Foodie Friday Jay Marks

Foodie Friday: Visiting Historic Downtown Carrollton

You may remember our tour around Historic Downtown Grapevine we shared on the blog last summer. It was so much fun that we decided to share about another one of our favorite local historic districts to visit – Historic Downtown Carrollton.

Carrollton’s Historic District is over 100 years old and has tons of old charm as well as some modern conveniences and updates.

There are two parks where Carrollton hosts a wealth of community events throughout the year, as well as plenty of boutiques, restaurants, and local businesses that entertain Carrollton’s visitors.

Some of our favorite shops to visit when we head to Historic Downtown Carrollton are Blooms Candy & Soda Shop, The Finishing Touch Antique Mall, and The Home Store.

But since this is Foodie Friday, let’s talk about the food! Downtown Carrollton has some local-owned Mom-and-Pop type restaurants as well as some familiar bigger-name restaurants. Our favorites? Babe’s Chicken, Amici’s Signature Italian, Cane Rosso, and Sid’s Rainbow Grill.

Babe’s Chicken

It’s hard to come to DFW and not run into someone who talks about Babe’s Chicken. If you want some fantastic home-style cooking served family-style, check this place out! I love serving myself up a healthy portion of their fried chicken, mashed potatoes and creamed corn.

Amici’s Signature Italian

You can enjoy a truly unique Italian dining experience at Amici’s. Chef Bartolino Cocuzza blends traditional Italian cuisine with some French influences to deliver his creative take. You can order classic Italian dishes like Lasagna or Veal Scaloppini or you can try one of their more unique dishes like Grilled Elk and Roast Duck.

Cane Rosso

Similar to Babe’s Chicken, Cane Rosso has quickly become a well-known DFW staple. They have locations all over the Metroplex and their location in Carrollton is one of the newest. They serve authentic Neapolitan pizzas but with some unique twists. Our favorite pizza is one not on their regular menu. And pardon our language when we tell you the name… it’s the Honey Bastard. Also, you can’t skip out on dessert when you come to Cane Rosso. You MUST order their S’mores Calzone! Another insider tip? DON’T ASK FOR RANCH WITH YOUR PIZZA.

Sid’s Rainbow Grill

Kari’s family has been enjoying Sid’s hamburgers for as long as she can remember. If you want a truly authentic Mom-and-Pop diner experience, Sid’s is the place for you! Enjoy a milkshake from the soda fountain or sit down with friends in the restaurant room to enjoy your burger. Either way, you’ll love your experience!

Foodie Friday: Gnome Cones and Argyle’s Top Destination Spot

Pizza, coffee, barbecue, and a gnome themed snow cone? Yes please! Affectionately known as The Corner by Argyle locals this Foodie destination spot in Argyle averages 500 people on Friday and Saturday night every weekend. Why, you ask? Well, lately it has been because of a new BBQ spot known as “Bumbershoots” and young entrepreneurs posing as gnomes selling snow cones made with all natural ingredients.

At the North East corner of 407 and 377 are 5 restaurants including Fuzzy’s tacos, Earl’s 377, Kimzey’s Coffee, Bumbershoots BBQ, and the latest… Gnome Cones.

Four of these are unique, local owned, specialty restaurants. Today we want to feature Gnome Cones and give you an update on the latest goings-on at the rest.

(Courtesy of Gnome Cones Facebook page)

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Alex Sparks and Bret Hawkins are the co-founders of Gnome Cones and childhood best friends. Their wives are also involved.  They always joked around about how good the name “Gnome Cones” sounded and were always thinking of ways to make the best snow cone. So finally, three weeks ago they opened up their incredible snow shack. We talked with Alex and he told us that there are no dies or preservatives in their ice. Everything is made out of real juice, teas, and coffee! The best part is all of the ice and ingredients are made fresh every morning so you can get the maximum taste with your ice.

Alex and Kelly Sparks gave us a tour!

And when we say maximum flavor we aren’t joking! They have some seriously unique flavors, and each one has been mastered so you will not be disappointed. And, every flavor can be paired with ice cream in the middle or even just cream!

The crowd favorite is Apple Pie served with cream, but they have other tasty flavors like Blood Orange, Pina Colada, Chai Tea, and Cold Brew. No matter who you are there is sure to be something for you at this snow cone shack.

Since they have been open they have already sold out multiple times, which has led them to buy even better ice machines to better serve the customers, but Gnome Cones is open from 11 am-10 pm everyday. Alex also told us that if you bring any size gnome you receive a FREE snow cone! The bigger the gnome the bigger the snow cone.  Some come check out this new and fun snow cone shack, Gnome Cones!

Now we want to update you on Earl’s 377, Bumbershoots BBQ, and Kimzey’s Coffee as we talked about them a few blogs ago.

First, we have Bumbershoot BBQ. Bumbershoot is also all about service. From having live shows for customers to watch while they eat their food to running out to your car and hand delivering your food when it’s raining. They really do it all at Bumbershoots and when you stop by you are sure to see and smell meat cooking in their smokers further promising that they are giving you the best beef, pork, chicken and sausage in all of Argyle!

Next, we have Earl’s 377 and their amazing Pizza. Earl’s is committed to “serving hand-crafted pizza and delicious, fresh Italian food to our neighbors in North Texas!”

Their one year anniversary just passed and they are thriving. They are the original restaurant in the corner, and they are all about “Radical Hospitality” so you are sure to be treated well here! If you are a part of the Military, Police or Fire Department make sure to let them know as they want to appreciate all you have done for the community and give you a discount on your food.

Lastly, we have Kimzey’s Coffee Shop and their amazing coffee inside their uniquely designed coffee house. Kimzey’s is five months old and has very busy mornings on a steady basis due to their service and great coffee. People just can’t get enough of them!

Fuzzy’s Tacos is also a fan favorite and is the last pice to The Corner destination spot in Argyle, Texas. Make sure to stop by any of these wonderful foodie spots and enjoy their “Radical Hospitality”! We know you’re probably heading to Gnome Cones right now to cool off from the hot summer heat, but please leave some for the rest of us as it easy to go back for seconds… or even thirds!

Foodie Friday: National Donut Day at Sara’s Donuts

Happy ‘National Donut Day’ Foodies! Today we decided to revisit a donut shop that we blogged about last year, Sara’s Donuts. Home to everyone in Flower Mound’s favorite donuts located just off of 2499. And yes, you can guess it… we did not hold back when it came time for us to celebrate.

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From the decorations, the electric decor, and the friendly staff everything seemed to be in place and ready to serve all of Flower Mound’s donut cravings for the big day. But, what we didn’t see was the preparation Sara and her staff put into every donut and decoration. We talked to Sara and she admitted to us that she had gotten into the store at 1 AM that morning to begin making the donuts to make sure every single one was perfect.

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When we got there this morning at 7:15 we were expecting a line and a short wait, but what we saw was nothing short of a donut miracle. A line stretched itself out of the door and wrapped alongside the sidewalk. But, the funniest part was that everyone in the line had the same face that seemed to be a mixture of excitement, hunger, and an envy of every person that walked out with their arms full of the delectable donuts.

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When it was our turn to order donuts we talked to Sara herself and she said that in just a couple hours they had already sold more than 3,000 donuts!  She said it was mostly the original type of donuts (glazed, sprinkles or old fashioned) that had been going, but mentioned that other crowd favorites include: Creme Brulee, Red Velvet, Salted Caramel, Maple Bacon, and the S’mores.

However, no matter which donut you most craved you were sure to receive a fluffy and sweet treat that was just right for you.

Sara is a huge contributor to the community and has donated countless hours, money, and donuts to charities in Flower Mound. She even donated to this years Easter Sunrise Service on the actual Flower Mound. Sara is a loving person whom we adore and appreciate for all she does for our town.

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We know all these pictures have your mouth watering. So, the next time you want to be “Employee of the Day” at the office or treat the kids to something special on the weekend, definitely head to Sara Donuts to try out some of their incredible breakfast options and to meet their friendly staff!

You just might see us while you’re there… picking up donuts for our own office!

FOODIE FRIDAY: PETER’S PIZZERIA, AMAZING RESTAURANT AND COMMUNITY VOLUNTEERS

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Many North Texas have been volunteering in Fruitvale Texas after the devastating tornado there April 29. Peters Pizza assisted in feeding between  80-100 volunteers.  Pete and Liz Pagano are locals with passion for the Pizza and Love of our community.  I am sharing  a blog post I wrote about them and asking you to stop by for some great food and say hello!

We were in the mood for some great local pizza this week and after doing some research, decided to try out Peter’s Pizzeria in Highland Village for lunch with some friends yesterday. Peter’s Pizzeria has an extremely loyal local following, with rave reviews on both their business Facebook page and Yelp. And looking at pictures their customers posted, the pies looked so amazing we figured this place was a must-try!

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photo 3(22)Peter’s Pizzeria opened about nine months ago right next to Village Grill and Kroger off FM 407 in Highland Village, but owner Peter Pagano has been cooking up homemade Italian food for other people for around 35 years. Pete and his wife, Liz, are originally from Ridgewood, New Jersey where they first started sharing their homemade family recipes with the public. About 12 years ago, the Paganos decided to move to Texas and opened a restaurant in Colleyville. However, being residents of Double Oak, Pete and Liz decided to sell their space in Colleyville about a three years ago and move the restaurant a little closer to home.

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Alright, now I know you guys are dying to hear about the food, so here it goes. Pete and Liz cooked up some great dishes for us while we were there and were willing to customize their lunch menu to allow us to try some of their great signature plates. We started out with a delicious antipasti salad with sliced Parmesan, ham and pepperoni with fresh vegetables. I always love starting a meal out with a great salad like this – sets the right tone.photo 1(25)

Liz then brought out what I think was probably the best part of our meal yesterday – Eggplant Rollatini. If you like eggplant parmesan (or anything breaded, baked and covered in tomato sauce and cheese), you’ll love this appetizer! The eggplant had great flavor and was perfectly baked and the tomato sauce had a wonderful fresh quality to it. I would definitely recommend you give this appetizer a try.

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And then of course, we had to order a couple of pies. They came out steaming hot (gooey cheese and all) and looking delicious. Liz had one pie made up without cheese and loaded with vegetables and another one more traditional with pepperoni and sausage. If you love a significant crust on your pizza, you’ll love these. The crust had a great doughy quality to it and was nice and fluffy at the same time. The vegetables and the meats were flavorful and fresh and just enhanced the wonderful homemade taste of the pizza dough.
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You can order your pizza by the pie or slice – whichever way you want it. And here’s some inside scoop – Pete includes Parmesan cheese in his sauce which is why it’s so delicious!

This place has a great vibe to it – you feel like you really are dining in an awesome local pizza joint in New Jersey. I love that we have a place here in Denton County that brings the authentic feel of a New Jersey Italian pizzeria to our area. So, if you’ve been searching for a great pizza joint, I’d recommend you give Peter’s Pizzeria a try. It’s got a great family-owned atmosphere, great food and great service.

And when you go in, be sure to let them know you heard about them on Jay Marks’ Foodie Friday blog!

Foodie Friday: Cinco de Mayo at Urbano!

Happy Cinco de Mayo, Foodies! I’m still not sure why Americans get so excited about celebrating today, other than the fact that it’s an excuse to gorge on Mexican food and drink lots of margaritas. Oh, never mind. I get it now…

If you’re looking for a great, local place to celebrate Cinco de Mayo today (or all weekend long), may we suggest Flower Mound’s very own Urbano Enchilada & Taco Bar?

Urbano opened last August in the Pines of Flower Mound and is the brain-child of restaurateurs, David and Lynne Cerda, who previously owned Mi Sueno in the Bartonville Town Center.

They’ve enjoyed a fantastic first year of serving Flower Mound residents their Tex-Mex menu, including (as you could probably guess by their name) a wonderful selection of enchilada and taco options.

You can order their tacos in street-taco fashion with a corn tortilla, or they offer flour tortillas as well. And you can choose from any number of their cuts of meat to go inside including: carnitas, brisket, spicy chicken, and baja fish.

Or if you’re more of an enchilada fan, they have everything from vegetarian options, to shrimp, to slow-roasted brisket.

And if you’ve never experienced Urbano’s famous street corn, you haven’t lived. It’s in such high demand that there have been several occasions where they’ve almost sold out of it! You can order it on the cob or cut, but either way it comes smothered with their Urbano Street Sauce, queso fresco, cilantro and a dusting of cayenne pepper.

However, one of the most compelling reasons to spend Cinco de Mayo at Urbano may be their full-service bar where you can order from their wide array of unique and beloved margaritas. David and Lynne have been known for their margaritas ever since they owned Mi Sueno in Bartonville, and they knew that was one thing customers would count on them continuing to serve at Urbano. They’ve got all kinds of options for you to try including: a classic margarita; their Spicy Rita (made with jalapeno infused tequila and orange liqueur); and their Morgan’s Blue Rita (made with Blue Curacao Liqueur).

And all of this can be enjoyed within Urbano’s comfortable industrial-style environment or on their spacious patio.

So, what are you waiting for? Get out and go celebrate Cinco de Mayo already! And eat some of that street corn for us…

Urbano Enchilada & Taco Bar is located at 1121 Flower Mound Rd Ste 570, Flower Mound TX 75028.

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