Thursday, July 18, 2013

P.F. Chang's - art of complaining

As one of our normal spots, needless to say we come to PF Chang's quite a bit.
Of course, we know how things should be and what it supposed to look like.  Remember I always like to point out that Gluten Free plate are always different than normal plates.
That helps if we go there frequently to see what their quality checks are and how they keep up with the standards.  It is super consistent across all of the restaurants in the chain.

So, when we went and we have a new sever who is not familiar with the system, we know to pay closer attention to the dishes.  Make sure that at least the kitchen know to put the dishes in the correct plates.

We were very polite and brought it up to the manager on duty's attention.  The key to complaining is being polite.  Very calmly point out the errors you've seen.  For instance, our dishes came without rice, our soup, and our salad, our side veggies.  Newbie mistakes.  While you might think that is not worth the hassle, but if you eat something that's of a particular sensitivity, you should be concern what other mistakes the server can make.   

In turn, the manager we spoke to was appreciative that we brought it to his attention because that is a point of training that they can improve on.   The goal here is not to get the server in trouble, the goal is to help the restaurant maintain integrity of their standard.  Do compliment where they deserved to be, such as we always get great service coming here, and how efficient their bartenders or runners are, and how the corrective action is as simple as listening closer instead of jumping to conclusion.

I think the goal is not to expect anything in return.  Of course if they want to 'make it up to you' by taking care of your check, it'll be dumb to say no.  But we also didn't expect it.  If they do, great; if they do, that's ok.  We came fully know that we can pay for the check, just wanted to make sure whatever happened to us doesn't happen to someone else.  Trust me, high end restaurants, especially take customers experience very seriously.  And if you don't give them the opportunity to know, understand, and correct these mishaps, and you go around telling your friends what bad experience you had, it's basically not fair.  Give them a chance to correct things, you might be surprised on the outcome.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Elevation Burger

It's been a while since we've been back to Elevation Burger.
Looks like there's more choices for vegetarians...
For us, we went for gluten free style burger.  Yes, burger in lettuce wrap.  I will say it's messy, it's not like you have a bun to soak up the juice.  The meat does taste good, I will say that unfortunately, can't say that about the lettuce.  Found some blemishes on the lettuce, which aren't as appealing as I have in mind.  The fries does kinda make up for it... but still.

They pride themselves on the ingredients they have that is 100% organic, grass fed, free-range, but that's seems to be applicable to the meat, and not to their veggies... wish they pay closer attention.  

They now accept online orders, go to their site for more info. 

Elevation Burger
3819 Kirby Dr.
Houston, TX

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Thai Bistro

So excited to go have Thai!
Haven't had Thai food for a while, definitely miss the usual, you know, Pad Thai, Curry, Sticky Rice...
I always appreciate that they always makes your table setting so fancy.
I have to have either a Thai Iced Tea or a Thai Iced Coffee.  How can you tell the difference?  Thai Iced Tea is more orange colored than Thai Iced Coffee.  Be careful because even if it's tea, it is made with black tea, which does have lots of caffeine.
I got the Masamun Curry, it's one of the milder ones, since I'm such a wimp, can't go hard core spice.  It has beef, potato, carrots, the curry sauce, coconut milk.  Note that there are peanut it this, if you're allergic beware.

Service is not bad, although they are training new people, so be a little patience.  The food is good that you won't be sorry.

Thai Bistro
3241 Southwest Fwy 
@ Buffalo Speedway
Houston, TX 

Monday, July 15, 2013


If you need a spot for brunch, I highly recommend BRC.    
They start at 10am on weekends, and I do recommend going early simply that they do get popular and seats do get filled up.
I got the gorilla brisket tacos.  It has brisket, scrambled eggs, chili con queso, avocado, and potato.  The salsa sauce is super awesome, I had to ask for more.  Their brisket is super awesome, I didn't even realize there's chili on there.  But like I said the sauce totally is a winner for me. 

Now, of course, if you ever want to have some carb, they are known for their Bad-Ass Biscuit with bacon jam, highly recommend it!  Isn't it nice to know that BRC isn't just a bar with good beer?  They got great breakfast too.

519 Shepherd Dr.
Houston, TX 77007

Friday, July 12, 2013

Macaron by Patisse

We were in the neighborhood, so decided to stop in. Turns out, we weren't the only ones with the idea. 
I love their decor!  So classy and just fit the space well. 
Still can't get over the chandelier, which reminds me of yellow corals.  
They even do special macs, I'm sure this is a very popular one. You can see, they are perfect for party favors, since theh come in two's. 
Look at all the beautiful macs, decision, decisions. 
So, we ended up with Nutella, Green Tea, Canada Day (which was maple syrup), and fig and goat cheese. 

I've tried fig and goat cheese before, not my cup of tea, but everything else was perfect. You can enjoy this treat cold or hot out. It was very delightful. 

Macaron by Patisse
2033 W.Gray 
Houston, Tx

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Sushi Wabi

Looking for a quick lunch, we went back to Sushi Wabi.
You can always count on their lunch specials, or go off to the rest of the menu of food they have to offer.
I love Unaju, and that's basically my measuring stick for each restaurant.  I love that Sushi Wabi gives you generous amount of fish.  If you're a big fan like me, you can really clean the bowl.  The dish was nice, the fish wasn't dried and it's nice and smooth.  I highly recommend the dish.

Sushi Wabi
3953 Richmond 
Houston, TX 77027

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Niko Niko's

Was meeting a friend at Montrose, and the best eats would naturally be Niko Niko's.  They're fast, good, and cheap.
While I didn't grow up in Houston, I do remember when this place was a little hole in the wall, you walk up and they at the time just decided to enclose the walk up to add a/c for the space.  And for the longest time, you have to come early to get a seat.

Now, the place is expanded, not only do you have seating inside everywhere, they have nice misting fans on the outside for the few good nights Houston has to offer.

This time I got the Chicken Kebob plate, and it's truly that you get the chicken, onion, the dolma (my favorite) and their famous potato.  The meat is not bad, but they also doused the onion and meat with sauce, so way wetter than I care for.  Of course, if you ever want to try their potato at home, the Houston Chronicle had posted a recipe for you to try.

Niko Niko's
2520 Montrose
Houston, TX 77006

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Texas Blizzard

So I've been seeing other food truck following Texas Blizzard.  Super curious, and as soon as I see them must have to give then a look see.
Menu is pretty low thrill, it is shaved ice with flavors to choose from.  They sell them small for $4 and large for $6.  Most days they are parked on Montrose & W. Gray, but otherwise, check their site or Twitter, they can be found at the Houston Food Park.  Trick here is that you cannot mix and match flavors.
This, my friend, is a small.  Yeah... small.  I've asked if they would make it smaller, but they insisted it's a Texas size that matter.... How nice, I just know I won't finish it.  This is their Tiger's Blood flavor, which is watermelon, berries, and a hint of coconut flavors.  They pride themselves of having sugar cane in their syrup and pure filtered water, which is more than we can say for any other shaved ice places.

They have natural flavors for extra $1, or you can get some toppings for extra $0.50.  The ice is nice and 'fresh', if you will.  Meaning, you know they shaved it right there, instead of shaved ahead of time and let sit, where the ice become dense and clumped.   And while that does look huge, I was relief to dig in and realized that the middle is hollow, so finishing is not so unachievable.  In this heat, I highly recommend it and get some refreshing relief.

Texas Blizzard
Check their site or follow them on Twitter for their schedule:


Monday, July 8, 2013

Bernie's Burger Bus - Houston Food Park

When we first heard about the Houston Food Park, my friends and I can feel nothing but excitement.  It's about time!  Austin has this food trailer park down for many years.  They were so well organized and set up, that we hope the new inventors of Houston Food Park will follow suite. 
The trick is either follow your favorite food truck on Twitter, or follow Houston Food Park on Twitter and Facebook and find out which trucks will be there when.  Right now, everything is very primitive, trucks just park there, and you wander around.  We recommend you to bring your own lawn chair, but they do have couple of tents, few chairs, the nice touch was the misting, that was helpful with a little breeze.

Also, seems like the trucks cannot sell drinks because there was a 'booth/tent' that sells drinks.  They have beer, soda, bottled water, sports drinks, homemade lemonade, homemade watermelon drink, and couple other homemade stuff.  They seems to have the cornered the drinks for the entire park.  So, either bring your own, or be prepared to pay $2 for a bottled water.  Supplies and demand, kids.
So, finally got to check out Bernie's Burger Bus, been meaning to check them out for a while, either I'm not catching them at the right time, or I'm not hungry when I see them.  I will say that next time I see them, I'm getting their fries, they had a version that day that has bbq sauce with brisket on top... that just sounded awesome, but I really wanted a burger so onward!
I got the Study Hall, which has bbq sauce, pork belly, their signature burger patty, and onion.  I did it sans pickles and cheese, but those usually come with.  I love that the pork belly is falling apart good, the sauce is a great match with the burger patty.  Nothing too heavy where you just want to be rolled out afterwards, yet it's filling that I don't feel like I need to eat something extra.  I like their burger.  When I can, I'm definitely try their Substitue or their Homeschooler burgers.

Bernie's Burger Bus
They have 3 buses, should be easier to track
Follow them on their site or their Twitter

Houston Food Park

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy 4th of July!!!

To all my friends, reader, and fellow food-lovers, Happy 4th of July!  

Stay safe and eat something good!

photo by: HFMarshburnJR 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Yu Yuen Shanghai Restaurant

My mom read on the Chinese Community Newspaper a review of this place, since it's under new management, seems like a good time to give it a try.
 We ordered the beef stew noodle, it's very tasty, the noodle is soaked in the soup nicely and the whole thing goes so well together.  I will say that it can get spicy, so if you are of the weak, you may want to tell the server to tell the kitchen to lighten up.
 Of course, when I go to a Shanghainese Restaurant, I am always curious about their Shanghai Soup Dumpling.  It's actually pretty good, the skin is not too thick and the meat inside is soft.  Of course, the hazardous part of it would be the soup that squirt out.  The best way is of course put some vinegar & ginger to go with it.  
 Red bean cake, it's literally a pastry with red (aduki) beans inside.  It tasted like how I remembrer it when I was a kid.  It was a very nice walk down the memory lane...  Needless to say, I loved the dish.
We saw Shanghai Eggroll and ordered one.  Now I know what you are thinking, what's so special about egg rolls, they actually does it old skool where there are shredded pork, slices of mushroom, and small bits of consummate, so it's full of flavors instead of the run of the mill eggrolls.  Definitely should try it.

When you walk in, it's casual, they will point you to a table, grab a seat, they will come to you for your order.  Once you sit down, if you feel like having a soda, some cold appetizers, go to the front of the cold case and help yourself, grab what you want.  They will tally things up later.  They also serve Chinese breakfast, which has soy milk (sweetened and not), sticky rice, Chinese donut (which is not sweet like our donuts)...etc.

Shanghai Restaurant 
(new Chinese name is Yu Yuen)
9888 Bellaire Blvd
Houston, TX 77036

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Jenni's Noodles

Need another super quick bite, we headed to Jenni's Noodle House.  I got the lemongrass beef, it's very much like the b'un you get at any Vietnamese restaurants.  The bottom is lined with veggies, you get vermicelli, meat, and some nuts to add texture.  Of course, you should definitely top the dish with fish sauce and toss them altogether.  It definitely brings out flavors.  If you're not a fan of the fish sauce, start out small, don't douse the entire thing into your dish, try a little for taste then go from there.

Cool thing about JNH is that they have a Vegan menu, a Gluten Free menu.  Each location takes turn doing Kung Fu Movie night, some times they have fun little parties too, so go check out their schedule.  

Jenni's Noodle House
3111 Shepherd Dr.
Houston, TX

Monday, July 1, 2013

100% Taquito

For a quick bite, I ran to 100% Taquito.
They actually got a very interesting story, they started as a business course project, and they too started out as a food truck, and finally moved into a brick and mortar store, and doing quite well.
Everytime I come here, I must have the melon drink.  It's so refreshing on a hot day.  The chips and salsa is really me using as an excuse to get some of that warm salsa.  I can never finish this big o' dish of chips and salsa.  Best share with friends.
I always get the Taco al Pastor (which is pork).  It gets nice and yummy with some more sauces on the side, and you can mix and match sauces with your tacos.  You can choose either flour or corn tortilla, and they make it all in house.  So good....

Come on, it's great fun when there's a soccer game going, you see everyone having a great time with great food, it's quite a scene to witness.  Otherwise, they run Mexican MTV which is kinda interesting too...  If you can fit it in, you should definitely try their famous tres leche or their flan.  

100% Taquito
3245 Southwest Freeway
at Buffalo Speedway
Houston, TX