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Thursday, January 28, 2016

Cindi's NY Deli in Dallas gets your motor running

Considering I have never been to New York (but certainly want to visit sometime) I can not speak to the authenticity of Cindi's NY Delicatessen, but I give BIG Kudos to the Dallas eatery.
Cindi's downtown Dallas location - 306 South Houston St.
Visiting downtown Dallas is not something I do often, but at least once a year I head that way for the International Motorcycle Show.  This year I decided to go early and have breakfast somewhere near the convention center.  After some research I decided to take a chance on Cindi's and I am very glad I did.

At 8:45 A.M. my friend, Mac, and I arrived at the simple building housing Cindi's.  We were greeted with a smile and told to sit wherever we wanted.  The server quickly presented us with menus and took our drink order.

The menu is full of standard breakfast choices as well as a lot I had never seen (I suppose they were standard items at a NY deli) i.e. Lox & eggs, Matzo Brie, Cheese Blintzes and Latkes.  Making a decision took some time and a few questions for the server.

Mac ordered the Deli Omelette (corned beef and pastrami) hash browns and a bagel.  I opted for the French toast with one egg and sausage.  It did not take very long until our food was served hot and fresh.
Deli Omelette with hash browns and bagel
Mac's omelette was served "pancake style" - folded over it self creating 4 layers.  The meats were flavorful and complimented the eggs. The omelette and hash browns were enough to fill him up so he had to take the multi-grain bagel with him.  Mac commented, "this is the best omelette I have ever had" and I know for a fact he has eaten a lot of omelettes.
French toast with egg and sausage
My French toast were made with thick Texas sliced bread, cooked to a golden brown & yellow and sprinkled with powered sugar.  Six slices to the order!  The texture and flavor of the toast lived up to my high anticipation.  They tasted as good as they looked.  The egg and sausage were fresh and high quality.  I finished it all.  Good thing I did - when I paid out the various pastries at the counter were very tempting.
Freshly made turnovers
We both left completely satisfied and looking forward to returning in the future.  The time arrived sooner than expected.  Around noon several of us at the International Motorcycle Show began making lunch plans.  None of us wanted to drive somewhere only to drive back and pay the crazy cost of parking so we discussed options within walking distance of the show.

Mac and I mentioned Cindi's along with our praises for the breakfast we had.  Everyone was agreeable to a .7 mile walk to try lunch at Cindi's.  Once again no one was disappointed.  Two pastrami Reuben sandwiches, one corned beef Reuben, one turkey Reuben and one turkey burger were ordered.  I had sweet potato fries with my turkey Reuben.
Turkey Reuben with sweet potato fries and slaw
The Rye bread was grilled with a little butter, the turkey was thinly sliced, the Swiss cheese was a flavorful, but not strong and the sauerkraut topped the sandwich off perfectly.  The slaw had a fresh and traditional flavor.  I ordered the sweet potato fries crispy, which they arrived as ordered.

Once again the meal was filling and although the fresh pastries and desserts (cheesecake, key lime pie and cookies) were tempting I just did not have any more room.
More pastries, donuts and cookies
The lunch was a perfect lunch to go with the show.  It's difficult to top a sunny day, motorcycles and good food.   


Thursday, January 14, 2016

Fried Pies - a great reason for a ride

I have been know to enjoy homemade pies (I Love to Ride for Pie, Old Time Diner, Pie in Colorado).  So a stop at a fried pie shop was only natural, also a good ride deserves good food.

The Original Fried Pie Shop in Gainesville, Texas is a worthy destination to satisfy a pie craving.  The shop is located just north of the Gainesville Outlet Shops on the southbound side of I35.  Located adjacent to a Conoco gas station the shop could be easily overlooked.  (The current google map has the wrong address & location)  The address is 4346 I-35 Frontage Road, Gainesville, TX 76240.
The Original Fried Pie Shop offers more than fried pies
The shop has a complete menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner along with 11+ fried pie flavors, many with a sugar-free option.
Friendly down home service is par for the shop
Each fried pie is hand made daily with quality ingredients.  The crust is light and flaky while the filling is fresh and flavorful.  They are big - not the palm sized fried pies you get a lot of places, but about 7 - 8 inches wide!
Tasty Cherry fried pie
A counter full of freshly made fried pies!
Various special varieties are available at different times.  Last time I stopped by the Apple-Pecan fried pie was the special for the day.
An assortment of fried pies makes it difficult to choose
There are enough options everyone should be satisfied.  My favorite is the coconut, but the cherry was also awesome!  Not too sweet or too tart.  Haven't had anyone complain about any of them.

Stopping by for a meal, a snack or grabbing some to take home you will not be disappointed.  So when near the Red River in north Texas stop by and enjoy some pie goodness.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Honda VFR 1200 Recall!

I don't think anyone likes the word "Recall" when it comes to consumer goods.  However, it is a good thing when a company realizes there is a problem and set about fixing the problem.  American Honda Motor Company has seen a problem and issued a recall for 2010-2013 VFR 1200 motorcycles.
My 2012 VFR 1200
I have enjoyed my 2012 VFR since June of 2014 (purchased it new with only 3 miles on it).  After 11,000 miles I posted by review of the VFR.  Since then I have put another 9,000 miles on the bike including a Ride Smart Track day.
2014 summer trip - rode US 129 a.k.a. The Dragon with my son
The VFR has performed great in the mountains of Tennessee/North Carolina, Arkansas, Colorado and New Mexico as well as on the roads in Texas.  But, I hate to think of how this problem came to the attention of Honda!  Pretty scary to consider the results of the malfunction.

Below is the recall/ stop sale announcement from Honda on the www.powersports.honda.com website:

SUMMARY:

AMERICAN HONDA MOTOR CO., INC. (HONDA) IS RECALLING CERTAIN MODEL YEAR 2010 AND 2012-2013 VFR1200F/FD MOTORCYCLES. THE DRIVESHAFT UNIVERSAL JOINT BEARING MAY NOT HAVE BEEN PROPERLY ASSEMBLED AND, EVEN IF PROPERLY ASSEMBLED, MAY NOT HAVE SPECIFIED DURABILITY AS THE RESULT OF MANUFACTURING ERRORS.

SAFETY RISK:

IF THE UNIVERSAL JOINT SEPARATES, DRIVE FORCE WILL BE LOST; IF THE UNIVERSAL JOINT BREAKS, IT IS POSSIBLE IT MAY INTERFERE WITH THE SWING ARM AND LOCK THE REAR WHEEL WHILE RIDING. EITHER OUTCOME INCREASES THE RISK OF A CRASH.

REMEDY:

HONDA WILL NOTIFY OWNERS. AND DEALERS WILL REPLACE THE DRIVESHAFT, FREE OF CHARGE. WHILE AMERICAN HONDA EXPECTS TO RECEIVE THE FIRST SHIPMENTS OF THE REMEDY PARTS IN LATE 2015 TO EARLY 2016, CUSTOMERS WHO ARE CONCERNED ABOUT THE POTENTIAL OF EXPERIENCING SYMPTOMS OF THE DEFECT BEFORE THE REMEDY PARTS ARE AVAILABLE CAN BRING THEIR VEHICLE TO A HONDA MOTORCYCLE DEALERSHIP FOR INSPECTION. IF THE DRIVESHAFT FAILS THE INSPECTION, THE DRIVESHAFT WILL BE REPLACED WITH A NEW PRE-COUNTERMEASURE PART, FREE OF CHARGE; THE CUSTOMER WILL BE ASKED TO RETURN TO HAVE THE DRIVESHAFT REPLACED WITH A REMEDY PART ONCE PARTS ARE AVAILABLE. ONCE PARTS ARE AVAILABLE, HONDA DEALERS WILL REPLACE THE DRIVESHAFT ON ALL AFFECTED VEHICLES WITH A REMEDY PART, FREE OF CHARGE.

Honda will replace driveshaft once the replacement parts are manufactured and delivered.  In the mean time riders have to decide how to handle the situation.

Personally my VFR 1200 is staying parked.  I guess I will put some miles on the 2005 VStrom 650.  Sure glad I bought the VStrom in May.


Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Good lunch after a good ride in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in Colorado

Topping of a good ride with a good meal seems appropriate if not necessary.  Colorado is not lacking for great roads with twists, curves, ups, downs and impressive scenery.  Discovering local eateries which serve up outstanding food is not as easy as finding a great road, but when it happens the combination is worth sharing.

The 36 miles of Colorado 165 running from Colorado 96 near North Hardscrabble Creek to I25 in Colorado City is a road worth riding and enjoying, especially if you end at Max's in Colorado City.  Colorado 165 features a good combination of sweepers, tight curves and elevation changes.  Bishop's Castle sits on the northwest side of the road 24 miles out of Colorado City which is an interesting place to stop and explore.
Photo from TripAdvisor
Riding east into Colorado City Max's is on the north side of the road.  There is a good amount of parking and it is in decent shape.  Max's has both inside and outside seating.  Outside seating faces southwest with a good view of the mountains.

The service was quick and friendly and the atmosphere is welcoming with country hospitality.  Although the sign says Breakfast, Burgers and Dairy Treats I opted for the Green Chili (something that is difficult to find in Texas).
Max's Green Chili - photo by Oz
The bowl of Green Chili was topped with shredded cheddar and served with a flour tortilla.  It arrived hot (but not too hot) and gave off an appetizing aroma.  Before adding anything to it I tasted a spoon full - wow!  No need to add anything.  The ground meat, beans, spices, tomato and green chili's mixed to create a flavorful meal with just a little "heat."

The tortilla complemented the chili.  Enjoying the view, the atmosphere and every spoonful made for a great lunch.  To top the meal off I ordered the fresh baked blueberry pie a la mode.
A great way to complete a meal - photo by Oz
The pie was served warm with soft-served ice cream.  Flaky crust and berry rich blueberry filling makes for a great homemade pie - this was one of those pies.  The pie without the ice cream would also be great.  The pie could stand on its own.

The kicker to the meal was the overall value.  The old fashioned service and cooking was matched by some old fashioned pricing.  There is not many place in the Dallas-Ft. Worth metroplex (if any) where one can get this quality and quantity for less than $10.
So when you are in the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains check out Colorado 165 and grab a bite to eat at Max's in Colorado City.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Quality earbuds and awesome customer service

Some riders love the sound of the engine while rolling down the road.  Some love the sound of the wind, road, exhaust or the combination.  While there are others who find listen to their stereo adds to the enjoyment of the ride and others ride while enjoying music through earbuds or communication systems.

I have always been one to have music playing while working, relaxing or riding. Nothing like some good Metal music while riding the twisties!

When I was riding the Yamaha V Star 1100 average earbud were sufficient since the windshield blocked so much of the wind and noise.  When I rode the Yamaha Venture  (until a Tahoe hit the bike) the stock stereo system worked great.  However; once I changed to sport-touring machines (Yamaha FJR and Honda VFR) the wind noise increased and quality earbuds were needed.
Budget earbuds
I used various "budget" earbuds and dealt with the lack of volume and sound quality.  My son, Richard, would ride his Kawaski Ninja zx600r and also listen to music.  For a Christmas gift last year (2014) I purchased a pair of Decibullz Custom Molded earbuds for him.  Included with the earbuds were two molds (there are 9 color options for the molds), 3 sets of soft isolation foam tips (3 different sizes for customization) and a nice rigid zippered storage case.
http://www.decibullz.com/
(photo from Decibullz.com)
The two individual molds were easy to customize, just follow the directions.  The fit was comfortable, outside noise reduction was noticeable and the sound quality was way above average.  Richard loved them.  Remolding is also easy if needed.  They can be remolded over and over.
Molds are easy to customize (photo from Decibullz.com)
After 3 months I decided to get me a pair and I am so glad I did.  Noise reduction was immediate and the sound quality was very good.  I wear them every time I ride and I enjoy my music with each turn.  They fit comfortably with my full-faced helmet.  Side note - if using with a full face helmet reach up and take the earbuds out BEFORE pulling the helmet off.

The workmanship is high quality and the customer service is great.  I have put the earbuds to the test and I highly recommend them.  Recently the pause/skip button on the cord stopped working.  I could listen, but I could not pause or skip. 
The cord is light, but durable and of adequate length
I emailed Decibullz on the following Monday to report the problem.  I received a prompt reply explaining a replacement set would be sent to me, I just needed to pay the shipping (which was $5).  A paypal request for the shipping expense was emailed to me.  Once payment was received the replacement set was shipped.  By Saturday I had a new set!  That kind of customer service is not common.
The storage case is very handy and useful
The molds work great at keeping the earbuds in place and reducing outside noise
If you need quality earbuds, for any reason, check out Decibullz and then enjoy the road with some of your favorite music.