The World According To Fred is my blog, although no, my name is not Fred - but don't worry, that's a common misconception... My posts are a compilation of all the things that pass through my mind - a running commentary of my view of the world. Please feel free to comment and please say if there are any subjects you would like Fred to take a view on - I really do want to know!!!! In the meanwhile enjoy:
The World According To Fred

Friday, 28 October 2011

Taste of Texas

Anyone who has been to America (and even those who haven’t) knows that the USA is famous for its restaurants and therefore, food. So, instead of trying to cram a full and proper summary of everything consumed in the states into my Kids In America, I decided instead to create a blog as a food critic. A Taste Of Texas, if you will.

I think that Applebee's is one of those great icons of American food, alongside McDonalds and Subway.  It was also the first time that I learnt the difference between English and American “Lemonade”: ask for it in England and you’ll get Sprite or its equivalent; ask in America and you’ll get what we Brits call still, cloudy Lemonade. However, when it comes to drinks you've got to hand it to them – free refills on soft drinks really make you love going out, though when one glass is the size of a bucket, you don’t really need more than one.

What to eat: Fiesta Lime Chicken

Baskin Robbins
So I know how Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream ultimately rules the frozen confections, but when faced with a countertop of 31 different flavours, you have to admit that Baskin Robbins forms a close second – not to mention the variety of ways it can be served to you. Being a pig, and momentarily forgetting the American size definitions, I ordered two different scoops of ice-cream. I won’t make that mistake again.

What to eat: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

Billy Bob’s Texas
The World’s Largest Honky Tonk! Although we weren’t able to hang around for the rodeo held inside the enormous room, we did stop to shop and eat. We thought that we would attempt three starters for our lunch, not realising that a Honky Tonk starter was a very large English main.  Three very large English mains. For lunch.

What to eat: Chuck Wagon Nachos

Chilis Grill and Bar Restaurant (Detroit Airport)
Well, as we were leaving our holiday, this was never gonna be a “happy” meal. Yet even under the circumstances, this was probably the worst meal of the holiday. Although the food itself was good, in comparison to other delicacies I had eaten over the previous ten days, it was like dry toast compared to caviar. If you like fish eggs, of course. But it was the service that really put a downer on it all - everywhere we had eaten, we had been waited on like demi-gods, but here we were basically ignored. Go figure.

What to eat: Big Mouth Bites

IHOP (International House Of Pancakes)
 So it’s probably quite wrong that at the International House of Pancakes I didn't have well, pancakes, but there are certain things you just get a craving for. What I didn't know was that my breakfast came with eggs, hash browns and sausages. I was acceptably full afterwards, to put it simply.

What to eat: Biscuits and Gravy Combos

In-N-Out Burger
Quite jet lagged and gasping for anything to eat, we stopped at a drive-through for dinner on the first night. I would say that the burger was outstanding, but I was really quite tired. And realistically, it was a burger. What else is there to say?

What to eat: Cheeseburger

La Hacienda Ranch
A Mexican restaurant built on its origin’s borders, La Hacienda is the real deal. As tasty as it was, this for me was not what I had anticipated. When it comes to Mexican, it means Old Es Paso’s box sets which, frankly, are just Tex-Mex and the urge to yell “No Burrito for you!” a la Ugly Betty So when I was served two rather odd looking wraps, I was wondering where my Enchiladas were. Not saying it wasn’t good, just… unexpected.

What to eat: Chicken Enchiladas

Le Peep
You would’ve thought that after ten days in the states that I would’ve gotten used to the portion size (and you’re probably sick of me mentioning it), but when I ordered two pancakes I didn’t expect two inch-thick, dinner-plate sized cakes. That together with their extraordinary sickliness tied to make too much for one meal. My dad joked that no-one took a doggy bag for breakfast. I said that I had two mornings worth of pancakes. Win-win.

What to eat: Blueberry Pancakes

Papa John’s
I don’t think there’s a lot to say – it was order in pizza, and to be perfectly honest, I prefer Domino's and Pizza Hut. Plus on my last night, I was kind of fooded out, so I didn’t eat a lot. Trust me, it’s very rare.

What to eat: All The Meats

Rafain Brazilian Steakhouse
This is the single most value-for-money occasion I have ever experienced. All you can eat of 16 different kinds of meat, all served on a service of waiters who pounce competitively every time you switch a small card on your table from red to green to signal that you want the food to flow. From Garlic Picanha to Chicken Breast wrapped in Bacon, I ate the most out of everyone I was with, by quite a bit. Then again, I wasn’t about to let food (literally) walk by when there was no extra cost involved in me eating it. Bizarrely, the best dish was the roasted pineapple. Doused in cinnamon, spit roasted, then served still warm - it was ambrosia. Even after I had “finished” eating, I would still scan the room for the pineapple and flip my card over whenever it appeared. After rounds of beef and lamb, the waiter came over and asked if he could get us anything and I requested some chicken. The same waiter then saw me mid-pineapple-hunt and said “Can I get you anything? Some pineapple? Or some chicken perhaps?” I was sufficiently embarrassed, but not enough to say no.
What to eat: Roasted Pineapple

Red Lobster
For me, Red Lobster only means Happy Gilmore. It’s one of those bizarre cases in which you think that something is made up only for TV or Film and you think you’re hallucinating when you see it for real. For fish, it was great value for money (but then everything in America is) as well as absolutely delicious. Just glad I didn’t have to pick out a lobster from a tank.

What to eat: Seaside Shrimp Trio

Taco Bell
Ah the definition of Tex Mex! The best burrito I have tasted, I think I could’ve eaten ten more. So it’s probably a good thing I didn’t, unless I wanted to role onto the plane. Still – this is definitely the one American chain we need in Britain.

What to eat: Grilled Chicken Burrito

Texas Land and Cattle Steak House
Land and Cattle was the first restaurant we ate out at on our arrival in the US, and my first experience of their enormous portions. The food was delicious, and being a lover of fish I ordered the tacos and was then treated to the complaints of the waiter who said that I was in a steak house and should therefore be eating meat. Still, peer pressure has never stopped me eating what I  wanted before. Or stopped me eating at all in fact.

What to eat: Mahi Fish Tacos

The Cheesecake Factory
Admittedly, I’m not a massive fan of Cheesecake – dairy products are a massive no-no for me and although most people will plague me to say that there isn’t really cheese in cheesecake, there’s something really not right about it. Nevertheless, I’d thought I’d try some from the biggest house of cheesecakes in America, and I was pleasantly surprised. However, I think they gave me the whole cake, as it was enormous slice and even for me it was quite sickly. And insanely filling.

What to eat: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake

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