Sunday, June 22, 2014

Jimmy John’s, Gourmet Sandwich Shops

Do you ever wonder what the history is behind a restaruant where you like to go? Or what’s behind the name of a sandwich shop that sells food you love?

Having discovered some of the world’s most delicious sandwiches in Jimmy John’s in Lubbock, TX (4730 Slide Rd. 806-795-0800) and in Amarillo, TX (4730 Slide Rd. 806-795-0800), I decided to check on the name.

Jimmy John Liautaud, the owner/founder, started his first sandwich shop in 1983 when he was nineteen years old, and now there are about 200 of them. His story is fascinating. Go to to read more about it. Also look at the information at Wikipedia

To learn about the sandwich it is necessary to try one. The menu overwhelms me with a plethera of enticing choices. I like #6, the Vegetarian.

Included on the website is a thorough chart of the nutritional value of the items.

Bon appetit!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Eating Chinese Buffet Food

Most of us consume an inordinate amount of calories when dining at a Chinese buffet. As much as one thousand in a meal. (And lunch from the inviting pans of hot food may contain more sodium in it than most of us need to consume in a day.) This food has a Chinese influence, but it is Americanized with all our demands for high calories.

According to Calorie Count, a serving of General Tso’s Chicken has 844 calories per serving. One solution is to get a tiny piece of chicken.

Next, a pile of crab Rangoon awaits hungry diners. Just one. That shouldn’t be too bad. Chicken is a popular diet foods, but the chicken on the buffet is fried and dipped in various sweet syrups. A mere bite of one and another . . . which one tastes better? Soon a mountain of food piled on a plate awaits our tingling fingers and salivating palates. At the table it all tastes alike because we mix it together, or at lest stack it in close proximity.

We know to avoid all those fried foods with crusts. Instead of fried chicken, we can choose chicken with broccoli, and for being good we can select one high-calorie food we’ve been craving. The broccoli cancels the calories.

Soup isn’t too bad. A cup of egg drop soup, if it isn’t loaded with chicken fat, may have as few as 100-120 calories. It is definitely a better appetizer than an egg roll, which may have 200-300 calories. Since we’re craving the crisp taste of something chewable, let’s try a spring roll, which supposedly has half the calories of an egg roll.

Who isn’t in a hurry these days? Sometimes we don’t like to spend time ordering food and waiting for it. This Chinese buffet has to be an improvement over fast food, right? Hurried travelers and business people often find Chinese buffets practical solutions for the problem of obtaining a quick lunch. Let us remember though that we don’t have time to go back and get a second or third plate of food.

The Great Wall Buffet, 2005 Lamar Street, Sweetwater, TX 79556, is a typical Chinese buffet restaurant. I honestly don’t see much difference in most of the Chinese buffets I’ve visited throughout the South.

One of the popular buffets in Ruston, LA, is Peking Restaurant, 1300 North Vienna Street. It has improved. Sometimes it features fresh, tasty sushi at the end of the buffet line. There’s something about all that food that is addictive. Plate after plate, we consume it until the waiter comes and offers a serving of ice cream.

Ruston now has a leaner alternative: Teriyaki Grill, 1913 E. Kentucky Ave. #6, Ruston, LA 71270. We can order Asian food, freshly prepared and not go back for seconds. At the restaurant’s website there are pictures of beautiful food, low in caloires and ample with proteins . . . but what about the sodium content?

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Eating at the Airport

One of the most entertaining ways to occupy time when I have to occupy an airport is to find something to eat. It’s important to take the food to a place near the gate for the pending flight. Occasionally there are places close enough to allow me to sit at a table, but more often than not it is prudent to sit in a chair and nurse carry-on luggage, along with food and drink.

Boarding a plane on Hollywood Avenue in Shreveport, LA, I learned two valuable lessons. First, liquids are not to be purchased before checking in at security. If there’s not enough time to eat in a civilized manner, it is better to check in and walk to the inside section. Two food counters are in this airport.The one outside the security check place seems more appealing. I think it may have more choices on the menu. It’s possible to buy a sandwich out there and take it through security, then buy a drink at the inside place.

The sandwiches at the Tailwinds are mouthwateringly delicious, the employees are pleasant, and the dining areas have an inviting ambiance. The entire airport has fascinating paintings on the walls. There is one problem though. It seems to take forever to cook a hot sandwich there.

The food service in DFW is quite different. Because the airport restrateurs are accustomed to seeing people run from gate to gate with the boarding places changing frequently, the cooks don’t dally around. Cousin’s B-B-Q, for example, can provide a delicious meal in a flash.

Monday, June 09, 2014

What's Great at McAlister's Now

When my friends and family go with me to McAlister’s, I order the same meal every time until something even tastier comes along. My favorite was the veggie spud until the Savannah chopped salad entered my life. By the way, men like salads; they find the Savannah chopped irresistible.

According to the McAlister’s website, A Savannah chopped salad consists of sliced, grilled chicken breast, dried cranberries, Gorgonzola cheese, honey roasted almonds, tomatoes and cucumbers. Chef's dressing selection: Sherry Shallot.

Calories: 440, Total Fat: 16 g, Total Carbohydrates 43 g, Dietary Fiber 11 grams, Protein 32 grams, 11 Weight Watchers Plus Points.

A typical conversation goes like this:
“Do you want to go to McAlister’s”
Such a conversation means without saying:
“It’s time we had another Savannah chopped salad.”
“I’ve been waiting for you to say that.”

We’ve indulged in this salad at 1202 Pecanland Road, Monroe, LA 71203; also at 1671 E 70th St, Shreveport, LA 71105. The salad always tastes the same, which is somewhat wonderful, and the salad dressing is always on my mind.

Many more salads await us, but this first one we tried is so good we haven't been able to move on.

Sunday, June 08, 2014

A fellow author reviews Secret Promise

Having a fellow author compliment something I wrote is a gratifying experience. Kathy McKinsey, a sensitive writer who has written some family novellas, reviewed Secret Promise:

Secret Promise. Delightful. Heart wrenching.

Mary offers us both in this gripping story from Mississippi in the early 1900s. Jake and Caroline struggle with tragedy and sorrow, and wrestle through ups, downs, and twists before they find joy, love, and a sweet relationship with God.

Kathy McKinsey