Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Further Adventures in Barbecue

The Dining Companion and I have now visited just about all of, what are considered to be, the top BBQ spots around. At this point we're at the "varying degrees of good" phase. All of the barbecue we've had recently has been good; some has even been great. At the top level of the smoked meat game, clearly, these people know what they're about. First up is la Barbecue in Austin, TX. la Barbecue is located in a food truck park in Austin, TX and is another BBQ place with a Mueller family association.

We got in line about an hour before they started serving which put us about twelve people back. Not too bad and gave me a chance to take a look around GoodLife Food Park.

I'd also like to point out that GoodLife Food Park is pet friendly.  

Once la Barbecue started serving the line moved fairly quickly.

We placed our order and had our food in no time.

Frito Pie, pickles, Turkey, Brisket, onions, Sausage and bread
 Everything was great. The turkey and brisket were cooked perfectly with just the right amount of smoke flavor. The sausage is course ground and home made with a perfect balance of  seasoning. The Frito Pie with its shredded beef and pork topping was a delicious add on.

Overall la Barbecue does smoked meat on par with all of the other big hitters in this category.

I stopped by one of the other food trucks at GoodLife too, Hey Cupcake. I got a sampler of their mini cupcakes. Just the right thing to cap off our visit.

Next up is Black's Barbecue in Lockhart, TX. For those of you who may not know, Lockhart is one of the main BBQ towns in Texas. It is home to many of the most visited and written about barbecue joints in the state. Old school places that have been around for what seems like forever. We chose Black's as our Lockhart stop. Black's has been around for something like 80 years and has been in the same family all that time.


I looked over the menu and placed our order.

On this stop we got our barbecue to go. 

Sadly, that means I don't have any pretty pictures of the food we bought to show you.
These shots will have to do...


The good stuff is in the bag!
Once again, all of the smoked meats we had from Black's were really good. They also had something on their menu we hadn't seen before, a smoked pork chop. We had to try it and I'm glad we did. The thick cut, bone in pork chop was cooked to perfection. The smoking process brought out all of the pork's great flavor without drying it out. I'd definitely have it again.

Until we get to Memphis, I think this closes the current chapter on the Great BBQ Adventure. If something new and exciting happens in the world of barbecue we'll check it out and I'll be sure to mention it here.

Happy dining!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Silver Saddle Smokehouse - Bellville, Texas

We stopped in for lunch recently at the Silver Saddle Smokehouse in Bellville, Texas. Me and the Dining Companion going to a BBQ restaurant should come as no surprise. How I learned about this one might.

I was looking for a place for lunch that was dog friendly and Silver Saddle popped up. I use BringFido to help locate pet friendly restaurants and lodging when we travel with the 4 Pound Wonder.

A pet friendly restaurant in small town Texas and BBQ to boot? We were there.

I headed in to place our order. Silver Saddle Smokehouse is set up like most market style barbecue places. There is a handwritten menu near the counter that covers what's available that day. Meats can be ordered by the pound, in a sandwich or in a combo plate.

Seeing as how this was the first of two planned barbecue stops of the day we kept our order small. Ok, smallish.

We got the brisket and sausage with mac & cheese and corn casserole. Everything we had was good. The corn casserole was terrific. It was a nice place to stop for lunch. The fact that they could accommodate our dog was a nice bonus.

If you're traveling with a pet take a look online for places that are pet friendly. A surprising number of hotels and restaurants are. You might find yourself at a good barbecue place, enjoying the view of Main Street, and fending off a small dog before she can make off with the brisket!

Happy travels!

NOTE: The Dining Companion's hermana and I hit the road recently for a little road trip. That little trip took us from the sunny beaches of Southern California all the way to the rain swept coast of Washington state. We had a little adventure, a lot of fun and made some memories that will last me a lifetime. Posts about the trip will be along soon. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Tito's - San Antonio, Texas

On our most recent trip to San Antonio the Dining Companion and I stopped in at Tito's Mexican Restaurant. We've walked by this place on prior visits and finally made the time to try it.

Tito's is a full service restaurant located in the historic King William neighborhood. We stopped by one morning for breakfast.

 We took a seat at the bar and looked over the menu.

Breakfast menu and a good morning margarita

I ordered the King William Favorite and the Dining Companion got a couple of breakfast tacos.

King William Favorite
Two eggs, ranchero sauce, papas con chorizo,
refried beans & a side of carne guisada

Salsa and fresh made tortillas
Breakfast tacos - (1) Machacado & (1) Barbacoa
For my money you can't beat a plate of carne guisada and fresh tortillas. The Dining Companion graciously shared his tacos with me. I'd never heard of or had machacado before. Machacado is a dried beef dish. The beef can be sauteed with eggs (machacado con huevos) or with peppers, onions and tomatoes. I can't be sure but I think the version we had was the one made with tomatoes, peppers and onions. What I do know, is that it's delicious, and I would gladly have it again.

If we get the chance to get back to Tito's we'll give it a try for happy hour and dinner. I'd love to try the fajitas.

When planning your trip to San Antonio be sure and plan to visit the King William and South Town areas for the great local bars and restaurants. A little off the beaten path but definitely worth exploring.

Note: If you're traveling with your pet Tito's outdoor dining area is pet friendly. One more reason to check them out.

Happy dining!

I'm going to take a minute here to mention that we also stopped in at B&D Ice House this visit. We've been here before for BBQ but wanted to give the menu another look. This time we decided on two of their unique sandwich creations.

The "Bruno"
Southtown Slammer

 I did mention unique right? Tasty and the perfect thing with a cold beer. If you're strolling through the neighborhood and looking for lunch, definitely give these guys a try.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Marriott Plaza San Antonio - San Antonio, Texas

The Dining Companion and I recently spent a long weekend in San Antonio. It's a city that we both love and one in which we've spent a fair amount of time. A lot of our time there has been spent along the River Walk. It's a vibrant part of the city that is home to many bars, restaurants, various shops and attractions. Lot's to see and do and we always enjoy it. Having spent so much time along the River Walk, we've been branching out and spending time in and around the South Town area of the city. South Town is what feels like a pocket neighborhood that's adjacent to the more well known King William area.

We stayed at the Marriott Plaza San Antonio. It's location is perfect for both exploring in nearby South Town as well as being within walking distance of the Alamo and the River Walk. It's also very near Hemisphere Park and the Tower of the Americas. Just about the perfect location for exploring the area on foot. You can park your car and forget about for the weekend.

The walk-up to the entrance is very inviting.

 A walk across the lobby leads out to a courtyard and the park like setting beyond.

The Marriott Plaza San Antonio is a beautiful hotel. The property sits on six acres of lovely grounds. 

There are many walking paths located on the grounds that are perfect for a leisurely stroll.

The grounds are also home to several peacocks and pheasants.

You may find yourself sharing those very same walking paths with one or more of these feathered residents.

You'll find fountains scattered around the grounds as well...

...and some beautiful wrought iron work.

We didn't get a chance to go for a swim but the pool area looked great.

When the hotel was being built there were some existing structures located on the property. These historic buildings were saved and in some cases incorporated for use by the hotel.

The rooms are well appointed and there is both a bar and a restaurant onsite. If you wished to you could spend a whole weekend here and not have to leave the property.

Lastly, the Marriott Plaza gets a very high recommendation from the 4-Pound Wonder.

A spot of sunshine to lie in, huge grounds to explore and big birds to admire. What more could one small dog ask for.

Happy travels!