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February 2020

Drink Review: Clos du Bois Chardonnay

By Mike Thayer

National Drink Wine DayIn honor of National Drink Wine Day - who thinks up these days of celebration things anyway? - Well, I'm rolling with it!

A drink review on a Chardonnay, produced by Clos du Bois

Clos du Bois is one of California's longest standing names in the marketplace, walk into almost any liquor store and you'll see their wines on the shelf.  Their Chardonnay is a popular choice because it's a reasonably priced, no-nonsense wine.  It's not top shelf stuff, but it's not bottom shelf stuff either.  This wine is popular because it delivers top shelf taste without the cost, a great bang for the Chardonnay buck.

Here are the tasting notes from the winemaker's website:  Brilliant silver straw yellow in color. Intense aromas of apple blossom, ripe pear, and sweet lemon drop are complemented by toasty oak, spice, and cream. In the mouth, the silky texture of the wine is overlaid with bright, juicy flavors of ripe apple and pear for a long and fresh finish.

Those tasting notes are spot on!  In layman's terms, it's good!

Chardonnay is also arguably the world’s most popular variety of white wine and in large part we have California to thank for that.  Winemakers there have successfully marketed the straightforward but very pleasant aromas of apple and pear and Clos de Bois is a pick of choice with many who keep a Chardonnay or two at the ready at home.  It's also a pick of choice in the bars as well.  That's saying something.

Costing me about $10, this is another wine that's easy to like, it's reasonably priced, drinks easy after a long day at work and compliments a variety of fish and chicken dishes, especially those prepared with butter, cream or herbal sauces.  It's a repeat buy and gets 4 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars!

4 stars

$pend Wisely My Friends.....

Related:  Drink Review: The Ned Sauvignon Blanc

My first meal at Logan's Roadhouse may have been my last

By Mike Thayer

Logan's Roadhouse presentation
Sloppy presentation, skimpy portions, well, EXCEPT the broccoli....

A friend of mine was celebrating a birthday the other day and so a group of us met her and her significant other at Logan's Roadhouse to celebrate.  It was a Saturday night, a busy night for the restaurant, but there was no waiting as the birthday table had already been seated when I arrived.  In fact I was the last of our little party to do so.  Fashionably late, right?   That's my story and I'm sticking to it....

I had never eaten at Logan's before this night and I was looking forward to eating a juicy steak.  It was a bit of a challenge deciding on what to eat, it all looked pretty darn good on the menu with a nice variety of options to choose from.  Our waitress took our drink and appetizer orders as we continued to peruse those dinner menus.  After a few more minutes and with everyone set on what to order, we sat and waited, and waited some more.  That's OK, there was some great table conversation going on, but it did take a long while for our waitress to deliver that first round of drinks, let alone take our dinner order.  Granted, it was a Saturday night, the place was busy, but not that hopping busy....  The waitress was nice, polite, but easily distracted and slow.

The drinks finally arrived and so did our appetizers which were pretty tasty.  I sampled the potato skins which were above average.  Sometimes a restaurant will over bake them, turning that potato skin into a piece of shoe leather, not so with these. 

For my entree' I went with the Surf & Turf, a sirloin steak and grilled shrimp.  Here's the description from the Logan's website:  Get the best of both worlds with our 6 oz. USDA Choice, grain-fed Sirloin and a skewer of wood-grilled shrimp on a bed of rice pilaf. Served with your choice of one side. Upgrade to an 8 oz. Sirloin for a little extra.

Logan's Roadhouse rareWhen our dinners arrived, I was visually disappointed.  I highlighted the word 'bed' in the description above, check out the pic up top, does that look like a BED of rice to you?  No, it's more like three little spoonfuls.  This dinner looked mouthwatering on the menu, but what gets delivered to your table doesn't measure up.   And that's NOT an eight ounce steak.  I inquired about the steak with my waitress, but she insisted that was the upgraded steak.  It was NOT grilled to a medium rare as I ordered either, it was delivered rare.  But hey, those bread rolls they serve with the meal were good!  Yes, stated with a side of snarky.

My meal wasn't the only one not quite right either.  A couple in the group ordered the Prime Rib.  When delivered tableside it didn't measure up to the picture on the menu either, not even close.  It was a VERY thin cut of Prime Rib and the Au jus was COLD!  My friend sent the Au jus back to be heated up, it came back only marginally warmer, but still pretty much cold.  Who wants cold Au jus with their Prime Rib?   With temp in mind, the meals weren't delivered to the table hot, they were warm at best, food got cold quick!  Another downer.

Overall, while my dinner was seasoned well enough, I found the portions to be on the skimpy side, to include the five little shrimp on the skewer.  Coupled with the slow service - no water refills kind of tells you how slow - Logan's fumbled the ball on this dinner.  I felt kind of bad for my birthday friend, but we all made up for it in some great table conversation and laughs!

I paid $15.99 for my meal, that's a reasonable price for a steak dinner, but the slow service, warm but not hot food, skimpy portions and food not measuring up to the menu picture hype made for a disappointing dining experience.  I'm giving Logan's Roadhouse 2 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars.  If it's up to me, I won't be going to a Logan's Roadhouse again.  There's far better steak to be had out there.

2 stars

$pend Wisely My Friends.....

The Logan's Roadhouse visited on this occasion is located at:

353 S Rock Rd, Wichita, KS 67207

Drink Review: The Ned Sauvignon Blanc

By Mike Thayer

The Ned Sauvignon BlancHere's a wine you may want to have on hand.

The Ned Sauvignon Blanc.

The Ned hails from New Zealand and the Marisco Vineyards located in the Waihopai Valley.  A number of wines made there are award winning, receiving accolades in several international competitions to include the Sauvignon Blanc.

If you're not familiar with what a Sauvignon Blanc is, it's a white wine, a dry wine with the fruity flavors of lime, green apple, passion fruit and white peach. What makes Sauvignon Blanc unique from other white wines are the other flavors a producer will include such as bell pepper, jalapeño, gooseberry and perhaps even a gram or two of sugar to add a bit of richness.

Here's the tasting note description of the wine from the Marisco Vineyards websiteDelightfully ripe aromas of gooseberry and white peach are laced with refreshing notes of kaffir lime. The fleshy mid palate is tamed by an underlying minerally acid backbone that culminates in a bright, zesty finish.

This wine is easy to like, it's bright, nicely fragrant and balanced.  All that flavor from a screw cap wine!  And I'm not any kind of wine connoisseur, but I'm not a wine snob either, I know what I like and this is a good one.   This is a pretty darn good wine, no cork needed!  Besides, after enjoying a glass, the bottle is easy to cap, you don't have to worry about trying to re-cork it or grab a wine stopper.  

Costing me about $10, I'm giving The Ned Sauvignon Blanc 4 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars.  It's reasonably priced, refreshing and pairs well with seafood, chicken dishes and salads.  It's definitely worthy of a repeat buy!

4 stars

$pend Wisely My Friends.....