Friday, April 30, 2010

Ronnie Ingle cooks up a mean barbecue!

Reported by Megan Dobbs

This has become my go-to joint here in Abilene. It's at 3919 S. Treadaway Blvd. I had often passed Ronnie Ingle's when traversing through town, and I thought every time, "I should stop in and eat there someday." Finally, several months ago, I popped into Ronnie Ingle's after work one day and ate.

Ronnie's joint is a small, unpretentious one. When I walked in, a sweet-looking, white-haired woman said in a motherly voice, "Come on back, sweetie. What can we gitchya?" I quickly realized the couple in the kitchen--on the only ones in the kitchen, mind you--were Mr. and Mrs. Ronnie Ingle. Mr Ingle seems very jolly and very Texan. I ordered a chopped-beef sandwich. Immediately, Mr. Ingle got out a huge hunk of meat and a big 'ole knife and got to chopping. I liked watching him prepare what I was about to eat. I love a good barbecued meal. Ronnie's is the best barbecue I've had in Abilene so far (though, there is one other highly popular b-b-q place in town that I've yet to try).

So, I love the brisket, and I equally enjoy the atmosphere. As I mentioned, its rather modest, but it feels like home to me. There have never been more than a few people in there when I've had lunch at Ronnie's. And, those few people are always at one table together, chatting and sharing life stories. Even the first time I ate there, the lunch group brought me into their conversation like I was a regular. Every time I'm there now, Ronnie says, "So, yer back for some more of our wisdom? You know you leave here smarter ever time!" I love the lunch groups. Mr. and Mrs. Ingle sit with the lunch group each time, by the way.

Perhaps the reason I like Ronnie's so much is that it really does give me a feeling of home. I grew up in a small town East of Dallas. Every restaurant in the town I grew up in was like Ronnie's--modest and pleasant with home-style cooking. So, maybe I am partial to the atmosphere, but one thing I know is that Ronnie Ingle cooks up a meeeaaaaan barbecue!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Free pretzels at Pretzel Express!

Here's what I spotted on the Mall of Abilene's Facebook page today:Have you ever had a pretzel from there? Here's your chance to try one for free!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Free Stuff on Tax Day

Starbucks is offering free brewed coffee if you bring your own mug.

Cinnabon, with one Big Country location (Sweetwater), is giving away two free bite-sized cupcakes from 6 to 8 p.m.

At IHOP, kids eat free for dinner with the purchase of an adult entree all month.

For more free stuff (in Metroplex locations), go here.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Best of the Taste of Abilene

2010 marked my second "Taste of Abilene" event and I wasn't disappointed. I don't think anyone who attended could've been...For $30, it might be the best food investment you can make in town.

Here are my winners and losers from the big night.

Finger Lickin' Good - Famous Dave's Ribs: I had a couple bites of these things, but couldn't finish! When you're trying to load up on food, who has room for all that rib meat? However, everyone around me said they were A+

Best Presentation - Tru Blu Catering: Their table looked almost as good as their dessert. If you noticed they ran out of brownies, you can blame my table. I think some people had a few too many of those!

Most Talked About - Copper Creek's Cheesecake: Everyone was talking about the cake...even today.

Had to Get Thirds - Zookini's Steak: The samples were so good, yet so little. I can't feel bad about getting thirds when they were just tiny samples on toothpicks, right?

Surprisingly Scrumptious - Taco Bell Quesadilla: I didn't expect to get seconds from Taco Bell's quesadilla, but I certainly did! With the addition of some "fire" hot sauce, it was just great. I'll have to make a run for the border sometime.

Fast Food Fave - Arby's Chicken Salad: My wife said she stopped by the Arby's table out of chance and ended up loving what she found. She said their chicken salad is among the very best she's had...and might be a tad better than Chick Fil'A.

Best Sampling - Little Italy/Szechaun/TaMolly's: If my mind serves me, I remember these places each bringing four different things to sample. Now that's service!

Best Steak - Zookini's: How can you bet against Outback Steakhouse? This time, I must. Zookini's had the best of the best on this evening. What I got from Outback was a tad overcooked and Zookini's was mouth-watering tasty!

Most Popular - Lytle Land & Cattle/Sharon's: Theses places may have received more accolades if I could've gotten any closer to the table. These tables had more traffic than a Justin Bieber concert. I was able to walk away with one piece of sausage and that's all...

Too Afraid to Try - Middle East: I had two things from Middle East that I loved....I got their third item (something wrapped in what appeared to be a cooked leaf) but didn't have the heart to actually eat it. Was it good?

A Little Fishy - Perini Ranch: Perini is absolutely my favorite, but it could've been better on this night. The catfish I got was a tad cold...and cold fish isn't very tasty. The nod goes to Red Lobster for best seafood fare.

Cold, Bust Still Tasty - Mr. Gatti's: My pizza looked a few too many hours old, but who's counting?

Best of Show - TSTC Taco: I'm not sure what was inside that miniature shell, but it was greatness. It had to be the most innovative dish of the night. The taco was to die for, but the crab cake was memorable for all the wrong reasons. However, I look forward to much more to come from TSTC's culinary department. Yum!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Subway Serving Up Breakfast

All the buzz at the South 14th Street Subway today was about its new breakfast menu. The restaurant now opens and 7 a.m. and serves up about half-a-dozen early morning options. The menu ranges from a Western & Cheese Omelet Sandwich to a Egg White Muffin Melt.

Basically, Subway added egg and muffins to the menu. They're putting the egg on either the muffin, sandwich bun, or flatbread and making you a delightful breakfast sandwich. They've also added Seattle's Best coffee.

For the time being, you can get a muffin and coffee for mere $2.50. I tried the breakfast a few months ago at a truck stop, and it was quite tasty. It's definitely worth a try!