Sunday, October 24, 2010

Yucatan Taco Stand (Tequila Bar & Grill) in Southlake, TX

This ain't no ordinary Taco Stand. Taco Stand is not even a good way to describe Yucatan Taco Stand in Southlake TX, deep in the heart of the suburbs in the DFW metroplex. The name does have a nice ring to it and besides, it is order at the counter easy so the name fits none the less.

What also fits is the food Yucatan Taco Stand serves up. As we walked in and gazed at the generous variety on the menu, we found many choices that would please even the most picky Mexican food eater. Those same Mexican food connoisseurs and there are plenty of them in Texas, would recognize Yucatan as not a Tex-Mex place which Texas is famous for (which Livin Tejas will do posts on in the future), but a redefined Mexican restaurant. Redefined because they have food selections that can be found where else but the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. To us, for an order at a counter place that has taco stand in it's name, it is rare to have food of that nature. This left Livin Tejas very intrigued and ready to sample this Yucatan's adventurous menu. One visit is not enough to do this so we are unfortunately going to have to go back and explore some more of that menu so be ready for an update. The reason is, Livin Tejas wants to be very thorough in showing the best of Texas eateries.

Gravity defying nachos combined with high quality ingredients are a rare breed even in Texas
We heard a rumor while reading reviews for this Taco Stand, that Yucatan serves up a mean nacho plate. By "mean" we mean good in every sense of the word. Livin Tejas had no idea that it would surpass us in even that expectation so we thought it very important to sample the nacho plate for our readers to see if the rumors were true. One rumor being that it's almost a foot high tower of nacho heaven. As soon it reached our table we knew that rumor stood on solid truthful ground and thankfully that ground was our table.

They have five different nacho plates that accomplish this gravity defying feat and we'd love to have tried them all which include ground sirloin, Tequila lime chicken, grilled vegetarian, and Carne De Puerco (pork). With so many different choices it was obvious that it was going to be hard to choose the right plate. We love food challenges though so the one we did test was the garlic shredded beef nacho plate and it did not disappoint our taste buds in the least. How could they? They were met with an infusion of melted Chihuahua cheese and not your ordinary nacho cheddar cheese as this is a Mexican cheese from the Chihuahua region of Mexico that is white in color and melts well and can be used for fondues. Simply an amazing ingredient to get beyond your ordinary nachos.

The other ingredients that really pushed this dish to be one of the best nacho plates we've ever had in Texas were high quality crispy tortilla chips that had the right kind of crisp and a special seasoning that brought a ton of flavor to the plate. Added to that important ingredient were tomatoes, red onions, cilantro, purple cabbage, topped with sour cream and very fresh stand out guacamole. All these quality ingredients combined with a very generous portion that could easy feed two hungry stomachs and coming in at a value of $8.75, has led us to believe that you could search Texas your whole life and not find nachos of this caliber.

Livin Tejas didn't stop at that nacho plate, which we could of easily and been more than satisfied but we also decided to sample the Tequila Lime Tacos. After all, the name does have Taco Stand in it so it wouldn't be fair to our readers not to go for the tacos.

It's hard to see covered in fresh lettuce and cabbage but like the nachos these tacos were above expectations. Speaking of expectations we were expecting that we wouldn't find much of the main ingredient of tequila lime chicken but we very surprised that we had to use two hands to eat these. That is to say that the chicken filled this taco more than enough. As evidence of this is, Yucatan uses double the corn tortillas to keep everything from falling out. If that wasn't enough, we found the shredded chicken to very moist just the way Livin Tejas likes it and we're assuming that is the majority of people on Earth. Also, like the nachos, we were met with the wonderful taste of Chihuahua cheese.

With all of this for only 3.50 a taco, you'd swear you were in a taco nirvana.  Then imagine in this perfect taco world, that three of these bad boys would set you right the rest of the night. Taco fans you should indeed rejoice for not only is this more than likely true but there would be nothing to stop you from getting the most out of the taco menu. Accomplishing this would be by not just ordering the same tacos for each but sampling some of the others that include tempura fish tacos, special ground sirloin, garlic shredded beef, grilled vegetarian, pork, spicy aged chorizo, spicy shrimp all for 3.50 a piece except for the chorizo and shrimp taco which are only a dollar more. That is quite a taco feast for such a low price, and guaranteed you'd walk out the door a happy taco camper.

Does this really look like your typical order at the counter place? 
With all great food aside though (which it's hard to put great food aside), Livin Tejas does appreciate a comfortable and laid back atmosphere. Yucatan Taco Stand was above reproach in this category as it was very different from your typical order at the counter eatery. We usually go to those kinds of places which don't warrant a post, and it's like going to a fast food restaurant all over again. This is one of the ways Yucatan Taco Stand surprised us because like we said, it is order at the counter like a fast food restaurant but when we got past the order counter, we were amazed to see a spacious, clean, well laid out   place with more than enough booths and tables to go around. We were very pleased with this because in all our days of eating out, this was the nicest and most pleasant order at the counter place we'd ever been to. Perfect for a lazy Sunday afternoon where you might want the privacy of someone NOT coming to your table every couple minutes and interrupting your conversation as the servers only bring you the food that matches your number and nothing else.

It was so impressive and tasty, we had to demolish this once towering to almost a foot nacho plate
By all means and right away, get your delicious Mexican food number served at Yucatan Taco Stand. For help in achieving that and hitting this taco stand up for impressive items that consist of nachos, tacos, burritos, salads, burritos bowls, grilled Yucatan foods that include fajitas and chimichangas, grilled Latin sandwiches, and this only names a few items of their impressive and extensive menu, please visit: Yucatan Taco Stand  

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Flying Fish in Dallas, TX, Don't Miss Out On The Fresh Catch

On our journey to find the best eateries Texas offers, Livin Tejas decided to get the lowdown on something Texas does right, fried catfish. We found it at the Flying Fish in Dallas, TX. This was only after an exhausting journey that included several failed attempts to find a parking spot at two other well known catfish haunts. We will let them go unmentioned but just say to these places, you don't have to change a single thing in your restaurant (we like holes in the wall and all that) but if you have a popular spot, spend some money to enlarge your already small parking areas or find a way to accommodate for your customers if it overfills and this doesn't include having valet. That way, your customers don't have to do battle before they even get to the ordering counter. With our rant aside, we have to tell that if you're looking for great catfish and exhaustive selection of tasty seafood and you don't want to hassle with the parking, we found your place, as it has plenty of parking in front and a free parking garage right across the way.

Preston Center is a premier shopping and eating destination in Dallas
Flying Fish also happens to located in very established shopping center in Dallas called Preston Center with plenty of shops for you to browse around once your done with your meal or as we like to say, if you make yourself hungry while your shopping then fried seafood will surely satisfy that. 

As you can see, we weren't joking when we said that Flying Fish has an exhaustive selection of fried and not to mention grilled seafood goodness on their menu. We aren't complaining in the least though, as  we love variety and we're pretty sure that most of this menu is sure to satisfy your seafood fix. Just to give you a brief summary of what they have, theres hamburgers, boiled shrimp, snow crab legs, fish tacos, and even a big breakfast menu until 10:30am. You might be asking, how did Livin Tejas ever decide what to get? Easy, we just went for what Texas is known for in the seafood department and catfish would be at the top. 

As you can see, we happened to make the right choice in getting this catfish and butterfly shrimp combo basket that includes fries and hushpuppies as a bonus. We were also very surprised at the size and quality of the butterfly shrimp because unless you live near the Gulf Coast in Texas, then good quality shrimp is hard to come by. Not to say that it can't be found, just a little more difficult. Thankfully, we were very pleased to have found great shrimp here and again, that was very unexpected. It definitely took this place up a notch on the list of best catfish holes in Dallas. Ok, we'll get to our opinion of the quality of the fries because we know that is very important to some people but let's focus on what we came here for in the first place and that would be first rate catfish.

We said focus didn't we? Livin Tejas has visited plenty of catfish eateries in Texas and to be honest with our readers, we have to say... this is some of the very best catfish on this side of the Red River (for those that don't know, the Red River is the border of Texas and Oklahoma). As you might be able to tell, and from our honest opinion, this fish of whiskers was quality in being as fresh as it was. It was also exceptional in the meatiness and tenderness of the fish without any fatty meat which can be common if the cut is not done right. These two factors, freshness and the meatiness quality are very important if you want to experience the best catfish. In other words, the picture doesn't lie, it is as good as it looks. The other most important tip in finding great fried catfish is how they fry and bread it. We found the batter at Flying Fish to be very light and not overwhelming as to be able to taste the fish itself. Also, they fried it to perfection as it was not overdone but just right for our taste buds. A lot of catfish joints don't get that frying part right so needless to say, we were very impressed.

We couldn't leave without ordering up a catfish po'boy as they call it down south. A po'boy (or poorboy as it is also called) is simply a sandwich filled with your choice of seafood. That's if you're from other parts and are not aware of the name. At the Flying Fish, it happens to be called a poorboy loaf (interesting because we've never seen it called a loaf before). All naming issues aside, this poorboy loaf was good but not as good as we've experienced at other seafood restaurants in Dallas, Ft Worth, and Houston. This left our only regret because when we were driving home, we told ourselves that we of should tested some of the desserts. The desserts include banana pudding, key lime pie, bread pudding, and cobbler. All of those sound really good to us. That is ok though, this only gives us an excuse to go back and update this post for you at a later date. You probably know that is only a excuse to go back and eat this delicious fried seafood again. Ok we admit it, we have a sweet tooth too and that's why we were so hard on ourselves for not satisfying it.

The Famous Wall of Billy (talking) Bass can be found here
We just can't end without a silly but entertaining note because not only does Flying Fish have wonderful seafood, they have more personality to boot than most restaurants combined. We noticed this the minute we in the walked in door and decided it was too interesting to pass up by not including it in this post. 

Everywhere we looked, we saw fish and not in our baskets,  but on the walls and even on the ceiling. There happens to be an interesting story to this and it goes as follows...

As you might be able to read in the sign (click to enlarge if you need to) the Billy Bass collection is not only pretty to look at but it will get you free catfish if you participate. All you need to do, is give your Billy Bass up (that's not too much to ask for as you probably won't miss him, poor Billy though). No wonder we saw so many of those Billy fish, people are crazy about getting something for free. Not only is that fun, but what a way to entertain your kids when you take them here.

The Liars Wall is also very amusing as it contains countless bragging rights of people and their catch

We are definitely a fan of the humor that fills this stand out eatery but that would be all for nothing if the food wasn't up to par. Livin Tejas knew it would be though, because when a restaurant has a good vibe you can feel it the minute you walk in the door. The vibes were buzzing at the Flying Fish and there is no doubt that Livin Tejas found a new favorite in a State known for many a great catfish hangout. We have to say in the end, we are glad that we had parking issues at those other catfish joints because then we wouldn't of been able to experience the goodness of the catch and the personality of the atmosphere at the Flying Fish. If you want to find yourself at the Flying Fish and park yourself here with no hassle, then please visit Flying Fish


Saturday, October 9, 2010

Famed Kincaid's Hamburgers in Ft Worth, TX, The Original!

Last week when Livin Tejas went to original and legendary Sonny Bryan's BBQ in Dallas, we knew that it was only right to follow that up with something in the same ballpark.  Livin Tejas only wants to show our readers the best eateries that Texas offers and there is no doubt that we did that again for this week.

The original Kincaid's Hamburgers that we visited is in Ft Worth and is what the original Sonny Bryan's  is for Dallas. This is to say, as with Sonny Bryan's, the history of Kincaid's is part of what makes it as legendary as the food they serve.

Inside Kincaid's, it's storied history lives on in the original store shelves that lead to the ordering counter

The background of Kincaid's dates back all the way to 1946 when it started as a bustling grocery store and full service meat market named Charles Kincaid's Grocery and Meat Market. As you can see from the first picture that name was never disregarded. Evolving from that, in 1964 the meat cutter for the meat market, a man by the name of O.R Gentry (who'd been working there since 1947) started cooking up hamburgers for the customers. The rest was history as in 1967 he bought the place and Kincaid's Hamburgers was born. It's safe to say, that they probably never looked back, as the burgers soon became a hit and the news about how good they were got out and still does today.

We know that Mr Gentry, the man who started it all, would be proud that his popular burgers still bring in the crowds. This is true, as we went on a Saturday afternoon and were hard pressed to find a table. After a little patience and a good eye, we found a smaller table near the order counter and waited for our order to be called. Finally, it did and we unwrapped our food like giddy little children on Christmas Day. You see, Kincaid's is known for serving their food in a paper sack even if you're dining in.

It all was worth our time and unwrapping effort though because the first bite of Ft Worth's famed 8 oz Kincaid's burger was as good as the last. Maybe, the reason that it was so good, is that Kincaid's states that it only uses the best U.S.D.A Black Angus chuck and we could tell by the freshness of the meat. Also, the juiciness of the meat, topped with fresh tomatoes, lettuce and pickles in combo with a tasty bun really packed a delicious punch.

There is no way that we could forget to tell you about the onion rings pictured above. If we thought Sonny Bryan's in the below post had knockout onion rings and they do, these take the heavy weight prize for the best we've ever had. Livin Tejas, really didn't think that was possible after Sonny Bryan's so we see no way, that onion rings could possibly be any better than at Kincaid's. It's hard to put into words how great they were because you'd have to taste them to believe it. Simply.... warm, fresh, juicy, breaded, and fried to taste like heaven is the closest we can come. Go immediately to Kincaid's if you're town just to try them and we know you'll agree.

 These stand up counters were popular back in the day and people still enjoy them at Kincaid's today

During our experience at Kincaid's, we could see why countless articles have been written about how good Kincaid's burgers really are. We feel like it's only right to back them up by saying that in our opinion, Kincaid's has to be one of the best burger joints in the Texas and we've tried many in Texas. We hope you'll get to experience it's one of a kind burger and history so please don't pass up the opportunity if you're ever in Ft Worth. To find this original location and others, please visit Kincaid's Hamburgers

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Legendary Sonny Bryan's BBQ in Dallas, TX, The Original!

You might of seen this coming from a mile away but it had to be done. This Texas blog wouldn't be complete without a post (and more in the future) about Good Ol' Fashion Texas BBQ. Furthermore, Livin Tejas didn't just go to any BBQ joint, no sir ma'am, we went to visit the legendary and nationally known original location for Sonny Bryan's Smokehouse BBQ (it didn't make it onto to Rachel Ray's show for nothing) in none other than Dallas, Texas. As you can see from the sign, this BBQ has been around longer than your Aunt Sally Mae, and mine too. Words can't describe how old this place is, you might not be able to tell from this picture but this original Sonny Bryan's is basically a shack! Don't let the shack door hit you on the way out though because the mystique of this place is just as refined as the BBQ.

As we just mentioned, the old fashioned nature of this place, goes right along with the BBQ. If you sit inside, expect to sit your keaster in a desk. Yes, you heard right, no fancy table tops can be found at this famous landmark of BBQ. Many of a famous persons have done just that, unfortunately not while we were there, or guaranteed we'd got a shot for ya. However, a story was told to me by a family member that they witnessed Cowboy's owner Jerry Jones eating some BBQ here not too long ago. Livin Tejas is based in Tejas so as the Tejas people say, yee haw, stick it to em Cowboy's. That's a different post though. Getting back to this one, if you ever find yourself at this Sonny Bryan's look around because  plenty of pictures of famous people especially famous Texans can be found hanging on the wall. Just might be what you fancy. Livin Tejas fancies the BBQ though so as a Texan might say, let's dig in....

Just looking at this, can make you want to go out of  your way to experience  Sonny Bryan's BBQ. 
 Words can't describe, how wonderful tasting, Sonny Bryan's BBQ is. There are also surprisingly, many great meats and sides to choose from considering this is an original location. Livin Tejas went for what we thought we'd be the most popular items on the menu to give you a show of them.

First up, came the sliced brisket sandwich, because if you eat BBQ in Texas you're going to want to go there. The brisket is fall off the bone quality, although if you know BBQ then you know that there is no bone in brisket, just all flavor. Fall off the bone is still a good way to describe good BBQ though and Sonny Bryan's brisket lives up to that. Now, go ahead and be generous with the sauce because you won't find sauce of this caliber at many BBQ stops. As you can see, we did just that. 

One of the biggest tips I can give you is to try the onion rings and speaking of big, they are probably without a doubt some of the biggest you can find anywhere. Sometimes good things don't always come big, but Livin Tejas would take a trip to Sonny Bryan's just for their onion rings, they are that good! It may come as another surprise but they aren't that greasy for being as huge as they are and they're breaded and fried to perfection. When you bite into them, you can truly taste the juiciness of the onion, so delicious. Let's see what else is for lunch....

This rib plate is literally overflowing with goodness
We might of just died and gone to BBQ heaven, lookie at those ribs. Makes you want to say yummy. It's safe to say that these here ribs are stick to your ribs quality. It's hard to put into words how delicious these ribs were but I'd recommend, if it's your first time going to Sonny Bryan's, to try out the sandwiches.

You might ask, how were the beans and coleslaw? They get high marks in the Livin Tejas book of BBQ. The coleslaw complimented the brisket perfectly and beans were delicious because they were spicy and not run of the mill pinto beans.

Livin Tejas can't end a story of famous BBQ from Texas without telling you, well a story of not only the food but of the friendliness of a employee of this locale. It's like he knew we were coming and wanted us to feel at home because he opened the door for us and greeted us upon arrival. Might not sound like much but he was genuine. Unfortunately, we didn't catch his name but he is the type of guy that exemplifies Texas friendlessness and hospitality. Whoever, you were that struck up a conversation with us, you can eat BBQ with us anytime. For more information on how you can find yourself eating BBQ at this famous Dallas and nationally if not worldly known landmark, please visit Sonny Bryan's Smokehouse


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