Thursday, September 29, 2016

BJ's Restaurant/Brewhouse

Don't usually go to BJ's.  Not that I'm a snob, but seems like their closest location in any direction is outside the city limits.
While here for dinner, I finally got a chance to study their menu.  They basically have a little bit of everything for everyone, so you pretty much wins with a large group of people.  That night there were a bunch of people there.
Sparkling Raspberry Lemonade.  It's pretty darn good.  I know people come here for beer but this is pretty awesome too.
I got the seared ahi tuna salad.  To my surprise, it was pretty awesome.  Tuna was fresh.  I can do without the fried noodles strips.  They have this vinaigrette that's not too zingy.  To be cute, in case you don't know that ahi tuna is an Asian thing, they added dots of wasabi for kicks.  Just so you know, it's a diluted version of it, not spicy at all.  And if I'm a whimp about these things, I can tell you it's not spicy.

Overall, service is what you can expect at a Saltgrass or Chili's.  Food does provide a larger variety than those places, but they do want to give you good and fresh, which I appreciate.

BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse
11200 Broadway Ste 1700
Pearland, TX 77584

Wednesday, September 28, 2016


Were at Saltgrass for a family dinner.
That was pretty much the last time I was there.
It was a special, which has a filet and a crab cake.  I liked the steak quite a bit, the crab cake was too ready.  Of course, their shrimps are good, no questions there.  I usually ask the server to do it as medium rare, so it's not too tough to chew.  As a matter of fact, the meat quality was great.  Again, was disappointed that the crab cake was too bready.

I will give you a warning at this location.  The folks in planning for Pearland apparently did not anticipate the city boom, and therefore did not put in frontage/service road for the freeway.  And the planning folks who built this shopping center, also did not think to work with the City of Pearland to install feeder to the shopping center.  Therefore, you have to wait a very long line of traffic to go thru one light, for turning.  Then, one entrance for the entire shopping center.  And Saltgrass is at the very end of the shopping center.  So, one must think: hmm, should there be an emergency and needed to evacuate, all the people in this shopping center is screwed, because there's really one exit.  For whatever reason, the folks didn't want to fork up the cash to get an exit/entrance made, also did not anticipate for the population boom.  For crying out loud, for the money you've made by having all these chains in your shopping center, just put some money for couple more entrances, both for normal users and emergency users sake!

Saltgrass Steakhouse
3251 Silverlake Village Drive
Pearland, TX 

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Snooze an A.M. Eatery

Finally got to go to Snooze, an A.M. Eatery.
Since I was by myself, sitting at the bar was perfect.
Even their glasses have their little star.  If you drink to the bottom of the coffee mug, there's a star too.
So, I got the pancake flight.  Who knew there's such a thing?!  And it's awesome!  I have here... pineapple upside down pancake, blueberry pancake, and peach pie pancake.   So, I was surprised that I loved the pineapple one more than the peach one, which I normally like.  The blueberry is actually not as flavorful as I'd thought it'd be.  Not to underestimate, but the 3 pancake flight is actually a lot of food, unlike an order of short stack.
I also got a side of bacon, which is awesome. 

So on the weekend, forget about going after 9a.m. unless you live in the neighborhood.  I would suggest going either early, or go on a weekday.  Weekday is super easy to get in and get seated.

One antidote I must mention.  I was sitting at the bar, and a homeless man was sitting next to me hurrying his plate.  I was thinking about to tell him not to hurry.  Turns out, the man was invited by the bartender to have breakfast.  That was basically human at its best.  I gave her an extra large tip just because I appreciated her gesture.  I know she would've done it with or without me and I don't know if she has to pay for the meal herself or not.  I just want to encourage her that she should continue to do that.  Mainly because, that day, not only did the man have a full meal, he was treated with dignity.  

Snooze A.M. Eatery
3217 Montrose Ave
Ste 100
Houston, TX 77006

Monday, September 26, 2016


Went to brunch at Woodbar.
This time, I knew better what to do.
I got the Migas, which has 2 eggs, onion, cheddar cheese, tortilla chips, crispy potato, beans and fruit.      Not pictured, I also have a glass of orange juice too. That is actually too much food, but it's good.  All good.  I love their crispy potato, wish there were more.  But the eggs and cheese were tons plenty.

So, you can do the Woodbar in both ways.  You can either go to the bar and grabs your pastry and coffee; or you can sit down and get full service.  The kitchen next door is accessible to the Woodbar.

3939 Montrose Blvd
Houston, TX 77006

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Epicure Cafe

Went to Epicure Cafe for breakfast. 
I got my usual, Berry Lemonade.
Croque Monsieur, which has fried eggs with ham on toast.  It's as no frills and plain and simple as it can be.  But it does the job.  You got a nice view and nice atmosphere.  That makes up for the plain-ness.

We go early to get a parking spot, but you may be competing with the cyclist next door who are there for spin class for a spot.  But go early before the shoppers get there.

Epicure Bakery Cafe
2005C West Gray
Houston, TX 77019

Wednesday, September 21, 2016


Went to Collina's for a mother night out.
Since it's before a movie, it's easy to grab some pizza before hand.  But not too easy to get a table on a Friday night, even though we got there before the dinner prime time.
We got the Hawaiian pizza, which has Canadian Bacon, Pepperoni, Pineapple, sausage, ground beef, black olives and jalapeƱo.
Also, for the non-meat eater, we got the Primavera, which has broccoli, spinach, zucchini, mushroom, garlic, red pepper, bell pepper.  I was surprise how yummy it was.

Though the wait was long, the food is well worth the weight.  They do bring you the food quickly, even for pizza.  Not to mention, they never get the order wrong.  That is a tried and true place, no matter how long since I've been here, their quality never suffer.  Definitely a must to return!

3835 Richmond Ave
Houston, TX

Tuesday, September 20, 2016


Went to a business lunch in Sugarland.
I know they have a location in Uptown, but since I"m int he hood.  Easier to stop by.
I got the Thai Tea, which had way too much ice.
The lunch special comes with soup and salad.  The soup is a vegetable soup, the salad had ginger dressing.
I got the Beef short ribs, I was lured by the word Waygu on the menu.  It was braised nicely.  The juice over the rice is delicious.  The meat is nice and tender.  The portion is just right, I don't mind going back for lunch.

I may not go back to this location, the place is dark and aim for date night.  So, while the food, price and speed of service is perfect for a business lunch, it's hard to conduct a business conversation, when the ambience is more suited for dates.

2258 Texas Drive
Sugar Land, TX 77479

Monday, September 19, 2016

Meal in the air

So I got lucky and got an upgrade, which is a rare occurrence anymore.
Not to mention, it was a NY flight and a during the weekday.
First, you do get warm nuts... and warm cloth to clean your hand.
You get 2 things to choose from, a seafood salad or chicken sandwich.  I try not to do any seafood in the air, just in case.  So, I chose the warm chicken sandwich.  It was nice and cheesy.  It came with a small arugula salad and some grapes.   And yes, what you see there, is a cloth napkins you see there.  With real utensils too.  Ahh, how the other class lives.
You got decent plugs for you to charge your device, and you even get a cookie and coffee at the end of the meal.  Yep, a ceramic mug not a paper cup.
It will be a long while before I can get another upgrade, I'm sure, but sure is nice to be upgraded.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Ralph's Coffee (NYC)

Last NYC post, promise!  Well, until the next trip.
Not a lot of people know about this, but inside Ralph Lauren store on 5th Avenue, there's a coffee shop inside the huge store.  And you can smell it as you walk in, just didn't know why you smell coffee in a fancy clothing store.
I got a cafe latte.  Nothing fancy.  The price is very close to what you would pay at Starbucks.  Plus you get a view.  They have a window sitting area for the cafe.
Even the sugar packs and the coffee sleeves have their spiffy logo.  It's an experience, and doesn't cost much.  Unless you buy a polo or two while you're there.  They also sell tote bag, t shirts, bear, cap, and their roast.  I will tell you this... if you have to ask how much they cost, you may not be able to afford it (or want to pay that price).  I asked for the price of the barista bear, the guy told me he's pretty sure it's $100.  You know, I can find another souvenir.

The coffee shop itself can be quite intimidating.  First, you have to walk past the shop on the first floor.  Every sales person and manager looks like a model off the runway.  You walk up the stairs, and by the window, you see the seating area for the coffee shop.  It has a very retro diner feel to it.  Of course, it's nothing retro or diner about the place.  Even those barista has a very tidy uniforms like the sales people on the floor.  They, too, can be the next models on the runway, except they were getting my coffee.

Ralph's Coffee
inside Ralph Lauren on 5th Ave
711 5th Ave
New York, NY

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Lady M Cake Boutique(NYC)

One of my MUSTs in NY is to get some Lady M cake!  
They are known for Mille Crepes.  If you ever watch Yumeiro Patisserie, that's the first thing the main character learned how to do at cooking school.  You would then realize how much skill it takes to make consistent crepe and make them for perfect layer.  Basically, skills I don't have to make one myself.
They have various flavors of mille crepes, original, chocolate, citron, coconut, strawberry... etc.  They also have other cakes as well, montblanc, checker, mousse cakes...etc.
I got the green tea mille crepe.  Been looking forward to it for a looooooong time.
There must be over 20 layers in there.... look at how precise and pretty they are assembled.  The creme between layers are not heavy, as a matter of fact, I would describe them as delicate.   Not too sweet or buttery, just right with hints of green tea.  Just plain awesome.

There are several locations in New York City that you can get Lady M.  There's one in Rockefeller Center's basement.  This one, I went to, is inside the Plaza Food Hall.  Just keep in mind, they close at 8pm.

Lady M Cake Boutique
Plaza Food Hall
1 West 59th Street
New York, NY 10019

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Kopitiam (NYC)

Needed to bring some sustenance for the flight home, and stopped at Kopitiam
You have to keep your eyes peel, otherwise, you'd walk past it.  
I really miss these Thousand Layer Cake, they do make them layer by layer, which is why it's so precious.  It tasted really close to how I remember them too.
I got these Kaya Toast.  The Kaya Butter is really pandan mix with coconut milk.  It is very tasty.  The Brits eat toasts with butter and jam, this Malaysian way is pretty much just combine the 2 into one spread and you just use that.  Taste great on toasted bread.  Nice little sandwich.

The place is tiny, have 2 seating at the window, but everything they made is pretty authentic.  From some interview I saw, her father was a chef and her mother provide the ingredients from back home.  No wonder I can taste so much heart.

51B Canal Street
(by Orchard St)
New York, NY 10002

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Cha Chan Tang (NYC)

Whenever I can, if I go to NY, I try to go back to Cha Chan Tang
They have neat decor, and food is authentic enough that reminds me of home.  The whole concept of Cha Chan Teng is really you grab some good eats that is hardy and filling, so you can keep going about your day.
I don't think I knew that they serve breakfast, but if they do, I wanted to see what they have.  I was hoping they have the meal sets, like they do here in Houston.  Where they have egg, protein, and noodle with a drink set.  However, they just have a few things for starters.
Got the Hong Kong styled Milk Tea.  They do use silk stocking to pour.  Don't worry, no hosiery was harmed in the process of making this tea.  It's really a filter that they use, which due to use over time, it turned into a nude hose type color, that's why they called it silk stocking tea.
I got the Curry Beef noodles for starter.  It was really ramen noodles, with curry beef and normal soup.  The curry is really satay sauce.  But for a morning start, it will keep your tummy warm all day. Whole meal doesn't even cost me $10.

I would recommend if you go to get a seat further back.  They have a very neat teacup wall, and a light fixture that is made out of bottles.  The bottles are Vitasoy drink.  It's neat because growing up, you can drink those bottle (in glass) cold or they would heat it up warm in the Winter.  Super neat.  There's also a history of the Cha Chan Tang, as well.  Remember to bring cash, they do not accept charge cards.

Cha Chan Tang
45 Mott St
between Pell & Bayard
New York, NY 10013

Monday, September 12, 2016

Mok Bar (NYC)

Last week of NYC posts, I promise!
We were in Chelsea Market, I was all hoping to have my Lobster Roll there, but alas, there were tons of people, and frankly the sashimi place looked great, however with 40 mins wait, we were too hungry for that.  What Chelsea Market had done was to take the larger shops (and perhaps they were not too good business-wise) and turn them into various food stalls.  One of the bigger store space can host up to 6 or 7 food places in that space.  The one we were in was once a tea shop, I remembered because they have a street entry and I tripped on that stair before.  Anyway, we ended up at Mok Bar.
This is a Strawberry Yuzu tea.  Yuzu is a Japanese version grapefruit, and you can taste a bite of yuzu chunks in the tea.  It's nice and refreshing after walking for a while.
Per the recommendation of the server, I got the Classic.  It is pork broth, with braised pork, topped with some veggies, scallion, sprouts, and nori strips.  I didn't add any extra topping, but you can certainly do that.  That said, this was plenty of food.  There were some kimchi spices in there, luckily it is just right for this wimpy.  The soup was not too thick like Japanese tonkotsu broth, but it's nice and hearty.  The noodles is factory made, not good or bad necessary, just you can tell.  And the pork has been with the broth a while because it tasted harmoniously together.  I really enjoyed it more than I thought I'd would.

They have bar seating or table seating at the back.  You just walk up behind the spice counter, and they have a rope for you to go thru and you'll be seated.  The turnover is really quick.  A lot of Google folks that work across the street come and get food.  Watch what time you go.  Service is pretty quick, in and out no problem.  They do have happy hour from 3-6pm, where they have anju (aka appetizer) on discount.

Mok Bar
Chelsea Market
75 9th Avenue
New York, NY 10011

Friday, September 9, 2016

Grace Street (NYC)

For a late night dessert, we ended up at Grace Street. 
Located in the Heart of KTown, the joint was jumping during dinner time in the area.  The place, which is more a coffee shop setting, that serves dessert was already packed.  We only had to wait for a few minutes to get a table.  Casual and definitely for dates or catching up with your girlfriends.
We got Ho-dduk, aka Korean Donut, and I got the Honey Matcha Latte.  The Ho-dduk, reminds me a lot of beignets, but instead of powdered sugar, you get brown sugar outside.  So, the inside is melted brown sugar with walnut and a hint of cinnamon, but I swear, it tasted a lot like chocolate.  Don't ask me how.  And it came with ice cream, which is nice because the donut does come warm, so together, it's nice and melty.  The latte was nice as well, no need for sugar, since the honey already did the job. Luckily, it has milk to round it out, not too bitter from just the matcha.

They also serve shaved ice, waffle, ice cream, milk tea, bubble tea, various type of tea and coffee.  Great for hanging out.

K-town, aka Koreatown in Manhattan is really below Herald Sq, around 31st/32nd street.  After work, a lot of folks come down here for a good Korean/Sushi meals, then hop over to the bars to hang.  We see groups of folks gather there for meals and then go to the bar nearby.  

Grace Street
17 West 32nd St
New York, NY 10001

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Russ & Daughters (NYC)

To be honest, every time when I come to NY, I meant to go to Zabar or Katz's, but never ended up there.
This time where we stayed, in LES, there's a nice Jewish Deli, you want to go in and get some lox.  We sat at the bar, and it has a full bar in case you need it in the morning.  And the bar tender has a full jacket, as do all of their servers.  Those touches you don't see anymore.  The place looks new but kept a lot of the old, like the shelves for the glasses, they use an old fashion handle to make Italian Soda.  It was just neat to watch.
I got the Lower Sunny Side, it's sunny side up eggs, with lox and potato latkes.  It's really like a thicker hash brown in a cake form.  I would eat those by it self, or mix with other dishes.  To me, the latkes are like a less greasy potato galette but thicker and 'meatier'.  Lox is fresh, which I can always appreciate.  Been a fan of lox since I was a kid, so having it so easily assessable made it all the more appealing.  

Of course, the atmosphere of this place is really the charm of it.  The food is great helps tremendously, but it's quaint that they kept the old soda glasses.  The counter is very soda shoppe styled, and their storage (while neat) has kept using brand that's been around for a long time.  It does give you the haimish (yiddish: homey, warmth) feeling.  The cafe is not far from the original shop.  There you really get that they kept the tradition in decor and food, when you see the store front.  Definitely charmed.

Russ & Daughters Cafe
125 Orchard Street
New York, NY 10002

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Luke's Lobster Roll (NYC)

One of the places I've been super looking forward to was the Plaza Food Hall.
Since we didn't get a lobster roll at Chelsea Market, I have to get a lobster roll somehow.  I knew they would have a place that has it.
They have a combo, where you get a lobster roll ($18) add soup, drink, and chips for $7 more.  Not too shabby for a lobsta meal.
For drink, I got the Luke's Maine Blueberry Lemonade, figured, when in Rome... Well, the lemonade had more honey in my lemonade than I cared for.   You do see the bits of blueberries floating about, so you can tell it's fresh, but just too much honey.  And this is coming from a person that takes a lot of sweet.

I got the Clam Chowda.  Super creamy, you can taste the clam, and at all fishy taste.  Nicely done mixed with chunks of potato and onion.  Love the cup!
Of course, the main star!  Lobster Roll, drool!  This is New England style, also known as Lobster Salad Roll, that really just means that it's served cold.  I'm not too big of a fan of a cold roll.  I liked my roll warmed, so guess I'm a Connecticut styled person.  Shhh, don't tell anyone.  But either way, the roll is good but I was hoping more flavor coming out of it.  It was good but I had something else in mind going in, so threw me off a bit. 

If you want to learn about the different lobster roll styles, I found this one pretty concise.  In regards to the Food Hall, I was super excited about... it is located beneath the Plaza Hotel.  Literally, the basement of it.  And it has in it, places for ramen, pasta, sushi, lobster roll, crepe, cakes, bread, chocolate, tea, caviar, macarons, subs, pizza, French Tarts, wine bar, and a little market with a restaurant by Todd English.  It was such an awesome fine.  Though their site said they're open till 9:30p we find that most shops closes at 8pm.  So, go a tad earlier to catch dinner before a show or a nice walk in Central Park.

Luke's Lobster Roll
Plaza Food Hall
1 W. 59th Street
New York, NY