A MILLION DOLLAR QUESTIONS
I’m sitting on my patio, with my panino con coppa & limonata San Pellegrino, kissed by the warm Texas sun and I’m trying to answer the question people ask more than any other… What’s my favorite place to eat on the square?
It’s the one million dollar question. I am very hard to please and I grew up with a generation of women that had, and still have, cooking as a main thought in their mind from the moment they wake up till they go to bed and often in their dreams too. My mom asks me what I am cooking before she’s even asked me how I am doing when she face times me. Anyway this is not Italy and I can’t really compare but my way of judging a good restaurant or place to eat has been influenced by the way I’ve eaten all my life.
There are a lot of great places to eat on the square and I still haven’t tried them all. I have a few favorites for different reasons.
I think I’ve said it in a few posts already, Patina Green probably gets the gold medal from me. Their food is always fresh, with genuine and locally sourced ingredients, nothing is left behind, every single detail is very well planned and the ambience inside and out is casual and comforting at the same time. My favorite sandwich is the kale, butternut squash and cream cheese panino. Absolutely delicious!
I love the variety of ‘to go meals’ that Patina Green offers and the fact that their fridge area is always full of yummy organic fruit or vegetables, you won’t find that anywhere else on the square!
Another place I love to go for dinner with my entire family is Café Malaga, that place has never disappointed me but I think it’s underestimated by the locals, maybe because it’s just off the square.
Their patio is just absolutely amazing! They often have bands playing on the weekend and my kids just enjoy to run around and feel so free. And so do we as parents! we get to enjoy our dinner without having to worry about them too much. The food at Café Malaga is mainly tapas, the taste is very European, as it’s supposed to be. My favorite dish is the mussels in a white wine and butter sauce, I always ask for extra bread as it’s never enough to enjoy the sauce. Other tapas I really enjoy are the ‘dates wrapped in bacon’ and the ‘pan con tomate and Manchego cheese’, such a simple but real flavor. The paella is ok, nothing too special, but it’s a great way to share a dish.
I have three more favorite places on the square… I will save them for my next blog post as my kids nap time is coming to an end.
BEST PIZZA ON THE SQUARE
There are so many topics I’m eager to cover in and around the McKinney Downtown square. Some will require research and investigation and others, a sophisticated palate with good company! This week I’ll be covering the latter.
I’ve always wanted to be a Zagat “agent”, or travel the world and review hotels and bed and breakfasts.
This week I decided to combine my culinary skills and love for food with my experience in the food industry and become an undercover pizza agent!
So where’s the best pizza on the square?
I asked this question to our Facebook/Twitter followers and I received a lot of different answers, so this now becomes a great challenge!
I’m possibly the pickiest judge when it comes to food – with maybe the exception of Gordon Ramsey that is! (although I can certainly be just as mean if not as talented in the kitchen!).
I usually make pizza at home with all natural ingredients and a special yeast that my mother sends me from Italy or, if I eat out, I almost always order a Margherita (commonly known as cheese pizza). When I was in Napoli (Naples) a few years ago, my friend Marianna took me to the pizzeria, where the original pizza Margherita was created in honor of the visiting Queen Margherita, in 1889. Made with the simplest ingredients: tomatoes, mozzarella and basil, it melted in my mouth.
What I am trying to find out here is which place makes the best pizza on the square, not the best toppings, not the best restaurant decor, not the best service (I will probably do that another time), just the best pizza. Possibly with the simplest of ingredients.
There are several pizza restaurants on the square, so I’m expecting to have a lot of fun, learn a lot and probably gain a little weight!
So stay tuned, and I hope to get you some reviews by the weekend.
Meanwhile I would love really to hear about your pizza experience’s! Tell us your opinion answering the below questionnaire.