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

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.