Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Company Cafe - Dallas

From Yelp, we searched gluten free and found Company Cafe.  
They do have natural and fresh ingredients, cage free eggs and gluten free breakfast.
This is a Deep Bowl Breakfast, which has grass-fed beef with sweet potato with scramble eggs and salsa.  I have to be honest, the potato wasn't cooked all the way, it was a tad hard when you bite into it. The eggs and salsa was good together but the beef hash was disappointing.  

Here's the thing about this place, it's in the hipster part of Lower Greenville so get there early.  By the way, there's limited parking spots and there's no parking on the main street.  So if you park in the back streets, but don't park next door, you will be towed.  Go early for a spot and a table.

Company Cafe
2217 Greenville Ave
Dallas, TX 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Kaze - Dallas

When we went to Dallas, we wanted some sushi, and on yelp it's recommended, so we thought what the heck.
It's located in Lower Greenville and they have a stand alone building by themselves.  Not to mention, you can't miss it, they have a little bridge as an entrance.  Can't miss it.
This is Sexy on the Beach, which is not like Sex on the Beach even though the staff kept calling it that. It's goofy.  They have an umbrella for the beach portion of it.... haha.  This is essentially California Roll, with tuna, salmon, and eel with 3 types of caviar.  It does gets spicy as it becomes different colors.
This is the Cherry Blossom Roll which has crab, cucumber, mango, tuna, salmon, with mango sauce.  It's actually very good, and I would recommend it.
Here's the bar area.  They have the conveyor belt for lunch.  For 8.95, you get 5 plates, a salad, and a soup.  That's alot of food.
See, there's a bridge at the entrance, you can't miss it.  If you go on to the patio, you can see a nice little pond and a garden.

Kaze Dallas
7525 Greenville Ave
Dallas, TX 75231

Monday, October 29, 2012


I just started working in the Galleria area, and overwhelmingly Sak's been recommended as the place to be.  The lunch crowd is decent and amazingly there is a tip to dining there.
Of course, you can go to their happy hour, they have a lovely tapas menu.  But this is also one of the few places that has the Associate menu.  You get to sit at the bar instead of table, but the condensed menu is $10 + gratuity.  It's a great deal because the food is still good, and I would say all of the items listed is something that you would eat.  All you have to do is to ask for the Associate menu when you walk in.
I was initiated with their pork chop.  It comes with mac and cheese and veggie.  The sauce is a mustard sauce that goes very well with the pork chop.
Then there's the seafood crepe.  It's not as good as the crepe from Melange's, but it's good for lunch.  The sauce is light and that's balsamic vinegar drizzled around the plate.  The spinach with the cream was a nice touch.  I love it enough to come back to it.
Here's the grilled tilapia with mashed potato and tortilla chips.  The mashed potato was awesome, so much so that I'm licking the plate.

I know that they do serve dessert but the entree is so huge that you can't fit it in.  But I've seen it, they have a huge tray of them, you should save room for it.

In Sak's Fifth Avenue (Galleria)
5115 Westheimer
2nd floor of Saks

Friday, October 26, 2012

Fluff Bakebar at Revival

The other day, David wanted to go check out what's new at Revival, and you know what I was thinking, right?  Not what's new, is what are the flavors the Fluff Bake will have in the store.
I am such an addict to good macarons, and can you blame me?  
This is Orange Cream, you can't go wrong with this.  You can really taste the orange and the cream together... the shell is nice and soft as always.
This one is the Birthday Cake.  Obviously, it's not a cake.  But honestly, I can't tell the difference as to the filling or what it should be.  I can taste the normal stuff, meringue/almond/sugar but I don't know what the middle is made of.  So it'll remain a mystery to me.

Rebecca of Fluff Bakebar is a true Sugar Dealer, I've never had anything bad from her.  Of course,  I look up to her has something to do with it.  Her being an awesome person for teaching me and my friends how to make macaron does have influence.  But if she doesn't have the skills or creativity to make a name for herself, I wouldn't have know that Houston has such a gem.

Fluff Bake Bar
items available in Revival Market
also accept customized order

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Island Grill

So we were driving around for breakfast and our first choice didn't panned out, so we decided to go to Island Grill.  I usually go there for their smoothie.  They serve Gluten Free Houston's bread, but some days they were more up front about it than other days.  So that day when we asked they said they have it.  So we were asking if they would do French Toast with the bread, and the lady that was cooking said yes.  So we took them up on it.

Food there is always pretty decent.  They mainly focus on Mediterranean dishes, but they do omelet, pasta, burger, rice dishes.  I'd say the food is pretty average and not horrible but it's more an easy, quick go to place for a quick meal.  They do BYOB, if you want to bring your own.

Island Grill
4024 Bellaire Blvd
Houston, TX 77024

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Chop't - NY

Last day in NY, I had to grab a quick lunch before I head out.  I saw a line out side of this place, thought I'd give it a shot.
It's kinda cute, it's called Chop't.  During lunch time they really have it down where they guide you to one line then to the next.
They have pre-set salad that you can choose from.  I ordered the Modern Greek, should've added the chicken in there.  
This is what it looks like once you open up.  They really do chopped your salad.  I much rather the salad maker would actually stir them up real good.
Honestly, this place is convenient to all these office buildings but doesn't mean the food is that great.  To have a line outside the door, that led you to think that the place is very good.  It was ok, I think I would've liked the cafe down the street a bit better.  I know you can customize your own salad but as the lunch line is moving in a fast pace like NYC is, you mind do get flustered trying to make something yummy.  So, the pre-made list helps but also means you try to get whatever you can and move on.

145 West 51st Street 
New York, NY 10019
Phone: 212-974-8140

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Ippudo - NY

Out of the blue, I was having this HUGE ramen craving.  So I went looking... several NY local sites ran a few Top10 lists for ramen in NYC.  So, I went for it.
This is Ippudo NY.  It was not easy to find, but it is by Astor Place.  If you do go, go early.  They do get a line quick at that place.  By the time I got there, the bar was full and wait time was 45 mins at 6:30pm.  Luckily, sitting by myself made getting a spot easy.
You can watch the kitchen at work.  You see tons of noodles flipping and bowls flying around.  They do work for tips, feel free to drop a couple of bucks in their tip jar, they do work for tips.
For appetizer, I ordered cabbage and potato salad.  The potato salad is yummy and the cabbage complements nicely.  What I was doing was to put the potato salad on top of the cabbage leaves and eating them that way.
I ordered Akamuru Modern ramen.  It the silky pork ramen with veggie and their secret miso paste.  I added extra pork topping as well.  What you see here too, is chili paste and some sesame paste, and you should really mix it all up before eating.  They fully expects you to slurp your soup, that's the Japanese way, so don't feel bad.

The menu is not big, but just the variation of topping that you can mix and match there's alot of possibilities.  Not to mention during dinner time, they have more appetizer to choose from, and I did see that the Pork Belly bun is quite popular.  Not to mention that there are a great list of wine and dessert, so if you have room, go for it!

The place is very hip in decor, and when you walk in everybody greeted you in Japanese, even though this is not a fully staffed by Japanese descends.  So if you think about it, that means every time there's a new customer coming in, or an existing customer leaving they are constantly greeting them.  So, that part does get old.  But you'd get used to it.

As I said before, go early, line does form quickly.  I was there around 6:30p thinking I beat the dinner crowd by a little.  By the time I was done, the bar was full, the line outside was in different groups of hungry diners waiting for their noodles.  So, go early or go during non peak hours!   

65 Fourth Avenue (Between 9th and 10th Street)
New York, NY 10003
Phone: 212-388-0088

Monday, October 22, 2012

Randolph's Bar - NY

When I was in NY, you get easily distracted with all these little places to look at things, to go shopping or to even take in the energy or the sights.  By the time I get hungry, realizing it's already 10pm and nothing respectable is a: has open seating, b: without wait of some sort.  So, what else?  I carried my tired self, my shopping bags, and my work stuff and got back to the hotel.  In I saw the hotel bar, and thought: ah ha!  I'll go eat there!

The bar inside the Warwick Hotel is right at the entrance of the hotel, very convenience, and they are opened till midnight.  
I order what I usually get at any bar: Midori Sour.  It taste more like a Jolly Rancher candy more than anything else but hey, it goes well with everything!
I was dying for some veggies and ordered the fried brussels sprouts.  Here's the thing: it's not very 'fried'.  If anything, it was greasy and too 'soupy'.  The problem is that this soup/grease mixture is making the sprouts all soggy.   
For my main course, I had the Lobster Mac & Cheese.  This was totally worth it.  There are tons of lobster meat and the cheese was awesome, not to mention the bread crumb on top was just the thing.  If you don't get anything else, you have to get this!

The servers were great and attentive, and that helps to make a tired night perfect.  Bartender makes great drinks and the food is good.  I think people overlook this place because it's inside the hotel, but definitely a good place to go.

Randolph's Bar
Inside the Warwick Hotel
54th & 6th.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Macaron Cafe - NY

You know I cannot go to NY and not get some macarons, right?  This time I didn't get to make my way to uptown to get my Laduree.  For the interests in time, I found Macaron Cafe.   
I've actually have heard of them long before this visit.   David had gotten me a book of theirs a while back, and while they are definitely a loyal follower of the French method, I haven't had a chance to try out their recipes yet.
Lovely and colorful macs!!!!  One of every color, please!
Of course, I just got their box of 6.  I had: Earl Gray, Cassis, Creme Brulee, Orange Blossom, Rose, and Chocolate Passion.

The Macaron Cafe is really more of a true cafe.  They serve breakfast, salad, sandwich, coffee, and yes macaron.  If you are ordering for the office in New York, they do lunchboxes too.

Back to the macarons.  They are nice and soft even a week later.  I enjoyed them when I got home, and they were the true French method, the feet of the shell protrude outward, and you can tell it was done well by hand.  The flavors were good on Rose, Cassis, and Orange Blossom, the other flavors were so faint that I can't tell you what flavor was what.  I do admire their workmanship for making the shell nice and warm and durable for so long.  So brava for that!

Macaron Cafe (multi locations)
Herald Square location
161 West 36th Street
New York, NY 10018
(212) 564-3525

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Milos Greek - NY

To show you guys that I have no shame, even though I'm having dinner with my new boss, I'm still taking pictures.  Haha.
This round, it took us to Milos Mediterranean.  It's a spiffy and fancy place.  You are right down the street from MOMA on the beginning of Upper East Side.
We started with the Spreads, we have here Tarama with Spanish Almond on top, Tzatziki with Olive on top, and Skordalia at the end.  My favorite is the Tarama sauce, the Tzatziki was a bit over empowering for my taste buds.
For entree, I ordred the rack of lamb.  It was kinda strange that it comes with french fries with broccoli and cauliflower.  I like the balance of veggie and protein, but they can do grill veggie so much better.  The lamb was not gamey at all, and it was very nice and tender.
For Dessert, I tried to talk my boss into splitting the Chocolate Mousse cake with me.  Unfortunately, she has more will power than I.  I loved the dessert, even only had half of it.  It was super nice and fluffy just as chocolate mousse should be.  Definitely need a glass of milk to go with this dessert.

If you want to come here, make sure you make a reservation as most decent restaurant in New York do.  During dinner hour if you want to chance it, you may end up waiting longer than your tummy tolerates.  This is a bit of a pricey place, but the food is good and worth the money.  You may also find Milos in Montreal, Las Vegas, and Miami.

New York
125 West 55th Street 
New York, NY 
212 245 7400

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Back to New Malaysia - NY

New job took me back to NY to train.  And you'd know that I'm going to go back to my old haunts.  Where the yummy food is, of course!  I haven't been back to New Malaysia since May this year.  Quite a bit had changed with the space, but the menu stayed consistent.

The expanded over to the unit next to it for more seating, and they do need it.  As most NY places are, they're tiny and you can't be fat to walk thru any of these places, but they get enough people coming thru for food that they can use that extra seating space.
Of course, I have to get my Chendol.  Coconut milk based drink with palm sugar and shaved ice.
This time I did the 3 Treasures dish.  You see here the fried egg, Hai Nan style chicken (hidden under the egg), and curry brisket.
I took the egg off the top so you can see the Hai Nan Style Chicken.  The curry sauce was awesome with the rice.  And oh, the rice is cooked in chicken broth from the Hai Nan Style chicken, so it is super flavorful.  They also have a nice portion of potato to go with the meal.

New Malaysia Restaurant
46-48 Bowery
(between Bayard St & Canal St) 
New YorkNY 10013
(212) 964-0284

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Mandarin Hunan - lunch

I changed jobs recently, and as one of my last lunch downtown, I met up with the manager of another department for lunch.  Just chit chat and catch up.  He loves Mandarin Hunan

Growing up in Houston, I do remember it being one of the nicer places to eat downtown.  Prices are affordable and food is always consistent.  It is very much the American Chinese style food.  Occasionally I do crave the greasy food, and this is exactly what I needed.
Their lunch special is pretty decent.  Lunch Specials are no more than $10 per dish.  The dish comes with fried rice and eggroll and of course what you ordered.  The lunch specials are served between 11:00p till 2:30p.    They have similar specials for dinner too, that begins at 3p thru 9pm.  Of course, you're always welcome to order dishes to share.

Word of advise, downtown people eat lunch early, so it's not unreasonable to go to lunch at 11:30a to get a good seat.  As it gets closer to noon, it gets packed and may have to wait a little, but the restaurant is big enough that your wait won't be long.  

Mandarin Hunan Downtown
777 Walker St., 
Houston, TX 77002

Monday, October 15, 2012

Fu Fu for duck

For our 2nd stop of the Chinatown crawl, we stopped in Fu Fu's.  This time, our goal is for the peking duck!
For appetizer, we did the pork dumpling with soup, Shanghai-nese style.
Of course, we came here for duck and that we shall have!  First you get this steamed pot.
Inside, it's the warm buns... I love these buns, they're nice and soft and fluffy! 
Finally, the main event!  Peking Duck!  It's actually done well, it has enough meat and skin proportion, they also throw in some crispy skins too to go with, yum!

So, how I was taught to eat this is: you grab a bun, put down the hoisin sauce, add your meat, and put down the scallion and/or the cucumber to add crunch.  Then enjoy!

Fu Fu actually does Peking Duck 2 ways, which is how I've known it to be but not honored by many, and the second way is to use the remainder of the duck, bone and all, and make a soup broth.  Now, honestly, by the time you ate all that, you're full to the rim, but it is delicious and does help the meal goes down smooth.  

By the way, we had an 'early' dinner, some what of the Blue Hair Hour, but boy were we glad that we did, because as we ate, more and more people filed in and a line started to form outside.  So, word of advice, go early and go hungry!

Fu Fu Restaurant
(new location - facing Bellaire)
9889 Bellaire Blvd
HoustonTX 77246
(713) 981-8818

Friday, October 12, 2012

Jungle Cafe

It's a little out of order, because our Chinese food crawl, we did have another place, but since that's savory and we are on Macaron/Dessert Fridays, I thought I do a quite flip-a-roo to adjust.

Anyway, Jungle Cafe's new location is totally hip, although it felt out of place in the strip center that's warm and welcoming with food.
Front counter: cake display.  I missed their chestnut cake roll, their cake rolls are what they're great at.
Chocolate chestnut cake - very fancy
More cakes - they use macaron as part of the decoration!
Hello Kitty & Pooh bear cake... I'll never eat them because that's cruel and weird, but they are exceptionally made.
Pretty pistachio cake and iced green tea.
It is super cute!  

Here's the thing about Jungle, you do feel like you're going to the Soup Nazi of dessert cafe in Houston.  While there were no incident this visit, in the past, I do pass this place up even though that means passing up some good dessert.  The servers are inflexible, which I've heard that from other people as well, and they used to not accept credit cards for purchase.  When they finally start to accept credit cards, you as the customer pay a higher price with credit card versus cash.  I think they finally leveled the playing field, but then they don't make as many of their popular items and more artsy individual cakes.  Ultimately, it was easier to go to Dolce Delights with less drama and hassle.  That's not to say that Jungle's quality isn't good, they are, but not sure if the drama is worth it.

Jungle Cafe
9889 Bellaire Blvd, Ste 217
Houston, TX 77036

Thursday, October 11, 2012

HK Dim Sum

My friend, Julia,  and I been talking about a food crawl of some sort for a while.  Between our schedules, trying to find a time that both of us are available for good chunk of time was near impossible.  So after much going back and forth, we finally put together a food crawl. 

We went back to the NY Times article as our guide.  Basically, there were 6 restaurant on there, and we picked which ones we haven't been versus which ones we either wanted to try or would like to go back and re-visit.  This around, we included our foodie friend, Lesley to join us.

First round: HK Dim Sum.  In Chinese, it is really Dim Sum City, it is kinda nice to have dim sum any time of day.  Most instances, dim sum is really a morning thing... a Chinese brunch/tapas if you will.  Check out what we had:
Turnip cake - it is under the fried category, but it is also a bit misleading, since you have to steam the mixture the night before you can pan fried them anyway.
Steamed pork buns - I love these!
Har Gow - shrimp steamed dumplings
Pan fried rice noodle - like the turnip cake, the mixture has to made into a thin noodle. (This one has dried shrimp and scallion)  And steamed to be solids.  Right before you order, they pan fried it.  I love the toasty crush on the outside.  You're supposed to mix it with the sauce (on top of picture), which is mixed with sweet sauce and hoisin sauce. 
Last but not least, egg custard tart.  Unfortunately, the crust is too thick and not as flavorful as the real authentic Hong Kong tart.

Hong Kong Dim Sum
9889 Bellaire Blvd #110,
Houston TX 77036-3463