Tuesday, May 3, 2011

JumBurrito Opening on Wednesday

Every time I go to Midland, I make it a point to go to JumBurrito. But I was in Midland over the weekend, and as hard as it was, I did not go. Why? Because I am waiting for the big day here in Abilene. I am sure you have seen the activity and the sign at the old Taco Bell on North First that reads JumBurrito.

I have been going to JumBurrito for years in Midland, where my Mom lives. I usually go when I get there, and it's the last place I stop before I make my way back to Abilene from visiting Mom. But now I never have to go visit mom again, because now I have JumBurrito here in Abilene. Just kidding, I love you Mom.

For years there was no Taco Bell in Midland and it had to be because of JumBurrito. I mean, it's really good. O.K. the Pop (La Popular) still rules, but JumBurrito is just as good.

Let me break it down. It all comes down to the tortilla. Although the tortilla is much bigger (in circumference) than a homemade tortilla, it's close, as far as texture and taste, to a home made tortilla. For example, a Taco Bell tortilla is nothing like a homemade tortilla, although I still have to have Taco Bell sometimes.

Now as far as the stuff that goes inside a JumBurrito, my favorite is the large combination burrito. I can eat two. Not sure how many small ones I could eat because I have never had them. My second favorite is the bean and bacon. For some reason their bacon really stands out in the burrito.

As far as condiments, they have a green salsa and a red that they serve in single serving containers and they give them to you cold -- very nice. My favorite is the green, but I have never had the red, because it's not as hot, but I bet it is just as good.

My kids love the chips and cheese dip. They order that every time we go, and we are going this Wednesday on the first day of business.

By the way, it's called JumBurrito for a reason.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Al's Mesquite Grill Open for Business

From the folks behind Square's BBQ comes a brand new restaurant that branches out from barbecue basics.

Al's Mesquite Grill, located at 4801 Buffalo Gap Road, is now open after being in the works for more than a year.

Before constructing the new building, the owners had to seek rezoning of the property, which was zoned for single family homes and office buildings. Some neighbors objected to the rezoning plans, because they were worried about even more restaurants coming to the area which would bring smells and potential runoff.

The Abilene City Council approved the rezoning in February 2010, and construction began over the summer.

Al's Mesquite Grill is run by Brian Callaway, who's father, Al, owns Square's BBQ. Unlike Square's, Al's offers an expanded grill menu with steaks, burgers, chicken and pork chops. Both restaurants sell take-home and vacuum-packed meats for larger occasions, and offer catering.

Have you tried the new joint? Leave a review in the comment section!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Pizza Inn... The Sequel

Abilene will soon have a second Pizza Inn restaurant, chief photog Andrew Carlson reports.

Building permit records indicate Pizza Inn is building a new restaurant on Ridgemont Drive near Lowes and Outback Steakhouse.

This will be the second Pizza Inn in town, joining the one on North Judge Ely Boulevard that opened last year. The opening of that restaurant marked Pizza Inn's return to Abilene after several years.

Friday, March 11, 2011

New Jason's Deli Opening in Abilene

Jason's Deli is opening a second location in Abilene near the northside Walmart between Dollar Tree and Cato.

It's scheduled to open in July.

Owned by the same franchisee, Kirk Jeffries, the restaurant will have the same menu as the one on Catclaw Drive in South Abilene, but will have more parking and more seating inside. The decor and layout will be different as well.

The restaurant will be hiring approximately 70 new employees, Jeffries said this afternoon.

He's excited about expanding and servicing that area of town with the restaurant and with catering.

Construction will begin in April.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Fresh Meets Old-Fashioned at Rancho Loma

My handsome date and I made a short hour and 15 minute drive from Abilene for dinner on Friday night. Heck, why not?

He'd heard about this tasty, intimate, set-menu restaurant outside of Coleman called Rancho Loma, and eagerly made a reservation.

I, myself, had reservations as we drove farther and farther into the middle of nowhere. What kind of fine dining experience could possibly be found in such a remote area?

Photo from Google, submitted by owner

Once we pulled in, I instantly fell in love. The farm house, which according to the website was built in 1878, looked completely up-to-date. Charming strands of lights laced between the stone restaurant and the surrounding trees. Chickens clucked in the not-too-distance, although it was too dark to see where the sound was coming from. Two big, sweet dogs greeted us as we got out of the car, store-bought wine in hand. The outdoor lounge made me wish we'd gotten there early enough to enjoy it in the daylight.

Photo from Google, submitted by owner

The inside is every bit as fresh/modern/Old West as the outside, with sleek leather dining chairs, large vivid photographs, and a creaky wooden floor.

I wish I'd written down exactly what the set menu was, but I'll have to rely on my memory. The five courses were: peppercorn pate and bread, white asparagus soup with pine nuts, risotto with fresh mint and peas, lamb chops with white beans and two choices of dessert! I can't for the life of me remember what the desserts were called, but one was a baked meringue with yuzu cream and fresh blueberries and the other was a slice of frozen chocolate goodness. I believe it was $65 per person, plus a $5 corking fee.

The menu changes weekly, and you can find it on the website. You have to make a reservation first, as there are only 34 seats.

I can't wait to go back in the summer time when we can enjoy the outdoor area, listen to the sounds of nature and pet those lovable dogs, which got cuter with each sip of wine! ;)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

(Free) Breakfast for Dinner

In celebration of National Pancake Day, IHOP restaurants nationwide will offer each guest a free short stack of buttermilk pancakes in an effort to raise awareness and funds for Shriners Hospitals and other local charities.

This year, IHOP is hoping to stack up more donations than ever before, with a goal to raise $2.3 million, for a total of more than $7.65 million six years with its National Pancake Day fundraising effort. To find a local IHOP or to donate online, visit http://www.ihoppancakeday.com/.

For every delicious short stack of buttermilk pancakes served on National Pancake Day, IHOP guests are invited to make a donation to Shriners Hospitals. Donations made at IHOPs in the Abilene area will benefit local Shriners Hospitals.

Quick Facts:
When: March 1, 2011, 7 a.m. - 10 p.m.
WHERE: Participating IHOP restaurants nationwide.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Let Lunch Come to You!

No time to go out and grab lunch in Abilene? No problem, soon lunch could be coming to you.

The Shortbus Hot Dog stand is calling it "delivery on demand. "

You may have seen the roving vehicle at local events such as the 4th of July fireworks in Tye or at the Big Country Balloon Fest.

Now the couple that started it is making it a full-time business in Abilene beginning March 1.

You can have the bus visit your place of business for a $40 order minimum.

Short-Bus has over 50 toppings for hot dogs, and also serves sandwiches and nachos.

You can reserve the bus by contacting Shortbus Hot Dogs on Facebook.