Gone Fishin’

At Least For a Few Days!

Chef Tom with his catch of the day!
Chef Tom with his catch of the day!

The fish in the N. Platte River in Casper, Wyoming were probably nervous when they heard me and my fishing buddies were heading up there last week for a guys getaway. But, they had nothing to fear. This Chef wasn’t interested in cooking up any fresh fish, just seeing what I could catch and release back into the river!

Platte River
Platte River

Heading to the N. Platte Lodge has become some what of an annual tradition for this group of friends. It was in fact our 16th annual trip, my 3rd time being invited to join! I figured it was okay to leave the diner in the capable hands of our OUTSTANDING TEAM, now that we’ve been open at our new location in N. Dallas for more than 3 months.

While the fishing was awesome in the river, the weather was not as great. I felt like I was back in Chicago. It was 42 degrees, with rain and a chilling north wind! But, a little cold weather didn’t get this angler down! I managed to catch 25 Rainbow Trout during the 4 day adventure. The biggest was 19 ½ inches long.

Since we released all the fish we caught, we dined on home made food. I was very happy to make breakfast one morning, complete with my corned beef hash and flaky biscuits.

Wyoming is beautiful, as evidenced by the pictures I took. In Dallas, I would never have seen a Bald Eagle, 3 Snow Owls and a lot of Mule Deer!

The trip was a nice diversion from the hustle and bustle of the Crossroads Diner kitchen, but it’s good to be back!

Freemont Canyon
Fremont Canyon

Behind Every Great Restaurant is a Great Woman!

For me, that great woman is my lovely wife, Karen.   If you’ve ever dined with us, you’ve probably had the chance to chat with Karen.  She tirelessly runs the front end of Crossroads Diner, while I’m in the kitchen.  In addition, she juggles the kids, the chores and the home front.  She is 100{001f6bf205672f1e7636892525166e834b167996d8416624b3b1500f74537d5b} percent responsible for the décor of our beautiful new restaurant on the NE Corner of Preston and Campbell in N. Dallas.  Today, I’m turning my blog over to her, so you can learn more about the great woman behind the scenes of Crossroads Diner.   Chef Tom

12227004_1006910506039061_4762784547815152314_nHi Everyone, it’s Karen!

I am from Mt. Prospect, IL, a NW suburb of Chicago.

I met Tom at Bub City in Chicago, a Lettuce Entertain You Restaurant.  This is where I was working part time to pay for graduate school, while teaching full time.  I was the bartender for his Christmas Party while he was working for The Everest Room, also a Lettuce Entertain You Restaurant.  It was love at first sight.  He had his beer goggles on, we say.  We have been married for 19 years and have 2 beautiful girls, Janelle – 15 and Allie – 11 ½.

While I have a Masters Degree in Special Education, and have taught 10 years, I have held many positions in restaurants including server, host, and bartender.   I know what is involved to perform these jobs as well as manage others.

Working with my husband works because we both share the passion of service to others.  We handle different parts of owning a restaurant.  And together use our skills to better other’s abilities so our employees can deliver an exceptional dining experience.  The best part of working with my husband is sharing in all the friends we have made and the wonderful support group we have.  The hardest part is seeing how hard he works and his stress by running a business.

I like to cook like he does, but not nearly as well or as fast.  Let’s say my knife skills and flare need sharpening when preparing dinner.  But I do love grocery shopping and trying new dishes.   You could say I am his sous chef at home.  I have learned a lot from him in the kitchen, we just learned not to both be in the kitchen at the same time.

However, when it comes to baking, I am a great baker.  I love making cookies and cakes.  We both have a sweet tooth and that helps.

My favorite dishes include: Breakfast Tostada, Baby Field Green salad with grilled chicken, ham and cheddar on a croissant, and meatloaf.  When I need to satisfy my sweet tooth, I indulge in pancakes with sticky love or a bowl of coffee toffee ice cream from Sweet Firefly.

When I am not working I enjoy working out, shopping and crafting; making anything for décor.

I enjoy reading self help books and meditating.  I am always looking to improve myself and others.  We are all connected in a beautiful way and I seek to figure this out every day.

I look forward to seeing you at Crossroads Diner soon!