Georgetown, Texas goes Greek

Finally. A restaurant I can brag about. That only takes me 10 minutes to drive to. That I can bring my kids to. That doesn’t break the bank. What more can a father want?

On Friday, Autumn, myself and our good friends, David and Melissa, went on a double date to check this place out. PLAKA GREEK CAFE is the newest restaurant in Georgetown, Texas so we just had to find out how good the food really was. The first thing you’ll notice as you pull in to the restaurant is that there is plenty of parking. If every table in that restaurant was full, I bet that parking lot would still have space. That’s not something you see everyday!

David, Melissa and Autumn ordered the Gyro Wrap Combo, which is sliced lamb and beef in a pita with some veggies and tzatiki sauce. It came with a choice of soup or feta salad and we all chose the salad. I wanted to try something different since I could mooch off of Autumn’s gyro, so I got the Mousaka. The menu describes the mousaka plate as Layers of eggplant, potato, and ground beef, topped with a béchamel sauce. Served with Avgolemono soup, spanakopita, and tiropita and topped with tzatiki sauce.” Uh, ok. Sounds Greek to me. (pun intended). I substituted the soup for a feta salad and they were cool with that.

Everything tasted very fresh…they were a little skimpy on the tzatiki sauce, but when I asked for a little extra they gave me about half a bowl full. Nice. The only downside is that they had to microwave my mousaka prior to serving it to me since all the food is prepared beforehand and is laid out cafeteria-style. Think Luby’s. What I like about Luby’s though is that they use heat lamps and broilers and all that fancy stuff to keep the food warm and the crispy stuff, “crispy.” I think if my mousaka was already kept hot and they served it like that it would have been a better presentation then “nuking” it in the microwave right in front of me for about a minute.

Besides that, it was all very yummy. We topped the meal off with some good ‘ole fashioned Baklava. We also brought our youngest, Sabrina, with us and she enjoyed the atmosphere too. Afterwards, we all went to City Lights Theatres to see the movie, Iron Man, and liked it very much…it put Sabrina to sleep though, but her ticket was free.

Plaka Greek Cafe is located in Georgetown, Texas at the intersection of I35 and Williams Drive. You can’t miss it. Stay in the far right lane because it comes up quick! Oh yeah, our bill for Autumn and I came to just about $20. Check it out and share your experience with everyone in the comments section below. It’s always beneficial to me when I get recommendations on what to order.

Our First Family Missions Trip to Mexico

Mexico is closer than you think.

africa.gif Contrary to popular belief, not all missions trips involve traveling to Africa…

One nice thing about living in Georgetown, Texas is that you can drive just 4 hours away and be in a different culture, outside of your comfort zone, and interact with people who you normally wouldn’t even say “Hi” to. Recently, my church in Georgetown, Texas (Hill Country Bible Church) planned a trip to Piedras Negras, Mexico to lend a hand to an orphanage there called Casa Bethesda.

What is Casa Bethesda?

P Paulino.jpg

In the Bible – John 5, there is mention of a Pool of Bethesda which means “house of mercy.” It was here where many people with sicknesses would come in hopes of being healed. Jesus healed a man who was lame for 38 years at this very location! For the past several years, Pastor Paulino and his wife, Betty, have been doing a similar task by accepting orphans into their church and home with the hopes of bringing them healing. Many of these children have physical impairments and are wheelchair bound or have been diagnosed with lifetime disorders like Downs Syndrome and Autism. This man, Pastor Paulino, obeyed God’s call to accept these children and care for them and we have partnered with him to help. (By the way, there are two men in the picture to the right. In case you haven’t guessed it, Pastor Paulino is the man on the left. The one on the right, John Mize, is as American as they come, complete with baseball cap and jean shorts.)

So here’s the latest development: We have recruited two physical therapists to help these children for the next 2 years on a rotational basis. They will reside in an on-site apartment, that has been built by generously donated funds and volunteer work. Our mission for this trip is to paint it and furnish it with donated items.

IMG_4860.JPGMy purpose in sharing all of this was to tell you what an awesome time I had bringing my family down with me to Mexico. I just realized that two-thirds of what I have written above is only the background behind these trips! Here’s what it comes down to though: My wife and three children (Joshua, Chloe and Sabrina) stayed back at the living quarters and helped prep the meals for everyone while I did some of the physical labor (like painting and moving stuff). As a young daddy, I really want to raise my children in an environment that promotes service and not selfishness, I want to teach them what it means to sacrifice your time, your money and your skills to help others who don’t have nearly as much. I think these trips help drive the point home more than any lecture can…and I trust that God will slowly instill these principles and truths in their lives.

I put together a short video on the trip that shows what we did. Enjoy…and let me know if God moves in your heart to go on the next trip in July!

See Video of the trip:

One Mile Mark

I finally did it! One mile, or 32 laps, in 45 minutes! Now I can justify eating some extra pie on Thanksgiving!:)

On Tuesday I set out for 24 Hour Fitness determined to swim 25 laps. Last week I was physically ready, but I had that darn headache develop around the 20th lap again….bad breathing technique maybe? I asked my friend Wayne to pray for me and he prayed my body would “oxygenate” correctly. I didn’t know that was a word, but to God’s credit, I didn’t get a headache! After 25 laps, I felt good so I decided to just swim 7 more so I could reach my goal before the new years.

I guess now I need to come up with a new goal for 2008. Any suggestions?

Until then, give me some more of that Monument Cafe pecan pie baby!

Fancy Schmancy Restaurant in Georgetown, Texas

You’ve got to check out Chantal’s on the Georgetown Square! I went to this restaurant about a month ago and had this delicious roast beef sandwich au jus. I think that’s a fancy way to say you have permission to dip it in the French Onion Soup without looking like a caveman. Sorry Geico Cavemen, that wasn’t a slam.

All of the meat was so tender and mouth-watering good, especially since you get to dip it in the soup. Did I mention that you can dip it in soup like dipping Oreo cookies in milk? I had lots of fun dipping that sandwich of mine. My goal was to drink the soup by dipping it and not have to use my spoon. My friend didn’t know I was having so much fun…all he got was a salad. Not your typical looking salad, it looked like they forgot to cut off the romaine lettuce and just stuck the whole thing on his plate! He dipped his salad in dressing, but not nearly as cool as “au jus.”
I think the bill was $35 for two. If you want a low-risk way to check out their food without spending a ton on dinner, make it a lunch date.

The atmosphere is great too, set in an old historic home off the square. I’m taking my wife, Autumn, there for lunch tomorrow. I think it’s the best food in Georgetown…great for a date! Tomorrow will be the confirmation. Yum Yum, here I come!

keywords: best restaurant in georgetown, texas, great food in georgetown, texas, city of georgetown, texas

Mexican food in Georgetown, Texas

There are a ton of Tex-Mex choices in Georgetown, Texas…ask some professional eaters, and most would agree that Dos Salsas is the Georgetown favorite. However, Mexican food rates a little low for me…just slightly above Indian food. So after about 5 years of living in Georgetown, I decided to try the “local favorite” and took out some clients to eat there this past Sunday.

I couldn’t figure out what was so great about it…I tried the chimichangas and they tasted pretty much the same as any other Mexican Restaurant I’ve been to. The meal was hot, it was real cheesy and everything (lettuce, guacamole) seemed very fresh. Was it good for Mexican food…yes. Did it seem very different than other Mexican restaurants…no.

They also have an outdoor sitting area which was nice and it is very conveniently located in downtown Georgetown…but parking is difficult as that place seems to be always packed. Give this place a try and tell me what you think! Am I missing something here?

keywords: city of georgetown, texas, mexican food in georgetown, texas

Swim Update

20 laps in 30 minutes! I did it!
I went back to 24 hour fitness after a long break. I blame the vacation. I did 13 laps…and then I had this massive headache. The final 7 hurt. Maybe I over-did my workout. Any advice out there besides taking Advil?
Rumor has it that Georgetown, Texas might be the next recipient of a 24 hour fitness. That will cut my commute time in half! Please let it be! In the meanwhile, the Georgetown Rec Center is going through a major overhaul to include an indoor and outdoor pool among other things. Final renovations will be complete by end of next year.


New Sport For Me

Well, after being in the Army for about 5 years, my legs just about had it for running. I ran the Prague International Marathon and can feel good about never running again…unless it’s running after my 1 1/2 year old, Chloe.

So what’s the new sport? Well three actually.

The first thing I did to replace running was to start biking. I got myself a nice Gary Fisher Tassajara and every now and then I go with my friend David. However, lately it’s been very hot and the San Gabriel River is flowing over the usual trail that leads to San Gabriel Park.  Georgetown, Texas has been getting lots of rain lately!
This year, I decided to add two new sports: GOLFING and SWIMMING

I really stink at swimming. I decided to take some lessons at 24 Hour Fitness in Round Rock and after 5 lessons, I see dramatic improvement: From 10 laps in 1 hour to my new record today: 17 laps in 30 minutes

Woohoo! My goal is 20 laps in 30 minutes without touching the floor of the swimming pool. I’ll keep you posted…but I think I found my new sport!

As for golfing, I’ll save that experience for another post.

~ Edward

Best Burger in Georgetown, TX

That's one huge burger! (This 6lb burger is definitely NOT the one I ate at BB’s)

My friend Mark and I went to lunch today and we were craving a burger, so naturally we went to BB’s Home Cooking.

The burgers are great, because the bread is just so yummy.  It’s buttery, sweet and kind of crunchy on the edges.  I wish they just sold some of that bread by itself and I would be perfectly happy with a meatless burger. 

My wife and I try to replicate our favorite eat-out dishes.  One day we took some good quality, freshly ground chuck, tenderly formed it into a patty and grilled it.  Then came the tricky part…the buns.  I tried to fry it up in some butter…added a bit of sugar and hoped for the best.  I was sure I had it right!  The meat was delicious…the bread, well it just wasn’t the same.  I’m thinking one day I’ll ask the owner how he makes the buns, until then, it’s BB’s for me.

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