Thursday, May 28, 2015

Sweet Petite

It was hot, so I stopped in for a treat!
This is a chocolate gelato topped with macaron.  Ok, I'll admit, I've been seeing this on their Facebook page and wanted to try it.  I'm not sure if it's because the macaron naturally has more sugar, and I had that first because I was curious how it'll last in an ice cream.  It kinda ruined the taste buds for me.  The rest of the gelato, as good as they may be, became tasteless and bland.  The macaron taste held up, but the shell was mushy by the time you get to it.  I would suggest getting the frozen custard next time.

Sweet Petite
2700 W. Alabama
Houston, TX 

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Noodles and More

Haven't been to NAM for a while, so thought we stopped by a quick dinner.
They do have a great selection to choose from in terms of standard Vietnamese dishes.
Since it's dinner time, I wasn't going to get Cafe Su Dai and not sleep, so instead, got Thai Iced Tea.  It's definitely a good alternative to normal iced tea.  Just hope next time they put more condensed milk to sweeten it up a tad.
I got the Un-Phogettable Pho.  It's pretty standard soup, not too salty as some other places in town.  The meat cut is definitely good quality, it was nice and not tough, good cut for sure.  The meat ball is still my favorite though.  I know they are store bought, but still yummy.

Overall, I think NAM is underrated.  Yes, they get the audience from Rice University, but they actually deserve more people checking them out.  The place is clean, decore is hip.  Though it's a order and sit down place, they do try to provide options to rice dishes and try to guide customers who have never had Vietnamese food before guidance and help them navigate the menu.  That, I don't see anymore.  While I am fully aware you can have pho, in almost every neighborhood you go, but this place definitely worth my business.

Noodles and More (NAM)
2512 Rice Blvd.
Houston, TX 77005

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Golden Panda

My dad came into town, so we took advantage of this time to try a new place.
This is sweet soy milk warm, very much like a soup/congee.  The top layer is an egg.
I believe this is the spicy beef noodles which is what the shop is known for... I didn't get a chance to try it, but it looked good.
Sweet sticky rice, inside is fried dough with peanuts and sugar.  So, yeah, it's like having dessert for breakfast.
Scallion bread, which is funny because my 21 month old though it was pizza.  I loved it, it was not too heavy on the scallion, just enough to have a taste, I liked it.
Shanghai Soup Dumpling, they don't have as much consummate as it's was almost dry.  It's not bad, but wish there's more soup.  The meat wasn't as flavorful either, not sure if the lack of soup inside the dumpling has to do with that or not.  

Basically, this place give another option for breakfast in Chinatown, which there aren't that many that opens early.  The decor is hip, the service is spotty, but the food is decent minus the soup dumplings.  I think I would want to come back and try either lunch or dinner, seems like they have some dishes I'll definitely like to try.

Golden Panda
9889 Bellaire Blvd
Ste 309
Houston, TX 

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Bite Macarons

Had to go pick up a present for a friend, and she mentioned she hasn't tried macarons before...
Since it's on my way, picked up some beautiful looking macs.
 To my surprise, and super impressed: look at that tree!  Totally love the anime feel of it, but also looking delicious.

I did talk to the owner about Le Sucre Patisserie in Indonesia who does work like these.  Which totally take macarons to a different level.  Another one of interest in Malaysia, called Crumbs founded by a Corporate Exec who chose to follow her heart and does awesome work.  More attainable in Hong Kong, you can take classes at Flavors, where they will teach you how to make these anime/cartoon macs.  Wish someone would teach that here in the States.

Meanwhile, you can go enjoy the display at Bite.

Bite Macarons
5172-B Buffalo Speedway
Houston, TX 77005

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Breakfast compare and contrast pt 2.

The other place is Ding Ding, which is a direct competition to Hong Kong's Cafe.
 Ordered the Iced Lemon Tea Hong Kong style.  Except this one is a bit on the 'tea' side, meaning not as sweet as I'm used to.  I see the liquid sugar in there, but not sure why it's not as sweet.  This is not the first time, other drinks I've ordered too also not as sweet.  I may try to request a little more sweetner next time. 
 Hong Kong Style Rice Roll, the whole gammit was soy sauce, sweet sauce and peanut sauce, which apparently there were a ton, because it's gotten to be super dry.  When I ordered it, I asked for it without peanut sauce for that reason, and luckily one of the staff saw it and quickly changed it for me.  Thank you!!!
Ahh, this is much better.  Just soy sauce and sweet sauce over rice noodles.  That's just nice and give it a taste without drying your mouth or your tastebuds out.

Originally, I ordered French Toast, and only we sat down that they come to tell us that they don't have it.  I wish their kitchen talk to the front of the house to keep them abreast what is out of stock.  Aside from that, the whole experience felt like all new folks are true green.

As far as compare and contrast goes, obviously it's great for consumers in the Houston market to have another 'Tea' Restaurant.  They both have food that deserve their own brand and reputation.  While they both try to give you bang for your bucks on meal deals, the combos are different for each of their own way.   HK's does a simple matrix for combos, while Ding Ding gives you different choices in variety.

The contrast, it's very homey feel with Hong Kong's Cafe.  Owners do make an effort to go around and chat with customers and get to know them.  At Ding Ding, I know earlier own owners were around to make sure things are running smoothly, but since it's been running well, they've hired new staff and they are not yet acclimated.  The other deal is that, Tea Restaurants they bring you the basic utensils and Ding Ding chose to do self-serve, which is very Americanize of them.  The space, Ding Ding absolutely have a bigger space, and everyone can sit comfortably.  While at HK's are more close in space, but the food makes up for it.  Of course, you can't forget that Ding Ding gives you the convenient to swipe your card, and HK's is cash only.

Ding Ding
9398 Bellaire Blvd
Houston, TX

Monday, May 18, 2015

Breakfast compare and contrast pt 1

So, thought I do a compare and contrast of 2 of my normal breakfast places.

You guys know I frequent Hong Kong's Cafe, it's no secret.
 Sorry for the washed out picture, but my usual Iced Lemon Tea Hong Kong style.  Good in sweetness, good balance.
Noodles with slices of pork with pickled vegetable and thick egg noodles.  Pretty yummy.
 The entree of lunch meat, eggs and buttered toast.  It was quick, simple, easy and good.  

Again, the deal was $5.65 that includes all that you seen here.  There are of course variation of noodle type (where you have macaroni, shanghai noodle, vermicelli, and ramen for additional $1) and topping type (ham, pork, and one more I forgot), there's also different protein (lunch meat, sausage, and ham).  Of course, eggs any style tool.

Hong Kong's Cafe
9108 Bellaire Blvd.
Houston, TX 

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Gelato Cup

Had a quick dessert...
went to Gelato Cup.  I had the honeydew with coconut sago.  The honeydew was a bit raw.  I used to love this growing up.  They have all sorts of dessert and this was their best known dish.  Sago is much like tapioca, it's small and chewy.  With the coconut milk it's very refreshing for a humid day.

Gelato Cup
9889 Bellaire Blvd
Ste 108
Houston, TX 77036

Wednesday, May 13, 2015


For Sunday quickie, we went to Candelari's.  
We got Margherita, it's not as good as I'd hope.  I'm used to having the mozzarella but this seemed to be a case of cheese overload.  They lined the bottom with regular mozzarella and then little balls of them on top with the tomato.  You just bite into it, and felt like you had 2 different kinds of cheese, when in fact it's just cheese on top of cheese.  Some people might not think that's a bad thing, but it just tasted off for some reason.
We got the Hawaiian, the meat is thicker this time, and the pineapple is sweeter too.  We finished this one with no problem.

Both are gluten free dough and remember that they do charge a couple dollars more for the gluten free dough.  The best time to go is still on the off time, you get seated quickly and service is fast.  It's nice and you get in and out, especially when you have a toddler that's running around.

2617 Holcomb 
Houston, TX 

Tuesday, May 12, 2015


Went back to 51Fifteen for lunch with some co-workers.
This is the associate feature special.  It is the chicken burrito with beans and rice.  The top has guacamole, pico, and sour cream.  That is plenty in sauce, you don't need more than that to keep your burrito moist.  I cut away the ends because there were nothing but extra tortilla, the middle however, is just fine the way I like it.  Even portion of tortilla, meat, and sauce.  If you want to try it, go soon, because this is a temporary special. 

Don't forget, you get this when you sit at the bar area.  The deal is still $13 includes entree and a drink.  If you want bread or substitute anything there's a surcharge.  That said, your tip is included.  So, that's nice.

insides Saks Fifth Avenue
5115 Westheimer Rd.
Houston, TX 77056   

Monday, May 11, 2015

Confucius Seafood Restaurant

For Mother's Day, I took my mom to have some Lobsters.
 Had long heard about this place that has good deal on lobster had to find out for ourselves.
 Sweet & Sour Pork Ribs, great sauce.  But have to remember not to fill up until the main event.
 Mixed Vegetable with vermicelli in clay pot.  They have tofu, lotus slice, green beans, celery, the soup is a clear broth. It's a good balance for the Sweet and Sour Pork.
Here's the main event: 2 lobster with stir fried noodles.  It has a base of a garlic sauce with scallion and ginger.  Very tasty.  Totally worth coming.

Truth be told, we had done some research before going.  And found out from different yelpers that you need to order 2 dishes in order to get the 'special'.  And that is, 2 lobsters for $20.  For additional $6, you can add the noodle to go with it.  Otherwise, without the 2 other dish, you'll be paying market price, which no one can tell you that, it's about as silly as the stock market.  We also ask the waitstaff for clarification as well, and even the staff does say that they often have people dispute the tab.  So, best ask before they put the order in.  The table next to us, was a lady by herself and she obviously knew of the deal.  She say there ordered the other dishes but did not even touch it, she was just working on the lobster dish alone.  

We also went a few minutes after they open for an early lunch.  Glad that we did.  We were seated immediately and our order arrived quickly.  Not but a few minutes later, there's a line beginning to form to wait for tables.  And since it was Mother's Day weekend, there were lots of celebrations in the house.  But apparently, that's a normal occurrence, so arrive early.  

Confucius Seafood Restaurant
8880 Bellaire Blvd
Houston, TX 77036

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Hong Kong's Cafe

For my 'usual' breakfast, headed back to Hong Kong's Cafe.
Let's start with the Iced Lemon Tea, Hong Kong style.
Got the mustard green with noodles.
Main entree: eggs sunny side up, spam, and toast... suppose you can make your own sandwich here.

I love that it's $5.65 and you get that much food.  Don't forget to bring cash.  They serve breakfast from 10 - 11:30a, they are closed on Tuesdays.

Hong Kong's Cafe
9108 Bellaire Blvd
Houston, TX 

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Auntie Chang's Dumpling House

It's been a while since we've been to Auntie Chang's.
 Early dinner is the easiest to get a table...
 Pan Fried Pork Dumpling... it was a bit chewy. 
 Broccoli with chestnut, cabbage and garlic sauce.  It was a decent and I like their sauce.
Twice cooked pork, which I felt they were cheating a bit.  The twice cooked pork I remember was that they cook the pork till it falls off.  This way was char siu, honey roasted pork then cooked again in their sauce.  While that is technically twice cooked, it was not what I expected.  I will say that the sauce was good with rice, toddler approve!

Auntie Chang's Dumpling House
2621 S. Shepherd Dr.
# 290
Houston, TX 77098

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Del Frisco's

One of my co-workers invited me to go lunch with them.  So to Del Frisco's we go!
So, I didn't realized I basically ordered the same lunch as I was there last time.  I got the mock Turtle Soup.  It was hilarious, because one of my co-workers thought it was really cooked with turtle.  It may have been in the past but since it's not consistent they have since used beef.
I got the filet medallion.  I forgot how yummy they taste.  The medallion is the perfect size for lunch, not too heavy where you don't want to go back to work.  I didn't finish the potato, but it was delicious with the sauce.   

The business lunch also comes with dessert of either cheesecake or chocolate mousse.  I did a to-go on the dessert, otherwise, I would've needed a nap before being useful again.  That said, I tasted it after, I think they finally smarten up because the last time I had the dessert to go, they were giving us a huge to-go box which holds at least 2 servings.  This time it's a small one which is the correct portion.  Sadly, the taste wasn't as good as it was.  Before it was much more chocolatey, this time, it has too much milk, so it's more milky than chocolatey.  The price is $29, which is awesome for the set.

Del Frisco's
5061 Westheimer Rd.
Ste 8060
Houston, TX 77056

Monday, May 4, 2015

Ding Ding

Went back to Ding Ding for brunch.  New habits for this creature.
Got iced Ying Yang, which is Milk Tea + Iced Coffee.  I found it a little on the bitter side, wish it was a tad sweeter, maybe I will request that next time.
I got the Cheung Fun - which this time I got smarter and got sweet sauce and sesame.  It would've been good if they put a tad more soy sauce.
I got the set, which I picked noodles with 2 proteins.  The noodles are ramen noodles at the bottom, then there's eggs and lunch meat.  I wish the noodles has a little more flavor.  The proteins didn't offer that.  So, it's a bit more bland than my liking.  The eggs are a tad soggy this way.  I guess I was hoping it was on a separate plate.  It's all mushy... I put it on a plate as soon as I took the picture.

I think next time I'll go off the set menu and order the individual dishes, that seems to work out better for my mom instead of doing these sets.  Just as valuable, yes you save a few bucks on the lunch or breakfast sets, but at least you get to see what else they are good at.  Luckily, they're open at 7:30a, closing at 9pm.  Go to their Facebook for menu if you want to study up before you go.

Ding Ding
9398 Bellaire Blvd
Houston, TX