A few weeks ago, I woke up to an email inviting me to drive the Toyota of my choice for a week, taking the vehicle on a road trip for a dinner I wouldn’t forget.  I couldn’t confirm my interest fast enough.  A new car and dinner? Yes, please.

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I chose to drive the 2017 Toyota Prius, specifically after seeing how this hybrid performed on mileage.  You can’t beat 54 mpg, and it was a great opportunity to see just what was behind the wheel.

As for dinner?  Toyota invited us to the home of Matt Pittman who you may recognize from TLC’s “BBQ Pitmasters” and the owner of Meat Church.  There, we would get a few grilling lessons and enjoy a steak dinner.  But first? We were to drive the vehicle to Rudolph’s Meat Market in the heart of Deep Ellum to pick out our own cut of meat and get a quick lesson on butchering a quarter cow.

Toyota Meat Church  At Rudolph’s we were given the choice of a 6 week-aged ribeye or a filet.  I chose the ribeye while my son chose the filet.  It was interesting to see how quickly the quarter can be cut up, and more interesting to see the beef hanging in the coolers to age.  It was definitely an experience we won’t forget!

Toyota Meat Church

We soon drove to Waxahachie, Texas, to the home of Matt Pittman and his amazing outdoor kitchen.  (Yes, amazing! Imagine a giant smoker, 3 Green Eggs, a custom built grill and every other grill you can think of.)  Matt is ready for whatever the day brings, and can cook a steak in more ways than one.



The steaks were seasoned, then prepared just as we requested.  While waiting, Matt Pittman showed us three different methods to cook a steak: reverse sear method, traditional and sous vide (cooking the meat in a water bath.)  My favorite steak was cooked as a Reverse Sear, which is the way my husband likes to cook steak at home.  (See how to reverse sear a steak on Meat Church’s website.)



The outdoor kitchen smelled incredible and of course, each of the 18 steaks looked like something you’d see on tv.  Accompany that with grilled asparagus and a baked potato?  My mouth is drooling just thinking about how good dinner was.  There’s a reason he is THE Pittmaster.


You can visit with Matt Pittman at the upcoming Smoked event in downtown Dallas on September 23, or read his top tips:

Tips for grilling the perfect steak

– Buy USDA Choice Cuts.  Rudolph’s Meat Market has a great selection, but the pitmaster said he gets most of his meat from Costco.

– A good seasoning and reverse sear.

– Invest in a digital thermometer.  You don’t want to overcook your steak, and feeling it isn’t 100% accurate.  You can never go wrong with an internal reading.


Shall I get back to the Toyota? I’ll start with the slogan: “Let’s imagine the new possible.”  Described as the most advanced hybrid, the Toyota Prius Prime surely lives up to the name.

The all-new Prius Prime is the most efficient car in its class.  It has an EPA-estimated 133 MPGe and cutting-edge, lightweight materials to enhance performance while maximizing—and redefining—efficiency.


The mileage was enough to pull me in, but the technology is definitely worth noting, too. The available 11.6-in. HD multimedia display is as big as your imagination, with an intuitive feel. (Yes, that says 11 inches!)  Comfort and convenience are a priority inside Prius Prime, with seats that help support you in almost any adventure. It’s a welcoming space that invites more possibilities.


I loved being able to see how the car can switch from EV mode to Hybrid with just one button and no noticeable difference.


As for safety?  I installed a car seat faster than ever.  The LATCH system anchors are visible, meaning I didn’t have to search long to make sure the car seat was locked in place.  This also meant it was easy to uninstall, too.

While this might not be your ideal “family vehicle” (being it seats only 4 passengers), it would be great for a second vehicle, a college student or a family with one child.  Anyone can appreciate the heated seats, backup camera, power driver seat and low window on the hatchback.


For more information on the 2017 Toyota Prius Prime, visit Toyota.com



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