Monday, June 30, 2014

Pinewood Cafe - Hermann Park

Now that summer rolls around, a trip to the Zoo is a must.  
If you have been inside the Houston Zoo, you know that all their food places serves hot dogs, pizza, wraps.  Luckily, Pinewood Cafe is right outside of zoo's entrance.  They serve salad, burger, grilled cheese, and sandwiches.  None of those have to fried unless you want them to be.

So, I got the grilled cheese, and for $6 you can make your own.  As described, you get to pick your bread, your cheese, meat, veggies.  Here I had the Sourdough bread, Pepper Jack and Ham.  Of course, it is all grilled... for $6, it's not a bad deal.  

They also serve beer, wine, smoothie, and soft serve - including banana split.

Pinewood Cafe
in Hermann Park
6204 Hermann Park
Houston, TX 77030
713-429-5238
http://www.hermannpark.org/visit/pinewood-cafe/

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Miso Yummy

I ran into Miso Yummy, and been meaning to try them out.
I asked for recommendation, and they told me that basically the 1st item listed in every category is their best seller.  So, that's my tip to you.
I got the Kimchi Ramen.  They are very generous with their fried chicken.  Luckily they are not dry at all.  There's veggie, egg, jalapeno, and of course noodles at the bottom.
Since I took it to-go, they didn't want the fried chicken gets soggy.  So they gave me the Kimchi soup separately.
Mix it all together you get: ta da!  Kimchi Ramen.  I will say this, because I didn't mix it all up until I was ready to eat it, all the ingredients haven't had time to soak in the soup to make it super spicy.  And I like it mild like that.  The noodle is not the packaged type, but it is a store bought egg noodle.  Not super chewy, but definitely works well with the soup.  The veggie, egg, and chicken are fresh, and I definitely appreciate that.

As I mentioned, they told me the first item in each of their categories is their best seller.  Sadly, I wasn't hungry enough to get more.  I think I need back up to help me sample that.  So, next time I can look forward to the Slaw-P Dog, Seaweed Crunch Sushi Roll, Hot Mama Fries, and of course their version of Tonkotsu Ramen.

Miso Yummy
Follow them on Twitter:
https://twitter.com/MisoYummytruck

or Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/MisoYummytruck

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Chuy's

I haven't had Chuy's for a long long time.  
I was definitely jonesing for their creamy jalapeno sauce.
I got a steak enchilada, the Tex Mex sauce is yummy when you mix it with rice.
My friend had the fried shrimp taco, and that looked pretty good.  I need to come back for happy hour and do their nacho bar.  They mix of creamy jalapeno and the cheese is super yummy.  Pretty bad for you, the calories are huge, but the taste is totally worth it... yum!

Chuy's
2706 Westheimer Rd
Houston, TX 
713-524-1700
http://www.chuys.com/

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Bosta

I had heard about the soft opening of Bosta, and unbeknownst to me, my beautician is the wife of one of the chefs, so I definitely had to try them out.
As you can see, they are open from 7am to Midnight, perfect for the breakfast coffee to the wine-os.  
You can see the better version of their menu here.  As you can see they serve breakfast, coffee, tea, and other morning approved beverages...
Come back for lunch or dinner, they have paninis, cheese and meat plates, and finger food that are meant to be shared over several glasses of wine.
You have bar seating to catch the game or table seatings as well.
It started to get hot, so a cold cafe au lait and a peach danish.  It's pretty good, for a hot summer day.

I love the parking there, it's at the garage of the apartment building, but they made sure they have ample parking for the retail space too.  Right now, of course, it's only Bosta, and I saw the other spaces have already been leased.  But, when you go, and you want to do a quick grab for grub, this is perfect.  I have to go back and try their cheese and meat plate!

Bosta
1801 Binz (before Alameda)
Suite 130
Houston, TX 77004
http://bostahouston.com/


Monday, June 23, 2014

Doughmaker Foodtruck

Since I had a great experience last time, I decided to track them down.
This time they have a different sets of selection.
You see this day in particular has Cinnamon Sugar, Vietnamese Coffee, Orange Pistachio, Maple Bacon and of course Blueberry Lemon.
I love their Blueberry Lemon, you definitely smell it before tasting it.  Either way, it's a good pick.
Of course, I was there to try out the Vietnamese Coffee donut, you do smell it.  And it's it is ground coffee beans on top.  And I was worried that I would be hopping on caffeine but on the contrary, it wasn't as strong as I thought it'd be.

I guess I was a little surprise that the doughnut went from $2 to $3 a piece.  I get that it you have to sell enough to sustain the business.  And while they are good, I'm not sure at this price point, how often I can come back for their delicious doughnuts.  

Doughmaker 
Follow them on Twitter:
https://twitter.com/DoughmakerHTX
And Like them on Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/doughmakerdoughnuts

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Common Bond - macarons

So, the other day I went to Common Bond.
I love their design and packaging.
I had the pistachios, chocolate, and passion fruit.  
It is good quality.  The feet is beautiful.  The color however is not as beautiful as I had hoped.  As a matter of fact, pistachio made my tongue green.  But that said, the shells are good and the fillings are delicious and fresh.  I definitely wouldn't mind going back for them.  

Common Bond
1706 Westheimer Rd
Houston, TX 77098
713-529-3535
http://wearecommonbond.com/products/macarons

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

AKA

Went to grabbed a quick lunch at Aka.  It has been a while since I was there.
I went during non busy time, around 1:30-ish.  That's a good time to go because there are hardly anybody there, and the service is superb!
Agedashi Tofu, I love it.
Tonkotsu Ramen, which has bone broth, roast pork, egg, fish cake, veggies, and seaweed.  The noodles are definitely store bought.  The broth was nice and the pork is definitely A plus.  They have the 50 degree egg, and that's definitely nice and yummy with the broth.  I will say this, do ask for the spice flake on the side.  For the little bit that I put in, I was sniffling non-stop.  So, unless you're used to the spice, do it little bit at a time.

Aka
2390 W. Alabama St
Houston, TX 
713-807-7875
http://www.akasushi.net/


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Common Bond

I had heard alot about Common Bond during the soft opening phrase.  But since I also heard about the line, I decided to wait it out.  
Currently, their hours are Monday - Friday 7am -7pm and Saturday/Sunday opens from 9am - 7pm.  Keep in mind that the kitchen closes at 3pm.
See, no line!  That is on a weekday, or if you caught a lull.  But that's alot of delicious looking pastry.
I love their packaging, so hip and mod.
Here's 2 chocolate croissant.  Their box fit the 2 croissant perfectly.
This is a kugelhopf, which is an Austrian pastry.  
I don't know what it is, but it is delicious.  Every bit has fruit taste to it.  It has raisin in the bread and the top has citrus jam in the hole.  It all makes a perfect harmony of deliciousness. 

I know they do offer other cooked savory dishes for breakfast, brunch and lunch.  And I again recommend people to go during the week if they can swing it.  Otherwise, if you go during the weekend, if you are trying to catch the kitchen, I suggest you bring your patience.  I have friends who waited 40 minutes.  In this heat, that may not be a good idea.  

Now, for the neighborhood, parking can be a challenge.  Between 4 coffee places in the same corner, antique stores nearby, to say parking is scarce is an understatement.  They do have their own parking lot behind the building.  But if you can park on the street and walk over, I encourage that, this way you can zip in and out easier than being stuck in the small lot.

Common Bond
1706 Westheimer Rd
Houston, TX 77098
713-529-3535
http://wearecommonbond.com/

Monday, June 16, 2014

River Oaks Donuts

For a quick drive thru, River Oaks Donuts is close by.
During the day, you can easily pull up and go inside.  If there's no parking in front, there is a small lot across the side street available.  Quick in and out.
Drive thru is quick and easy.  Instead of getting donuts, I got a bunch of donut holes. 
You can mix and match for half dozen, which is $1.50, or $2.99 for a dozen.  Otherwise, they are 25 cents per donut hole.
What I like about them is that they are filled.  Totally awesome.  This is Chocolate Cappuccino.
Chocolate donut
Cake glazed
Apple Fritter.  Yep, they have the mini apple fritter, which was what got me started to begin with.
Chocolate creme.
I also had Cinnamon Sugar too (top left). 

Overall, if you go during non-prime time, it is a quick in and out.  If you have to do the drive thru on a Friday, you'll be waiting for a bit.  Pricing for the donut holes, filled aren't bad.  Of course, I know you're thinking at Shipley's it doesn't cost 75 cents for a dozen.  But, they don't have fillings and you can't mix and match.  I've never seen a caked donut hole, but I know they exist.  So... that's what you're paying for.  Their normal donuts aren't bad either, but I normally go there for this novelty.  Keep in mind they close at 1pm.

River Oaks Donuts
3601 Westheimer Rd
Houston, TX 77027
713-961-9458
http://www.riveroaksdonuts.com/


Thursday, June 12, 2014

Six Ping Humongous Macaron

Occasionally, we go to Six Ping for snacks.  They are a full fledge bakery with bread, cakes, in Hong Kong style, Japanese style, and Taiwanese style.  What caught my eye was these huge macarons.
I should've put a quarter next to it, so you can see how big it is...
Sorry this is upside down, but the macaron measured almost 3 inches!!!
Sadly, once you cut it open, there's alot of air in the middle.  It's all hollowed.  No wonder it has such a great rise.  I will say though, the feet were perfect, the middle filling tastes good.  But this was huge!  And once you cut into it, you see there were too much air while piping.  Overall, it tasted good.  This was $4 for 2, not bad since the other places cost anywhere from $1.75 to $2.25 per 1.5 inch cookie.  Now, it's not about the size, but just as a comparison, it's not bad.

Six Ping Bakery
9889 Bellaire Blvd
Houston, TX 77036
713-773-0658






Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Partners In Paleo

We were near League City, and decided to visit Partners in Paleo.
If you're part of the Paleo movement, it would delight you to hear someone is cooking with all fresh ingredients from nearby farms and they use every bit of the animal to make broth and such.  While that is not to say the other restaurants food aren't fresh, but this brings the true sense of farm to table when the owner knows exactly which farm brought what and she cooked what with it.  
This is their Ratatouille with sausage, the sides were Sweet Potato Curls and Fried Cabbage.  First of all, the ratatouille was more like a gumbo to me.  If they served rice, which they wouldn't because that is not Paleo, but if they did, that would've gone nicely with it.  The dish was more soup than a dry dish that I've come to know.   The sweet potato curls were delicious just because I'm a sweet potato person.  The fried cabbage wasn't really fried that you and I come to know.  It's a bit more soggy than fried fried.

That said, the dishes aren't what you expect overall, and I can see for some people either they love it or they don't.  There's no in between.  Sadly, I have also heard the comment that they can do better at home, and in alot of the cases, I have to agree.  If you go in, not thinking that this is Paleo, but instead think that this is a mom and pop neighborhood place, than it is that.  If you're thinking it's some specialty joint, this is not.  It's nice to know there are options in this great big metroplex of ours.  Will this trend continues, hopefully this will teach people to eat cleaner and better.  Will this place survive remains to be seen.  

Partners in Paleo
109B Meadow Parkway
League City, TX 77573
281-538-8400
http://partnersinpaleo.com/

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Coltivare

Been meaning to try out Coltivare, since I don't hang out in the Heights as much as I used to, making it across town was a task.  But I'm glad I did.
Been hearing alot of great things about this place.  How it's started by the folks that runs Revival Markets, which means the food would be good and the ingredients will be fresh.
Lunch time on a Saturday proves to be an easier in than the dinner prime time.  In terms of parking and getting a seat.  Although, my friend arrived before I did, and the hostess was making her wait for the entire party to arrive before seating, when the entire place, just opened, was full of empty tables.  Luckily, the manager saw and seated my friend right away.  But that was a bit weird.
It was early enough where the heat hasn't quite set in.  So we sat outside.  This is our view of the garden.  You can tell they do really come out here and grab what they need for the kitchen.  We were seated by the raspberries and tomatoes.  I saw other herbs on the wall too.  The bartender came out and grabbed what she needed for the drinks she was making, that's very convenient. 
This is the grilled broccoli, pickled kohlrabi, brussels sprouts, green onion sprinkled with bits of walnut and with balsamic dressing.  What I love about this is that the pickled kohlrabi is not over empowering the rest of the veggie.  I have never had kohlrabi before and to my surprised, it's pretty good and wonder why it is not served more frequently.  The balsamic matched the other veggies delightfully, goes down easy.
Since it was brunch time, we split a Bacon & Egg pizza.  Obviously, you see the egg, there's slices of bacon underneath, and underneath that are slices of potatoes.  Sidebar, if you want to make this a gluten free pizza, they do have that option for a little bit more.
For dessert, we split the strawberry crostata, which is more like a rugged open faced strawberry pie which has whipped cream on top, but it sounded better if it goes with a side of the vanilla gelato.  Which by the way, gelato flavors changes daily, so you have to ask what they are serving that day.  The crostata unfortunately does not come in gluten free, but it is super delicious, especially when you mix the ice cream with the warm crostata and the warm strawberries.  It is yummy goodness all over.

I highly recommend you to check out Coltivare if you haven't already.  Parking is best on the streets, but please do watch the signs.  Because there are couple other stores near by, be courteous and park in the designated area.  They do not take reservation, and they do not do parties more than 6.  But they do have Mexican Coke, and the garden is delightful.  The food is definitely worth the hassle.  Do what we do, pick early brunch or non-prime time to go, then you can avoid the wait.

Coltivare Houston
3320 White Oak Dr.
Houston, TX 77007
713-637-4095
http://coltivarehouston.com/

Monday, June 9, 2014

Sweet Paris

Early Saturday breakfast is actually pretty hard to find.  So we went down to the Village and tried out luck.  Luckily, Sweet Paris opens at 8am.  I love going there so early because parking anywhere is easy and you're always guaranteed to have a great spot.
On to the food!  I had the Croque Madame, which ingredients always sells me on the spot.  It has scrambled eggs, ham, gruyere cheese and tops with b├ęchamel sauce.  I love the idea of all of those things together, and that's where they sell me and win every time.  

My biggest issue is with the batter.  Not sure if it's because we're early or what, while it is definitely fresh, the batter wasn't even.  That I can deal with but when you stuff so much food underneath the blanket of crepe, the uneven batter became a challenge to cut thru.  All of the ingredients mix well, but the crepe doesn't seemed to be doing well.  

Not to mention, the staff was having some sort of issues that morning.  Someone was late and the supervisor wasn't keeping his cool and venting to another staff member.  As though, he forgot that we were standing there.  Yes, looking at the menu, but we weren't exactly invisible.  I may need to find another crepe place...  That is sad because I've heard great things about their catering service.

Sweet Paris
2420 Rice Blvd
Houston, TX 77005
713-360-6266
http://www.sweetparis.com/#welcome