I-Drive Honorable Mention:
This road is NOT the center of the gourmet
At Ponderosa, they lure you in for a
cheap buffet. But, you need to know exactly what you'll be drinking
during breakfast and pay for the works up front. "Will you be having
just a small OJ and a large milk?" It doesn't work for me.
I hear a Dixie Crossroads
is opening in the mall next to Bass Pro Shop ... order at least 3 dozen
broiled rock lobsters.
Best (my favorite) I-Drive Hotel: Courtyard by
Marriott, Austrian Court. You can walk to a few decent
restaurants, the windows open. I have defaulted to Tony Roma's
for a few drinks and ribs. It is a compromise.
The Lamb Chops at the
Hotel are the best I've ever had. Vito's or Charley's
are okay (only okay) if you must have a steak.
I passed a place near I-Drive at
breakfast time called First Watch ... I suspect it would have
been worth standing in the enormous line if I were hungry.
A Rare (for this site) Essay:
July 6, 2004:
had dinner tonight at Texas de Brazil
(up by the malls on north I-Drive). It is a place
that specializes in slow roasted meats -- the meats were cooked perfectly
(maybe a little bit more "medium" than I prefer, but they said I could get
things more "rare" if I asked) ... but I was insane from salt overload by
the end of the meal.
Read the stuff on the site, it explains the concept really
The salt thing is something my server addressed when he
asked how dinner was -- without my asking. He said it may "seem" salty
because of the rock salt they use when curing the meat. Now, that
said, I've had a lot of cured meat and have never gone "insane" with salt
Why this much attention, by me, to a place with the
primary feature I don't like in a restaurant? It is because I gotta
wonder why the place is so popular. They can seat hundreds and I feel
certain that they do so most nights. So it must be a quality
- Was it salty because I was the first in the place
- Is it salty because most people like extra salt?
- Is it salty because the clientele on I-Drive is
less sophisticated than at their other units?
Or, should I just stay away
from chains? My best guess at this point.
There is nothing salt-wise at Texas de Brazil that could
not have been accomplished with some creative spicing. (When they
brought a simple sausage to my table the guy warned me twice that it was
"spicy" ... it was barely spicy.)
The ribs were the least insanely salty. They could
qualify for my best-of ribs category, but sadly, I am in salt coma from
everything else right now.
Anyhow, I really wanted to
like the place.