Monday, July 20, 2009

Good Grub in The Hub

The reasoning behind this post about places to have some good grub in Lubbock is mainly to to me originally sending this as an e-mail to the author of the blog, "Lubbock Texas Lubbock Texas" in response to a post they made about restaurants in Lubbock and my push to see more local restaurants on their page... and I figured I'd make a blog post about it.

I will always dine at a local restaurant over a franchised, chain-restaurant (see Brinker Intl.) who still make great food... but you can get anywhere in the country. (Although I have to say, Brinker is based in my hometown of Dallas, TX and the CEO's son is a Texas Tech student)

If you're ever in Lubbock, I hope you check out these fantastic establishments over one you could eat at in your own hometown. I'll e
ven include my favorite dish at each one.

I will try and classify the different restaurants by their respective locations in town, and primarily will focus on places near campus... but remember... there are so many more that I haven't even touched on:

Depot/Downtown (I'm missing tons of small hole-in-the-walls that I've eaten at and either forgotten, or have yet to go to... there are dozens in the legal district near the Courthouse and City Hall)
- Triple J Chophouse & Brew Company - My absoulte favorite place in town; this place deserves a post all on it's own. Go there and just experience it... fantastic food,
atmosphere, and the most unique trait of Triple J is that they brew their own beer & sell it at prices ($2/pint) that kill Cricket's overpriced drafts, plus the staff is much friendlier... Start off with the Fried, Shrimp Stuffed Jalapenos and the Raider Red Draft. For your entrée, order the Ancho Grilled Filet Mignon and a pint of Otis' Oatmeal Stout (...however, the beer selection changes often, as they make it seasonally and fresh!)
- Ranch House - What a great place for break
fast; dirt cheap, old fashioned diner style, and all the staff and owner are the nicest people ever. Spent many early mornings here (they open at 6:00AM!) Get the S.O.S. and a bottomless cup o' joe... Hits the spot every time.

At 19th & Memphis (One of the best areas for good variation, price, & most importantly taste, called Oak Tree Village, located by Covenant... however those not "in-the-know" seem to drive by this place and miss out big-time):
- Jazz - A Louisiana Kitchen - Great cajun cooking, atmosphere, & live music. Order the Shrimp Czarina with a "Swamp Water" or a Chilton.
- Thai Pepper - Thai flavoring, fast & friendly service, good price, delicious & different, cramped atmosphere (which is strangely a nice change for Lubbock restaurants) Order the Panang Curry, or any of the curries.
- Bless Your Heart (site n/a) - healthy, but still very tasty. Get the Smothered Burrito, it's so good you won't believe that it's actually good for you, too! Top that off with a frozen yogurt with fresh fruit.

At 19th & University (mainly east of the intersection, but Cafe J is located West)
- Cafe J - Honestly, I haven't been here but a good friend of mine holds this as one of the best places in town, and I take her word... (will be sampling it when she returns from summer vacation)
- McAllister's - a franchised restaurant, but great the Sweet Tea, Potatoes, & Sandwiches make it impossible to ignore. Get The Spud Max, Memphian, or Open Face Roast Beef (which is colossal!!) ...and you've got to wash it all down with a big 'ol glass of Sweet Tea (reminds me of the tea in "Good Directions" by Billy Currington)
- Josie's (site n/a) - This is a great cheap-food place, open 24 hours a day at most locations, one of the main [local] places that students hang out after bars/parties late at night. You can usually be pretty entertained here on Thurs-Sat nights at 2:15-3:30AM. Get any of their burritos, I go for the either a queso-smothered Chorizo or Barbacoa & Potato.

34th & Indiana (Indiana Gardens, and Picante's is 5-6 blocks east, but close)
- Cap Rock Cafe - great place to eat a wide selection of distinctly different takes on familiar dishes.. also a fun atmosphere (they have a cropduster flying out of the wall!) Get the Green Chili Cheeseburger & Texas Toothpicks, which are fried strips of jalapenos and onions.
- Peace o' Cake - this place is getting big, solely by word of mouth! It's a very unique store specializing only in cupcakes... they bake them fresh every morning and stay open until they sell out, you can tell this if they have their flag flying outside... great place and the owners are great people. Mississippi Mud Cupcake = yum.
- Picante's (site n/a) - the best place for cheap but quality mexican food. They have extremely low prices and give you heaps of delicious food, friendly staff. Get one of their gigantic breakfast burritos for $2, eat half, get it to-go and you've got two meals for $1 each! (it may be more if you add to it)

Wow! Well there you go, I hope that is some use for someone.. I don't know who all reads my blog, but I think I am going to begin writing more about things.

If you read this, I would really appreciate any and all feedback!!

Thanks guys, and happy dining!


p.s. - I could only find protected photos of Triple J on Flickr, all credits for that fantastic picture go to Flickr user melmcree, thanks for a great shot of one of my favorite spots in Lubbock!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Walking, Just Say 'no' to a Cart, Next Time...

As cheesy as it may sound. I love walking a golf course, rather than riding in a cart on it. There is an irreplaceable serenity you get when walking a golf course. Other than perhaps the impatient, frustrated business foursome on a lunch break rushing through behind you, there is not a care in the world...

Growing up, my dad told me walking was better. I hated it, but that's how he said he had always played. I may have hated it then, but now I am the one suggesting we walk, and all my friends want to use the carts. While I fully understand the negatives of walking in near 100 degree Texas heat, if you happen to be lucky and are playing on a cool day, with a slight breeze, green grass, clean air, and not many on the course (although, on a day like that… who WOULDN’T be trying to go golf!) you will understand what I mean.

To me, walking a course is like taking a walk through the country, only better. Because you have a purpose, but not a purpose that really matters, other than fun. You get to take in all the sights and sounds of a golf course, all the nature, all the manicured greens to the fullest extent. Also, it’s sure to strike up a conversation with the cute cart girl when she wonders why the heck you’d be walking on a summer day. But I digress.

The peaceful, easy feeling you get when walking is hard to find anywhere else. Also walking allows you to collect your thoughts, both immediate thoughts regarding the proper wedge to use on the approach, and your long-term thoughts, like what is going on in your life. It allows you to sit back, relax, and reflect on your life, the beauty of the course, and the perfection of the game.

Oh and did I mention, walking is good exercise! From the occasional game of golf with buddies pounding cold ones, you could use a little exercise, and let’s be honest, when else are you going to be willing to walk an average 6,000 yards with a bag attached to your back (and unless you enjoy backpacking, I don’t think you’ll have an answer)

So let me get this straight, you can achieve greater concentration on your game, better grasp on whatever happens to be on your mind, enjoy and appreciate the course and nature, get a great exercise burning off that Turkey Bacon Swiss you ate at the clubhouse between 9 and 10, AND get a satisfying man-tan (you know, from doing man things, like golfing) all from switching from a cart to your feet? Seems too good to be true!

Now, if you’re still one of those that swears by cart riding, push in the locking break, unstrap your clubs from the back (I bet you’re wondering what that shoulder sling is for) and take a hike.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Today is the First Day.

Ever since I was a young boy, my mother has told me a lot of things, all sorts of phrases that have stuck with me throughout life. Some of these come from proverbs, some from her parents, some from the Bible, some from her own mind. One that sticks out to me right now is:

“Today is the first day of the rest of your life.”

Until recently, I never grasped or truly appreciated the meaning of this quote.

Upon a quick Google search, I see that it is an American proverb and this gets me thinking…

This quote is what fits right now. In my life, in your life, in the state of affairs of the country, and of the world, it is the first day of the rest of our lives. Let’s make it count.

Being an American proverb, this makes sense, as we have always been a go-getter society. In America, this phrase truly stands as the way it all works. Today is the first day of the rest of your life. Your life.
Life, such a wonderful thing to appreciate. We only get one, you know.

I’ve been through a lot these last 6 months, all of which has made me so appreciative of simply being alive and free. I’m starting to see how much there is you can do in life, and how interesting it all is.

No more wasteful days sleeping all day long instead of other things, no more excessive drinking all of the time (now, I'm not saying it's bad to drink... that's part of LIVING! Just drinking in excess repeatedly), no more of all of this behaviour that has been dragging me down. No more excess spending (both on a personal and national level), no more thoughtless acts, no more behaviour that has been dragging us all down. It’s the first day of the rest of my life, and yours, and life is what we make of it.

I’m feeling rather positive about things right now, and I don’t know if it’s the coffee, or the thinking I’ve been doing, or if it’s just that I’m glad to be alive and everything is looking up, but this is what I’m feeling right now, and if there is any point to having a blog, it is to write down your thoughts about whatever you please.

So let’s see how my experiment with this thing goes.

I start off writing to myself, and anyone who stumbles upon this site, that’s all. If you are here by any reason, hope you enjoy reading, and let me know what you think.