We love to eat and we love great beers. Let us share with you our views on what Dallas has to offer in fine (and not so fine) dining and fine beers.
Dallas has few diversions other than eating, drinking and shopping.....and shopping does not interest us.
So we spend our time hopping from restaurant to restaurant and to every pub that we can find in search of the perfect meal and the perfect beer.
We randomly review restaurants and bars, dishes and beers at whim and give our brutally honest opinions of our findings. And while we concentrate on Dallas, we travel far and wide to sample cuisine from all regions of the country and beyond.
Monday, March 21, 2011
Road Trip Dining - Pete's Place
Pete's Place - Krebs, Oklahoma
Unfortunately, the dining from the road trip was not nearly as successful as the beer tasting.
Pietro Piegari moved from San Gregorio Magno, Italy, with his family in 1903 to Krebs, Oklahoma to work in the coal mines. Pete was 21 when a cave-in crushed one of his legs so badly that he was unable to return to work. So he began making and selling Choc beer from his home. The home brew originated in Indian Territory, and the recipe had passed from the Indians in the area to the Italian immigrants. Soon men began gathering in Pete's home to buy and drink Choc, so Pete began preparing food to accompany the beer, as any good pub would do. In 1925, Pete officially open a restaurant in his home but the Choc beer was soon outlawed by the federal prohibition act. My guess is that no one in the family, nor any of the cooks, have returned to Italy since 1925 to experience what Italian food is supposed to look and taste like.
The experience is really quite bizarre. You walk in the front door expecting to see a normal restaurant, but instead what you see is a series of hallways with doors securing private dining rooms behind. You and your group will then be placed in one of these cubicles, never to see another patron or anyone else except for your servers until the time that you leave. The windowless cell that we were placed in was painted a lovey shade of lavender and decorated with garlands of plastic ivy. The rack of used Riunite bottles offset the framed photocopy of a sketch of Jesus and random photos of Italy perfectly.
Your entree comes with appetizer, salad, spaghetti, meatballs and ravioli. Your appetizer is a plate of olives, pickles and that most famous of Italian cheeses, muenster. Accompanying your appetizer is your 'salad'.... simply iceberg butt lettuce with swimming in oil, which doesn't really meet the definition of salad.... but, oh well. The spaghetti was cooked nicely al dente with a tomato sauce that is made in house and is not too bad. What they called ravioli was the strangest part of the meal... though shaped like a ravioli, it had a thick, gummy exterior wrapped around a flavorless, unidentifiable 'meat'. One bite is all that I could choke down.
Entrees were more successful, thank goodness. The server recommended the pork loin (though from the size of that brute I suspect that it was a boneless pork chop) which was covered in a tasty brown sauce loaded with mushrooms. A bit tough, but delicious. Chicken Alfredo was grilled chicken (dry and already cut up into bite sized pieces assuming that we cannot be trusted with knives) prepared with an uninspired alfredo sauce fresh from a jar, served over a perfectly cooked pasta. The Chicken Parmesan was no better or worse that that you would get from Olive Garden or the frozen food section at Wal Mart. Desert? No, we skipped desert for obvious reasons.
I left very full, but very unsatisfied. My advice for the ownership of Pete's Place (still owned by the same family since Pete opened his place) is to perhaps take an extended trip to Italy to experience what has been lost. Quantity does not trump quality.
I am lucky enough to have a group of good friends who share my passion for great beers and inspired dining. My goal is to entice you into sampling something different, something uncommon, something outside the box. Join us in the neverending search for the perfect beer and the perfect meal.