On yet another Manic Monday where I’d rather be sleeping in than making myself presentable for the professional public, I look back at date night in downtown Plano two weeks ago, all of the pizza that fed my family while Jeffro was out of town, Bikinis, the new Burger King salad and my obsession with Hooters. I wish wings were on my diet plan.
Downtown Plano- A Must Go
Who knew that downtown Plano was such a happening place? It is only about a city block total, but there are about a dozen restaurants, bars and eateries in addition to the antique stores and shops. I thought it would be all shops and a couple of eateries and one bar. Not the case at all! And, no creepy panhandlers or creepy people that you’d see in a more urban area. Sorry, but when Jeff’s not with me, that can be intimidating! It is well lit and feels safe. I am not the strongest gal so fending off an attacker is probably out of the question. My best bet is to mace the mf-er and try to run, but that may be more comical than effective.
We started out at the family friendly Kelly’s Eastside for dinner. We just had the appetizer platter and side salads. We opted for chicken quesadillas, spicy chicken strips, potato skins and cheese sticks. The spicy chicken strips were really tasty and the potato skins were LOADED. Although the cheese sticks had well seasoned breading, I would have still liked some marinara or ranch or something to dip. The platter only came with a little sour cream and some guacamole. The salads looked a little puny, but had tomatoes, shredded carrots, lettuce, and some cheese. I wish I would have gotten the spinach salad instead. It was average bar food, but it isn’t what they are known for. I will definitely return to sample the burgers, BBQ, and larger salads. I should have tried the West Plano Burger- burger topped with brie and avocado. Yes please! The service wasn’t exceptional, but the servers were definitely polite and had great product knowledge.
After a glass of Pino Noir for me and a beer for Jeffro, we walked to Vickery Tavern. It is a dark wood-paneled bar with tattooed up bartenders who are attentive, but not too chatty and right on time for refills. I guess Jeffro and I are getting old, we started our evening at 6PM and got to the bar at about 7:30-8. Next time, I’d leave the house at 8/9. That’s when all of the families leave and the nightlife, well, comes to life. The bar slowly filled up and is perfect for watching sports and talking. Not too loud, good looking menu and decent service. We tried more than half the beers on tap and could have spent all evening sampling the different brews. There is another Vickery Tavern in downtown Dallas, but it is more upscale and caters to the affluent sports enthusiasts going to the AAC to see the Mavs or Stars. It’s been a couple of years since I dined/drank at the much shinier and polished Dallas establishment, but I remember it being much pricier. I prefer the Plano one- much more comfortable and feels like it could be our “place”.
We ended the evening at Fillmore Pub. This is where all of the action was! It was a little noisier and less intimate than Vickery Tavern, but a fun atmosphere. After trying out a few beers from their tap, we ordered “dessert”- baked brie served on a two foot long cheese board with thin sliced apples on the left topped with slivered almonds and honey, the gooey warm brie in the center, topped with the almonds and honey, and on the right, water crackers. This was far better than dessert and the best part was that Jeffro was grossed out by the honey, so I got the whole thing to myself! I was glad that we split an appetizer and had salads for dinner. The rest of the menu is typical bar fare, but they have some homemade pork rinds that sounded delish.
We never made it to Urban Crust/32 Degrees Bar. That is what drew us to downtown in the first place! Oh well, we have a few other places that we can try out on our next date night in downtown Plano. Our next date excursion will be two nights at Winstar at the end of May to celebrate our fourth wedding anniversary (and eight years total).
Bikinis– Meh, but I’d go back
Bikinis is no Hooters, but it is okay. I’ve been twice and had the grilled chicken sandwich with thermonuclear sauce and their kettle style chips. Delish. The sauce is very hot, but not vinegary, and has very nice flavor. It is a little intense for lunch, though. The next time I went, I had the grilled chicken salad tossed in their next hottest sauce. That sauce was typical vinegary wing sauce with a slight bite. Good, but not as flavorful and their thermonuclear. The salad was okay- I am HUGE Hooters fan and their salads are over and above what most salads are. It was typical salad mix- lettuce, shredded carrots and cabbage, one thin purple onion, some cheese and I noticed some accidental fried onion strings every once in awhile. I am trying to watch my calories, so I had their tomato vinaigrette. Tasty, but I would rather have ranch or blue cheese to go with the wing sauce! The girls are in, you guessed it, bikini tops along with cut off shorts and cowboy boots. Classy! But, I love these places, so no biggie. Every breasturant I have been has amazing salads in addition to whatever their specialty is. I can always find something good to eat. In the case of Bikinis, the salad was meh, but the chicken sandwich is worth a repeat visit.
Burger King Apple Cranberry Chicken Salad- Yes Please!!
On the way back to the office from an errand, my only choice was Burger King. Gag. But, I thought I’d try one of their new salads. I have to say that the grilled chicken on it may be the best chicken I’ve ever had on a fast food salad, and maybe on any salad. It is obviously freshly grilled. The only downer to the salad is that the dressing, although a vinaigrette and not a creamy dressing, is where over 400 of the 520 calories in the entire meal are! YIKES! It was very tasty, but if I am watching my caloric intake, I will be using my own dressing or getting something with less calories. I love the salad at Wendy’s that is similar, but this may be my new fast food salad fav. Now, I shouldn’t have had the medium Dr. Pepper, nor the dressing, but hey- I’m making dietary progress.
Papa John’s– Spinach Alfredo pizza and Buffalo Chicken pizza
This is not on my diet, at all. But, with Jeff out of town ordering pizza two out of the four nights he was gone was the best I could do. (I ate with his parents and my mom the other two nights). I am not a thin crust girl, but Papa Johns’ is almost like a buttery pastry. It makes the Spinach Alfredo pizza a delicacy! It’s easy to over indulge in it though. Syd and I decided to be adventurous and ordered the Buffalo Chicken pizza. Ranch, onion, bacon, boneless wings and wing sauce. O-M-G this may be the best thing I have ever eaten. Where was this when I was pregnant? Pregnancy cravings are the only thing that can justify the indulgence of all of the calories. I would eat the whole thing if we order it again. The only downer to Papa John’s is that they do not offer any salad or anything to balance the carb heavy meal. I need some salad!! My other gripe is that when they were offering bonus points for tax day, I made sure my current order was enough points to get a free pizza. Somehow it didn’t register and I had to start over. L Oh well, I really don’t need any more pizza right now. I never thought I would over pizza my family. We are pizza-ed out- until the next time Jeff goes out of town or next weekend.
Tune in tomorrow for Book Club Tuesday. I will be talking about what’s on my DVR and the following week I’ll talk about how I’m pissed that I have to read the next Fifty Shades of Grey book to see what happens. I thought books in a series were supposed to be able to stand alone. I’m not too happy to spend another $10 on this mediocre story, but hey. This is why I didn’t start Twilight. I knew I would feel “meh” about it and then have to read all of them just to see what happens and resent not spending time reading something I really enjoy. It’s okay, but I am sick to tears of her “Inner Goddess” and subconscious. But, it is good if you need an easy, mostly fun read. I don’t have time for mindless reading. There are so many other things I really want to read, but now I am hooked. It is very hard to put down, but I get dizzy from all of the eye rolling I do!
Web Wednesday will be a discussion of which group coupons you like, such as Groupon and Living Social. I’ll talk about the wasted dollars and truly awesome deals that I’ve scored. And, I’ll put up my wish list.
Terrific Thursday will be about my week without Jeffro- aside from eating pizza for a week, how did it go? Did he come back to an utter s#it hole or did I hold down the fort? Was it okay being a single mother of three for six days?
And on Fiscal Friday, I’ll talk about my latest grocery store successes and savings plans for the future. I am not the best budgeter, so what am I doing to create an automatic budget?