Friday, December 30, 2011

The Sweet Bakery

So, while shopping in Sugarland, we grabbed some lunch at the Townsquare in Sugarland. After walking around and stuff, I came across the bakery. They of course have cupcakes, cake balls, and their own design of cakes that gives the Cake Boss a run for his money. Don't know how they tasted, but if they tasted as good as it looks, then it must be pretty good. But most important of all, they also sell macarons! Wohoo!
Their display is very cute and whimsical, not to mention, totally drawing me into what they have to sell me. I say thumbs up on that.
I got: Coconut, Pistachio, Rose, Chocolate and Mango... thought that'll be a different twist.
For sure, they didn't take the cheat like Sweet did, in that they didn't put jam in the middle, expose them without refrigeration and be all sticky and melted. TSB used buttercream and stucked them real good together.
The shell didn't break easily as I bite into it. The buttercream held them together, but the taste is missing something. Not quite sure what, but for $1.50, I expected to be more flavorful. If Petite Sweet can achieve it, that means it can be done... Just hard to measure up.

If you're a macaron-snob like me only want to best, that's ok. If you don't want macs from here, try out their cake balls and cupcakes. If you want a custom cake, check out their FB page, got tons of cute cakes they designed that makes me envy of the receiver.

The Sweet Bakery
Located in the Sugar Land Townsquare
2270 Lone Star Dr.
Sugar Land, TX 77479

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Pappadeux - lunch

We don't usually go to Pappadeux for lunch, but did you know that the Richmond & Kirby location serves Sunday brunch till 3pm? It is mainly after-church crowd. The spread is very nice, they have omelete station, pancakes, waffle, carving station...etc.

For lunch, I got the Wedge salad; truth be told, I just wanted the blue cheese. And also a lobster bisque, that's my usual. If you are eating bread, dip their bread into the bisque, it's nice and soak up the soup, it's a perfect dish for a cold day.

2410 Richmond Ave
Houston, TX 77098
(713) 527-9137

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Marshmallow by Robuchon

My friends went to Las Vegas over Thanksgiving and had dinner at Robuchon. I've never eaten there before but their cookbooks and TV apparences made things looked wonderful.

That said, my friend was super nice. Remembering that I'm a big sugar fiend, she brought back the specially made marshmallow for all the guest dining with them that day.
Even the box is enticingly delicious! You open up the ribbon and you can smell the grapefruit and passionfruit. Is it weird that they smell pink?
It's not truly pink, it's mixed colors.
Ok, well this is pink. It's very yummy, light in texture. It's very different than the Kraft marshmallows for sure. You had one of Robuchon's and you felt like you're having flavored air. Definitely awesome.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Sushi Raku

I got couple of deals that I bought online that needed to use up for Sushi Raku, so invited my friend J to eat some Japanese food.

We started with bacon wrapped scallop. It has a cherry tomato in the middle. The little hay looking noodle stuff, it's so good it's addicting.
This is the sunomono, which has shrimp, octopus, seaweed, crab, a little pickled.
I ordered a Geisha roll, which the fish is pretty fresh.
I forgot which one this is, but it's pretty good, it has a hodge podge of sea food over rice. It had assorted sashimi, shrimp, octopus, unagi. All goes well with the dish.
On a whimp we decided to get the tiramisu, it was more bitter than sweet, but we kinda figured their drinks and sushi are good but the dessert is not their top priority.

The server we had was decent, in the pass the service can be hit or miss. Usually, I sit at the sushi bar to watch them work, and also get alot of attention from the head sushi chef. Not to mention, you can ask them to make a chef's choice and somethine spectacular happens.

It was strange, on a Thursday night, at dinner time, not alot of people eating. I think if it's not because of some networking event taking place in the bar area, there's probably not alot of patrons except for people who live across the way.

They have DJs on the most times I went. They begin at 9pm, maybe that's when things get crowded. You can valet or self park in the garage behind the building. Or better yet, catty corner is an open lot that welcomes you to park there. At night the area is beautiful, if anything, something to look at while you eat.

3201 Louisiana St. Suite 101
Houston, TX 77006
Phone: (713) 526-8885

Friday, December 23, 2011

Failed attempts

I picked the Disco Dust when I was at NY Cake. I remember that I've never seen it anywhere, so when I took it to the counter to pay and ask the guy how to use it; he looked at me like I had 3 heads. That or some remedial kid asking what's 1+1.
So, remembered last time's gigantic macs? I tried it at 1.5 inch this time. I also tried the recipe from my idol, Macaron Fetish. The problem with her receipe is that it doesn't like me. Her recipe called for 1 egg white, 30g almond flour, 50g icing sugar, 30g castor sugar.
It totally fell apart, and it came out flat. Usually if that's happen is because we pulled it out of the oven too early. But I know for sure that I put it in the proper temp like they instructed.
I was so looking forward to this 2nd batch. So I added Disco Dust just in case they come out nice...
This time, no feet, and not flat, but cracked cracked cracked... Broke my heart!

Thursday, December 22, 2011


As far as Vietnamnese food is concern, Vietopia is really good for convenience than anything else. The space is nice and it's definitely catered to the West U crowd.

I always get the same dish, so that's easy to do. It's called Bun Thit Nuong Cha Gio, which is grilled pork on vermecelli with egg roll. Now, be careful how you order the egg roll, in Vietnamnese they have the spring roll which is rice paper with vermecelli inside with lettuce and a protein, which can either be beef/chicken/or shrimp. Egg roll, on the other hand, is the egg noodle on the outside and fried.

At Vietopia, they give you a huge portion, but some of it doesn't have the full flavor that the food originally has. And of course, they do charge you for it, but the service is much better than you get at any of the hole in the wall.

5176 Buffalo Speedway,
Houston, TX 77005
(713) 664-7303

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Jeannine's Bistro

So when I realized that my Groupon was about to expired, I dragged David to go to use it. Previously, when I visited, it was tiny and small. Since then, they have taken over the unit next door and it is now much roomier than ever.
I ordered the curry mussel and it came with pomme frite. The Belgians eat them with mayo, but I'm too American for it. If you want to be a Canadian, just mix them up. Either way, they're nice and crispy.
For dessert, I love their Profiterole with the Belgian Chocolate sauce and Blue Bell ice cream. But this time, I got the Belle Pear, which has pear, Blue Bell Vanilla, whip cream (which I don't much care for because it gets in my way to the ice cream and pear), and a side of the Belgian Chocolate sauce, nice and warm, on the side. Needless to say, yummo!

This visit, the service wasn't as great as before. My previous experience at the smaller space, while it was packed to the gills and people were squeezing to get into the doors, the service and attention was much better than now. Also, they didn't have the off the menu specials to offer like they did before. Previous trip, they had lamb chop and veal to offer that was off menu. Just curious why they change? Those are pretty popular off-the-menu items.

Jeannine's Bistro
106 Westheimer Rd # E,
Houston, TX 77006-3332
(713) 874-0220

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Harlow's in Grand Palace

The only reason why people would go to Harlow's is because you just watched a movie or trying to get a drink before the movies, maybe because your chick dragged you to see the latest chick flick or a bunch of screaming kids is going to cry/scream/yell their way thru hour an a half and you're trying to numb yourself before going into battle. Otherwise, no one really out of the blues go to Harlow's.

Ok, maybe to take advantage of their valet parking, so you don't have to find a spot to park in the garage yourself, but other wise... urm... yeah.

My friends and I got done watching a movie and they needed a drink. Sure, I'm up for it. They ordered the hard stuff, which from what I gathered they were pretty watered down. I got a quesadilla so I have some solids to layer my stomach for the night.

The quesadilla was oily for not alot of stuff that needed to be oiled. The salsa was nice, and as far as bar food, it was not bad, but nothing to write home about either. Looking at other patrons' plates, their dishes are D&B style at best, and judging by their staff, it's as uninspiring as the people who made it. Let me put it this way, for the 6 slices you see there, I only finished 2 1/2 pieces of it. That's all I can take.

The service was just as you can expect from a place that's ran by teenagers. Either they're better or worst candidates from the movie theatre that it's attached to it. Their game room is nothing to brag about, and they do close at 9p. If you want real food, I recommend going behind the theatre and get some real stuff range from Korean to Italian. For real alcohol, you may have to go further down to Tony's or somewhere else, but Oporto is a wonderful wine bar, also behind the theatre.

3839 Weslayan,
Houston, TX. 77027
(713) 850-8555

Monday, December 19, 2011

Rudi Lechner's Thanksgiving Feast

I know Thanksgiving was a month ago, but thought it's noteworthy....
It's now a tradition that I go do Thanksgiving with my friend K since she doesn't go home until Christmas. This year, her brother decided to join us and we thought we'd give Rudi Lechner's a try.

As you can see, it's buffet style of 3 courses.
Here's the hot plates, you have your cabbage roll, mashed potatos, green beans, red cabbage, veal, and kelbasa sausage.
Don't forget the ham and turkey. (can't fit it on my plate) There was a salad/fruit plate though my friend was more excited about the pickled hering than anything else.
I had the apple strudel for dessert, and the dessert course was not all you can eat. Only one per person. The cream is like a clodded cream, but less dense. It's light and airly to go with the strudel.

Total cost was $27 per person, which was good with all the food they have. You will for sure go into a food coma. Drinks are separate, and unfortunately, due to their volume, no Salzburger Nockerl (what I called the fire coffee -that's their specialty).

Rudi Lechner's
2503 S.Gessner
Houston TX 77063
Tel: 713-782-1180

Friday, December 16, 2011

Huge Macarons

So, of course, after our Austin trip, we have to attempted those Giant Macarons ourselves. So, I went to work:
I piped them 2 inches wide, but unfortunately, my macaronage was running a tad wet and they ended up holding hands, which was not my intention. Thus, I have to cut them when they came out of the oven. Not only that, while the top is pretty and domed, there's no feet, not too happy with that outcome. :(
As you can see, it's 1 1/2 inch. Mine usually, with template is about 1 inch.
By comparison, 2 inches is huge!!!! So we know now that we should leave at least 1/2 inch between macarons so there won't be hand holding potentials.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Whole Foods - Austin

If you've never been to Austin's Whole Food down on 5th & Lamar, that's a destination to itself. That is the flagship where it all started. The space is huge even though it's in a very densed area. Inside, they have aisles, and room for aisles, a walk-in beer fridge, bread counter, dessert counter, sandwich counter, cheese counter, grill counter, and of course, fish and meat counter. BUT! That's not all, they have a pizza counter, sushi/noodle counter, wine counter and most interesting of all a diner type grill.

This is all on top of the prepared food section that has more hot food and salad toppings than I've seen any Whole Foods in Houston. And we have about 5 locations in town.

Above is the omelete I had made to order. While their diner style breakfast stops serving at 11a, if you get yourself squeezed in, try it. They do use fresh ingrediants on hand, duh, they're a grocery store. Lines do get long, but you can start with a basic omelete at $3.99 and add your cheese, your meat, and veggies as you go, with a charge of course. It average out to be between $5-7 which is about what you paid for out there at a restaurant.

There are seating upstairs inside, outside both at the entrance and exit. BUT... you also have to check out the rooftop seating. During Winter time, they have a ice skating rink laid out there, and you can watch people skate (or fall) while you eat. Just don't feed the birds.

Whole Food (Mecca)
525 N Lamar Blvd.
Austin, TX 78703
Phone 512.476.1206

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Cuatros - Austin

While we were in Austin, we were attending an event at the Texas Federations of Women's Club. The event organizers were smart enough to make a deal with the eatery across the street. They offer the event attendees a 10% off the bill. So that gave us more of an incentive to go.

We've eaten at Cuatros before. It's really an ice house/burger joint/sports bar combo. They have open seating which makes it nice when the weather is nice and you want to enough a brew with a game on their giant TV. Of course, most 99% of the people who go there are Longhorn, so be careful who you cheer for while watching the games. Just kidding.

Their food is decent, they have a good fish taco, and I don't say that about very many places. They have their share of burger, which I got the mushroom burger with no bun and it came with tator tots. I've had their ahi tuna salad before, and they did a good job on the seared tuna.

The service, depends on which college student you get. Some are better than others, the guys are always on top because they want a good tip. The girls are touch and go, but not terribly horrible. I manage to find somene else to help.

1004 w. 24th
austin, tx 78705
(512) 243-6361

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Austin Java Cafe

While we were in Austin, one of the site David was checking out was the Austin Java Cafe. This is an Austin landmark, that I'm told. Not that I'm not familiar with Austin Java, I've driven by their Tarrytown location and gotten coffee there before, but I've never sat down for food.
I liked how at the bottom of the menu, they made sure you know that this is a local company that use local sources to make their coffee and food. It is their pledge and mission statement pretty much.
I ordered the Junior Mint latte, that thing is huge and yummy with soy milk!
I ordered the Steak and Swiss omelettes. You can also customize your own omelettes. It wasn't overly seasoned, as a matter of fact, it's light on the taste. The fruit they gave us was so-so. Some of the fruits aren't in such a good shape to be served to people, but I always have an option to set them aside, which I did.

Austin Java Cafe
1608 Barton Springs Road
Austin, TX
(512) 482-9450

Just beware the Victory Medical Center is really a drive thru, not a full fledge restaurant. And the Barton Spring location, you can park behind the building in the garage and they will validate. While the Original location on Lamar (aka Tarrytown), there's a small piece of parking real estate, so be prepare to park in the neighborhood and watch for signs!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Homemade Pizza dough

So David is on this low carb/paleo/primal diet... one of the interesting and not too complicated thing was pizza. I know, right? Pizza?

Here's David making the dough, it's not too complicated, you use coconut flour and flex meal as your 'dough'. And the rest is not much more different than normal pizza ingredients. You know, tomato sauce, cheese and toppings.
We added random toppings, we had pineapple, canadian bacaon, cheese, and randomness.

You can see the pizza dough recipe, here. Give that a shot!

Friday, December 9, 2011

La Patisserie - Austin

So when our friend told us that she found this cute little coffee shop that sales macaron while we were in Austin, I was just about to keel over. Then the mission became MUST FIND MACARON IN AUSTIN.It's called La Patisserie, in South Austin. It's really inside a bungalow in the neighborhood, quite quaint.

This is their eggnog macaron... look at how big it is...
Here's a mix of them: (in no particular order) S'mores, Peppermint, Eggnog, Cranberry, Pisachio, Salted Caramel, Chocolate Espresso, Rose, Vanilla Bean, Gingerbread, and Pumpkin Cheesecake.
Here's their nice display case that. They also have cakes, salads, crossants, madeline, eclairs and other treats.
Look at that thing, it's huge! It's about 2.25 inches wide.
Chomp, chomp. It's nice and soft, the buttercream is the real deal. I much appreciate the owner's technique.

They actually have macaron of the month club, I thought that was cute. Not that you can eat that much macarons each month. Just a cute idea.

The house is nice and make you really feel like you can relax at this place, read a book, read a paper. They even have a play pen area for little kids to hang out. There are also nice display of artwork by local artists. Of course, the art is for sale, feel free to pick up a piece of art with your macaron and coffee.

La Patisserie by Luxe Sweets
602 W. Annie St.
Austin, Texas 78704
Phone (512) 912-0033