Thursday, February 28, 2019

Southside Espresso

Was going to Southside for a pop-up.  Since it was raining, the set up was delayed. 
Figured, I'd might as well just grab a cup and some food at the coffee shop instead.

So, for breakfast, they have yummy sausage kolache and very light cheese. The other thing we got was the stickie monkey brad.  It is a very cute cinnamon roll, not too super sticky, nor is it super sweet, just like how I like them.  It is topped with sticky walnut on top.  I really like it. 

For drink, since I'm sharing with the little, I got hot chocolate.  Even though I mentioned to the barista that it is for the little, temperature-wise it was adult drinking temp, which is about 120 degrees.  For kids drink, we always ask for 100 degrees, so that they can drink it right away and not be burning on the way down.  I hope they would pay closer attention to that detail for little guys.

Parking on weekend morning is super easy.  You can park at where Uchi's valet lot is.  Or you can park across at an empty lot.  Unless you're super lucky with street parking.  

Southside Espresso
904C Westheimer Rd
Houston, TX 77006

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Red Circle Ice Cream

Wow, it's almost 11 months since I was at Red Circle.
They have a new mural since that last time I was here.
This time I got the Churro Pop.
Indeed - stay chilled!
It's really not like a pop like how I was thinking it'd be small, it's pretty decent size.
So essentially, it's the churro but cooked in the round format, and then they put lots of chocolate chips on top.  And I do mean lots and lots of chocolate chips on top, which I believe is held together by chocolate icing.  So, this is my cheat da but still didn't expect this to totally put me over the top.  This does come in a lollipop stick, so you can use the paper they gave you to catch the mess, which inevitably will happen.  Pretty good over all.  Super duper chocolatey, and the churro is decent.  No regrets.

Red Circle
6838 Ranchester Dr
Houston, TX 77036

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Snooze - Galleria

I was so ever excited to find out that Snooze was opening a store in the Galleria area.  Right across from my office.  Of course, I was doing a happy dance.
I was also very curious about the level of busy they will have at this location.  
Got me an OJ and some coffee to start the day.
I can't decide between the taco and when the server got to me, out blurt Breakfast Burrito.  Well, when it arrived, even the server made an exclaim that it was huge.  Indeed it was.
I know neither photo justify how big the thing is.  It is really huge.  As a matter of fact, I swear you can tuck a baby inside that burrito, it was that big!  It has lots and lots of eggs inside.  Cheese, beans, more cheese, I think there's potato in there.  Pico on top.  But that orange sauce, which is the ranchero sauce, was really da bomb.  In case, my eyes weren't bigger than my stomach, when the server asked what protein I wanted, I said Chorizo, so there's some chorizo in there as well.  Holy Moly!!!  

Don't worry, I wasn't stupid, I cut it in half and boxed the other half up.  EXCEPT....
At the time or ordering, I didn't realized the burrito was going to be so huge, so I ordered a side of one slice of pancake.  Which I also forgot the it is also ginormous.  This is the Blueberry Danish Pancake, which I again, cut off some to enjoy and box the rest up.  As a matter of fact, I had that for lunch.  Oh boy!  Talk about lots of food.  But besides the pineapple upside down pancake, the blueberry is my second favorite there.  They have the blueberry sauce, the streusel crumbs and the cream cheese drizzle, it was just delectable.  So good... don't regret it, but will know better next time.

So, the answer is, on weekday, there is a mild wait, but nothing like Montrose location, where you have to wait for 45 mins after driving around the street to find parking.  Here, for breakfast, that's before most stores even open, so you can pretty much guaranteed to have a spot.  Wait time was super modest, I'd say not even 5 mins, I was seated.  Have not try on a weekend, so don't mark me on that.  I also anticipated more business men having breakfast meetings there, but to my surprise, it was about half and half.  Half business and half families.

Snooze - Galleria
5000 Westheimer Rd
Ste 120
Houston, TX 77056

Monday, February 25, 2019

Yokushi Robata

Was in the area and decided to do a quick dinner. 
Despite the bad service last time, I went back, since it has the most variety of things for our group.  Luckily, we have a friendly server, that always helps.
To start: I got the grilled squid.  Not too chewy and they put the teriyaki sauce on top, pretty good.
Got some garlic edamame to munch on, not too heavy on it, just a hint of flavor. 
What I got?  This is the Baked Curry Beef Rice.  It is literally beef with curry sauce with a whole lotta cheese on top and baked.  It came out just in the right temperature, and can be eaten pretty quickly.  The thing is, this dish is best shared with another person, because that's a lot of rice and the sauce is pretty yummy.  Of course, that's cheese, yay cheese!  In case you're wondering, they are mozzarella on top there.  YUM!

This time since it's a Friday night, lots of families here after the week than folks stayed over for happy hour.  Though, before we leave, there was a group came in for a birthday, so the whole drinking house concept is still there.  Food is decent, it's always been on the decent side, is the service that's a crab shoot.  This time we got lucky, but will keep an eye on that.

Yokushi Robata
3837 Richmond Ave
Houston, TX 77027

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Tea Top

So I was jonesing for a cup of fruit tea, a la Magic Cup style and landed at Tea Top
The Bellaire location has been there for a while that I know of.  Last time I was here, they were having a soft opening.  Now, they are full fledge operational.
One of my favorite is the Osmanthus tea.  It comes in a cool little bottle and you can take it wherever you are.  The tea itself is light flavor great for a warm day where the sun is out.
I got a Peach Green Tea with 50% sweet.  At the bottom is the mini chunks of peach and the green tea.  Since I had them do 50% on the sugar, it wasn't overly sweet.  It kinda balanced out perfectly.  I like my fruit in my tea, what can I say.

I like the new wave of Bubble Tea places that will let you customize the ice level, the sweetness level on top of the typical toppings that we're accustomed to like the boba, sago, grass jelly and such.  I will say it takes some time to study them.  But I think I'll go back and try the cheese foam on top of tea.  Just sounded interesting.

Tea Top - Belliare
9889 Bellaire Blvd
E 203
Houston, TX 77036

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Daily Grill

Had a quick lunch with my boss.  Since both of us are watching what we're eating, I went for a place that I'm familiar with their menu.
A while back, Daily Grill has a gimmick for lunch under 600 calories.  And there's only a couple of things I get from that section.  Now, the menu is less distinct, but it will say the dish is less than 600 calories, but actual numbers is not given.
So I got the Blackened Ahi Tuna salad.  As we all know, the seasoning and dressing is really what kill the meal.  The protein and veggies are great and all, but what about the rest?  Well, this has artichoke heart, green beans, almond, bell peppers along with the greens.  They vinaigrette has a bit of ginger, but light-bodied and not too harsh on the mix.

Daily Grill
5085 Westheimer Rd
Houston, TX 77056

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

HLSR - Best Bites Competition - Uncorked!

So fun to get to go to Rodeo Uncorked another year.
This event really signifies the start of the Rodeo season.  The rest is really just pictures...
 This is Goodnight Charlie's Salpicon Tostada - mesquite smoked beef, on a house made tostada, tomato, onion, radish, and lime.  Pretty good.
 This is Teriyaki Chicken from Kuu, which I left they went on the safe route or that's the closest to BBQ.  Taste great, but I know they can do better.  The other dish is a sesame brownie, that was surprisedly tasty.
 Next up: Hot Duck Dog from Revival Market.  I've been a big fan of their breakfast, but don't usually get hot dogs from them.  The duck sausage has a hint of sweet, not dry at all, and the toppings were unique besides radish, all made in-house.  Yummo!
 They also have a food truck category, and there's 5 food truck featured in this showcase.  One of them: Gumbo Xpress.  They, of course, brought gumbo.   
 They have a chicken and andouille sausage gumbo.  My only complaint is that the roux was too light, not think enough for my liking.
 Then, it's Breaking Bao, which is a good concept.
 What they brought, I also felt it was on the safe side.  This is the Korean Chicken Bao, the chicken is crispy with pickled cucumber and cole slaw.  I checked out their menu, I think I'll try to catch them during their regular gig.
 From Wokker, TX, they brough Surfin' Turfin' pan roast.  It is a little dome of rice, with a slice of meat and shrimp.  I did't get what kind of mea that was, but the sauce, was awesome.  I was definitely licking my spoon.
 From Eunice, Blue Crab and Shrimp étouffée.  I was expecting a little more flavor, but the shrimp was good.
 From HCC cooking school, they did a pork and shrimp shumai, to my surprise, it went super well with a glass of Reisling I was drinking from the next booth over.  They really should struck a deal right there on the spot.  
 Chocolate Churro from Killen TMX.  Of course, you cannot go wrong w/ churro.  Not pictured: corn empanada.  It was corn on the outside and corn on the inside.  THat's just too corny for me.  I liked their sauce, but that was not enough to make up for the corn-ness of the dish.
 From Ra Sushi - Spicy Salmon Bowl - it's like a mini poke bowl because it has some rice at the bottom of the cup.
 From Eddie V's, Ahi Tuna tartare with mango chunks on corn chip topped with sesame and greens.  For a small bite, that packed a punch.  I definitely wanted more.
 Holy Paella - I love paella and that's got to be a ginormous wok to cook for that many people.  From Fig & Olive, this is chicken paella with peas and chicken skin and their sauces.  I'd only known them to do crostini and tapas, didn't realized they do paella as well.  Very impressed.
 From The Grove, Lobster Cocktail.  They really spare no expense, every bite has a sizable chunk of lobster.
 Here's  line worth waiting in (Besides Killen's), was Uchi.  This is salmon with bits of thinly sliced kiwi and with truffle oil.  Sooooooo good. I'm already a fan of theirs.
 This is interesting, I didn't realized that Saint Arnold's is here.  I was hoping to taste some beer, but got to taste their Curry Chicken Salad.  It is definitely has a kick to it.  
 Yummy skirt steak with pesto and mashed potato from Texas de Brazil.
 From Harold's, smoked pulled pork with grits.  Not one of my favorite.
 Yauatcha, I just love the presentation. 
 This is their mini version of tropical dome which was passionfruit mix with pineapple, on top of a biscuit.  It was rimmed by coconut shreds, super yummy.
From Weight and Measure, it's meat and grits. 
 Did somebody mentioned cheese?  I love this little sassy cowboy rat.  Whole thing made out of cheese.
 Very cool and creative dish from Eculent down in Kemah.  They have Cotton Candy wrapping pork belly with fire salt on top.  So the candy is not super sweet, and the salt mix well with the transition to the pork belly.  It was definitely a surprise getting to the middle.  
 Got a pop from Popfancy.  I got the mangonada flavor.  The mango tastes super fresh.  I will say, I didn't care too much as I got to the chammy sauce at the bottom.  The rest are pretty good though.
Here's the end of the eating journey.  We ate and ate and ate.  In between there are several lobster bisques, couple gumbos, couple more meat of some kind.  Too much to post them all.  This is definitely a super fun event.  As we were walking out, we even got free Junior League cookbook.  Of course our glasses are something to take home.  I look forward it every year.  

Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo
Best Bite Competition
Rodeo Uncorked

Monday, February 18, 2019

Steak 48

When the boss said let's have a team dinner, you drop what you're doing and go.
Since I've only been to Steak 48 for a quick drink, I'd thought better grab the opportunity for some yummy food.
For appetizers: they have the yummy pork belly.  Very delicious, can't go wrong with this.  It has a hint of sweet and a hint of chili, very nicely bound together.
Crispy shrimp, it is a bit sweet and sour, which reminds me of the Chinese version of the crispy sweet and sour shrimp for closest description.
Crab Stack, and who doesn't like guac, guac, and more guac?!
I had the petit filet mignon.  That's 8 oz right there.
Crab and shrimp mac and cheese.  It has cheddar and parmesan, and you can definitely taste the crab meat in there.
This is my neighbor's dish, which I was admiring for a bit while wiping my drool.
Chilean Sea Bass, has a crispy on the outside and it is not tough at all on the inside.  Very light, just a lot of it.
Other sides: creamed spinach, sautéed spinach, mac and cheese....
Bacon Brussels Sprouts, and not pictured: truffle fries.
Afterwards enjoyed a decaf.
Crispy Banana Split, literally cinnamon fried bananas, and ice cream in the middle.  The ice cream seems like a soft serve in the middle, it doesn't have the 'fight' that normal ice cream has.  Though, it was getting darker, and can't see it very well.  But with the fried banana plus ice cream reminded me of Ice Cream tempura at some Japanese restaurants.  Except, more cinnamon-y.  Pretty good, definitely a shared dish.

Their service is top notch, from the moment you walk in the door, the staff at the bar, to the person leading you to your table.  Everyone thank you for being there.  That said, where they fell short, they are very quick to action, and that is always appreciated especially at this level of eatery.

As expected, best thing to do is make a reservation, and we opted to valet, but walking to parking garage is not far at all.  Either way would work.

Steak 48
4444 Westheimer Rd
Houston, TX 77027