Thursday, September 28, 2017


So excited when I saw that Hello Kitty and Sugarfina had teamed up for a collaboration.
If you haven't heard of Sugarfina, that's because they don't have a lot of distribution points.  They are called the candy for grown up and they usually have a space in Nordstrom or Neiman or Sur La Table.
Here's the display for Hello Kitty.  The bow bento comes in 2 flavors, which has the Apple Pie (with Hello Kitty's face on it) and the Strawberry bow, which are Hello Kitty's signature Red and cost $20 box.  The long box, which cost $30, you get to pick the flavors.  I picked the Batz-Maru Mischievous Pops, and it is truly mischievous because it's chocolate malt looking ball, but when you eat it, it has pop rocks in there.  Then, I got the My Melody Sweet Pearls, which reminds me a lot of Sixlets, just mini chocolate balls except these are shiny and pretty pink.  Then, I got the Hello Kitty bow, which is Strawberry.  You can smell it when you open it, but it doesn't taste as strong as it smell.

It's fun, it's colorful.  When I was checking out, they were giving me samples.  They had the Skinny Margarita, which by the way it's pretty good.  A Bourbon Chocolate dipped gummy bear, and Sea Salted Caramel chocolate.  It's definitely unique.  I also saw instead of a juice cleanse program, they too have a gummy based cleansed program too.  Just not sure if I want to split up my kale juice in mini gummy form, or just gulp it down while holding my nose.


Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Real Pho

All of a sudden, I really wanted Pho after a full day of walking around.
Thru Yelp found Real Pho plus it's close by.
Since they have Bubble Tea, thought I'd give it a shot.  Got the Thai Iced Tea Boba.  Too bad, the boba were stale, and it tasted bad.  The tea was fine, and that would be my recommendation, get the tea without the boba. 
Since I decided to do to-go, didn't get the pho, since I wasn't sure how it'll travel.  Instead got the Vermicelli with grilled pork with egg roll.  The pork wasn't grilled as much as I like.  The egg roll wasn't bad.   

Basically, over all, every aspect of this was lacking.  But since we're out of town and needed some comfort food in a pinch, this'll do.  

Real Pho
11223 Potranco Rd
San Antonio, TX 78253

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Shamu's Smokehouse

While in San Antonio, of course had to stop at Sea World.    
Ended up at the Shamu's Smokehouse.  It has barbecue galore.  Do expect that right after the Shamu show that it will be packed as the good planners would've exited the 11 o'clock show and goes straight there for lunch, which creates a long line.
As you can see, this is cafeteria style.  They even have apple cobbler.  By the way, the first stop is to get drinks, if you don't see what's already prepared, the lady behind the counter is super nice and will get what you want.  First stop is dessert, you get anything from healthy to decadent.
You get a meat and a side and it comes with a roll.  I got the brisket, which surprisingly is not bad at all.  I got fries on the side and strawberries for some 'healthy' element, amazingly, that was the worst tasting part of it.  

As you enter the park, they try to sell you the meal plan, which is $32 for the day.  You can get snacks and drinks all day long.  There are some limitations like you can only select dishes with certain colors. As for this meal, it was $18 plus $3 for drinks.  So, it's not too shabby.  As expected at amusement park, they will charge you a ton for something you get at a fraction outside of the park.  So, weigh out the options before standing in line.

Shamu's Smokehouse
10500 Sea World Dr
San Antonio, TX 78251

Monday, September 25, 2017

The Cove

We ended up in San Antonio, and my friend Julie told us about this place called the Cove.
This is located downtown, and it's an odd place.  It is a laundromat, ice cream/grill, with car wash.  But that's not all...
...their food comes from all local sources and they love to tell you about that.  
I got the Super Nacho, which has beans, cheese, spinach, tomato, jalapeƱo, and avocado sour dip.  The dip isn't bad, but the nacho is huge, so needless to say, it's super filling.  Didn't even have half of it, already filled up.
This is the kid's meal for hot dog.  They do have gluten free options.  

This place is a tad confusing.  You get there, first thing is that you line up to order your food.  Then seating are practically all outside.  In the middle of the courtyard is a playground for kids.  One side is the music bar, which is indoor, you can bring your food in there and they have live music there almost every night, if not 2 bands a night.  The other side is a walkup bar that has a lot of beer on tab.  

As I said before, it is kinda confusion when you first get there.  Food is one area, seating is different area, bar areas are split with a playground in the middle.  Oh not to mention if you want to get your car wash, or do a load of laundry, you can accomplish all of that at this one place.  That said, the location is in a triangle piece of land, there are parking at the back, but if you need, you can park on the street and be sure you read the signs.

The Cove
606 W. Cypress
San Antonio, TX 78212

Thursday, September 21, 2017

85C Bakery

Heard a lot of hub bub about 85 Degrees bakery.
Since there were no lines out the door, we decided to be nosy and went to check them out.
First of all, not all display cases are fully stocked.  
Second, they have a lot of unusual bread combos: such as squid ink roll or tuna danish or taro danish.
Cake display: most of the cakes we've seen are about $3-5 per piece, depends on how fancy it is.  A whole cake it seems to be between $25-38.
We got a tray full of goodies.  Chocolate chip bread?  Yes please.  Almond danish, red bean bread, and piggy in blanket.  They have staff that wrap these for you individually.  So fancy.
The other thing they sell a lot was bubble tea.  They do make it right away, and they have a full bar just for making drinks.  But there were too many people for me to see how this was made, if it was powder or not. 

That said, if you're only here for the drinks or cakes, you can by pass the line that takes you around the bread displays.  And everytime they have bread coming out of the kitchen, they would all yell fresh bread.  But, you don't know what they're rolling out as the bread comes out in rotation, and the strange thing is that it comes out a few at a time.  I'm sure as they make the bread, it comes out as a tray, not as a few.  That was a head-scratcher for me.

Overall, some of the bread here are unique, not something you see everyday, and that's their schtick.  The common ones, they charge more than Chinatown's bakeries.  So, for me it's an experience.  If I happen to be by one, I won't avoid it, but I won't be making a special trip there either.

85C Bakery
1027 Blalock Rd
Houston, TX 77055

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Yokushi Robata

Went back to Yokushi for a late lunch/early dinner.
I like going in between shifts, you tend to get the best service.  Now granted, they open around 2p, so it's not exactly hitting busy lunch hour here.
Got an Iced Green Tea.  I love these Japanese canned drinks, the weight of the can is so different than the ones in US... as though they use real aluminum for their drinks.
Just because I was hungry, grabbed the Takoyaki, which is pancake-like battered, cooked in the container that shapes like a ball, and before they cook it all the way, they add chunks of squid in there.  This one they topped it with the fish shaving, and the side it's think soy sauce with mayo.  Not a big fan of mayo in general, but I won't say no to the soy sauce.
Came here for a quick ramen.  I got the Shoyu Ramen.  As expected, they used Sun Noodles, which is most where every ramen shop uses unless they make their own, (which to my knowledge, so far are done by Samurai & Tiger Den).  That said, the soup/broth is nice and thick, wish it'd be creamier.  There are plenty of scallion, mushroom.  The pork does fall apart, but you can also tell that everything was cooked separately.  It's rare that they give you a full egg anymore, and they do here.  It was cooked the 60degree way, which I was grateful for.

I think for a quickie lunch, this is pretty good.  Not asking for too much, just something decent and good and doesn't make me feel like I wasted my calories.  This did the trick.  Plus the service and the other food, this is a great place to go for a variety of food.

Yokushi Robata
3837 Richmond Ave
Houston, TX 77027

Tuesday, September 19, 2017


I always forget this wonderful tucked away place in the mall.
Bazille is located on the 3rd floor of Nordstrom away from the crowd.
I got an Arnold Palmer to start... 
This is the Crab Stack
Closer look: you can really use this as an appetizer.  Everyone take a piece of toast and grab some of the fixin's.  There are Crab, mango, avocado, tomato, little chunks of cucumber to make it crunchy.  The sauce you see here is cilantro lime vinaigrette.  You basically can fill your toast with the stack and still have stack left over.  It is so filling, I wouldn't exactly call it a salad, but a dish worthy of sharing.

This is a very casual dining place, but they dish out great food and great service.  We got there a little before lunch time, and they got our food out quickly.  Even when the crowd started to appear, they made sure we are taken care of.  Great service and great food, need to remember to come back more often!

inside Nordstrom Houston Galleria
5192 Hildalgo St
Houston, TX 77056

Monday, September 18, 2017


Rare occasions that I get my act together and get out of the house early enough to go to Snooze on a weekend.
Remember, the park space out front is limited, please respect the signs.  We just don't even try and park down the street.  The weather is nice enough for a stroll.
Not knowing my luck, I arrived on Bacon Day... what a wonderful day indeed!
So, what did I get.  I like coming here to get the pancake flight, which is really good for those who are noncommittal types, you get to try them all.  So, pick wisely.  I got (L to R): pineapple upside down pancake, still good.  As good as I remembered it to be.  Real chunks of pineapple every bite.  It has creme anglaise on top with cinnamon butter.  Surprisingly not as sweet as it sounds and if the pineapple ever have any sour taste, it definitely cuts it.

Middle one is the Blueberry Danish Pancake, which is topped with sweet cream and almond streusel and lemon cream cheese filing.  It does have a bit of sour, that's from the cream cheese.  You can just mix it all up, and it neutralizes everything.

Lastly, the right one is the one from Bacon Day.  It is pancake with a whole in the middle and has little bits of bacon all over.  The trouble is that the drizzled too much of the sweet cream cheese sauce, it was a tad more sour between my last pancake's after taste and this.  The bacon is just like more butter than your normal dish, but they also give you the cinnamon sauce, which I dip a bit, it's good on it's own, but not sure about the combo.  I was actually very much looking forward to this, but can't say that I'll recommend it.  It's ok, it's a special created for Bacon Day, maybe it'll show up in a different special occasion.

Snooze - An A.M. Eatery
3217 Montrose Blvd
Ste 1000
Houston, TX 77006

Thursday, September 14, 2017


Desparate for some quite lunch, so ran back to Ozaka.
For starter, you get a salad and a miso soup for ordering a bento box.  It's creamy salad dressing, this round was a tad watery, but you get the taste.
For the bento box, I didn't realize my eyes was bigger than my stomach.  Always forget the free starters that they give you.  Anyway, in here, there are: chicken skewer with rice, shrimp & veggie tempura, 2 pieces of fried dumpling, salmon sashimi, and shumai.  Like I said, that was a lot of food.
Oh yeah, and they give you dessert.  It was yummy, but have to roll me out of there...

I like Ozaka not because they have the freshest, cheapest or the tastiest, but the neighborhood feel you have.  If you have a group, they try to please you, if you want to dine alone, they give you your space.  If you want to talk to the sushi chef at the counter, they don't mind entertaining you in a conversation or two.  It's just the relax atmosphere that you get when you walk in.

4001J Bellaire Blvd
Houston, TX 77025

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

HRW: Coltivare

Even though Coltivare decided not to extend their participation of Restaurant Week, I am recapping our meal there.
In case you don't know, they do not take reservation, so our suggestion is to go there early.  They do not seat you unless your party is all there.
For starter, we got the bartender to make up soda and have to say amazingly refreshing.
For starter, this is grilled fig with prosciutto.  It has blue cheese and balsamic vinegar together.  Amazingly, it was very good, and definitely unique.  I love fig, I love prosciutto, but never had that combo before.
For entree, I got the crab ravioli.  That was a tad disappointing because there's not a lot of meat and not a lot of flavor from the sauce.  I liked the mushrooms a lot, but wasn't enough for me to like the dish.
For dessert, I got the pear crostata.  It was the best part.  Nice and warm with cream.  The crust is actually my favorite part, nice and crunchy.

So, over all, I had a better experience during non-Restaurant Week.  So, hoping to return at another time for a better experience.  There are parking at the building next door, as well as in the neighborhood, but be respectful and read the signs.  I really wish they have valet.

3320 White Oak Drive
Houston, TX 77007

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

HRW: Brasserie du Parc

Continual of my Restaurant Week recap.  Again, a lot of the restaurants have extended the Restaurant Week in order to help the Houston Food Bank after the hurricane impacted the city.  Please take a moment to check out the restaurants that are participating and go out and eat!

This time we went to Brasserie du Parc.
For the first course, I got the Oeufs Mimosa.  That's the fancy way of saying deviled eggs with a small salad.  The eggs didn't have paprika, in case you're wondering.  Instead, they have bacon bits, the real thing.  How can it be bad?
For main course, I got the Boeuf Bourgingnon.  It has a bed of pasta, with the stew on top.  It has a decent size brisket with veggie.  The brisket is super soft, you pull on it and it falls apart.  Super soft, super tender, super perfect for a cold winter day.
For dessert, I got the Pot au Chocolat, it came with a little mini muffin, pot au chocolat (chocolate custard) with a scoop of ice cream with these fancy crispers.  It went very well with a coffee, highly recommend it to any chocoholic.

I love the service, the staff, and the whole dining experience.  Was it the best I've ever had?  No, but for a sizable group like ours, they were super attentive, made sure everyone get what we ordered, checks were separated properly.  Those little things are very much appreciated for a dinning experience.

I will say this: if you made a reservation, prepare extra time to fight the downtown traffic or find parking on the street.  I chose to valet, which is not complementary, so bring cash.

Brasserie du Parc
1440 Lamar St
Houston, TX 77010

Monday, September 11, 2017

HRW: Palm lunch

In effort to raise more funds for the Houston Food Bank, some restaurants have agreed to extend the Restaurant Week.  For more information and restaurants that are participating in the extension, please check their website.
We went to the Palm, which is a Houston institution.  Business lunch amazingly busy, good thing we made a reservation and early enough to enjoy lunch before the place got crowded.
Started with an Arnold Palmer, I just love how it's separated.

I got the 8oz Skirt Steak and shoestring onion rings.  I really liked that you dip the steak into the chimicurri sauce, it's delightfully good.
For dessert, I got the Flourless Chocolate Cake.  The good thing about it is that they give you a small slice so you don't feel like totally pig for finishing it.  The raspberry sauce with the chocolate cake was just perfect for a delicious lunch.  Highly recommend it.

Of course, service is top notch, which was a given.  Our server however, was a tad distracted so got our order a little mixed up.  That said, the food is still great, the other servers are attentive.  

The Palm
6100 Westheimer Rd
Houston, TX 77057

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Yong Kang Street

One of the perks of working in the mall is that there are as much bad food, as there are good.  It's the magical place called the Food Court. 
New Place called Yong Kang Street.  It's named after a street that has cafe and restaurant in Taiwan, which caters to all budgets and taste.

From the look of it, I do believe they are of the same franchise that has location in Las Vegas (inside Paris Hotel) and in New York.
Needless to say, here, for reference, it's Chinese food.  They do offer dim sum, dumplings and noodles.  

I got the beef udon stir fry.  It is a lot of food, this plate is full of food.  I will say, for my taste, it is a bit greasier than I like, but the flavor came out good, and it has a lot of what we call Wok Chi, where you can taste the heat from the wok.  I think given it's in the mall food court, it's as good as one can expect.  That said, it draws a lot of people, as there's a line everyday during lunch.  I just wish their lay out is a bit friendlier than having people line up out of the little seating area.

Yong Kang Street
5015 Westheimer Rd
Ste A1300
Houston, TX 77056

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Del Frisco's Business Lunch

Went back to Del's for lunch.
This time, I did the business lunch.  For $25, you get a starter and an entree, same good food, faster and economical.
For starter, you get to pick either soup or salad.  I got the Caesar Salad.  I can't get over how yummy the croutons are.  I know, little things in life, I tell you. 
For my entree, I got the Chicken Picatta.  It just sounded good, plus I really wanted some spinach.  The chicken was not too dry but the lemon caper sauce really did the trick for the dish.  It was so good, I was using my spinach to wipe up the sauce.

Don't underestimate the food, between those 2 items, I was pretty full.  So much so that I didn't even finish the entree.  It was good, just a lot of food.  

This time, our service was disappointing to say the lease.  We were seated at the dining by the bar in the downstairs area.  The manager who seated us was lecturing us about how in our reservation, we should've put Restaurant Week on our reservation, and then gave us the dinner menu for Restaurant Week instead of lunch, which caused some confusion.  There were supposedly 3 servers that we can grab anyone to assist us, but couldn't get attention of any of them.  I will say, our main server, did one thing well by us, and that is when the steak arrives, he did ask my friends to cut into them to make sure it is to their liking before leaving us to our meal.  That, I'll give credit for.

Even though it's lunch, a reservation is highly recommended.  I did it right before heading down there, and were seated right away.  THat's for just in case there's an unexpected party that day.

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