Saturday, February 27, 2010

Yucatan Taco Stand

Mrs. Doohickie and I have recently discovered Yucatan Taco Stand at 909 West Magnolia in Fort Worth.

I really like this place but...

It is noisy and it isn't cheap.

You don't get ripped off and there are definitely some bargains on the menu, but this isn't Taco Bell. I wish the noise level was a little less. This tends to be a place where it's hard to have a quiet conversation because you find yourself talking over the din. There, now that we've got that out of the way, let's enjoy ourselves.

There's nothing to be done about the noise (which actually is a problem at many restaurants these days). As for the price, the ambiance is upscale and the food is very fresh and high quality, and you pay for it; it's as simple as that.

Upon entering you go to a counter to place your order, get your drinks, and then you sit where you want. There is a bar area, a dining room and outdoor seating. All the areas inside are non-smoking, which is nice for this non-smoker. Once your food is ready they bring it out to your table.

Mrs. Doohickie is a vegetarian, and there are enough veggie selections to keep her happy. This visit she had the Latin Vegetarian Mix-Mex Grill

...and I had a Tempura Fish Taco and a Special Ground Sirloin Taco. Each was a handful!

I wouldn't quite use the word gourmet, but this food is very good, very fresh, well-prepared and well-seasoned. If you know to expect to pay a little more than you would for Taco Bell, and that people like to talk in here, you'll enjoy your visit.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

N+1 for realz this time

Earlier this month, I was making the rounds. Occasionally I'll cruise a strip on the way home from work where there are some thrift stores and pawn shops. Most of the time the bikes are cheapo mountain bikes from big box stores. I generally don't even look unless a bike has racing bars. Well, I spotted this beauty.

It had that look of the puppy at the pound that says, "Take me home!" It's a 1987 Schwinn Prelude. The Prelude was the "worst of the best" in the Schwinn lineup that year. It shared a lot of features with the more expensive bikes, including Shimano indexed shifting (which was state of the art in 1987), Columbus Tenax tubing and 700C aluminum wheels, weighing in at a trim (by 1987 standards) 24 pounds. This specimen had most of those features preserved, although some modifications had been made.

The most notable was the Shimano indexed downtube shifters had been replaced by some rather sorry-looking stem-mounted friction shifters. Plus there was some rust on the frame. Still, I could see the potential, so home we went. I took care of the rust right away, going from this,

to this:

I also picked up some original Shimano Indexed Shifters at a swap meet and installed them on the downtube.

I did some general cleanup and new cable housings, redid the handlebar tape and adjusted the seat height to my size, and now it looks pretty sweet.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Montgomery St. Cafe

I tried the Montgomery St. Cafe. It is in a nondescript building at 2000 Montgomery Street in Fort Worth,

across the street from the Cultural District and in view of downtown.

It is so nondescript that I had no idea it was there until the folks at Fort Worth Architecture Forum told me about it. So I parked my latest bicycle acquisition out front,

and headed in. The place opened up in 1949 and it's kind of like a time capsule. The Stock Show was still in town and the guy next to me at the counter had functional spurs on. How cool is that?

I ordered one of the breakfast specials that had a couple pieces of sausage, a couple eggs, and a couple pancakes. They brought them out and my "over medium" eggs appeared to have spent no more than 15 seconds on the griddle; the whites were very runny. I sent them back and eventually got proper over medium eggs. The end effect was pretty straightforward.

Once I dug in, I realized that the eggs weren't the only thing that weren't cooked quite right. The sausage was overcooked and the pancakes were very dry and not savory at all. I really like the vintage nature of this place,

...but frankly, the food just didn't live up to classic greasy spoon cooking. Maybe it was just an off-day for them, but I was less than impressed.