Wow.. It's been a while since I last posted. Sadly, I must admit I haven't really felt like doing much of anything. It's been a month almost to the day that my dad went to be with the Lord. And although I find comfort in the fact that he's no longer suffering...I miss him. Why didn't I apply for FMLA earlier? Why didn't I do more with him when he was healthy? Why didn't I ask him for more stories about his childhood? Why didn't I convey my love for him more? All these questions and numerous others continue to plague me. But...I press on. I pray for peace and strength to make it through each day, and I thank God for all the people still here on this earth for me to love.
Wish I had a witty segue to transition out of that heavy intro... But alas, I've got nothing. We're just gonna have to dive right in...
Now MJ and I really do enjoy checking out the latest hotspot or re-visiting one of the tried and true classics in Austin when we dine out, but there are those times, and I think you'll agree...when you just want to stay close to home. And with the funk that I've been in lately, the closer the better. So rather than driving across town and sitting in the torture known as Austin traffic, we went to Round Rock's own HomeField Grill.
We've actually been here on a number of occasions, but when we found out that they had a new executive chef and new menu items, we knew it was time for another visit. Still committed to providing the residents of Round Rock with food prepared from fresh, local ingredients, HomeField Grill, well, they do a lot of grilling 🙂 . Burgers, steaks, and flatbread pizzas are just some of the items that they're skillfully preparing on their wood-fired grill. The restaurant is family friendly with a large game room for the kids and plenty of dining space for group events. At the same time, it's also a great place to throw back a few cold ones and watch some sports on any one of the large screen TVs littered around the bar.
Briefly examining the photos, it's not too difficult to distinguish my dishes from MJ's. I know I should probably be making smarter choices when eating out, but it's my one cheat of the week...gotta make it count! The good thing about HomeField Grill is that the portions aren't ridiculously large (insert MJ's nod of approval) like most other places in Texas, but you still leave satisfied. Here's a quick rundown of our plates:
Southwestern Chicken Chopped Salad (at the top under the queso pic) - MJ toned down the Southwest in this salad by replacing the ranch dressing and honey molasses BBQ sauce with her usual honey mustard dressing. But the regional flare wasn't completely lost, as this salad was packed with sweet corn, jicama, black beans, diced tomato, and jack cheddar cheese all on top a bed of chopped romaine lettuce. Grilled lime chicken, cotija cheese and tortilla strips finished off this vibrant and flavorful salad.
Fire Roasted Chili Burger (above) - To complement MJ's salad, I naturally ordered a burger. I'm all for heat but the thought of habanero peppers was a little more than I was prepared to handle, so I opted for fire roasted Anaheim chiles to join the pepper jack cheese, avocado slices and Nolan Ryan all-natural beef patty. It also came with a side of fire-roasted salsa, but I wasn't too big a fan. The smoky aftertaste overwhelmed the other elements of the burger. The sourdough bun was a nice match for the juicy patty and toppings. Speaking of the patty, it had a great grilled flavor reminiscent of a backyard BBQ or summertime picnic. I didn't realize it before but I guess both MJ and I were in a Southwestern mood.
Margherita Flatbread - When they say flatbread...they're not kidding. As the board was laid before us, we almost thought they had put pizza toppings on a thin wafer cracker. But we were pleasantly surprised when we took that first bite and realized that the bread had more substance and chew than we had anticipated. Topped with a three cheese blend, fresh mozzarella, aged parmesan, marinated Roma tomato slices and fresh basil, this was a nice, light rendition of a margherita pizza.
Wood-Fire Grilled Adobo Pork Chop - See. I don't always eat burgers ;). This thick-cut, bone-in loin pork chop was marinated in a three chili adobo sauce, wood grilled, and then enjoyed by my belly. Alongside this moist chop came a side of Yukon gold garlic mashed potatoes and some fresh seasonal veggies. I know I'm supposed to watch my portions, but I really wanted more (may I draw your attention to the empty plate in the picture). Again, I noted a sly smile come across MJ's face as I commented on the serving sizes.
I can't say that the food rivals that of the upper echelon eateries in Austin, but it's definitely solid and prepared from quality ingredients. The host and wait staff are incredibly friendly, but the service tends to be a little slow. I usually look past this, though, as I sincerely believe it's due to HomeField Grill's desire to put forth a product they can be proud of. They take the time to do food right.
HomeField Grill is located at 2000 S. IH-35, Round Rock TX