Daily Archives: October 1, 2008

In Other News

Not everything is greasy fish tacos this week.  There are plenty of bright spots:

  • The next flavor-tripping party has been announced!  November 7th at the Saint Arnold Brewery: be there or be boring.  Not familiar with flavor-tripping?  Check this out: Tripping the Light Balsamic.
  • CRAVE Cupcakes in Uptown Park is selling absolutely adorable boxes of six cupcakes — chocolate, vanilla and strawberry, each decorated with a pink ribbon — to benefit The Breast Center for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  The boxes retail for $19.95 and 100% of the proceeds go to The Breast Center for cancer research.  So go order a box or two!
  • Swamplot reported today that Heights-area favorite Vietnam Restaurant is expanding.
  • Oh, yeah.  And Scott Tycer’s Textile is opening tonight.  FINALLY.
  • Rumors abound that a new, possibly 24-hour restaurant called Tost is opening up in the old Felix Mexican Restaurant space on Westheimer at Montrose.  Have any more scoop on that?  Lemme know…
  • The Houston Press announced their Best of Houston 2008 winners last week.  I wouldn’t advise putting too much stock in the restaurant choices, but it’s a good jumping-off point.
  • Randy Rucker‘s latest tenacity dinner is being held tomorrow night, featuring Georgian grass-fed beef.  The idea of caramelized calf’s liver in particular is making me salivate.
  • And the tenacity dinner I’ve really been looking forward to is being held next week on October 8th: the whole pig dinner with guest chef Justin Bayse, who is currently a sous chef at Voice.  This dinner was originally scheduled for September 23rd, but Hurricane Ike had other plans.  If you’ve been waiting for the perfect time to experience tenacity, THIS IS IT.  Seriously.  Go.  Contact Randy at rrucker79@hotmail.com to RSVP for either dinner.

Enough links for one day.  Get out there and enjoy this weather, folks!

The Days of Mediocre Food and Roses…

sans roses.  Which makes the days even less enjoyable.  Meh.

The week has been filled so far with ample opportunities for good food, and yet everything has fallen short so far.  I hate weeks like that.

Monday afternoon was the perfect day for a lunch outside, luminous blue skies and cool weather glittering brilliantly across the city.  Except that I spent my lunch hour on a dingy couch in a shady inspection sticker place off Long Point, sitting in uncomfortable proximity to a man in a “U.S. Army Artillery Unit” gimme cap with dirty socks pulled up to his knees, who muttered incessantly to himself in between short bursts of yelling, “Hey, boss!  Heya, boss!  Heya!”  I don’t even know that he had a car there to be inspected.  And I ended up failing my inspection after all that.

Monday evening was spent in a private room upstairs at Del Frisco’s Steakhouse.  On hand was plenty of free wine and hors d’oeuvres.  Wine?  Good.  Hors d’oeuvres?  Should have been good, but were frustratingly mediocre: overcooked lobster, well-done steak, fried asparagus with sickeningly sweet sauce.  Then again, what kind of complete jerk complains about free food?  Well…me, I guess.  I ended up eating a stray granola bar at home later on.  You willingly eat a grotty old granola bar, but complain about free lobster?  you may ask me.  Yes.  The difference?  I expect the granola bar to be mediocre.

Tuesday’s lunch was…oh, wait.  I didn’t get a lunch break on Tuesday.  I spent the morning at that squat, hideous, unapologetic trash-magnet, the Harris County Courthouse on Chimney Rock, and had to work through lunch to halfway catch up on the piles of crap littering my desk.

Tuesday evening was slightly better.  We (myself and some fellow Houstonist writers) started out with drinks at Gingerman.  All things are made better by Gingerman.  I had a crisp, refreshing pint of Saint Arnold’s Elissa IPA (oh-so-hoppy and delicious) and enjoyed the gorgeous weather with my gorgeous Houstonist friends.  We ordered the spinach-artichoke dip, but ended up getting a bowl that looked as if it had been grabbed off another table, half-eaten and then nuked.  It was disgusting.  We ate it anyway.

Feeling that we should attempt to procure some better food, we headed directly across the street to that quaint little Italian market/restaurant D’Amico’s.  I hadn’t eaten at D’Amico’s in years, but had some very fond memories of a smashing walnut and wild mushroom risotto that I’d ordered several times with exceptional results each time.  Scanning the menu, I was sad to see that they seemed to have taken it off and replaced it with a walnut and wild mushroom tortellini instead.

I ordered the tortellini, looking to get that elusive walnut/wild mushroom fix any way I could.  We sat under the darkening sky outside, laughing, bitching, telling stories and generally being far too philosophical for a Tuesday night.  The company, at least, was fantastic.  The food, not so much.  We all happened to order various tortellini dishes.  And we all agreed that the tortellini was far too doughy, the fillings too dense, the sauces too watery, doing nothing to hold the dishes together.  Once again, frustratingly disappointing.  I think it’s too soon to claim that D’Amico’s has jumped the shark, but I’m only giving them one more shot after that.

Today’s lunch was a last-minute bite at Berryhill’s.  I used to be a huge fan of theirs, especially their happy hours and their tamales, but my feelings for them have become extremely lukewarm in recent years.  Today’s lunch just reaffirmed my waning affections.  The fish tacos had almost no cilantro in them (you will not deny me cilantro!), very little red cabbage and disgustingly over-fried, eeeeenormous portions of fish.  Let me elaborate briefly on the “over-fried” part, if you will: there was more liquid in the tacos from the grease dripping off the fish than from the almost non-existent remoulade sauce.  Horrid.  At least the hot pickled carrots were reliably good (although one never truly knows how long those have been hanging around…).

Tonight’s dinner will most likely be whatever I scavenge out of the cupboard when I finally make it home.  I swear to God, this week better shape itself up food-wise unless it wants me to give up food blogging for a while.  But there is hope yet: the weekend is still to come!