December 3, 2021

Les Ba'Get on 34th at Ella - Vietnamese

With one caveat emptor, I recommend Les Ba'Get on 34th at Ella. A wonderful choice for excellent Vietnamese dishes. Lots of variety. Beautiful presentation. Lots of riffs on traditional Vietnamese banh mi, bun and pho.

The presentation is excellent, the prices are fair, and the food with that one exception is as good as it gets. 

Plus, one can, if one wishes, substitute zucchini noodles for rice noodles in the pho. 

The one thing I do not recommend is the hoisin chicken option for the sandwiches. The chicken has that WOF taste from being cooked and refrigerated and is not pleasant. 

But other than that, everything is a winner, imho.

November 12, 2021

The JiuFu Cafe on Bellaire - A Michael Shum Discovery

 Michael and I decided to try a new place at 9968 Bellaire Blvd.

It was wonderful. Specializing in congees and braised meats (aka marinated meats on the menu), we started with these absolutely delicious squarish crispy spring rolls, followed by one of the best hot and sour soups I have had in Houston and finishing with braised half portion duck.

November 11, 2021

Barbecue - Vegetarian Barbecue in Houston - Houston Sauce Pit on Almeda

 Vegetarian barbecue? Huh? I really liked it. I had a selection of the "brisket" and the "links". Brisket was textured vegetable protein and the links were a Beyond Meat type product. 

A high point here was the side of Brussels sprouts. 

Houston Sauce Pit is on Almeda just a block or so from Turkey Leg Hut.

If any constructive criticism, I thought the macaroni and cheese side was a little too heavy on the garlic/onion powder, but I fixed it when I got home by rinsing in a strainer and then returning to the heat to  cook.

October 23, 2021

Wanna Bao - on Bagby near Specs - Terrific Chinese Food in Midtown

 Just going by the name, I would probably have never gone here. Fortunately, friends Jenny and Jerry, knew how good it was and invited me to join them for lunch. The food here KILLS. 

I let them order, of course. And then, I asked for a copy of the receipt so that I could show you what to order when you go. At the minimum, soup dumplings. And crispy bottom bao.

Here follow, photos of a few of the dishes we inhaled on this visit.

October 12, 2021

Vida Mariscos Seafood - Way Outside the Loop in Katy

When Will first told me about this favorite of his, I knew I had to make the "road trip" out to Katy to try it. I's just off I-10 at the 99 Loop. 

Amazing. It's like being on the beach in Veracruz. An open air, seafood place, and just rocking with happy clientele. The drinks and entrees blew me away, not to sound like a PR guy for the place. On this day, the ceviche (Will says that they have more different kinds than any other place he's come across here) was terrific, and I'm a person who shies away from uncooked fish. He had a Michelada with shrimp and Serena had this cocktail with blackberries and stuff (check out the photo). 

We had grilled octopus (and I highly recommend it); Serena and I had fish soups, can't remember what Will had...but, I took a bunch of photos of the big parilladas being served elsewhere and also the made to order guacamole.

Highly recommended.

Iran - An Iranian Bakery and Grocery Store in Houston

When I posted about the fabulous garlic yogurt at the Iranian/Afghani bakery, Alvand, some Iranian friends let me know about a variation in Iran using a wild shallot to flavor the yogurt. And that is how I learned about Mast Moosir, or, Mast-O-Musir. And so, I went to a favorite store, Pas 2 Super Market on Wilcrest at Briar Forest to pick up some dried shallots.

While there, the bread making was in full operation. A rotating oven. A very very wet dough being formed on a metal peel, and then stretched to double its length when loaded into the oven, baked, sprinkled with sesame seeds and packaged. 

Pas 2, like Alvand, is a Houston treasure! I first learned of it from friend, Paul Galvani, who is mentioned elsewhere in this blog of mine.

A now, to finish this post, here is a link to 11 Persian words that will blow any of your Iranian friends away if you use them lol.

October 9, 2021

Iraq- An Iraqi Bakery in Houston (On Westheimer Near Fondren)

 After dining at the spectacular Sasaki Japanese Restaurant on Westheimer near Fondren, we decided to walk the short distance to the next little strip center to check out the Dijlah Grocery and Grill and its Dijlah Bakery. We were enthralled, watching them make and bake delicious breads, which we were to see being used as the base for a falafel sandwich with all the fixings, a meal for two, at the Dijlal Bakery next door. So, the grill had the ovens and the store with Middle Eastern goods and the bakery had sandwiches, lamb, lamaçun, etc. And the cool thing was that there wasn't a menu. The customers knew what to ask for. For us, we'd just chat with the staff or observe what others were eating when we come back to sample the food. On this day, I picked up some of the bread, some Turkish Delight and some other groceries. We'll be back soon!