors to Granbury. One of the most unique aspects of this b & b is that the 1885 basement that survivied the fire has been converted into a suite known as the "Wine Cellar Suite." Since FWJoey and I love wine, we thought it was only appropriate to stay the night in this suite. Wow! What an experience. The temperature is naturally cold in the wine cellar and when the sun goes down, it is pitch black and totally silent! To some, it might be considered erie, but to us, we just thought it was cool!

The owners of the Iron Horse Inn, Judy and Bob, were wonderful and friendly so if you are looking for a unique overnight experience in Granbury, check out the Iron Horse Inn. Tell Judy we sent ya! And be sure to request that she and Bob prepare the french toast for breakfast while you are there!!


"Let's Eat" in Bluffdale

Chef Curren Dodds knows what he is doing in Bluffdale at the little hole in the wall restaurant known as "Let's Eat." The exterior of this restaurnt is a dirty, run down, white shack that resembles an old service station. The interior is not much more impressive containing a few small booths and a long table (think potluck at the church on a sunday night) where diners are seated close to strangers. Based on this description, you might wonder why the restaurant was totally packed on a recent Saturday night.... Once you try the food, you will understand.

FWJoey and I had dinner with my mother and stepfather who were visiting from Arkansas. I had been told by two FW friends, FWPaige and FWMA, that Let's Eat served up good eats, so I suggested we check it out since we were already in Granbury for the weekend. Bluffdale is approximately 20 minutes from downtown Granbury. The menu was small, but offered a nice variety of options. Since I had heard that Chef Dodds was a culinary talent, I tried the most expensive item on the menu which was the beef tenderloin with maple vinagrette served with cheese grits and asparagus ($23.95). Boy, am I glad I did! While the steak may have seemed pricey considering the casual atmosphere of the restaurant, it came out looking and tasting like a steak from a five star restaurant. In Fort Worth, this baby would run you at least $35 and it would still be worth it! I found myself enjoying it more than a steak from Reata and even better than a recent visit to Silver Fox. Don't get me wrong, I love Reata, Silver Fox, Del Frisco and other steakhouses, but the flavor of Chef Dodds tenderloin was unique and delicious which made it a stand out.

The grilled salmon ($16.95) topped with tomato vinagrette was a big hit of the night, as was the grilled chicken penne pasta tossed with sundried tomatoes ($12.50). Even the cheeseburger and fries ($6.50) were far above average! FWJoey raved about the unusual seasonings that covered the french fries. Not quite sure of the seasoning's contents, but we think it was heavy on the paprika and seasoned salt. Other menu options that we heard were good from our neighboring diners were the salisbury steak and the NY strip. Based on my observation, there was not an unhappy diner in the entire restaurant. We did not have room for dessert, but heard the homemade pecan and apple pie were winners.

Diners can bring their own beer or wine which makes the place even better! The four of us dined for less than $55.00 (not including tip). Open Friday and Saturday night for dinner. This restaurant is a true treasure!! I highly recommend it.

Let's Eat
South Hwy 377
Bluff Dale, Texas


Stringfellow's on the Square in Granbury

If you happen to be in Granbury, I recommend stopping in for lunch at Stringfellow's and having the tilapia tacos ($12.50)! I dined at Stringfellow's for the first time yesterday afternoon with my mother and stepfather. All of us very much enjoyed our lunches. My mother opted for the popular chicken and avocado sandwich ($6.75) served on a soft jalapeno cheddar bun. She described is as being light and fresh and while she was happy with her selection, once she tried my tilapia tacos, she was envious! Because my tacos were the hit of the day. My stepfather had the Mixed Field Greens with Pine Nuts, Mushrooms, Tomatoes, Cheese, Avocado and Green Onions ($7.00), which was also quite good. Each meal begins with a serving of "toasties" which are baked croutons coated with numerous spices. These tasty treats had a nice kick to them.

I had heard mixed reviews about Stringfellow's from a few locals so I did not have high expectations. I must say that my expectations were certainly surpassed and I look forward to returning to Stringfellow's on our next visit to Granbury.

101 East Pearl Street, Granbury, Texas

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