Thursday, March 25, 2010

Underground Fried Chicken dinner

So, what is an underground fried chicken dinner? Well, there's truly no mystery, it's really the off-menu item is all.

The dinner took place at Pesce on Kirby. Yes, the seafood place. The story goes, Chef Mark Holley was approached by a frequent customer who asked him to make some fried chicken for his birthday. The nearby table saw what he has, and they wanted it, and since that it became so popular that the restaurant decided to do a chicken dinner once a month. Even then, they have a 3 month wait list. No lie, call them, those dinners takes place on the last Thursday of the month.

On to the food, shall we?

As you know, or if you don't, Chef Holley does not disappoint. They offer a great range of seafood. But let's talk chicken. Apparently, the chicken were catch 2 days before, so everything is fresh, fresh, fresh. The batter has a very subtle kick of pepper and it was very juicy and no hint of dryness at all. Several people at the table were commenting how it tasted like how grandma used to make them... so I know it is good.

What's on the plate? So, obviously, the fried chicken. Chef Holley was saying his secret ingrediant is the sugar cane syrup (which is that puddle of brown stuff). For sides, he brought out biscuit (of course) with light brown gravy that has tomato in it. White truffle mac & cheese (not sure if grandma ever made that), and sweet potato with (I believe) walnuts & either dates or cranberry.

Like I said, there was gravy, and I didn't get any, because by then, I was stuffed... my eyes definitely wanted to devour more, but my stomach declined... plus, as my neighbor, Karen, said, there's dessert still.

The dessert was pecan pie (made in house) and bacon cinnamon ice cream. I know, I know, bacon? Well, in today's world w/ bacon chocolate and bacon cupcake, why is it strange to have bacon ice cream? It was delicious, and you can hardly tell that there's bacon in there. The bacon are in tact, so we all guessed that it was sprankled in after the cream became ice cream. You can see little bits of bacon in the ball of ice cream, but there's no overempowerment of taste there. You can definitely bit into little bit of bacons, but it's like ice. You know when you ice cream get froze bite. It's like that.

Overall between good food and good people, this is one heck of a deal. If you ever get a chance to try it, you should. Remember, 3 months wait.

3029 Kirby Drive
Houston, TX 77098

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Battle of Cupcakes... Patty's version (part 1 of many)

Well, when I read the Houston Press' Battle of Cupcakes I thought it was highly unfair. First off, they seems to have some sort of allegiance to Dessert Gallery. I personally don't have anything against Dessert Gallery. They have good lunch and they got good Brownie. Ohhh and they have good iced tea. But desserts??? I'm just going to say that you are entitled to your opinion, and mine is that I think they do better job on other food item than their dessert.

Anyway, back to the Houston Press' comparison. They picked Dessert Gallery vs. Sugar Babies. Personally between the two, they are made very differently. Let me just say, not all cupcakes are created equal. The folks at Sugar Babies really did it like how Mama used to. It's nice buttery and yummy goodness. Dessert Gallery's, personal feelings aside, both icing and the cake are dried. And that's on more than one occasion that had happened (we have people send us cupcakes and dessert from there). Yet, the writer picked Dessert Gallery. Gimme a break!

Back to my version of the Cupcake Battle. Today's challengers: Frosted Betty vs. What's Up Cupcake. I would've put up a picture of the cupcakes... except they were in my car and it sorta melted, and of course I had to eat it because it's so sad looking, and it went to my tummy... womp womp. Ok, on to the cakes...

First up, Frosted Betty, I got their famous Maple Bacon & Pistachio Cardamom. The Maple Bacon, I guess is used w/ maple syrup. They did have a small touch of bacon on top. First off, you can barely taste the bacon. Both my mom and I agreed that it was really buttery. The cake looks like yellow cake based, but the cake doesn't rawk my world. The icing was the buttery part. I know they do have some sort of bacon in there, but it was not overpowering at all. The Pistachio Cardamom was much more delectable. Both the cake and the icing are made out of pistachio. It's very smooth, and definitely my favorite.

Then it's What's Up Cupcake. What I had hoped was for their Coca-Cola Fudge cupcake. I've been dying to try that since I found out about them in Atlanta. (sidebar: they're big in Atlanta because Coke is based out of there, and several cake shops make them around town. So, I was ecstatic when I found out that someone in Houston is doing it. Well, they sold out of the Coca Cola one, but I settled for the Rocky Road one. I gave 2 other ones to the girls I know because they were holding down the shop down the street. But the one that I had was divine. Oh holy cow! The cake was moist, the icing was marshmellow cream. My oh my, it was a match made in heaven. They actually have nuts and mini marshmellow. Oh yum!

Well, the verdict? As hard as it is, I have to give it to What's Up Cupcake. The smoothness, the match and everything just went perfectly together. It was definitely delicious. I think I would definitely try Frosted Betty again, but this round goes to WUC!

While the upside was their goods are good. Trying to get my grubby hands on them are difficult. Frosted Betty came thru town once couple of days. Since they're based out of Katy (about 23 miles) from town, it's great that they're driving to town to get their cupcake fix. Luckily, they are pretty good about posting updates on Facebook (and thank goodness for that), so you can track them down around town. Contrary to What's Up Cupcake, they said they'll be at 14th & Shepherd on weekends I have yet to get them at their said time or place. I did voice that to the guys in the trailer, and they promised that they'll be more consistent. They did say that due to their popularity, they're kept busy and getting business constantly, which is great for them, but don't forget us the little people.