Thursday, February 27, 2014


It's a lovely sunny, albeit cold-ish day here in North Texas. I started my day by having a rewarding conversation with a new contact and was in high spirits. Next, I met up with PinTrish at Starbucks for our weekly check-in. Small chat with the Barista garnered me a 25% off my triple espresso con panna and berry coffee cake. SCORE! If he calls me sweetie again next week, I might have a "Coffee Husband". At 11:30, we left to meet up with the burger crew.
Scro's selection this week was Del's Charcoal Burgers off Beltline in Richardson. Visit their website for a charming video about the restaurant; I didn't watch it in advance or look at any reviews as I wanted to make up my own mind, but it is a good reflection of the place.

Here's me basically sitting on PinTrish's lap to get a double selfie. 
Breet and Scro arrived first. After hugs and pleasantries, we went inside to order - the place was packed. Not a lot of seating, but that's always a good indication that the food is going to be good.
I went for a simple cheeseburger with lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise, with a side of fries and a Coke. The wait was about ten minutes so I weaved through the crowd to use the Ladies. Quite comically, the women's restroom has Marilyn Monroe on the outside and the Gent's displays James Dean. There's a lot of 50's and early 60's era "stuff" on the walls. Likely has been there since the grand opening 60 years ago.
The bathroom was clean, small, and had a hook for your purse.  Nice liquid hand soap and ample paper towels. It's not the Ritz, but much better than I expected. And the light came on automatically, which is one less germy thing to touch.

This "art" had me confused. I think it looks like two dudes, a la Brokeback Mountain, enjoying a sunny afternoon with their horses. Maybe it actually is a female gazing down at her man, but she wasn't very attractively painted.
I left the lavatory and meandered back to the counter to wait on my order. Seems like it took a while, but we are talking about open flame, charcoal burgers. There was one guy on the grill, one on side orders and one at the register. I think the owner was walking around doing "manager" things and another support staff on the ketchup, napkins, general fulfillment. That's all this tiny place needed. It was lovely out so we opted for a table in the sun.
Lala, Mama Love and Totes McCoates arrived.

It's good to see their smiling, happy faces each week. A little bit of catch up on work-type things, but we tried to keep the conversation on other topics. At one point, a discussion on breastfeeding turned rather gross and poor Lala needed to rinse her ears out with soap. 

Well, that's what happens when you have lunch with THIS GUY!
You're welcome Ladies. 
Food was ready and we got down to business.

It's a big burger. 
The fries are perfectly in-between crunchy and soft. The cheese is actually grated cheddar placed on top of the burger after it's off the grill. It got a little melty, but not the way I'm used to. 

PinTrish opted for onion rings. Scro got sweet potato fries and Breet, Texan that he is, ordered the tots. The tots were the bomb-digity. We debated the merits of at-home versus away tots for a short while. Yes, these are the lunch conversations of our lives. 

Chomp, chomp, chomp. Then I took a fun in the sun selfie.
It didn't come out so well. 

Verdict from Breet?

Ambiance – 8 (Americana and Texas kitsch with a 50's vibe. Note: the seating is old and you think you're going to break chairs and swings. Sit with caution.)
Burger – 7.5 (Grated cheese was a little weird. They mix onion in with the meat. Cooked on the medium well side.)
Cleanliness – 9
Drinks – 8.5 (I didn't have a root beer, but they do have a nice selection of non-alcoholic beverages.)
Location – 5 (They can't help it, but it's on the corner in old downtown Richardson. Parking can be an issue.)
Misc. – 7 (All walks of life congregate here. Feels a little like a hofbrauhaus. That's a good thing.)
Restroom – 8 (Suprisingly clean and cute. Questionable man-snuggle artwork.)
Sides – 7.5 (Great variety. Quite tasty.)
Staff – 8.5 (No-nonsense and efficient with a smile on their face. You need to get your own napkins and tableware, and you need to bus yourself. Not fancy, not needed.)
Bonus points – 10 (Two words: Fried Twinkies.)
TOTAL SCORE: 79 of a possible 100.  
I think Del's Charcoal Burgers have the highest score so far. That said, I was a little rough on Haystack's since it was the first tour stop; might need to adjust their score. 
I didn't finish, but the price was right (about $7) and the companionship made it a perfect outing.

See you on the flip side!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Real Eck Abode Convo - Part 022614

Scene: We are snuggled on the couch with the boopins, watching a movie. 

Hubster: Oh, that reminds me of the quote by Hemingway about hunting. 
Me: Wait, what?
H: You know, a man who hunts other men never cares about anything later.
M: I have no idea what you are talking about. Are you SURE it's by Hemingway?
H: Look it up!
M: (straight to google) man hunting quote hemingway... hmmm. Here it is! There is no hunting like the hunting of man, and those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never care for anything else thereafter.
H: See. Told ya. 
M: How do you know that quote?
H: Oh the guys in Fallujah spray painted it on the wall and put those thingies on either side of his name. (makes a motion with both hands in the air.)
M: Quotation marks?
H: Noooo.
M: Parenthesis?
H: That's the word. 
M: So, you know the whole quote. You know it was Hemingway. But you can't remember the word parenthesis?

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Tech Tuesday - Sonic Screwdriver Remote Control

Not necessarily a new gadget, but it is new to me - 10th Doctor Sonic Screwdriver Programmable TV Remote
For any Whovian, this is the coolest and nerdist gadget to enhance a Doctor Who binge-fest. Check out the link about to Think Geek to see a video for more.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Music Monday - Michael Franti & Spearhead "The Sound of Sunshine"

This one goes out to PinTrish.

Remember, you could be in Somalia trucking water on your head 5 miles... instead, you get a whole new plumbing system! How awesome is that?

Friday, February 21, 2014

Unofficial MAGICAL MYSTERY BURGER TOUR! - Henry's Tavern

Perhaps I should have had Totes McCoates make an unofficial MMBT! logo, as this tour stop was not planned by Scro nor a Texas independent burger joint.

I wanted to have lunch with CC and she suggested Henry's Tavern in Plano since it was just up the street from me and down the way from her new job. (I found out later that she had a coupon.)

Took a fun selfie outside because it was so gorgeous today. My smile doesn't translate well in this pic. Let's look at CC's selfie instead.
Much better! We got a table and dove into all the latest gossip. After our waiter, Cody, took our order the place started to fill up. And I mean PACKED with guys cheering on the US Hockey team. At one point, it felt like CC and I were shouting at each other. 
This is a before photo. You can see the bar and big screen before the place got slammed. We waited 35 minutes for our meal and I finally had to track down the hostess to ask about the delay. She was apologetic and blamed the game, but we still didn't see Cody anywhere. I got the burger, nothing fancy, and had asked for it medium.
Lovely brioche bun and crisp seasoned fries. The pickle was rather spicy and that's garlic mayo on the side. 
That's not medium, but I was hungry.The tavern started to really fill up.
A lot of cursing when Canada scored. I felt bad for CC and wanted to cover her ears. 
I don't remember taking this photo. It looks like my camera is on an acid trip. 
Finished everything on my plate (which I regret 3 hours later... ugh, burger baby.) Before we left, I made a quick stop to the Ladies. It's really large. 

Six stalls and three sinks! It definitely is more of a tavern bar than a restaurant, that's for sure.
I tipped Cody $4, even though our food was late and he barely checked on us. Didn't seem like there was a lot of waitstaff, so I didn't want to punish him for that. 

Ambiance – 5 (Sports bar, uncomfortable chairs, no outside patio.)
Burger – 5.5 (Overdone.)
Cleanliness – 8. (Very tidy.)
Drinks – 8 (Two different ciders on tap.)
Location – 7 (Parking is easiest in the complex, though they offer valet.)
Misc. – 5 (Open bar and televisions throughout, very loud.)
Restroom – 8 (HUGE!)
Sides – 9 (The fries were actually better than the burger. Hold on the pickle though.)
Staff – 3 (Sorry Cody, you were charming to begin with, but lost us once you left the table.)

Bonus points – 5 (Cloth napkin.)

TOTAL SCORE: 58.5 of a possible 100. 

Since it was an unofficial burger stop, they have room for improvement before I would head back.
Happy Friday!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Music Monday - Old 97's "Timebomb"

Happy Monday.

I was planning to post the new Old 97's song "Longer Tahn You've Been Alive" but couldn't find an embedded video. So my three readers, you'll just have to google it.

Or, if you're feeling lazy, check out "Timebomb" below.

Hope you've got some energy this week.  Don't forget to go to the gym and drink plenty of water. At LEAST your body weight in ounces!

Hugs. Pugs. And all that ... jazz.

Saturday, February 15, 2014


Putting all the weirdness from this week aside, I got a message from Breet that Friday was the day for the next MAGICAL MYSTERY BURGER TOUR! stop. A was a little disappointed when I saw the location was Olive Burger. Not that they don't have great food, part of the MMBT rules is that each establishment must have at least 4 stars on Yelp. It's just that the great Macedonian himself had taken me and Totes McCoates there about a month ago. So, it wasn't a fresh new experience.

But whatevs! Burgers ON!
Olive Burger is in Richardson, Texas off Arapaho and Custer. It's not much to look at from the outside, but there WILL be a line going out the door if you visit at lunchtime. Only took 15 minutes to get to the register and another 10 to get our food. Not too bad!  If you visit, make sure you have the time, because you can't rush good food.

Here's me and PinTrish waiting in line. I look ridiculous. 
But not as silly as Ivanny doing her best "Away Paparazzi!" with Barb. 

The menu is good. It's not just a burger joint, you can get gyro and chicken as well. And it's Halal, so you know you're getting GOOD stuff here. 
 Like I said, there's only one register and two guys on the grill, so be patient. 

I ordered the House cheeseburger which is a 1/2 pounder with double cheese, lettuce, tomatoes and pickle PLUS bacon, mushrooms, jalapenos and onions. I held the jalapenos since I'm not a fan. 
$7.52 plus tip. Not bad! (I got a water, but they have ample soda beverages.)

At this point, we converged to take over tables and the rest of the gang arrived just as our food was being delivered. 
Looking good there Breet!
Ah, poor Totes McCoates looks like he's at the kiddie table.
Here's the top view of the burger masterpiece. 
Wow. Shaky cam. Sorry, still getting used to the iPod Touch. 
And an interior halfsie.
 Your mouth is watering just a little bit, isn't it?

PinTrish gave me half her fries which were tasty. Breet gave me an onion ring, very good too. Like a tempura onion ring, not super crispy, but good. 

A few shots of the decor. Hand sanitizer is thoughtful.

Movie posters on the wall and weird color schemes. Olive Burger (when you can't get olives on your burger) is kind of like that co-worker who's a little of kilter but means well and does good work. You kind of want to pat them on the head and say, "Good girl" but refrain. 

I was on a tight schedule so didn't have the opportunity to get additional photos, but I had visited the bathroom on the previous occasion. 

Ambiance – 4 (middle eastern architecture with a Hollywood vibe and strange seating.)
Burger – 6.5 (I only ate half. These are GIANT burgers. But it is tasty.)
Cleanliness – 6. (While I didn't see anything that would make me nervous, I don't think they take a lot of time scrubbing things down.)
Drinks – 7 (Good assortment of sodas, but that's about it.)
Location – 7 (You have to go through a weird intersection and then try to find parking.)
Misc. – 7 (Hand sanitizer after eating a juicy burger was nice.)
Restroom – 5 (Unisex.)
Sides – 7 (If you like tempura style / American Chinese fried food, you'll dig these.)
Staff – 8 (No-nonsense, down to business. No wait staff.)

Bonus points – 8 (Halal.)

TOTAL SCORE: 60.5 of a possible 100. 

Thumbs up from Breet. 

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day

This is what I came home to today, on Valentine's Day.

Card reads: 
Happy Valentine's Day My Love
From our first kiss at the beach
to the end we all reach
I will love you.

Morbidly awesome and hilarious. That's my Hubster. 

Wine and chocolates, way to go babe. 
I love you too.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Slightly Belated Music Monday - Time of Your Life by Green Day

On my way to work this morning, I heard the Bruce Springsteen song "High Hopes"... my plan was to post that with a commentary about "The Boss" and a few witty quips. Unfortunately, my hopes were dashed and things took a turn for... well... let me just say things did not go the way I had hoped.

That being said* I had a good laugh with PinTrish, Namnamnams and Scro over a cider; I was the recipient of a phone-a-friend from Bueno; and the boopins were pleased to see Mumma this afternoon.

People say, they next best thing is in store. And yes, I've had the time of my life. I just wished the ride lasted a little longer. And I'm posting at 3:33 am, which makes my head feel good.

*Shout out to Sparky. 

Wednesday, February 5, 2014


It’s 11:00 am and a meeting invitation from Breet pops up on my screen. 

G, I know you are dining with Lana today, but if you would like to invite her to join the MMBT, she’s more than welcome.
Well, you know what I said… HECK YA!

Much like the last The first Magical Mystery Burger Tour stop, it is also an incredibly cold day.  Today's burger stop?
Shady's Burgers in Richardson. 

While closed in, we were not going to dine on the patio.  Scro commented that the patio would be great in the summertime and I agreed. 

We walked in the back door so it was a little confusing where we were supposed to go.  Pintrish found the line to order and we examined the menu.

I was tempted to go with the special, the Chicken ‘Schroom-Wich, which is grilled chicken topped with grilled mushrooms and white cheddar cheese, but that would have thrown off the whole burger tour… and we can’t have that! Instead, I ordered the “Shady burger” and added bacon, avocado and white cheddar cheese.*  I added some frings (french fries + onion rings) and a water to my order. Decent price, I think it came to $12 + tip.

Went to the table to sit on the most A$$-FREEZING ALUMINUM CHAIRS OF ALL TIME! Why do burger joints do this?  They are either too cold in the winter or freaking hot-cross-buns burners in the summer. 

Here's the crew:
LALA, Pintrish and Lana (nickname TBD, who got a salad.)
$50 says Pintrish is thinking something naughty.

Nam, Nam, Nam... enjoying his noms. And by noms I mean a Slim Shady. 
Check out the Liquor jail behind him!

Scro doing a little trigger action and Totes McCoates looking swell.

The great Macedonian himself. What a great looking guy!

The food arrived REALLY quickly.  I was impressed. 

So was Breet. But not when he saw this photo…  
“Wow...I look like a psychopath...awesome."

Breet - “Good lord...I need to go see a professional stylist/groomer or something...that was craze, yet not amaze.”
LALA – “I look totes norm in this pic...“

There were four people in the kitchen and two servers who swapped roles at the cash register, bartending and serving foodies.  The guy was nice and friendly. He even said “thank you” when I asked him how his day was going.   

When the girl swapped him out at the register, she made a comment along the lines of “I’m prettier than he is.” Well, uh… okay little Miss Sassafras.

We noted that the food was on a tray, similar to Haystack’s.  
 Cut the burger in half with the big steak knife they thoughtfully supplied. Perfect medium.

We learned that LALA doesn't eat the onion part of onion rings... which is odd, but whatevs.

All in all, good place and great location. I guess I would go back, but probably more for a happy hour or during the summer.

Ambiance – 6 (post-apocalyptic slash recycle-land. FREEZING CHAIRS!)
Burger – 6.5 (a little salty. Not as juicy as expected. Light on the avocado and they gave me the wrong cheese.)
Cleanliness –9
Drinks – 9 (it’s happy hour ALL DAY LONG! I could have gotten a vodka tonic for $2!)
Location – 10 (literally around the block.)
Misc. – 7 (LARGE patio space with space heaters and fans.)
Restroom – 5 (why is there a mirror right across from the toilet? It smelt like a zoo.)
Sides – 5.5 (fries were a little greasy and not crisp. Onion rings were MASSIVE!)
Staff – 8.5 (friendly, a little too much hovering and asking us if we wanted refills or to take trays away. But the guy did lower the back garage door when we said it was cold, which was nice.)

Bonus points – 3 (good social media on Facebook, but their website is down and twitter activity stopped in September of last year. They do have Instagram as well, but I haven't checked that out yet.)

TOTAL SCORE: 69.5 of a possible 100. 

We had to leave when a full on double rainbow hipster came in wearing vans. 
What do you see in this photograph?

And here are a few more photos of the environs before we left.

THE END... for now. Until it's time for another MMBT stop.
Catch you on the "flip" side.

*Note: the only cheese they serve is yellow cheddar and white cheddar. That’s it. No Swiss, no pepper-jack. Just cheddar. Swiss is the only cheese to be capitalized besides American (which is not cheese, it’s processed cheese food and it is gross. Don’t eat it.)