Friday, November 14, 2014


When I discover a strange and unfamiliar fruit or vegetable in the produce section of our local supermarket, I absolutely have to buy it and try it.

beside a box of mandarin oranges

This week it was a Pomelo. I like grapefruit but I can take them or leave them, and I am somewhat nervous of the fact that they don't always play nice with certain medications. This thing looked like a grapefruit, albeit a very large one, and it did smell like one too, though not so strong.

I found this very interesting snippet on a forum recently:

...the offending compound is called bergamottin, and is concentrated mostly in the skin of the grapefruit, but some is contained in the juice as well (higher levels are found in commercially "pressed" juices than in home squeezed juice). The drug interaction occurs because the bergamottin inhibits an enzyme in the intestines that metabolizes CERTAIN drugs and more drug can enter the body in a person that consumes grapefruit juice. This can result in higher than expected levels of medication in the body. The enzyme inhibition can last a while, so the interaction persists even if the medication is taken several hours after the grapefruit juice. 

Anyway.. knowing my penchant for strange and unusual produce you won't be surprised to hear that the second I saw this pomelo I absolutely had to have it. It it priced per pound and this little one weighed about a pound and a half - it cost $4.50 and took me quite a while to peel. The outer peel was very thick and tough, the inside pith is a beautiful shade of pink and spongy, almost like marshmallow but tougher.

The membrane is like leather and has to be removed, but the flesh is made up of large solid 'droplets' removing the membrane is almost like peeling shrimp.

According to wikipedia, this fruit originated in South East Asia, and the grapefruit is a hybrid of the pomelo.

When I finally got it peeled, removed the membrane and piled up the flesh into a bowl, I believe I got my money's worth! Plus it tasted amazing. Not a very strong flavor, not bitter but really good and refreshing.

My research suggested that it could be crumbled on a salad, and I believe it would be great - almost like a tomato.

To find out more about the drug interaction, check on webmd here - and click on the 'side effects' tab. I admit I got bored about three quarters of the way through this, but I guess if you are on blood thinners, cholesterol or blood pressure medication, it is important to know what you are dealing with. I am lucky that I have not yet had to indulge in any of these medication.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Lone Star Grille & Bubba's Backyard - Cedar Park

We were not too disappointed when the Reunion Grill closed, in fact we were not very surprised either. We had eaten there a few times and had given up on it ever getting it's act together. The premises stood empty for a while, then for a couple of months there was feverish activity and it emerged as Lone Star Grill & Bubba's Back Yard.

We had waited with anticipation for this restaurant to open. Then we gave it a couple of weeks to iron out any kinks and finally we gave it a try. We were not very optimistic having read a number of not so good reviews online, but felt it only fair to test it out ourselves. The premises are very big, and it has a sizable outdoor eating area with a playground for kids. While that is wonderful for families, it also means that the doors to the outdoor area are constantly open. As soon as we were seated, in the almost empty dining area, we were aware of a large number of flies, at one point there were four flies dive bombing us.

The manager noticed we had been seated for a while without drinks and so he took our drinks order, and returned with our server. After that the service could not be faulted and I will always try to say something good about a restaurant if I possibly can. At last! a restaurant that doesn't serve one person enough food for the entire table. It was still more than I could eat, but it wasn't huge.

We started with San Jacinto Jalitos - strips of breaded jalapeno peppers, deep fried and served with a ranch dip. At $7.49, they were expensive. A small plate of small strips of breaded fried jalapenos - they were also a little greasy, but they were good.

I ordered Pesto Chicken: The description was: Chicken over rigatoni pasta with mushroom, spinach and sun dried tomatoes smothered in a pesto cream sauce with a side of veggies and a piece of toasted garlic bread. The veggies were enormous medallions of carrots and were exceptionally good, actually they were the best part of the meal, the garlic toast was also very good.

Unfortunately the Chicken Pesto got a fail, not for flavor which was very good, but because it was about 95% pasta, and was most definitely NOT smothered. The pesto cream sauce was delicious, but there was very little of it. I ate the few small pieces of chicken, mushrooms and spinach and most of the carrots. At $13.99 it was extremely expensive.

Larry ordered the Meatloaf with mashed potatoes and fried okra and although he doesn't much like okra he said it tasted pretty good, the meatloaf was passable and the mashed potatoes were what my mother in law calls 'dirty mash', that is they are mashed with the skins on, and they got a thumbs down from both Mildred and Larry. This was the cheapest meal at $9.99 but not worth it.

Mildred ordered Hill Country Catfish with mash and beans for $12.99. The fish she liked but as mentioned she didn't much like the mash and said the beans tasted like canned beans. We all agreed that it was no big feat to cook a decent pot of beans, so serving what tasted and looked like canned beans was just not impressive.

We won't be giving Lone Star Grill a second chance, for the same price we know we can get a decent meal at Blue Corn Harvest, and the flies were absolutely a big turn off.