A Dinner At Kirby’s Steakhouse In Southlake (Restaurant Week)

If you are not familiar with restaurant week, you should be.  It is a great and affordable way to sample some of the top restaurants in Dallas / Fort Worth.  The gist is that for $35 (part of which goes to charity) you get a three course meal at a top local restaurant.  Last week, after reviewing several restaurant week menus we decided to give Kirby’s Steakhouse a try.  Kirby’s had a lot more options on their restaurant week menu than the other places we considered.

We arrived for dinner pretty late, after 9 pm. The restaurant was packed.  The bar area, the restaurant, and the lounge area where a live band was playing were all full of people laughing and enjoying themselves.  The live music and the sense that people were having a great time made for a wonderful vibe.

We were seated relatively quickly which was good since we it was late and we were hungry.  The sourdough bread that was brought out right away helped ease the hunger a little bit.  The bread was top notch.  We ordered each of the appetizer options from the restaurant week menu.  The Smoked Paprika Pork Yakatori and the Alaskan King Crab Cake were both very good.

For dinner, we ordered the Peppered Tenderloin Tips and the Filet Oscar with an extra side of mashed potatoes.  Both of these were excellent as well.  At this point, any ounce of hunger was gone as we were stuffed.  But given that the dinner was a three course meal, we felt obligated to plow through some desserts.

Really, we should have saved more room because the desserts were the highlight of the evening.  The chocolate cheese cake was very good, but the Kirby’s Chocolate Spice Cake was one of the top 5 desserts we have ever tasted (and we are not really chocolate cake people).  It is served hot, right out of the oven.  And it is huge. Did we mention we were no longer hungry?  That did not stop us as the Chocolate Spice Cake was too good to be resisted.

Everything at Kirby’s was wonderful.  It was a great dinner and experience.  The restaurant week is such a great idea because it gives the opportunity to try places like this that normally we would not try.  The only problem now is we have to figure out how to get more of the Chocolate Cake.  It was unreal.

The good news is that Kirby’s Steakhouse has extended their restaurant week menu through September 5th. So it is not too late to get in on this deal.

Two Local Tilted Kilt Girls Are Featured In 2011 Calendar

We were lucky enough to meet with two Kilt girls from Grapevine’s Tilted Kilt over the weekend.  Not only were Meghan Maulden and Sony Chang very attractive, but the two were witty and provided a very entertaining interview (some of which can not be included here).

Here’s our 10 questions around being a Kilt Girl and making it in the 2011 Tilted Kilt Calendar –

GrapevineTxOnline (GTXO):  When does the 2011 Calendar become available?
Sony:  We were told it will be ready in October.

GTXO:  Have either of you been in any previous Tilted Kilt Calendars or any other calendars?
Sony:  No.
Meghan:  Nope, this is the first one.

Meghan and Sony

GTXO: Are either of you Scots?
Girls:  (laughing) No.

GTXO:  What is the best part of being a Tilted Kilt Calendar Girl?
Meghan:  It is great because we get to represent the brand.  In fact, we ARE the brand.
Sony:  I agree with Meghan and that it is so new and unique.  Not everyone gets to do this.

GTXO:  What is the best item on the menu at Tilted Kilt?
Sony:  That’s easy.  I love the Quesadillas.  Of course, I order them with no peppers or onions.
Meghan:  I like the Quesadillas too, but I’m going to go with the Drunken Clams.

GTXO:  What are your aspirations?
Sony:  I’m in school right now, Pre-Med.  So I’d like to get into med school.  In a few years, I could be a surgeon by day and Kilt girl by night. 🙂
Meghan:  I’d like to go into sales.  Or possibly into the magazine, publishing industry.  If not, there could always be opportunities to continue working with Tilted Kilt.  You can work your way into the corporate office from here.

GTXO:  Where do you work?
Girls:  (laughing and puzzled) Here. Grapevine Tilted Kilt.

GTXO:  What do you do for fun? Hobbies, etc?
Meghan:  Mostly I spend time caring for my dog. She’s my baby. She is a two year-old, 60 pound pit-bull named Beautiful. We call her “Beau” (pronounced Bo).
Sony:  I’m boring.  Use her answer.  I just work and I like to spend time with family.  Sometimes I like going to the lake if I have time.

GTXO:  What is your favorite drink?
Sony:  Well, I don’t drink alcohol.  So I’m going to say sweet tea.  Or a Red Bull I.V. (laughing).
Meghan:  I like our Carribean Kilt.  It’s made with Cruzan Dark and Light Rums, pineapple, orange, and cranberry juices.

(Also note, both recommended the Tilted Tea -like a Long Island only better- as one of the most popular drinks at Tilted Kilt.)

GTXO:  Okay, what month are you in the 2011 Calendar?
Sony:  We don’t know! I would say if I get to pick I would like to be December.
Meghan:  I’ll take May.  For my birthday.

(Also note, both girls made it clear they want to be on the cover, obviously.)

Like they told us already, the 2011 calendar will be available in October.  You can stop in and pick one up and probably have the girls sign it (if they are working that day).  They did tell us they worked there after all.  One other mystery was solved during the interview.  We figured out what goes under the Kilts.  But the girls said it should remain a mystery for everyone else.  Sounds like you will have to stop in to figure it out.

Tilted Kilt, a sports bar that pays homage to the old public houses of America, England, Scottland and Ireland is located at 1041 W. State Highway 114 (along restaurant row) in Grapevine.  And if you did not know it already, they currently have our #1 ranked burger in Grapevine.

Stop in and give them a try and say hello to Meghan and Sony. 🙂

An Idea To Boost Revenue In Grapevine

There has been plenty of negativity to go around lately. We keep hearing how the economy and highway construction may hurt Grapevine city revenues.  And how this is causing a rather substantial budget cutting effort in City Hall.  In fact, we have already offered our Five Budget Busting Ideas for the City of Grapevine.

But there is one quote out of the Grapevine Courier that still bothers us.

“Mayor William Tate and the city council directed city staff to present how each department would absorb 5 percent budget cuts at a meeting on Aug. 16.”

It is not just that the five percent idea was probably pulled out of thin air.  It is that it lacks any real creativity.  Here is how we imagine it. 

Question:  Where did you come up with that 5% number? 

Answer:  It sounded like a nice reasonable, round number so we decided 5% was good.

Now, what if Mayor Tate and the city council had said this:

We are directing you to go back and come up with ways to either cut your budgets by 5% or raise your revenues by 5%.  Oh and be creative.

How much more interesting would that be?  How many more opportunities does that create?

They did not ask, but here is our idea:

One Week:  10% Off Everything In Grapevine

Sound crazy?  Yes.  Can’t be done?  You might be right.  But who thought that someone would come up with an idea to create a restaurant week where all the top restaurants in DFW would agree to sell a three-course meal for set price of just $35 per person

We would probably have to exclude some stores because it would be unlikely to get buy-in from the Wal-marts and Best Buys of the world. But a ton of local retailers could be included.  Then just post the list of participating stores and the effective dates.

Here’s what this could accomplish:

–  Increases awareness of local businesses in Grapevine
–  Creates media buzz with something that has likely never been done before (10% off a whole city)
–  Increases city revenue easily and cheaply

Think about it.

More Potential Staff Cuts At City Hall

As reported by the Grapevine Courier, the Grapevine City Council is considering asking for more staff cuts to help with the fiscal year 2011 budget.  As a result of a projected reduction of $1.5 million in property tax revenue, these additional budget cuts are needed.

Already cut [read: fired] are 5 of the previously 57 positions at the Grapevine Convention and Visitors Bureau.  This is roughly 9% of the GCVB staff.  These cuts are already expected to save roughly $600,000.

Here are a couple of our favorite quotes from the article:

“The disappointment with me is we haven’t really eliminated positions or downsized since 2007, and nobody came here and recommended” laying off workers, Tate said. “I don’t know whether to blame the department heads or the city manager but it’s a big disappointment to me.” 

Sounds like Mayor Tate is pushing for more layoffs.  And maybe he forgot about the 5 people already downsized.

Other council members also expressed concern that the budget, which projects sales tax revenue will be flat for the next year, was too optimistic about the future.

“I’d feel more comfortable if we went in with an even more conservative approach,” Councilman Chris Coy said.

This seems fairly obvious (taking the conservative approach).  But hey, sometimes the obvious needs to be stated so that no one misses it.

We are probably in the minority here at Grapevine TX Online, but we feel like the economy is turning around.  A year ago, layoffs made more sense.  Today, layoffs appear to be “a day late” as they say.  Sometimes government can be a step behind.

Top Five Ways To Beat The Heat In Grapevine

With the extreme heat of this Texas summer hitting a high point this week, we look at the best ways around Grapevine to cool down.  Here’s our top 5 ways to cool off in Grapevine, Texas.

Rent a boat or jet ski from Just For Fun on Lake Grapevine 

Heading to the lake is always a great way to beat the heat.  If you get hot, just jump right in the water to cool off.  You can rent jet skis, pontoon boats, ski boats, and party barges at Just For Fun which is located at Silver Lake Marina on Lake Grapevine.  You can find out more information at the Just For Fun website.

Ice Skating at Grapevine Mills Mall

The Polar Ice House has public skating times scheduled Monday through Saturday.  This is an easy way to get out of the heat and cool off.  The Polar Ice House is located inside Grapevine Mills Mall.  You can find more information here Polar Ice House website .

Cassie’s Frozen YogurtGrapevine Texas 

This self-serve frozen yogurt shop is a lot of fun.  Cassie’s offers up a variety of flavors including kiwi-strawberry, cake batter, cheesecake, sugar-free pecan praline and many others.  Cassie’s Frozen Yogurt is located in Downtown Grapevine at 603 South Main Street #302.

Great Wolf Lodge Indoor Water Park 

This is a great way to enjoy all the fun of a water park and stay out of the sun at the same time.  The water park at Great Wolf Lodge is reserved for overnight guests only, but that just means you can get away for an evening and have two days of fun at the indoor water park.

McPherson Park Splash Pad (Colleyville)

The recently opened “splash pad” is an easy way to cool off in Colleyville.  This mini-water park has lots of fun water games for kids.The park is located at 240 W. McDonwell School Road in Colleyville and is open from 10 am to  8 pm daily through Labor Day.

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