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Food News: Keep It Local Tuesdays, Farmers Markets, Brewery Events, and More

August 17th (12 noon-6pm) -62nd Anniversary Party at Natural Grocers –  It’s the biggest party of the year and Natural Grocers wants to celebrate it with a fabulous, 50s-inspired birthday bash! They will have fantastic giveaways, 50% off select items, great prizes, including a grand prize Alaskan cruise for two, and a chance to sample the Chocolate Powerhouse Pudding, from 12 noon-2pm. Don’t miss the Ice Cream Social at 4-6 pm. Natural Grocers is located at 4820 S. Broadway Ave., Tyler. Free.

Every Tuesday – “Keep It Local Tuesdays” supports local restaurants by meeting and eating at a different locally owned restaurants every Tuesday evening, usually around 7pm. This gathering is open to anyone. Check their Facebook page for where they are meeting each week at

Every Tuesday and Saturday (both days at 7am-1pm) – East Texas State Fair Farmers Market – Rated one of the top 10 farmers markets to visit in Texas, this market is a local, producers-only market. All produce is grown in Smith County or counties that borders Smith County and is grown by the person selling it. All crafts are also required to be made by the person selling it. They do not permit distributors. This is truly, a local-only, producers-only market. This market is open rain or shine, and is located under the cool and breezy South Pavilion at the East Texas State Fair Grounds, 2112 W. Front St., Tyler. For more info call (903)533-0398 or find them on Facebook.

First Thursday each month, July 6th (4-10pm) – “Yappy Hour” will be held at ETX Brewing Co., 221 S. Broadway, Tyler. “Yappy Hour = Beer + Dogs.” Bring your family, friends, and your dog. There will be food available. This event benefits Pets Fur People. More info at This is a very fun event for all ages whether two legged or four!

Last Saturday each month – True Vine Brewery will host its monthly Open Taps. These fun and amazing events, always held on the last Saturday of the month, are a great time to sample the latest creations of the brewery, hear live music, and meet up with friends. This beer factory has some of their current on-the-market beers, limited/experimental brews, and the amazing Tyler area community that takes place in the Back Yard. The first 500 adult-drinker guests to arrive will receive a limited edition True Vine glass. True Vine Brewery is located at 219 Englewood, Tyler, by the Cotton Belt Building. Bring your own chair! Advanced Eventbrite tickets are capped and only available until 12 midnight the day prior to the event. “At-the-door-tickets” are always available on the day of the event at the check-in/registration table for $15. Children 11 and under get in free with an adult ticket. Tickets are not required for children. Entry for non-drinker adults and humans 12 years and over is a $4 in advance or $5 at the door. A portion of all proceeds will go to a local non-profit. For more info go to

Ongoing – Rose City Farmer’s Market (7212 Old Jacksonville Hwy., Tyler, continues every Saturday through November 18th) – Shop for locally grown fruits, vegetables, herbs, and cut flowers, pastured beef, lamb, chicken, and pork, yard eggs, goat cheeses, freshly baked breads and pastries, honey, jams, and jellies. Enjoy a cup of locally roasted coffee while you stroll the market listening to local musicians. This kid-friendly and pet-friendly market is open every Saturday. If you’d like to become a member of the market email or go to

August 10th (5:30-8:30pm) – Pooches on the Patio will be held at Andy’s Frozen Yogurt, 6106 S. Broadway Ave., Tyler. There is nothing like the great outdoors with your dog and friends. Join the fun on the patio for delicious food and drinks. Bring your furry friends, and enjoy a great evening. A portion of the proceeds benefit the SPCA of East Texas. The Northeast Public Health District requires that all attending dogs be current on vaccinations and wear a current rabies tag. In addition, all puppies under one year of age in attendance must be fully vaccinated. In order for all pooches to be on their best behavior, refrain from bringing your unaltered pets to this event. It is free to attend any of these events.

  • September 21st – 1836 Texas Kitchen, 2647 Crow Rd., Tyler, 6-8pm
  • Cheng’s Chinese on Troup Hwy. has closed.
News & Events

Domino’s Pizza has opened in the old Amelia’s Sweetery location at 1694 S. Beckham, Tyler.

Fuzzy Taco’s is opening a second location at 6361 Old Jacksonville Hwy, behind Juicy’s Burgers. They are expected to open early fall. This is the former Soju Sushi Bar & Asian Bistro building. The outside has been painted bright yellow with red trim and a sign out front indicates “Fuzzy’s is coming soon.” Yay! This is the second Tyler location for the popular taco chain, which opened its original store in Fort Worth in 2003. The other store is on Troup Hwy.  

South Tyler Speakeasy is now open. “The dimly lit bar with low ceilings, hanging Edison bulb lights and framed black-and-white photographs from the early 1900s covering the walls.” South Tyler Speakeasy is East Texas’ first Prohibition-era themed bar. Formerly the Half Moon Grill & Saloon, it reopened May 15th and now specializes in classic cocktails, whiskeys, and American food. It’s located at 16884 Farm-to-Market Road 2493 (Old Jacksonville Road) in Tyler. South Tyler Speakeasy has a pool room, 15 indoor televisions, an outside smoking porch, and a stage for live music performances. The entire bar selection and menu have been reworked for the change.

Cup Pow, located at 7212 Old Jacksonville Hwy., Tyler, is now open. This coffee, smoothie, and juice bar is located in the Juls building.

Walk-On’s Sports Bar is soon to open at 6525 S. Broadway, Tyler. “Today, our mission is to deliver a memorable game day experience with a taste of Louisiana for guests of all ages, created by great teammates and all-American cheerleaders. Our entire Walk-On’s team works hard every day to ensure every customer has a winning experience with great food, beverages, service, and atmosphere. We thank you for your support.” Walk-On’s was voted as the #1 sports bar in America by ESPN.

Aspen Creek Grill is now open for lunch. Located at 725 W. Southwest Loop 323, Tyler, this new restaurant to Tyler features a nice food and cocktail menu as well as a weekly Car Show every fourth Saturday of the month in the parking lot. Favorites are the Monte Cristo Sandwich and the Grilled Spicy Chicken Salad. They are now open daily 11am-10pm.

Rotolo’s Pizza has added Monday Night Trivia! Hosted by Paul Bibeau from Hyper Active Services, this trivia features three rounds of ten questions with one bonus question at the end of the three rounds. Round up your friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers, put on your thinking caps, and join join in the fun, games, prizes, food, and drink. Prizes are gift cards for Rotolo’s yummy food!

New at FRESH by Brookshire’s has added a few new things to their great food bar. Ramen and Pho are available now at the Sushi bar. FRESH’s Hot Bar for take-n-go food now has more than 80 fresh-made menu items in their Chef Prepared, Hot Bar and Grab & Go case. You can also choose from an extensive selection of salads, soups, and dip bar items, as well as made-to-order sandwiches and tacos from the 2go bar. Pizzas are available as well. “What’s the best part? Could it be the handmade dough? Maybe it’s the roaring hot oven, freshest possible ingredients, or the delicious combination of toppings. Whatever you decide, you’ll keep coming back to enjoy more of this Neapolitan-style pizza.” We are in love with the Pizza Di Napoli “Sophia” –  fresh handmade dough, basil pesto cream sauce, mozzarella, herb-marinated artichoke hearts, Cremini and white mushrooms, and Kalamata olives. FRESH is located at 6991 Old Jacksonville Hwy., Tyler.

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The Skinny on Cooking at Home: The Cookbook Junkie

By Guest Blogger Tena Jerger filling in for Gini Rainey, the original Cookbook Junkie

I was not raised in a household that did a lot of cooking at home. We ate out, went through drive-thrus, had sandwiches, or made a meal on chips and dips more times than I care to think about. My mom simply had no interest in cooking. Don’t get me wrong, she cooked ‘some’ – for special occasions or if my dad or grandmothers guilted her into it, or when she got a new toy like a Frydaddy. We ate corn dogs and French fries until we all begged to go back to Weinerland’s drive-thru.

And even though my mom never really cooked, I have always enjoyed cooking a lot. I’ve had my share of disasters but I prefer to eat at home, preparing our food ourselves.

My favorite cookbooks are pretty much any in the Skinnytaste line of books. Author Gina Homolka has a cult-like following for her blog and has several NYT best selling books under her (skinny) belt.

I’ve been making Gina Homolka’s recipes for years. I find them both easy to follow and very flavorful. I have always found the ingredients easily – there is never some obscure expensive ingredient that the recipe must have. All of her recipes are made with real food that are “skinny on calories but not on flavor.”

That being said, I should add that she has recipes for all kinds of eating styles including vegetarian, Weight Watchers, gluten-free, Paleo, Keto, Whole 30, and more. Beside each recipe, there is a color and letter coding like V for vegetarian, GF for gluten-free, kid-friendly, freezer-friendly, crockpot etc. And, for those of us who count calories and want to know nutrients or carbs, she also has all of that included.

I was recently given a gift card for Barnes & Noble so I purchased two of her hard copy books, “Skinnytaste Fast and Slow: Knockout Quick-Fix and Slow Cooker Recipes” and “The Skinnytaste Cookbook: Light on Calories, Big on Flavor.”

From the “Light on Calories,” one of my favorite recipes is Buttermilk Oven-Fried Chicken. I’ve made this over and over, and still to this day have not changed the recipe in any way except that I use a cut-up fryer instead of just legs. Soaking your chicken at least overnight keeps it moist and juicy. The recipe is at

I’m sure you are wondering “why do I need to have the book if all the recipes are on the blog?” Well, they aren’t. In fact, there are quite a lot more in print. One of my favorites is the So-addicted Chicken Enchiladas. These enchiladas are easy to prepare and taste excellent too. This recipe is only available in the book so for copyright reasons, we can not post the recipe.

From the “Fast and Slow” book I love the Banh Mi Rice Bowl. I make up the pork tenderloin and freeze in small batches for a quick lunch. The recipe is at

All of the photos in these two cookbooks are professional and abundant throughout. The recipes

are well put together, easy to follow, and not just the same tired ones redone with diet ingredients. They are original and loaded with flavor and are good enough to serve at dinner parties and more importantly – to make you feel like you are not dieting. All of her recipes are quick to make if you follow her tips for prep and shopping.

From her bio, “Each month millions of readers visit [her blog] Skinnytaste and learn how easy it is to cook healthy recipes for the whole family. Her work has been featured in Fitness Magazine, Better Homes and Gardens,,,, among other media outlets.”

Her books are available digitally, in hardcover and on her blog website.



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Foodie Events: March 17th, Grand Opening of The Porch at ETX Brewing

stanleys famous bbq ad

News & Events

Quick Dawgs of Texas Opens! You know that building with a cowboy-shaped roof? It now serves hot dogs made with love and care by David Lovelady. “This particular building here is set up to handle hot dogs,” he said. “I’d been looking at different buns, wieners, different chilis, for many months before we started this thing.” The new business features an array of hot dogs, mostly priced between $2-$5, with nachos and meals priced a few dollars higher. The menu — which is still developing — includes all beef, bun-length hot dogs; brisket sausage links; Earl Campbell Hot Links; Frito pie and more. Lovelady said the chili cheese dogs and hot links have been some of the most popular selections. Picnic tables will be added outside the drive-thru soon. Quick Dawgs is located at at 220 SSW Loop 323 in Tyler, and serves all beef, bun-length hot dogs, brisket sausage links, Earl Campbell Hot Links, Frito pie and more.

March 15th (6:30-9:30pm) – “Wine and Cheeeeessssy Dinner” will be held at Cork, Food & Drink, 109 E. Grande Blvd., Tyler. Tickets are $70. The menu will include fondue, gruyere and chorizo, mac and cheese with lobster, ribeye toast with blue cheese, and roasted fig with ricotta along with accompanying paired wines. Reservations can be made by calling (903)363-9197 or at

March 17th (5pm-12 midnight) – St. Patrick’s Day Party & Grand Opening of The Porch at ETX Brewing – Love the beer at ETX Brewery? Then you have got to try The Porch, ETX Brewing’s new restaurant. Join the fun in celebrating their expansion with green beer, great food,  and live music with Old Omen, Metrograde and Eli Tidmore. ETX Brewing and The Porch are located at 221 S. Broadway, Downtown Tyler.

March 21st (7-9pm) – Spring Vintner’s Dinner – Kiepersol is kicking off the 2018 Vintner’s Dinner Program with a Spring-inspired menu. Don’t miss this fresh and vibrant dinner paired with our delicious wines. The menu is seared scallop with almond mandarin salad, asparagus chicken and rice soup, lemon and rosemary lamb, and lemon and spring fruit curd. Tickets are $100 per person not including tax and gratuity. For reservations, call (903)894-3300 or go to Future dinners are June 20th, July 25th, September 26th, and November 28th.

Roost Chicken Salad & Deli will open a location in Southside Bank at S. Beckham across from ETMC Hospital.

March 23rd (6:30pm) – Beef & Bourbon with Cut Beef and Rebecca Creek – Join this terrific pairing of Cut Beef and Rebecca Creek Bourbon. Upon arrival at High Hill Farm, you will be greeted with an assortment of custom made cocktails and perfectly paired hors d’oeuvres. Relax, dine and enjoy as our Chef and Rebecca Creek Distillery fulfill you with their perfect creations made from the freshest local beef and perfectly aged bourbon. High Hill Farm, 12626 CR 217, Arp. Go to to make reservations.

March 31st-April 1st (all day) – Bread Class & Easter Brunch – Have you always wanted to bake like a master Chef? The key is simple ingredients, proper instruction and the right location. Join Chef for a fun weekend experience in the kitchen of Côte at High Hill Farm. You’ll learn the techniques, recipes and process to baking homemade breads. Cap off your day with a stroll in the vineyard, wine sampling and overnight stay in one of our relaxing bungalows. After a perfect night’s sleep, join us for a special Easter brunch featuring beautiful farm fresh brunch including items from the garden, local food items and fresh juices.  Mimosa’s and bloody Mary’s also available for your enjoyment. High Hill Farm, 12626 CR 217, Arp. Go to to make reservations.

Crawdaddy’s Boil-N-Go is now open at 14801 State Hwy 110 S. in Whitehouse. Featuring crawfish, shrimp, crab legs, corn, potatoes with all the fixing, Crawdaddy’s is open Thursday-Friday 5-10pm, Saturday 12 noon-10pm, and Sunday 12 noon-6pm.

April 7th (8am-12 noon) – The Rose City Farmers Market will open soon at it’s new location at 236 S. Broadway Ave., just a half block north of Front St. in the parking lot of Bill’s Unclaimed Furniture. The market is open from April to November. This is across from “Moss, Where Flowers are Fair” and ETX Brewing Co. The new location will be near the free parking in the Fair Plaza Parking Garage. The Rose City Farmers Market is a family- and dog-friendly community gathering place, providing locally-grown produce, herbs, wood oven breads, pastries and granola, jams, pickles, locally roasted coffee, cheese, artists and artisans, live music, and sometimes even yoga. They are open every Saturday April-November 8am-12 noon. For more info on the market or to apply to be a vendor, contact (903)539-2875,, or


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Around East Texas

SportsZone Bar and Grill: A Cornucopia Culture of Downtown


The SportsZone Bar and Grill:

A Cornucopia Culture of Downtown

By Barbara Greenbauer

The SportsZone Bar and Grill on the Square in Downtown Tyler is now a go-to spot to eat, hangout and get your fill of sports- themed fun and entertainment.

Josh Collins, local owner and operator, wants everyone to know that “Downtown has a new lunch spot” and it’s a great local bar and grill that is all about community with a “Cheers-type mentality, where everyone is welcome.”

The place is light, bright, and filled with sports memorabilia, with a great-looking bar and high tabletops galore. With a brand new revamped menu, the SportsZone is ready to bring you great food in a space with a different vibe than your regular sports scene. It’s never a loud, in-your face crowd, there’s plenty of parking Downtown, and plenty to do inside.

While you try your hand at the pool or foosball tables, you can chow down on a great burger with a side of waffle fries. You will really get your fill of sports, as the restaurant is lined with 10 big screen TV’s. The view from any seat in the house is stellar. There is always a Texas team on the screen somewhere in the restaurant. There’s even TV’s in the restrooms because they don’t want you to miss a second!

Dart aficionados can try their luck at the dart boards or try your hand at a game of beer pong.

“We really support the Downtown culture,” says Collins. “We can be the spot to go to before or after a show at Liberty Theater. I don’t think folks in Tyler realize how many people live and work Downtown and the community continues to grow.”

The Bar and Grill supports local events like Red Dirt BBQ and Music Festival, Hit the Bricks 2nd Saturdays, and the Rose City Farmer’s Market, “to support and spread the word about the great things happening Downtown,” said Collins.

Step inside the bar and grill and you will want to hang out, use the free Wi-Fi, watch some TV, and taste what the kitchen has to offer.

The edible options at the SportsZone are fast and healthy too. Lunch variables include an out of this world chipotle black bean veggie burger, seared tuna salad, and a grilled chicken salad. Lunch is served Monday-Friday 11am-2pm.

The bar and grill, open 7 days a week, features a great mixture of fare, from “Beginners” like onion rings, pickle fries, frito chili pie, chili cheese waffle fries, “Not your Mamas’s Churros,” humus and naan bread, and battered corn bites.

For more hearty appetites, try the ultimate BLT, fried chicken sandwich, chicken fingers, or their spectacular wings. Their wings are uniquely double-baked with choice of BBQ, lemon pepper, flaming hot or special Zone sauce. The new chickenless wings are so good that you won’t even realize that they are vegetarian! They can also handle to-go orders, but guarantee fast and efficient service during the peak lunch hours. “We want to be known as the new Tyler lunch destination,” said Collins.

The “Out of the Oven” pizzas include margarita, Hawaiian, or the much requested, “Build your own” with toppings including pepperoni, sausage, hamburger, Canadian bacon, black olives, mushrooms, jalapenos, and roasted tomatoes. You can get a super lunch special with a slice of pizza, side salad and a drink for just $8.

The bar is a fully-stocked cornucopia of Texas liquors and beers and the bartenders are super friendly and accommodating. From Lone Star, Shiner, Deep Ellum and ET Brewery, and True Vine – you’ll find it at SportsZone. Every Tuesday, if it’s made in Texas, it’s on special. And if you are looking for something more exotic, the bar can handle almost any drink imaginable, all you have to do is ask!

There are always specials and giveaways going on – from Happy Hours to buckets of beer. Check their website and Facebook regularly to see what’s happening. “A lot of our patrons are regular customers, but by word of mouth and social media, we’ve begun attracting a new group of folks who love being Downtown and taking advantage of all we have to offer,” said Collins.

Come grab a drink, see a game and have a great meal at The SportsZone Bar and Grill, located at 115 E. Erwin, Downtown Tyler on the Square. Like them on Facebook at SportsZoneTyler, or You can contact them at (903)266-9132. They are open Sundays 12pm-12am, Monday-Friday 11am-12am, Saturday 12pm-1am.


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