Spitzit’s House

Where serious topics come to relax

Restaurant Review – Catfish Plantation, Waxahachie, TX

catfish-plantationYou know…I have lived in the DFW area most of my life and spent much of my youth growing up in De Soto, just a few miles north of Waxahachie. I have heard of the the Catfish Plantation while growing up in the area and many of the ghost stories that have contributed to its fame. But in all of those years I had never made my way to actually dining there until just recently…and I am so glad I did.

I have dined in many restaurants from the deepest darkest hidden “hole in the wall” dives to some of the most formidable fancy dining our great city has to offer, and everything in between, and I have to say that there is nothing on God’s green Earth that my taste buds love more than good old fashioned down-home Southern cooking. That is what Catfish Plantation is…the kind of restaurant that that soothes the beast in you that craves your grandma’s southern cooking.

Located on Water street in Waxahachie, TX, Catfish Plantation became famous around the DFW area for the paranormal experiences of many of its patrons over the years. Said to be haunted by about three different ghosts that were once residents of the former house, the restaurant has been investigated by a few different paranormal investigators and has a whole slew of fun ghost stories to add to its appeal. I was excited about our visit, but unfortunately do not have any ghost experiences to tell, other than an inordinate amount of food disappearing from my plate in record time.

So here are the menu items I greedily consumed for the evening…First the appetizers, which we did the sampler of course, and for a measly $7.75 they brought out a massive pile of the 3 appetizers of our choosing, which were fried pickles, hush puppies, and sweet potato fries. We also added onion rings for a well rounded mountain of fried goodness. The Sweet Potato Fries were hands down the best I have ever had. These fries are thick cut and batter fried for a wonderful soft and tasty variety of sweet potato fries that I had never had before, and because the conventional thin cut sweet potato fries just don’t carry enough carbs for a health nut like me. The hush puppies were moist and chock full of spices and whole kernels of corn, and the fried dill pickles were…well, they need no description because they are always good. The onion rings were these gigantic thick cut rings that looked and tasted like deep fried golden halos sent straight from heaven. for the money, it was in my honest opinion the best heart-stopping appetizer sampler I have had in recent memory.

For my main entree I had what else but fried CATFISH! I love the stuff and consider myself somewhat of an amateur connoisseur in the southern delicacy of catfish. This was not the best I have ever had…that dubious honor is still held, for almost 15 years now, by a little hole in the wall at the corner of Kiest and Hampton in deep South Dallas known as Catfish Connection (carryout only). Catfish Plantation did have some damn fine catfish though, and I got a mixture of the regular and cajun fried, which were both quite tasty. The sides of cole slaw, fried okra, and french fries were all excellent and I was quite content to stuff myself with catfish all night, but I did need to leave a little room for the dessert.

We ordered up the rest of the bread pudding they had in the kitchen which came out nice warm and drizzled in a white chocolate and cream. Oh My God, it was the best bread pudding ever. For any murderous maniac sitting on death row…when your time comes, I don’t care what else you order for your last meal, but I highly recommend this bread pudding as your last dessert, so you can at least get one last little taste of what heaven might have been like for you.

The service here was just absolutely over the top friendly. One thing I will never understand is how the fancy restaurants I have been to never seem to even come close in service to the old fashion family restaurants where it just comes so naturally and genuine. I guess it is just a cultural difference of city and country living. I don’t know.

The one problem with Catfish Plantation is that it is a little bit of a drive to the very far far south side of the Dallas area heading toward Waco. It was worth the drive, but not one I would make on even a monthly basis from where I am. If you get a chance, I highly recommend the place…and if your lucky maybe a ghost will thump you on the head.

That’s my tasteful opinion and I am sticking to it…until the ghosts decide to move into my house.

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November 14, 2008 Posted by | Restaurants & Dining | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Restaurant Review – Cru Wine Bar – Plano

dsc03798Cru Wine Bar actually has three locations in the Dallas area that include the West Village on McKinney Ave., On Legacy in Plano, and on Market Street in Allen.

My first experience was at the West Village location in Dallas with a group of friends which we really enjoyed, and therefore I was looking forward to visiting the Legacy location in Plano with the same group. I had been planning on writing a review and the recent visit on Friday November 7th was just the reminder I needed. Brace yourself, because this will be a very mixed review ranging from one extreme to the other.

So what do you want first…the good news or the bad news?

Bad news it is…picture-020

I will be perfectly blunt…this recent experience was hands down, the very worst service I have ever had in any restaurant, bar, or hotel I have ever been in. To be clear, bad service can come in a few different categories of bad ranging from an absentee or slow server, to screwed up orders, etc. But this one was the worst kind…RUDE. The service we received on this evening was apalling, pretentious, and just plain disgusting. Every visit she made to our table left the whole table discussing her attitude for the next several minutes.

At the end of our evening, she refused to break the bill up citing some lame excuse, and left 9 peoplcru-14-fondue_1752e puttering over a receipt to only find out later that the receipt was wrong because an errant flight of wine had been added to our tab that no one ordered. The order did get removed, but not before stating that this was her only table and somehow implying that the mistake must be ours, like we would be trying to steal a $15 flight of wine on a $350 tab. Then there was the case of her inserting herself into the middle of a private conversation that two of the ladies from our party were having with two gentlemen of interest at the bar. In guy-speak we call this “…blocking”. In the middle of these specific situations was just the consistently overwhelming attitude of inconvenience and condescension that she shared very generously with our group.

To be fair, our party thoroughly enjoyed all of the cheese flights, several of the wine flights, and my wife and I had the Kobe steak which was OK but not great. In fact, I will go so far as to say that the wine selection and cheese flights are well above average, but can be slightly pricey which is not a problem at all…if your are receiving the service that is commensurate. cru-18-kobebeef_1751

We really consider Cru to be one of our favorite places to meet with friends. However, the service in general at the West Village is not what I would categorize as spectacular. It is average at best…which is fine. However, our first visit to the Legacy location proved to be a memorable one and one for the record books.

If you have a taste for good wine and good cheese with friends and you enjoy it all being served to you by a world-class pretentious bitch who does everything but outright tell you she would rather be doing anything but being your server, then the Cru Wine Bar at Legacy in Plano may be the place for you. Hopefully, our experience was an isolated one.

That is my sober opinion…and all the wine and cheese in Cru couldn’t change it.

November 9, 2008 Posted by | Restaurants & Dining | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

An Obama Nation – Are You Ready For Some Change…Really?

So the election results are official…no hanging chads, recounts, or other such nonsense. Barack Obama will now be the next president elect of our United States of America. This is one for the history books and it was definitely an exciting and drama filled campaign to observe.

I believe the overwhelming and undisputed theme of this election would be “Change”, because the state of things now evidently sucks and something needs to “change”. There are about a million sound-bytes out there of Obama as well as other candidates preaching how they will bring “change” to our country, thereby implying that everything will be better under their leadership.

So for the record, I am in agreement…something does need to “change”, but the word itself is rather ambiguous. My own experience in business indicates that people generally do not like “change” even in the worst conditions…it is scary, sometimes painful, many times disastrous, and often times beneficial. You either embrace it or hate it, but either way it rarely goes as planned.

When it comes to “change”, you have to crawl before you can walk, walk before you can run, run before you fly… then warp, beam, and so on. We all experience some form of “change” on a daily basis from the most inane to the more dramatic, and if we aren’t careful too much change too quickly can be dangerous…even deadly. Lets take a look at the spectrum…

The most simple “changes” are generally the most important…

  • just this morning, I “changed” my underwear (which I hope everyone does…unless you just don’t wear any at all)
  • I thought about playing hooky from work, but as usual…I “changed” my mind.
  • On the way to work I “changed” lanes, “changed” radio stations, “changed” direction, and even “changed” air temperature.
  • In the past I have “changed” diets, diapers, beds, channels, hair color, tastes, opinions, products, hands, blah, blah, blah…

Some more important “changes” that many of us have had to make in our life that require a bit more adjusting to…

  • Changing College Majors
  • Change of Jobs or employment status (This one can really SUCK)
  • Changing cars
  • Changing cities or homes
  • Change of religion or churches
  • Change in relationships

Turn it up a bit more and you have “change” that many have experienced and many have not, and these are things that can deeply impact a lifestyle for better or for worse…

  • A change of financial condition (Maybe from having money to having none, or from having no money to having lots)
  • Change in personal health/wellness
  • Change of Marital Status (which is different than relationships)

And even more dramatic that most of us have never experienced…

  • A change in culture and the way we live our lives
  • A change in gender…because some people are just trapped in the wrong body. (but not me, I’m good with mine)
  • A change in government and political infrastructure
  • A change in environment

So I think of the changes that Russians went through, that the Afghani people have gone through … Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Aborigines, Native Americans, and a whole plethora of ancient cultures that once ruled the world and are no longer here.

And I think to myself…’change is good’. While it may not seem that way to those whose life status changed from alive to dead, or from employed to unemployed, etc. I do believe that all “change” happens for some kind of reason. Whether that reason be to improve on a current situation or provide for some kind of lesson in “what not to do”, each “change” will incur some kind of effect on the scale mentioned above and thereby force adaption.

Other countries around the world are celebrating our new found victory and leadership…they want us to change too. Therefore, in the spirit of “Change” I say “Bring It!” This country is obviously starving for a big steaming heap of “change” of the seriously sweeping and dramatic kind, and we want it as quickly as possible. We know that “change” takes time, but we are a culture that needs instant gratification, and that is one thing that won’t change….We are ready now, now, now! Give us a shot of change…lay it on us, make us feel it, lift us up and change our big fat flat tires, because we are sucking some serious air and going nowhere. Please “change” our big American diaper because we are getting a bad rash and no one wants to be near us….*&^%$^& AAAAIIIIIIGGGHHHHHhhhh!…… hrm… queue a little Ziggy Stardust please.

That is my insane opinion…and it just changed.

November 6, 2008 Posted by | Everything Else, politics | , , , , , , | 2 Comments