Barnaby’s Cafe

May 26, 2016 § Leave a comment

A modern corner bistro with floor to ceiling windows, with a view of Market Square Park. It’s a lively, sit anywhere atmosphere. The staff is welcoming, friendly, and attentive. Casual attire, great lunch spot. 

Hickory BBQ Burger
A beautiful handmade patty, topped with two seared slices of ham, cheddar cheese, diced red onion and BBQ sauce. The bun maintained integrity to the last bite, a sure indication of quality. A heaping pile of french cut fries filled the plate, with a ramekin of BBQ sauce.

801 Congress St • Houston, TX


The Mission

August 8, 2015 § Leave a comment

The Mission restaurant in Scottsdale. A luxurious, romantic setting with dark wood and rustic furnishings with glittering chandeliers and glass fixtures. It’s a beautiful atmosphere. Any pretension evaporates with the warm greetings and friendliness of the staff. Expect to spend the time to enjoy your experience. And in case you can’t get enough, the chef has two other restaurants in Scottsdale, Zinc Bistro and The House Brasserie.

Tableside Guacamole
Chunky haas avocado, jalapeño red onion, fresh garlic, sea salt, lime, tomatoes, chipotle puree, cilantro, cotija & roasted pepitas

Duck Carnitas Empanada 
Duck confit, foie gras, orange habanero glaze, oregano, mushroom & queso Oaxaca

Roast Corn Gordita
Roasted corn, squash, zucchini, mushroom, gordita & huitlacoche crema

Chorizo Porchetta
Pork shoulder, house made chorizo, rosemary, cotija, white bean puree & sweet garlic crema

Poblano Grits
Tennessee grits, poblano & horseradish

Pumpkin Bread Pudding 
Pumpkin bread pudding, scotch, pepitas & pomegranate

Guatamelan Chocolate Pastilla 
XO tequila, fig and guajillo glaze, tres leches ice cream & spicy cocoa nibs


Destihl Restaurant and Brew Works

June 28, 2012 § Leave a comment

Nice looking, brushed steel and dark wood restaurant with easy access to the freeway.  From Interstate 74, take the Neil St exit and head south.  There’s a meter parking lot across the street.  The atmosphere is pleasant and relaxing, a modern business lunch place without the need for a suit jacket.  Brew barrels line the entry, and the steel vats gleam behind clear glass walls.  A chic glass-tiled host station greets you and a rough stone wall ushers you to the restaurant floor.  

Bison Burger
Completely delicious, lean bison surrounded by fresh lettuce, tomato and a thick bun.  It was perfect, not dry!  What I love about bison is that it doesn’t have the fat taste of beef, and this burger was no exception.  It comes with fries, but I opted for a side salad with the house dressing- a garlic vinaigrette.  It was a satisfying combination and well portioned.

My one complaint is the service.  There is one server who takes the order, one who brings the food without direction, and many who wander the restaurant without the initiative to look to see what customers might need. We were not checked upon, water was not refilled and no dessert or check offered well after our plates were clean.  The restaurant was not full, and I felt neglected.  It’s unfortunate for such a fine establishment to be hamstrung by this fault. The food is excellent and I would come back if the experience was better.

301 N. Neil Street • Champaign,IL • 61820
Hours: Monday – Thursday 11am to 10pm • Friday – Saturday 11am to 12am • Sunday 10am to 9pm


Taqueria Guadalajara

June 12, 2012 § Leave a comment

Don’t let the peeling paint and crumbling exterior fool you.  Taqueria Guadalajara is has the best mexican food in town.  Get a table in the back dining room, and prepare for a culinary trip south of the border.  The staff is friendly and obliging. The decor is typical comfort meets hole-in-the-wall, pink walls and diner furniture, complete with soccer matches on the tv.  I adore this place.  One of the family opened another restaurant: Francisco’s Mexican Cantina on E. Main St, equally great! 

Burrito Mexicano
A fantastic giant burrito beautifully topped with guacamole, sour cream and red sauce.  I usually end up getting this, because it’s so completely satisfying and delicious.  The steak is cooked perfectly tender, the tortilla is soft and chewy.  It’s a full meal, so come hungry.

1033 S. Park St • Madison, WI • 53715
Hours: Tuesday – Friday: 10am – 10pm • Saturday & Sunday: 9am – 10pm • Closed Mondays


Fiorella’s Jack Stack Barbeque

May 29, 2012 § Leave a comment

In the beautifully reclaimed Freight House, Fiorella’s Jack Stack Barbeque is arguably the best bbq in Kansas City.  A lot of people can fit into the expansive dining room with vaulted ceilings and raw wood beams.  Jack Stack’s has glossy wood tables and cloth napkins, not your typical paper towel roll on the table bbq joint.  The atmosphere is relaxed and comfortable, even during the busiest times. If there’s a wait for a table, try snagging a seat in the bar area. The lighting is primarily candle light, so bring a penlight if needed. I loved this place so much, I came back for seconds the next evening.

Lamb Ribs
A mouth-watering slab of fall-off-the-bone lamb ribs slathered in sweet and tangy sauce. The ribs come with a choice of sides. The coleslaw and grilled vegetable kabob are definite favorites.

Mom’s Carrot Cake
Warm, luscious square of spiced carroty goodness covered in melting cream cheese icing. If you have room for dessert, it’s big enough to share.

101 W 22 St • Kansas City, MO • 64108
Hours: Sun 11am-9pm • Mon-Thur 11am-10pm • Fri-Sat 11am-10:30pm


Iowa River Power Restaurant

May 23, 2012 § Leave a comment

On the banks of the Iowa River, this repurposed power house makes a unique and relaxing eatery.  The main dining area is floor to cathedral ceiling windows overlooking the Iowa River.  Machinery from the building’s former days hang overhead and decorate the walls.  The staff is pleasant, friendly, and speedy.  Dress is casual, the prices are very reasonable, and the portions are perfect.  Make sure to get a table by the window for river viewing and take a stroll afterwards to the bridge over the dam for excellent photo ops and a little bit of history. 

Flannigans’ Reuben
This is a fantastic reuben sandwich. There is an option of corned beef or turkey, I chose the corned beef.  The swiss cheese is a nice addition to the full flavors of the sandwich on marbled rye. I was very happy with my selection.  If I’m ever passing through Iowa City again, I’m definitely going back.

501 1st Ave • Coralville, IA • 52241
Hours: Dinner Monday – Thursday 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. • Friday 5 p.m. – 10 p.m. • Saturday 4 p.m. – 10 p.m. • Lunch in the Lounge • Monday – Friday 11 AM – 2 PM • Sunday Brunch 10 – 1:30 , Dinner 4 p.m. – 9 p.m.


Stephan Pyles

May 22, 2012 § Leave a comment

An elegant oasis in the arts district of downtown Dallas, Stephan Pyles is a fine dining experience you will be talking about for years after, and possibly rearranging travel for a repeat visit. If you appreciate food, you must treat yourself to dinner here, and ask to sit at the ceviche bar. Don’t expect to be in and out in a rush. This is food to be savored. Required dress code: Business Casual. Shorts permitted at lunch. No jacket or tie required. Shorts not permitted at dinner.

Ceviche Bar
Ahi Tuna with Passion Fruit and Coconut, Red Snapper with Smoked Corn and Chili Pop Rocks, Lobster with Basil, Papaya, Pine Nut and Tamarind. Get the ceviche sampler and pick three to try.

Bay of Fundy Salmon
Bay of Fundy Salmon with Lemon-Ginger Polenta, Smoked Bacon Caldo, and Crisp Jonah Crab Albondigas.

1807 Ross Avenue • Dallas, TX • 75201
Hours: Lunch Mon-Fri 11:30am-2pm • Dinner Mon-Thu 6:00-10:00pm • Fri-Sat 6:00-11:00pm


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