Sunday, May 31, 2009

6 Course Dinner at Felicia Suzanne's

Tuesday night we got to do something unique. Loren and Mike had bid on a chef's table experience at Felicia Suzanne's restaurant downtown on Monroe and invited Courtney and Dana and Tony and I. We were very excited and had been planning it for months. We each brought bottles of wine and Felicia paired them with 6 courses. We even had a red wine from 1967 that came with the dinner. It didn't have a lot of taste, almost like when I waterdown my pomegranate juice. It was a very cool experience to sit and eat in the kitchen. We were laughing that we had expected something like Hell's Kitchen, but Felicia was very cool and calm. 

First Course-House Smoked Wild King Salmon Deviled Egg with a dollop of Arkansas White River Caviar

Second Course-Seared Maine Sea Scallop on ground Delta Grits with a New Orleans bbq sauce

Third Course-Fresh Alabama Lump Crab Meat Crepe with lemon butter sauce and tomato jam

Fourth Course-Duck Two Ways-Maple Leaf Duck Breast Pan-Seared, Confit of Duck and Homemade Potato Dumplings Rague

Fifth Course-Assorted Cheeses, Grilled Cheese and Pecan dipped cheese ball

Sixth Course-Praline Cheesecake, Shortbread Cookies and New Orleans Milk Punch spiked with Brandy Alexander

Our server for the evening was Steven. He was very nice and accommodating, we also found out he and Felicia are both dog lovers. 

Some of the wine we drank, the one in the middle is the French wine that was bottled in 1967. The label had fallen off. 

With Chef Felicia Suzanne at the end of the evening in the kitchen. 

Friday, May 29, 2009

Happy 28th Bday Tony!!

Yes this is a video of Lane on his birthday begging for more cake! Lennox isn't much of a barker. Today is Tony's 28th birthday and we are going out tonight to celebrate. It's great to have a birthday on a weekend, so we can really celebrate on the real day. We are going to Rain tonight and I'm really looking forward to it. So in honor of Tony's birthday here are Lennox and Lane's video, Lennox is the supporting actor in this one :) Ya'll gotta watch Lane's tail at the cute!!

Chicken Legs for everyone!

So Monday, Memorial Day, Tony and Shannon decided to try smoking 2 racks of ribs, a whole chicken and 15 chicken legs (my idea). They spent about 6 hours working on this, well and consuming lots of beer. I think the chicken came out wonderful, but the ribs were a little too 'smokey', I think they either used too much treated wood or just don't have the experience yet for ribs. But they will get it with practice. Maybe on our bbq tour we can ask for some hints. Overall it was a fun afternoon at the George's!

Andrea and I grilling the burgers and pineapple slices. The pineapple was amazing, I highly recommend everyone trying this sometime. 

Tony and Shannon with their finished product, the ribs. They were so proud, heck after 6 hours I would be too. 

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Neely's at Kroger

So I did make it over to Kroger on Sunday to meet the Neely's and get their cookbook signed. They are the nicest most genuine people! They are exactly like you would imagine from their show, very friendly and very sincere. I told them that I was on a bbq tour and they said they better be in the top 5, I told them they were (wink). Gina also didn't think I really ate bbq, ha! Said I was too skinny to eat all that! I always clean my plate, she has no idea how much I eat and workout so I can eat. Anyway, I am so glad that I went, I couldn't get anyone to join me, but so glad I went. Kroger had it super organized too, I only waited about 15 minutes and they had someone to use our cameras to take pictures. Afterwards Tony and I enjoyed a much needed pedicure, I guess that was his making up for not wanting to go meet the Neely's with me. Their cookbook looks great, lots of family pictures and pictures of all the recipes. Yum, Yum...

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

What will be Patron's Fate?

I don't like to put any negative Pit Bull media on here, but this story intrigues me, it involves a Pit Bull and an NFL athlete. James Harrison, who was just in the news recently for not attending the White House celebration of the Pittsburgh Steelers winning the Super Bowl, and again this week for one of his dogs biting his son. I hate hearing this because it strengthens the negative stereotype of Pit Bulls. In one article that I read it stated that the child's mother let the dog out and it bit the boy after he had been crying. Now James Harrison doesn't want the dog euthanized, he cares so much for the dog. I try to never make any judgements of people when they make decisions like this. I am not a parent of a human child. I understand how difficult it is for Harrison. I love my dogs like they are my children. There could be another place for his dog Patron.  Harrison's son has been released from the hospital and only had minor injuries. Again this is a tough one...I have no idea how responsible Harrison is with his dogs or if he raised them from birth or if he was the second owner. My dogs have only been around a few children and I think would be more scared of a child than aggressive. Again, I don't like negative media, but this one has me thinking...It makes me sick to hear all the talk this week about no one should have Pit Bulls around kids and how you should get rid of your Pit Bulls if you have kids. Thoughts Pit Bull Lovers? 

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

5 for 6 til 7

The human celebration of Lane's birthday was Friday night was at Flemming's. They have an awesome special. 5 martini's, 5 wines and 5 appetizers for $6 til 7pm. Go check it out and ask for Brett :) It is a really great deal...

Crazy For Cocoa!

The brownie situation is out of control. Who would have ever thought my dogs would have a chocolate (carob) sweet tooth like their mom? Aren't they supposed to love meat?I mean literally they are hanging out in the kitchen all the time waiting on a brownie!! And when they get one, they go crazy, totally on their best behavior, performing whatever trick that is asked of them. If I put a brownie crumb in their food, they devour the entire bowl like crazy. I think I need to freeze what's left so they don't get a chocolate (carob) overload!!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Lane's 2nd Birthday Pictures

So Lane's 2nd Birthday was Friday. I can't believe he is already 2! We had a low key birthday, no guests, just our family. I got a Karob Brownie mix from PetSmart and made Lane a brownie cake! It was actually pretty tasty, chocolaty, but more bland than real chocolate brownies. But this is as close the real thing that they will get, well except for Lennox who has consumed lots of real chocolate on accident. But these are their type of brownies. The boys LOVE them! They will perform all their tricks for a piece of the cake. Lennox is such a pro at all this, we are just trying to groom Lane. He is so impatient sometimes.  I made sure I got some good pictures before they got too much of it. Dog Birthday's are the best, especially Pit Bull Dog Birthday's :) 

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Jennifer's Shower and American Idol Finale at Skimo's

So I'm a week late with this post, but last Sunday Jessica, Katie, Jennifer, Amy, Andrea and I celebrated Emma coming in July..we all can't wait to meet her. Jennifer had a Sip and See The Nursery and we had a fun time..the nursery is adorable! 

Wednesday night, Shannon, Andrea and I went to watch the American Idol finale at Skimo's on Houston Levee. It s a great place and they agreed to show American Idol on one of their flat screens AND turn the volume up. I think most people wanted to watch it anyway. Tony would have loved it because where we sat, we could see the NBA game AND American Idol(see the photo below). Too bad he was outta town. Andrea and Shannon were good sports and came out even though they had not really been watching this season. And yes, I was shocked that Kris won, but it's all good, Adam will still get to do his thing somewhere. Both finalists are very talented! And if you havent been to Skimo's and you don't live in Cordova, it is worth the drive! 

Leonard's Buffet, our 14th BBQ stop

Our group went to Leonard's Friday April 24, 2009. It was the last stop for us to complete the Food Network's Diner's Drive-In's and Dive's tour of the top 4 BBQ joints in Memphis. Leonard's has been doing bbq in Memphis since 1922. The Memphis elite dined at Leonard's including Elvis. 

Tony's Review: I am not open to buffet style bbq. Was it a bbq joint or just food? They didn't specialize in one area, just lots of everything. You can't grade it like a bbq spot, it was more like Golden Coral or Sizzler. The catfish with Lousiana HotSauce and mustard was good as well as the chicken. For the bbq I give it a 2 out of 5. The service was good, I would give our waitress a 5 and Brett was checking out her butt the whole time. 

Kembree Review: Buffet's are tough for me, I don't know how to stop eating sometimes. I got excited at Leonard's when one of the employees showed us a drawer of assorted rolls and cornbread. What a way to start it off. I got one of the flat 'ciabatta like' breads and stuffed it with bbq. It was great, but it was more the bread than the pulled pork or sauce. The pork was good, but getting it off a buffet and under the 'lights' it 
wasn't as fresh as I would have liked. Now don't get me wrong, it was very clean, but just not sure how long the pulled pork was sitting out. The sauce was too think and rich for me as well. The catfish was ok, not as yummy as Brett had promised. The best thing I had was a juicy smoked bbq chicken breast. Loved that and would go back for it and the incredible lemon ice box pie for dessert. The service and atmosphere was great. But for the pork sandwich I have to give Leonard's at 3 out of 5. 

Courtney's ReviewI was a little disappointed in Leonard's mainly because my favorite thing to order at a BBQ restaurant is pulled pork with mild sauce and I didn't like either one. The pork didn't have enough outside meat and since it sits out on the buffet all day it was dry. The sauce was too thick and bitter...didn't like it at all. What I did like was the smoked  chicken. I lucked up and got a fresh piece so it was really moist and flavorful. As far as the buffet, they had a huge selection of food and desserts...I recommend the soft serve ice cream

Regina's Review: Leonard's was a pleasant surprise. I was a little concerned because of the buffet style service. Although the brisket was moist and tender I thought it was too fatty. The
 que was satisfactory and the beans and sauce nothing special. I am a fan of the mustard slaw though! Catfish was good too.Rhea has fond memories of the downtown restaurant too.

Diane's Review: Leonard's was a great value for the money. The bbq was good, but not as well done as I like it. It was a typical buffet with average food. I can't give the bbq more than an 3 minus. I can remember the original Leonard's on McLemore. I ate their quite frequently as a child because my mother had a business in the area. 
We would often go there for lunch and drive from midtown for dinner at night. It certainly is not the same; however nothing is as good as you remember. I think what has happened is the current owners are not as interested in quality but quantity. 

Brett's Review: Leonard's was good if you like the buffet thing. The catfish was great and the brisket was tender. However this is supposed to be a great place for BBQ and I wouldn't eat BBQ there. Their sauce is thick like molasses but with an almost bitter after taste and the meat was dried out from sitting on the buffet table to long. Good service but average food. Another 3 outta 5 for me. 

Randy's Review:
The buffet was adequate in quality and plenty of it. Actually, too much! I can't control myself in an "all you can eat" situation. I should have gone for the barbecue plate. Being at Leonard's brought back many fond memories from my childhood. After Sunday afternoon drives we would stop at Leonard's to have supper. Weather permitting we would take advantage of the drive in service and eat in the car. 
I vividly remember the "brown pig sandwich"  with slaw and hot sauce. It was always wrapped in white paper with plenty of grease spots oozing through held together by a toothpick. My beverage choice was always a bottled coke
, six ounces, 10 cents and packed a powerful burn. Eating inside the restaurant meant surveying the silver dollars embedded in the floor and in my childish mind divising ways of extricating them.Not the Leonard's of my childhood; however, I would recommend it highly to a hungry person wanting descent food at a very good price. I would rate the barbecue at 3. I found the beef brisket to be my meat of choice on the buffet.
Loren's Review: 
Great buffet for the price..extremely sanitary buffet's go..pretty impressive. , but what's best is that label everything, so you don't have to guess even a little...The beef brisket was surprisingly the best...All the chicken was tender...(even in spicy chicken wingsand the breading)...Not much different about their pulled pork- everyone said the rolls were great w/ the pork, but I was into MEAT that day...
Service was really really good- they do add tip to parties of 6 or more!)

Friday, May 22, 2009

Guess who is 2 today???

This is from his party last year..I will get some new pictures of my little boy today, and he is getting some special birthday Brownies to celebrate with...

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

So Vick is out..

Well, out of prison. Wow, to me it went by pretty fast. He did his time..still doesn't make up for what he INTENTIONALLY did to those dogs. I know several NFL athletes and I know even when they do something so minor, it get's blow up in the media. I know this. But Pit Bulls are my love, my favorite breed. 2 of them are like human children to us. I got an email from the President of the Humane Society of the United States and it says to give Vick a chance...that he wants to work with the HS and do public service announcements. I really hope he does it! I really do. Kids need to know that not only do you get in trouble and go to jail and lose you job and lots of personal possessions, but IT IS WRONG to hurt a living creature. Its not cool, its not fun, it doesn't make you more of a man. I see so much volunteering, so many dogs that have been fought, or used as bait, its SAD. I really hope he will get out there an do some good. BUT I think he needs to do this and show and prove that indeed he is remorseful, not that he lost a lot of money, but that is not right to KILL those dogs in that manor. I think he needs to do this BEFORE being reinstated in the NFL..That's what I think. He needs to do some good first, then if an owner wants to take that chance, well, that is up to them. Again, I know how athletes are scrutinized in the media and by fan's, TRUST ME, I know all too well. But purposely killing an animal, a dog, a breed that I have sleeping by my side at this very's hard to even look at him. I've met Vick a couple of times, he was a decent guy those 2 times..but I hope I don't 'meet' him again unless its to introduce him to a group of kids that think fighting Pit Bulls is 'cool'. I really hope he does something to make some good come out of this.  Again, two of those beautiful creatures are sleeping so gently beside me right's hard for me to process what Vick did, but he did his time..and now he has the chance to prove that he is indeed SORRY. 

Lola, Jack and Cooper

Courtney sent me more pictures of her foster puppies for me to share..Remember these are going to be adoptable, except maybe for Lola, I think she has stolen Courtney's heart! 




Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Neely's at my Kroger!

I didn't rate Neely's that high. Well average.  If I go, do I tell them I gave Neely's a 5 out of 5 on our tour?? Or do I just go with "The service, cleanliness and music was great in your restaurant" and not mention the food!? hmmm...

Am I EVER Gonna Get some KFC Grilled Chicken??

Today was the last day that my coupon was still valid. Yes, the one that Oprah made the biggest deal out of, that KFC was giving away a 2 piece Grilled Chicken Meal with 2 sides for free in such hard economic times. Well I had read that the Bartlett location had grilled, thank goodness I called, they didn't and said only Lakeland and Collierville. Lakeland was closer so I drove there. Well they had all kinds of signs up saying they were sorry but coupons were not good there. So I walk in and was told that I could NOT use my coupon, that I had to fill out a rain check form and one would be mailed to me! What is the deal!?!? I drove all the way out there and I have to wait to get a coupon in the mail!!! How much of a fraud  is this, KFC and Oprah??? I have yet to hear her mention this on her I guess KFC had an overwhelming response, ya think? It was a free meal. It was on only one per household is being mailed I guess. KFC is not that savvy I assume and didn't think that everyone would go...UGH!!!! They didn't even have the chicken ready even if I wanted to BUY IT and try it. Get organized people!!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Let's Get Crackin

So Saturday after recovering all day Friday and not doing much but working, eating and sitting on the couch, we were ready to get out on Saturday. I got up and went to Trekking, came home and cleaned up the house a little, then we were off. We did a little early birthday shopping for Tony, I had some gift cards, so he got a few new dress shirts..we worked up an appetite and were around the corner from Joe's Crab Shack. Mentioning seafood make Tony crave it, so off we were. We haven't been to Joe's in a couple years atleast, but the weather was beautiful and we thought to sit on the patio. There was a nice breeze and the Crab Shack had some great tunes playing. Almost felt like we were at the beach...almost...The Steampot we got was delicious! 3 kind of yummy crab legs with corn and potatoes. For $25 it filled us both up, oh ya and I had a coupon in my Entertainment book, another bonus! Nice weather, nice music and good (cheap) food, you can't ask for more....