11 February 2008

The Flying Saucer / Reata, Fort Worth, TX


Double feature I say?!?


This is going to be a rather long post, so you might want to grab your favorite beverage (some Great Lakes perhaps? mmmm), maybe some popcorn and chips, and settle back into your comfy desk chair before you continue reading.



Act I: The Flying Saucer, 111 E. Fourth St @ Commerce, Fort Worth, TX

I was in Texas this past weekend, and after a long day of shopping for cowboy hats, Rob and I decided to walk around downtown Fort Worth to check out some shopping, watch the sunset, and generally just spend a swank Saturday night. We ended up at the Flying Saucer Beer Emporium after a stellar recommendation by one of his coworkers. We amble in for a drink, and immediately head for the rooftop tables so that my UV deprived skin can take in some soleil and some 70 degree temperature. There are no open tables, and we notice a man sitting alone - we ask if we can share his table, and he says no problem.

While attempting to decide on a beer, he steps in with a very unique recommendation - why not try a beer brewed in an abbey across the street from his house in Belgium? (What?! He's from Belgium!!) So of course, we can't resist trying the Westmalle Triple, a blonde ale. So smooth and complex were the flavors, so high the alcohol content, so great the company....I almost didn't notice when 5 MORE PEOPLE sat down at our table.

Turns out the meeting was random; I'm not sure how much I believe that. Tom and Katty had just recently moved from Belgium to Texas, Wilfried is from Belgium and traveling on business, and the other two guests were from Texas originally. Talk moved from SEO to their company (they manufacture playing cards) to Belgian beer to traveling to their board game that is being release in the US in a few months - Key Largo (I recommend checking it out, Katty was at dinner with us)...one Westmalle and one Duvel later, I came back from the restroom with the bill taken care of (whoa!) and an invite for Rob and I to join them for dinner.

Invite some random college-age kids for dinner with some swank, high-class Belgian and Texan 30+year olds?! No way. No WAY. NO FORKING WAY.


Did we go? What happened to the guys harassing the waitress across the roof from us? Why can't I find Westmalle here in New York? Where did the sun go? Why don't they serve Great Lakes? Where did they want to go to eat?

All of these questions (and more!) answered in Act 2.....stay tuned....or go get a refill of whatever you're masticating at the current moment.


15 minute intermission.........


ACT II: Reata, 310 Houston St., Fort Worth, TX

Due to the only things having been eaten that day being some Disaronno-infused French toast, and some Swedish meatballs at Ikea (oh my God, so tasty, so scrumptious), my delicious ales caused what we refer to as "rapid onset", a condition that occurred many times after working late nights at Nova and hitting the 'Stretch after. (You don't eat anything, and then you have a drink or two and they slam yo' ass to the ground.) I somehow found my way downstairs and outside and on the walk over, contemplated what other intelligent conversation I could make all the while being careful not to slur my words. We walked for about 2 blocks, and came to Reata, fine Texan dining. We had a private room, all grabbed seats and perused the menu. A Zinfandel was ordered, everyone ordered appetizers but me (stupid, always follow the crowd), and main courses as well. While the rest of the members dined and wined on their salads and soups, I ate some of the jalapeƱo cornbread muffins...not bad, but could have been a bit spicier. What I was anxious for was my pan seared pepper-crusted tenderloin with port wine sauce, with mashed potatoes and a side of corn. (Come on, I'm from the Midwest Rob...give me some slack.)

Dinner finally arrived, and two waiters come around the table with flashlights and ask us to cut into our steaks to ensure they are at the proper temperature. Perfection was tasted when I cut into that first bite of Texan beef....as I chewed and the meat hit all of my taste receptors in my tongue, I swear I was on the fast escalator up to heaven as it got better the more I ate. The corn was more of a mix with peppers in it, which complemented perfectly the mashed potatoes. Oh my God. This has to be one of the better steak and potatoes dinner I've had in a while (and probably the only one I've had in a while).

When I handed my plate to the waiter, there was nothing left on it. No really, not even remnants of the port wine sauce, as I had used the remnants of my potatoes and corn morsels to soak up every last drip.

Then, everyone insisted on ordering dessert. Dessert?! As stated previously, I'm not really a dessert person, but I was coerced into sharing a dessert with Rob, the chocolate bread pudding tamale served with dulce de leche ice cream.

To describe? Heavenly.

The check came, and credit cards came out of wallets...our hosts paid for the meal in full. Incredible. We thanked profusely for the night's festivities, and walked away with business cards and contact infos for everyone that had attended.

Incredible. For the entire experience, I give a full 5 forks (!).

03 February 2008

Gold St., 2 Gold St. (Between Platt St and Maiden Lane)

After working late on a move at one of my company's sites, Friday found myself and two of my friends (both named David) in all of it's splendor at what seems to be ordained as a Friday night tradition down on Wall Street, where the bars are empty and the service is great.

We started off at the Irish Punt, an Irish pub where Dion provides us with excellent pours, deliciously mixed drinks and great stories of working in a bar where most of it's patrons make more money than I'll ever see in three lifetimes. After the Punt, we moved on to a small Thai karaoke bar a few blocks away, which much to my dismay, allowed smoking inside the establishment (and where most of the patrons were obnoxious). On the other hand, I felt like I was right at home when I saw a mouse scurry across an open doorway. (Did I tell you? We caught three baby mice on Thursday night behind our stove with a sticky trap. Awesome.)

Once everyone had agreed to party all night and stay out until Dim Sum in Chinatown the next morning, we realized we had to refuel and recoup, and Gold St. seemed like the only logical choice (being one of the only things open down in the Financial District after market hours). I was immediately energized by DJ Dan who was spinning and excited by the prospect of a diner with a bar. We sat down, and were given the Late Night Menu.

Our choices included the Stone St. Omlette, Spinach and Artichoke dip, and Disco fries.

I didn't try any of the omlette, but I tried the spinach and artichoke dip and I'm sorry to say but the most exciting part of the dish was when a drunk chick from a few tables away walked over and asked us if she could try some on her way out. Other than that, frankly I thought our dip at Nova, my old stomping / bartending ground was far superior, as often times patrons would take pity on my impoverished student exterior and allow me the last bite or two of their dish. (Which definitely beat gnawing on mostly-eaten T-bones off plates that I collected while bussing down tables. Just kidding, I never did that. I also never dug out of the trash we used to scrape into for half-eaten hamburgers. I swear.)

The Disco fries, on the other hand were a completely different story. While in Niagra, I didn't get around to eating these delicious morsels of perfectly fried potato, double dipped into both beef gravy and fondue'd brie. I don't even LIKE brie, nor was I hungry and I found myself with the strange urge to pick up the little plates and lick off the remaining dip once we had cashed the fries.

So tasty. So Jersey-ish. So exquisite.

I might have had a dream about them last night as well, already going through withdrawal and shaking like an addict would like being hooked after first shot of coke. Er....

Unfortunately, we were driven out of Gold St not by an abundance of patrons, nay because the music was just TOO FORKING LOUD. We could barely hear ourselves think, let alone talk and when I woke up the next morning, my ears were still ringing. Not only that, the music selection was mediocre at best.

Gold St gets 1.5 / 5 forks, which in essence could be translated into the DISCO FRIES get all the credit for this place. And I hear you can get them at any diner in NYC anyways. No no no - thank YOU, New Jersey.

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