Tripping the Night Away

The Social

So…that Flavor Tripping party this weekend?  WAS AWESOME.  You should have come.  If you didn’t, I fully expect to see your bright, shining faces at the next one on November 23rd.

To whet your appetite, here’s a little slideshow and writeup from the ultra-exclusive “weekend edition” of Houstonist:

Houstonist Was There: Flavor Tripping at The Social

And if you live in Houston and love food and you haven’t yet joined the Houston Chowhounds, what are you waiting for?  Upcoming events include a special dinner at Himalaya cooked by Chef Kaiser Lashkari — with a portion of the proceeds going to benefit the Houston Food Bank — and a taco truck crawl.  You know you want to…

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Scotch Eggs, Sauerkraut & Turkey Legs

In what is perhaps my unhealthiest entry to date, I’m going to chronicle a few of the things that Jenny, Aaron and I shoveled into our mouths this weekend at the Renaissance Festival.

Before we even got on the road to Plantersville, we headed over to Teotihuacan for breakfast.  Had to give our stomachs a little bit of a warmup session beforehand, after all.

Chips & Horchata

Jenny got a margarita (it’s 5:00 somewhere, I suppose), Aaron a coffee, and for me? A huge glass of ice-cold horchata. Teotihuacan serves some of the best horchata in town. This is the real stuff, too. None of this powdered mix crap.

Chorizo!

My “grande breakfast” platter came to the table with a heaping mass of eggs and spicy chorizo, refried beans and freshly-made tortillas. As Jenny says, when you can nearly see through them for all the lard, that’s when you know they’re good. And for only $3.99, it’s pretty much the best damn deal around for breakfast.

An hour and a half later, we were finally pulling up to the parking area outside of the Renaissance Festival.  While I could take this entire post to expound upon the depth and breadth of weirdness that we encountered at the Ren Fest, I’ll instead direct you to Houstonist for more on that subject.  For now, we’ll just discuss the food.

Continue reading Scotch Eggs, Sauerkraut & Turkey Legs

Pizza Fusion: Organic Pizza Comes to Town

A new post this morning on Houstonist about the first and only certified organic restaurant in Houston, which will be opening in November: Pizza Fusion.

Green Pizza Comes to Houston

Located up north at Highway 249 and Louetta, Pizza Fusion will feature not only a totally organic menu and an extremely environmentally-conscious building, but a glut of gluten-free, lactose-free, vegetarian and vegan items on their menu.  They even have organic wine and gluten-free beer.  How freaking cool is that?

A side shout-out:  Cory, between the location and the menu, it’s like this restaurant was specially created for you and your wife.

When Pizza Fusion opens next month, you can be sure I’ll be one of their first customers — even if it means driving into the great unknown of north Houston.  😉

Sandy’s Market

I’m gonna be honest: my most favorite thing about writing articles for Houstonist is the fact that I get to put in these super-nifty slideshows (that stupid Java-unfriendly WordPress will not allow me to do).

So go and check out today’s slideshow — and article, too, I guess — on Sandy’s Market, the best grocery store-slash-health-food-store-slash-buffet in Houston:

Houstonist Bites: Sandy’s Market

Oh, yellow bell peppers and chickpeas…  How I adore you.

Chili Cookoff: T Minus One Week

And where will you be a week from today at 2:00 pm?  Let me tell you…

You’ll be at the Second Annual No Holds Barred Chili Cookoff at Shady Tavern in the Heights, that’s where!  A $5.00 wristband gets you all-you-can-eat chili and a vote for the People’s Champ.  Winners in the other four categories — Best In Show, Most Original, Spiciest and Most Traditional — will be decided by the judges, one of which is yours truly.  The other three judges are the competition’s two founders, Dock and Brandon, and my fellow foodie Jenny of I’m Never Full.

Since this is Shady Tavern we’re talking about here, there will — of course — be plenty of live music and ice cold beer on hand.  And since there are nearly 20 competitors this year, there will be plenty of different chili styles to sample and peruse. Want to read more about the event?  Check out yesterday’s article in Houstonist:

Chili Cookoff: You Cumin?

Remember: October 11th at 2:00 p.m. … the competition begins.  See y’all there!

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!

Tuesday Trivia: Part Holy Crap It’s Back!

Wow.  I know, right?  So, anyway…

Last night was spent at Del Frisco’s with the lovely Jenny of I’m Never Full (and now Citysearch!), attending the check presentation party to wrap up Houston Restaurant Week, which you can read all about here:  Y’all Raised $78,877!  Needless to say, that was pretty awesome.

Also awesome was the lovely cabernet that was flowing freely, courtesy of Messina Hof.  And that brings us to today’s trivia theme: beverages.  You know how I love a good theme…

  1. Which of the following beverages was not available to American pioneers during the 19th century?  Carbonated water, iced tea, vodka, or beer?
  2. Chicory is well-known as a coffee substitute.  What common nut was also used throughout American history to make coffee when no coffee beans were available?
  3. Although we may view it as an all-American beverage, lemonade has actually been a popular drink since medieval times.  Where was it first served and enjoyed?
  4. Diet sodas were introduced in the 1950s as a way of marketing artificial sweeteners to the general public.  What company patented the first diet soda?
  5. Most species of domesticated livestock have been milked — and the milk enjoyed by humans — at some point or another in history.  But which of these animals has not been used as a source of milk?  Yaks, donkeys, horses or pigs?
  6. BONUS:  In Western culture, the milk of what animal was favored over the cow until the 16th century?

Drink it up, folks!  See you all back here on Thursday for the answers…