If you're tired of fast food and burgers and are in the mood for a great home-cooked meal, Cracker Barrel is a great option! They have plenty of seating, so you usually don't have to wait long to be seated, but if there is a wait, they have plenty of ways for you to pass the time.
As you walk in, there is a country store and you browse while you wait to be seated. They usually have some fun seasonal decor items as well as other unique collectible items, candles, and treats. I have found some unique items for my own home and for gifts, and they are always reasonably priced. If you don't feel like shopping, you can sit outside in the rocking chairs and relax.
The menu is diverse and has something for everyone. You can choose from "country favorites" such as chicken fried steak, pork chops, or sugar cured ham or from low carb options such as a grilled chicken salad, trout, or steak. With your meal, you get a choice of cornbread or biscuits and it's always hard to decide on one. Sometimes the servers will bring you a mixture of both! They serve them with butter, honey, and an assortment of jam/jelly. Most meals come with your choice of side items and typically include vegetables such as green beans, carrots, or corn as well as dumplins, hashbrown casserole, and fried apples. They serve breakfast all day. I have tried a few of their breakfast entrees and they are very good and very filling! Portion sizes definitely are not lacking in any area here!
The atmosphere is cozy and inviting. They have old signs and memorabilia up on the walls. Every one that I have ever been in has a couple of rockers and a big checkerboard set up by the fireplace. When you're done, you can sit outside in one of the rockers or purchase one if you choose. Coming here is like taking a getaway from the craziness of the world and taking a step back into "the simpler life."
Skeeter's is a very family friendly restaurant! The tables have butcher paper across the top and a caddy filled with crayons to keep your kids entertained while you wait for your food (plus you don't have to worry about spills or other messes!). For older kids, there is an area with video games, as well. I've noticed that this seems to be a favorite spot for youth sports teams to gather after games (and it appears that the owners support a number of teams in the area), so it can get VERY crowded! Sometimes, it can be challenging to find a place to sit, but they are very quick to clear tables as people leave, so you usually don't have to wait very long.
As you walk through the door, you enter the line to place your order. The menu is prominently displayed so you can make decisions about what to order while you wait. We have never had to wait very long to place our order. Meals are cooked to order and they offer a good variety including salads, sandwiches, and burgers. The meals are reasonably priced ($5-6 for a "basket" including fries). They often have coupons in the Entertainment book. Drinks are additional and are self-serve. If you get a fountain drink, you can create your own cherry or vanilla coke as they offer both flavorings. They usually have the meals ready within 10-15 minutes.
The only downfall is that you usually walk out smelling like the grill!
My husband and I decided to try Hasta la Pasta awhile back after hearing great things from family and friends. It is located in the shopping center with Kroger and Hollywood Video just off Grand Parkway and Highland Knolls.
We didn't know what to expect, but were a bit surprised when we walked through the door because it wasn't what we expected at all. Even though it is in a strip shopping center, once you walk inside, it looks like a nice Italian restaurant. The atmosphere is great and you could go dressy or casual and still fit right in.
When you are seated, you get complimentary bread and pesto sauce. I loved it! We also got spinach artichoke dip as an appetizer. It was HUGE. You could easily make a meal out of the appetizer, and we ate so much that we didn't really have room left for our food and so we took most of it home. I ordered the chicken parmigiana and it was tasty that night and the next day when I ate the leftovers. We were impressed with the service, as well. Our waiter was constantly checking up on us and kept our drinks filled throughout the time that we were there.
Their prices are reasonable and comparable with Olive Garden. They often have coupons for buy one meal, get one free that come in the mail and they also have a coupon in the Entertainment book.
9ers is somewhat hidden as it is located just off of Grand Parkway and Highland Knolls in a shopping center with Ruthie's Mexican Restaurant. We have been there a few times now, and we have never been disappointed.
The atmosphere is very family-friendly. They have booths and tables and video games for the kids. Their specialty item is burgers although they do have some other choices. The burgers are HUGE and you definitely get a lot for your money! They have a number of burgers to choose from (including bacon-cheese, mushroom-swiss, etc.) and they cook them to order based on your preferences. The combo meals are very affordable and are about $5 for a burger, fries, and a drink. They often have coupons in the Entertainment books for buy one, get one free.
You place your order at a counter and then pick it up when it's ready. You clear your own table when you are finished.
If you haven't tried 9ers yet, and are in the mood for a good burger, you won't be disappointed.
La Finca is somewhat hidden in the shopping center at the corner of Mason Road and Highland Knolls (behind the Sonic and next to a nail salon and dentist's office). My family has been going here for years and for the most part, our experiences have been good.
Through the years, I've managed to try everything from the salads to fajitas and also the combination plates. If you have not visited before, the combination plates are a good choice because you can try a little of everything and decide what you really like. When you are seated, they serve complimentary green and red sauce as well as chips. Both sauces are excellent.
It does not appear to be that big, but they can seat a lot of people and we have never had to wait long to be seated. They are also willing to accommodate large parties. The prices are affordable (ranging from $7-9 for a combo meal). Kids eat free on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays. They often have coupons that come in the mail for $7 off a dinner entree or $5 off a lunch entree.
The service, for the most part, has been good. We have had a few bad experiences and it usually starts when the waiter does not write down our order. On these occasions, we almost always have something that is wrong or something that is missing.
They have a self serve ice cream machine by the door, so you can give the kids a treat as you leave.
My husband and I fell in love with gelato when we tried some at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. We had been wanting to try Piccomolo's for awhile and finally stopped in one weekend. It was very crowded and there was no real organization in terms of a line or who would be served next. The flow of people coming in continued and it essentially ended up being a free for all and whoever could push their way to the front would be served next. It is very small inside, and there is limited seating, so it can be pretty cramped if you plan to stay there to eat your treat.
There are a number of flavors to choose from, and they offer "taster spoons" so that you can sample different flavors. I tried the turtle cheesecake, which they said was one of their most popular flavors, and the strawberry mixed together. The ice cream was good, but nothing spectacular, considering the price! It was more than the gelato we got when we were at the Bellagio in Las Vegas!
A small, kid-sized cup was $3.50, and it just wasn't worth it for me. It was a nice treat, but in the future when we have a craving for ice cream, we will probably stick with Ritters or Marble Slab where you don't have to fight the crowds and you get more for your money.
If you've never been to IKEA before, it is quite an experience. It is HUGE and you could easily get lost in there. Whether you have a specific item in mind or you're just going to browse, you could easily spend a few hours walking through the whole store. I think that one of the reasons that it is so appealing is that they offer a wide variety of furniture at very affordable prices and there truly is something for everyone.
A definite plus is that they have a number of rooms (living room, bedrooms, kitchens, etc.) laid out so you can walk through and get ideas about different furniture options or even accessories. For example, if you have a new house or are looking to do some remodeling, their kitchen section has appliances, countertops, cabinets, lighting, organizers, and even sinks and faucets. They have a variety of rooms that are already laid out so you can walk through them and get ideas about what the finished product would look like. When we moved into our new house, we needed a small table for our breakfast nook, and we found the perfect one at IKEA. Their stuff is affordable, easy to assemble, and very functional. The table we bought is not as durable as other furniture we have in our home, but it serves its purpose.
Another fun area to browse in is the children's section. They have children's furniture (including dressers, beds, small tables and chairs, etc.) as well as toys. The prices are unbeatable!
As you approach the exits, there is a section with kitchen gadgets and home accessories. I love to browse through the displays and bins and even if I have managed to make it through the whole store without finding something to purchase, I always end up finding something here.
They have a play area for children and a restaurant with very reasonable prices (including a full breakfast for only $.99). It's a place that the whole family can enjoy and you could almost make a day out of a trip here!
My husband and I don't get to go to the movies very often these days, and one of the benefits of this theater is the convenient location. When we do have the opportunity to plan a date night, the location is ideal. It is located just inside the Katy Mills Mall. There are a number of restaurants surrounding the mall, so you can eat, do some shopping, and then catch a movie.
The thing I hate is that every time we go, it tends to be full of teenage kids (and even pre-teens lately). Many times, we have tried to sit through a movie only to have kids running in and out or talking and laughing very loudly. When you're paying almost $9 per person to see a movie, it just isn't worth it, and we have spoken to management about this a few times. Our preference is to go to the Cinemark location off of Grand Parkway and I-10 because we have not had the same problems there.
Seeing a movie here is not cheap these days. The prices for tickets are:
Adult - $8.75
Matinee - $6.75
Child - $5.75 (Ages 2-12)
Student - $7.75 (Ages 13+ with Valid Student ID)
Senior - $6.75 (Age 60+)
A.M.Cinema - $4.00 (All shows before noon Fri., Sat., Sun. and holidays)
I have been a Target fan for years now, and so I was thrilled when this new location opened up and was so close to my home. This location is actually a Super Target which means that they have a grocery section in addition to all of the other areas that a "regular" Target usually has.
I love this Target because it is always clean inside. The shelves are alway well-stocked, even during the holiday season. I've always found the employees to be very friendly and they usually have plenty on the floor to assist and answer questions as well as plenty of registers open so you never have to wait very long to check out. Even when I go on a Saturday afternoon, parking has never been a major issue for me.
If you haven't discovered the "one spot" yet, I love it! It is, for the most part, made up of items that are $1. It is a great place to look for stocking stuffers, things for Easter baskets, and even items for your prize drawer. They have had everything from bathroom accessories to picnic supplies and even craft/scrapbooking items. The items in this section seem to follow a theme based on the time of year. At times ,they will clearance items and they are 2/$1 or even 4/$1.
I have found Target's everyday prices to be very reasonable and at times, less expensive than Walmart. The quality of their items also tends to be higher than what Walmart has to offer in my opinion. In the children's clothing section, they frequently have clothes marked down to 30-50% off. It's always a good idea to check the end caps in the toys and grocery sections because they also have a lot of clearance items displayed there. The clearance items will stand out because they have a red price sticker attached.
If you're looking for quality items and great prices, check out Target.
If they had some sort of recovery program for people who are addicted to Bed Bath & Beyond, I would probably need to join. I am a huge fan of this store and visit a few times a month. It probably doesn't help that I use it as an entrance when I go to the Katy Mills Mall. It tends to get really crowded (probably because it can serve as an entrance to the mall), but they usually have plenty of registers open and you usually don't have to wait long in line.
This location is very clean and well stocked. They have all of the basics for someone who is just starting out and a number of other fun and unique items for everyone else.
I love cooking and enjoy browsing to look for new kitchen gadgets. I am also a big Rachel Ray fan and have gotten some great deals on her coupons here! This is also a great place to shop for wedding gifts or just gifts for that person who seems to have everything. During the holidays, they have a number of items that they do not typically carry such as jewelry boxes, iPod accessories, massage/spa items, and gadgets sucha s GPS systems and battery-free flashlights. They have a clearance section year-round where I have found great deals on everything from children's toys (I got my daughter a box of Disney princess dress up clothes as well as a train table for great prices after Christmas last year) to sheets, picture frames, and candles.
Their 20% off coupons are usually easy to come by. We get them every other week in the mail and they are also usually included on the back of the ads in the Sunday papers. They will also accept expired coupons and coupons from their competitors.