Friday, December 18, 2015

Jungle Jim's International Market

There is a grocery store near Cincinnati, Ohio that is like no other. A huge, food-theme park that calls out to foodies from all over. It is called Jungle Jim's International Market.

With 200,000 square feet of nothing but foods, some pretty rare, this place is like a Super Wal-Mart without the non-perishable items.

But let's be clear, this place is far from your average big box retailer. It really is much more fun than that. Creative displays are all through the store.

The layout is scattered for the most part. So unless you come here often you probably won't know where to find everything. You just have to walk around and try to enjoy the ride. I was blown away from their four aisles of soft drinks.

The international food sections are laid out by country. They have the best selection of rare and hard-to-find food items I have ever seen. I was very impressed. 

If you're in the area you have to check it out. I just wish there was a store like this where I live.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Axiom 71: The Need for Speed

"The speed of the boss is the speed of the team." -Lee Iacocca

"The primary factor in a successful attack is speed." -Lord Mountbatten

One easy skill that will increase your chances of success is speed. If you can work faster and more efficiently than anyone else you will soon gather a following. People like dealing with people that act swiftly to solve a problem.

One thing you will notice is that most people work at a slow methodical pace. They never seek to increase speed. They could care less about finding time saving shortcuts. These are the kind of people that show up for a paycheck only. They are the kind of people that don't want to work faster because they'll only get more work piled on them if they do.

It is more likely you will find yourself with more work to do the faster you work. However, working faster exudes a certain vibe of confidence and success. People notice when you work fast. Working fast truly is a positive attribute.

The people that work fast are generally the people that are promoted quicker. The slower workers are left behind because they emit an attitude of not caring that much. If you want to be successful figure out how to be the fastest person at your job without sacrificing quality.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Axiom 70: You're Going to Miss Me When I'm Gone

"To my mind the old masters are not art; their value is in their scarcity." -Thomas Edison

"Appreciate what you have before it is gone" -Unknown

The law of scarcity is essential in success. The less there is of something, the more desirable and valuable it becomes.

Here are just a few examples of the law of scarcity at work:
  • The value of gold and other rare metals.
  • The value of your time if you were given six months to live.
  • Meeting a love interest that acts aloof instead of overbearing.
  • Seeing a beloved family member you haven't seen in years versus seeing a family member that comes over everyday.
  • An endangered species on the brink of extinction you just saw versus an overpopulated animal that you see daily.
  • A great employee that quits your company and leaves a huge hole for you to fill.
  • Winning a contest to have lunch with your favorite celebrity.
  • Taking a vacation of a lifetime overseas versus visiting the touristy venues in your hometown.
When striving for success you must learn to control the scarcity of yourself, and the products you sell. There are many ways to do this and they all have the same effect: increased value.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Axiom 69: E=mc2

"If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't understand it yourself.
-Albert Einstein

"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." -Leonardo da Vinci

Theoretical physicists and successful people have something in common: they know that simplicity equals success. Einstein's famous equation E=mc2 was the end result of solving long complicated equations beforehand. The end result was an elegant and simple solution.

Simplicity is not about taking shortcuts. It's not about doing half-ass work. It is about looking at the bigger picture and saying, "There's got to be a simple solution to this chaotic mess".

To be successful you must first have experience enough to fully understand a complex and chaotic situation. Once you have that knowledge look for a better solution, a simple solution. Often you will see that solutions become more and more complex until the fog clears and a utterly simple solution becomes apparent. 

Once you have found that one simple solution everything will come together and make sense.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Axiom 68: The Halo Effect

"Everything has its beauty, but not everyone sees it." -Confucius

"Beauty is power; a smile is its sword." -John Ray

In earlier Axioms I have explained about the power of appearance. In Axiom 22 I explained how dressing nicer can increase your chances of success. In Axiom 42 I wrote about how people's personalities can change based on how they dress. However, there is still one big piece of the puzzle missing when it comes to the power of appearance.

It is a phenomenon known as the Halo Effect.

The halo effect is the cognitive BS that your mind believes when you look at someone. It means that you will subconsciously infer things like how smart or how nice a person is based simply on their outer appearance. Beautiful people are assumed to be nicer, smarter, and more creative. Ugly people are assumed to be meaner and dumber when placed side by side against a beautiful person.

That means when people meet you for the first time they are going to judge your mental abilities and character tendencies simply based on the way you look on the outside. Because of this it is very important that the way to look, the way you dress, and your hygiene all communicate the message of success you are trying to achieve.

In other words, Be as attractive as possible.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Axiom 67: Get Out of Your Damn Comfort Zone

"We find comfort among those who agree with us - growth among those who don't.
-Frank A. Clark

"Don't make friends that are comfortable to be with. Make friends who will force you to level yourself up." Thomas J. Watson

The people in the world that are successful are the people that pushed themselves out of their comfort zone. It is hard to achieve anything great without a little discomfort beforehand.

Getting out of your comfort zone doesn't necessarily mean doing something risky. Every time you choose to actively work on a hobby you are pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone. While it is much easier to watch TV or do something else equally as mindless, doing something that requires effort can be much more rewarding. Actively engaging in activities often forces you out of your comfort zone. It forces you to learn, and as you learn you grow as a person.

Sometimes, however, getting out of your comfort zone does require you to do something risky. This world ignores those who do not exert themselves and rewards those who take risks. That's why CEOs of start-up companies can become very wealthy while assembly line workers will always remain in the working class.

Push yourself outside of your comfort zone, and push yourself to grow into something bigger and better.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Louisville's Hot Brown

Driving through Louisville, Kentucky I had to stop and try a Hot Brown. It is a regional "sandwich" that most people outside of Northern Kentucky don't know about. I called my foodie friend James that lives in Louisville and asked him where the best place to eat a hot brown was. He said The Village Anchor was the place to go.

The hot brown was invented at the Brown Hotel in downtown Louisville. When I was driving through town it was too late for me to stop there so I was putting all my faith that The Village Anchor would live up to the hype.

The restaurant is absolutely gorgeous. Great date spot for any of you locals reading this. I wish the restaurants here in Texas had that much charm. Everything looked delicious on the menu. I started off with the fried bologna sandwich appetizer that my friend recommended I try also.

It was really great. I wasn't expecting it to be very good and I was pleasantly surprised that it was possible to make a bologna sandwich taste classy.

Then came the hot brown, which they call The Hotter Brown:

It tasted different than I had imagined. Somewhat like chicken & dumplings, or chicken pot pie, or maybe a casserole is the closest thing I can compare it to. It was really amazing. What you can't see is that there is bread hidden in this thing. I guess that is why they call it a hot brown "sandwich".

It was sad to think that there is no way I could duplicate something like this at home. If you want the real deal you'll have to go to Louisville, and The Village Anchor is the place to go.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Axiom 66: True Victory is Victory Over Oneself

"Eight forces sustain creation:
Movement and stillness
Solidifcation and fluidity
extension and contraction
unification and division"
-Morihei Ueshiba

Success in life is usually a result of mastering the same types of skills that a black belt in martial arts exhibits. If you have ever practiced martial arts you will probably recognize that many of the previous Axioms are present in martial arts.

Here is a list of just a few of the skills that a black belt in martial arts will have mastered:
  • Self-Discipline
  • Patience
  • Respect
  • Humility
  • Calmness
  • Power Over Earthly Desires
  • Controlling One's Energy
  • Meditation
  • Concentration
  • Observation
  • Honestly
  • Integrity
  • Finding One's Path
  • Control Over One's Body & Mind
  • Timing
  • Reflexes
  • Controlling the Energy of Others
  • Perfection through Repetition
  • Goodness
  • Hard Work
  • Positive Thinking
These are just a few of the important things that a martial arts master will excel in to become unbeatable. However, there is one final skill they possess that is key to making it all work: synergy. It is the ability to put many skills together and execute them together consistently that makes them so great.

If you have read the previous Axioms and practiced them you must now start to think of them as a whole instead of individual skills. While you may find some success mastering a few individual skills you will never achieve greatness unless you know how to put all of your skills together at once. 

Friday, August 7, 2015

Axiom 65: You'll Never Graduate

"No one can defeat us unless we first defeat ourselves." -Dwight D. Eisenhower

"I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times." -Bruce Lee

When I finished my undergraduate degree in 2003 I didn't attend the graduation ceremony. It was just as if I was in school one day and then not in school the next day. Some of my friends seemed puzzled as to why I didn't care about taking part in the graduation ceremony. I could have cared less about walking across the stage in a cap and gown to receive my diploma.

I watched as my fellow alums bought invitations, their cap and gowns, and their whole family talked with excitement about attending the ceremony. To me it just seemed like a waste of money and an inconvenience to ask my family to sit in a crowd and watch in boredom as thousands of other people walked across the stage. I had my degree and that's all I cared about.

When I finished my graduate degree a few years later I didn't attend that ceremony either. Once again people asked my why I wasn't going to participate. I finally thought about it since my excuse of "I just don't want to" didn't seem to pacify everyone.

So here are my real thoughts:

If you want to go to your graduation ceremony with your family and celebrate more power to you. I think it is important to celebrate your successes in life in whatever way suits you. However, for me I did not want to embrace the finality of finishing school. I will never graduate. I will always be a student. 

Although I received my diplomas. I don't feel like it is over. I still feel like one day I may step foot back into the classroom. This was the feeling that I wanted to leave school with. The feeling that my education is never over.

How you finish one step in life will determine how you will start the next step in your life.      

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Some Random Original Quotes

Years before I wrote my first Axiom I would occasionally jot down my thoughts whenever possible. It was, and still is, my way of figuring things out in the world. What started out as tiny fragments written incoherently in a journal eventually turned into the Axioms I later wrote about. 

I went back recently to look at a time about 12 years ago when I was finishing my undergraduate degree and starting graduate school. It was a time of immense self-discovery and learning for me. 

Below are some of the interesting quotes I wrote down ten years ago:

"Happiness means you don't own an alarm clock."

"People work hardest when the challenge is the greatest."

"Great people lead by example, not words."

"Words are meaningless illusions cast by the soul."

"If you call out to God in a time of need, does that mean he doesn’t care? Or does it mean he cares too much?"

"Two men are wealthy. One is admired, and the other is despised. Why is this?"

"Sometimes it is better to be lucky than smart."

"Nothingness is the greatest pain we face. Even God cannot stand to be alone."

"Adversity helps bring about happiness and satisfaction."

"Man is mortal and immortal. All of his actions should bear this in mind."

"True fulfillment can only be reached for and sometimes touched, but never held permanently."

"People are never satisfied unless they are satisfied with being unsatisfied."

"Finding million dollar ideas is not the problem. It's executing them."

"You will never get big-time results if you are a small-time thinker."

"Being poor is a choice, just as being rich is. Poor choices + poor mindset + poor time management will always = poor results."

"The rule of scarcity: If people read my works when I’m alive they might be amused. If they read them 100 years from now they might think I’m a genius."

Friday, July 10, 2015

Axiom 64: Know When to Cut Your Loses

"Stay committed to your decision, but stay flexible in your approach." -Tony Robbins

You can spend minutes, hours, days, weeks, or even months over-analyzing a situation; trying to put the pieces together, justifying what could've, would've happened... or you can just leave the pieces on the floor and move the fuck on.” -Tupac Shakur

Oftentimes knowing when it is time to cut your loses and move on is the hardest decision you'll ever make. It can be the determining factor in your success or utter failure.

But if you're pursuing a goal in life and you're not sure if it is going to work out or not how do you know when to give up?

About ten years ago I graduated from graduate school in Dallas. It was a long time goal of mine to move to Los Angeles and work in entertainment PR. I had already made many sacrifices to make this goal a reality. This included years of college, both undergraduate and graduate, flying to LA to go to networking events, and saving a six month nest egg to live on once I made the move.

Then in January of 2006 I made move. I packed up all my belonging and drove for three days to West Hollywood. I setup shop and the reality quickly set in. As I walked through the neighborhood the reality of the situation weighed hard on me.

My standard of living would never be as good here as it was in Dallas. I would be working twice as many hours for half the pay. In 20 years the best I could hope for would probably be a very modest house and a very long work week.

So I reached a crossroads. 

Should I stay in LA and continue a dream that I have worked very hard for, or go back to Dallas and start over?

I packed up and moved back to Dallas. My decision was made by answering one simple question: Will the probable end result be worth the effort? The answer was no.

If you are in a similar situation I urge you to ask yourself the same question.

When I moved back to Dallas I was lost for a year or so as I started over in figuring out what I wanted from life. Looking back though, choosing to cut my loses and move back from LA was the best decision I ever made. 

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Irn Bru - Scotland's #1 Selling Soft Drink

In my first ever video review (above) I tell you everything you need to know about Scotland's delicious #1 selling soft drink that is almost unheard of here in the USA.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Axiom 63: Success is the Sum of Your Decisions

"The roads we take are more important than the goals we announce. Decisions determine destiny." -Frederick Speakman

"No answer is also an answer." -German Proverb

This Axiom is a short one: Your life is the sum of your decisions.

Pain and bad decisions go together. Joy and good decisions go together.

Think about it. Almost every aspect of your life is the result of a choice you made (or intentionally did not make). If your life sucks you probably made poor decisions. If your life is great you probably made good decisions. Either way you've shaped your own destiny from the decisions you made in the past.

Most people don't realize that even the smallest decisions can permanently alter the rest of their life in drastic ways.

Here are some real life examples:

Take the time to stop and consider the decisions you have to make in the future. They will change your future forever. 

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Ben's Chili Bowl - Half Smokes at Home

I've never been to Ben's Chili Bowl in Washington D.C. but have always wanted to go there. They are famous for their chili dogs and now you can buy them online shipped right to your door.

I bought their Original Chili Half Smokes, which cost me almost $90 shipped to my house. Ouch! Quite an expensive experience for (8) sausages and (1) pint of chili (buns not included). It's not really Ben's fault since the shipping costs really account for much of that price.

Preparation was easy. The half smokes needed to be cooked so I whipped out the skillet and sizzled them to perfection. The chili is already cooked so I just heated it up in the microwave.

So how was the taste?

I was surprised. These were pretty damn tasty. They have a very unique and smokey flavor to them. By themselves the chili and the smokes leave something to be desired, but together they are magic. Overall, I would give them a 7.5 out of 10 on taste.

One side note: These things are a lot bigger than the pictures make them appear. Two of these will fill you up. If you get the smallest package of (8) smokes invite a few friends over to enjoy them with you.

Final Thoughts: These were tasty, but pricey. I wouldn't order again, but I'm dying to try the real thing on my next trip to D.C. If you are a foodie or an expat from D.C. then this may be worth a purchase.

How to Cook Half Smokes at Home

Friday, May 8, 2015

Axiom 62: Failure is the Easiest Option

"A man may fall many times, but he won't be a failure until he says that someone pushed him." -Elmer G. Letterman

"Failure is only the opportunity to begin again, only this time more wisely." -Henry Ford

There are two types of failure. The first type is failure from giving up. If you've ever made a new year's resolution chances are that you failed by giving up. It is human nature to be somewhat passive and lazy at times. It is always easier to give up and continue the status quo than to push yourself outside of your comfort zone for too long.

The second type of failure is failure from poor execution. If you screwed something up and failed it is often easier to walk away than to make yourself try again. Whether it is from pride, laziness, or lack of conviction, people often determine the potential goal is not worth trying anymore.

There are a few important things to remember in regards to failure:
  • Failure is destined to happen. To become successful you will have to endure failures, guaranteed. Learn to deal with failure.
  • Don't take failure personally. Don't let failure make you emotionally sad. Separate failure and look at it logically.
  • Set realistic goals. Don't set yourself up to fail. If you know that a goal is impossible don't set it.
  • Failure is the easiest option. Remember that failure is easier than success. That is why success is so much sweeter.
  • Fail Harder. If you are going to fail at least fail trying your best. You are more likely to learn more if you fail with more conviction.
  • Every failure is a success. You will learn from every failure if you look deep enough. View each failure as a successful learning opportunity.
  • Fail Often. It usually takes multiple failures before you succeed. Don't give up after your first, second, or third failed attempt. 

Failure doesn't have to be a negative thing. Teflon®, plastic, the pacemaker, the microwave, X-rays, anesthesia, stainless steel, and penicillin are just a few of the things created by mistake. They were created from the failures of other projects. Learn to embrace failure. 

Friday, April 17, 2015

Axiom 61: Death of a Salesman

"If you're a car salesman, and someone says 'This is a terrible car, I'm not buying it,' it doesn't mean they hate you. They just don't like your product. I think that's a mistake a lot of people in show business make.. they're so tied to their act they take everything personally.
-Jay Leno 

"I think it's very important that whatever you're trying to make or sell, or teach has to be basically good. A bad product and you know what? You won't be here in ten years.
-Martha Stewart

I was at home one day and heard a knock at the door. It was a young man in his 20s trying to sell me magazines. He started telling me his story about how he was a single parent that had recently relocated to the area. He was personable and made me laugh, he made me empathize with his situation, but there was one thing he didn't do - Offer me a product that I wanted to buy.

I told him "no" and he responded with something that stuck in my mind.

"It's not about books, bibles, or magazines. It's about giving someone like me a chance, " he said.

I still didn't buy. I felt like crap the whole day. I felt bad that someone was out there working so hard and it must be a very hard way of life. I felt cold-hearted.

The more I thought about it I wished I had given him some advice. I wanted to tell him that unfortunately the world is about books, bibles, and magazines. I wanted to tell him that the sooner he changed careers and started selling something the free-market wanted the sooner he could be successful in life.

You cannot fight the free-market. It will crush you if you try. Success means that you must offer something of value that people want. The better the value you are offering, the easier the sale.

That young man will not be selling door-to-door forever. It may take time but eventually the free-market will drive him into another career. Hopefully he can then go into a career that he can more easily reap the fruits of his labor by selling a product that the market wants.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Fort Worth Food Insider (Tex-Mex) - Dos Molina's

I've traveled around this great county and eaten at many of the famous local restaurants. Now I think its time that I should turn my attention back to my hometown - Fort Worth, Texas. I'm writing a new series of blog posts called the, "Fort Worth Food Insider." Whether you're a tourist visiting the area, or a longtime local looking for the best food Fort Worth has to offer, you've come to the right place. I'm going to share with you my local Fort Worth favorites that aren't getting the attention that they deserve.

Today I am going to cover Fort Worth's Best Tex-Mex

If you were a tourist visiting Fort Worth and you asked a local, "Hey, where's the best Tex-Mex in town?" chances they would point you to Joe T. Garcia's Mexican Restaurant (2201 North Commerce Street, Fort Worth, TX 76164). Joe T's has been great place to drink margaritas and eat enchiladas since it opened in 1935. It is always packed and their patio is beautiful.

However, if you were a tourist and asked me, "Shawn, where's the best Tex-Mex in town?" I would answer without hesitation Dos Molina's (404 NW 25th Street, Fort Worth, TX 76106).

Dos Molina's sits in the shadows of the Fort Worth Stockyards just a few blocks away from Joe T's. However, Dos Molina's is Fort Worth's best kept Tex-Mex secret. It really is hidden unless you know it is there.

This is a breakfast and lunch spot only. They close early and the neighborhood is very sketchy even though it borders the tourist spots in town. Lunchtime is always packed with a good mix of local blue and white collar people.

The prices are amazingly cheap. Here's what their $5.95 taco dinner lunch looks like:

The chips and salsa they serve are the best in Fort Worth. The salsa is amazing. The closest thing I have had that rivals their salsa is Joe T's. 

However, the one "must" eat item for any of you that go here are the bean and cheese nachos. Get them as an appetizer and split them among friends. They are greasy, tasty, and one of my favorite things in Fort Worth to eat.

If you have a chance to swing by here for lunch you won't regret it.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Axiom 60: Knowledge is Power

"Circumstances may cause interruptions and delays, but never lose sight of your goal. Prepare yourself in every way you can by increasing your knowledge and adding to your experience, so that you can make the most of opportunity when it occurs." -Mario Andretti

"As knowledge increases wonder deepens." -Charles Morgan

One thing that is very sad to me is when I see a person that is full of potential and they remain a failure in life because of their lack of curiosity  and ambition in the pursuit of knowledge. 

I imagine that if I asked these people if they would like to make more money at their current job that they would quickly answer "yes" without hesitation.

"Great," I would respond. "In order to make more money you will need to be of more value to your employer. Therefore you will need to increase your knowledge of the job and learn new skills. This may require you to study while you are away from work to develop these new skills."

At this point most of them would probably respond with some sort of excuse for why they can't do it. "I don't have the time", "There's no room for advancement at my job", "I'm not doing that in my free time if I'm not getting paid", or "That doesn't sound fun. I'm not going to waste my free time doing something miserable like that." all come to mind.

For those people out there all I can say is - They just don't get it. Chances are that I can't even explain things in a way that they will ever get it.

If you came to this website and are reading these words you are one of the few people that do get it. This Axiom is for you.

Knowledge is power. The more useful skills you learn in life the more likely you are to become successful, make more money, be happy, and move up in the world. Simple as that.

The people that "don't get it" see the simple equation of school = learning. The truth is that many people go through the education system and learn almost nothing of value. The people that get it have valuable knowledge that they have acquired from numerous sources often outside of school.

Don't fall into the mindset that free knowledge is of less value than the knowledge gained from a formal education. Outside of a few professional degrees (doctor, lawyer, etc.) it is possible to learn a trade and become employed without any formal schooling - although this process could be much harder without formal schooling. For example, you could study graphic design at home and work as a freelance artist. Ultimately, the quality of your work and success will depend on your knowledge and experience - not the school you went to.

I am constantly trying to learn new things, whether it be taking free classes on Coursera, reading new books every week, watching documentaries, travelling, language learning, and so on. It is because of my constant pursuit of knowledge that I have yet to hit a plateau in my success, and doubt I ever will.    

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Axiom 59: Advice for My 18 Year Old Self

"A comfortable old age is the reward of a well-spent youth." -Maurice Chevalier

"Good plans shape good decisions. That's why good planning helps to make elusive dreams come true." -Unknown

I graduated high school so long ago in 1998. While it seems like just yesterday the reality is the years have quickly flown by. I often wonder what I would tell myself and my graduating high school class if I could go back and speak at my graduation. 

While all of my previous axioms to date could possibly be molded into good advice for young people there are a few things I haven't covered yet that are of particular value to young adults just starting out in the world:
  1. Write Down Your Goals. Write down your goals and read them everyday. This will help you from wondering aimlessly through life without a purpose.
  2. Time Flies. Don't put off your goals, not even for a day. Even if you just spend a few minutes each day working towards a goal you're moving in the right direction. Don't wake up at age 40 with regrets of wasted time.
  3. Don't Burn Bridges. No matter how bad things are take the high road. Burning bridges will always come back to haunt you.
  4. Know Your Strengths. Before you drift to far in life without a purpose consider taking a personality test (DISC) or a career aptitude test (AIMS).
  5. Keep an Open Mind. Be open to learning new skills. Be open to hearing all sides of an argument.
  6. Travel. Traveling while you are young expands your mind and helps you grow as a person.
  7. Listen Closely to Those Who are Successful. Take note of the people that are doing things right and emulate them.
  8. Learn Financial Responsibility. Learn to manage your money or you will be broke no matter how much money you make later in life.
  9. You Learn More When Things are Hard. Life is hard sometimes. Think of the hard times as learning opportunities rather than set backs.
  10. Success is a Long Road. You won't become a CEO or manager overnight. It takes years to learn a trade a become successful. Practice patience in your journey.
These things will make more sense the older you become. If you are a young person reading this list I wish you the best. Sometimes there are short term setbacks and gains that make life seem like a game of chutes and ladders. However, you must ignore these and play the game of life with the long term goal in mind. Follow the advice above and the odds of good fortune will be on your side. 

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Fort Worth Food Insider (Burgers) - Rodeo Goat

I've traveled around this great county and eaten at many of the famous local restaurants. Now I think its time that I should turn my attention back to my hometown - Fort Worth, Texas. I'm writing a new series of blog posts called the, "Fort Worth Food Insider." Whether your a tourist visiting the area, or a longtime local looking for the best food Fort Worth has to offer, you've come to the right place. I'm going to share with you my local Fort Worth favorites that aren't getting the attention that they deserve.

Today I am going to cover Fort Worth's Best Burger

If you were a tourist visiting Fort Worth and you asked a local, "Hey, where's the best burger in town?" chances are they would point you to Kincaid's Hamburgers (4901 Camp Bowie Blvd, Fort Worth, TX 76107). Kincaid's is a great place to have a quality burger for lunch in a spot that has been serving burgers since 1964.

However, if you were a tourist and asked me, "Shawn, where's the best burger in town?" I would answer without hesitation Rodeo Goat (2836 Bledsoe St, Fort Worth, TX 76107).

Rodeo Goat is a newcomer to the Fort Worth burger scene. It is just now getting the recognition it deserves after winning's Best Burger in DFW. Rodeo Goat is located in the new, hip and trendy 7th Street corridor just west of downtown. This place is a good lunch or dinner spot that always has a crowd. Expect to circle the block a few times in order to finally find a parking spot.

Although the place is packed with locals, this is a great spot for people visiting Fort Worth. The restaurant has a distinctly modern Texas country feel to it. The decor, music, and local draught beers all add up to a uniquely Fort Worth experience.

This isn't a boring burger place. You won't find anyone eating a regular cheeseburger here. All the burgers here are truly one-of-a-kind. My personal favorite is the Caca Oaxaca (beef and chorizo, avocado, pico de gallo, fried egg, queso fresco, and tabasco mayo).

The picture doesn't do this burger justice. It is the best burger I have ever had (either the Caca Oaxaca, or Sugar Burger) and that is saying a lot.

The fries or goat chips (homemade potato chips) are excellent as well. It really is hard to go wrong in this truly original Texas burger place. If you have a chance it is definitely worth a stop.

One final word of advice: If you go there with someone else and you can't decide what to order consider ordering different burgers and having them cut in half. That way you can share and try a couple of these amazing burgers.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Axiom 58: You're Only as Successful as Your Significant Other

"Selecting the right person for the right job is the largest part of coaching." -Phil Crosby

"Marry the right person. This one decision will determine 90% of your happiness or misery." -H. Jackson Brown Jr.

In Axiom 18: Birds of a Feather... I talked about the influence friends and family have on your success in life. If this Axiom I want to talk about the importance of choosing the right significant other.

One of the single most important decisions that you will ever make in life is who to marry. It is a decision that shouldn't come lightly because it will have the single greatest affect on your future happiness and success.

Look around at the marriages of the people you know. The happy people have happy marriages. They support each other. They build each other up. They help each other become a better person. The synergy of their relationship makes them more successful than if they were single.

Now look at the people that are unhappy in marriage. Their goals are different in life. They argue all the time. Their unhappiness permeates all other aspects of their life. It makes them more miserable at work. It ruins their relationships with their friends. It can cause depression, substance abuse, and health problems. Their chance of successes in life is low.

If you're with the wrong person then it doesn't matter. 

Here are just a few of the ways that a dysfunctional relationship will destroy your success: 
  • If you're excellent at managing your money your significant other will just piss it all away. 
  • If you have a specific talent then your significant other will exploit it or muffle it. 
  • If you have a great network of people then your significant other will destroy it with their jealousy.
  • If you have big goals and aspirations in life then your significant other will crush them and replace them with small minded goals.
  • If you are responsible and cautious in planning your road to success then your significant other will continually set you back with their reckless actions.
  • If you are working on becoming a becoming a better person then your significant other destroys your progress because they do not respect your time to work on things.
 All the other Axioms mean nothing if you fail at this one...

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Fort Worth Food Insider (BBQ) - Smokeys Barbeque

Now that I've traveled around this great county and eaten at many famous restaurants I think its time that I should turn my attention back to my hometown - Fort Worth, Texas. I'm writing a new series of blog posts called the, "Fort Worth Food Insider." No matter if you're a tourist visiting the area or a longtime local looking for the best food Fort Worth has to offer you've come to the right place. I'm going to share with you my local Fort Worth favorites that aren't getting the attention that they deserve.

Today I am going to cover Fort Worth's Best BBQ...

If you were a tourist visiting Fort Worth and you asked a local, "Hey, where's the best BBQ in town?" chances are they would point you to Angelo's Bar-B-Que (2533 White Settlement Rd, Fort Worth, TX 76107). Angelo's is a great place to grab a great dinner with locals and drink a few schooners of beer in a place that has been a local legend for over 50 years.

However, if you were a tourist and asked me, "Shawn, where's the best BBQ in town?" I would answer without hesitation Smokeys Barbeque (5300 East Lancaster Avenue, Fort Worth, TX 76112).

Smokeys is a great place to have lunch at the best BBQ joint in Fort Worth. Although for tourists I would not recommend having dinner there too late since the neighborhood is a little questionable. (That being said Smokeys is right by the local police station and is a favorite lunch spot for local cops.)

Let me note that BBQ in North Texas is usually not taken quite as seriously as it is down south in the hill country of Texas. However, this is NOT the case at Smokeys. They take a lot of pride and care into their food that most other Fort Worth BBQ restaurants do not. My first time into Smokeys I was wearing a Black's BBQ shirt - bad move! I was quickly harassed by the staff and forced to wear a Smokeys shirt while I was in there. 

The food is absolutely incredible. Their ribs are hands down the best in Fort Worth. The brisket is well flavored and doesn't really need sauce. The sausage is spicy and juicy. Best of all is you can get a combo plate to try all their fantastic meats in one meal.

Great care has been put into the side dishes. You can always tell a good restaurant from a great restaurant from how the side dishes taste. They chop up brisket in put in into their beans. This makes a huge difference in taste and Franklin BBQ in Austin (Rated #1 in Texas Monthly) is the only other place I know of that does this.

My favorite are the buns that come with the meal. They spread on a generous amount of butter and then toast them to perfection. By the way, don't forget to finish it all off with a piece of their homemade buttermilk pie.

So if you truly want to eat the best BBQ in Fort Worth then you'll have to venture off the beaten trail to East Fort Worth to visit Smokeys. You won't regret it, and chances are you'll run into me eating there.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Cincinnati Chili: Skyline versus Gold Star

Cincinnati Chili is a regional food delicacy that is almost completely unknown outside of Southern Ohio. It consists of thin greek-style chili that is served over spaghetti noodles or hot dogs. The spaghetti version is called 'ways'. I asked around and most people there get 3-way or 4-way. (You can look at the menus below for a breakdown).

There are two fast food chains in the Cincinnati area that specialize in this local food favorite: Gold Star Chili and Skyline Chili. I went to both to find out which one is better.

First up was Gold Star:

I ordered a cheese coney and a regular 3-way:

I thought both were delicious and quickly cleaned my plate. Their chili had a sweet taste to it that blended well with everything. I was expecting everything to taste really greasy and I was pleasantly surprised it did not. Gold Star was a winner. The only thing left was to hit up Skyline the next night and see how it compared.

I ordered the same combo as before - a cheese coney and a regular 3-way:

The place was packed so I had high hopes, but I was disappointed. I did not like the taste of their chili. It was not sweet like Gold Star's was. I didn't finish my food and would not eat there again.

That being said it seemed like most locals prefer Skyline. Their restaurants seemed more packed and they have more locations around town.

Maybe I'm the odd man out, but for me, Gold Star has the best Cincinnati chili. It's not something I'll probably be craving now that I'm back home, but I'll definitely be stopping by Gold Star next time I'm in Cincy.