December 24, 2008

My Local or What's for Dinner?

I know I mentioned previously that Hannah's was my local, go-to restaurant, prior to their price hikes, and I wonder - Did you, dear reader, think that left me local-less? Have no fear my dear, I'll let you in on a little secret; I've always had two locals. Now, I'm down to one: the Green House on Locust St, at Congress, and it's all good.

I know I've mentioned the Green House once or twice in passing, and it's high time I take a moment and give it its proper due. Even though I think they may have the worst gin martinis in town (it's the well gin, I think, not the bartenders), their John B's burger may be the best in town. Add the newest patio in town to their seriously good selection of draft beers, and the thrills of their monthly food\wine\cocktail specials with their very reasonable prices aaaand, ding, ding, ding! We have a winner!

In fact, I've been going to the Green House, pretty much since it opened, and I think they just keep getting better. Comfortable and casual, but dim enough to be romantic too, the Green House even offers live music in the gorgeous bar. That music comes to you Mon. and Thurs. nights, with $2 drafts and wells!

Now I hope you're asking, "But Dentonista, what do you recommend?" because I really do want to tell you.

  • The caesar salad - I get it with half grilled chicken, half grilled portabello mushroom. If you do to, I promise you won't regret it.

  • The blue mussels appetizer - Divine. Comes with crostini and is more than enough for a meal.

  • The John B's burger - I get it with sweet potato fries and balsamic mayo. They will nickel and dime you on these. Go with it; they're worth it.

  • The Trout - My regular dining companion orders this and jones for it. Honestly, I think it's a bit dull, but that's only one opinion.

  • The cheese ravioli - Home made, of course, enormous, and delicious.

  • Their home made salad dressings - In addition to the caesar, they make their own, delicious bleu cheese and roasted red vinaigrette salad dressings.

  • Special note:
  • The immensely improved service. If you've ever had spotty service there, in the past, I'm happy to say, I think you can leave that experience behind you. Snaps to the current wait crew.

  • So, looking for a place to eat tonight? Go there. I guarantee, unless it's homecoming or graduation weekend, and if they're not booked for a rehearsal dinner or an office party, they will be able to get you seated, without too long a wait. And if you have to kill some time in their beautiful (if sometimes smoky) bar, so what? (One of December's drink specials is a Pomegranate Mimosa) Now, lest you think their ability to seat you quickly equates to a big-box dining experience, perish the thought! There are actually 4 separate dining areas - 5, if you count the lovely patio dining on Congress Street. And you should. I know the weather's getting cooler, but I think you can still enjoy relaxed, al fresco lunch-time dining. (Any other nominees for patio dining? Please comment!)

    **PS - See the nice picture? That's my caesar salad (with just portobella) and an adult beverage, sitting on a patio dining table. I enjoyed an al fresco lunch with another Dentonista just this week. Tasty lunch, good company, beautiful weather. Ah, yes! I LOVE Denton.**
    Greenhouse Restaurant on Urbanspoon

    December 12, 2008

    DFW Airport

    I know Dallas Fort Worth International airport (DFW) is not in Denton County, none-the-less it’s one of the things that makes Denton excellent. I may live in a small and tidy city (120, 000 people in about 80 sq miles), but I consider myself half an hour away from the rest of the world.

    I know lots of people like to bag on American Airlines (and I know that for all the years I’ve been flying with them – 10+ – I’ve never been upgraded), but their hub at DFW is just another thing that makes this airport, and by extension Denton, fantastic. AA’s hub ensures I can fly direct to just about everywhere in the country and a lot of the world. And, if you’re lucky enough to have a flight leaving from Terminal D (formerly all international flights, now some domestic AA flights too), you’ll have lots of restaurants to eat at, and tons of shopping – duty-free, if you have an international ticket, just fun to look at, if you don’t.
    And, of course, you don’t have to fly American to use and benefit from DFW.

    If you’re sighing, “Big Deal,” I ask you to really think about it.
    Flying is still relatively cheap – cheaper than it was, adjusted, 20 years ago, even if it’s a bigger hassle, and only THINK of what an added drag compulsory holiday visits to family would be if you had to drive two, or three, or more hours to the airport! Think that’s preposterous? I think I mentioned I’m from NY? Well the three international New York-area airports were my airports, and they were still three or more hours away.
    I kid you not.
    Traffic and distance – three hours.
    I’m telling you, I looove me some DFW airport, and, if you think about it, you do too.

    December 3, 2008

    The Austin Street Area

    This area always strikes me as our tiny, little French Quarter (VC to you LA-ers), and I mean the residential areas - not the puke-slimed streets the drunk fraternity boys roam. In fact, proximity to TWU and the multitudes of sleek felines sauntering these sidewalks (right on, my sisters!) makes me think you'd be hard-pressed to find a boy of any variety, much less a frat daddy. What's not to love?

    So, what does it mean when I say New Orleans? Well, check out the wrought iron balcony detailing on the funky and old (but recently renovated) Austin Villas apartments, and imagine them with the original white balconies and yellow shutters...

    Now, look up. See the heavy tree canopy?
    And then - hear the quiet? Believe me when I tell you, residential NOLA is very quiet.

    Are you noticing all the cool, old houses, in various states of renovation? I think they're architecturally interesting, as well as inspiring to anyone who owns (or wants to own) an older house.

    Did I mention this neighborhood is a cat haven? Cat watchers and crazy cat ladies will enjoy strolling and trying to entice the kittens to come play with them.

    Just check it out - this is a great area in which to go walking; you can even finish up by the Greenhouse and sip a restorative beer on the patio.