Farris’ Texas Wraps & Wings Is Ready To Soar!

Hey Palestine, TX in case you have not heard we have a great new restaurant in town, and it is called Farris’ Texas Wraps & Wings.  Owner, Richard Farris Jr.  who also owns Old Magnolia Mercantile, is the proud papa of this brainchild.  I was so excited to hear that we were finally going to have a wings place here in town, I am a true wingnut.  And when I ate here I was not disappointed.    Located at 223 W. Crawford St.  right next to the theater it is very easy to find.  And his sign is easily recognizable and done in the same traditional font his predecessors of Farris’ Mercantile used, you just cannot miss it. 

My wife and I went there on a Saturday around 5:30 trying to beat the dinner rush.  When we walked in we were instantly greeted by the staff.  Friendly and smiling, they realized it was our first time here, they took the time to explain how the wraps work, where to order, all about the wings and the most important thing was they did it without being annoyed by newcomers. I am sure that they have had to do that a whole bunch of times.

decor at Farris' Texas Wraps and Wings

The decor is that of a warm rustic Texas feel.  The tables are old wooden cable spools surrounded by comfortable high top stools and I absolutely love all the old vintage signs on the walls and the ceilings.  There are two sections to the restaurant, there is pretty much a straight forward restaurant side and then there is the bar side with a huge television screen for catching your favorite games.  I think tonight I will sit on the bar side so I can watch my Detroit Tigers hosting and defeating the Texas Rangers!  Sorry, but you can take the man out of Detroit, well you know the rest.  The best part is that you  can sit on the restaurant side with your family or business partners and not feel intruded upon by the goings ons of the bar side.

Texan wrap from Farris' Texas Wraps and Wings

Now to the food.  We will start with the wraps, they come in three sizes, regular, Texan and Big Texan.  My wife ordered a Texan with chicken, guacamole, queso amongst a few other items of the multitudes of choices they have on the toppings bar.  It was big, delicious and very satisfying.  The best part was when the owner Richard Farris Jr. came out to tell my wife how to eat the wrap.  He says the best way is to hold it from one end and tear away the foil from the top on down as you eat it.  This was something I never thought of, this way it made the wrap contained, less messy and hot all the way through.

They have a selection of sides from chips and queso, to fresh hand cut double fried french fries.  The most crucial and important thing I must stress is that everything served at Farris’ is made fresh and from scratch.  I ordered a bowl of coleslaw and cheese fries from the sides menu.  The coleslaw was just how I love it, crunchy with a sweet yet tangy dressing.  You can always tell a good fresh coleslaw by the crunch of the cabbage.   The fries were super crispy, even after being topped with the most amazing queso I have had in a long time.  

wings at Farris' Texas Wraps and Wings

Now, to the most important part the wings!!!  I had trouble deciding from which sauces I wanted, they had so many to choose from.  All the way from traditional Buffalo to Sweet Chile Garlic.  I settled on eight bourbon wings and eight sweet and spicy plum.  OMG!!!  The sweet and spicy plum were out of this world delicious!  And the bourbon came in at a close second.  The wings were hot, crispy and smothered in sauce.  Accompanied by your choice of ranch or bleu cheese to dip in and traditional celery for garnish.  The price point of the food was very reasonable, if you were to drive to Tyler and go to BW’s you would spend more on gas and about four dollars more for the same amount of wings.

I absolutely love this place and like I told Richard, I could eat here six days a week!  Only because I eat at my in-laws on the seventh day.  Thank you Mr. Richard Farris Jr. for bringing a great food and friendly establishment to downtown Palestine.  I look forward to seeing what his brilliant mind can bring to this community next.

 

 

Hot Rods in Palestine, Texas? More Like a Hot er… Cold Mess!

 

 

Hot Rods in Palestine Texas 

So, off from work today, my wife asked if I would join her from lunch.  Of course, I said yes.  We decided to try out a new burger joint here in town called Hot Rods.  I had heard mixed reviews about the place, but had to try it for myself.  Afterall, it is a burger and I love burgers.  

We walked in and at first glance it appeared to me like they had a concept for a fifties style car themed type restaurant and got about half way and ran out of ideas.  Not sure about the need for the TV showing Lovebug movies.  Or for that matter, the oil drum sink and mechanic soap in the bathrooms.  Quite corny if you ask me..  

Now, about the food.  You walk up and place your order, there is a sign right there explaining how their fries are hand cut and fried to order along with their onion rings, so please allow 10 to 15 minutes extra for these items.  Not a big deal, I can wait for some fresh hand cut fries.  I placed our order,, a cheeseburger, double cheeseburger, fries, onion rings and two drinks, 22.78!!!!!!  Outrageous for a lunch for two if you ask me. I did not order the steak tartare thank you!  Anyway, we got our drinks, and sat down to wait for our food.  Well, only about two minutes elapsed and we had our food.  Hmmmmmm…thought we had fifteen minutes for fries and onion rings.  Now, back up to go over to the condiment bar for tomatoes, pickles, onions, jalapenos and rust colored lettuce.  I don’t know about any of you guys, but I don’t like to have to get up so many times to eat my lunch.  Finally, sitting down to indulge in my lunch I have to say I was sadly disappointed.  Burger ice cold and had the texture of 73/27 ground beef, now don’t know that for a fact, but 22.78 for lunch I should not even be questioning quality of beef.  Onion rings, tasty but luke warm at best.  Fries, limp, soggy and cold.  Wow, I really would not have minded waiting for some fresh cooked food, guys.  

I cannot see myself going back and spending that kind of money there again, when I have the likes of the Burger Bar and Chip’s here in town where I know I can get quality burgers for less money!!!  

Sadly, I must give Hot Rods a thumbs down.  I truly hope they can straighten some things out and turn it around.  Maybe, I will give it another try in the far far future.  

 

Bishop’s Brisket House – a Gem Hidden in The Mall

I am truly addicted to awesome ribs, and I have found the mecca of ribs right here in Palestine, TX!  A little family owned BBQ place named “Bishop’s Brisket House”.  

They are slow cooked St. Louis style spareribs, rubbed with the exact right amount of spice and falling off the bone delicious!  

You can actually taste the love put in to cooking these ribs.

However, their ribs are not all they offer!  

Brisket that is tender, moist and coated with cracked black peppercorns is equally as phenomenal as the ribs!  They have sausage, ham, turkey, chicken, chopped beef and whole chickens available if called in ahead of time.  

I have tried it all and I gotta say it is the best bbq I have ever tasted.  

What I love most about their meats is they have just the right amount of smoke so you get the flavor of the wood, but most importantly the delicate flavor of the meat becomes the true star in all their dishes.

Now for the sides, I love their potato salad, coleslaw and beans.  

The beans have wonderful chunks of pork throughout and have a mild tartness that is so addictive I can eat a quart all by myself!  I have yet to try all the sides because every time I say I am gonna try something new, I just wind up ordering these three!  

They do offer, peas, cabbage cakes, green beans, potatoes, new potatoes, squash, pasta salad and au gratin potatoes if you are hankering for something else.

They also have a remarkable choice of homemade desserts!  Buttermilk Pie, Pecan Pie, Chocolate Pie, Coconut Pie, Peach Cobbler, Cherry Cobbler, Raisin Pie and Egg Custard Pie.  Truly something to quench any sweet tooth.

But truly what separates Bishop’s is the people who work there.

I always feel welcome whenever I go there.  It truly is like eating at their home and feeling so welcome.  I don’t even really order anymore, because they know exactly what I want when I come in.  

Which to me shows the care they take in getting to know their customers and making them feel like part of the family.

So, if you find yourself in Palestine, TX and want to experience what true bbq and southern hospitality is all about, just stop on by Bishop’s Brisket House and you will never want to leave.  They are located at 2000 S. Loop 256 Suite 2, Palestine, TX 75801.

*This post is not sponsored in any way. I just love Bishop’s! 

**photo credit: http://www.bishopsbriskethouse.com/

Switch Pizza: A Future Model of Business Failure

So, yesterday my sister-in-law took my son with her for the week leaving me and the wife alone to enjoy each other’s company!  And being a Saturday night I thought what a great opportunity to have “date night”!  I had been hearing for a week about this new brick oven pizzeria here in town called Switch, and how their gourmet pizzas, while a little pricier than the norm, were well worth it.  I checked out Yelp and saw a couple positive reviews and figured we should give it a try.

When we arrived at the restaurant, we pulled into the exit instead of entrance due to the lack of clear markings.  And, then my wife made the comment that our car might not be shiny enough for this place.  I just brushed it off thinking this is small town East Texas, we are country folk, how pretentious can it possibly be?  After all, I have cooked in Austin where you can walk into some of the finest places in shorts and nobody thinks anything of it.  Or, at least nobody makes you feel uncomfortable about it.  Anyway, we walked in and from the moment we did I could tell my wife was uncomfortable.  This was not what you expect from Brick Oven Pizzeria.  Instead of feeling a warm and welcoming atmosphere it was cold and sterile and filled with every trendy cliche’ you could throw in a restaurant these days!  High polished granite bar top, non-matching art deco lighting, rafters looking like some sort of high glossed reclaimed wood and those type of bar stools that are not only uncomfortable and weird looking, but you just can’t figure out how the hell you should sit in them.  The four-seater bar was right in your face as soon as you walk in. If I were there only for cocktails, I would hate it!

Despite all that, we put our names on the list.  There were two names in front of us and we were quoted fifteen minutes.  No problem at all!  The two parties in front of us were sat and as we waited I could not help but observe an open two top and four top staring me right in the face.  I just brushed it off figuring it was not that servers turn in the rotation or something.  As we waited, a few more parties arrived and put their names on the list and two women who just came and sat at the bar and ordered wine.  They were enjoying themselves when along came either one of the managers or owner who apparently knew them and said hi while pouring himself a rather large draft beer.  Now, I am not sure how you run your business, but if it were me and my new restaurant I might try to stay sober!  Next thing I know the three parties that had arrived after us, including those two ladies, were sat in front of us!

It was at this point that we were informed it would be another thirty minutes before we were sat because the kitchen was behind.  Kitchen behind?  I looked back and saw three “chefs” standing around doing absolutely nothing!  I shared my opinion of the situation with the hostess and left in disgust!

Now, Switch owners, allow me to enlighten you on something.  You might think that you are some kind of upscale specialty restaurant that is going to cater only to a certain type of people; however, you are in the wrong town for that.  You are in Palestine, TX, small town USA, and you can ill afford to alienate people here or else word of mouth will soon find you getting slower and slower.  The one percenters will keep you afloat for awhile but they can only eat there so many times before they start looking for something else.  Wake up and smell the oregano people!!  Or your ovens will soon be Switched OFF!!!!!