Tuesday, February 28, 2017

HLSR Uncorked & Best Bites - part 1

Warning, today and tomorrow's posts will be picture heavy.

By dumb luck, we got invited to Houston Livestock and Rodeo's Uncorked and Best Bites competition.  Essentially, we walk around, stand in line to get food and wine.  There's wine galore... on to pictures!
 At Patrenella's which they had bruchscetta. 
 Soup of some kind???
 Yummy French Toast from Snooze.
 Chefs busy preparing duck for everyone from Cotton Culinary.  Very moist.
 Many booths have very cute decorations.
 Bacon Mac and Cheese with a BBQ chicken slider.  The slider wasn't bad, but the bacon mac and cheese is awesome.
 Silvan Ridge's Early Muscat, good enough that I came back twice... so good!!!
 This ain't no ordinary chocolate, the is Hazelnut with Poprocks.  You really get the nuts and as you swallow, you feel the pop rocks, it was very unique and yummy by Mostly Chocolate.
 Never heard of Pupusa Bar, thought what the heck...
 Yummy toastata with pulled pork and green sauce, yummy!
 Then you have good ol' Brennan's with their specialty...
 Turtle soup!
 Was a little disappointed that Tiny Boxwood only brought cookies, not that I'm complaining, but they got so much great food features...
 Here's an unique one, it's corn bread with pork belly but the sauce was strawberry, which totally confuse my taste buds.
 Steak48 prepping for dessert....
 It has marshmallow top that they torch, then chocolate, crumb and cream layer...
 Even Sake participated, this is pretty tasty.
 Tradicao, brought yummy steak bites.
 Been meaning to try Cane Russo...
 Got the Arancini, which is risotto with mozzarella and bolognese... 
 Quite a few places showcase quail... is it making a come back?  It looked great, but a tad dry.
 For some fancy schmancy pants...
Didn't get much of pork flavor, but the apricot sauce is unique.

A lot of people get a ticket and skip getting a table, truly I can see why.  You walk around, eat some, wait in line, eat some more.  So, you don't really have time to sit down to eat.  Talk about all you can eat and drink.  Wine galore, sorry no beer.  And you get to take home the center pieces!

Houston Livestock and Rodeo
Best Bites

Monday, February 27, 2017

Dish Society

Went back to Dish Society for that awesome coffee.
And they do not disappoint.  I got almond milk and it doesn't lose its texture.  I got the vanilla latte. 
 Got the Pork Belly Hash.  It all sounded great, but in fact it was heavier than I thought.  Don't get me wrong, the taste is spot on.  It all come together nicely, but by the time I got half way thru, I was so full, can't even enjoy the rest of it.  The pork belly does not fail to deliver and it was nice and fatty.  

As usual, friendly staff, great turnaround on the food and coffee.  Of course, on weekend, they do get packed, so either go early or bring patience.  

Dish Society
5740 San Felipe St
Houston, TX 77057

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Hong Kong's Cafe

Was a bit under the weather, so breakfast choice is a bit different.
 Got the honey and lemon water mix for my sore throat.  Nice and sweet.
 Got the macaroni soup, which literally is broth, macaroni with shredded ham.  Nice and smooth for your tummy.  Total comfort food.
Main dish, my standard... spam with eggs sunny side up and toast.  Wish there was more butter on the toast, but otherwise, that fills me up for the day.  For $5.97 totally worth it.

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

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Seiwa Food Court

We were hoping to check out the Ramen Ichi, but since they're not open on Saturday night, we settled for Seiwa next door.
They got tons of food there, had we gotten early, but unfortunately, we were late so all the fried stuff were gone.  But we got the sushi.  They have all kinds of sushi left, super fresh on the fish.  They have chicken skin, thought I'd tried.  It was a tad chewy, than I like.

The sushi are made fresh daily there at the store.  They do have microwave if you got something that you wish to heat up.  They actually do have ramen and curry rice that you can order, but keep in mind, the later it gets, they less they have to offer.  They have seating on the side, and you can enjoy your meal.

Seiwa Supermarket
1801 S. Daily Ashford
Houston, TX 77077

Monday, February 20, 2017

Ramen Tatsu-ya

So we were crazy enough to stand in line during the soft opening of Ramen Tatsu-ya.
 We actually were in line for almost 3 hours.  So, the ultimate question would be, is it worth it.
 The inner decor is hip and the lamp cover does looks very much like ramen.
 For starter, we got sweet and sour (yodas) aka brussel sprouts.  It would definitely go great with beer.  It does start as sour but once you ate it, it does taste sweet.  Of course, at the bottom of the bowl, it gets more sour, so look out.
 I got the Tonkotsu Original - the soup is nice and smooth.  The pork is nicely done, doesn't take much for it to fall apart.  Once you mix it all up, it's very nice.  The egg, however, I do have some problem with.  It was in soy sauce a bit too much and the sweet part of it was too sweet.  I like my 60 degree egg to be a bit more non-sweet.  Over all, I like it, the soup is nice and smooth.  The noodles is good and right elasticity.  The pork is delicious.
To end the night, we got the Gotcha Matcha.  It has green tea (aka Matcha) pudding, with some crunchy sesame mix with blackberry and puree.  It is delicious, the key is to mix it all up.  And the pudding is like a matcha/vanilla ice cream mix, but if you get a berry into your bite, the entire thing together is awesome.  

Ramen Tatsu-ya
1722 California St
Houston, TX 77006

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Zen Japanese Izakaya

Headed to dinner with Julia, who told me about Zen.
The pictures looked nice, so figured to give that a try.  I'm a sucker for good pictures and good food.  But isn't most people?
She ordered Beef Tatami, which has slice of beef sashimi (aka raw), wrapped a slice of pear with a red pepper.  On top it has green pepper.  It also has yuzu wasabi, chili powder, garlic, and ponzu.
I got the takoyaki, which is little pancake battered ball with pieces of octopus inside, pretty delicious.
Also got the karaage, which is Japanese style fried chicken pieces (not nuggets).  They are nice chunk of meat which is nice and crispy.  But since it's fried, it really fills you up fast.
This is the salmon carpaccio, which has a choice of salmon, escolar, or seabass.  In ponzu sauce, pepper, and orange oil.  Pretty good for sashimi dish.
This is the Nemo Roll, which is spicy salmon roll on the inside, topped with more Salmon, ponzu mayo, and greens.  It's actually pretty good, wouldn't mind getting another one of these.
We decided to try the simmer sweet potato with orange.  To our surprise, it dish came cold.  It is somewhat sweet with the orange, but mostly the sweet potato itself.  It's not bad, but wish it was warm, that way it'll melt in your mouth.
As far as nigiri goes, not pictured was tuna and escolar, the escolar was fresh and delicious, as much as there's controversy over it.  We also got Uni just to try it out.  It's not bad, but my main concern that I measure to is that it has to be no slimy or loogy-like texture.  If it pass that test, I'm all good with it.  Not the best uni I've ever had, but it past the mustard.

For weekend nights and popular holidays, a reservation is definitely recommended.  The place is small, they have about 6 booths that can seat 4, the rest of the tables one side is against the wall, so they can have 5 tables on each side, but they also reserve that for larger parties.  So, plan ahead.  Lunch time bento boxes looked good, but they also say that they offer wagyu beef boxes too in limited supply.  So, plan ahead.

As the name implied this is a Izakaya, so they have all sorts of sake and alcohol.  The food mostly are tapas style, as they have tons to offer, definitely save room to try a little bit from here and there.  Julia and I were saying that the price is 1/2 of MF Sushi, but the quality is definitely higher.  This is not the same category of Uchi or Kuu, nor do they try to be someone that they're not, but the quality is good, and it's higher than a lot of sushi places in town, that's for sure.

Zen Japanese Izakaya
2015 S. Shepherd Dr
Ste 700
Houston, TX 77019

Monday, February 13, 2017

Dunlavy Pop Up Happy Hour

Went to Happy Hour with mom friend, Julie.
Depends on the pop up, but ours was between 2-8pm.  When I arrived hardly anyone was there.
 Unlike their morning service, the happy hour is table service.  You get seated and the server comes to take your order and such.  

As you can see, the menu is simple, but the bar is full, and isn't that what all Happy Hour is about?!
 I got a mane & tail, which was cider, lemon juice, prosecco, and bitters.  Amazingly, it's not too strong, and it's delicious.   
 For coming to Happy Hour, they have munchies on the house, you get popcorn and pretzels and mix nuts.
We also got the Spinach Turnover, I gotta say the amount of feta to spinach proportion is worth getting this and eating lots of it.  You will love this too.  Didn't have much time to try the other dishes, but look forward to coming back for the others.

You have to catch their Facebook page to see when the next one will be.  They also have a Terrace, so go sit out there, while it's nice and the mosquitoes haven't discovered it yet.  There's no valet, so parking is wherever, but do think about which direction of Allen Parkway you're coming from because the turn is not so convenient if you're coming from River Oaks, and will need to take Welch 'exit' to do a U turn in order to get there.  Coming from Downtown is easy peasy.

The Kitchen at Dunlavy
Happy Hour
3422 Allen Parkway
Houston, TX 77019

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Hong Kong's Cafe

For 'afternoon tea' time, we went to Hong Kong's Cafe.  
Just a bowl of ramen.... sadly, not the fancy kind, it's the packaged kind.  And I eat it willingly.  They added scallion, spam, and double eggs.  And yes, it's all a cheap stuff, but for a guilty pleasure, it just warm my tummy.  

For $5.99, it comes with this dish and a drink.  They have other dishes to choose from too, such as French Toast & fried Chicken Wing, Congee & fried 'donut', Ham & Egg with noodles, mustard green with shredded pork and vermicelli... and more, 12 in total.  You can have different combo everyday and won't be eating the same thing twice.

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

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Table 57

Did you know that there is a Jazz Brunch at Table 57?
 Fresh squeeze orange juice, you can feel the pulp.  
For the meal, I had Chimichurri Hash with eggs sunny side up.  The egg is all nice and green with feta cheese.  At the bottom, it has diced sweet potato, sausage, onion, kale and spinach.  It all comes together nicely.  It was interesting that my hash came sooner than a breakfast taco.  

We went there because they have a Jazz Band playing, not to mention, they have a play area on the side.  Not to mention, the food is good and fresh.  Music, patio, play area, and good food, and you can go do grocery right after, why not?!

Table 57
5895 San Felipe
Houston, TX 77057