Method Coffee Review

Method Coffee Review

Matt and I have gotten into a habit of trying to explore new coffee shops or bakeries when we have some down time. With the baby in tow, it is the perfect way to get out of the house and try something new. Needing a final stop for our day in Dallas, Matt suggested Method Coffee. We hadn’t been before, but had heard about it and driven by, so we were excited to add it to the agenda.

Even after a long day of standing in line for BBQ at Pecan Lodge, enjoying the brews at Deep Ellum Brewing Co., and generally being in the heat, Method was a welcome haven for tasty drinks, air conditioning, and great conversation with friends.method coffee interior

Method Coffee is nestled in between Deep Ellum, Bryan Place, and Old East Dallas neighborhoods at the intersection of Ross Ave. and Hall Street. With a large sign on the side of the building, it isn’t easily missed. Inside, the cozy atmosphere seats about 20 people. The seating arrangements aren’t meant for larger groups, but it seemed a popular place for individuals to be productive whether they were there to read, work, or visit with a friend.

Don’t expect to see the menu overhead, instead you’ll take in the ambiance of the brick wall with neat shelving that features some of the various methods they use to make coffee. The baristas were exceptional–they were attuned to the various methods of coffee making and explained very clearly the tasting notes that you might get should you choose to order your coffee via Chemex or Kyoto cold brew. A very small menu is available on the counter where you can select your coffee, chat with the barista, and pay for your item(s). As patrons, we were very impressed with their knowledge, passion, and dedication to delicious coffee, a hallmark you don’t usually see unless you’re in a specialty shop.

coffee flightNoticing the option for a “coffee flight”, Matt and I chose our standard cappuccino and the flight with the options for an espresso, the Yama (or Kyoto–a Japanese method for brewing coffee), house brewed kombucha, and the traditional drip coffee. Yeah, we knew we’d be loaded up with caffeine, but one thing is for certain, we take advantage of the offerings when we’re at a coffee house!

Of the options we chose, my favorite by far was the kombucha–yeah–not even the coffee! I’ve only recently started to enjoy kombucha so I was surprised I enjoyed it as much as I did, but with the tastes of basil, citrus, and cucumber infused into the fermented tea, it was the most refreshing drink. Matt enjoyed the cappuccino the best: it was simple, smooth, and well made with beautiful artwork.cappuccino

If you’re in the neighborhood, and interested in trying a craft coffee house, we completely recommend Method Coffee.

Glazed and Infused: A Chicago Treasure

Glazed and Infused: A Chicago Treasure

One of my favorite things in all of this world is the donut (or doughnut). It is one of the greatest creations to me;  I am a sucker for donuts; I love them. I feel I cannot get enough of them…until of course I indulge and then an hour later my stomach is about to explode and I am functioning at 20% normal productivity. The donut  can be overlooked as a nice treat. I mean think about it, practically on every street corner in a big city or even a few miles apart in smaller cities, there is a donut shop. Confession time: almost every donut shop looks great to a donut-holic like myself. The donut has a general stereotype as they are fairly easy to produce and you can practically buy them anywhere.

I fully admit there are many donuts out there produced by people that are giving donuts a bad name. They are not very good and after you eat them you are thinking “Why did I just waste 600 calories on a sub-par donut?” But let me tell you something, when I have a donut that is good, it is just a thing of beauty.IMG_1743

Why all this talk about donuts? Because Chicago, known for amazing baked goods and donuts, has an awesome donut shop that is making handcrafted specialty donuts that will blow your socks off. The place is known as Glazed and Infused. Everyone now is channeling their inner Matthew McConaughey and his “Alright, alright, alright,” from the cult classic Dazed and Confused.

As we were walking around downtown one day, I came across this awesome sign with a donut and a catchy name. Immediately, I told Rachel we have to go. Since it was late and we were trying to run to catch a train, it wasn’t the right time. But I made sure we hit it up the next time we were in the city. Glazed and Infused has six locations around Chicago with one in Elmhurst/Western Springs; each have varying hours with some offering donuts late into the night.

Glazed is a favorite of mine because they focus on using high quality ingredients that are locally sourced and they provide unique combinations. They do a good job of rotating flavors based on the seasons and you will probably find something different almost everytime you go. While it is an artisan shop, it is just a cool place to go that offers great donuts, coffee, and service. It is constantly ranked as one of the best donut shops in the city and was named best donut of 2014 by two different magazines. Graham Elliot even added the maple bacon Long John to one of the ten defining dishes of Chicago in Food & Wine.

IMG_1742Now enough of the kudos, let’s get to the donuts! While there are a number of seasonal flavors, there are a number of “standards” that are always offered. The aforementioned maple bacon Long John is always a favorite and one that needs to be tried. Even if you don’t like Long Johns, know that they added maple and bacon: the taste is amazing.  Other standards are a vanilla bean glazed, a chocolate (with chocolate shavings on top), a red velvet, sprinkles, and an old fashioned. They do offer a fruit fritter of the day which is a personal recommendation. I’ve had one with  apple that was absolutely dynamite. The dough was perfect and tasted great with the right amount of apples and sweetness. The glaze on top brought the donut to another level of sweetness and taste. If you enjoy a standard donut, the chocolate donut is phenomenal. The chocolate glaze with either sprinkles or shavings are great.  The chocolate donut served at Glazed and Infused is a cake donut that has some weight to it but somehow light when eating it; every bite is delightful and you can taste the effort that went into it. That is true about all their donuts actually. The quality of ingredients and the effort can practically be tasted in every delicious donut.

Make sure you check out the specialty donuts because these creations are also fantastic. Whether it is a lemon-blueberry donut, or a peanut butter and jelly, or even a cajeta fried ice cream, the specialty offerings are great.

Glazed and Infused also offers several other options like donut holes and various specialty donuts for those special occasions. A 16” Jumbo donut can be had for any party as well as a donut specially made for gender reveals. For those extra special occasions, check out their doughnut fondue platter. They used to offer a gluten-less donut which was another reason we loved this place but you will have to check to see if it is offered at whichever store you visit.

Some other special items to note: The customer service has always been great, the servers are very helpful if you have any questions.  The donuts do warm up nicely as well which is always an extra perk because the last thing you want to do is get an extra donut for the road and when you heat it up, it taste like old milk and garbage, not to mention the texture is all messed up. Because it is a specialty shop, the price for donuts are two to three times more expensive than a normal donut you will get from a place like Dunkin Donuts. So it can get expensive fast and if you’re budget minded like myself, will mainly be for special occasions.

Glazed and Infused can get very busy in the early morning hours as expected but you definitely don’t want to wait too late in the day in case they sell out of certain flavors.

If you are looking for a place to go while visiting Chicago or you live in the city, this is a must try!

Slow-Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup

Slow-Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup

I guess it was now last weekend that slow-cooker chicken tortilla soup sounded absolutely fantastic to my taste buds. It’s finally been getting cooler in north Texas and I’ve been seriously craving fall weather and the start of soup season.

Perhaps in an effort to urge the weather to continue in its cooler pattern, I decided to try a new recipe. As we were enjoying the fruits of my dumping several items in the slow cooker labor, Matt and I decided I’ve never actually made chicken tortilla soup before! I’ve probably always left that to the professionals; but, now that I’ve got a go to recipe, I think we’ll be adding another delicious soup to our winter menu. Served with cornbread, butter and honey, it was a winner! Bonus points: the baby loved it too!

Once I settled on making the soup, I needed to find a recipe. Hey there, Google, my search engine BFF. I found a super easy slow-cooker recipe that was highly rated on AllRecipes, unfortunately this was after I had already gone to the grocery store, so I’ll share my modifications.

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Here is the original recipe (or you can find it with reviews and other user’s comments here):



  1. Place chicken, tomatoes, enchilada sauce, onion, green chiles, and garlic into a slow cooker. Pour in water and chicken broth, and season with cumin, chili powder, salt, pepper, and bay leaf. Stir in corn and cilantro. Cover, and cook on Low setting for 6 to 8 hours or on High setting for 3 to 4 hours.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  3. Lightly brush both sides of tortillas with oil. Cut tortillas into strips, then spread on a baking sheet.
  4. Bake in preheated oven until crisp, about 10 to 15 minutes. To serve, sprinkle tortilla strips over soup.


  • Um, who has time to cook chicken before putting it in the slow cooker?! I straight up put two frozen boneless skinless chicken thighs in the slow cooker, removed them after about 3 hours to shred them with two forks and then added them back into the soup.
  • We didn’t have a jar of enchilada sauce, so I added tomato paste and then doubled the amounts for the cumin and chili powder.
  • I didn’t have any pre-made chicken broth on hand, so I ended up adding three cups of water and chicken bouillon cubes. I know that doesn’t directly equal the amount of liquid the recipe suggests, but we prefer a thicker soup anyway.
  • I don’t keep bay leaves in the spice cabinet…so, we went without…not sure it would have made that much difference.
  • Lastly, just use tortilla chips, ok? You can get all fancy and make tortilla strips if you want, but this is a slow-cooker recipe, so one would assume you don’t have time to actually make tortilla strips.
  • Other toppings we added: cheese, greek yogurt (or sour cream), and avocado
  • Final thoughts: next time we decided we will add some beans to the slow cooker and try to have some jalepeno available for topping as well.


A Review of Curly’s Frozen Custard

A Review of Curly’s Frozen Custard

I’m a total snob when it comes to frozen dairy. There is a distinct difference to me in the texture, taste, and creaminess when you order for ice cream vs. custard vs. yogurt. A custard differs from yogurt and ice cream in that the recipe includes eggs that give it a more creamy texture while typically remaining cold for longer than its counterparts. This level of dedication to frozen confections has required long hours of work and the consumption of A LOT of delicious treats.custard

Unfortunately, there aren’t many non-chain options for custard in Fort Worth that are both reasonably priced and high quality. Enter, Curly’s Frozen Custard. I love the unique flavors they produce with great quality, attention to detail, and even two “mystery ingredients”.  Curly’s menu at first glance may seem small, however, they have found the perfect combination of the tried and true favorites along with a special flavor every month to add something different.

The casual patio atmosphere is a little shaded oasis for delicious frozen custard. Walk up to the window to place your order or use the drive through. Expect it to be busy, especially during summer evenings when people are out looking for a sweet treat that is both tasty and cold.

The Parker County Peach concrete
The Parker County Peach concrete

Other than the frozen custard, Curly’s is known for their concretes. What’s a concrete you say? According to their website, ” a concrete is a cup of frozen custard so thick and solid that, when you turn it upside down, the spoon and the mixin’s don’t even move.” That sounds delicious to me! Curly’s has a list of 8 popular concrete options if you’re looking for something fruity, chocolate-filled, or some of their favorite combinations of mix-ins with vanilla custard. If you’re in the mood to create your own, pick from their list of custard flavors and over 30 mix-in options for something unique to your taste buds. Other frozen confections served include sundaes, shakes, malts, and floats and although not as popular, are also quite tasty.

Chocolate concrete with Oreo mixin
Chocolate concrete with Oreo mixins

Curly’s also has several food offerings for  their customers. They take great pride in serving Nathan’s hot dogs and some of the best Frito Pie in Fort Worth. Although you won’t find many heading to Curly’s just for dinner, if you’re craving something savory instead of custard, they have a nostalgic food menu serving just a few specialty items.

On a recent visit to Curly’s, Matt was craving chocolate; he created his own concrete with chocolate custard with  Oreo mix-in. It was a great combination–the chocolate  is so full of flavor and the milky creaminess of the custard is so rich; with the Oreo added, the chocolate flavor was off the charts good.  I inquired about the famous Parker County Peach frozen custard, thankfully, they still had it!

The Best Places to Eat Near the AAC

The Best Places to Eat Near the AAC

I was recently given the opportunity to write/contribute to an article for a Dallas Mavericks fan blog that a friend writes for. In it, we discuss the top 5 places to eat around the American Airlines Center. You can visit the article here or if you are a Mavs fan, be sure to check out the site. Anyways, I thought I would share the full article to help those in the Dallas area looking for a quick bite to eat before an event at the AAC.

With the Cowboys and Stars seasons in full-swing, and now the Mavs new season underway, you’ll find Dallas to be an amazing sports town and this time of year is a sports lover’s paradise. The American Airlines Center is always a busy place between the Mavericks, Stars, and the numerous concerts. So what is a hungry fan to do? Sure, you could eat some of the overpriced food at the stadium, but then you would miss out on the amazing Dallas food culture.

In order to prepare the fans for another season (as well as all of the other events at the AAC), we have put together a list of some of the best (or our favorite) restaurants in the area. Around the AAC are some of the best restaurants the city has to offer. No matter what you are hungry for, there is something for every palette to enjoy. Obviously, you could go to one of the premier steakhouses (Bob’s Steak & Chop House, Perry’s Steakhouse), seafood restaurants (Ocean Prime, Dallas Fish Market), or other fine dining establishments (Stephen Pyles, Stampede 66) in the area, but do you really want to spend all that money just to scarf down those wonderful dishes? No way! Plus, if you are decked out in your jersey, you may have some difficulty even getting in. Not to mention, you could miss a legendary moment as you arrive late to the event.

Thus, in no particular order, here is our list of best places to eat around the AAC. This includes places in the Victory Park area, but also within a short distance where you could take the DART or have a brisk after-dinner jog.

Read more

Vacation Week in Photos

Vacation Week in Photos

Aren’t the first couple days back to “real life” after vacation so hard?! Ugh. Perhaps in an attempt to live in the past (aka, last week), I’m happily recounting our days and time together. Maybe it was the delicious new restaurants we were able to try, or the fun activities we had planned, or simply that we got to spend so much time together, either way, just know the past couple days have been real rough around here.

I already talked about Dinosaur State Park, but here’s a sample of our week in photos with a little bit about each day:

Monday-Dinosaur State Park (read our post here), and Matt worked on our bathtub faucet.

Eva “helps” dad at every opportunity

Tuesday-Homestead Farms I’d heard about Homestead Farms in Keller through a couple friends and knew it was a local farm with a small pumpkin patch. The pumpkin patch was free but they ask that you support the farm by purchasing a pumpkin or produce which they had available in their little store. We also picked up some honey from a farm in Haslet and coffee from a roaster in Dallas. #supportlocalbusiness #eatlocal They also had goats, pigs, and a horse to check out which Eva thoroughly enjoyed…from a distance.

Family selfie at Homestead Farms
Not exactly sure about the brown pumpkin

Wednesday-Caldwell Zoo and Tyler Rose Garden in Tyler, TX. We took an overnight trip to Tyler just to get away. After picking up some donuts at Glazed in Dallas, we met my brother Mark in Tyler for lunch at Stanley’s Barbeque. We spent our afternoon at the Caldwell Zoo and Tyler Rose Gardens and ate dinner at Villa Montez in Tyler.

Making friends at the Caldwell Zoo in Tyler
Crawling through the gardens at Tyler Rose Garden

Thursday-Tyler State Park and Tiger Creek Wildlife Refuge. Up early for a 2.5 mile hike at Tyler State Park, we loved the jaunt through the pines of East Texas. Not far from the State Park is Tiger Creek Wildlife Refuge, an animal sanctuary specifically for tigers, lions, and other cats; they have space for over 40 cats, and we saw about 30 of them on their guided tour.

Hiking at Tyler State Park
On safari at Tiger Creek Rescue in Tyler

Friday-Overnight Thursday Eva spiked a fever, and with the rain in DFW, we decided to stay (mostly) home and rest on Friday. We did go to an afternoon doctor appointment and ended up having to pick up some more medicine for her.

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Unhappy being sick with a fever

Saturday-Eva was back to her old self by noon Saturday and so we bundled her up for some trick or treating with another family, and participated in an outreach in our neighborhood handing out free hotdogs and candy to trick or treaters. We returned home smokey from the bonfire and full on hotdogs and candy, but it was a great way to end the week.

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Halloween ladybug
Lonesome Dove Western Bistro – A Review

Lonesome Dove Western Bistro – A Review

Rachel and I particularly love all types of food and trying new things. We used to spend many hours watching food shows like Top Chef, Next Iron Chef, Chopped, MasterChef and on down the list. Living in Fort Worth, it just so happens that one of the most well know and respected chefs in Texas and the US, Tim Love, has several restaurants here. The burger from Love Shack, but the restaurant that started it all is Lonesome Dove Western Bistro. This restaurant has been featured in many shows and articles about Tim Love and the DFW area and created a stir inside Rachel and I to try this place out.fort worth stockyards

In need of a date night and having saved up for a nice meal, we decided to take the plunge and mark off Lonesome Dove Western Bistro on our list of places that we needed to try. Situated in the Fort Worth Stockyards (an Austin location has opened recently), Lonesome Dove Bistro hearkens the diner back to the days of the Old West but with modern and upscale food. The restaurant itself seems fairly small upon entering with a dining room and a bar, but there is a room in the back that allows for parties. The setting has a dark and romantic atmosphere while celebrating Texas and the western motif, including a Texas flag behind the viewable kitchen. Read more