Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Kent Rathbun's Blue Plate Kitchen

I started this a few weeks ago...probably around December 10th or so. I get busy. Sue me!

Because the boss of the office I work in typically takes out and pays for all of her minions for a Christmas holiday luncheon, I had the opportunity to dine at Kent Rathbun's Blue Plate Kitchen in Prestonwood Center in Dallas.

In the past, we have eaten at Buca Di Peppo. Buca isn't too bad but it's also not something that I tell people that they have to try. It's always been free when I've gone but I'm not sure I would want to pay for it or it would be an option that I would chose from. My mindset is if I'm going to pay for food and pay more than what I consider a decent price ($8-$10 or less a person), I'm going to go somewhere that is really, REALLY good!

Kent Rathbun's Blue Plate Kitchen is about the same for me. I'm not going to run out and tell people that they don't want to miss trying this place for lunch or dinner. I don't know if the prices for dinner are more expensive than those at lunch. If they are, I would recommend people staying away from this place and try something else in the same price range. There are plenty of other places that I would compare Rathbun's too and they would win my recommendation hands down.

So anyway, let me describe my experience...

At first glance from the outside, the signage and building look pretty low key—nothing fancy or flashy. It's not in a stand-alone building but more of a strip mall so maybe that's why it's not full of frills and flash. Not a big deal as frills and flash usually are done to help redirect people's attention from some flaw or failure in the business.

Entering the restaurant was kind of interesting as the entrance is a revolving door versus the typical push/pull door. I would have thought this type of door would have provided more of a seal from the outdoor elements but it didn't. I'll probably touch more on this later. The host/hostess stand is right inside the entrance and we (I was with two female coworkers) were greeted by the hostess and someone who looked/acted like the restaurant manager. The manager looked to be carrying a walkie talkie which was somewhat silly since the entire restaurant was similar in size to a standard Applebee's—the open concept and more of a square/rectangular shape overall. I don't what he was carrying exactly as I didn't pay too much attention but it was something I noticed him holding in his hand as he pointed us to our lined tables for the big group. I got the feeling that this place felt they were much cooler or "refined" than they really are.

We get to our seats and got out drink order taken. The appetizers were ordered by the boss and were a variety of items like fried green tomatoes, calamari and some other things that I can't remember what. I don't know if the boss ordered sampler plates but it looked like it as there were probably around six plates with a variety of items.

The waiter made his way around the table taking people's orders and explaining the specials and the food items in general. I went with the special of the day which was a sirloin steak sandwich with sweet potato fries. My good friend and coworker ordered the grilled ahi sliders. The two of us also split the shrimp, crab and lobster "coleslaw" salad.

We got our salad first which is what we asked. I'm not a food critic. I know what I like and I know what I don't like. I was very disappointed. Living in the south and living in Texas, there is a certain kind of coleslaw we are used to. I know that. I am not opposed to trying varieties of a food item. That's what makes eating food so awesome...the many different ways an item can be made and still taste good. Unfortunately, Rathbun's does not know how to make their "coleslaw" taste good. It was a huge bowl for sure and one person would be pretty full after eating the whole bowl. They did split it in two bowls for us. However, it only had six medium sized shrimp (3 per bowl) and I really couldn't tell you how much crab and lobster. It took me a few minutes to figure out that the very finely sliced brown stuff was lobster. It was more like they used the lobster to flavor or garnish than it being part of the actual salad. I can't remember ever finding or tasting the crab. There was about 95% red cabbage, 3% shrimp, 1% thin crispy things (think of long croutons), and 1% lobster/crab. My friend and I both ate all the shrimp given, ate what we could of the lobster and the crispy things. There was a WHOLE LOT of red cabbage left in both of our bowls.

We finally got our entrees. The steak was sliced into four or five medallion-type sizes. On top of those, there was melted cheese (Swiss I think) two or three fried green tomatoes, and then some sauce like a gravy. The bun was very thick on top and bottom. It was all held together with three toothpicks. The sandwich was SO thick that unless you're a reptile and can unhitch your jaw, there was no way anyone could eat this as a sandwich. I had to open it like a philly cheese steak to start but then I just ate the steak as if I sliced it myself. I tried to eat a slice of the fried green tomatoes with each steak piece to add some taste to them. When all was said and done, the bread/bun was left from the sandwich. The sweet potato fries were so dang salty that I think they should have been called salt with a slight hint of sweet potato flavoring.

For the grilled ahi sliders, my friend and coworker almost ate them the same as I with the steak sandwich. She ate one with the bun/bread and another she just ate the ahi out of the slider. The third one she gave to me and I ate it with just the bottom half of the bun. What I remember about the ahi is that it was a bit over peppered.

On to dessert. It was a variety of options like the appetizers. I think the boss had them bring out some of everything from the dessert menu. You can do chocolate cake, cheesecake or bread pudding wrong.

Overall, knowing what I know now, I would have gone straight for dessert at Rathbun's. However, I'd much rather have a good and tasty entree than a dessert so I wouldn't go to Rathbun's in the first place. For the pricey PRICEY items on the menu, I truly expected better than I experienced.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

What more can I say about this

Saw this gift card at my local Tom Thumb. I think I'll be shopping there more often.

That's all I got to say about that!

Friday, December 20, 2013

The many translations for the White House Down DVD

How many languages does "White House Down" need to have for its viewing audience(s)?

There are no mosquitoes in November

This spoken from the mouth of an infectious disease specialist in Dallas, Texas.

Well, I'm here to tell you that doctor is an arrogant asshole full of himself and I hope an anvil drops on his head like the ones on Wile E. Coyote in the old Road Runner cartoons.

The photo was taken this morning, 12/20/2013, in my master bathroom after I smashed this little fucker on the mirror.

This was after the freeze Dallas had that started the evening of 12/5/13 and lasted until about 12/10/13. Dallas then had a couple of 50-70 degree days.

Anyway, this is my way of letting you know what everyone probably already knows and that's you cannot trust ANY doctors that are "experts" in their field. This infectious asshole...I mean disease specialist...didn't even want to hear about mosquitoes in November.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

New Dell XPS 15 Touch Screen Laptop

The new Dell XPS 15 Touch Screen Laptop might be my next laptop. The touch screen part doesn't affect me in any way as I'm not accustomed to the touch interface via tablet or smartphone. I just need a light, powerful, portable laptop with resolution higher than 1366 x 768. I prefer at least x1024 because I don't like huge icons or text. I make due with it on my ASUS G50VT-X5 because it's a work horse desktop replacement—rated one of the best at it's time of inception about five years ago.

This is a little pricey...like a Mac Book Pro or Air but I'm a long-time Windows user and I don't feel like learning a new operating system or keyboard shortcuts.

We'll have to ponder this decision a little longer...

Monday, December 16, 2013

Will I continue to watch Sons of Anarchy?

I finally watched the season finale of SOA. No way can you make me believe that a drunk, high, 50-60 yr old woman who had heart surgery a season or two ago can overpower a sober, healthy, not-so-frail, mid-20-30 yr old woman. I liked this show much better in season one or two. Now it's gotten ridiculous, predictable and not so entertaining.

It's all this backstabbing and screwing around they do to each other. They find out. They hate for an episode or four and then they are trustworthy of each other again. It's not common sense or realistic! And yes I know it's a TV show!

I just can't believe that Jax would trust Gemma after all she's done to him, Tara and his father. I can't believe that Gemma would trust Wendy after all she's done to Jax and Abel.

Also, in this episode, I sort of get why Juice did what he did in covering for Gemma but he's still going to get his! He's on the "the-club-can't-trust-you" list which means he's probably got just a few more episodes in him. I'm sure this is his way of "getting back" at Jax for his ultimate demise whenever it may come.

Anyway, that's all I want to share about my building dislike of the Sons of Anarchy television show.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Office Max uses wasteful shipping practices

I ordered this 128 GB PNY USB 2.0 Flash Drive from OfficeMax.com sometime last week — November 27th I believe. This isn't USB 3.0 but I'm okay with that. It was a pretty good deal for USB 2.0 for this much space especially since there aren't a lot of USB 3.0 flash drives at this capacity. It was $50.87 (price + tax + free shipping) whereas the original price is $149.99. I consider that a pretty decent savings!

Anyway, I got home from work and what did I see on my front porch? This big 11x14 manila envelope. I couldn't think of what I ordered that would come in a flat, large envelope. Once I got a closer look and saw the shipper name, Office Max, I figured it was my flash drive.

Sure enough it was the flash drive tucked in the corner of this envelope. A package flash drive that's about the size of a 3x5 card and they put it in an 11x14 padded envelope. Well, so enough of the rambling. I just thought it was interesting with the choice of packaging.