The Spice is RightMay 29, 2021 ● By Carolyn Cameron
Whether you’re craving authentic Indian favorites or a creative fusion of Tex-Mex, Asian and Middle Eastern cuisines, newcomer Windmills will definitely fill the bill. Windmills is among the latest arrivals at Grandscape in The Colony. Nestled on the complex’s eastern border, between Plano Parkway and Spring Creek Parkway, Windmills presents a quadruple punch of fun as an eatery, microbrewery and live-music venue that also boasts an extensive library of books.
One can imagine how I jumped at the chance to dine at Windmills and take in all that it has to offer. At more than 14,000 square feet – including an amazing outdoor patio overlooking the water – Windmills is the first U.S. location by entrepreneurs Kamal Sagar and Ajar Nagarajan and their company Total Environment, which was established in Bangalore, India. Open since December 2020, Windmills creates a space with an intellectual feel that is designed for all age groups, including
families and singles, where one can soak up great soul-stirring live music, craft beer and interesting food. There is also an extensive collection of books for patrons who like to indulge in light reading while enjoying a beer.
When we arrived at the parking lot, I immediately noticed the architecturally impressive two-story building with its copper-colored fermentation tanks peeking out from the second-floor windows. As we entered the striking building, we took in the uber-cool entrance that features a warm-yet-ultra-modern welcome desk, wood-lined walls, marble floors and curved, contemporary chairs. We turned the corner and noted the grandness of the dining room as rich hardwood floors, a lighted bar and comfortable booths greeted us. A large stage is positioned on the far right of the room, boasting an enormous speaker setup that played ‘70s classics with phenomenal sound quality. A large staircase is also visible, showcasing an awe-inspiring brewery, while the covered patio, which overlooks a small water area, offers plenty of outdoor tables. The entire space boasts comfortable seating, creating a spacious-yet-intimate feel that is homey and welcoming.
We sat at our table enjoying the beautiful view. Immediately our server, Chloe, ventured over. After welcoming us, she asked what we’d like to drink, and I inquired about the brewery upstairs. She explained Windmills’ concept of sourcing the best hops, grains and malts for every pint of beer, as well as offering 14 house brews on tap and selections such as a Russian Imperial stout, a coffee brown ale, a hoppy Amber Ale and an apricot tart sour. She mentioned that tours of the brewery are offered, but everyone is welcome to walk around and “take a look.” Windmills also serves a plethora of interesting cocktails, including the Leadbelly Margarita, Bluebonnet and Smoking Barrel, to name just a few.
We considered the full range of appetizers, asking our server what she recommended and about the most popular requests. Chloe mentioned the variety of the menu, particularly noting the mix of traditional Indian fare paired with a good selection of Tex-Mex choices. After some consideration, we decided on the Texas Twinkies and the Cheese Curds Pakora along with some glasses of fresh lemonade. She noted our choices and went to the kitchen to place the order. When she returned with our drinks and appetizers, we could hardly wait to dig in. The lemonade wasn’t too tart or too sweet – it was just right in its flavoring. As one would expect, the fresh white cheddar curds were incredibly cheesy as they melted on our tongues. Served on a bed of sliced purple cabbage, the pairing of the soft cheese and crunchy cabbage created a pleasant juxtaposition. When bathed in the mint-yogurt dipping sauce, the delicious starter created an explosion of flavor in our mouths. This appetizer was demolished in no time.
We then turned our attention to our second appetizer, the Texas Twinkies, which elicited excited reactions upon arriving at our table. The three smoked jalapeños were large in size, fully filling the plate. Stuffed with cream cheese, Gouda and pulled pork, each considerable Twinkie was wrapped with applewood bacon and drizzled with a hot honey glaze. We each took one and dug into the deliciousness. The smoky flavor of the bacon combined with the jalapeno and cheese filling created a tasty bouquet of flavor, while building a slow burn that didn’t overpower the senses. Served atop a bed of barbecued black-eyed peas, the medley of flavors was absolutely delicious.
As we enjoyed the lovely surroundings, we decided on our entrees. I chose the Lemon-Cumin Shrimp Kababs while my son went with the Wagyu Burger with fries. My husband selected the Pozole Verde, a hearty soup. Chloe confirmed our entrees and strolled back to the kitchen to deliver the order.
We sipped our beverages and chatted away, enjoying the tranquil, peaceful environment. It was then that I noticed the expansive selection of books available for perusal. Before I could venture over to review the various choices, our food arrived.
The lemon-cumin-crusted shrimp on the Kabab was extremely fresh, perfectly seasoned and robust. The combination of garlic, cilantro, lemon zest and turmeric with the juicy shrimp hit the spot. Paired with a green mango-mint chutney sauce, the Kabab was both filling and fulfilling.
My son’s Wagyu Burger was substantial. Resting on a slightly toasted brioche bun slathered with creamy butter, the juicy Wagyu beef was cooked
medium-well and seasoned perfectly. Served with aged white cheese and confit onions, the earthy burger was accompanied by rosemary-garlic French fries that were crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. This meal was quite hearty and more than ample.
The Pozole Verde combined braised pork shoulder, tomatillos, onions, poblano and serrano peppers in an interesting stew. Topped with radishes, avocado and cilantro and seasoned with a strong combination of spices, it definitely favored traditional Indian fare. The blend of textures and flavors was distinctive and intriguing. While not one of our favorites, it was satisfying, nonetheless.
Oohing and aahing over the dessert menu, we debated the final choice for our evening’s meal. While the Coconut Tres Leches Cake and Salted Caramel Pie looked mighty tempting, the Texas Mousse Cake piqued our interest the most. It did not disappoint. The blend of buttermilk chocolate cake with a dark chocolate mousse and chocolate mirror glaze created a dark-yet-dreamy, magical taste that was to die for. The side of velvety raspberry sorbet was exceptionally creamy and tangy.
Throughout our meal, we commented on the energetic atmosphere, with fun beats playing in the background, and beautiful views. You’ll not want to miss all that dining at Windmills has to offer. Open from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday, and 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and 5-11 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, Windmills not only marries delicious food and drinks options, it also provides a place to soak in an eclectic live-music scene along with thousands of books in a comfortable atmosphere. It is truly a unique and special place, whether visiting for the first time or the hundredth. This writer plans to make a return visit in the near future.
Frisco STYLE Magazine dining reviews are not scheduled with or paid for by the featured restaurant. All reviews are completed for the purpose of helping readers learn about and enjoy local dining options.