Youz Guyz South Philly Cheese steaks

Great ***

Pretty Good

OK

No Thanks

It has been a while since I’ve done a review, so what better place to review than Youz Guyz in Universal City on Pat Booker Road.

photo (2)

Looking back over my reviews I was surprised to see that I had not done a review for Youz Guyz yet, especially seeing as how I have been a pretty frequent customer over the last few years. When it comes to subs or sandwiches I have always loved a good Philly Cheese steak. There is just something about the combination of the grilled steak, onions, and cheese on that long hoagie roll that screams perfection when you bite into it. I have had many different varieties over the years, some good and some bad. If I can give one piece of advice that you take to heart it is that you need to go to a local shop for the best food. Those guys are the ones that put love into every bite and specialize in making a couple of things really good instead of a bunch of stuff just ok. You aren’t going to find a truly great cheese steak at one of those sub chains. Go somewhere that makes it their specialty and if you are in the San Antonio area and over on the north east side near Universal City, Youz Guyz is the place that does just that.

Youz Guyz is the real deal folks. Owners Kathy and Jimmy are from South Philly and know how these sandwiches are supposed to taste and do them right with just the right combination of cheese and onions to compliment the steak. When you bite into one of their cheese steaks it melts in your mouth. You can add mushrooms or peppers and either have provolone cheese (the right way) or add cheese whiz if you want.

Now if you aren’t in the mood for a cheese steak you can get hoagies, Italian hot sausage, hot dogs or chicken fingers too but if you try the cheese steak first you probably wont ever look at the rest of the menu. You also have your choice of a variety of sides to choose from including Onion rings, fries, pizza fries, mozzarella sticks and home made potato chips. I tend to switch between the onion rings and the fries depending on my mood.

photo

You can’t go wrong with any of it but I urge you to try the cheese steak first. You wont be disappointed. When you walk in look for the sign that tells you how to order your sandwich the right way and make sure you let them know if you want it “wit”. You will know what I am talking about once you get there.

Also if you are in a hurry you can do what I did this trip and get it to go. Since I live about 5 minutes away it was just a fresh and tasty as it would be if I were sitting there at the restaurant.

I can’t speak highly enough about this place. They have great food and are some of the nicest people you will ever meet. So go and give it a try. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Thanks for reading

JMW

Advertisements

Clear Springs Restaurant

Great

Pretty Good ***

OK

No Thanks

I have not done a review in a bit so here we go.

I heard about this little seafood place called Clear Springs Restaurant from a friend on Facebook and immediately went online to check out the menu. Well on the home page was this picture of a giant stack of home-made onion rings, so that made me decide to go and try it all by itself. For those of you that read my blog you know I am a sucker for a good onion ring. I checked to see where they were located and was happy to see that there are several locations and one was not to far from me out 1604 near the Stone Oak area in a little place called Afton Oaks. There is also one in the New Braunfels area but this one was closer to me and I was feeling a little to lazy to do any extra driving (it was Sunday after all).

When you walk in the door you can tell that these people are all about their fish. The inside is a neat mix of fishing cabin and antique store. They have old antique toys, fishing polls, and mounted fish scattered around the rafters and old west movie and TV posters hanging on the walls. The floors, tables and chairs are all wood to give it that rustic feel and it is a relatively spacious place inside.

The menu of course has many seafood items from catfish to fried oysters but also has a few steak selections for the non fish eaters of the world. To start out I of course ordered the onion rings to sample. The waitress was nice enough to suggest a small order so I wouldn’t fill up on them, but to my surprise a small order was huge. I have had some great onion rings in my time and I would count these among them. I would have to rank them in the top five best onion rings I have ever tried. The breading was flaky and crunchy and the onions themselves were easy to bite through and melted in your mouth. They were perfectly seasoned and to be honest I probably could have made a meal off just them but I did come here for fish after all so I placed my order for the main course. I ordered a 3 combo platter where you can choose between several different entree’s. I chose catfish, fried oysters, and fried crawfish.  The platter also came with borracho beans, hush puppies, french fries and cole slaw which to my surprise actually tasted like cole slaw and not that typical bland cabbage with a little vinegar tossed on it that you usually find in Texas. This was creamy and actually pretty tasty. The fries were your standard french fries, nothing special but not bad overall. I guess after those onion rings I would have a hard time judging anyone’s fries. The beans were good and tasted like every other borracho bean you can get in San Antonio, so nothing special. I cant really comment on the hush puppies as my dining companion stole those from me but they looked good. When it came to the three entrees I tried the crawfish first. While I have had better these were pretty good. My only complaint was that they were a tad on the chewy side but it is pretty hard to avoid that. Next I moved on to the oysters and was pleasantly surprised. The breading was crunchy and the oysters were flavorful and melted in your mouth. Now on to the main event, the catfish. Being a southern boy from Florida I have to tell you that I am kind of a fried catfish snob. I have had it cooked many different ways and even cook it myself so it is hard to impress me with catfish. Well I will say that this catfish is pretty good. It has a nice flavor and is seasoned good. It also has a crunchy breading while leaving the fish nice a flaky on the inside. I would not say it is the best I have ever had but it was far from the worst too. I would rate it around a 7 on a scale of 1 to 10 and would definitely go back again. Overall it was a pretty good meal but the onion rings are the clear winner this round. If nothing else I recommend going just to try them.


So if you are in the mood for good seafood in a down home type of settings this is the place to go.

Thanks for reading

JMW

Islamorada Fish Company

Great ***
Pretty Good
OK
No Thanks

I know a lot of people are not crazy about seafood or will only eat certain types of fish that don’t have that “fishy” taste to it, thankfully I am not one of those. I love all types of seafood and chances are if it has ever lived in or near the water I have eaten it. On my latest adventure I decided to give the Islamorada Fish Company a try. For those of you that have never heard of it, this is the restaurant attached to the Bass Pro Shops. I am not sure how this place has flown under my radar so long but I am glad that a friend of mine pointed me in their direction.
This location is set up sort of like a fishing lodge on the inside with dark wood everywhere and stuffed sea life hanging from the ceilings. They also have a giant fish tank on one of the walls and a huge fire pit in the middle of the dining area. The dining room is huge and the tables are spaced far enough apart so that you do not feel crowded. There is also a nice outside dining area with a large waterfall to give it that nice ambiance.
While you are waiting on your food they bring you a small loaf of bread with whipped butter. The bread was fresh and hot and it is baked with a sugar coating on top. I wasn’t sure I would care for it that way but one bite proved that wrong. It will melt in your mouth and make you look forward to the next bite. It is a wonderful way to start a meal.

Originally being from Florida I had to start out this adventure with an appetizer fit for a former resident of the panhandle state, so I went with the fried alligator (or gator as we call it in Fl). Now gator is one of those things that if done right can be an incredible treat but if done wrong can be a tough chewy nightmare. Luckily in this case it was cooked to perfection. The outside had a nice breading that was crisp and crunchy while the inside melted in your mouth. It was so good in fact that it influenced my main meal choice.

My main dish is called the Sportsman’s Platter and includes a hefty sample of Fried Shrimp, Fried Catfish and yes, you guessed it alligator. It also comes with a very tasty Cole slaw, and french fries or onion rings. If you have read any of my other reviews you have probably figured out that I chose the onion rings. You also get three sauces for dipping, a nice creamy tartar sauce, cocktail sauce and another sauce that I have yet to identify that is so good you will not need the other two. It is green for starters and I am pretty sure is sour cream based. It is a nice compliment to all of the different tastes on the plate. The shrimp were pretty typical of any seafood restaurant out there. Nice big breaded shrimp that were pretty tasty but nothing you can’t get anywhere else. The onion rings were no doubt frozen but were pretty high quality frozen onion rings that had a nice flavor but nothing spectacular. The Cole slaw however is much better than most restaurant Cole slaw especially the restaurants in San Antonio who think Cole slaw is nothing more than shredded cabbage doused in vinegar. This Cole slaw was very creamy the way it is supposed to be which is a very nice change. I don’t really need to go over the gator again because I covered that above but will move on to the catfish. I grew up eating fried catfish and think that I have a pretty good view of how it should taste and what is good and what is not so good. Well this my friends is some great catfish. It has a light breading and is fried crisp on the outside and is tender and flaky on the inside. They use a corn meal breading that compliments the fish perfectly and makes that nice crunchy coating. Overall this was one of the most satisfying meals I have had at any restaurant in a while. I would highly recommend giving it a try and if you have someone in your group that is not a fan of seafood you can take them anyway as Islamorada Fish Company has plenty of non seafood choices too.
You can guarantee that I will be back for more.

Thanks for reading,
JMW

Armadillo’s

Great
Pretty Good ***
OK
No Thanks

This week I am going back to burgers. This might be because the local newspapers are running a March Madness type of burger joint playoff and it might just e because I like burgers. Or maybe, just maybe a little bit of both. Either way I decided to make my way down to McCullough Ave to a little place called Armadillo’s. This is one of those places that has been around for a while and comes recommended by the locals. It also comes highly recommended by a friend of mine that has been begging me to review it. So without further ado let’s get started.

Image
First things first. If you go during peak hours you may have a hard time finding a place to park. It is located in a relatively busy area and has limited parking at the restaurant but do not get discouraged because there is a public parking lot behind it but you may be in for a walk to get to and from your vehicle. This isn’t really a bad thing though because you may need to burn a few calories depending on what you have to eat.
When you walk in you feel kind of like you are walking in to your favorite old dive bar. It is dimly lit with neon signs casting a low glow everywhere and has an old juke box in the corner usually playing some sort of classic rock. The booths against the walls also have their own personal juke boxes like the diners of old used to have. I know that at least some of you reading this know what I am talking about.  The inside dining area is a little on the small side and if it is busy you may want to consider the outside dining area as it is much larger, just don’t fall into the giant cactus.
For this trip I ordered my standard bacon cheeseburger and Fries and an order of onion rings to try because I always have to try the onion rings. The burgers come in sizes from 1/3 lb up to a whopping 3 lb burger.  I decided to go with the 1/2 pounder and was not disappointed. The burger itself is juicy with the crispy edges you only get from that hot griddle. The bun is just a standard hamburger bun, so nothing special there.  While I usually don’t like my bacon cooked to death and super crispy I do like it to be pretty crisp when it is on a burger just so you can bite through it when you take a bite. If it isn’t done enough then it pulls right out and makes a mess. Unfortunately this was the case with this one, I had to fight it a little to get through. But it was still a very tasty burger, not the best I have ever had but still very good.

Image
The fries are your  standard cut fries that you get at most burger places. There isn’t anything mind blowing here because they taste like every other french fry out there, but they are good and go well with the burger. The onion rings were a little bit of a let down for me because there is no doubt in my mind that they were frozen only a few minutes before they hit the fryer. I guess I am a little biased after having the onion rings at Sam’s Burger Joint though. Those are pretty tough to beat.
When you go you may want to try some of the other sides they have as well. You can get Fries, Chili Cheese Fries, Bacon Cheese Fries, Onion Rings or Tator tots. They also do Hot Wings and a couple of different salads as well as grilled chicken sandwiches if you are feeling a little bit on the healthier kick. Overall it is a pretty fun place to visit and they have good food. It is somewhere I would definitely go back to for a burger fix.

Thanks for reading,
JMW

Sam’s Burger Joint

Great

Pretty Good ***

OK

No Thanks

 

I know that you have all shared my craving to set out on your own and find that perfect burger that has the right amount of ground beef, toppings, and bun, and like me I am sure that you have found some really good and some that fall short, so when you get that burger craving it is sometimes a hard itch to scratch. Well this past weekend I was in the mood for a really good burger and not just a run down to the local fast food drive through kind of burger either. I mean I wanted to go somewhere that specialized in burgers. I have a few places around town that I like to go to for a good burger but I wanted to try something new so I started researching online and came across a place that I have driven by on many occasions but never actually stopped and tried. After reading a few reviews I decided that now was as good a time as any to see if they lived up to “my cravings” high standards.
So I hopped in my truck and headed down to Grayson St right next to the Pearl Brewery to a little place called Sam’s Burger Joint. When you walk in the building you can smell the burgers cooking and it will start your mouth watering. There is nothing fancy about Sam’s at all but a real burger joint shouldn’t be fancy. You want it to feel like home and to feel like the kind of place that if you drip something on you shirt no one would care because they have done it too. The inside has a small dining room with a few tables packed together pretty tightly and a few booths along the wall. There is also a slightly larger outdoor area for sitting and eating with small tables and chairs and picnic style benches and tables. Placing your order is a straight forward, walk up to the counter, order, pay, and get a number to take to your table process.

For this trip I decided to go with the Bacon Cheddar Burger. At Sam’s the burgers come standard with lettuce, tomato, pickles, onions and mustard. You can choose to take any of that off or add other things like grilled onions, jalapenos, mayo and ketchup as well. They have the typical sides that you would expect to find in a burger joint like fries and onion rings as well as a few other things to get as appetizers like fried mushrooms, fried pickles, fried zucchini or chips and salsa. For my side I went with the onions rings since my need to find the perfect onion ring is almost as strong as finding the perfect burger.
When my order came it looked great. The burger was not falling apart and the onions rings looked homemade. The top bun even had the name of the restaurant “Sam’s” branded into it, which I thought was a nice touch. Before I took a bite of the burger I had to try one of those onion rings that were sitting there calling my name. Words cannot describe what a great flavor these rings have. I found it, the perfect onion ring. They are simply amazing. They have the right amount of batter, onion and seasoning. A couple of them were cooked a little too long but that did not matter, they were still great. They have a nice crunch when you bite into them and the onion does not pull out of the breading like so many other rings I have had in the past. Now it was time to try the burger that I had been craving all day and see if it was what I was looking for. With the first bite I knew that Sam’s would be a place that I would be coming back to. The burger was juicy on the inside and crisp on the outside just the way I like them. The bun was nicely toasted and all of the toppings fit nicely together. This is one of those burgers that you dread getting to the last bite from the first bite you take. Now I can’t say that it was the perfect burger since I know that there has to be a better one out there but this one is in the top five best burgers that I have ever had.
There is actually a little more to Sam’s than just being a burger joint. It is also a pretty popular concert venue for local artists. They seem to cater to the Blues and swing crowd mostly which is fine with me and they have events almost every night of the week. The concert hall is located right next door to the main dining hall. You pretty much walk out of one door and in to the others.
So if you are looking for a great burger and the best onions rings in town and even want to catch a show one evening then head on down to Sam’s Burger Joint. They know what they are doing when it comes to food. I will definitely be heading back.

Thanks for reading
JMW