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I Love Visiting Houston

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Dinner at Captain Benny's. Briny, cold oysters on the half shell to start our dinner. An amazing price at $5.99 for a dozen on ice. I ordered a whole fried catfish which was fried to perfection. The dinner order came with french fries, cole slaw and 2 hushpuppies. It was a great deal at $9.99 and there was more than half leftover to take to enjoy later on.

Dim sum at Golden Palace. We had an order of chow mein, bean curd rolls, siu mai, shrimp dumplings, fried meat dumplings, taro dumplings, char siu buns, sweet rice wrapped in lotus leaf, beef noodle rolls and spareribs. A satisfying meal with the highlights being the chow mein, the bean curd rolls and the sweet rice with chicken.

Dinner tonight was at Aloha Grill. I ordered the BBQ mix plate which included chicken teriyaki, teriyaki beef and korean short ribs, rice and aloha salad and papaya salad. While I thought the chicken was cooked past my liking, the teriyaki beef was tender. The standouts were the papaya salad and the korean short ribs. DH and the chow pup ordered the Aloha platters which offered a choice of two entree items from a fairly decent list of options. Both were happy with their dinners.

Happy so far with my visit in Houston.

Dimsumgirl

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Golden Palace Restaurant
8520 Bellaire Blvd, Houston, TX 77036

Aloha Grill
11805 Westheimer Rd Ste 305, Houston, TX 77077

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  1. And Houston, (and Lexington) welcomes you and the family, DSG.

    Can't wait for your take.

    Doobster

    1. Here's the link to Captain Benny's:

      http://www.captbennys.com/index-1.html

      we went to the one on 8253 Gulf Fwy, Houston, TX 77017-4503

      If I had to name a downside, I would have to say the one disappoiintment is being served my wine in a beer stine. Minor issue and it did not detract from the overall meal.

      1. Today's adventure was a visit to Snow's in Lexington.

        Thanks to Cynsa for recommending this side trip. I had forgotten that Doobie Wah had written about Lexington in his thread. The stars aligned and we were able to follow the alpha hound to Lexington where we were able to pick up some food to taste.

        Mr. DSG and I shared a couple of ribs and a few slices of brisket. My first bite into the rib was an OMG moment. With the second bite, I thought to myself that I had messed up the sequence. The DSG method is always to save the best for last and now that I had launched into the delicious rib, I had run afoul of the method. Too late, I said to self, so I forged ahead and finished every morsel of the rib.

        Turning to the brisket meat, I found out I had not derailed the DSG process after all. The brisket was even better than the rib! It was tender, juicy, flavorful and beyond expectation. No wonder this had been given the honor of best BBQ in Texas!

        We walked around the premises and poked around a bit and watched the meat coming off of the smokers. Doobie recommended that we pick up some brisket, sausage and chicken. I was reluctant about the chicken since barbecued chicken was almost always dry. The exception is the chicken barbecued by Mr. DSG but that's another kind of barbecue altogether. Doobs tore a piece of chicken off of his order and handed it to me. It was juicy, moist, tender and came with a crisp flavorful skin. Heavenly!

        Following the Doobs' lead we picked up our order and happily headed back to Houston to share our goods with our hosts and extended family. We brought back brisket, sausages and chicken. The food met with great approval from all who tried it. We had one person who refused to partake, insisting that his BBQ was the best in the land.

        This was a most memorable experience and I am so glad that Doobs was willing to show us the ropes. Thanks also to fellow hound Cynsa who encouraged me to pursue Snow's. As a reminder to those who have not been to Snows before, it is only open on Saturday mornings and they sell until they run out of meat. I think we might have gotten the last of the chickens.

        3 Replies
        1. re: dimsumgirl

          As noted above, I had the distinct pleasure of enjoying yesterday morning in the company of Mr. and Ms. DSG en route to and from Snow's. We couldn't have asked for nicer conditions, and only had we been a month earlier with the wildflowers in full bloom could the morning have been improved upon.

          Leaving my house at 7am, we arrived at Snow's at roughly 8:45 to find...NO LINE. Nada. I had never seen that before. I can only assume, (in that the line was ten deep by the time WE got through it), that they saw us coming and just got out of the way! In any case, we already had a large order awaiting us out back, so we each obtained a small nosh as DSG describes above.

          As I have admitted elsewhere, I am hardly an unbiased observer so I will let DSG's review stand on it's own, but I will add that Ms. Tootsie and Mr. Snowman and the rest of the Snow's crew did not disappoint.

          So let me finish with three thoughts:

          First, to my new friends from elsewhere, "I eagerly await our next foraging foray. Just say When".

          Second, to my old friends back home, "Thanks for making me look good. Once again, I get to bask in YOUR glory".

          And finally, "Love you all".

          DW

          1. re: DoobieWah

            Doobie Wah:
            You forgot to mention that Ms. Tootsie, Mr. Snowman and the staff remember you from your childhood days. It was such fun to share that excursion with you! Not sure what the rest of the week holds other than a Thanksgiving dinner with 60 extended family members. We'll be in touch! Thanks again.

            1. re: DoobieWah

              That's quite a stroke of fortune that you showed up at 8:45 with no line! When I was there in 2009, I got there around 7:45 and the line was already 20+ deep.

              I love that feeling of the first bite into exceptional brisket such as the one served at Snow's. Happy to hear the trip is going well.

          2. Today, we went to work out at the fitness center. The great eating vacation in Houston has already yielded three additional pounds in three days. If this keeps up, we'll have gained enough for 15 more pounds of dim sum by the end of the trip!

            It's ham hocks and collard greens cooking on the stove to torture me here at the house.

            We were invited out to lunch and ate at Sinh Sinh. It's been a long time since I've had congee so I ordered seafood congee while everyone else ordered won ton and noodle soups. I got a sample of the won tons, plump, savory and the broth was well seasoned. We ordered a side order of roast duck and beef stew cooked in a clay pot. A meal that made me put off my resolution to slow down on my consumption with the rationalization that the trip to the gym would result in a net gain of zero. Added to that, a resolution to hit the gym again tomorrow so I can enjoy the greens that are on the stove. Another great eating day in Houston.

            Sinh Sinh
            9788 Bellaire

            1. Lunch in Clear Lake area today was at Mom Alone's. An odd name but it was reasonably good Tex-Mex food. They brought out these thin tortilla chips right away and a red salsa, a tomatillo salsa and some queso for dipping. I had the beef taco and cheese enchilada combination lunch plate. Chow pups had the fajitas and loved them. Good service and reasonable prices. I wouldn't travel across town for their food but if I found myself in the area again, I would eat there.

              11 Replies
              1. re: dimsumgirl

                I've heard mixed reviews about that place so I haven't tried it yet.

                1. re: texasredtop

                  Depends on where you are and what you are used to in the way of Mexican food. I haven't had Mexican here in Texas before. I'm from California and I'm not sure this place could make it in California. But the thin chips and the queso and salsas were good. The girls seemed to enjoy the fajitas. When they ran out of tortillas, the waiter brought us a few more but charged us an extra $1.25 for them. That alone would probably ensure that they would not make it in California.

                  However, I didn't know what to expect for Mexican in Houston. I have my list of places closer to downtown but since we were far south, I was hoping we wouldn't end up at a chain restaurant and this place was a pleasant surprise.

                  1. re: dimsumgirl

                    You lucked out because there are so so so many Mexican food places in Houston and I'd say I'd only eat at about 25-30% of them at the most. I've never paid more for extra tortillas anywhere so that's odd. I love hand made tortillas. The machine made or the already prepared kind will pass but barely. We have real Mexican food and Tex-Mex food here. I would imagine California has a more healthy Mexican cuisine than we do. Ours is sure to block an artery or two with every meal.

                    I don't live to far from Clear Lake, maybe 15-20 minutes so it's somewhere I could try easily. We are in the Clear Lake area about twice a month for one thing or another.

                    Thin chips are the only ones I'll eat. When they are fresh and warm, oh yum.

                    1. re: texasredtop

                      I agree on the thin chips!

                      1. re: Lambowner

                        There is a brand of store bought chips that are very thin and good. They are the ones I buy when I make my own salsa. Tia Rosa Mega Thins. Walmart has started carrying them. They are in a brown bag but be sure and read the label because there is another brand that isn't good that is also in a brown bag.

                        1. re: texasredtop

                          I love thin tortilla chips! But I have never seen this brand of tortilla chips in California. I'll be on the lookout. Thanks for the tip.

                          1. re: dimsumgirl

                            Tia Rosa is local. It's owned by Mrs. Baird's. They also have fairly decent tortillas but the mega thin chips are really good.

                            1. re: texasredtop

                              We get the Tia Rosa tortillas in California but the chips have not made it out west. Too bad. I would love to be able to buy them. If I have time, I'll have to find some to try before we leave.

                              1. re: dimsumgirl

                                I'm surprised you get the Tia Rosa tortillas out there. The chips have been around about 5 years now. They beat everything else on the shelf by a mile. I hope you find some. For the first 2-3 years, they were only at HEB but now they are almost everywhere here.

                2. re: dimsumgirl

                  I didn't care for Mom Alone's. The owner supposedly worked at Mamacita's before. I heard it was better than Mamacita's. My GF and I didn't care for it. Mamacita's is one of my favorite places for beef fajitas. Excellent flavor. I love their green salsa also.

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                  Mamacitas Restaurant
                  515 E Nasa Rd 1, Webster, TX 77598

                  1. re: TexasJeep

                    For what it's worth, Mamacitas is our favorite place for fajitas and I go to Mom Alone's for carnitas. To me most restaurants in the Clear Lake area or item specific. I have yet to find a restaurant in CL that I love most things on the menu

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                    Mamacitas Restaurant
                    515 E Nasa Rd 1, Webster, TX 77598

                3. Today's foray into the Houston food scene was a lunch visit to Kenny and Ziggy's as suggested by alpha hound Doobie Wah. As Mr. DSG said, Doobie Wah is now two for two. The chow pups enjoyed Corned beef and pastrami sandwiches. The youngest chow pup split a pastrami sandwich with me. Mr. DSG ordered the Cloak and Dagwood, a sandwich that featured three slices of bread, pastrami, swiss cheese and knockwurst. We loved our sandwiches and had the pleasure of Doobie Wah's company. If you haven't tried Kenny and Ziggy's, you must get there. The vast menu includes breakfast items, burgers, sandwiches, platters dinners, salads and a variety of Jewish items.

                  Kenny and Ziggy's
                  2327 Post Oak Blvd.
                  Houston, TX
                  (713) 871-8883

                  1. On your req, DSG, we went to Benny's on Main St. Cute little boat shaped resto w/oyster shells scattered around the walkway. Small place w/maybe 5 booths, some window hightop deuces & the rest of us sitting around the U-shaped bar filled & refilled w/locals. Warmly greeted by several staff, who couldn't have been more friendly & accomodating to everyone. Started w/6 fresh-shucked oysters right in front of me($5.49) & proceeded to the broiled platter of shrimp, scallops & catfish w/sides of roasted green peppers, rice & cole slaw($13.99). Oysters were chilled & briny - SIL couldn't believe how fast I made them disappear. Broiled seafood was done just right & not overcooked - moist & flavorful. Most other folks had platters piled high w/fried items which I would have ordered, but bro' & SIL into healthier diet, so stuck w/broiled. Managed to get them to Bistro Le Cep over Columbus Day. SIL commented that this was not the kind of rich food they would choose for themselves - meanwhile I'd ordered escargot, foie gras & rabbit in a rich sauce... Back again in December looking forward to trying more new places.

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                    Bistro Le Cep
                    11112 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77042

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Taralli

                      Glad you had a good experience Taralli! Houston is a great food city. We are lucky to be here.

                    2. More good eats in Chinatown area: A return meal at Sinh Sinh with Doobie Wah and friend for more good won ton, noodles and rice plates. Also, a trip to ECK Custard King with my uncle for superb egg custards. Light, flaky pastry with a custard filling that was silky and just the right amount of sweetness. ECK at the Southwest corner of Bellaire and Wllcrest. If I had more time, it would have been worth doing a side by side tasting with the custard tarts from the Hong Kong Market-- I'll leave that taste test to be done by another hound. Also enjoyed steamed, boiled and fried dumblings and noodles with my cousins at Dumpling King in the strip mall at 9715 Bellaire.

                      Delicious seafood dinner at Pappadeaux on the South Loop near Reliant Stadium. We had excellent oysters on the half shell to start off our meal. My cousin and I split an order of the Pontchartrain grilled fish. It was a pan baked fish fillet that was topped with shrimp and crab and a brown wine sauce that complimented the fish nicely and served with dirty rice. A half an order was an ample amount. I enjoyed my meal there and would happily return to Pappadeaux.

                      1. Today we ventured out to Lockhart for BBQ. Wanted to hit Luling too but many of the places that were on my agenda were closed. Met my cousin and her friend for BBQ sampling this morning. She brought Round Rock doughnuts that were still warm!! As odd as it may sound, the combination of sweet, warm doughnuts from Round Rock was the perfect match for the savoriness of the barbecue!

                        Entering Smitty's we could smell and see the smoke. This was a good sign! At Smitty's, we tried brisket, pork ribs, pork chop and sausage. The brisket was tender and moist. The pork ribs were excellent. The pork chop was a thick chop and moist. I think the sausage was my least favorite of the items we sampled here.

                        We left Smittys feeling full and satisfied but my cousin convinced me that we had to make the most of our visit by checking out other places.

                        We drove over to Kreuz's even though we knew they were closed. We looked around the huge facility. Peering in through the window, I gathered that they must have been in a hurry to close up the day before. Most of the tables were cleared but there was one long table that still had dirty napkins, empty bottles and a stack of leftover butcher paper and remnants of barbecue food. I wondered what the story behind the table scraps was.

                        From there, we went on to Black's. We sampled the brisket and the sausage. The brisket had a pink ring that we did not see on the brisket at Smitty's but I thought the meat at Smitty's had more flavor and was more moist. I was also disappointed in the sausage at Black's. The sausage at both places fell apart when I tried to cut into the link.

                        It was probably unfair that I went to Snow's first so that the standard was already very high. If I were to buy anything, I would have bought the ribs from Smitty's-- they were quite good but Mr. DSG does a great barbecued rib at home.

                        I would have to say the highlight of the morning was the Round Rock doughnuts. That plus the company and the opportunity to share chow made the trip out to Lockhart worth the drive from Houston this morning. Another great experience added to why I love visiting Houston!

                        1. Neglected to mention that Houston has some great markets. Enjoyed browsing at Welcome Market for asian groceries. Very nice greens and there is a seafood market within the store. Thanks to Doobie's post we found Phoenicia Market. Also had a nice although short and crowded (day before Thanksgiving) visit to Central Market. Enjoyed the variety that could be had at Fiesta Market, too. Picked up some Chappel Hill sausage at EBH (Is that the name of it?) store to bring back home and I've got my Kroger's card ready for our next visit to Houston!

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: dimsumgirl

                            Great report. So glad you enjoyed some of my favorite food related places in and around Houston.