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Where and What Did You Eat?

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Due to a dearth of posts on this board, I'm asking:

So yesterday, where and what did you eat?

...and as a nod to the mods, in order to keep this Houston specific, I'm mostly interested in "Where".

Me?

I don't do breakfast.

Lunch: Kasra Persian Grill - Kubideh Combo with Grilled Veggies in lieu of the blackened tomatoes. (One of my favorite meals.)

Dinner: Home - Green Salad, Ham Steaks, Rigatoni & Cheese, Ranch Style Beans, (one of the few things I would have to have shipped to me if I ever moved out of state).

You?

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  1. Ended up for lunch today at Blue Fish on Washington. 2 for 1 sushi at lunch. Very tasty. There is a well known talk show/former city council on the radio here who constantly says he thinks people "fake" a love of sushi, because no one really likes sushi. Clueless.

    1. As DoobieWah requested, we'd appreciate it if people focused on eats that are available in Houston.

      4 Replies
      1. re: The Chowhound Team

        Sorry Team. Thinking pizza today. Maybe Dolce Vita, my favorite pizza in Houston.

        1. re: Lambowner

          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/864208

          I posted a long response to you and it's gone but here is the link to my review on the NOLA board. We'll be there in about 4 weeks :-)

          1. re: texasredtop

            thanks, it moved to the NOLA board here:

            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/877103

        2. re: The Chowhound Team

          Oops, sorry, didn't read this until after I spent a long time responding to Lambowner's request.

        3. Yesterday:

          Lunch: Union Kitchen - Buffalo Chicken Wrap, (Not my favorite, but comes with those homemade potato chips).

          Dinner: Home - Two Alamo Tamales from the freezer and about an ounce of Aged Mild Cheddar. And too much Halloween candy.

          1. Today I ended up at Piola and had that Roka Cabana chopped salad we discussed here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/854921 Good lord it was good. We shared one between two people, but it could easily be shared among 4 for a starter salad. Layered tower of arugula, mozzarella fior di latte, diced tomatoes, diced yellow bell peppers, pistachio nuts, pomegranate dressing. The texture (pistachios!!) and flavors were terrific and I know I'll go back for that. And a ham/mushroom/artichoke pizza that was very very good. I know that Pizaro is getting all the love lately, but I do think both Dolce Vita and Piola make a better pie. It'll be more black bean soup tonight. And candy. Did everyone buy the Costco 90 ounce chocolate minis? At $13.99 it was hard to pass up. We gave almost all of it away.

            1. Tuesday lunch was 10 pork dumplings with spicy sauce from Doozo in the Houston Center. Many people seem to love this place, although this was only the second time I've been (not close to my usual routes). I'm not a dumpling connoisseur by any means, but they are pretty tasty IMO. I think the options are pork, chicken, veggie, or combo and 5 or 10 pieces, plus mild, spicy, or very spicy soy dipping sauce. Cash only and have it out and ready, because they want you to move fast! (They apparently did start taking cards recently. I'm not very good at carrying cash, and both times I've been, I went with a friend, and they insisted on buying me lunch so that I wouldn't use my card.)

              Wednesday lunch was a small vegetarian red beans & rice with cheese & green onions from Treebeards. I've mentioned it before on here, but that's my go-to lunch when I haven't brought anything from home and need something quick and relatively healthy. Less than $3!

              Today I ended up meeting a friend at Les Givrals on Washington. I normally get the bun thit nuong, but today went for the bun with chicken. Good, although I like the pork better. I've also started getting the banh mi with barbecued pork and pate sometimes when I go there, which is delicious and also ridiculously inexpensive! I know there are better Vietnamese places out there (e.g., Huynh), but I end up at Les Givrals a lot because there's lots of parking, it's relatively inexpensive, and pretty easy to get a table even at peak times.

              This is actually more lunches out than I normally like to do in a week (for health and cost reasons), but still enjoyed them all!

              1. Oh, and dinner last night was at Plonk and a bit of a blowout ... we split a cheese plate with garottxa with membrillo and a semi-soft cow's milk cheese from Lombardy, I think ... the name escapes me. Also baked triple creme brie with honey and a head of roasted garlic with focaccia. Plus a hanger steak with agrodolce, grits, and roasted cauliflower. Ordered it medium rare and it came out nearly black and blue ... but we don't mind rare so ate it as is. Dessert was beignet style donuts with a chocolate espresso dipping sauce. Several great wines were had (love the varied by the glass lists)-- had both a Petite Syrah and a Grenache blend that I really enjoyed (should have written down the names). Both from California, I think. Great as always-- I actually like that it's counter service, because you can sit for hours and not feel rushed at all. Things seem to be holding up (save the steak bobble) even though the chef recently moved on.

                1. Yesterday was WAY outside the norm for red meat and cholesterol consumption, but here you go:

                  Lunch at Hickory Barn (11534 Wilcrest) was a rib basket. Excellent pork ribs with twice-fried, hand cut taters.

                  After an evening meeting in the Heights, dInner at Hubcap Grill on 19th. Black and blue burger with stinky fries and St. Arnold Christmas Ale.

                  Today, two bike rides, a walk, and three apples.

                  1. Yesterday:

                    Lunch - Rudy Lechner's - Green Salad, Grilled Trout with sauteed veggies.
                    Dinner - Sushi Jin - Kampachi Sushi, Salmon Sashimi and two rolls. (All split with another person.)

                    That was MY healthy day!

                    7 Replies
                    1. re: DoobieWah

                      Driving by the old Burger Shack next to Napoli on Memorial today while they were putting up a new sign, Doobs! Zushi Japanese (sushi). Be a tough choice now! The original location has been getting a lot of good chatter. I have eaten there once and liked it. Don't know if they are moving or opening a second location. The first location is not at a great intersection.

                      http://blogs.houstonpress.com/eating/...

                      1. re: Lambowner

                        WOW! Thanks for the tip. Looks awesome.

                        1. re: Lambowner

                          Zushi - Memorial is now open.

                          I drove by last night after my usual Thursday night dinner to see how it was progressing and saw a blinking NOW OPEN sign. Although we had just had dinner, we stopped in and took a seat at the sushi bar.

                          Ordered one of the Zushi Special Rolls. I don't remember much about it. It was good.

                          The decor is not as "Midtown" as I was expecting. It looks as though it was done rather quickly.

                          It won't replace Sushi Jin for us, for sure, but it might be a nice place to pop in once in a while.

                          BTW, I asked how long they had been open and the sushi chef, (Jay), said it was their first night. I will be curious as to your take, Lambsy.

                          1. re: DoobieWah

                            Ha! I LOVE it that you stopped in after dinner!! I have had one meal at the other Zushi and liked it quite a lot. Will be checking it out. Was anyone else dining there on opening night?

                            1. re: Lambowner

                              There were two other tables. No one else at the bar.

                              As for having sushi for dessert after having sushi for dinner, I have an old Justin Wilson cookbook and he notes in the foreword something to the effect that there are two types of foodlovers - there are gourmets and gourmands.

                              Gourmets, he said, have professional training, degrees and wax poetic about food.

                              Gourmands on the other hand are P-I-G Hogs.

                              I'll finish with the same question he did:

                              "Guess which one I am?"

                            2. re: DoobieWah

                              Being left to my own devices tonight, I headed to the Zushi Sushi bar on outer Memorial. There was another solo woman at the bar listening to some I-tunes on headphones and enjoying some happy hour sushi. Sushi bars are equivalent to spas to women, ya know? I agree that it is not Sushi Jin or even it's own sister further in on Memorial, but I loved the bright red sparkly granite bar counter. There were several groups at the tables. Everyone was very friendly and attentive and concerned with my satisfaction. I ordered the Sushi Don, which is not sushi per se, but sashimi draped over a big bowl of sushi rice. The menu said to select ONE of a list of sashimi, which I found odd so I asked if I could have two items, and they happily agreed, so I got the salmon and peppered tuna. The tuna tasted smoked. Both were thinly sliced. I also ordered a two piece ikura, which I always must try. The seaweed around the ikura was dryer than I've found other places, but I liked the texture even though it was harder to eat the piece in two bites, because I just can't stuff a whole sushi piece in my mouth at once. All in all, a pleasant meal. But not cheap. $25 for the Sushi Don.

                               
                              1. re: DoobieWah

                                Zushi- Memorial is now closed! So much for that. Opening so close to Sushi Jin turned out to be wrong I guess. A little like Candelari opening near Pizaro.

                                As for where and what I ate, I have been enjoying the Mediterannean wrap (gyro wrap) at Hungry's which is served with a wedge salad with a feta and jalapeno dressing. Very yum. Also, those Longhorn Steakhouses that are popping up all over are pretty good for a chain. There is an "under 500 calorie" menu. The steaks are good as is the fish and chicken we've tried. The "special side" of brussels sprouts with bacon and cheese called "au gratin" are super.

                          2. @mjust, I used to LOVE Doozo when I worked near there, but haven't been in quite a while. You can't find a better bargain either. Something like $4 per dozen? The veggie ones are great. Occasionally they had a cold sesame noodle dish in the cooler that I always looked for. So good.

                            Yesterday was blackened crawfish salad at Tony Mandola's. Not my favorite dish I've had there, the crawfish were pretty oily and the dish was heavier than I hoped for in a salad. No dinner, but I did have one petite vanilla scone at Starbucks in the morning with my latte! I like those little things.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Lambowner

                              I will have to try the veggie next time (I had the combo the first time I went but weirdly can't really remember what they were like). I think the price has gone up to close to $6 for the dozen--still worth it, though, in my book. I love cold sesame noodles so I will have to keep an eye out for them too the next time I'm there. And hopefully next time I will remember cash!

                            2. Breakfast - Gotta love Houston - still can't get over the readily available super cheap Viet-French mini baguettes so often used for Banh Mi - usually 5 for a $1.
                              Makes a mean toasted banana and peanut butter sandwich in the morning (Elvis Banh Mi?!). 2 minutes in the toaster oven, and I'm off to work.

                              Lunch - awesome leftovers - Korean-style marinated beef slices from H Mart that my wife stir-fried with julienned chayote with a splash of dark soy. On rice noodles with kim chi (also from H Mart - only complaint is it hasn't really 'ripened' despite nearly a week in the fridge). Plus, lots of Halloween candy!

                              Dinner - Mala Sichuan (our first time) - pretty good, though I now understand why my buddy says they aren't what they used to be. We had Lion's Head casserole (braised pork meatballs with bok choy - meatballs were light and juicy, perfect texture!), spicy braised intestines with blood tofu (good, but got jipped on the offal for some reason), spicy red oil sauced wontons (sauce excellent, wontons lame), and stir fried yam leaf with fermented tofu (first time - really excellent, you won't recognize the fermented tofu flavor - it adds a welcome sharp saltiness to the garlicky stir-fry). Got away with leftovers for about ~$37 + tip.

                              Edited to add dessert at SweetCup Gelato on Montrose- scoop of tiramisu and scoop of dulce de leche + chocolate. Smooth and creamy awesomeness on a cone!

                              1. Today, not yesterday, we headed over to Phoenicia to grocery shop and decided to hit up Mexico Deli. It's been awhile since we'd been there. We ordered the pastor tacos and the alhambre made with fajita meat. Now I know everyone says they make great tortas and you have to have the cream soup but I love pastor and I thought they made a very good one. It was good and I'm sure I'll order it again but it was a mix of moist and dry meat. Had it all been moist it would have been perfect. I really like the red sauce they have on the tables to spice up the taco if you choose. My husband love the alhambre plate which is a meat lovers delight. It your meat of choice cooked with bacon onions Poblano peppers and then topped with cheese. He first had it in Mexico years ago and when he sees it on the menu he has to try it. It was very good and the fajita meat was very tender. It's a large portion that 2 could easily share. It is served with corn tortillas. Both dishes came with charro beans.

                                And while Phoenicia is not a restaurant, nor did we eat there, I do think the market is a Houston foodie destination. We bought lamb, kefta, halal chicken, freshly made pita, olive oil from Crete, nuts, fig jam, bucatini (one of the few places I have found it in HOU), and baklava. I buy so many other things there but that was all we needed today.

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: tlegray

                                  My OtherBrotherDarrell and I were also at Phoenicia yesterday.

                                  But before that we ducked into the Pappadeaux and split s dozen BluePoint oysters at the bar. I washed it down with an Elissa IPA.

                                  At Phoenicia, I just picked up my "usuals": feta, (French this time), jumbto Kalamata olives, some Black Kassell salami,.

                                  I also picked up some 00flour, Zergut roasted red pepper strips, and some sweet AND hot smoked paprika.

                                  I had already been to Costco and 99 Ranch Market that morning. (See thread on the 99 Ranch adventure).

                                  Anyway, after Phoenicia, (which does have something of a restaurant in it as well as a full blown restaurant around the corner), and since we didn't have more chilled stuff than would fit in my little cooler in the trunk, we crossed Westheimer to our favorite afternoon watering hole, Portugallia.

                                  Now I could tell you that it's our fave because of the world class bartenders who can make every drink in the book...

                                  ...but I'd be lying. In fact for the third time in a row, we had to instruct the person behind the bar, (in this case the day manager), how to make a martini.

                                  Yep. A martini.

                                  So, you wanna know why it's our fave? Because they take perfect instruction, that's why.

                                  We may have had to tell her how to make it, but what I got was as perfect of a dry Hendrick's martini as I've ever had. Really.

                                  After martinis, I had a bowl of kale and chorizo soup that was really good. I would have preferred the kale chopped a little finer, but it tasted awesome. And when I suggested that it could only be improved with a little more of their really good chorizo, out came a plate with more chorizo.

                                  OBD had the beef pastries. They're little empanadas and he didn't save any for me.

                                  We were the only customers the whole time we were there. You guys should check it out.

                                  For dinner I had a salami sandwich with the Black Kassel I had bought earlier. Mustard, Colman's), mayo, (Duke's), Lettuce, (red leaf) and Tomatoes, (Campari). Pretty good.

                                  See you tomorrow.

                                  1. re: DoobieWah

                                    Can you guys tell me about Zergut? I wandered into the Fiesta on San Jacinto and Wheeler one day and just picked up a jar of something called "eggplant appetizer" by Zergut out of curiosity. It was phenomenal! Big unctuous chunks of eggplant with light tomato sauce, slight spiciness, soft strips of onion and a hint of garlic. Ate it while getting dinner ready everyday for a week slathered on half a mini baguette. With that kind of richness, I know its not healthy! Plus, I cant believe something this good comes from a jar!

                                    Anyway, what style or ethnicity or culture is Zergut? Any other bits of interest about the company? I'm baffled that I havent gone back and bought a case of everything they make!

                                    1. re: DoobieWah

                                      I love the roasted red peppers in a jar but I still have a couple jars at home. We stuff them with feta. Such a tasty snack. I buy so many other things at Phoenicia but those were the things I needed and it gives me a reason to have to go back sooner then later. Remember I live in Clear Lake.

                                      I saw Portugalia and was intrigued. I'll have to check it out. Have only been to one other Portuguese restaurant in CA. So many good places to eat in Houston.

                                      1. re: DoobieWah

                                        I don't post on the board often, but I appreciate reading the other posts. I'd been passing Portugalia for a year now thinking I wanted to try it. Finally did over the weekend and really enjoyed the food and service, though I missed out on the martini since I was driving. I enjoyed the beef in Angolan sauce and I also sampled the kale chorizo that was very good.

                                        We also finally got out to The Shack in Cypress to try their burgers. While the burger was good, we both thought the buns were too sweet for our tastes

                                    2. We took an out-of-town friend to the Queen Vic last night, and it was fabulous as always.

                                      We split the veggie samosas and chicken tikka to start -- I've had the samosas before and they are delicious, not huge with a light shell and definitely a bit spicy. The chicken tikka was a new one to us and the chicken was perfectly cooked and super moist.

                                      Cocktails were great, as was the beer. They have a great rotating on draft list. I was sad to see that the Russian Imperial Stout that I had the last time we were there had rotated out, but I had a Troubadour Magma IPA that was excellent. They also have a great selection of gins (including many botanical style--Bluecoat, Old Raj, Citadelle, Hendrick's etc.).

                                      My husband got the beef wellington, which I may have mentioned on here before-- it is truly superb. The filet is unbelievably tender, and is topped with lamb sausage, mushroom duxelles, and sauteed spinach, all enclosed inside the puff pastry. Roasted asparagus and olive oil mashed potatoes on the side. An enormous plate, easily makes at least 2 and maybe 3 meals.

                                      I had a special of the night (history has shown that the specials will not disappoint)-- pork porterhouse with tomato chutney, chili roasted potatoes, haricot vert with garlic, and cilantro butter. The pork was perfectly cooked and the whole thing was delicious. Again, will easily make 2 meals.

                                      But, my guest reminded me of what I most love about the Queen Vic, which is the curries. Every one that I have ever had there has knocked it out of the park. Last night, our guest had the Goan Fisherman's Curry, which was new to me-- fish, prawns, crabmeat, and vegetables in coconut curry with lemongrass. We spent the rest of the night exclaiming over how good it was, and I am already scheming about when we can go again to have more of it. The naan she ordered on the side was also on point.

                                      The table shared chocolate creme brulee and sticky toffee pudding. Both great, although I'd give the edge to Feast's sticky toffee pudding. The best dessert at the Queen Vic, in my opinion, is the whiskey bread pudding.

                                      We only went here for dinner for the first time a few months ago, but it has quickly vaulted into our top five favorite restaurants in Houston. If you haven't been, I can't recommend it enough.

                                      1. Today was plants and fish at Luby's for lunch. Tonight will be baked ham and some great looking parmesan potatoes I found online, sauteed green beans with sweet onion and roasted mushrooms. Just feeling like homey comfort food.

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: Lambowner

                                          How was the fish cooked? I'm a big fan of the rectangular fried fish, and the baked is also good.

                                          1. re: James Cristinian

                                            I always opt for the blackened tilapia, with tons of hot sauce from the condiment station and free pico from the end of the line by the lemons. It's pretty moist usually.

                                            1. re: Lambowner

                                              Thanks for the reply. I've had bones in the fried fish a couple of times, which means it's real fish. I can deal with a bone or two.

                                        2. Yesterday:

                                          Lunch - Dumpling Noodle Soup at Tan Tan.
                                          Dinner - Guacamole, Smoked Rib Roast, Purple Hull Peas and Potato Salad

                                          1. Yesterday

                                            Lunch - Egg Drop Soup, Sesame Chicken and Fried Rice at Yao's Woodlake.
                                            Dinner - Green Salad, Duck Tikka Masala and White Rice at Mi Casa. I rarely eat dessert, but I had some Blue Bell Gingerbread House Ice Cream. Recommended.

                                            1. Last Saturday, Laredo Taqueria on Washington. The wife and I had ordered five asado de puerco and a regular fajita taco. Wonderful fare at two bucks a taco. Four tacos were consumed on site, the other two split for lunches.

                                              1. Yesterday was a "favorite foods" day! Shrimp chow mein and the best chicken wing app I know of at Chang's in Katy for lunch. Flautas at Lopez for dinner. Caught the end of the A&M/BAMA game there with a big crowd. Repentance today.

                                                5 Replies
                                                1. re: Lambowner

                                                  Having some snapper today at home, baby brother gave me lots of it that he caught out at the oil rigs in the Gulf south of Louisiana. He drives the boat to and from and while waiting, he fishes. I'm not on a budget but I refuse to pay the price for some things and snapper is one of them. I can't believe what they ask for snapper in the stores and in the restaurants. I did have one piece that was well worth the $35 and that was at Ciao Bello's by the Galleria. Best snapper dish I've ever eaten! I'm pretty sure it was a special that day though. It was topped with shrimp and crab in a cream sauce.

                                                  1. re: texasredtop

                                                    Baby brother must be careful unless he's catching the smaller mangrove snapper, which have no limit. Red snapper 2012 seson was June 1 to July 10 with a two fish per angler maximum, these are Federal regulations. I quit snapper fishing quite a few years ago when they dropped the limits from five to four and then two. Summer fishing in the gulf can be miserable as I prefered the good old days when February and March fishing was available. I agree about the prices. HEB has beautiful snapper, but I'm not paying 9.99 per pound for a whole fish, plus I don't trust restaurants to give me real snapper and not tilapia.

                                                    http://blog.visitlouisianacoast.com/f...

                                                    1. re: James Cristinian

                                                      He's way out in international waters I assume, at the offshore rigs. Don't know when he caught them, they were from the freezer. I also got a package of grouper. He catches all kinds of fish out there. These snapper are very large. I actually prefer smaller flaked fish.

                                                      1. re: texasredtop

                                                        Grouper is mighty fine table fare. As for snapper, given a 15 pound plus fish over a 3-5 pounder, I'm taking the big one every time, but Red, you're right the smaller ones taste better. It's an ego thing, plus they take better pictures.

                                                        1. re: James Cristinian

                                                          I guess he's just mostly fishing for fun because on the caption of the snapper it said catch and release.

                                                           
                                                           
                                                2. Yesterday:

                                                  Lunch - Half of a club sandwich, half of a bowl of tortilla soup and a green side salad at The Mason Jar

                                                  Dinner - Picadillo soft tacos and two Alamo tamales at home.

                                                  1. Yesterday lunch at the new Nonno Tony's in Galveston. Very good, a Parmesan crusted redfish atop risotto with shrimp. Very tasty.

                                                    1. Monument Inn last night with our financial advisers. It was good as always. Oysters are still a little small. It was a group so the menu was set with several choices. Those that got the Fisherman's Platter and didn't like oysters sent them my way so I had more than enough. They take us about twice a year and last night the service was wonderful. The time before it was awful.

                                                      1. Yesterday, blackened tuna salad at Patrenella's for lunch. Sushi quality tuna, blackened outside and cold inside, over greens with a light citrusy dressing, it was soooooo oo oo good. Dinner, turkey dip at Ripp's Grille, also pretty tasty. Ripp's began opening for breakfast not long ago and we went one weekday on the way out of town. I ordered a dish that had turkey on it and the turkey was so flavorful I wanted to try it again. Tasted like Thanksgiving. Looking at their menu, it was the Club Eggs Benedict I had. I recommend, but I didn't begin to finish it.

                                                        2 Replies
                                                        1. re: Lambowner

                                                          I like Ripps but their iced tea is simply nasty.

                                                          I complained to the owner once and he told me that they used to brew it daily but now they buy it in a bag because it's "cheaper". Iced tea is about as cheap as it comes, so it begs the question...

                                                          Yesterday:

                                                          Lunch - Grilled chicken and avocado sammich at Union Kitchen - Memorial
                                                          Dinner - Homemade Green Salad and and a couple of slices, (well squares really), of Dominos Pizza

                                                          As an aside, when and why did Dominos start cutting their pizzas like a tray of brownies?

                                                          A pizza that isn't a "slice" just tastes funny.

                                                          1. re: DoobieWah

                                                            Geez Doobs, I can't help thinking that the pizza tasted funny because it was Dominos. Last week I picked up a half cheese/half sausage at Romano's on West Gray, one of my big three pizza joints I frequent, the others being Antonio's on Hillcroft and Verona's on Gessner.

                                                            I had a sliced beef sandwhich at Beef and Bun on Longpoint yesterday, after hearing a commercial on one of the fifty plus sports radio shows(why do they all have commercials at the same time?). Since it less than ten minutes from my Spring Branch swankienda I gave it a shot, nothing earth shattering but very satisfying, lots of tender meat for 4.50. It's right next to Tacos de Julio, one of my wife's Saturday/Sunday hangouts when I'm working.

                                                        2. Good topic. I don’t have much to contribute because I haven’t been eating out much of late due to budgetary constraints and also because I got a counter-top induction cooking unit and it’s fun to cook with. (Boils water so fast for coffee it’s scary).

                                                          A couple of weeks ago I caught up with The Jeepney Truck, a new food truck offering Filipino food, and had their pancit - noodles, chicken, sweet Chinese sausage and vegetables, plus garlic rice and lumpia. The lumpia were awfully greasy unfortunately and disappointingly the Jeepney truck doesn’t look anything like a Jeepney, but the pancit was very good.

                                                          That created an urge to try more Filipino food which I haven’t had much of so I went to Pinoy Fast Food in the food court at Viet Hoa Center on BW 8 and had the lechon kawali, a Filipino pork belly prep, plus Sweet and Sour fish, which turned out to be tilapia. This was my second visit to this place and the food is not as impressive as the Jeepney but the truck doesn’t have a very busy schedule.

                                                          https://twitter.com/TheJeepneyTruck

                                                          At home, Monday was ‘gotta have me some chili’ day with the cold snap. I dug some out of the freezer. The container was mislabeled and it turned out to be turkey chili and not one of my better concoctions but I gobbled it up anyway. I dug another container out from a better batch and chili pie is on the menu as soon as I get some Fritos..

                                                          Also at home I’ve been making a lot of cioppino lately, experimenting with recipes, and tunnbrödrulle, the Swedish version of a hot dog..

                                                           
                                                          4 Replies
                                                          1. re: brucesw

                                                            It's not about eating out, brucesw, it's what you ate and I love hearing what's going on in your kitchen. I made a pot of spaghetti earlier in the week to bring in the cold weather. I wanted chili but was outvoted.

                                                            Which dish is pictured?

                                                            Agreed on the tea, Doobs. Same with Pizaro. Unfortunate way to save pennies.

                                                            1. re: Lambowner

                                                              Thanks Lambowner. I noticed others have mentioned home-prepared meals and I was going to do a longer report on mine but it would have been a super long post and I thought the mods might not approve - the board is supposed to be about what's available for everybody, isn't it????? Probably a mention or two is okay but a long post devoted to stuff not publicly available? So I just mentioned a few of my home meals.

                                                              I'm a long way away from being able to brag about my cioppino, in fact, never made it before a couple of weeks ago, but I picked up some at WF and was impressed and decided to try at home. I guess I could have mentioned the WF cioppino, too. Some of their soups and stews are quite good.

                                                              Also forgot about bbq at Lone Star BBQ in Richwood, in the Brazosport area. I had to go down there and had been wanting to try it, based on a couple of reviews on YELP and the big, mobile smoker parked on the side. Potato salad, probably home-made, was pretty good, beans had some unusual seasoning I couldn't place, but the sausage (probably store bought) and brisket were very lacking in smoke ring, smokiness and just generally flavor overall so I can't recommend it. The brisket was very lean and dry and a little tough/underdone.

                                                              The picture is the pancit from the Jeepney Truck. Lumpia are Filipino egg rolls and can be quite addictive, such as at Jonathan's Grill in the Viet Hoa Center, but these were pretty awful.

                                                              1. re: brucesw

                                                                We would prefer people focused on generally available food, rather than home-cooked meals (there are several regular threads on Home Cooking where people discuss what they're making at home) so that other people can try the things people are talking about. But a side mention of what you ate at home in a reply focused on restaurant reports isn't going to cause us to delete it.

                                                                1. re: The Chowhound Team

                                                                  Thanks for the clarification. I'll head over to Home Cooking for some tips on cioppino.

                                                          2. We had our Thanksgiving luncheon at work yesterday. I took some of the leftover turkey home last night and chopped it up. Cooked a spaghetti squash and tossed it with some butter and Parmesan and added the turkey meat. Quick and easy. Was it gourmet? No, but it was tasty.

                                                            1. Yesterday:

                                                              Lunch - Chicken and Vegetable Soup, Chicken and Dumplings at Rudi Lechners

                                                              Hors D'oeuvres & Scotch - The River Oaks Country Club

                                                              Dinner - Hamachi Belly and Oo Toro Sushi, Salmon Sashimi and a Roll at Sushi Jin. (Both the hamachi and the oo toro were unbelievably good.)

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: DoobieWah

                                                                Today I ate lunch at Southern Komfort on Underwood in LaPorte. I've eaten there many times since they opened about 6 months ago. I like their oysters better than Monument Inn's oysters. Anyway today while waiting on my girl friend who was lost, I got a cup of gumbo. Nope, never again. I hate getting gumbo in a restaurant but I was cold and the coffee wasn't warming me up fast enough. I could immediately distinguish the problem. They threw their sausage in there raw. So it was greasy. I always brown my sausage before adding it to gumbo. I had an excellent side salad, their thousand island dressing is wonderful. I also had a club sandwich which was delicious. My friend got the same as me and it was her first time there and she loved it.

                                                              2. Yesterday:

                                                                Lunch - Green Salad and half of a Chicken Parm Sandwich at Jonathon's the Rub

                                                                Dinner - French Toast, two Eggs and Bacon at Denny's. (I know, I know but since having breakfast for lunch last weekend, I was still craving it....I am sooooo sorry.)

                                                                1. Finally had my chili pie yesterday for lunch. Cubed beef, good and spicy, fritos, green onions, three cheese medley.

                                                                  Last night, refrigerator/freezer soup - green beans, cauliflower, onions, garlic, tomatoes, and cooked rice. Definitely not gourmet but filling.

                                                                  Today, PB&J with blueberry jam and Nutella from the Monster PBJ truck. I was blissed out.

                                                                  https://twitter.com/monsterpbj

                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                  1. re: brucesw

                                                                    Wow, that's a new one on me. Food trucks are getting so diverse. I clicked through to the menu and sides/drinks desserts are all $2. How much are the sandwiches?

                                                                    1. re: Lambowner

                                                                      I had to look for them too - knew I'd seen them before. They're 'hidden' at the top - one piece of bread, folded - $3. 'Classic' - $5; 'Monster' - 3 pieces of bread - $7. Not sure what the bread is, thin sliced, not just Wonder bread. Coulda used a bit more toasting.

                                                                  2. Yesterday:

                                                                    Lunch - Pastrami on rye from Liebman's.
                                                                    Dinner - Tomato Sauce and meatballs on homemade fettucine

                                                                    OtherBrotherDarrell and I dug out his pasta machine and made fettucine yesterday afternoon. While drinking a bottle of Beaujolais Nouveau, by the way. It was the first time I've had the wine. I found it tart but enjoyable and I'm no wine drinker. (Maybe that should be "BUT I'm no wine drinker".)

                                                                    1. Yesterday:
                                                                      Breakfast: "Breakfast on a Bun" at Whataburger, sausage, cheese and jalapenos, no egg.
                                                                      Lunch: Red beans and rice with fried catfish at Denis' Seafood House, my favorite in town.
                                                                      Dinner: cup of potato/leek soup from my stove.

                                                                      Successfully avoided the beaujolais nouveau another year! Luckily though, the bartender at Denis' makes a killer martini. You could skate across the surface.

                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                      1. re: Lambowner

                                                                        No egg! Is there someone out there other than me that doesn't like eggs? A few years ago I had a couple of barkeeps at Denis' where it was free wine after one glass, the same with the erstwhile Pico's Echo Lane, ritas, plus Ninfas Navigation with margaritas back in the 70's/80's.

                                                                        1. re: James Cristinian

                                                                          I can't stand rubbery or scrambled eggs. I love a good poached egg. I don't eat breakfast often, but it is so difficult to get them to understand to leave off the egg when i do. I guess not many people do that! I had the same issue at El Rey a while ago. A breakfast taco without egg? They were massively confused.

                                                                        2. re: Lambowner

                                                                          Breakfast on a bun ranchero - one of the best fast food breakfast sandwiches ever. Haven't had one in a decade, probably. Back in the day I used to be addicted to fast food breakfasts because I couldn't get my butt out of bed in time to fix anything or hit anything except a drive thru on the way to work but I couldn't depend on Whataburger - they were so pokey I risked being late to work.

                                                                          I like the egg - it was a real one, right? I'm not fond of egg white as much as the yolk, but I like eggs.

                                                                        3. Sunday I ran into the Koagie Hots truck at Buchanan's Native Plants in the Heights. I wasn't hungry enough for one of their Phillys and their hot dogs look over-dressed to me, as is the rage with 'gourmet' hot dogs, it seems, so I went for the Korn Dog - beer battered jumbo all beef wiener, skinless unfortunately, with kimchee mayo, scallion and sweet chili sauce.

                                                                          Really nice, light, crispy batter and not too thick, pretty good quality wiener.

                                                                          Not sure there was anything made of corn involved, except maybe some corn in the feed for the cattle the wiener was made from.

                                                                          https://twitter.com/koagiehots

                                                                          Sunday nite was a huge tossed salad with some Maple Grove Wasabi Dijon dressing on half, evoo and rice vinegar on the other. It's not exactly salad weather but I've been eating a lot of big salads lately. And some Chobani. I've also been eating an inordinate amount of Chobani lately.

                                                                          Monday, shopping for something to take to a Thanksgiving pot luck, picked up a cemita de anis at Fiesta on Kirby, my favorite bread from the Fiesta bakery, and also a new one I'd never seen, Pan de Colombiano con queso or something like that, a knotted roll with cream cheese (?) filling. Interesting, especially warmed up, but I've had better Colombian cheese bread from Colombian panaderias.

                                                                          Later I had some huge fried wings from the snack bar at a neighborhood market, Pyburn's - they sure looked good but I probably won't do that again.

                                                                          Monday nite I made a version of Treebeard's Shrimp and Greens. I stumbled across the recipe in my word processor recently, can't remember where I got it, and had never made it before. Not bad.

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: brucesw

                                                                            I love Treebeard's mustard greens. I make them all the time and could eat the whole pot. I have the cookbook but have really only made that and the butter cake.. I also buy their spice packets when I'm there for the RB&R and chili. Sounds like I need to try that yogurt.

                                                                          2. Yesterday at lunch I had green curry with shrimp at the newest location (#9) of Thai Cottage, I-10 in Katy, north side between Greenhouse and Fry. I've said before here how much I like this place and it did not disappoint. You can choose your own heat level 1-5. They have the best pad thai. I sure wish I knew how they make the tofu in that dish, or where they buy it. It's very very firm, with a rind type of thing on it. Delicious.

                                                                            Dinner was a shared happy hour margarita pizza at Laurenzo's ($7.50). The server told us the chef went to NYC for two weeks to learn pizza making. It was good and although thin crusted, not as thin as I prefer. I like cracker thin pizza like what used to be served at La Griglia and Grappino di Nino and maybe still is. I haven't been to either place in a long while. Brio has a nice thin crust pizza during their happy hour for $5.

                                                                            1. Yesterday I had to pick up a friend at IAH. He's a major foodie and works in the food industry. I imagine those 2 go together. Anyway he had his heart set on Dolce Vita which is closed on Monday so after some thought he settled on Artisans in Midtown. This was not his first attempt to get there. Well it was not to be, we were there between lunch and dinner. So a down trodden travel worn friend left it up to me. No planning, not in my home area, and driving in Midtown I decided to just drive down Elgin/Westheimer where he saw Hay Merchant. If he couldn't get what he wanted food wise he might as well get good beer.

                                                                              I'm not a beer drinker and I was driving so I just had water. My daughter, friend, and his wife love beer and loved the selection they had there. Since we arrived at 4:00 they could take advantage of Happy Hour which was selected beers for $3. I thought that was good. Daughter thought it was great.

                                                                              For starters we had the Sweet & Spicy Pig Ears. I liked them but I might have added salt to get that kettlecorn thing going. We also had the Vietnamese Chicken Wings. These were also very good and I could have licked that sauce off the plate. There are only 3 wings per order. For mains I had (3) Redneck Sliders, house made bologna that was grilled put in a nice toasted soft roll with cheese and mayo. There were also house made potato chips. I love bologna and deli/homemade bologna is an all time favorite that took me back to childhood. I'm sure I'll get these again. Potato chips were good. Daughter had the burger. She said it was good but a bit over cooked for her. She likes some pink and there was none. It came with french fries that were perfectly crispy. I preferred these to the potato chips but daughter loved the chips so... Friend had the Duck Confit. He thought the duck was dry but the beans were delicious. I tasted it and didn't think it was dry. His wife had the corn dog and mustard with french fries. She enjoyed it very much. The table next to us had the Fried Chicken with Macaroni and Cheese. They were both raving about it. I might have to try that next but not sure I could get passed the bologna.

                                                                              Overall we all enjoyed it and I could see going back.

                                                                              1. Yesterday: Sunday brunch at Rainbow Lodge. Grilled trout with fried oysters, greens/brussels/grape tomatoes drizzled with cayenne oil. The oil was red, but I missed the cayenne flavor. The fish was good. I started with their smoked duck and andouille sausage gumbo - some of the best in the city. It has been made by the same guy for a couple of decades and is perfectly spiced. The server offered Tabasco, but advised us not to use it and he was right. The gumbo comes with a little pile of wild rice pilaf on top adding a little crunch. At $7 it is a bargain.

                                                                                Dinner: Turkey sandwich - white bread, mayo, salt FTW.

                                                                                1. This seems like a good place to catch up.

                                                                                  Wednesday morning, (Thanksgiving eve), I got up early, (3am) to be prepared to get to Flying Saucer Pies. Mom asked me to get her a pecan and a Dutch Apple. I called ahead earlier in the week and they told me they wouldn't take an order - first come, first served. They opened at 7am, so I figured I would get there an hour early and have a short wait. Arrived at 5:50am to find a line that I later measured at over 300 yards.

                                                                                  Not kidding.

                                                                                  I didn't wait. Wound up making her a pecan pie - the first pie I ever baked in my life. It was very pretty and reasonably edible.

                                                                                  Don't get me wrong, I love Flying Saucer Pies but no way was I waiting in that line.

                                                                                  No way.

                                                                                  At lunch on Wednesday, I met DimSumGirl and DimSumDude at Cafe Pita +. DSG said she had been wanting to try Pita+ and I was delighted to spend some time with them. They are just wonderful people and I treasure my opportunity to break bread with them. (In this case, some lepijna bread.)

                                                                                  Thursday was T'giving and my tiny family got together for the typical repast. Turkey and ham and stuffing and cranberries, and a pretty good pecan pie. For dinner, I watched Texas lose to TCU. Scotch.

                                                                                  Lots of scotch.

                                                                                  Friday, my buddy from Austin came by as he and his wife were in town visiting her family. We hit Mexico's Deli for breakfast, (one of his favorites) and also Phoenicia Market.

                                                                                  For lunch, the genetic mutation and I went to Nirvana for their awesome lunch buffet. The kiddo said his tikka wasn't as good as usual, but I thought everything was great.

                                                                                  Saturday, OtherBrotherDarrell and I went to 99 Ranch Market and split another of those killer ribeye roasts. I wasn't satisfied with my last effort and was eager to try again. This worked out much better. (Thanks for asking!) I also picked up a two pound pork belly which I braised Japanese style. Also very good.

                                                                                  For lunch, my sushi buddy and I hit Sushi Jin as we had missed our usual Thursday night sashimi due to turkey day; note that they were closed on Thursday or we would have been there anyway.

                                                                                  For dinner we had New York strip steaks and duck fat fries.

                                                                                  Sunday was all cooking and cleaning and I just snacked on the stuff I cooked for later (the ribeye roast, the pork belly, sausage, Thai chicken curry and maybe a couple of other things).

                                                                                  For dinner, I had a couple of JITB tacos. I'm addicted. I only need a couple of tacos a couple of times a year but Sunday was the day.

                                                                                  So how about a quick rundown of your holiday feastings?

                                                                                  1. I too am cooking more at home these days. Hubby lost his job at the beginning of the year so I started cooking and found I liked it far more then I remembered. He has since found a job but I'm still cooking. Since last Thursday we have only eaten out 3 times.

                                                                                    Sunday dinner; Dan's Pizza in Webster. It's becoming out Sunday night football dinner. We get a pizza and large Greek Salad. Lately we've been getting the Pepperoni pizza but usually it's the Healthy Heart. Either way we love this little place

                                                                                    Monday lunch; Miller's Cafe in Clear Lake. One of my favorite burgers. I get the cheeseburger and he gets the bacon cheeseburger. He likes their fries and while I think they are ok I'd rather not have any.

                                                                                    Tueday dinner wasn't so much out or home cooking but it was a selection of our favorite cheeses and deli meats from Central Market & Whole Foods with a mixed green salad. While Central Market is our preferred place to get cheese Spec's downtown has a good selection and Whole Food's has our favorite Manchego. For meats we like Whole Foods or Spec's downtown.

                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: tlegray

                                                                                      Spec's starts stocking holiday cheeses right about now, including our very favorite Cotswold. Thanks for the reminder!

                                                                                      1. re: Lambowner

                                                                                        Cotswold Double Gloucester with chives is a favorite of ours. mmm good. I need to get to Specs Downtown before the holiday crazy. We buy as much food from them as we do wine.

                                                                                    2. Some recent meals:

                                                                                      Local Foods in the Village for Gulf Shrimp and Blue Crab, my favorite thing on their menu. This time I tried it as a salad instead of sandwich. Turned out to be a lot of food - generous amount of shrimp, house-made Green Goddess dressing, tomatoes, red onions. I was surprised their wasn't any bread with it and I missed it - probably would go back to the sandwich next time. Sides were my favorite - Tuscan kale with golden grapes, toasted pine nuts and parmesan plus I tried the wild rice, cauliflower, olives and sundried tomato. I haven't found any sides I like as much as the kale and the quest will have to continue as this was quite bland and had too much juice from the olives making it a little sour tasting.

                                                                                      Yesterday, Capt. Benny's on Murphy Rd. in Stafford for a dozen on the half shell plus their jalapeno boudin. This used to be a regular haunt of mine but I haven't been in almost 4 years. Oysters were very salty and otherwise only so-so; I didn't remember they served boudin - it may have been added to the menu since the last time I was there - it wasn't bad, not a lot of heat but okay. Wish it had been smoked.

                                                                                      Last night I needed a tamale fix so I picked up some from the best carniceria I've found in my neck of the woods, Amigo's on W. Bellfort. I've had some very good tamales from there but these had been being kept warm for too long and were on the dry side. Still, with the two salsas, including a pretty fiery red, and limes as provided they were okay.

                                                                                      At home it's been lots of salads including a salade nicoise with canned yellowfin, tossed salads, tomato and cucumber salads, more cioppino and a more cajun influenced seafood stew plus trying to finish off the smoked turkey breast and lots of satsumas off my tree, trying to beat the birds and the squirrels to as many as I can.

                                                                                      1. Yesterday I had lunch at Amazon Grill. It's been a long time since I've visited and and was in the area. The furniture has been replaced with the Fred Flintstone look of Americas and the walls painted dark. The result is slightly more upscale look. Gone is the salad bar that used to come with every meal, but the plantains with 3 sauces remain. I had the Puntas Jalapenas, which is my favorite meal at Churrasco's. Here, for $14, the puntas, or beef tips, are not as tender and the jalapeno sauce not as flavorful. Still, it was good, and my friend loved the chicken wrap.

                                                                                        1. Esta manana, carnitas from Teloloapan, a small, local Mexican grocery chain. Delicious, braised style, not fried. Afternoon, leftover fried catfish from Louisiana Foods crisped up in the toaster oven paired with the finest tartar sauce on the planet, Luby's tartar sauce.

                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                          1. re: James Cristinian

                                                                                            I had a great carnitas taco on Thursday at Ruchi's.

                                                                                            Yesterday I had soup and salad at Carrabba's for lunch and a small chicken and dumplings and half a cheeseburger at Ripp's Grill.

                                                                                          2. Yesterday we had dinner at Haven. All the talk about fried chicken on the other post and Haven being on a top 10-list we just had to try it. And while I liked it very much I didn't think the chicken was so good that I'd want to spend the $35 again even though I did get a whole organic free range perfectly fried chicken. Is there anywhere else in town you can get that? It was almost as crispy this afternoon too. It could have had a bit more salt but it was still good. Other items we ordered were the phyllo cochon feta creamed spinach and tzatziki appetizer. Interesting combo that I wasn't sure would work but hubby loves pig so of course we had to try them and they were very good. Next up was the soup of the day, butternut squash, which we liked. I would have liked it better with some spice but that's just my taste. To me squash and spice go together. Hubby ordered the Fish and head-on Shrimp for his entre and he loved it. Service was excellent especially considering it was at prime dinner hour and a Friday night. I'm sure we'll go back. They had so many options that looked interesting. Their dinner rolls with butter are on a whole other level.

                                                                                            Today we had tamales from Kroger. They are the store brand and they were sampling them. The flavor was right on par with the ones my family makes so I took 10 home. I steamed them for an extra 20 min. and while they weren't food porn tamales I'd buy them again and be satisfied.

                                                                                            1. I had Vietnamese twice this week, partly due to the fantastic cold temps we are enjoying. At my long time fav Van Loc, I ordered the pho for the first time, rare beef. The broth was rich and flavorful, the beef was those thin rounds of hot pot meat that didn't stay rare once they hit the near boiling broth. The toppings were plentiful as was the bowl of pho, which I did not come near to finishing. ($5.95 I think) The spring rolls with crazy good peanut sauce and Vietnamese egg rolls are the best I've had.

                                                                                              At the other end of the spectrum, I ordered chicken pho at Les Givral's on Washington. Thin watery broth needed a couple of scoops of sambal oelek for backbone. Dry slices of white chicken. Served with dehydrating jalapeno slices and fresh herbs, I ate it all and was looking for a fruit snack by 3 p.m. ($6.95). My friend ordered a bahn mi, which I have had before. Good flavor and excellent bread, by why so little in the middle? At $2.95 they could easily raise the price a dollar or two and stuff it with enough roasted pork to get a piece in every bite. I wonder if you can order double stuffed, which would be about right and pay more. The music is incredibly loud I assume purposefully, and most tables concentrated more on eating than impossible conversation and got out asap.

                                                                                              Interestingly, I noticed that both places have vast stores of Cafe DuMonde coffee with chicory (the yellow can) instead of French (the blue can), although I have had the dessert-worthy Vietnamese coffee at Van Loc and I don't think it has chicory. I don't like chicory.

                                                                                              Thinking of where I can get soup today! Carpe Cold Diem!

                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                              1. re: Lambowner

                                                                                                I think it's to be in the mid-60's today, but for soup:

                                                                                                Tuscan Vegetable Soup at Phoenicia Deli
                                                                                                Mama's Chicken Soup at Rosie Carrabba's on Voss
                                                                                                Dumpling Noodle Soup at Tan Tan, (They serve pho also)
                                                                                                Gumbo at Jonathon's The Rub, (Friday's Soup)
                                                                                                Soup of the Day at Pappy's, (if its Artichoke or Crawfish Bisque, or Poblano Cream, count yourself lucky)
                                                                                                French Onion at Mason Jar, (A lot of people like their Chicken Tortilla but I don't for some reason)
                                                                                                Chicken Vegetable or Hungarian Goulash at Lechner's

                                                                                                I like soup too.

                                                                                                EDITED TO ADD:

                                                                                                Yesterday, I had Cashew Chicken and Shrimp with Fried Rice and Egg Drop Soup at Yao's for lunch and Sushi at Sushi Jin for dinner. (Didn't hold a fork all day!)

                                                                                              2. Haven’t been eating out much for the last 2 months, this about sums it up:

                                                                                                Chilantro’s BBQ (mobile) - Korean Bravado Bulgogi Burger - fresh-baked sesame seed bun, pork bulgogi, pineapple, grilled onions, special habanero sauce and cheese. I just don’t get pineapple on a burger; the basic pork ‘burger’ is much better, actually one of the best pulled pork sandwiches in the city!.

                                                                                                Chuyos’ Peruvian Fusion Deli - League City - Papas a la Huancaina - Peruvian appetizer of boiled potatoes in a sauce made with fresh cheese, milk and aji amarillo chile peppers served cold normally, evidently but they warmed up the potatoes for me.

                                                                                                Also, Empanada Aji de Gallina - stewed chicken meat, cheese, peanuts and aji amarillo pepper sauce, baked.

                                                                                                Nice place and really friendly folks. I’ve eaten at Pollo Bravo several times and love their Peruvian rotisserie chicken dishes but otherwise Peruvian cuisine has yet to grab me.

                                                                                                Durrani’s, The Gourmet - a Pakistani place that took over from Le Sani on Bissonnet. Close to me so I had to check it out. A very inexpensive (and small) lunch buffet, not bad, especially the Goat Korma, but a couple of the dishes were at room temp.

                                                                                                Headed out of town one Sunday and stopped at Vencik’s Smokehouse in East Bernard for kolaches. They’re not the best to be had between Houston and Austin but they’re better than most of what you can get in Houston. I had a sausage, jalapeno and cheese with a half section of their own smoked jalapeno sausage and a cream cheese. I almost didn’t need to eat the rest of the day they were so big but I did stop at Austin’s in Eagle Lake on the way back and had a sausage plate. Austin’s still makes one of the best sausages in the state imo and their sides are also very good. Their bbq sauce has been among the worst but it was much less ketchup-y than I’ve had before - still not to my liking but more tolerable.

                                                                                                Jones Fried Chicken on Fondren near Bellaire - I’ve been here several years ago for the FC and found it okay but the sides pretty mediocre. I guessed it was either Halal or Kosher but they didn’t identify back then; now they’re calling it New York Style Halal fried chicken, whatever that means, but according to Yelp the thing to get here is the lamb or chicken over rice with white sauce. This is apparently a New York thing and so popular Serious Eats has done a post about it. The lamb was gyro meat and this was pretty good. Yelpers complain there isn’t enough sauce but I thought there was more than needed. It’s a dump and the neighborhood is kind of sketchy so I got it to go. Not much to look at; tasty but I think I’d try this as a gyro next time.

                                                                                                Pictures are from Austin’s and Jones.

                                                                                                https://twitter.com/ChiLantroHTX

                                                                                                http://www.facebook.com/pages/Chuyos-...

                                                                                                http://www.vincekssmokehouse.com/

                                                                                                http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/20...

                                                                                                 
                                                                                                 
                                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: brucesw

                                                                                                  Whoa, great post! I went to some old stomping grounds on Irvington today for lunch. I always forget about this area when we discuss Tex-Mex and Mexican. Veracruz Seafood and Steaks, Doneraki (no relation to the chain) and Fiesta en Guadalajara (no relation to the chain) have been destinations for years. Just 10 minutes or so from downtown, take I-45 North to Patton exit and turn right to Irvington. I was disappointed to see that Doneraki is shuttered and closed, with just the "Since 1973!" message left on the front wall. May be because the Metro rail is going in there now, a new place to avoid because of those #$%@! trains.

                                                                                                  Went to Veracruz and although they have lots of caldo on the menu, I warmed up with their legendary stuffed jalapenos, which will curl your hair. Suffering a tiny bit now from that lunch. But the lunch prices are amazing as are the owners and friendly staff. Completely authentic. The owner rushed me a glass of water when it appeared I was crying during the stuffed jalapeno episode. Sometimes they are mild, sometimes not, take your chances. The restaurant is comfortable and the food is good. You can get whole fried catfish, red snapper and flounder there for ridiculous prices. I recommend Veracruz to you. i don't find a web page, but here is a FB page:

                                                                                                  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Veracr...

                                                                                                  1. re: Lambowner

                                                                                                    And can I also say that I don't like the improvements on this site? The color coding is confusing, and I had to type the above comment twice, because the problem of "disappearing" comments in progress is continuing.

                                                                                                    1. re: Lambowner

                                                                                                      Not sure if I understand the issue but have you checked the Site Talk board to see if it's been discussed? I've always had a problem with loading long posts. For my long, wordy posts (most of 'em in other words), I compose them in a word processor and just paste them in the window so I can upload in a short time. Also that way I have a backup in case the upload fails.

                                                                                                      Yeah, I agree on the color scheme. Something more noticeable than the little arrow to indicate new posts would be an improvement.

                                                                                                      1. re: brucesw

                                                                                                        I did start a discussion last year on disappearing posts, or added to one in progress, don't recall. The screen goes to a prior page and the comments are lost. I don't know what key I'm hitting, but it apparently happens to others too. There are a number of "disappearing posts" topics. It always happens after I have finished composing a fairly intelligible post. :)

                                                                                                    2. re: Lambowner

                                                                                                      I think Veracruz was the place I went to a number of years ago with an acquaintance - and liked. Thanks for posting about this. My admittedly rather limited experience has been that there's some awfully good Mexican food on the north side but it seldom gets talked about. I see a reviewer on Yelp says they still serve queso with the chips? I gotta go.

                                                                                                  2. Out and about early yesterday doing a little grocery shopping and picking up some needed items for minor kitchen projects, I stopped off at 6 Ping Chinese bakery in the Viet Hoa Center on BW 8 @ Beechnut and picked up way too many items, as usual. Basically I was munching on something all day but 'lunch' would have been a 'hot dog bun', which turned out to be exactly what it said - a wiener in a bun! I was thinking it might really be an interesting Chinese sausage or something that they just called a hot dog. I guess this is an attempt to cash in on the huge market for sausage kolaches? Anyway, I won't bother with that again. Got one of my favorite items I've discovered so far, a Red Bean Paste Bun (adzuki beans); these things are very addictive. And I tried a Taiwanese Date Walnut cookie. I meant to pick up a Taiwanese Lotus paste cookie but grabbed the wrong one and didn't realize it until I got home; anyway, kind of a thick fig newton-ish type thing and very good.

                                                                                                    I ate way too much, especially sweet things, yesterday.

                                                                                                     
                                                                                                    1. Selva Negra for lunch. That’s the new name of the Nicaraguan restaurant on Gessner @ Westpark. I never went to Managua there but was introduced to Nicaraguan cuisine a few years back at Fritanga Nica on Synott. I don’t know if this is just a change of name or ownership or what. They still have the Managua phone #.

                                                                                                      I had the nacatamal, the Nicaraguan National dish. This had never been available when I went to Fritanga Nica and I’ve wanted to try it for years. It’s an entree sized tamal (one is all you need per person) with large cubes of pork, unpitted green olives, raisins, a tomato slice and mint. There may also have been a caper or two and some bits of onion and carrot, I wasn’t sure. Oh, and a bit of lard ;), all steamed in and presented on banana leaves. Compared to the list of ingredients sometimes included, this was a pretty simple one but it was very good, as good as any tamal I’ve had.

                                                                                                      I also had tajadas - full length, deep fried plantain chips - these may have been store bought, they certainly weren’t freshly fried. And a Maracuya - a large passion fruit drink.

                                                                                                      I was very impressed, especially with the tamal, and will be going back soon.

                                                                                                       
                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: brucesw

                                                                                                        That looks great and maybe I can convince Jaymes and Neointima, (anyone else?), into adding it to our tamale crawl in two weeks.

                                                                                                        It's not really *my* kinda tamale, but it looks great.

                                                                                                        Just for the record, *my* kind of tamale is pork, spicy and greasy. But that's just me.

                                                                                                        1. re: DoobieWah

                                                                                                          'bit of lard' was of course tongue in cheek. There's a heck of a lot of oil of some sort involved in that thing. I prefer to use the euphemisms moist or wet instead of greasy and that was one of the wettest tamales I've ever had although maybe not as wet as it looks in that picture. It was very savory but there is nothing spicy about Nicaraguan cuisine.

                                                                                                      2. This past Monday morning I wanted to try something different at the Buffalo Grille so I opted for the Huevos Rellenos. The dish was interesting. As with so many places these days the portion served was too larger, they could get by with one pepper not two. Other than that very tasty.

                                                                                                        1. I don't know if you rubes on this board can understand the fine dining I just experienced on the 290 corridor, but here goes. Apps, Captain Bennys oysters on the half shell at 5.99 a dozen from San Antonio Bay, a little small for me but delicious and salty. Mains, Chick-Fila sandwich, no pickles, and strips for the wife-a-cita. Dessert/sides, mac and cheese from the Luby's drive thru.

                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: James Cristinian

                                                                                                            I am impressed, James. You are definitely moving on up in this world - must be on an expense account to eat like that.

                                                                                                            1. re: brucesw

                                                                                                              Actually brucesw, we use the expense account on Jack In the Box tacos. We had a gift card at Chick, and scored enough chicken and mac and cheese leftovers to enjoy for the BIG GAME.

                                                                                                          2. Third and most impressive visit to Selva Negra. So far I have stuck to the 'Traditional Plates' portion of the rather extensive menu. I had the Indio Veijo, or Old Indian - shredded beef (brisket, I think), in a sauce based on sour oranges, thickened with masa, with baby corn, some tomato, bell pepper, perhaps some onion and potato or yuca, possibly some mint in there too since locally grown mint is a herb commonly used in the Nica kitchen. Accompanied by gallo pinto, the Nica version of red beans and rice, maduros and well chilled, crisp, lightly picked Central American cole slaw which they just call ensalada.

                                                                                                            I also had the linaza, a refresco with linseed/flax. All of their refrescos have been very sweet and I couldn't finish this one. I also couldn't tell if there was a fruit juice base or if it was just colored sugar water. I expected something kind of grainy and a little savory, not something ultra sweet.

                                                                                                             
                                                                                                            1. The first time I tasted Thai food sometime in the 1980s was at Thai Pepper on Alabama. The flavors knocked me off my feet and it was love at first bite. I still crave Thai food regularly, but it's been many a year since I've been to Thai Pepper. I stopped in for lunch this week and enjoyed the green curry chicken, along with the special shrimp roll appetizer. Friend ordered a duck dish from the extensive duck options. The chicken was tender and delicious. The restaurant is still as perplexingly dark as I remember, with black walls and floors, it is not terribly inviting. And the parking....still a nightmare, much like Feast only worse. It is a Houston icon now though, celebrating 30 years in Houston this year. I just wish they'd paint and brighten up the place.

                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                              1. re: Lambowner

                                                                                                                I think that place was there when I lived in Montrose in the 70s. I must've driven by a few thousand times, always wondered about it but never stopped. Thanks for the heads up.

                                                                                                              2. I've been continuing my quest for the best Italian sub in Houston this week (may get up enough energy to report on that on the other thread). In the process, I discovered an Italian deli in Stafford just a couple miles from me that's been there for 30 years and I've never known about. I went in intending to try their po'boy but opted instead for a special sandwich of the day, a Hot Italiano - Black Forest ham, Genoa salami, provolone, roasted red pepper, tomato, romaine, kalamata olives, evoo and balsamic on rosemary sour dough bread. The meats were better than I've been finding on the subs I've been having and it was a very good sandwich, not quite as good as maybe Local Foods in the Village or Revival Market would have done with the same concept but considering it's a neighborhood deli in Stafford - damn good.

                                                                                                                Pic here if you want to see it:

                                                                                                                http://sonovabob.blogspot.com/2013/02...

                                                                                                                Friday I dropped in on my new favorite shack on the coast of Maine for a lobster roll (and only 35 minutes away via the Beltway - Maine-ly Sandwiches on the North Fwy). I had a whole roll - lobster lightly dressed with mayo and herbs, on a lightly buttered and toasted split top bun (probably from Slow Dough). Also picked up a Whoopie Pie and received a complimentary little piece of salt water taffy.

                                                                                                                I couldn't finish the sandwich it was so rich, so I brought it home and had it for breakfast the next day (along with the Whoopie Pie). I've been to Maine before and realized I could easily grow accustomed to eating lobster every day; I only had a couple of lobster rolls while there and this was better than any of them. It made not only my day but my whole weekend.

                                                                                                                Pic here:

                                                                                                                http://sonovabob.blogspot.com/2013/02...

                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: brucesw

                                                                                                                  WHAAAATTT??? I have been looking for a lobster roll since a visit to Maine some 5 years ago! You just made my day. Thank you, kind sonovabob.

                                                                                                                  1. re: Lambowner

                                                                                                                    I think you'll be pleased. I've told a neighbor who's originally from NE and we're planning a trek up there this week.

                                                                                                                2. Kegg's Candies for a box of dark chocolate covered nuts for the wife/Valentine's Day. Go now guys and girls, the place gets crowded and wiped out. Grab an almond cluster and a lemon and an orange cream to go and enjoy on the way home. Beechnut and 610 across from Meyerland Mall in the Los Tios strip center.

                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: James Cristinian

                                                                                                                    I must pass that place at least a half dozen times a week and have never stopped. I see they also do frozen custard. I've never seen that mentioned in discussions of frozen custard in Houston and I've driven all the way to Katy to Ritter's, all the way to the Woodlands for Culver's, and all the way to Copperfield for Freddies, and here's a place just a mile from me.

                                                                                                                    I've always turned to See's for candies but now that all the Rice's are closing except one that's going to be harder to do.

                                                                                                                    Thanks for the mention.

                                                                                                                    1. re: brucesw

                                                                                                                      They have a store in their factory on Westpark. Good candies.

                                                                                                                  2. The wife-a-cita and I took a roadie on Saturday to Karoncho's in Channelview. The allure was the trompo tacos, rarely found in Houston proper. I'll attach an Alison Cook review describing the sprawling compound. It was outstanding. Go under the covered part for seating with waitstaff. Good chips and salsa are provided and we ordered a half a chicken, which Alison gushed over, tacos of asado de puerco, trompo, chille rellito, and bistec. The chicken was good but the bistec ok. Everything else was fantastic, the trompo is sliced and placed on one of the two mesquite grills for finishing. Lots of Hispanic families enjoying the food and playground, many in (go) Texans and Astros gear. I'm the only gringo there. Allison went in August when it was close to 100 and said it was fine, mid 50's for us in February, perfect. I suggest anything but summer, for us the wife-a-cita overheats rapidly.
                                                                                                                    Another edit, check the bottom of Alison's review for website.
                                                                                                                    http://www.29-95.com/restaurants/stor...

                                                                                                                    1. Today being Ash Wednesday the wife wanted some non meat options for today and Friday, and I looked to Louisiana Foods on West 12th just outside the loop. I got the reliably good fried catfish, some fried shrimp, and spicy shrimp campachena from the storefront, plus a pound of oysters to fry up on Friday. Good Stuff!

                                                                                                                      1. Had a pleasant chowhounding type experience today - what I love to do, check out a new restaurant/cuisine. Meandering all over yesterday on the way home from the dentist, I spotted a place I'd never seen before and when I looked it up online found it specializes in Egyptian fare. If you've eaten at a Middle Eastern restaurant you probably have had some dishes that are Egyptian in origin - falafel and ful medammes, for instance - but so far as I knew we haven't had an Egyptian restaurant here until now and I was eager to try a few things so I went today.

                                                                                                                        I had the falafel - Egyptians invented it and their version uses fava beans instead of chickpeas and I wanted to try it. Turns out I may have had it before and just didn't realize it - the interior is sort of mushy, not grainy like most chickpea versions. It was very good, not spicy piquant as I had read it was but very flavorful. I asked for some hot sauce on the side but what they brought (in a stainless cup, not a bottle), was too vinegary for my taste so I stuck with the tahini sauce. The platter also included rice, hummus and pickles. The pickles were great - turnip, cauliflower, carrot, cucumber, olive - I love pickles.

                                                                                                                        There was also a fresh baked bread which was still puffed up from being fresh out of the brick oven and never collapsed - it had more of a cracker like texture than your usual pita and was great for scooping the hummus.

                                                                                                                        I forgot that i wanted to try the sahlab, the orchid drink (thread on General Topics) and ordered the black tea with mint. Oh well, next time.

                                                                                                                        Pictures here: http://sonovabob.blogspot.com/2013/02...

                                                                                                                        A lot of food for the price; specials today included Lamb's Brains and Macaroni Bechamel, the Egyptian version of pastitsio and one other I can't remember.

                                                                                                                        Restaurant website: http://www.dandanahcafe.com/

                                                                                                                        I do plan on going back soon; there are a couple of other entrees, a couple of beverages and a couple of desserts that I want to try.

                                                                                                                        It occurs t me there may be others who would be interested in a get-together so I'll start a thread.

                                                                                                                        1. Corkscrew BBQ - off Sawdust Rd in The Woodlands - been hearing about it for about a year. Easily some of the best brisket I've had in Houston, tender, juicy and flavorful. I wasn't as taken by the sausage as Alison Cook was in her review just this week but it's not bad. Potato salad - almost a mashed potato salad, was excellent, I was disappointed in the baked beans with meat - I was hoping for something as good as Pierson's chili beans but it wasn't close. Portions are kind of modest. They're getting famous for selling out, sometimes very early, but I had no problem and there was no line on a weekday for lunch.

                                                                                                                          Pic: http://sonovabob.blogspot.com/2013/02...

                                                                                                                          Reuben sandwich from Fresh and Savory Deli, Stafford. Very good.

                                                                                                                          Pic: http://sonovabob.blogspot.com/2013/02...

                                                                                                                          In my ongoing quest for a great Italian sub (I've had 9 and a half in the last 3 weeks), I went to D'Amico's. I subbed a cup of cioppino for the accompanying potato salad. The sandwich was not the 'standard' ingredients: baguette (Italian sub on a French baguette, oh the horrors!), sopressata, salami, mortadella and provolone, with an onion-tomato relish. Both the bread and the cheese were far and away the best I've experienced and the meats were also the best I've had but I've never had one before with sopressata and mortadella so can't compare them to anything. It was served warm (also atypical). This was not specified on the menu or I would have asked they not heat it up.

                                                                                                                          Pic: http://sonovabob.blogspot.com/2013/02...

                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: brucesw

                                                                                                                            Got to try Corkscrew at the Houston BBQ Fest a couple of weekends ago.

                                                                                                                            Here's the link: http://houbbq.com/

                                                                                                                            Corkscrew's brisket wasn't very good then, but their pulled pork with some of their chunky sauce was excellent. This was my first stop at the event.

                                                                                                                            The best brisket I had that day was Pizzatola's, believe it or not.

                                                                                                                            Killen's brisket was dry but I had one of their beef ribs that was excellent. (Not John Mueller's excellent, but probably the best thing I had there).

                                                                                                                            Gerardo's was there with barbacoa and carnitas and that awesome orange habanero salsa. It made for a nice change from all the brisket slices.

                                                                                                                            I went to this deal with my bro, and honestly, I don't think I would do it again.

                                                                                                                            The weather was nice, the set up was fine, but the deal was that your entry was $40, and you got a 2 oz sample from every vendor and you could get back in line for each place as many times as you wanted.

                                                                                                                            Sounds great, right?

                                                                                                                            BUT, very few of the vendors had any sides or bread, so usually you stood in line to get one slice of brisket and maybe a rib or a bite of sausage, but your taste didn't last long and it quickly got tedious. BTW, let me be clear that the lines moved very fast since there were usually no choices to be made and there was no money changing hands.

                                                                                                                            Additionally, they were slicing and pumping out as fast as possible but most of the brisket was fairly dry. I'm sure it wasn't their optimal conditions for serving their stuff.

                                                                                                                            The ribs were usually better than the brisket from the places that had them.

                                                                                                                            I didn't have any sausage that I thought was outstanding and in fact, I think Virgie's was serving Hillshire Farms, (at least it resembled it a whole lot).

                                                                                                                            Sorry about the rant. I came here to post yesterday's lunch at Pappy's of Blackened Catfish and Crawfish Etouffee and dinner of Sushi at "The Jin", but saw the Corkscrew reference and it reminded me about the BBQ Fest.

                                                                                                                            For $20, I would have loved it.

                                                                                                                            For $40, I wish I had driven to Lexington. (I know Snow's isn't open on Sundays, but you get my drift...)

                                                                                                                            1. re: DoobieWah

                                                                                                                              Thanks for the report. I wondered how that thing was going to work. Doesn't sound very appealing to me and I'm glad I didn't go.

                                                                                                                              There were only a couple of vendors slated that I'd never had and only one I really was interested in trying - Brooks Place. Did you sample their offerings? Any observations?

                                                                                                                          2. The following is hearsay and will not stand up in a court of law. A friend and two others went to the Pearland Crawfish Festival, has twenty pounds at three bucks a pound, 3.50 for two, and had a good time. Crawfish mixed from small to mini lobster, unlike the huge platter shown on the 5 am Channel 11 news. Drawbacks, long walk from the parking area, a lack of shade, and long walk to the crawfish, but again my friend, a reliable source, enjoyed it.

                                                                                                                            http://pearlandcrawfishfestival.com/

                                                                                                                            1. Yesterday:

                                                                                                                              Lunch - Dim Sum at Fung's Kitchen with OBD and Mamacita

                                                                                                                              Dinner - Crispy Tacos at home with picadillo, onion, lettuce, tomato, queso, avocado, sour cream, and homemade pintos aside.

                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: DoobieWah

                                                                                                                                Did you make your own taco shells? Ever have the fresh pintos at Canino's, Augustish? So many questions. I'm still waiting for okra to come in for my nearly famous world famous okra corn and tomatoes, or my equally famous fried with the corn meal mixture from Louisiana Food's on 19th. No okra as of last week.

                                                                                                                                1. re: James Cristinian

                                                                                                                                  JC, I don't know how I missed this before. I apologize for ignoring your questions.

                                                                                                                                  No. I use store bought taco shells. I think these were Ortega extra large.

                                                                                                                                  I ALWAYS get the fresh pintos and love them. They come out SOOOOO creamy. I buy the pintos, lady cream and purple hull peas by the gallon and freeze them to last me through the cold dark days of winter.

                                                                                                                                  MY fried okra is the bomb. I fry the ever-loving you-know-what out of them until they're supercrispy and my family and friends munch them like candy. We rarely have any with dinner as they get scarfed up as soon as they come out of the skillet.

                                                                                                                              2. Yesterday:

                                                                                                                                Breakfast, Frank's Grill Mangum, bacon, ham, grits, hashbrowns, great biscuits, we share and eggs for the wifeacita. I hate eggs. Lots of leftovers, just polished off some biscuits. On the way home we saw the Greater Heights Crawfish Festival at NW Mall. We returned later, crawfish a bit small but very well seasoned, St. Arnold's on tap, we got the dark for the same 5 buck price as Bud-Light, still trying to figure out why anyone would not choose St. Arnold's. We had a great time. Dessert, pecan pie from Flying Saucer.

                                                                                                                                1. Lopez. Tacos Rancheros. Nap. Tonight, party at Carmelo's. Tomorrow, party at Denis' Seafood. Monday, food hangover.

                                                                                                                                  1. Who's birthday or anniversary are we celebrating?

                                                                                                                                    (Just so I know who's tab to put my bill on.)

                                                                                                                                    ;-)

                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                    1. re: DoobieWah

                                                                                                                                      One turns 80, one 28!

                                                                                                                                    2. Had lunch today at Shanghai River on Westheimer near Kirby. Talk about a time warp. Marvin Zindler and Mayor Bob photos line the walls and show tunes play in muzak format from the speakers. But folks love the spicy dumplings in peanut sauce and the owners are friendly as can be.

                                                                                                                                      1. Yesterday:

                                                                                                                                        Lunch: Green Salad, Grilled Chicken and Sausage, with a twice baked tater at Pappy's.

                                                                                                                                        Dinner: Chicken Salad sandwich. I made the chicken salad with the smoked chicken half I picked up at Tony's Smokehouse on Eldridge after the crawfish feast at Trader's Village last weekend.

                                                                                                                                        1. Yesterday I had lunch at Brasserie 19. A crispy oyster appetizer served over a green onion & cheesey sauce was really delicious. The truffled egg salad sandwich was good, but needed salt and pepper which was luckily plentiful on the table (so many restaurants these days refuse to place S&P on the table). My friend had the grilled octopus for app and was delighted with it. The main was an open faced smoked salmon sandwich on seeded bread and the gushing over it made me wish I had ordered it. Even the neighboring table leaned in for a look.

                                                                                                                                          B19 has that old world elegance and the service is top-notch and classic. It's an elegant experience and the prices are reflective - around $25 for app and sandwich. An expense account place, and it remains a beautiful people hang out as well. I can't really begin to describe some of the patrons.

                                                                                                                                          1. Yesterday, crawfish , from HEB 1.79 a pound, three pounds for less than a pound at a restaurant, plus a bottle of wine for the price of a glass, movie Easy Rider on dvd. Today fried chicken tenders and okra, corn, and tomatoes from Canino's, all cooked at home.

                                                                                                                                            1. So, killing time during an oil change, and with the release of Texas Monthly top 50 BBQ places, I gave my wifeacita an amouse bouche at Virgie's on Gessner. Worst experience ever, they were closed for the weekend. Too bad, so we went to Jack for the two for 99 cent tacos. Last weekend running errands, carnitas at Pancho's Meat Market on Longpoint, driven by a thousand times but never stopped. Delicious, braised style, especially for 3:30 pm for a hole in the wall joint, kinda like bbq, early is better.

                                                                                                                                              http://www.texasmonthly.com/eat-my-wo...

                                                                                                                                              1. Yesterday:

                                                                                                                                                I tried to go to Jamaica House on Westheimer which I discussed here somewhere recently, but alas, they had the dreaded door signage: One put up by the restaurant that said "Closed for Renovations", and the other from the landlord saying...well...you know what it said.

                                                                                                                                                So instead I cruised down to Dumpling King a half block away.

                                                                                                                                                (Aside: I ate at Biryani Pot a day earlier and two doors down. I'm loving that place. I just sit there eating and thinking "this is SO good". I love to eat, but I rarely hold that thought for a whole meal.)

                                                                                                                                                At Dumpling King I had ten assorted pan fried dumplings and a cup of egg drop. Delish. The Veg are my least favorite, but the pork and the beef are really good.

                                                                                                                                                For dinner, I warmed up the braised beef ribs I cooked on Sunday and made mashed potatoes and pan fried green beans. Pretty good. All gone.

                                                                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                1. re: DoobieWah

                                                                                                                                                  Pan fried green beans? Pleas explain.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Lambowner

                                                                                                                                                    I'll make this Houston specific so we can slip it by our overworked, underpaid and ever so attractive moderators:

                                                                                                                                                    The Red Pepper on Westheimer just west of the Galleria serves your typical Americanized Chinese food and it's really good. However, they do two things that are atypical of their peers.

                                                                                                                                                    First, they offer the choice of an eggroll or cold noodles. The cold noodles are basically spaghetti pasta with a rich and creamy peanut sauce. I always, (and I do mean ALWAYS), opt for the noodles.

                                                                                                                                                    The second thing they do is provide a side of pan fried green beans with every lunch entree.

                                                                                                                                                    They're so good that I learned how to make them at home. Usually, I will fry up a slice or two, (or four), of bacon and remove when crisp and drain all but one tbs of the fat out. Then just flash fry a handful of washed and trimmed fresh green beans. They quickly turn a bright green and I cook them until they just begin to brown around the edges. Crumble the bacon over and serve.

                                                                                                                                                    Last night however, I just used a tbs of bacon fat from my bacon fat can, (yeah - I have a bacon fat can), and caramelized some onions and THEN threw the green beans in. I have also added sliced poblano peppers, roasted red peppers, garlic, etc.

                                                                                                                                                    Simple and versatile.

                                                                                                                                                    Not healthy.

                                                                                                                                                    But simple and versatile.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: DoobieWah

                                                                                                                                                      Okay, that sounds good. I do something similar but steam them a bit first before stir frying with onion, garlic and soy. I find myself occasionally at an old school Chinese place called Shanghai River on Westheimer. They have a stir fried green bean dish on the lunch menu that is the main and I always order it. I also hit P.F. Chang's last week to have their fried green bean app - so good. I have developed a craving for green beans over the last few years. I am going to The Red Pepper sooner than later, even if it is in the dreaded Galleria area!

                                                                                                                                                2. Due to a dearth of posts... Fish and my version of chips at my place. HEB has wild caught Alaskan cod at 6 bucks a pound. I used a simple but killer Paula Deen beer batter for the fish and my version of chips, onion rings from Valley onions brought home by wifeacita, very sweet. Delicious!

                                                                                                                                                  1. This week I tried the new Hollister Grill next to Coppa on Washington Avenue. I know the Hollister Grill on Hollister has a very loyal following, but I've not been there. This new location is more convenient for me. There were just a few other tables at peak lunch time which was disturbing because the food was innovative and outstanding.

                                                                                                                                                    I had starter of cold zucchini gazpacho garnished with curried feta. It was delicious. I ordered from the myriad of specials noted on a dry erase board on the wall rather than the menu, which offered some amazing sounding dishes as well. I had fried oysters (4) and grilled shrimp (6 large) over penne pasta tossed with a creamy artichoke and goat cheese sauce. At $13, it was far more than I could finish after the large cup of soup ($3) and so I am lucky to have some leftovers. My friend had another special, pan seared grouper ("delivered fresh this morning!") with cauliflower puree, roasted potatoes, and a slab of squash blossom butter, which I tasted and it also had goat cheese in it. They will be getting their wine/beer license any day but will continue the BYOB policy even after they get it. The Hollister location is and always will be BYOB only. The service was friendly, helpful and prompt and a person I gather was an owner stopped by the table on his way out the door to talk briefly about the BYOB options. Next time I'll order lighter so I can try the banana pie in a jar ($7). I hope this place sticks around.

                                                                                                                                                    http://hollisteronwashington.com/

                                                                                                                                                    1. Sunday AM carnitas at a little carneceria called Pancho's Meat Market on Long Point and Wirt. The wifeacita and I elbowed our way in and rubbed elbows with Spring Branch immigrants, Mexican American families, and one other gringo face besides my own, he with an Hispanic girlfriend. We had some delicious hot carnitas with a killer green sauce, washed down with Topochico and Mexican Pepsi. Wifeacita was delighted to get back to her Hispanic roots, and we shared a table with a couple of worker immigrants you see everywhere happily wolfing down menudo with flour tortillas. A good time was had by all.

                                                                                                                                                      1. I went to Luby's at Town & Country this week for the first time in a while, and they are closed to make way for a new high rise. I ended up at a small Chinese eatery at Blalock area in the same shopping center as Russo's called Hunan Inn. It was marginal.

                                                                                                                                                        Also went to Ta Hua and loved the clean new dining room, sans murky fish tanks. The staffing was short. The food was better than the prior owners (we have had it delivered a couple of times). The shrimp chow mein was made with frozen shrimp that come with that translucent color and soft texture.

                                                                                                                                                        Tried the French cafe in the Heights called Salé-Sucré for lunch and enjoyed a crepe special (spinach and mushroom) with dessert (creme brulee) for $15, and moules and frites ($16). The frites were fresh-cut but strangely lacking in flavor and came with ketchup. Where's the mayo, mon frere? This would be a very nice place for a date. Lunch was sparsely attended, it was just us until a couple of tables of summer vacationers came in for a late lunch.

                                                                                                                                                        1. Yesterday was all homemade, by me or a friend.

                                                                                                                                                          But as for today, went to Hoang sandwich, near the UH campus:

                                                                                                                                                          http://www.hoangsandwich.com/

                                                                                                                                                          Got a banh mi and a pork and veggie bun - pretty good, but I think they added meat to my sandwich and upcharged a little. The bun was pretty good too, but there were some slightly crunchy bits, and not in the good way.