Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Let's Eat ~ Sweet Rice


    We just love to have food other then Tex-Mex or American dining, when we found out that a new chain, Sweet Rice, was coming to town we could hardly wait to try out some new flavors.  Sweet Rice has a menu with a good mix of Thai and Loa foods, plus some traditional "Americanized Asian" dishes for those who are not quite ready to venture out beyond the known and try something new.  Sweet Rice is located at 300 B. Connally St and is currently open 7 days a week.  Monday - Saturday 11 a. m. - 9 p. m. and Sunday from 12 p. m. - 4 p. m.  You can even call ahead for take out.

    Since it was just two of us, we ordered an appetizer to help fluff up our picture count, which is still small.  Their lettuce wraps had a vegetarian option, which we selected.  So instead of chicken they use tofu.  I was pretty excited about this and was disappointed when the kitchen read the ticket wrong and we were brought out chicken lettuce wraps.  I made my husband eat it all by himself, but once the server came back around, he told her of the mistake and surprisingly they boxed up the correct dish for us to take home.  The flavor was on point for the lettuce wraps, with the exception of having a small cuts of lettuce to wrap the yummy goodness in, he was overall pleased with the dish. 

    For our main course, I ordered Tom Yum with noodles, since I was really wanting some soup and figured the extra carbs would be a perfect addition.  He ordered Pad Kee Mao, with vegetables and no meat.  His dish came out perfect, he loved every bit of it and finished it all.  He was hungry!  My soup had great flavor, it was just lacking the noodles when it arrived.  They did bring me noodles after the fact, so it worked out in the end.  

    I'm not quite sure what happened with our order but we will still go back, since the options for Asian food in town are slim and you have to work with what you have access to in town.  Our server was pleasant and made sure the kitchen knew of their mistake for us.  We did eat inside since it was raining.  The inside seating is compact but makes for a good option.  When the weather is poor, the outside is a challenge but probably the best place to sit in the restaurant.  The patio outside is lovely and provides good people watching. 

    Despite our experience this time we will be back.  Sweet Rice made sure to correct the mistakes that were made and hopefully those mistakes won't happen again in the future.  Plus from my friends who have gone, their experience has been great, with no problems.  Visit them and help to make them successful so more dining options will make their way to Sulphur Springs, for everyone to choose from.  

Monday, October 17, 2022

Travel East Texas ~ Gilmer


    As you take the back roads on your journey through East Texas, while traveling East and little South of Sulphur Springs, you will eventually run into the town of Gilmer, Texas.  Gilmer is best known for it's annual celebration The East Texas Yamboree. 

    We did not hit up Gilmer during their celebration but rather as they were getting ready for the big event.  The Yamboree happens to fall on the same weekend as the Hopkins County Stew Festival, so the choices guests have to make for which amazing event they are going to attend is a tough one.  Their festival is a week long celebration with events every day following up to the big event on Saturday.  Be sure to check out the website to find the items you want to participate in. 

    Besides the Yamboree, Gilmer is the county seat for Upsur County, and boasts a large downtown, square.  This is where we focused our adventure in Gilmer.  We walked along the square, had cheesecake bites at Dana's Cheesecake and window shopped the local stores.

    Many of the stores were featuring previous dresses of the young ladies who participated in the Yamboree pageant.  These dresses are beautiful to look at, not sure if I would want to wear all that beading.  

    There are a few restaurants located in Downtown Gilmer, for guests to dine at, and of course many places for people to shop and browse throughout different stores.  One of our favorite stops, was the Brickstreet Art Gallery.  A mix use space, that houses offices for local businesses that utilizes the hallway for displaying art.  A great use of space and a wonderful way to bring customers in to see who else is in the building.


    Downtown even features an Upshur County museum, that takes visitors back in time when the county and city were first established.  At one point the museum building housed the Post Office and has since been refurbished into the county museum.  

    There is plenty to keep you busy for the day, in Gilmer on your next visit to The Oaks bed and breakfast.  We hope you have a few good ideas of where to explore next.  

Sunday, October 9, 2022

Herb Infused Cocktail ~ Pumpkin Old Fashion


    With all the crazy behind the big, orange squash, the pumpkin.  I figured we would jump on that band wagon and flavor up our drink this month with a little bit of pumpkin spice.  The Pumpkin Old Fashion is a little change up to a traditional Old Fashion but fits well with the season. 

    The addition of orange and pumpkin syrup help to enrich the flavor of the bourbon selection.  I probably should have chosen a bourbon that has a few more citrus notes, but since I sent the Husband to retrieve the bourbon, beggars can't be choosers.  

    I also chose to use a pre-made syrup for this drink to reduce the amount of sweetness, so more of the citrus flavor would pull through the end notes.  But to add a bit more sugar to the drink, a homemade syrup is easy and flavorful.  

    Here is how we put together the Pumpkin Old Fashion.

    Pumpkin Old Fashion

1/2 Ounce Pumpkin syrup

2 dashes of orange bitters

1 orange slice

2 ounces Bourbon

Splash of Club Soda (optional)

Garnish with cinnamon stick and orange slice

    Add the orange slice, bitters and pumpkin syrup to the bottom of an old fashion glass.  Muddle the orange and syrup together.  Once done, add in the ice and top with the bourbon.  If you want, we want, add a bit of club soda to finish off your drink.  Use the cinnamon stick to stir the flavors together. Garnish with a cinnamon stick and orange slice.  

    We let our drink sit a little while before finally consuming it and the flavors really melded together really well.  I think that muddling the orange a little more and adding a part of the cinnamon stick to the bottom would help to bring the flavors together faster.

    As always please drink responsibly and use a designated driver.  Until next month, enjoy your latest Herb Infused Cocktail from the Oaks bed and breakfast.  Cheers!

Saturday, October 1, 2022

October Happenings


    October kicks fall into full gear here in Sulphur Springs.  There are so many great activities for the whole family to participate in that you won't want to miss out.  When you book your stay at The Oaks Bed and Breakfast, we can  help point you in the right direction for all the fun. 

       The fun starts with the Cattleman's Ribeye Round up on the Square, and the Dutch Oven Cookoff at Heritage Park.  These two food centric events are sure to please your entire appetite.  Tickets are required for the Ribeye Round up but anyone can attend the Dutch Over cook off.  

    Friday night at Main Street Theatre Enola Gay and Leah Conner take the stage for an evening of conversation.  Sit down and take a step back in history and explore the future just a little with these two amazing Hopkins County residents.

    The following weekend is Main Street Uncorked on the Square, in Sulphur Springs.  Winery's, vendors and musician's come from all over the state of Texas to participate in this event.  Buy your tickets now for a great time and wonderful wine.  

    Join the Texoma Gospel Music Association at the Roc for some gospel music of Friday and Saturday, October 7-8.  Over 40 musicians will be in town to praise and worship with visitors from all over.  The entrance is free so stop by and listen for a few minutes or stay for a couple of hours.  

    After you have had your fill of wine and Gospel music head on over the Civic Center for the Annual St. James Church Auction.  An $8 ticket gets you in the door and dinner, then explore all the amazing items up for auction that you won't want to leave behind.  They have a live and silent auction, to bid from.  This is a great event, supporting one of the local churches in the Sulphur Springs community.

    Jump on over to Backstory Brewery for a family fun event and OU Texas watch party.  Fun and games for the whole family.  NorthEast Texas Gellyball will be out there along with vendors and other food options.  Join the fun October 8th from 11-8.

    Join the Community Players at Main Street Theatre starting on Friday, October 14-23 for their presentation of The Last 5 Years.  Be sure to check out their website for show times and tickets.

    Fall Festival fun kicks off on Saturday, October 15 with the traditional Fall Festival Parade, hosted by Chads Media.  You can participate in more ways than one.  Join the parade fun with your own, fall float, or grab a side of the sidewalk with friends and family to enjoy the march through town.  The parade starts at 10 a. m. at Buford Park and finishes up at Brookshires.

    The annual Help-A-Child Benefit is happening this year on Saturday, October 15 at the Civic Center.  This great event raises funds for children throughout our county.  With a cook off, cattle show, auction and so much more, you know you are bound to have a great time. 

    As you drive around town, be sure to look for your favorite hay bale construction.  Many businesses around town have decorated hay bales in celebration of our communities continuing tradition of work in agriculture.  The creativity and design of these structures is pretty amazing to see.  Be sure to tell us which one is your favorite.

    This years 53rd Annual Hopkins County Stew is set to heat up and be dished out on Saturday, October 22 at Buford Park in Sulphur Springs.  You do not want to miss this amazing event.  There will be a vendor fair close to the stew sites and one at the local high school.  Along with an art show and contests for people of all ages and categories to enter.  Be sure to order your tickets ahead of time, so you don't miss out on this great opportunity to enjoy one of Hopkins Counties best events.

    For the first time The Black Oak is hosting an adult only Halloween Party. The Monster Bash is going to be a great time, with cocktails and food from Fulgham's food truck.  Come let loose, in costume for a great date night out, with your significate other or a group of friends.  

    Just a little North of Sulphur Springs, is Cooper Lake State park.  They have a whole host of activities to do in the fall for everyone in your house.  Be sure to check out their next event and plan to make a day of it at this great resource for family fun.  We are looking forward to seeing you this October season at The Oaks.