So, OtherBrotherDarrell, (OBD) and I took out Saturday morning, as we are wont to do, for some Chowventures.
As we both live out west near Phoenicia, we frequently plan some minor field trip for Saturday morning and also try to combine stops.
A common trip, (say three or four times a year), is the Alamo Tamale/BBQ Inn/Flying Saucer Pie Trifecta.
THIS Saturday, however we were throwing Houston Dairymaids into the mix so we changed up a bit. We did hit Alamo Tamales first and picked up four dozen between us. Hopefully we'll have a few left for T'giving.
Then we drove over towards Caninos and popped into AAA Cafe, (aka Trips), and had ... food. It was about 11:30 and I opted for breakfast. As I've pointed out before, I'm not really a breakfast eater, but it's not the food I object to, it's the ungodly hour! I just can't eat early.
Anyway, two eggs, bacon, pan fried potatoes and a biscuit. It was good.
OBD on the other hand was more adventuresome. He ordered the fried chicken. Two minutes later, our waitress returned with the distressing news that they were out of fried chicken. At 11:30 am on a Saturday? Hmmmmm.
Anyway, he changed his order to chicken fried steak as we had been discussing the relative merits of AAA's CFS as compared to BBQInn's version. Anyway, it was good. Fairly tender and a good crunchy breading. Perversely, the mashed potatoes came with a icky brown gravy as opposed to the creamy gravy for the steak. The star of the meal was...are you ready for this?...his other side order, the fried zucchini. It was breaded as if it were a fried oyster and was every bit as toothsome. Very highly recommended.
After lunch, we sauntered over to Canino's and I needed lots of stuff. Mostly salad veggies, but I also picked up a couple of pounds of fresh arbol chiles, and was delighted to find shelled purple hull peas as well and picked up a couple of pounds of those.
Pecans were the theme of the day and they had ten machines cracking pecans constantly out front.
Crossing the street, (Airline), we popped into Flores' Spices and I picked up some cumin, New Mexico chili powder and Mexican oregano.
What's that? Too much information on a thread titled Houston Dairymaids that's not about... you know... Houston Dairymaids? Fine.
To make a long story short...(haha)...two blocks south of Flores' is a big sign that says "CHEESE".
What a cool little joint. A one room storefront with a cooler case, a shelf far far smaller than my pantry, and a bar for two. I'll get back to the bar in a sec, but please allow me to elaborate. The shelf held a number of interesting items, Texas olive oils and balsamic vinegars. Tins of fennel pollen which I had only recently found at Central Market. Bread from Slow Dough, (I bought a baguette). Etc.
The two door cooler next to the shelves contained a myriad of prepackaged goodies and I took away from there a half pound of beautiful yellow, grass fed Jersey and Guernsey buttah, a ball of Mozzarella, and a parmesan. By the way,they specialize in small Texas based cheese makers and have an amazing array. But they also provide artisanal cheeses from across the US. I didn't see any imported cheeses at all.
We had been greeted by a young lady shortly after entering who was kind enough to help us out and explain the workings and show us the goods. We learned her name is Lindsey and she was as charming as you would expect from a "Houston Dairymaid".
Anyway, a spot opened at the bar and we latched onto it like Remus and Romulus. Their "gimmick", is that every day they have a selection of six cheeses which they lay out to sample. Now before you buffaloes go storming in for a free lunch, let me tell you that THEY wield the cheese spreaders and just lay out a smidge, a mere ephemeral swipe or tiny chunk, but it is really, really good. I am sure they purposely lay out a selection from across the cheese spectrum in that we sampled a brie-like cheese, ("runny cheese"), a couple of "firm cheeses" including a "Cowboy Cheddar", (which I bought and nibbled on all afternoon), a "blue" called Little Boy Blue which I also bought.
Go see these ladies. Go to Caninos. Go to Flores. And finish with a trip to Houston Dairymaids. It's a cool little spot that I will be back to often.
Oh yeah. I also bought a T-Shirt. (I'm a fan.)