Monthly Archives: February 2008

Very tasty Vietnamese food at Pho Garden!

I almost forgot to write that my wife and I enjoyed a light dinner last Friday night at Pho Garden Vietnamese Noodle House, a clean, contemporary restaurant next to Office Depot in Rockwall. Roxana Roxana found her “small” (actually quite large) bowl of Vietnamese soup to be very tasty and filling. It included large portions of cabbage, carrots and other veggies, plus some slowly-simmered, tender strips of beef. She was very pleased!

I went for the simple chicken and rice plate, which I also found to be tasty and well worth trying. The thin breasts of chicken were covered with a sweet, Teriyaki-type sauce, which gave the boiled rice more flavor. It was probably more rice than I needed, but rice is the staple in Vietnam and people expect plenty of it.

Both dinners were reasonably-priced, about $7 each, and the service was exceptional. The waiter was very friendly, assisting plenty of customers to figure out what to order. Owners Ha and Quin are also very friendly and were visiting with their customers to be certain we were all pleased. Both are American citizens, having immigrated to the U.S. 14 years ago.

We recommend Pho Garden as a great little place to go for something a bit different!

If elected, what Randy Puckett will do

I also interviewed Rockwall County Commissioner Precinct 3 candidate Randy Puckett during my weekly Sat. 9-11 am talk radio show “When Love Hurts” on AM 1400. Randy is a criminal investigator with the City of Rockwall Police Dept., where he’s worked for 19 years as an officer. He said he’s running for office because he believes that someone needs to represent the “working man and woman” in Rockwall on the County Commissioners Court, to maintain a broad cross-section of experience. He noted that outgoing Commissioner Bruce Beaty, whom the three candidates are seeking to replace, was Rockwall’s Chief of Police for many years. The Commissioners currently include an educator, a rancher and a businessman.

Puckett impressed me for his devotion to the community, and particularly for his interest in accomplishing many of the goals which I’m most interested in, namely: 1) establishing an overnight shelter for family violence victims, 2) hiring a full-time, proactive victim advocate, and 3) better educating the public to reduce and prevent family violence. He said more can be accomplished with health and human service issues by electing someone like him, who will ensure that such matters are regularly brought before the County, in addition to the necessary infrastructure issues.

Randy and his wife, who teaches school at Dobbs Elementary, are obviously deeply-committed to Rockwall and to helping those who are hurting and stand in need. He said he agrees that improving roads, decreasing traffic congestion and keeping taxes low are important, but his main focus is on health and human service needs. He said as an officer and investigator he’s worked together successfully with a broad cross-section of people throughout the community and believes this experience and ability will help him to be effective as a Commissioner.

Win or lose, Randy said he’ll still be working to make Rockwall a great place to live. I think Randy will make a fine Commissioner – another excellent candidate!

If elected, what Leon Tuttle will do

I interviewed Rockwall County Commissioner Precinct 3 candidate and former three-term Rockwall Mayor Leon Tuttle two days ago on my weekly Sat. 9-11 am talk radio show “When Love Hurts” on AM 1400.  I was impressed with his interest in establishing a safe house for family violence victims, for finding or creating a budget to educate the community to combat family violence plus draft an ethics code for all County elected officials and employees, especially in view of the troubles we’ve seen with our District Attorney indicted on numerous financial charges and the County Treasurer “borrowing” funds for her personal use. “Mayor” Tuttle may be retired but has plenty of energy left to add to his long list of accomplishments in Rockwall, it appears to me. He also wants to develop a five and ten-year plan for expanding County facilities to keep pace with the rapid growth, work together with the State and County committees to repair and build the necessary roads, plus keep taxes low. That will be a challenge! He told us that it took 25 years for voters to finally decide to allow the City and County to make the current highway and road improvements. They didn’t want to tear down trees, change the landscape or have so many one-way streets! Can’t blame them on the one hand, but now that traffic is such a mess, officials and voters should have better planned for the the future.  They certainly haven’t discouraged growth, which now seems almost out-of-control, much like Frisco.

Rockwall resident makes “Idol” top 24

It appears we have a celebrity in Rockwall, now that local resident Jason (Dreadlocks) Castro has made it into American Idol’s top 24! He still hasn’t been shown on TV yet, but we’ll surely see him this week. He’s one of the 12 male semi-finalists. He was raised in Rowlett and has been attending Texas A&M. He now resides in Rockwall. Experts say this may be the most talented “Idol” group ever. Good luck, Jason! 

County Commissioner candidates on radio

Rockwall County Commissioner Precinct 3 candidates Leon Tuttle and Randy Puckett will be the guests this Saturday morning from 9-10 and 10-11 am, respectively, on my new talk radio show, “When Love Hurts,” on the all-new AM 1400 KGVL News-Talk Radio. 

Both candidates will be asked about what they will do, if elected, to help reduce the growing problems of family violence, dating violence and child abuse/neglect in Rockwall County.

Co-hosted by domestic violence survivor Katie Clemens, the show is designed to help people who are hurting from love and relationship problems, and is part of the Lillian Smith Family Violence Foundation’s new proactive public information campaign to eliminate these crimes across DFW and, eventually, the nation.

Guests will also outline their reasons for running and explain why voters should elect them. The third candidate, Dennis Bailey, was also invited and is expected to agree to an interview on the Feb. 23 program.

The election is set for March 2, 2008.

That’s amore! Napoli’s chicken parmigiana…

My wife and I enjoyed eating the tasty chicken parmigiana the other night at Napoli’s quaint Italian Restaurant, located at 407 S.  Goliad, down the street from Rockwall City Hall.

The combination of the zesty tomato sauce, bubbly white cheese and golden brown coating covering the hefty pieces of real chicken breast made for one delicious dinner! I would have preferred thicker spaghetti to their very thin version, but there was plenty of it that I didn’t mind at all gobbling up. My wife also was pleased with her dinner salad. We were both disappointed with the doughy dinner rolls, which they served shortly after we placed our order. But the service was efficient, the mood was friendly – several other couples were laughing and enjoying themselves – and the ambiance was pleasant. The walls are all nicely painted to resemble sitting at a cafe on the canals in Venice. Dean Martin was singing in the background, although on a rather tinny-sounding music player.

If you’re in the mood to find tasty Italian food, in a quiet little cafe with red checkered tablecloths, we’d recommend you try Napoli’s Italian Restaurant. The eatery was previously called Bella, but was recently purchased and is now owned by the same owner who has successfully operated Napoli’s Italian Restaurant in Rowlett for years.

We’ll go back again! See you there!