Category Archives: Beverages

PeriniRanch01

Lunch Date at Perini’s Ranch

We spent a recent weekend in Abilene, Texas. One thing on my bucket list has been to check out the famous Perini Ranch and luckily for us, we were able to go Saturday for lunch.

The Perini Ranch is known as one of the best steakhouses in Texas. The Perini Family has cooked for Presidents, grandiose events, featured within multiple publications, honored by the James Beard Foundation as a American Classic (2014), host of the Buffalo Gap Food & Wine Summit maker of delicious food. Considering Robert Duvall wrote the forward in their cookbook, you know they’re a big deal! (He is one of my favorite actors.)
PeriniRanch1833

The restaurant is set in an old barn with rustic charm. The chairs are well worn, the old kitchen chairs that you can sink into and feel relaxation wash over you. The kind that I want in my kitchen – the best chairs really. A fireplace sits in the middle of the small main portion of the restaurant. Antlers are hung not only as decoration but as a place for cowboys to hang their hats while they eat their meals. It’s rustic, western and everything a steakhouse in a small Texas town should be.

What did we eat, you ask?

Appetizer – Quail legs with roasted jalapeño.
There were more than two when this first arrived at our table. What can we say, we were hungry! Chicken fried battered with a grilled jalapeño, these two together are like peas in a pod.

PeriniRanch1832

Main Course
Today Show Award Winning Ranch Burger – 1/2 lb. grilled patty with cheddar cheese, grilled mushrooms, grilled onions and green chiles.

PeriniRanch1837

Grilled Ranch Roast Sandwich – Slices of roasted prime rib topped with melted cheddar cheese, grilled mushrooms, grilled onions and green chiles on toasted sourdough bread.

PeriniRanch1842

We also split a side of Zucchini Perini. Tasty – let me tell ya. Slices of zucchini baked in a meat sauce and topped with parmesan cheese. I’m wondering why I don’t make this at home with my dinner.

Dessert – Bread pudding of course! Warm bread pudding with Jack Daniels Whiskey sauce. Makes the belly happy! It’s delicious!

PeriniRanch1843

If you’re ever in West Texas, head over the Perini’s. Come with a full belly, be prepared for a photo opp with a giant armadillo and relax and enjoy!

Other Date Ideas In Abilene

While we were in Abilene, we got to check out a couple breweries. It is of course, one of our favorite things to do! Here are some places we recommend.

Pappy Sloakam – A dive brewery if there ever was one. The brewery location is simple and not overdone, a place where anyone can come hang out inside or outside, plenty of games and comfortable to catch up with friends (or make new ones). The beer is phenomenal! It’s so good – so good, full of flavor and life (and their names are pretty clever – you’ll get a laugh)! We’ll be back for more.

Sockdolager Brewing – We’re still trying to figure out how to pronounce the name on this one. The atmosphere is awesome and the vertical flights are extra appealing (go ahead, get a flight, try them all!). There’s a room for the kids which helps to make this a location for all. The beer selection could be improved but still a fun place to check out.

TapHouse Tavern – Need a night out but looking for more than just a brewery and food trucks? Indoor/Outdoor seating. Great bar seating and a well rounded selection of microbrews and the typical bar liquor selections. We went just for drinks but hear the food is great!

What is your favorite place in Abilene? 

Fixture, Fort Worth, Aqua Fresca, Cocktail, Fort Worth Date night

Weeknight Date Night – Fixture

Getting together during the week can be tough but sometime we can make it work and when we do, we try to make it count. Trying new places, hitting the deals that can save us a few extra bucks and finding something “new” are all things that we try to incorporate.

For this week’s, ‘Weeknight Date Night” I’m featuring Fixture found on the east side of Magnolia Street in Fort Worth. Magnolia is a super popular at the moment with what seems like a continuing array of new restaurants, bars, coffee shops, brew pubs and growler stations not to mention breweries, distilleries and the cutest homes in the Fairmount neighborhood.

A few weeks ago, we decided to check out Fixture on a rainy day. We first heard about it during the Fort Worth Food and Wine Festival and finally got around to going. Fixture believes in serving real food, supporting local businesses and products and creating a relaxing and comfortable space. The interior has a modern appeal, a great patio space in the back and an open bar area. Plenty of TV’s with sports games and a favorite personal touch of a barn door to the bathrooms (how often do you find this somewhere)?

Cocktails. 
My personal favorite when ordering was this Aqua Fresca – seasonal fruitful flavor, vodka, citrus and soda. I could’ve drank this all day and it doesn’t hurt that it’s pretty either! Other options looked great as well – the toughest problem you may have is picking which one you’ll go with first!

Fixture, Fort Worth, Aqua Fresca, Cocktail, Fort Worth Date night

Main Meal

Once I saw a couple next to us order dessert, I knew I had to leave room for the sweet stuff so we ordered off the brunch menu and split a frittata. Served in a hot skillet (only appropriate), this was more than enough for two people. The frittata included three eggs, jalapeño, mushroom, asparagus, tomato, red onion, feta cheese and a side of salsa verde. DELICIOUS!

Fixture, Fort Worth, Fort Worth Date night, brunch, frittata

If you’d like another option, I would suggest the Texas Cheese Steak. Someone came in and ordered it after we ordered it and I now can’t wait to go back and order my own.

Dessert. 

Oh the sweet tooth that I bare! I am a sucker for a good dessert and I’ll tell you where to find the best of the best as well. My soft spot – bread pudding. Remember when I mentioned that I saw a couple order dessert next to us when we first arrived, yea – that dessert menu caught my attention fast and I was ready to go. Lucky enough for me (and you since I’m letting you in on the secret), I have now found the best bread pudding in all of Fort Worth. That’s right – the best bread pudding that has won over my hungry, sweet-desiring heart (ah-hum stomach).

Fixture, Fort Worth, Dessert, Bread Pudding, Fort Worth Date night

The edges provide the right about of crisp with the softest center this is the key to win you over. And now I’m hungry and want a slice…

My favorite part about date night is that it doesn’t have to be traditional. There’s no right or wrong – go for a cocktail, heck go for just dessert or go for the entire meal! Fixture was a really special treat and I’m glad we finally got to go to experience what all the chatter was about.

Here are some other suggestions within walking distance of Fixture to incorporate into your date night!

Friday on the Green – Held once a month April – October, walk over to Magnolia Green Park to enjoy live music, local vendors and local brews. Bring a chair or blanket and enjoy your time!

Proper – Directly next to Fixture this a cocktail bar and be ready to be amazed. Calling themselves a “Contemporary Cocktail Habitat”, we were amazed at the knowledge behind each spirit and the attention into every cocktail. Local art is also featured within.

What are some things that you love to incorporate or look for on date nights? 

Vermont, Lake Carmi, Scenery

Welcome to Vermont – Part II

If you’ve had a chance to view Part I of our trip to Vermont, it’s pretty obvious we were having a lot of fun with plenty of activities. With this being Spencer’s first trip to the Green Mountain State, there was ample opportunity to play the part of a tourist. Even if it’s your home state, there’s always ample opportunity to be a tourist – whether it’s something that you may have never experienced or visited, ask “why not?”!

Here are a few adventures we went on in Northern Vermont. If you’re planning a visit (or being a tourist for a day yourself), we highly recommend them all!

Wine Tasting at Borden Valley Winery, Cambridge.

Boyden Valley Winery, Cambridge, Vermont
Wine, cider, dessert wine and liqueur. Oh yes – for $10, the tasting included 7 tastings from a masterful list (of all of the above) and a very nice wine glass to keep. Afterwards, we took our glass, picked a favorite bottle to enjoy outside on the terrace and enjoyed incredible views of the Green Mountains and the vineyard grounds. Tours are available twice a day and in the fall there is a pretty great corn maze. I stuck to pretty much anything with the word “maple” – if you know me this is no surprise. That sweet stuff runs through my veins.

My personal favorite – Glogg. Holy moly! If you haven’t tried Glogg, you’re missing out. This is a  wine which you serve warm that tastes like a spice cake / loaf right out of the oven. Do yourself a favor and go to their website and just order yourself a bottle. I look forward to hearing how you’ll be ordering another!

The Old College Grounds! 

Champlain College_0085
My almamatra is Champlain College. I couldn’t have picked a better college to attend anywhere. Good ole Camp Champ as we like to call it. A lot has changed on campus since I attended and it is definitely a lot different than the University of Texas where Spencer went. We met up with an old college friend / prior employer / school mom while we were there and she took us on a tour including taking a peak into one of the dorms on campus. A lot has changed since I graduated. I can’t begin to talk about the flashbacks of this wonderful place (including being super excited to see the booths in the cafeteria for some reason). Sending photos to college friends while on tour definitely took place! It’s safe to say that some things haven’t changed. We still have the best view in town!

Champlain College_0078

Burlington – Oh Burlington.

Lake-Champlain_0091
It’s funny how you don’t realize how much you miss somewhere until you hit up the old stomping grounds. If you’re ever in Burlington and can only do three things they need to include visiting the waterfront, experiencing a brewery (there are a ton of Pine Street now) and eating downtown.

The waterfront is one of a kind. This is where you can breathe and take in the amazing scenery. It doesn’t get much better. Find yourself a swing by the lake and sit a while.

Lake Champlain Waterfront_0090

Breweries. The brew scene has blown up and they’re all great. Visit one or visit them all. We stopped by Switchback. I remember visiting this place when they had just opened. Tours were by phone call only. The owner received his degree in beer brewing from UCLA (who gave us the tour) and you could only find it in the bars downtown. Times have changed. Love their success.

Remember: Vermont has the best breweries in the country.

Switchback_0092

Eat downtown. If a chain is on your agenda, it won’t be found here. Burlington has some of the best eateries around. This trip included a trip to Kountry Kart Deli on Main Street for a Rise and Shiner – the best sandwich you will have in your life. I’m fairly certain that I haven’t had one since college and maybe never one sober and it was still as good as I remember. Sausage, egg, hash brown and cheese on a bun fresh off the grill. Dinner was at American Flatbread. Yes, these are the same pizza’s that can be found in the frozen section at the grocery store but you really need to have one in Vermont. Fresh, local ingredients paired with a local craft beer and a dinner really can’t get much better than that!

The One and Only – Vermont Sugarhouse Experience

Maple Syrup_0922a
Visit a sugarhouse and experience maple. The prime maple season is in the spring when everything begins to thaw. This is where liquid gold is made and the process is amazing (and so are the locations).

Get Outside – Hike

Mt Mansfield Summit_0121
The Green Mountains are my favorite mountains in the world. It wouldn’t be right to go to Vermont and not enjoy nature and be active outside. Spencer and I hiked Mt Mansfield, the highest peak in the state of Vermont. This trip, we took the Toll Road (read about my first hike to the summit here) and hiked two miles to the top. Lucky for us, we were the only ones on the summit. We had the whole top of Vermont to ourselves!! How incredible is that?

Mt Mansfield, Summit, Vermont, Stowe, Hike, Long Trail, Green Mountains

Spencer Takes a Ride

Ford Model A_0208
My dad is an antique car enthusiast. That’s probably putting it lightly. The man loves his old cars. I think Spencer really enjoyed checking out the vehicles and going for a ride with him.

I think it’s safe to say Vermont was a success. It goes by entirely too fast. Way too fast.

What are some things that you enjoy most about going home?