Give Me the Food

I love Miss Platinum.

I wish that I had “being Romanian” as an excuse for overindulging in food.  Bonus points: I could run around exclaiming, “Opa!” whenever I felt like it.  When people inevitably question me, I would just tell them “Hey, I’m Romanian!”

It’s like my friend who uses being Polish as an excuse for nearly every strange thing she says or does (hi, Peachka!).  Yesterday we were discussing the earthquake in Los Angeles and how she felt it all the way in Santa Barbara, where she lives:

“It was a weird, wobbly feeling.  Like, at first I thought I was imagining it.”

“Craziness.”

“Yeah.  I thought I was drunk.”

“Wait.  Wasn’t it, like, 11:45 in the morning when the earthquake hit?”

“Yeah…”

“And you thought things were wobbly and weird because you were drunk?”

“Yeah…”

“At 11:45 in the morning?”

“Hey, I’m Polish.”

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A Question…

…for you.

Should we continue with our new Tuesday tradition of open-ended trivia questions where we all hold hands and share stories and sing Kumbayah?  Or should we go back to original-recipe Tuesday Trivia where I ask you ridiculous trivia questions that are Google-resistant and then post the answers on Thursdays?

Decisions, decisions…

Houston Restaurant Week: The RSVPs

Seven nights, a limited budget and 52 restaurants: I really had to pick my battles.

And here’s what I ended up with:

I’m pretty happy with these three choices.  They’re spread evenly throughout the week so I can go hustle up an extra $35 if need be on Tuesday night or something, I’ve got an old favorite (Le Mistral) mixed in with two new restaurants that I’ve been dying to try but could never afford to in the real, non-$35-menu world.

You’ll note that the Le Mistral dinner has been moved from Tuesday to Sunday, to accomodate more peoples’ schedules.  If you’re still interested in going but aren’t signed up for Chowhounds, let me know.  Otherwise, just go put your pretty little name in the hat here:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/houstonCH/polls

You can also RSVP for the other restaurants that the Chowhounds are hitting up: *17, VOICE, Arcodoro, Americas (The Woodlands), Gravitas and Perry’s Steakhouse.  Or you can just go make some reservations of your own!  Do it!  You know you want to

CityCentrestaurants

See what I did up there?  That’s because we live in A-MURR-CA, not England.  It’s spelled “center.”

*ahem*

Been wondering about the new restaurants and watering holes going into the new CityCentre mixed-use development on the site of the old Town & Country Mall?  Well, wonder no more.  I’ve got yer lists right here, baby.

  • Ra Sushi
  • Brio Tuscan Grille
  • Como Se Dice (“modern Mexican”)
  • Eddie V’s
  • Sur La Table (which isn’t a restaurant, so I don’t know why it’s listed)
  • The Wine Loft
  • Potbelly Sandwich Works
  • Chipotle
  • Jamba Juice
  • The Yard House (yippee!!!)

There will be more added to that list as leases are signed, buildings are finished, etc.  And, of course, there’s going to be a Studio Movie Grill, which will — frankly — be bad ass.  I’m most excited about The Wine Loft and The Yard House (big surprise to you all, I’m sure), but the entire thing looks like it will bring a certain ITL ambience to our little slice of Memorial, which ain’t all bad.  I don’t want people out here getting big ITL heads, mind you, but it would be awfully nice not to have to hop on the Katy Freeway anymore to get decent sushi, sample some microbrews or catch an arthouse flick.

Suck on that, Inner Loopers!  😉

Houston Restaurant Week: RSVP Now!

In case you somehow missed the news, Houston Restaurant Week is upon us.  August 11th through the 17th is right around the corner, and with only seven days and 52 restaurants to choose from, you’d best git bizzy if you want to get a table.

Refresher course: prix-fixe menus at each restaurant are $35 each.  Some restaurants have a set menu, others allow you to choose your courses from a short list.  Some offer wine free of charge, others don’t.  The $35 doesn’t include other beverages, taxes or gratuity (and you’d better tip!).  $5 from each meal goes directly to the End Hunger Network, which provides nutritious meals to needy people throughout Houston.

The participating restaurants and their menus can be found here:

http://www.houstonrestaurantweek.com/Menus-2008.htm

My write-up (with many more details) can be found here at Houstonist:

http://houstonist.com/2008/07/28/houston_restaurant_week_help_end_hu.php

Chowhounds are busily organizing RSVPs for certain restaurants, which can be found here:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/houstonCH/message/1119

You’ll see that we’ve got VOICE, *17, Arcodoro, Gravitas and a few others covered.  Other reservations will come soon, so anyone who wants to accompany us for an evening will have their choice of venues.  Please feel free to chime in here or on the Chowhounds board if you want to come along!

I’m in charge of events at the lovely Le Mistral, where we’ll be eating dinner at 7pm on Tuesday, August 12th.  I have six spots reserved, so whomever wants to come had better grab your place fast!

Rhymes with “Starbucks”

On the heels of news this morning that Starbucks is closing 61 stores in Oz, in addition to the 600 here in the States, comes this amusing conversation I overheard at Einstein Bagels this morning.

Side note: I love Einstein’s coffee, probably a little too much.  Their house vanilla blend is addictive.  I’ve got the worst sweet tooth.  Also, the Einstein I go to every morning for my coffee fix is run by the most hilariously foul-mouthed crew of bagel slicers on the west side.

Shakawniya (yes, that’s her name; it’s on her badge, so shut up):  Guuurl, didju hear about Starbucks?

LaNita:  Naw, what now?

Shakawniya:  They closin’ a bunch mo’ stores.

LaNita:  I know that, heifer.

Shakawniya:  Naw, more!

LaNita:  Where more?

ShakawniyaAustralia, girl.  They can’t get they shit straight up here, down unda, over here, over there, innywhere!

Chorus of laughter from all Einstein workers.

Shakawniya:  Sheeeeeeet.  F*ck Starbucks, man!

LaNita:  That’s right!  F*ck ’em!  Who’s next?  Whatchoo want on yo’ bagel, baby?  We gotcha bagels right here!  And yo coffee!

Nothing like a little healthy competition, eh?

Trivia Tuesday

Hello, out there, readers in L.A. and SoCal!  Feeling better yet?  Yowza.  An anecdote, just for y’all, today:

I was on a mostly-all-day conference call with some vendors up until a few minutes ago.  Half of the participants were at the vendor’s Los Angeles headquarters.  At about 1:45pm (my time), there were some gasps and then a mad flurry of beep-beep-beeping as they all simultaneously dropped off the conference call.

The rest of us sat in silence for a moment before someone spoke up.  “What just happened?” asked one of the brokers.  No one knew, but we guessed from the gasping before the beeps that it wasn’t simply a bad connection.

Then, within sixty seconds from the calls being dropped, a participant logged back into the call.  Then two more.  Then the rest.  More beep-beep-beeping as they all rejoined us.  “Sorry about that,” one of them hastily exclaimed, her voice tinged with annoyance.

“Is everything okay?” my boss inquired.

“Yeah, yeah.  Just an earthquake,” one vendor explained.  “Nothing big.”

A chorus of verbal interrobangs quickly followed from everyone not in California.  “What are you doing back on the call?  Didn’t the line get dropped?” someone else asked.

The no-nonsense response from California: “Yeah, obviously.  We’re all on our Blackberries now, though.  Let’s keep going.”

Y’all are hardcore when ya wanna be, SoCal.

***

Questions:

  1. Which TV channel do you feel has better food programming and why: Food Network, Travel Channel, Mojo or PBS?
  2. If you could travel to any country or region for one month to learn to cook their native cuisine, which would you choose?
  3. Which is the greater art form?  Wine-making or beer-brewing?
  4. Do you consider yourself more of a food nerd or a food snob?
  5. Why do you suppose it is that “What would you eat for your last meal?” is such a popular esoteric question?  Do you believe that a person’s answer reflects who they are as a person?

All right, ramblers…  Let’s get rambling!