2 years ago

Taqueria La Ventana Is Expanding to the Farmers Market and Beyond, for Better or Worse

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2 years ago

In Wylie, Rock Wood Fired Kitchen Serves Pails of Booze in a Flaming Neon Barn

A behemoth has been erected in Wylie, Texas. A shining neon barn, affixed with flames and guitars, holds court over the Country Club and FM 544 intersection. It looks like the perverted restaurant love child of Bret Michaels and Guy Fieri.

The Rock Wood Fired Kitchen is powered by one gimmick: "Rock and Roll, Dude!" Every dish is named after a classic rock song, the whole restaurant is lit up like a neon spaceship, and they show music videos on the televisions above the bar where they serve "rocktails" in children's beach pails, complete with the small shovel, just in case the straw was not delivering the alcohol to your face fast enough. They are "famous" for their hand-tossed wood fired pizzas. Their website says they offer "Foods for all Moods."

I went recently, on your behalf, dear reader. Our server was charming and personable and dealt with our constant stream of questions regarding their drinks and menu like a true pro. We ordered some very cheesy, very loaded nachos on his recommendation, and I ordered The Rockstar rocktail. It came with a Rockstar energy drink turned upside down inside of it with cherries on top. It tasted like energy drinks and a shitload of liquor. Just like college. I was appalled and delighted.

Everyone in our party of five wound up ordering one of their pizzas, besides our lone Burger Man. I had the "Stairway to Heaven," which was garlic butter and mozzarella baked onto the crust and then topped with baby arugula, tomato, prosciutto, and parmesan. The crust was flavorful and the toppings were fresh. It was pretty good -- not good enough to be famous, but how many pizzas are, really?

You do get to keep your bucket afterwards, and my partner tried to persuade me to do otherwise, but I firmly told him that I needed it as proof of my conquest. It's all so over the top and gimmicky and completely unashamed of it. It's best if you just go with it. Or get drunk.

In the end, I can't say I wasn't fully expecting Guy Fieri to pop out from behind the bar and tell me to "put on your roccasins, cause you're takin' a trip to Flavor Town!" Because I definitely was. But I was pleasantly surprised by just about everything else. The food was decent, the drinks were strong, and I got a souvenir bucket. What more do you want?


2 years ago

Tips For Creating And Designing A Tile Backsplash

Done correctly, a tile backsplash can bring unity and eye-catching beauty to any kitchen. The following countertop design tips will help you create the perfect backsplash for your home.

Take Precise Measurements and Create a Template.

Measure the diagonal, horizontal, and vertical measurements of the backsplash space. Tile countertop experts suggest creating a design template once you have the basic measurements. With a to-scale template, you can make a dozen copies and try your hand at several designs to find one that you like best. Keep reading to learn countertop design principles to help with your creative process.

Review Tile Backsplash & Countertop Design Trends.

As in all aspects of home improvement, countertop design changes with current fads. Contemporary tile countertops and backsplashes often feature these trends:

1. Reflective Tiles to Boost Light Levels

Countertop design gurus recommend metallic or glass tiles for darker spaces. These materials will reflect light and make the whole room appear brighter.

2. Three Cheers for Ceramic

Ceramic has been a popular tile material for millennia, for a few simple reasons: Ceramic is beautiful, durable, and easy to clean. White ceramic subway tiles are especially popular at the moment.

3. The Mixed Media Approach

There's no rule that says your backsplash must be composed of entirely one material. Your backsplash design may be enhanced with the inclusion of several materials, such as stone, stainless steel, marble, and ceramic tiles.

4. Rich Colors

Countertop design currently holds that the backsplash is a zone for expression - so you can get away with using a bright tone, as long as it doesn't clash with the rest of your d