Sunday, April 11, 2010

Scarborough Renaissance Festival: Sometimes Strange But Always Fun

No, this post is not about turkey legs, although that was was one of the highlights of my recent trip into the Renaissance. This Renaissance happens to be called Scarborough and is a festival that takes place in Waxahachie, TX (which is about 30 miles from Dallas) every spring. This is not a story about just any Renaissance Fest though. It's about one that is kind of strange (please see video below) yet for some reason for very entertaining.

If you watched the video, then you get some kind of sense of the strange world that is Scarborough Fest, yep that creepy music pretty much sums it up. Not saying that this is a bad thing, just part of the entertainment of the faire.
Some very cool balancing acts are all part of the act of multiple stages where you can catch shows.
See what I mean, this trick must of taken years of practice to be able to pull off, I for one was very impressed about this feat.

Before I go on, I have to relate a story about the above man. I've never seen live comedy before and I never expected to get any at the Scarborough Fest but this man, had people in stitches including me. It takes a lot to get me to laugh, as I've told people, and if you make me laugh, me of all people, you have to be good. This funny man was just that. Indeed he was, as before his show started, (at this time I did not know he had a show because he was standing outside the stage area) I was walking by him, and he said, "Hey, you there". I looked over at him cautiously, "flaming idiot", he yelled at me. As I kept walking trying not to make eye contact, he then said, "Not you, me, I'm the flaming idiot." I looked at him with a puzzled but very amused look on my face acknowledging him. Come to find out later, as I sat down in the stage area to eat my tasty turkey leg, that he was head of the show called, "One Flaming Idiot". I then proceeded to have a, ah ha moment. He was not joking, as he was the flaming idiot!

As proof of his comedic genius, as he was doing his show, he happened to see someone dressed up as  Gandalf, (the wizard  in Lord of the Rings) walking by, he suddenly stopped, and his said, "Wait,  that's great, I see Gandalf, I must run to him and hug him". I swear this was not part of the show and I was lucky enough to capture the moment as sure enough he ran off the stage and gave Gandalf a huge hug. I warned you about the strange nature of this story. 

To be a cast member of Scarborough Fest, it seems like it is a requirement to wear a kilt that has a beer mug attached to it.

You can't leave the fair without tasting the treats, including delicious, honey roasted pecans.
Never thought anything could match that turkey leg, that is until I tried chicken on a stick. It was seasoned to perfection!
It is only fitting in ending this story of Scarborough Renaissance Festival, that I leave how I began it, with a image of the strange sights to behold here. As I was watching one of the shows, I couldn't help but notice Princess Leia was in attendance. That was my good time, if you're nearby Dallas or plan on traveling there, I highly recommend a visit to Scarborough Fest. For tickets and more info, please visit their website: Scarborough Renaissance Festival

Ranking: 4 Goode Points

Thursday, April 8, 2010

El Meson de Pepe: A Tremendous Amount Of Satisfaction

One of my intentions with this new blog is to recommend great restaurants so you can easily find where to have a good time. With that said, I thought Cuban food would be appropriate to be my first restaurant recommendation. Why? That's because up until recently I hadn't tried it but when I did, "I said what took me so long"? I know you'll say the same.
This establishment was only found after doing extensive research of what Key West has to offer in the way of Cuban food. I know they have plenty of nice Cuban eateries on the island so this wasn't an easy task in the least. Like I said, I did my homework and it paid a delicious ten fold because I ended up at this cool little spot called El Meson De Pepe in Key West, Florida.
Finding Pepe's as we will call it for short and deciding to go there as I mentioned earlier was a choice in of itself. However, that was only half the battle as I walked through the door of this festive food experience. You see, upon walking through the door they give you a choice, do you want to sit inside or enjoy the patio outside? Patio I said, I didn't know this place had a patio but sure enough they do. After a couple of minutes of surveying the atmosphere inside which I have to say was very open and full of life, I had a decision to make. Again, not an easy one but luckily my traveling companion made the decision for me because I can be kind of indecisive especially when it comes to tough choices! We get outside, and I was very glad she made the choice she did, the outside was just as fun as the inside if not even more so. Again lots of space and with this came lots of seating, a bar (you know you need one those if you go to Key West), and big LCD TV's hanging from the covered patio. Nice! It couldn't be any better so far!
We get seated and break open the menu and see more choices than ever staring back at us. What to order in such an extensive menu that includes many many yummy sounding entrees as well as traditional Cuban sandwiches? I told myself, be logical about this, you've never tried Cuban food before, just go for the platter again and sample it all. Geez, I just can't get away from those platters can I? I said, oh well.. I'm probably not going to be able to come back here for a long time. Why not? The waiter came by and not wanting to sound like a moron I point to Completa La Tremenda. I know you're probably laughing right about now because even if you don't know the slightest amount of Spanish you probably can surmise that Completa La Tremenda is a tremendous amount of food. What do you expect from a food junkie though, my appetite is only complete when I eat a tremendous amount of food!
As it turns out though this tremendous amount of food turned out to be the final trifecta of awesome choices that I made for this food experience. To be honest with you I can't even pronounce half of what I ate which includes,Tamal En Hoja and Lechon Asado but I have to say my stomach didn't care because it was more than satisfying. The way they cooked the meat for this meal which inlcuded pork couldn't of been better. It was tasty, juicy, tender, and had all the right spices to make it melt in my mouth.
You know, walking into any restaurant for the first time you never know what to expect. However, I have to say that Pepe's as we will call it for short, went above and beyond my expectations in every sense of the word. It had plenty of festive atmosphere inside and out with an abundance of tasty Cuban treats to choose from on a more than satisfying menu! Again, a winning combo that I can't wait to go back and have to choose from again! At least though, I'll have one less choice to decide upon because I know just where I'll wind up: El Meson de Pepe's! To check out their extensive selection of Cuban goodies and to know exactly where you need to wind up next time your in Key West please visit their website: El Meson De Pepe

A tremendous amount of delicious traditional Cuban food including the Completa La Tremeda pictured above awaits you at El Meson De Pepe's in beautiful Key West, Florida!

Ranking: 5 Goode Points

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Fly Away To Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville

What's the best theme restaurant on earth to fly away to if you had a private plane? If you answered Jimmy Buffett Margaritaville in Panama City Florida, I’d play a Jimmy Buffett song for you and pass you another Margarita. There is no need for me to do that because there is plenty of Jimmy Buffett songs and drinks to go around at the Jimmy Buffett Margaritaville in Panama City Florida. Like, I mentioned in a previous a post, you cannot pass up the opportunity to be a part of a one of a kind experience as far as theme restaurants go. Forget that, I’d venture to say that when I was a recent Parrothead there (note: the noun that being a Jimmy Buffett fan will turn you into… Parrothead) I was completely blown away because I’ve never quite had a dining experience as fun as that one!

It’s hard to explain the atmosphere of a place that pulls you in from the moment you step in the door and stays with you hours and months after you go there especially if you go for the first time. I simply can’t stop thinking about the experience from 6 months ago when I was vacationing in Panama City Florida. Images of giant LCD screens playing the best of Jimmy Buffett and the beautiful decor of a tropical paradise flash through my head at million miles per second. Maybe not that fast, but it’s definitely an experience you’ll remember. I swear I’m not a sucker when it comes to theme restaurants because I’ve been to a few in my life and they didn't come close to impressing me like Margaritaville.

You might be asking me ok, the atmosphere is all well and good but what about the food? Does it match the atmosphere? I’d have to take another sip of my Margarita, look you straight in the eye, and tell you yes. It’s hard to explain a theme restaurant because to me, I think it reverses the rules of a good restaurant experience. When it comes to theme’s like the age old question, what came first, the chicken or the egg? Here I’d have to tell you that the atmosphere transcends the food and almost comes first. Luckily though, you don’t have to worry about that in Jimmy Buffett's world. The food is very top notch for a theme restaurant! You haven’t had quite a cheeseburger like the Cheese Burger in Paradise that Margaritaville is famous for. It was super tasty and only if I could of stayed in Panama City for more than a night, I would of come back for days just to sample everything good on the menu but hey that in itself gives me a reason to go back so I’m doing pretty good for a Parrothead.

I could go on and write more about this unique restaurant but I feel that if I do that, I would almost spoil the experience for you because of fun that you have to experience to believe so to speak. I'd be like spoiling a movie and I’m never one to spoil a movie for anybody.... I’ll leave that to someone I know but I won't mention names! To become a Parrothead, get to the nearest Jimmy Buffett Margaritaville (there’s several in the USA) immediately. You can find one here at: Margaritaville or you can always hop on that private plane and go to any. :)

Ranking: 5 Goode Points

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Life's A Beach So Go To Panama City

Ok, spring has just arrived and summer is on the horizon again! You can't deny that if you're like me that you might be craving a beach somewhere! I have to tell you that I'm still craving from my first trip to Panama City last winter, where I wasn't expecting very much in the way of beaches. In this case though, reality ate expectations for lunch and never looked back. The beaches in Panama City Florida amazed me way more than I thought a Texas boy with high expectations could be amazed (ie that Texas boy being me). One step onto the beach here, and I wanted to become the resident beach bum in Panama City and keep in mind... I went there at the start of winter so imagine how I would of felt if those warm summer feelings had been a piece of the equation. Yes, you guessed it, I probably wouldn't of left! Why was I so amazed? Let me present the evidence in 3 simple steps to beach heaven....

3. Yes, it's empty in this picture but imagine what it's like during Spring Break! Winter is not beach time obviously but who says a beach can't be enjoyed anytime of year but hey don't worry about that now because Spring 2010 is upon us!

2. Look at that beautiful shoreline and picture yourself on it. Then picture yourself in the water, during summer of course... maybe even this summer!

1. Last but not least, let me show you the number one reason I'd make myself home on Panama City Beach Florida... this picture doesn't do it justice but trust me when I say that this sand is about as white as your going to get in the USA outside of course Hawaii. I consider myself a beach fan and I've been to plenty of beaches in the other Panama this one being in Central America and you have to believe me that the sand there, wasn't as good as this. The quality of beach sand is very important to a beach but you have to go to this beach to really know what I'm talking about...but to give you a brief idea...think...sugar white! Seashells can be found in the sand so I can't go without touching on this subject. For all you seashells fan out there, I admit that I'm also very prone to collect seashells and as one might see in this picture, there is plenty of those to be kept on Panama City's beach! I mean and I do mean..."every where" I looked close to the shore there were seashells galore and beautiful ones too! Do yourself a beach and go to a beach in Panama City this spring and summer of 2010!

Ranking: 5 Goode Points

Sunday, April 4, 2010