Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Kind of Famous Again

So another one of my bikes has been posted to The Old Ten Speed Gallery, this time my 1987 Schwinn Prelude.

The OTSG is one of my favorite blogs. Cameron puts up a great collection of older bikes, everything from trash to treasure. If you like older bikes, check it out. That blog was the inspiration for my own The Mixte Gallery.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Rosebud Cafe

So this morning I rode out to the Rosebud Cafe at 1519 West Rosedale Street (at 8th Avenue) for breakfast.

There are breakfast institutions in Fort Worth- Ol' South Pancake House, Paris Coffee Shop, etc., and never having been inside, I viewed Rosebud in the same light. You know, the Grand Dames of Fort Worth Diners. Maybe it was just an off-day, but Rosebud isn't part of that group. Although the restaurant was clean, the decor was tired, probably from the 1970s, and lacked the charm of other older diners.

Like I said, it may have been just an off-day for them. When you go to the other diners I mentioned earlier, there is a sense of purpose, of action. People meet there to conduct business. The movers and shakers gotta eat too, ya know? But Rosebud just doesn't have the same energy. In fact it was just about empty while I was there.

Okay, so... that's the down side. Time for the good news. First, the wait staff is friendly and prompt. My coffee cup runneth over; it was never empty. Second, for the money, the food was good. I ordered a $5.75 breakfast special that included a Belgian waffle, two eggs (ordered over medium) and bacon. It was basic greasy spoon fare, and it was perfectly executed.

The place may not have charm, but they do have good food. And reasonable prices. Sometimes you go to a restaurant that has good atmosphere but the food sucks. Sometimes the food is good but the ambiance isn't so hot. Rosebud is one of those good food places and I would definitely give them a second chance, and I probably will at some point in the future. I'm sure the decor won't change, but maybe the place will have a little more life.

While I was riding over to Rosebud, I noticed the tower of the Public Market building. I've read on Fortworthology that there is a group seeking to restore it and open it as a farmers market, so I decided to ride over and check it out. Sadly, there is no indication of activity yet. It's such a cool old building; I hope it gets fixed up.

On the way home I stopped by Trinity Bicycles and visited with Bryan and Bernie, and met Jeremy of Gallus Bicycles. Trinity has a new project going on. In addition to the local art that is finding its way onto the north wall of the shop, there is now some art on the south wall, being painted by a local art teacher.

Bernie is doing everything he can to make Trinity Bicycles a cycling destination and a cool place to hang out. If you haven't been by yet, you may want to pay them a visit at 207 South Main.

Those Were The Days

I was downloading pics from my cell phone and found this little gem. It was taken the morning of June 4, just three weeks ago.

A nice, cool, misty morning. Ahhhh.... those were the days.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Baby, it's HOT out there!

Sorry, I haven't posted much lately. There are lots of reasons for it. Mostly it's because I'm not riding my bike much lately. Last week was a lost cause since I got very little sleep with a new puppy in the house.

It's like having a baby in the house again. We didn't plan on getting another dog; my sons took our two dogs for a walk and came back with three. After a week's worth of trying to find his owner and/or a family to adopt him, it appears he's here for the duration. We named him Winston. He's gonna be a big boy.

My lovely bride did good for Father's day, getting me a Park Truing Stand and Spoke Tension Meter.

And finally... the title of the post. The other reason why I haven't been riding is that summer has definitely come to Texas. Temps around 100 for the ride home time means one more reason to not be all motivated to ride, especially if I'm running late. Today I did ride though, and it took quite a while to get home. When it's that hot out, I just don't real upset if I only average 10 mph. At least I got home. One thing that helped is I found an ice machine in my office building. I filled up my water bottle with ice water and not only drank it but poured it over my head, chest and back when I felt too hot. Aaaaaaaaah!

If you're riding in the heat, be careful out there!

Friday, June 11, 2010


I like my job. I switched to a new location at the end of last year, and my commute increased from 7 to 17 miles each way. A new challenge, and I'm starting to meet it. But... the new job lately requires extra time at work, and to make my day fit together I've had to exchange a half-hour car ride for my hour-fifteen commute on the bike. I'll be glad once I get over this hump and I can get back to more normal hours so I can ride more. And blog more.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Our Place, N. Richland Hills

So I took my car in for some warranty work, then went with Mrs. Doohickie to help her move some stuff at her office at work. After dropping the car off we went to breakfast at a nearby diner, Our Place Restaurant at 7630 NE Loop 820 in North Richland Hills.

It's basically a Bob Evans. Without the Bob. Or the Evans. Okay, it's a former Bob Evans restaurant, but the new owners have put their own spin on the place. We were both in an omelet mood, so I got a Greek Omelet and Mrs. Doohickie got a Veggie Lovers Omelet.

It said it was a three egg omelet on the menu, but I think they lied, because it was huge. The eggs were light and fluffy and tasted wonderful. I'm a big fan of the Greek Omelet at Ol' South Pancake House and to be honest, I won't be pinned down as to which one is better. The omelets from the two restaurants are different, but both are very tasty. The food arrived quickly and my coffee cup was filled frequently.

If there was any fault with the experience, it was that the final check took a while to get to us, but that was minor. Good food, a better value than any corporate owned place (like Bob Evans). And definitely more like real home cooking than Bob Evans.

Friday, June 04, 2010

The Spiral Diner

A Carnivore's Guide

If you haven't heard, Fort Worth has a pretty good vegan diner. The Spiral Diner & Bakery, at 1314 West Magnolia Avenue, is the best choice for vegans in Fort Worth. Surprisingly they have what it takes to keep meat eaters happy as well.

The decor of the place is what you would expect for a hippie-vegan place. Kind of mid-20th Century shabby chic...

...on hallucinogens.

The wait staff are in character too, with tattoos and piercings and stuff. They are always friendly and make you feel welcome. This time around, Mrs. Doohickie ordered her usual- a Hummus appetizer and Sweet Luv’Us Hummus Wrap. I ordered the special which was a Meatloaf Dinner. Ermmmmm, I mean Meatlessloaf. Whatever.

The portions are surprisingly filling. They are also surprisingly realistic, even though they have no meat or dairy or anything like that. You can go meatless without hardly realizing it. One of my favorites when I'm not in the mood for the special is the Jamaican Jerk BBQ San’ich which, if I didn't know any better, I would think was made of real pork.

This is where I go off and editorialize a bit: I'm not vegetarian; Mrs. Doohickie is. When we go to a vegan restaurant, she orders something vegetablely. Her wrap had baked sweet potato, hummus, broccoli, cucumber, avocado, and salad greens. What I don't get is why some people try their best to make vegetarian food seem like meat. If eating vegan is so great, why fake it and make it like meat? I do appreciate it, mind you. Maybe they do it because they know there are mixed families and they want to keep the carnivores happy.

The Spiral Diner does this very well; I've never had a bad meal there. Oh... the other thing that makes me happy: They have an excellent selection of beers.

This time around it was Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout. It's is a heavy, wheaty stout that will knock you on your can with 9% alcohol content. Delicious. Oh... and the ice cream is pretty good, too! So to sum it up, don't be afraid of the vegan food at The Spiral Diner, even if you'd rather just run out for some barbecue. Those crafty vegans are so tricky, you won't know you're not eating meat.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Strada Biancha en Memoria

This blog is normally about commuting, but I thought I would add a post about a nice recreational ride this weekend.

After reading Pondero's recent post about his Strada Biancha ride, I kind of invited myself up to Sanger for a trip around Chris's unpaved road circuit on Memorial Day.

I have several bikes, but I wasn't sure which one would be best for this kind of riding. I finally loaded my 1983 Raleigh Marathon on the rack and set out to meet Chris.

The day promised to be a warm one, but there were still some clouds in the sky when we set out. After just a few minutes, we were in farm country.

A short way into the ride, Chris said something about a bridge being out, "but we can get across." He actually seemed a little embarrassed that the bridge was out, but I recall reading that this favorite bridge had been slated for replacement. After a few awkward moments, we were again rolling.

We got up on a ridge that seemed like the top of the world, and where God himself was reaching down from the clouds to greet us.

Some of the scenes looked like the the kinds you see on old jigsaw puzzles or postcards. It's hard to explain how beautiful the area is without going up to experience it for yourself.

I felt kind of privileged to get a glimpse into the countryside that inspires one of my favorite blogs. Then again, there was Slidell, Texas, which was barely a town; more of a crossroads.

It made me want to introduce the town, Hee-Haw style: "Slidell, Texas. SAL-UTE!"

There were places where the road looked like it went on forever.

The bike picked up a lot of dust.

But all-in-all, it was a good day for the bike. The Marathon was the perfect bike for this ride. I haven't been riding it much lately, and forgot how well we fit each other.

Thanks, Chris, for giving me a peek into your world. A lovely world it is.


I first learned of Pak-A-Pocket at 5512-D Bellaire Dr South (at the corner of Bryant Irvin) when I was working a short distance away. I went there a handful of times for lunch. Tonight I stopped in unexpectedly but figured it was a good opportunity for a review.

You see, I was riding my bike home from work, and a front blew through. Rain? I can handle that. Lightning? Well... maybe if it's not too close. When I was within about a block of Pak-A-Pocket, I decided it was too close (in fact it was lightning on both sides of me, not a good sign).

So I stopped in at Pak-A-Pocket, called my wife to let her know what was going on, and had dinner. I had a shawarma gyro (that's what it's called, although in my mind the name is redundant).

Order at the counter

All the food is good at Pak-A-Pocket. They will pack just about anything fresh and delicious in a pita and serve it. They have good hummus too. And if you don't want the pita, they'll make a salad with the same great stuff. They've been there 24 years, so they know what they're doing. The prices are very reasonable and the service is prompt and friendly.

Unique decor

Like I said, I had the shawarma: Great seasoned meat, tucked in a pita pocket, with tomatoes and onions and a cucumber sauce. Brilliant in its simplicity, and Pak-A-Pocket's version is both delicious and satisfying (i.e., fills you up).

Forgive me, but I ate the pickle & took a bite of the pocket before I remembered to take a picture of it

The weather was still threatening so I had some of the homemade pita chips. They are awesome.

But the story doesn't end there. While chit-chatting with the proprietor Imad, we realized that we live fairly close to each other. I called my son a couple times to have him check the weather radar, but it was a hard read: The storm was literally forming over me and wasn't moving in a clear direction. Imad graciously mentioned that they close the restaurant at 7 pm (it was already 7:10) and if I wanted, he could give me and my bike a ride home in his van. I took him up on his offer, which was a good thing because we saw several close lightning strikes on the way home. He dropped me right off at my driveway, and then he was on his way home.

So hats off to Imad and Pak-A-Pocket. Great food, great prices, and super-great service!