Restaurant Reviews
Flips Patio Grill

415 West State Hwy 114
Grapevine, TX 76051
Phone: 817-251-9800
http://www.flipspatiogrill.com

Flips

August 22, 2012:
Flips Famous Big Cheesy – The classic with American cheese. $8.50

Big cheesy


"All of Flips burgers are made with USDA choice chuck, ground fresh in house daily and served with lettuce, tomato, onions and pickles and your choice of hand cut fries or potato chips. Breads are baked fresh daily with choice of white or wheat."

Flips Famous Big Cheesy: They call it “the classic with American cheese,” but it’s a little more than that, size-wise; And my idea of the classic burger is a meat patty between two buns. Here, we have a HUGE patty with 3 slices of American cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, red onions, and pickles.

Not exactly classic in the traditional sense, but it’s definitely your standard restaurant-style cheeseburger.

And as with the last visit, I must compliment them on their freshly baked buns. This, in my opinion, is the highlight of the burger. Come hungry because you’re going to leave full. In fact, before I even started, I cut my burger and fries in half to take home. I’m almost afraid to ask how many calories it is.

Rating: * * * *

Barcadia: Bar & Grill Dallas

1917 North Henderson Avenue
Dallas, TX 75206
Phone: 214-821-7300
http://barcadiabars.com/barcadia-dallas

Barcadia

August 18, 2012:
Barcadia Burger – 8 oz. of fresh ground beef stuffed with pepper jack cheese & roasted green chilies served on a jalapeño cheddar bun with lettuce, tomato & red onion. $11

Barcadia burger


"Home of the giant Connect 4 and lifesize Jenga, 24 beers on tap, huge patio, HD Sports, killer bar food, vintage arcade games, and skeeball."

The food is nothing to scoff at, but the appeal of Barcadia is in their beer and nostalgic arcade games. Of course, the novelty sized Connect 4 and Jenga probably helps. There’s nothing like seeing a progressively drunk group of people try to carefully stack small logs in an increasingly unstable tower.

The vintage games included such classics as Dig Dug, Q*Bert, Galaga, Ms. Pac-Man, Space Invader, TRON, and Moon Patrol to name a few. The fact that these games still take quarters reminded me of the good ole days of my childhood.

Barcadia Burger: The novelty of this burger is how it was prepared. As an inside-out burger with the pepper jack cheese & roasted green chilies on the inside, it’s a relatively clean sandwich to eat. But, remove that from the equation, and you have nothing new. What did make it unique was that it had a nicely toasted jalapeño cheddar bun. With the side of potato wedges, I seriously had to put forth an effort to finish my plate.

Rating: * * * *

BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse

2609 S. Stemmons
Lewisville, TX 75067
Phone: 972-459-9700
http://www.bjsbrewhouse.com

BJ's

August 12, 2012:
California Burger – Our half-pound patty served on sourdough bread, topped with avocado, roasted green chilies, pepper jack cheese, chipotle mayonnaise and ranch dressing.

California Burger

Pizookie Party Platter – Perfect for groups of five or more! The Pizookie contains all four BJ’s famous cookies presented together on a large platter and topped with a mountain of vanilla bean ice cream: white chocolate macadamia nut, peanut butter, cookies ’n cream, and triple chocolate.

Pizookie


California Burger: I’m not a huge fan of sourdough bread, mainly because I find it… sour. But, I do like trying new things, so I put my prejudices aside and ordered the California Burger. It was a good decision. The bread wasn’t too tart, so the rest of the burger tasted great. The avocado was fresh, but I don’t think avocado is something I want on my burgers in the future. I can see the appeal, but it isn’t my thing. The roasted green chilies and pepper jack cheese, on the other hand, is something I look forward to. A terrific burger, but I don’t think I can handle a half-pound patty like I could when I was younger.
Rating: * * * *

Pizookie Party Platter: Judging by the name and size, I assume this is a combination of pizza and cookie. With a dessert like this, who needs a cake for a birthday? The sweet and richness of this cookie can literally put you in a diabetic coma. We had 6 people try to put a dent in it, and I think we only took care of a third. It was a shame to see so much cookie go to waste.
Rating: * * * *

The Ranch

857 W. John W Carpenter
Irving, TX 75039
Phone: 972-506-7262
http://www.theranchlc.com

The Ranch

August 02, 2012:
16 oz. Smoked Prime Rib - Herb jus/horseradish cream. $26.
side: Goat Cheese Grits

prime rib


"If you’re looking for a true taste of Texas, come to The Ranch at Las Colinas - a restaurant rich in Texas tradition with a wildly contemporary side."

16 oz. Smoked Prime Rib: As the old saying goes, “Everything’s bigger in Texas.” And considering the focus here is Texas, they certainly make a big prime rib. What I love about this meal is the simplicity. There isn’t any unnecessary sauce, abundance in seasoning, or pointless garnish. Here we have quality meat and excellent preparation. The herb jus was enough to provide additional flavor but it didn’t mask the meat. The horseradish cream was there if you wanted it but easily ignored if you didn’t. And at 16 oz., it is adequate in satiating most hungers.
Rating: * * * * ½

Goat Cheese Grits: I’ve had grits before but nothing like this; full of butter and plenty of goat cheese. I don’t know if grits are supposed to be healthy, but I have a feeling that health wasn’t a concern here. This is definitely something I want to try to make at home.
Rating: * * * * ½

Copeland’s

1400 Plaza Place
Southlake, TX 76092
Phone: 817-305-2199
www.southlakecopelands.com

Copelands

July 31, 2012:
Catfish Acadiana – Golden fried catfish with our creamy shrimp butter sauce. Served with choice of any two signature sides. $9.45
Sides – Corn Macque Choux & Roasted Pecan Cole Slaw

catfish


"Copeland’s of New Orleans restaurants are committed to the concept that every dish and meal is true to the culinary traditions and heritage of New Orleans augmented by the gracious hospitality of the Copeland Family.

Copeland’s of New Orleans is more than a restaurant, it is the family’s promise to provide you with the finest dining experience each and every visit.”

The [my] food was great, the service was terrible. It was a shame too because our server was nice. But a pleasing personality doesn’t make up for the food being over an hour late, registers being down, and absolutely no reparations offered by the establishment. Even when we politely informed them of our dissatisfaction of service, nothing was done to compensate the situation. What was suppose to be an hour long lunch ended up being over 2 ½ hours. We were lucky that the workday was slow.
Service rating: *

Catfish Acadiana: A wonderfully prepared catfish, fried but lightly battered. The crust was there but not a dominate factor. I especially loved the shrimp butter sauce. I was happy that they provided a biscuit so I could dip it in the residual sauce. The pieces of shrimp were a nice touch.
Rating: * * * *

Corn Macque Choux: A fancy way of saying spicy, sweet, creamed corn. I would characterize it more as seasoned than spicy, but I believe the intention is to give it a Louisiana theme. Either way, it was a unique side and an excellent choice. Rich & creamy and probably unhealthy.
Rating: * * * ½

Roasted Pecan Cole Slaw: A decent coleslaw but nothing extraordinary. With a description of roasted pecan, you’d expect to have the pecan taste pop out at you. It was there, but you just had to look for it. It did well to provide an illusion of a vegetable side, but any nutritional value one would derive from veggies is lost once transformed into a coleslaw.
Rating: * * *

BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse

2609 S. Stemmons
Lewisville, TX 75067
Phone: 972-459-9700
http://www.bjsbrewhouse.com

BJ's

July 27, 2012:
Crispy Jalapeño Burger – Fried jalapeños, pepper jack cheese, chipotle mayonnaise, Baja sauce, red onions, tomato and lettuce.  $11.75

Crispy Jalapeno Burger


"Our half pound fan favorites are made with fresh 100% USDA Angus beef, hand formed and cooked medium well or as requested served with crispy-thin or wedge-cut seasoned fries. Request a whole grain wheat bun at no charge."

Crispy Jalapeño Burger: Was this a perfect burger? No, but it was darn close. If you’re going to eat a burger at BJ’s, bring your appetite. The burgers are so good that if you can’t finish them because you’re full, you still want to try and complete it.

Don’t let the name fool you. “Jalapeño Burger” implies spicy, but I didn’t find the burger hot at all. With jalapeños, pepper jack cheese, and chipotle mayonnaise, you’d expect a little bit a zest in the bite; plenty of flavor, yes, but I don’t remember experiencing the spice.

I requested medium rare, and they did a marvelous job of meeting my expectation. Usually, when I make the request at other restaurants they come back rare, and in a few cases, barely cooked. I got exactly what I wanted here. The center was pink but not too pink and the outer-layer bursting with flavor.

As with burgers, fries make a great compliment side. And since this burger was so big, the wedge-cut fries seemed fitting. There isn’t anything unique about them, but my attention wasn’t on the fries.

BJ’s make awesome burgers.
Rating: * * * * ¾

Cavalli Pizza

3601 Regent Blvd
Irving, TX 75063
Phone: 972-915-0001
http://www.cavallipizza.com

Cavalli

June 13, 2012:
The New Haven – Fresh Mozzarella, Clams, Garlic, Bacon, Cherry Tomatoes, Oregano.  $11.75

The New Haven


"Cavalli pizza is wood-fired in a searing, 900-degree-oven — just like the pizza in Naples, Italy, where they’ve been making perfect pizza for hundreds of years. If you want authentic, Neapolitan style pizza, you can go to Naples - or save an airline ticket and go to Cavalli. And don’t worry, after just one taste, you’ll know you can handle the heat."

The New Haven: I don’t know if it was my fault for selecting a unique topping or maybe I really don’t like Cavalli’s style, but either case, this was not an enjoyable experience. I appreciate a good wood-fired pizza, but I also like my pizza NOT burnt on the bottom. At least 40% of a pizza is crust, and if that crust is ruined so is the pizza.

This aberration of crust made it difficult to determine the quality of the toppings. They looked nice, but a meal that’s purely visual isn’t a meal; it’s decoration. Maybe clams and pizza don’t mix, and I probably would have replaced the cherry tomatoes with sun-dried. After eating this, I might have done better with the more traditional Americanized version of pizza.

I liked that Cavalli’s is unique compared to the pop-up pizza chains. I just wish they took a little more care with my pizza.

Rating: * * ½

Flips Patio Grill

415 West State Hwy 114
Grapevine, TX 76051
Phone: 817-251-9800
http://www.flipspatiogrill.com

Flips

May 17, 2012:
Sam I Am [burger] – American cheese, crispy bacon and a fried egg all smothered in Spanish hot sauce.  $8.50
(substitute fries with onion rings)

Sam I Am

"All of Flips burgers are made with USDA choice chuck, ground fresh in house daily and served with lettuce, tomato, onions and pickles and your choice of hand cut fries or potato chips. Breads are baked fresh daily with choice of white or wheat."

Sam I Am: This is by no means a healthy burger. In fact, if you order this, kiss away all signs of your diet for the next week. BUT, it would be well worth it, for your taste buds will thank you. Bacon, eggs, cheese, and meat, how can you go wrong? Flips brags about their breads being baked fresh daily, and they have good reason to. The bun was noticeable fresh. There was nothing about this burger that I didn’t like, except maybe the level of residual oil on my fingers when I finished, but that should be expected.

The onion rings were perfect too. They did not layer the onions with a coating of batter. It was thin enough where you get to experience the onion flavor without overdoing with the grease.

If you’re okay with the guilt, get the burger.

Rating: * * * * ½

Daddy Jacks

150 S. Denton Tap Rd. Ste 101
Coppell, Texas 75019
Phone: 972-393-5152
www.daddyjackscoppell.com

Daddy Jacks

May 14, 2012:
Beef Tenderloin Tips – port wine, roasted garlic, portabella mushrooms and potato ravioli

Beef Tenderloin Tips

Side - blue cheese hash browns

blue cheese hash browns


Beef Tenderloin Tips: This was a very rich entree. I absolutely loved the beef tenderloin tips. And the port wine sauce went so well with it. In fact, the port wine sauce went well with everything. And here’s my issue with regards to this; as good as the sauce is, the portion of the tenderloins was completely shadowed by it. In fact, out of everything in this dish, the tenderloins were the smallest segment. It would have been more accurate to order it as the “Potato Ravioli” or “Portabella & Port Wine Soup.” That isn’t to say it wasn’t good because it was very good. But it seriously needed more meat and less sauce. After I was finished, there was enough sauce leftover to make another two plates.

As mentioned before, the ravioli was delicious. It would have made a lovely dish by itself, but worked well as a companion component.

I was impressed by the flavor but not by the overall balance of the dish.
Rating: * * * ½

Blue Cheese Hash Browns: My meal already contained potatoes, so I probably should have thought it through before ordering the hash browns. I was just excited to see blue cheese as part of a side without being in a salad or as a dressing. Unfortunately, I don’t think they used enough blue cheese to make a difference, and considering how tart blue cheese is, that’s saying something. I literally had to take extra time to feel for the ingredient. It was there but barely. As far as hash browns go, these were okay, but I can get “okay” at the supermarket in the frozen food section.
Rating: * * ½

Fat Daddy’s Burger House

215 South Denton Tap Road #100
Coppell, TX 75019
Phone: 972-462-7770
www.fatdaddysburgerhouse.com

Fat Daddy's

May 12, 2012:
Southwest Jalapeno Cheeseburger – Classic burger with pepper jack cheese, bacon, fried jalapeno topped with homemade ranch. Comes with fries.

Southwest Cheeseburger

"So much of our product is created from scratch. We make all our dips and sauces from fresh, local produce and ingredients. Our chicken product is certified farm fresh and our hamburger meat is 100% sirloin beef processed at a local meat processor and delivered daily. Our buns are delivered daily from a local bakery."

Southwest Jalapeno Cheeseburger: A fine specimen of a burger, the Southwest Jalapeno Cheeseburger had the necessary requirements in size and flavor to satisfy your average craving. From the very first bite, you can tell that their statement regarding the quality of their ingredients is no boast; it’s fact. The patty was positively delicious, the bacon flavorful but not fatty, and the fried jalapenos were a nice touch. To be honest, I think the burger could use a little more fried jalapeno; enough where you could casually spill some onto the plate and have to eat a few by themselves.

The fries were okay. They were thick enough to tell you were eating potato but thin enough to know you’re not eating a wedge. Nothing out of the ordinary, but I have a feeling you don’t go to Fat Daddy’s Burger House to admire the fries.

A family friendly and helpful environment, but I wouldn’t go so far as to say healthy. The ingredients may be fresh, but this is still a burger joint and will lead to the same basic results. Fat Daddy’s is a tasty place to eat, but be selective with your choices and mindful of your decisions. It is called “Fat Daddy’s” for a reason.

Rating: * * * * ½