Jay Marks Foodie Friday

Foodie Friday: Sonora Factory Grill

Everyone in Texas is very familiar with our well-known Tex-Mex style food that can be found just about anywhere. But when it comes to real, authentic Mexican cuisine – not everyone is so experienced or comfortable. And it’s especially hard to find authentic Mexican cuisine in a fast-casual setting.

Which is why we are so glad to have Sonora Factory Grill here in our Flower Mound community! Sonora Factory Grill is a Mexican-based restaurant concept that was brought here to the States by Frisco residents, Juan and Jackie Carrera. And the Flower Mound location is the first location here in the US! How cool is that?

Juan’s day job is as a Mechanical Engineer and when he came upon the Sonora Factory Grill concept, he was immediately drawn to it because of its innovative cooking technology. Sonora Factory Grill is the only one of its kind in the world. They have a truly unique conveyor grill which is able to cook 12 pounds of steak in just a few minutes. That’s how they are able to serve fresh, made-to-order food quickly to their dine-in customers as well as to their drive-thru customers.

And they have an amazing chef manning that grill. Chef Roberto was most recently a chef at a Sheraton in Panama and has won international competitions in cocktail-making, cooking, and even in making pasta!

As far as Sonora’s food goes – it’s some of the Mexican dishes we’ve all become familiar with like nachos, tacos and burritos but served in an authentic Mexican style. Their tacos and burritos don’t come filled with cheese, lettuce, rice and beans. Instead the focus is really placed on the protein – the Carne Asada, Fajita Chicken, Pastor Pork and Barbacoa.

One of their most popular items is the Tres Amigos which is Carne Asada served with 3 tortillas, salsas, lemon and refried beans so you can assemble your own tacos. The Carne Asada is so tender and has incredible flavor.

Look at the size of that burrito tortilla!

One of Sonora Factory Grill’s other popular dishes is their Super Nachos which come served with refried beans, two kinds of melted cheese, sour cream, guacamole and your choice of protein. And after eating a few bites of some, I understand why this is such a popular choice!

Sonora Factory Grill also has a fantastic bar where they serve margaritas made with the finest blue agave tequilas as well as all your favorite beers.

When we asked Juan why they chose to make Flower Mound the spot for their first location, he said it’s because they knew they wanted to be in a strong community where the residents would push them and give them feedback that would allow them to perfect their model and eventually open other locations. I think that’s an amazing compliment to our town!

I feel honored that we had the chance to sit down with Juan this week and hear his story and I love that he has chosen to do business here in Flower Mound.

*Sonora Factory Grill is located at 1050 Flower Mound Rd, Suite 310, Flower Mound 75028.

Foodie Friday: Mugs Cafe & Bakery in Downtown Roanoke

I love exploring new areas and testing out their cuisine, so when we found ourselves near Downtown Roanoke this week, we knew we needed to find one of their many fantastic restaurants to try!

As we were strolling along checking out all the shops and restaurants, we stumbled upon Mugs Cafe & Bakery and the intoxicating smell of fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies drew us inside.

 What we found was a charming bakery with a fabulous assortment of sweet treats as well as some delicious sandwich options which sounded like just the perfect solution for our hungry stomachs.

In talking to one of the owners, Lainie, we learned that she and her mother, Kim, have been serving up their baked goods in Roanoke since 1996. We also learned that Mugs Cafe & Bakery is the only place in DFW where you can find a chocolate dipped brownie! (Holy delicious!)

They have over 20 other pastries to choose from including Napoleons, Eclairs, Macaroons, Cheesecakes, Cookies, and Bars.

As far as their sandwich options go, they have a Chicken Salad, a Club, a Veggie, and a Holiday (cream cheese, cranberry and turkey) among others. And you can choose whether you want it on white, wheat, sourdough, or a croissant.

And if you need a wedding or special occasion cake of any kind, Mugs Cafe & Bakery can help you with that as well! They do made-to-order custom cakes or if you need one last-minute they have some ready in the bakery at all times you can pick up as well.

This was the perfect lunch spot for us this week and we loved getting to spend some time in Downtown Roanoke. The next time you’re down that way, be sure to stop by Mugs Cafe & Bakery for a sweet treat, a drink or a sandwich!

*Mugs Cafe & Bakery is located at 103 N Oak St, Roanoke TX 76262 (right across the street from Babe’s Chicken).

Foodie Friday: Prohibition Chicken Serving Up More Than Just Great Fried Chicken

I love a restaurant that provides a full, fun, unique dining experience in addition to fantastic food. If you haven’t experienced Prohibition Chicken in Old Town Lewisville yet, you’ll be finding a way to get there as soon as possible by the time you’re finished reading this blog post – trust me!

Prohibition Chicken was created by four local guys (Chef Roger Kaplan, Ken Johnsen, Josh Babb, and Sean Clavir) who have a passion for two things: chicken and whiskey. And Prohibition Chicken perfectly marries those two passions together.

Two of the owners: Josh Babb and Sean Clavir

Customers can enjoy family-style dining and drinks in the main dining area. Or if you really want to enjoy the full prohibition experience, head on back to their speakeasy through the telephone booth where you can enjoy their full menu as well as some truly unique cocktails created by their Cocktail Enthusiast, Tyson.

I had no idea that this place had a hidden speakeasy in it, and when I found that out, I was so excited!!

The menu at Prohibition Chicken is simple – you choose the protein (chicken, beef or fish) and then pick four family-style sides to go along with it. You can also add on salad for $1 per person and a basket of their incredible homemade cornmeal biscuits. (We definitely recommend adding both on.)

They have four chicken options you can choose from if you decide to go the chicken route. Their most popular options are the Crispy Fried and the Smoke Fried (a combination of their Crispy Fried and their Pecan Smoked). We had some of their Smoke Fried and it was fantastic. The skin had incredible flavor to it and the chicken was deliciously tender. If you want a gluten-free option, their Pecan Smoked is perfect because it’s not fried in a batter. And if you like a little bit of spice, you’ll love their Hot Chili-Fried Chicken dusted with a Jalapeno Ranch.

We also ordered their Beeman Family Ranch Akaushi Tri-tip which also had incredible flavor and was cooked to perfection.

To go along with your protein, you get to choose four family-style sides for the table to share. They’ve got a great mix of hot and cold sides to choose from. We went with their Classic Creamy Southern Slaw (which has some jalapenos in it for some added heat); the Smoked Cheddar Ale Mac ‘n Cheese (so creamy and delicious); Smashed Potatoes (their version of mashed potatoes made with parsnips and cream); and Smoked Cheddar Grits (a little bit of a sweet option).

We also recommend you not leave Prohibition Chicken without trying one of their desserts (if you can manage to find the room in your stomach)! Their regular dessert item is their Sticky Biscuit made with gooey caramel pecan apple goodness and a dollop of whipped cream. We chose to go with their seasonal dessert options which were a Granny Smith Apple Cobbler and a Peach Cobbler both topped with a vanilla bean cream.

Be sure to check out Prohibition Chicken’s hours that we have below so that you don’t miss out on your chance to experience this fantastic new restaurant in Lewisville!

*Prohibition Chicken is open as follows: Monday – Closed; Tuesday-Thursday – 4:30-9:00pm; Friday-Sunday – 11:00am-9:00pm.

**Prohibition Chicken is located at 201 W Church St, Lewisville TX 75057.

Foodie Friday: Authentic Indian Cuisine at Urban Tadka

(Preface: If you’re looking for an expert opinion on Indian food, that’s not what this is. But if you’re an inexperienced Indian-food connoisseur like us and have always been curious to give Indian food a try, then this blog post is perfect for you.)

I think our entire team is now converted to Indian cuisine thanks to Urban Tadka! Now admittedly, we didn’t really know what we were ordering when we ordered it, but everything we ordered was delicious and I can’t wait to get back and try some more Indian food!

The Flower Mound location of Urban Tadka is their second here in DFW and both are owned and operated by Happy and Mona Singh who are long-time residents of Flower Mound.

Mona Singh and her son, Karan.

Several years ago, while working as a telecom engineer, Happy decided it was time to begin pursuing his lifelong dream of owning a restaurant. In order to learn more about how to correctly prepare and serve Indian cuisine in a restaurant setting, Happy began working part-time in the evenings at an Indian restaurant in Dallas.

Then, in 2013 they opened their first location of Urban Tadka in Irving. Fast forward a couple years and Happy decided it was time to begin thinking about a second location. Their friends here in Flower Mound begged Happy and Mona to open their second location here in town as there weren’t many great, local Indian restaurants. So, about a month ago, they opened their second location next to Anamia’s on FM 2499.

I’m going to do my best to explain our meal to you (remember, I’m an inexperienced Indian-food eater). So, I may do so by equating some of the dishes we had to dishes from other types of cuisine you might be more familiar with.

For our appetizer course, Mona chose several delicious options for us to sample including Samosas (fried potato and cheese); Chicken Pakora (chicken fritters made with Indian spices); Tandoori Chicken (yogurt-marinated chicken served with vegetables which was like eating Indian-style fajitas!); and Seekh Kabab (sausage-like chicken).

Samosas

Chicken Pakora

Tandoori Chicken

Seekh Kabab

Our favorites of the appetizers were probably the Samosas and the Tandoori Chicken.

Then we each ordered a different entree dish which come served with Butter Naan, Garlic Naan and rice. Any of the entrees are delicious served over rice or used to dip your Naan in.

We ordered a few veggie-only entrees including: Shahi Paneer (a cheese-based dish); Kofta Lajawab (fried veggie balls served in a cream-based sauce); and Dal Makhni (lentil cooked with garlic, ginger tomatoes).

Shahi Paneer

Kofta Lajawab

Dal Makhni

We also sampled their Chicken Tikka Masala made with a cream-based tomato sauce and their Lamb Shahi Korma.

Chicken Tikka Masala

Lamb Shahi Korma

And if you want something a little different than the average Indian cuisine, we also tried their Veggie Wrap which had an incredible medley of flavors.

Then to top our meal off, we sampled a couple of their traditional Indian desserts – Gulab Jamun (fried dough balls soaked in a sweet syrup – like Indian donut holes!) and Rabri (a sweetened condensed milk dish that kind of reminded me of a rice pudding).

After our lunch at Urban Tadka, I honestly can’t wait to go back and sample more Indian food. Which is something I don’t think I’ve ever said before. But I am totally converted now!

We love that this restaurant is owned and operated by locals who are greatly involved in the community. Mona told us her favorite part of now having a location in their hometown is getting to see so many of her friends come in and support their business.

If you’ve been on the fence about Indian food like some of us at Jay Marks Real Estate have been, jump off the fence and go give Urban Tadka a try!

We hope you have a very safe Independence Day weekend, Foodies! And, as always, we hope you eat very well!

Urban Tadka in Flower Mound is located at 1900 Long Prairie Rd #146, Flower Mound, TX 75028.

Foodie Friday: Hanaya Hibachi & Sushi – Yet Another Great Addition to Lakeside DFW

Just when we thought Lakeside DFW couldn’t get any better, a new Asian fusion restaurant opened its doors this week offering local residents a delicious and beautiful dining experience.

Photo Courtesty of Hanaya's Facebook page

Photo courtesy of Hanaya’s Facebook page.

Hanaya Hibachi & Sushi is owned and operated by the same people who run Kobeya Japanese Steak & Sushi in Southlake Town Square, so if you’ve dined at that restaurant, expect the same level of service, cuisine, and atmosphere.

Photo courtesy of Hanaya’s Facebook page.

Hanaya offers 8 hibachi tables for diners, or if you’d rather sit at one of their dine-in tables and enjoy offerings from their menu of sushi, ramen, and rice bowls, you can do that as well.

Photos courtesy of Hanaya’s Facebook page.

Because we wanted the full entertainment + food experience this week, we opted to enjoy their hibachi dinner and were definitely not disappointed!

Their hibachi experience is similar to other hibachi restaurants – it’s a fun, unique experience to sit around a table with people you may or may not know and watch your food be prepared with lots of extra pizzazz. But their food was different than any other hibachi food I’ve ever tasted. The menu items were the same, but the flavors infused into those menu items were uniquely Hanaya’s. I wish I could explain to you why it tasted deliciously different, but you’ll just have to go try it out for yourself!

In addition to our fun and tasty hibachi meal, we also tried one of Hanaya’s (many) signature sushi rolls – the What A Roll which has yellow tail, spicy tuna and little red fish eggs on top. All of the ingredients in the roll tasted so fresh and we wish we would have had room in our stomachs to try a few more of their signature rolls like the Flower Mound.

They also have all the rolls and sushi you’re familiar with as well. And our favorite part was their sushi bar where you can actually see all the fresh seafood ingredients they utilize in their sushi preparations!

Photo courtesy of Hanaya’s Facebook page.

Hanaya is a true Asian fusion restaurant with their fantastic offerings of hibachi, sushi and ramen. We are so glad to see them finally open in Lakeside DFW and know there are many of you who are excited they are open as well!

Keep in mind that this week was their “soft opening,” so things could get a little crowded there as lots of residents try them out this weekend. But we definitely encourage you to enjoy a fun and scrumptious meal with them.

And if you go this evening, don’t forget to check out the fireworks over Lake Grapevine which you can see from Sunset Point. And you can also enjoy music from Manny Trevino as part of the Lakeside Music Series.

*Hanaya Hibachi & Sushi is located at 2314 Lakeside Pkwy, Flower Mound 75022.

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