Monday, November 30, 2015

Kata Robata

As weather turn cool, you know Ramen is the key to warm your belly.
You want quality, you go to Kata, of course.
For a small appetizer: I had unagi sushi and chopped scallop sushi... ahhh, so good.  But cannot fill up, more to come.
Spicy Soy Ramen, there's the soft boiled egg, ground meat, seaweed, sprout, ginger, basil.  I made the mistake of mixing it as soon as I got it, instead of removing the ginger.  Nothing against it, just never been a fan, even eating sushi.  Anyway, those darn things are so small that easily mix in with noodles, and I do mean every bite.  Aside from that, it's not really spicy until after you finished, and you feel the heat after.  Overall, I am still partial to Oxtail or the Tonkontsu.  But, for a cool, gloomy day, this did the trick!

Kata Robata
3600 Kirby Ave #H
Houston, TX 77098

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving

Hey everyone!  

Just want to say that I'm thankful for being able to go out to eat and report back and keep this blog going.  This year, we've been to some new places, lots of old places and report the good, bad, and the ugly.  Besides that, I am thankful for the few of you that read this consistently.  I feel like I am helping in some way.  If my experience helped you in anyway to enhance your dining experience, I'm already thrilled and thankful.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!  See you next week.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015


After a long morning of shopping, we stopped to grab a quick bite.  
It's been a while since I've eaten at Pappadeaux.  They're always good for good food in a pinch.  I started with an Arnold Palmer.
Got my 'usual', well, it's usual when I do go there.  Bowl of Lobster Bisque & Dirty Rice.  They're the only place that are generous about the lobster meat in the bisque.  Alot of places give you the leg pieces for the bisque, they actually give you decent size of lobster meat in there.  I wish, and maybe I'll try it once, they can put the entire lobster in there, with up charge of course.  Wow!  That would be a meal with the rich bisque.  The Dirty Rice is not as spicy as I'd remembered it to be.  But it's definitely good, no matter how you slice it or dice it.  Delicious!!!!

2525 S. Loop West
by NRG Stadium
Houston, TX 77054

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Cafe Rabelais

It was serendipitous that I drove by Cafe Rabelais, and there's a parking spot open right in front of it.
It must be kismet. 
After consulting with the waiter, we both came to the conclusion that I need to get the Merguez Sandwich
which is Lamb Sausage, tomato, and mustard.  You really get the mustard kick in there.  The sausage is not too heavy, and it's delicious.  All sandwiches comes with a side of fries.
Lunch was so good, and the atmosphere was so nice that I ordered a cappuccino just to enjoy after the meal.  It was so nice, they did the European way, and give you a slice of chocolate.  Basically no one in US does that.  It's a nice touch.

Basically, the day I was there, there were several one tops enjoying lunch, and they make it very comfortable for those who dine alone.  Of course, the bar is always available.  Coincidentally, two regulars who've never crossed paths before strike up a conversation with each other.  They talked about the origin of Friday the 13th to great golf courses in Wales to Marco Polo travels.  That was just all of the map and all interesting.  Like I said, it's so comfortable that it's like Cheers to them.

Cafe Rabelais
2442 Times Blvd
Houston, TX 77005

Monday, November 23, 2015

Epicure Cafe

Was running errands in the River Oaks area, decided to stop in to Epicure Cafe for breakfast. 
I always enjoyed their berry lemonade, no matter summer or not.  Though, before this cold front, any lemonade seems to be appropriate. And you can drink the pulp in every sip.
Luckily, while you wait, they give you a few pieces of toasts.  This day they were particularly slow, so needless to say, I noshed all of them.
I ordered the Cinnamon French Toast.  I was not too happy that for this they took that long.  Clearly, something must've gone awry in the kitchen that day.  The Cinnamon looks like someone had unscrew the bottle and the cinnamon fell out of the bottle.  If it's not because I was super hungry, I would've have eaten it.  I ended up scraping alot of it off.  The strawberry, I have to say, they cooked it a little, so the juices came out nice and pretty, made the raw parts tastes good even.  It doesn't make up for the bad experience, but helped a little.

Epicure Cafe
2005 West Gray Street
Houston, TX 77019

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Chefs in the Sky - Part 3

After Part 1 & Part 2, today is the finale of the series.
Here we have Chef Eric Aldis from Marque, which is a members only club.  They brought pork belly and salmon sous vide for 48hrs.  Maybe because my salmon was cold, and I can't really take the full benefit of the flavors, but my friend swore it's the best salmon ever.  I, however, liked the pork belly alot.  And definitely go back for more.
Last of the savory is from Roost.  It's been a long while since I've been there.  Not because I don't like their food.  Just that alot more hipsters showed up and making the true food appreciators, harder to get in.  

The duck taco is definitely unlike any dishes in the room.  I liked the duck taco, that's not something you get everyday.  On top of that, the persimmon salsa is not something you have everyday either.  It does have a tad of spiciness in there, and the duck meat is not dried out.  So, in my book, you didn't ruin the duck, you did a good job.
Here comes the dessert.  First up: from Peska
Pumpkin mousse cheesecake with edible flowers, ice cream (not shown but eaten), and coffee sauce.  The pumpkin mousse was great, the ice cream was great, the coffee sauce was great.  The edible flowers were pretty but not really value added.  The cake of the cheesecake combo was extra stiff, made cutting into difficult, not to mention, it was hard to chew.  Hmm... that was disappointing.
From Pour Society's Kelsey Hawkins made the chocolate cake with chocolate ganache, that has bits of prickly pear, and candied (possibly golden) pistachio, with a nice piece of chocolate to top.
Closer look but not better photo, sorry.  The chocolate on top, at first I thought was a pieces of truffle, but it's a nice piece of chocolate.  The ganache sauce was awesome, it might be rich for alot of consumers, but whole thing together was delectable.  I would say that they peaked my interest that I will probably go check them out on a normal day and see what else their menu have to offer.

Overall, this dinner was more like a tasting of various vendors than like the past Lucky Dog dinners, where they were seated and courses were served.  That said, after one year having mostly desserts, that was a taste and walk style, and seemed appropriate, I'm thinking they've switched to tasting style so you don't have to find a space for all these tables, linens, plates and servers.  I liked that all these vendors either I wouldn't have known to go to their restaurants or know what they offer.  So, it's nice to have one place to check them all out.  Of course, the venue is nice too.  No complaint about the view.  

Should you be interested in helping Lucky Dog Rescue or any the upcoming event.  Go to:

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Chef in the Sky - Part 2

As the event aptly named, in the sky.  We were at the Skyhouse River Oaks
Look at the beautiful view.
 This is from Craft Burger, this burger has smoked gouda, smoked tomato jam, which goes very well with...
 Their Bacon Maple Milkshake.  They were being a tad bit show off and brought their liquid nitrogen to make these, which was totally a showstopper for everyone who walked by.  Talk about knowing how to set a stage with good food to boot.
 Closer look, the Bacon Maple milkshake has bourbon, just right for taste not enough to give you a buzz.  The burger was delicious and I definitely look forward to their food truck hitting the street.
 Then, from Uptown Sushi, we have their Spiro Roll - which is spicy tuna topped with salmon and avocado with eel sauce on top.  It's yummy.
 The 7 1/2 Roll - tuna, salmon, yellowtail, masago, avocado in a roll and tempura fried to give it the crispy outside.  Of course, it helped to have eel sauce and Japanese mayo.  It's sooo yummy, and another one that I went back for too.
 This is another popular item, the Tunachos - it's spicy tuna on top of wonton chips drizzled with wasabi mayo.  It's truly spicy tuna like no other.  No one make them like they do.  Like I said, popular item, they cannot keep the plate full fast enough.
Here we have Orange & Fennel Village Salad from Helen Greek Food & Wine.  I've been meaning to go there to have brunch a while.  There's orange, fennel, red onion, feta, olive and mint on top of piece of toast.  The flavor is nice, and I'm excited about their food.  Was kinda hoping they have more savory item than a tasting of their salad.  But it's yummy nonetheless.

Should you be interested in helping Lucky Dog Rescue or any the upcoming event.  Go to:

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Chefs in the Sky - Part 1

It's been a good 4 years or so, since I've been to a Lucky Dog Rescue fundraiser.
 This time is at the Skyhouse River Oaks, thus theme.
 Nice beer booth at the event.
 Got the Goliad Golden Ale.  Not much of the dark beer drinker, so I was glad to see an Ale around.  Goliad, TX is south west of Victoria.  And from speaking with the rep, the brewmaster created these beer with food in mind.
 That ale goes impeccably well with the Banh Mi.  According to Chef Jonathan, he had marinated the meat for 2 days and he marinated in marsala instead of garlic powder and ground pepper.  The result is that it comes out with a tad of spiciness afterwards and pair with the beer, it's a great match.
 Roast Turkey Meatball by Ruth Lipsky of Stick It Foodtruck.  It has Mashed New Potato, green beans and bacon dressing, and fancy gravy.  Not bad, I liked the potato, the rest seems to be a normal dish that you can find at any dinner.
 Then we have a bit of New Orleans by Dean Bolenes of A La Carte Catering.
 Closer look, we have: a spoonful of gumbo, which is good but too bad it was cold by the time I got to it.  And the yummy pancetta with pear.  How brilliant!  Using prosciutto as the plate and boy was it yummy!  The goat cheese pair with the pear is refreshing and add the prosciutto it was divine.  So good that I went back for it twice.

Rest of the week, I'll show you what else we got.  Should you be interested in helping Lucky Dog Rescue or any the upcoming event.  Go to:

Monday, November 16, 2015

Cheesecake Factory

It's been a while since I've been back to Cheesecake Factory.
Turns out the key is that you go early, you get seated right away.
I got their Pear & Endive salad, which has endives, blue cheese, candied pecan, grilled chicken, roasted pear, arugula, and tomato.

You know I just recently had similar salad at Prego, and let me tell you, it's night and day difference.  The chicken was cold for something grilled, the candied pecan was not really candied.  Versus the warm chicken you get at Prego, the pecan is truly candied, and the salad is fresh and you can taste the pear.  Night and day difference.  I think, for next visit to Cheesecake Factory, I'll stick with the cooked items which they're much better at.

Cheesecake Factory
5015 Westheimer Rd
Houston, TX 77056

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Prego Houston

Was in the Village for a quick lunch...
 Stopped into Prego for lunch.   It has literally been years since I've been there.  I got the Pollo salad, I remembered how good it was before.  I liked it because it has candied walnut, pear, gorgonzola cheese, endive, and most importantly, warmed chicken.  That salad was good the first time I tasted it then and good this is now.  The whole combo, for some reason just works so well.  I highly recommend it.  Even if you're not a salad person, this is the one to try. 

I forgot that on a Sunday it's so nice and relax there and they even have live guitarist providing mood music.  So, once you walk in, you don't have to worry about that hectic parking lot outside.  The service is also class act, since I was dining alone, my server came by to check in on me and also know to give me my space.  Got my order in, made sure the food gets there quickly, and when I needed, he got me my check and get me out with no wait despite his other tables.  

2520 Amherst
Houston, TX 

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Table 57

So, was looking for a kid friendly place and came across Table 57.
It is located inside a HEB and I'm kinda intrigue.  
There are seatings inside, but since it's nice outside, figured go sit outside too.  Plus, they occasionally have live music and they would have a stage for it.  They even have some nice seatings out there in front of the music too.  You can get arsenal beer, nice food and enjoy live music.
Got kids? This is perfect.  They have this play set outside at the patio.  So, if the food took a few minutes?  Not a problem, let your kids run around until the food gets here.  Of course, if they get picky and not want to eat the food, they can continue to go back and run around some more.
 Kid's Hot Dog - for $2.50, this is awesome for a kid.  The bun is really 2 slices of bread didn't get cut thru all the way.  It comes with a choice of fries, sweet potato fries, fruit or yogurt.
I got the chopped brisket sliders.  For $5, this is alot of food even for adults.  They smoke the meat in house, which they brag for 13 hours, and you can tell the sauce is awesome, the fat is just right.  I didn't lick any plates, don't worry.  But it was good.  Between the 2 of us, we didn't even spend $10.  I'd say this is a success that everyone is fed and it's yummy.  Not to mention, if you want, you can go back and do some grocery shopping too. 

The whole format is fast casual, you walk up, place your order, they bring you your food.  They do have a coffee bar for your fancy coffee.  On Sundays, they even have special Sunday Brunch menu too.   The manager was telling me that on Thursday, kids eats free.  You don't need anymore convincing.

Table 57
inside HEB on San Felipe & Fountainview
5895 San Felipe
Houston, TX 77057

Monday, November 9, 2015


Was at a dinner for work, and we ended up at Masraff's.
I'm usually there for happy hour, so it's weird to have dinner there.  Doesn't mean anything about their food, just the timing.  Usually a quick drink before sitting in the traffic. 
For the appetizer, our host ordered something off menu, seared tuna, crab cake, and lamb chop.  To my surprise, the tuna was good.  Also to my surprise, the crab cake was not as good as I'd hope.  Meanwhile, I already knew the lamb chop would be great.
For the entree, everyone around me got seafood of sort, and I got the duck instead.  It's duck breast on top of a bed of purple rice with cherries gastrique with win.  Personally, it's a tad rich for my taste, so I mostly ate the duck and left the big bed of purple rice on the plate. 
Since dessert was encouraged and I never turn down a dessert.  Here's a Pear Brulee.  Really, it's half a pear, with vanilla creme and brulee the top.  It was delicious, not super sugary which was a delight after a high protein meal.  And the sauce was very complimentary.  I was just overall surprised by this dessert altogether.  I totally would recommend this or order this again.

Since we ate early, the service was superb.  As the night goes on, you see alot of business people come here for a meal.  They have several private meeting rooms, which are almost always occupied.  Even the owner stopped by to check in on us.  Talk about wanting an excellent experience for the diners.

1753 Post Oak Blvd
Houston, TX 77056

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Hong Kong's Cafe

It's been a few weeks since I've been back to HK's Cafe.
Don't forget to bring cash, they don't take cards, kids.
My favorite, Lemon Tea.  It's so not how you get from regular restaurant: tea with slices of lemon.  Here's the recipe should you want to try. 
I was having a hankering for curry rice.  So, here it is.  Their potato were fried, the chicken were steamed but nothing is soggy.  The sauce with the rice is awesome, of course, it does have a kick by the time you're done, but so worth it.

See, they have other dishes besides breakfast.  Dare you to try all of them on the menu.

Hong Kong's Cafe
9108 Bellaire Blvd
Houston, TX 77036

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Pei Wei

Haven't been back to Pei Wei for a while.  
Got my favorite tea of orange black.
I got the Mongolian Beef, but what's better that they now offer the smaller size.  It was as delicious as always.  But it was also proportionately appropriate.  I say that because every time I went there, I get a to go box and put away half.  Now, it is exactly what I need in terms of proportion, and it just works out perfect.  

Pei Wei
5110 Buffalo Speedway
Suite 100
Houston, TX 77005