Monday, March 23, 2009

Fugi's Japanese Steakhouse

A group of reporters and I headed to Fugi's for lunch today. A little shabby on the outside and a in a strange location but inside it's a cute little place. Great lunch specials for a hibachi joint. Today was my second visit and as such is a testament that the following story did not deter from returning to Fugi's but there was certainly a recovery period...

My first visit to Fugi's was a few months ago. The boss, some others from the station and I went out together to welcome me to the station. It was a fun lunch and everything was going just fine until Andrew's order was wrong. He ordered chicken, they cooked steak - no big deal. They bring out some fresh chicken (raw) in a bowl and the chef dumps it on the grill and sets the bowl aside. Meanwhile he is cooking tons of other things on the grill... steak, rice, veggies and shrimp. He realizes that he has cooked too many shrimp and offers shrimp to everyone at the table. A few accept and he tosses some shrimp into the bowl the chicken came in........... RAW chicken JUICE and all... I guess the rest of the table didn't realize it was raw chicken juice... He serves the shrimp and some eat them... Luckily no cases of salmonella turned up in the station but a few of us were certainly perturbed by the incident. I'm not saying Fugi's has flawed health standards or should be shut down or anything of that sort... Maybe that server/chef should just be a little more careful.

So I returned today for the first time... Ironically, we received the same chef! He did a great job this time. The food was great.

My recommendation... try it I guess...

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Chaotic Night at Carino's

I'll always have a little connection to Carino's Italian. When I met my wife, she worked at the location in Denton, TX. I spent a few night's there eating and try to impress her.

We've been a few times since moving to Abilene. Most of the visits have been good. Our latest trip would be characterized as maybe, a little bit, kind of good?
First and foremost, the menu has changed! Some of the changes are great. They now offer "mini" versions of appetizers, so you don't have to spoil your meal. They also have a number of new dishes that looked great ( On the downside, the prices seemed higher than the last time I went. I wouldn't be surprised if most plates increased by a buck or so.
On this night, I ordered the new Grilled Italian Sirloin. It's a steak doused in a mushroom marsala sauce. It comes with a side of green beans and your choice of pasta or potatoes. I decided to be difficult and asked for pasta and potatoes instead of green beans. What can I say? Waiters tend to hate me. Compared to most other meals, it's not too bad of a deal at $13.99.
After about 20 minutes of waiting, I was told the kitchen was out of potatoes. No biggie, I decided to get a double side of pasta.
After another 20 minutes, we asked our waiter if I food would be coming anytime soon. He looked confused and didn't respond. A little strange...
A few minutes later, we checked with a manager who said he'd go hunting for our meals.

After about an hour of waiting, our food arrived! Needless to say, we were ready to down some grub. Unfortunately, my meal didn't come quite as advertised. My "medium" steak was well done to the second power...and where was the fancy mushroom sauce on top of my steak? Nowhere to be found. I could've made this meal at home!
In the end, the meal wasn't just took all evening to get it! The manager was kind enough to offer us dessert for free, but we had somewhere else to be and declined. He still took care of us -- giving us 10 dollars off.

In the end, no real harm done. Next time, we may be more inclined to head to Spano's or Olive Garden when we have a hunch for Italian.

Friday, March 6, 2009

A Trip to the Tavern

Since I'm Catholic, eating out on Fridays can be a challenge; I have to go meatless.
As a lover of all things meat, I basically have a few options: Italian, Mexican, or the dreaded seafood!

I've been to the Seafood Tavern a few times but only eaten there once. In fact, I had a steak during my previous visit.

When I checked out the menu, I was a little surprised by the prices. Warning: this place isn't cheap! It's tough to find a meal for below 10 bucks.

During this trip, I decided to go with the Shinerbock Fried Shrimp with a side of fries and salad with blue cheese dressing. The salad and bread were great -- the shrimp was pretty darn good -- the fries very well could've come out of a freezer. I was satisfied with the meal, but I wouldn't have it again because of the $12 pricetag.

My wife had the stuffed salmon. Her meal started with lobster bisque which she said was pretty good. Her salmon wasn't anything particularly special. She said the stuffing didn't have much of a taste. However, she absolutely loved her side of mixed veggies. The side was well prepared and seasoned! I believe this meal was a little more expensive...somewhere around $15.

The place is pretty good, but you better go on payday!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Hungry Girl Seeks Good Recommendation

My husband and I recently drove from Abilene down to Austin for a wedding. On the way back, we really wanted to taste some Big Country cuisine!

Always looking for good local flare, Austin (the husband, not the city) tried to scout out a good place when we approached Brownwood. We saw Underwood's Cafeteria, which was packed, but we weren't quite hungry enough.

Then, we passed Lone Star Steakhouse in Santa Anna. Looked great from the outside. I can't remember why we didn't stop there. If I'm wrong about the name, please correct me!

So, up to Coleman we headed. Austin sent a text to Randy Turner to see what he would recommend, since he calls Coleman home. No response. At least not quickly enough. We didn't have a map of Coleman and didn't know where to go from Hwy 84 and didn't want to get lost.

So the point of my rambling is that I'd love someone to recommend a great place to eat between Brownwood and Abilene!