January 1, 2020

Fried Chicken - Houston

Fried Chicken Houston – August 2020 – Houston Foodie Friends Recommendations

#1 Chicken – 4621 Almeda
Al Aseel Grill & Café – 8619 Richmond
Alice Blue – 250 W. 19th Street
Barbecue Inn – 116 W Crosstimbers
BBQ Chicken Katy – 1519 S. Mason Road
Bonchon Korean Chicken
Breakfast Klub – 3711 Travis
Buffalo Grill – 4080 Bissonnet
Chicken Plus – 6210 N Wayside Drive
Choong Man Chicken – 1927 Gessner
Cleburne Cafeteria – 3606 Bissonnet
Dak & Bop 18th – 1805 W 18th Street
Frenchy’s Chicken – Multiple Locations
Goode Company Armadillo Headquarters -
Grace’s – 3111 Kirby
Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken – 1815 Washington Avenue
Himalaya Restaurant – 6652 Southwest Freeway
Hotsome Chicken – 10020 Long Point Road
Jollibee – Multiple Locations
Jupiter Pizza and Waffle (Sugarland) – 16135 City Walk
Krisp Korean Fried Chicken = 9486 Long Point Road
La Lucha – 1801 N. Shepherd Drive
Loch Bar Seafood – 4444 Westheimer
Lucille’s Fried Chicken – 5512 La Branch
Max’s Wine Dive – Multiple Locations
Mico’s Hot Chicken – 1603 N. Durham
Soho Korean Fried Chicken – 9393 Bellaire Boulevard 
State Fare (Sugarland) – 15930 City Walk
Toreore – H-Mart – 1302 Blalock

2nd Hand Stores - My Favorite 2nd Hand Stores in Houston

The Google Map (Click on any of these in the sidebar to get full address)

Favorite 2nd Hand Stores in Houston

Screenshot of the map:

Food Sources - A Food Sourcing List With Links For All Your Specialty Food Needs

Food Sources - A Food Sourcing List With Links For All Your Specialty Food Needs

Greg Buchold provides the following information and links for your food needs:
My grandmother used to serve us a sweet mixed pickle with cucumber, onions, and cauliflower. I haven't been able to find the brand she used to buy but I did find a spicy version on Amazon from an Indiana company called Sechler's. They have some pickles with orange and lemon added.

A blackberry grower I found in Pike Place Market called Johnson Berry Farm http://johnsonberryfarm.com/ does single varietal blackberry jams like Tayberry, Boysenberry, and Marionberry. They also do chile versions of their jams. They sell their jams online in 3 packs that you can pick which you like. Everyone I've given these as gifts has loved seeing how each one tastes different.

Preserve Company (PEI, Canada)  has an apple curd that is great with cheeses like brie. 

Fox Meadow Farms Apple Cider Mustard that I discovered in Vermont is great on pretzels and for making a Vermonter sandwich.
Runamok Maple Syrup that is flavored with elderberry, bourbon, rye, rum, makrut lime, ginger, hibiscus, pecan wood, etc. is available through a bunch of Vermont country stores. I found it through Vermont's Own Products near Middlebury College https://www.vermontsownproducts.com/. Potlicker does beer and wine jellies. Lori Rocket is a cousin of the maker.
Above All Vermont https://aboveallvermont.com/ also has them, but their website only has a tiny fraction of the in-store offerings.
Woods Boiled Cider https://aboveallvermont.com/collections/food/products/woods-boiled-cider  (Add this to amp up your apple pies) 

I get Wild Huckleberry Syrup from Oregon Coast Jams through Made in Oregon. It's just berry juice and sugar not HFCS like the usual fruit syrups and has great flavor. I like to use it on berry pancakes and to amp up blackberry ice cream with this jam.

The Apple Barn in Tennessee has my favorite apple butter. I order some every September along with their apple fritter mix and make them for breakfast for a group of friends.  I found their other fruit butters to be less exciting. 

My favorite pesto is La Favorita black truffle pesto from The French Farm. I recommend buying it at either their Easter or Christmas open house markdown sales. Some of my other favorite products from them include:
L'Epicurien sweet onion confit https://thefrenchfarm.com/lepicurien-sweet-onion-confit/ (great on burgers)

Trader Joe's Garlic Spread (Lebanese Toum sauce) is vegan and lasts a long time refrigerated. I put it in a lot of stuff.
British Food
Marrowfat dried peas, spicy Worcestershire sauce, Hayward pickled onions, etc. https://www.britishislesonline.com/food/groceries/ Their Rice Village location is only doing online orders or curbside pickup since March.
Generally I go with Bob's Red Mill from the grocery store for most grains and the tapioca flour I use to thicken berry pies, but when I splurge on grains I'm a big fan of Anson Mills for their heritage rice and corn products. Their grits and polenta have more corn flavor than most mills unless you can find corn that is stone milled in the winter to preserve the flavor. The grits have to be babysat and keep adding water though. I love the Carolina Gold rice and the Laurel-aged rice that they store with bay leaves. I like to use it to make a chicken bog or jambalaya. https://ansonmills.com/products

I bought Rancho Gordo beans online for the Native American Houston Chowhounds cook the book event. I was particularly enamored of their Oaxacan beans. Even just cooked in water they made a chocolatey pot liquor. I can't recall if it was Ayocote Morado or Rio Zape. Jay said they are traditionally cooked with ajo santo leaves, which he has in his yard. I also like Yellow Indian Woman, Vaquero, and Eye of the Goat beans.
There's a longer and sweeter heritage varietal of hazelnuts that I found in Pike Place Market from Holmquist Hazelnuts. Bakers like to bake with these rather than the typical rounder hazelnut. When we visited Oregon we found a Marionberry pie made with a hazelnut crust that is like an upscale PB&J as a pie. www.holmquisthazelnuts.com

We've gotten obsessed with popcorn this summer. The Popcorn in a Pickle from Trader Joe's is just slightly salty, so you can eat a lot of it. 
If you like kettle corn you would like the one from Popcornopolis.
Since we went to Canada we like ketchup chips. British Isles in Rice Village has them and some other meat flavored chips. https://www.britishislesonline.com/walkers-tomato-ketchup-crisps-13227921.html
Keogh's Roast Turkey and Secret Stuffing crisps from Cost Plus World Market https://www.amazon.com/Keoghs-Turkey-Secret-Stuffing-Crisps/dp/B018IUD9NI/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_bdcrb_top?ie=UTF8  

Our friends Adam and Sara Hough after they moved to Washington state discovered Facerock Creamery's Vampire Slayer garlic cheddar. It's the most garlicy hard cheese I've had. They charge a flat fee to ship with freezer packs, so you want to order a sampling of cheeses to make the shipping costs reasonable.

The French Farm does nonpareils that are flavored with orange flower water and rose water. They also have fruit squares that are way better than the American equivalent. I bought a mixed fruit one, and they are great.
Pate de Fruits D'Auvergne https://thefrenchfarm.com/cruzilles-pates-de-fruits-in-purple-tin/ (like the gourmet version of Chuckles candy)  

Cost Plus World Market has a good variety of dark chocolate bars with unusual filling flavors like green tea, passionfruit, chai tea, etc. https://www.worldmarket.com/category/food-and-drink/food/candy-chocolate/chocolate-bars.do

I've bought a number of different caffeine-free herbal teas from Native American Tea and liked them all. We started with sleepy time tea and then expanded to drinking the other kinds this year. 

Bar Harbor Tea Company has the best blueberry tisane that's almost 90% dried wild blueberries rather than a lot of leaves like other brands. https://www.barharbortea.com/product-page/wild-maine-blueberry-fruit-tea

The German company Tea Gchwender has an outlet in Chicago that I order caffeine-free teas with fall/winter flavors like Rooibush apple streudel, Rooibush eggnog, Rooibush cinnamon plum, Fireside Glow, Advent Fruit tea, Luigi Amaretto, and spring/summer Rooibush panna cotta rhubarb (my favorite), acerola fruit tea, and fruit paradise tea. Some teas only available for specific seasons and they do sell out. I've made some cocktail bases including rum punches using a portion of brewed teas or as a simple syrup.

Harney & Sons tea from either British Isles or Kuhl-Linscomb. My favorite ones so far are Paris, litchi, and the hot cinnamon spice (I get wrapped sachets so they don't lose their potency). I get the hot cinnamon spice one in the winter and it's great to drink for sore throats because it's got clove in it.

Holiday foods
Chapel Hill Toffee (pecan and dark chocolate) is available at Christmas time from the Phoenicia location in west Houston near me. It's made in Chapel Hill NC where I went to school. It's thin and a soft brittle not super sticky like some toffees. Order direct in the winter https://www.chapelhilltoffee.com/purchase/

Since I used to live in North Carolina I got used to eating Moravian cookies and sugar cake in the grocery stores there. My favorite flavor is cranberry orange, but it's hard to find in Houston. Bering's and Central Market usually have several other flavors.

It's a tradition in my family to bake a mincemeat pie for Thanksgiving. I prefer the Borden dried package versus the more acidic one in the jars at the grocery store. They store forever, so I buy them whenever I find them in the HEB and Kroger markdown/returns aisles.

Every year I buy my Christmas stollen from Guglhupf German Bakery in Durham NC. The owners moved there from Germany so they make better tasting ones than the ones at Cost Plus World Market or Central Market. https://guglhupf.com/

Central Market sells several varieties of pan forte in different sizes.

The Pancake Princess - Erika Kwee

Houstonian Erika Kwee (whom I met through the Houston Food Blogger Collective) has been doing these recipe testing bake-offs with a group of friends for several years now. They choose a particular baked good and then test out various recipes from the 'net. The science is really great and they are pretty much spot on for the best recipe. Highly recommended.

Here is a link to her web page:

Momo House - Nepali Style Steamed and Fried Dumplings.

What a great find. Delicious food. In 1973, when I was 23 years old, a friend from Utah and I wentoverland through Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India...ending up in Nepal where we split off as he was going around the world and I was returning to Europe. What an adventure. And I spent a month in Nepal. In the town of Pokhara, I discovered the Nepalese style dumpling that is called "momo". Steamed, fried, served in a soup, these are the ultimate comfort food. What an adventure that was. I met a couple of Peace Corps guys who were there to help teach about agriculture techniques and they had learned some Nepali and knew all the best hangouts for food with the Nepalese and also the Tibetans who were living in Pokhara. I was introduced to an alcoholic drink called thoombah that was made by fermenting millet seed. Hot water was poured into a cup of it, which released the alcohol, and one drank it like tea.

I recommend Momo House highly. It's moved into a place on my top 25 in Houston.

Granel Spice Market - Airline Drive

Granel, I am told means "bulk" in Spanish. This latest, wonderful venture from the Flores Spices family is located directly across from El Bolillo Bakery on Airline Drive. It is impressive and is my default, go-to location for all of my spice needs. Especially cinnamon. The cinnamon we know of as Mexican cinnamon is actually from Sri Lanka. It is a milder cinnamon that is much loved in Mexico for flavoring pastries, coffee, chocolate, etc. Here follow photos of the Granel Spice Market.

Bagels - Golden Bagels and Coffee

Golden Bagels and Coffee is a new venue, having opened in January of 2018 on White Oak Boulevard in the Heights. The bagels are excellent and are highly recommended. Living near the Heights it has already become one of my favorite destinations, when the urge for a freshly made bagel hits me.

Bagels are an interesting creature. There is a bit of complexity to them in that you are going to be creating a bread dough, then shaping the bread into the standard bagel shape, dipping it in a solution of baking soda or lye (similar to what one does for a pretzel), BOILING the dough, and then proceeding with the baking process. That boiling phase does some interesting things to the yeast risen dough, changing the internal structure to a dense, chewy bread.

Here is a link to an article on bagels:
Slate Magazine : A Short History on the Bagel

Old Houston and Galveston Restaurants - A list by Greg Buchold

Old Houston and Galveston Restaurants

1908 Original Mexican Café (Galveston)
1911 Gaido’s (Galveston)
1917 Christie’s Seafood Restaurant
1923 James Coney Island
1923 Yale St. Grill
1927 West Alabama Ice House
1930 Moeller’s Bakery
1932 Prince’s Hamburgers
1935 Pizzitola’s Bar-B-Que
1936 Brenner’s
1938 Avalon Diner
1938 Guy’s Meat Market (CLOSED)
1939 Lankford Grocery
1939 Donnelly's (Baytown)
1940 Telwink Grill
1941 Cleburne Cafeteria (RE-OPENED)
1941 Molina’s
1942 Triple A (CLOSED)
1944 Massa's Oyster House
1944 Sonny’s Place
1946 Barbecue Inn
1946 Cream Burger
1948 Harry's Restaurant
1949 The Last Concert Cafe
1949 Three Brothers Bakery
1950 Goodson's Cafe
1952 City Cafe
1952 Nielsen’s Delicatessen
1953 Leon's Lounge
1953 Spanish Village
1954 Doyle’s
1954 Dinner Bell Cafeteria
1954 Frank's Grill
1955 Someburger
1956 Loma Linda (CLOSED)
1956 The Original Kolache Shoppe
1958 La Carafe
1959 This is It
1961 Stanton's City Bites
1962 Antone’s
1963 Champ Burger
1963 Poppa Burger
1964 Demeris BBQ
1964 El Patio
1964 La Plaza
1965 Tony’s
1965 House of Pies
1967 Brennan’s
1967 Dot Coffee Shop
1967 Flying Saucer Pie Company
1967 Mytiburger
1968 Burger Park
1969 China Garden

1969 Frenchy's

Coffee in Houston - Bed, Bath, and Beyond Creates a Coffee Store Within a Store With an Excellent Selection of Coffeemakers and Accessories

The Katy, Texas store and the Willowbrook store, I am told, are two of only ten current Bed, Bath and Beyonds to feature an extensive coffee section. They also house a World Market food section, as both stores are owned by the same parent company. Here are some photos of some of the coffee options including Melitta, Hario, Chemex, Breville, Keurig, and more.

Until now, your options were Sur La Table, Williams Sonoma, several of the artisanal coffee shops, and online, to name a few. True, you aren't going to find, say, a Rancilio Silva or a Rancilio Rocky or a Baratza Maestra here, but Bed, Bath has really done a great job with this section in my opinion.

Click on any photos to enlarge it for a better view.

An extra bonus: Now, I consider Keurig to be one of the worst things to happen to craft coffee. I am a Chemex and Technivorm kind of person. But, the store has two Keurig pro units and you can brew up a coffee sample in the store, have a coffee while shopping. And it isn't just one or two options. Just about every coffee made for the Keurig, which they sell, is available for tasting.

And don't forget: 20% off coupons on a regular basis in the newspaper.

Espresso Machine Review
(a review of espresso machines in 3 price ranges)

Recently, a friend asked me about burr grinders. I thought I might capture my response here, since I mentioned Bed, Bath and Beyond to her in my response:

First off, don't consider anything but a burr grinder. Now, if you do have an espresso machine and want to grind fine enough for espresso (somewhere between white flour and sand) you are going to have to spend some money to get a good one. 

But there are two options. First, forget about grinding coffee for espresso and buy the Lavazza espresso grind at Spec's on Smith Street or ask your friendly coffee vendor (Catalina, Southside, Boomtown or Greenway or other) to do an espresso grind, buy a smaller quantity and use it up before it goes stale from oxidation. Note: I am now a believer in freezing coffee.

Second, the Hario hand grinder is superb for espresso grind but not so great for medium grind. Max Gonzalez of Catalina said the ($50) Hario grinder can grind as finely as some very expensive electrical ones. I own one and used it every day in my office and on road trips. 

Now, on to burr grinder. I own a Baratza that I bought at Catalina. Baratza, on the low end pricing is about as good as you can get in the price range. But you don't have to spend that much. 

Capresso and Cuisinart make grinders that will suffice for your every day medium grind. If not shopping online, using the Bed Bath and Beyond 20% off coupon at their new coffee market venue out in Katy would be a good place to go shopping.