Cork Food & Drink Restaurant

For those who do not know, Cork (a wine bar) has opened in the place of the old Cimarron in the Times Square shopping center. I went to Cork the other Sunday for brunch and it was amazing. I had a hard time deciding between chicken and waffles or the eggs benedict but chose the latter and it was delish. It had salmon and caviar on it and I subbed the hashbrowns? for sweet potato fries, nom nom nom. It all went perfect with a mimosa and some great friends to catch up with. I can’t vouch for their wine or sushi but their Sunday brunch was great!

Cork Food & Drink
5201 S Broadway Ave
Ste 162
Tyler, TX 75703
(903) 363-9197

Jakes Tyler

jakesThere are two types of articles that are especially fun for me to write.  The reviews of really bad experiences, and reviews of really great experiences.  Luckily, Friday night at Jakes I had a really, really great experience.  My sister and I decided to make an impromptu trip downtown just to get out of the house for a little while.  We thought we’d have a drink and maybe share an appetizer if we got hungry.  We took a seat at the bar and were immediately greeted by one of the polite and friendly (and handsome – hi Thomas!) bartenders.  We were off to a good start.

Jakes is the type of place that you would expect to be exceptionally good, and it lives up to all of my expectations each time I visit.  It’s one of the pricier places to eat in Tyler, but the atmosphere, service, and fantastic food really make it worth the price.  Jakes makes the perfect spot to celebrate a special occasion, or to satiate a need for indulgence which is exactly what we did on Friday.  We decided to share the Oysters Rockafeller, and I kid you not when I say they were the absolute best oysters I have ever tasted.  I think even people who don’t like oysters would love these.  Broiled with butter, Applewood smoked bacon, onion, spinach and freshly shaved parmesan cheese, Jakes’ Oysters Rockafeller are simply to die for.  We devoured all dozen of the oysters, and on an oyster high made the impulse decision to finish the night off with Jakes coconut cream bread pudding.  Yes, this was as fantastically good as it sounds.  Not one word was spoken as we dove into the dessert, and we didn’t come up for air until the plate was scraped clean.

DSC05178We could not have picked a better place to enjoy our girls’ night out.  Everything was perfect from the moment we walked in until we bundled back up and headed home for the night.  It was far too cold to enjoy this weekend, but Jakes roof top cheveta is one of the coolest places in Tyler to visit on a warm spring evening.  You can dine while overlooking the square in downtown Tyler, and they even have live music on the weekends.  I’m already looking forward to coming back for more oysters and bread pudding on the roof when the temperatures warm up.

jakeshours: Tues – Fri 4pm-12am, Sat 5pm-1am

Jakes
111 East Erwin Street
Tyler, TX 75702
(903) 526-0225

Rick’s on the Square

ricksMy hands down FAVORITE place to go in Tyler is Rick’s On the Square in downtown Tyler. This place has everything. Delicious food, awesome live music on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, great drinks and extensive wine list, and friendly and experienced service all in a really cool atmosphere – you HAVE to check out the patio!

Let me start with the menu. Known for offering the finest cuts of steak and freshest seafood in East Texas, it is hard to go wrong when ordering one of Chef Jack Lewis’ specialties, but I do have a couple of favorites. When I heard Rick was selling Jakes I was worried that the Mezze Platter would be lost forever. Thank goodness they brought it over to Rick’s! It comes with a sampling of Lebanese and Mediterranean salads and nibbles served with a basket of pita bread. It makes for the perfect light snack. Another of my favorite things to order is The Whole Shebang. It comes with seared peppercorn tuna, grilled filet mignon, crawfish beignets (a must try!), fried and grilled oysters, chipotle shrimp and escargot. It’s the perfect thing to order if you can’t decide what you want. After dinner, your life will not be complete until you have tried the White Chocolate Bread Pudding. It is quite possibly the best dessert in the world.

After dinner, I strongly suggest sticking around for the entertainment. Grab a cocktail from the bar and head out to the patio to relax and listen to some great live music, or get up and dance! Rick’s even offers a selection of fine cigars to enjoy while you are taking in the whole experience.

Rick’s On the Sqaure offers it all from the moment you pull up to the valet service and walk in the door until the night is over and it’s time to head home. Come in for dinner, stick around for some fun after, and don’t forget to try the White Chocolate Bread Pudding!

hours: Mon – Fri 11am-12am, Sat 5pm – 1am

Rick’s On the Square
104 W. Erwin
Tyler, TX 75702
(903) 531-2415

Half Moon Grill & Saloon

Half MoonThe Half Moon Bar and Grill in Gresham has launched a pretty extensive radio advertising campaign lately – I’m sure some of you have heard one of the radio ads boasting about their menu or the one focusing on their huge deck… I had heard both and was excited to go see what all the fuss was about (the fuss over the FOOD, that is – not the deck).

We decided to try it out one Thursday night at around 8 pm. I don’t even know why we bothered to go inside, because when we pulled up the parking lot was PACKED. This would have been a great thing if I was looking for a big crowd, but I was intent on trying the wonderful food they have gone to such great lengths to advertise – not the crowd. The advertisements left me under the impression that this was just as much a restaurant as a bar. Based on my experience this is not the case.

We walked in and were greeted by the doorman who scanned our IDs. The music was very loud which was ok because the band was pretty good. As far as I could see it was standing room only, so my hopes of enjoying a meal here were diminishing. We walked room to room past pool tables and gatherings of people and finally made our way to the door that leads out to the huge deck. I was CERTAIN there would be room for us to sit and eat on the deck (since it is so enormous of course), and there was! There was plenty of room on the deck, but NO CHAIRS. Still hopefull, we walked back inside and asked the bartender if there were any chairs we could pull up to the tables outside. Sadly, we were told that there were not any chairs. Since the band that was playing that night was pretty good we decided to stay for a beer then head on down the road to an actual restaurant.

I really wanted to like this place and was expecting an awesome time, but unfortunately the Half Moon didn’t deliver that night. The food that I saw looked good, so my advice would be to anyone who wants to eat here to go early. I don’t have plans to go back anytime soon, mainly because we could never get of the house early enough to get a table. So, good luck to any of you who venture that way!

Half Moon Grill & Saloon
16884 FM 2493
Tyler, TX 75703-7378
(903) 534-1884