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FD’s Grillhouse: Elegant Atmosphere, Great Food, Awesome Selection

fds-grillhouse-tyler-tx-1By Barbara King

Yes folks, the holidays are coming, and everyone will be hitting the stores to do frantic last minute shopping. There’s a place in town that’s perfect for when you are out and about and ready to take a break for a great meal.

In the new shopping mecca of the Villages at Cumberland Park, there’s a restaurant that will give you everything you crave: an elegant atmosphere, great food and selection, along with a courteous wait staff that wants you to leave happy and positive about your experience.

It’s a step way above your fast food or chain establishments. Opened in December of 2015, owner Scott Williams was in the mood for something a bit upscale, contemporary but inviting. The dark wood of the bar front and center is enhanced by huge booths and some high tops, for whatever strikes your fancy.

It’s a great place for a special date night, anniversary, or another occasion, but FD’s is also geared for families, and the unhurried slow-paced atmosphere makes it an excellent choice for families on the go.

Charley Groom, FD’s manager, says, “We are super excited that the word is being spread that we are a wonderful option for dining. We get first-time visitors in the door every day, and our goal is to have them leave with a very positive opinion of the entire experience with us.”

fds-grillhouse-tyler-txThere are several different dining options within the restaurant: the main dining room with lots of booths and room to spread out, the fully-stocked bar with TVs for sports enthusiasts, and the back Florida room enclosed patio with white drapes and a more cozy, subdued atmosphere.

When asked what FD’s stands for, you’ll get a grin from manager Groome. “It’s kind of a fun thing,” he explains. “We like to say it’s fresh daily or fine dining or whatever suits your fancy on any given day.”

The food is always made from fresh ingredients, and as a grill house, the restaurant is known for its fish and steak, but also serves awesome burgers (bacon, portobello and swiss, classic cheeseburger, and brisket burger). Fresh seafood comes in five days a week and includes fresh snapper and trout (in season), along with gulf shrimp. Fish specialties are rounded out by North Atlantic salmon, their famous cedar planked salmon, and tilapia. “Lots of our foods are made fresh every day, including our whipped cream, key lime pie, dressings, sauces, and tortilla chips,” added Groome.

You can take your pick of any three items and create your own combo from either lemon gulf shrimp, fried shrimp, crawfish etouffee, North Atlantic salmon, or chicken tenderloins.

The steaks are superb at FD’s and include center top sirloin, center cut filet, and baby back ribs or ribs and chicken combo. Carla and John Peters were enjoying “the best steak in town” according to Mr. Peters. “This is our go-to place to eat,” said Carla, “and the food is always perfectly done.”

Don’t forget the chicken and pasta, that includes lemon-herb chicken, beer-battered chicken tenderloins, spinach-dip chicken pasta, or Hawaiian chicken.

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Large groups are made welcome and can share items off the “community” portion of the menu like the triple dip (spinach dip, homemade queso, and fresh salsa with warm tortilla chips), firecracker shrimp (gulf shrimp tossed in a creamy, spicy sauce), Mexican shrimp cocktail (gulf shrimp, avocado, pico de gallo, and salsa with tortilla chips) or three cheese crab dip (blue crab, spices, and three cheeses served with fresh baked bread).

fds-grillhouse-tyler-txYou can also have your pick of soups (Louisiana Shrimp Gumbo or Mexico City Chicken Soup), salads (like grilled chicken and walnut, salmon, quinoa, and kale; or the Asian chicken and shrimp), sandwiches or tacos (fish tacos, crispy chicken, brisket tacos, or shrimp loaf).

Families are favored at FD’s, and the seating is perfect for larger parties in the round, padded booths that will make you want to stay awhile. Crispy shrimp, cheeseburger with fries, penne with alfredo sauce, grilled chicken with rice and broccoli, or chicken tenders are available for the small fry.

The full-service bar has a wide variety of wines, by the glass or bottle, and their strong and smooth margaritas are a hit with names like The Tango, Limousine, Mambo, Size 2, and the Uberita.

The house-inspired crafts include La Cubana Mojito, Kentucky Mule, Moscow Mule, Whiskey Barrel Old Fashion, and FD’s Twisted Long Island Tea. Draft beer features are Bud Light, Blue Moon, Stella, and selections from the local brewery True Vine.

fds-grillhouse-tyler-tx-3Every Tuesday night, local musician Eric Mosley entertains in the enclosed patio. You can join the crowd for some great music.

You can also call ahead to place a to-go order and pick it up anytime at the bar.

“Our guests always comment on the quality of the food and the prices,” says Groome. James Freeman and his daughter Kayden were waiting on other family members to join them for dinner. “We have a big family, and the prices are right,” said James. “We watched as the restaurant was being built. We love the steak and seafood and the big city atmosphere.”

Bring your friends and family to FD’s, where you will discover they have “a passion for cooking with fresh ingredients, making things from scratch, and giving you a dining experience that’s both memorable and enjoyable.”

FD’s is located in the Villages at Cumberland Place, 8934 S. Broadway, Tyler and can be reached at (903)630-7683 or find them on Facebook at FD’s Grillhouse.

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Around East Texas

Festival of Fruit: 34th Annual Tomato Fest Saturday, June 9th

34th Annual Tomato Fest Saturday, June 9th

Welcome to Jacksonville – home of the best tasting fruit – tomatoes!

Local farmers are busy getting ready for the upcoming 34th Annual Tomato Fest in Jacksonville, Texas by planting acres of the best tastin’ tomatoes. Join the celebration Saturday, June 9th in downtown Jacksonville for a BIG day of activities that will be happening all day long. Over 200+ vendors and all kinds of festival food, including the famous fried green tomatoes, Farmers Market, $500 Got Talent Contest, Car Show, Motorcycle Show, Tennis Tournament, Soccer Tournament, Softball Tournament, Entertainment, Kidz Zone, and so much more will cover 5 blocks downtown. Tomato events include Salsa Contest, Tomato Eating and Peeling Contest, Tomato Archery, Tomato Shoot, Best Home Grown Tomato Contest, Tomato Packing Contest and tour the Tomato Shed. Saturday evening, Chili’s Street Dance will take place featuring Brian Chance Band and Lady Chazz and the Tramps. 

Activities kick off on Saturday, June 2nd with a 5k run sponsored by All Smiles. Monday, June 4th and Tuesday, June 5th is Family First Clinic’s corporate challenge Dodgeball Tournament. On Wednesday, June 6th, a Gospel Concert sponsored by Whataburger featuring, The Group, will perform at Central Baptist Church. New this year on Thursday, June 8th  is the Farm to Table dinner event that will take place at Castle on the Lake on beautiful Lake Jacksonville and will be catered by Rob Gowin, Sadler’s Kitchen & Catering. A 4 Man Scramble takes place at the Cherokee Ranch Golf Club on Friday, June 8th. The final Tomato Fest week celebration ends at Lake Jacksonville with a Ski Show on Sunday, June 10th.

Taste for yourself the best tomatoes and fun festival packed with lots to do for everyone.  For additional information, contact Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce at (903)586-2217, or go to  JacksonvilleTexas.com/Tomato-Fest or Facebook.com/JacksonvilleChamber.

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Fitness

East Texans Learn to “Live Healthy”

This Month at Integrative Health Matters:

Integrative Health Matters offers a healthy alternative to losing weight.

“Food is the real medicine. Through our innovative, hands-on programs, we aim to inspire healthy change through education. Diseases, chronic conditions, inflammation, and immune system disorders are often attributed to diet. Food is the medicine that can fix the problem. Integrative Health Matters is lifestyle medicine. It’s not about drugs and doctor’s appointments. It’s about how to eat right, how to think right, and to understand all the things we have to do to stay healthy,” said neurosurgeon Guy Danielson, medical director and founder of Integrative Health Matters. “This is root cause (medicine), not covering up symptoms with something from the pharmacy. The pharmacy is out in the garden.”

The public has opportunities to visit Integrative Health Matters at any of these classes:

  • Every Wednesday (12:15-1:15pm) – Mindful Movements ; (5:15-6:15pm) – “Just Breathe” Meditation
  • May 4th (10-11am) – Functional Food Friday: Detoxing
  • May 8th (6-7:30pm) – Kitchen Talk: Tabbouleh with Karol
  • May 11th (10-11am) – Functional Food Friday: Eating Seasonally
  • May 21st (6-7:30pm) – The Good News About Type 2 Diabetes
  • May 22nd (6-7:30pm) – Kitchen Talk: Raising Healthy Eaters
  • May 25th (10-11am) – Functional Food Friday: Eating Healthy on a Budget

Cooking classes offered twice monthly are in-depth health and cooking presentations. These “Kitchen Talks” invite the public into the IHM instructional kitchen to learn to cook tasty and nutritious meals and create a healthy home environment.

Integrative Health Matters is located at 419 WSW Loop 323 #400 in Tyler, next to La Madeleine. For information about Integrative Health Matters, contact (903)595-8077 or visit ihm.life.

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Around East Texas

Pure Bliss at M6 Winery

M6 Winery:

Celebrating Life & Good Things

Written and Photographed by Barbara Greenbauer

Take some time to wind down, breathe, and enjoy a superb glass of wine at M6 Winery & Tasting Room and Gift Shop in downtown Bullard. Owners Joe and Anne Moody set the pace as the charming and affable owners who greet you at the door and welcome you inside.

The atmosphere is palatable the minute you arrive, inside the front door is a Texas trove of hand-made one of a kind wood pieces that can either house your own wine collection or accent it. Move along into the inner room and you will feel right at home as you order wine, food, and listen to live music.

Joe Moody is in his element and passionate about his foray into the wine business. Relying on his business background and his interest in the wine-making industry, he has developed an inventory of his own, a grand selection of whites and reds that will be taste bud treats to either the wine connoisseur or novice.

“Wine is about celebrating life and the good things,” explains Moody. “Anne and I have traveled from California to Italy and experienced multitudes of vineyards and tasting rooms.  We were ready to bring all of our experiences to East Texas.” M6 derives its name from the Moody’s family of six, including the four grown children who were a piece of the business from its infancy. M6 Winery & Tasting Room is nestled on a corner of downtown Bullard, a piece of property Joe Moody has owned for over 20 years that has served as his office for both an oil/gas and real estate business over the years.

“Creating a good wine is an act of love and patience,” explains Moody. “Grapes cannot be rushed and in the process, you have to be aware of what you are looking for in a flavor profile. It takes a lot of planning and preparation; blending is like art with different aromas, colors, and flavors.”

The tasting room is an experience in itself, from the beautiful front and center bar fashioned from the ribs of wine barrels to the tin roof and rough cedar ceiling accents. Choose your wine and sit back while local musicians entertain.

There’s another great space outside that the Moody’s affectionately call The Vinery, a vine-covered patio with plenty of room and great furniture to sit on while you  enjoy the Texas weather.

Your palette will applaud you when you sample an M6 original wine. White wines include the Blue Norther, an aromatic semi-sweet Riesling with hints of apples and stone fruit. The Bluebonnet is an off-dry white blend, perfect for poultry, fish, and pasta dishes. Or try the Sweet TexAnne, named for Mrs. Moody, with sweet honeysuckle and strawberry overtones. This wine is perfect for summer salads and cheeses and is sweet enough to serve as a light dessert wine.

The Texas Viognier is an unoaked, medium to full-bodied dry wine, with notes of pears, honeysuckle, and tangerine. It pairs well with roasted poultry, orange chicken, seafood, apricots, fennel, capers, or pumpkin.

M6’s Rosé wines include the Blushing Texan, a semi-sweet Rosé wine blend with a light pink color. The appropriately monikered Tyler Rosé is a dry blend with a touch of High Plains Zinfandel. This blend was created especially for our local Tyler market and its famous association with roses.

If red is more your thing, there are lots to choose from. Friendship Red is made with the hearty Ruby Cabernet grape. It is a great compliment to all things pasta, as it goes great with all sauces, from marinara to Alfredo.

The Moodys very first Signature Blend is Vintner’s Touch, a bold red blend that pairs well with roasted meats. This blend is made from grapes grown both in Texas and California.

Red Texana is great with Texas BBQ or Tex-Mex dishes. It is full-bodied and made from the Ruby Cabernet grape. It has a spicy finish.

Feel free to pair your wine with meat, cheese, or combo plates, olive oil with bread and spices, or a slider plate. Paired flights include a chocolate or cheese, and of course, you can do a Tasting Flight of five different wines and keep the signature M6 tasting glass. M6 wines range from an affordable $18 to $28 a bottle.

Be part of the family and join the M6 Wine Club to experience the best of their offerings with five special wine shipments annually. When it’s time to get your selections, M6 offers a complimentary glass of wine and hors d’oeuvres to members at pickup parties.

M6 can host your private party and create personalized wine labels to commemorate any event from birthdays to anniversaries.

Joe has nothing but compliments for the wine-growing community in East Texas, saying “We are all very supportive of each other and share resources and information.”

Mark your calendars for the Piney Woods Wine Festival, running May 11th-12th and join M6 and the other 18 wineries on the trail for a spectacular weekend of music, art, and of course, lots of wine to taste.

Lauren and Bobby Grounds from Tyler wanted a new destination and searched the internet for wine and live music and found M6. “We love this venue,” said Lauren. “It’s very different and fun, and the wine is fantastic.” They were trying the Blue Norther and the Blushing Texan with a cheese plate and Billy said “We will definitely be back. We like the atmosphere here.  It’s very welcoming.”

Joe is thrilled that M6 wines are featured at favorite Tyler restaurants, including Rotolo’s, Dakotas, and the Grove. “Mention that you would like to try an M6 wine and you won’t be disappointed,” he said.

The Moodys welcome you to experience M6 Winery & Tasting Room. “We want everyone who visits us to feel like they are our honored guest,” said Joe Moody.

M6 is open Saturdays from 1-6:30pm and is located at 201 W. Main St., Bullard. They can be reached at (903)360-0369, by email at info@m6winery.com, or on Facebook at M6Winery.

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