Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Restaurant Week Hit #2 - Brasserie 19

Out with the girls and...I forgot to photograph my dish, again.
I typically get the Roasted Hen, and I’m not a roasted hen kind
of person. But, the Roasted Hen at B19 is soooo good. But, I
decided something new today, Steak Frites! Steak good,
fries so yummy, sorbet was fine. Two of the girls thought the
sorbet was the best. It had 3 different flavors, lemon lime,
raspberry, and cucumber. Yes, I said cucumber. The cucumber
was definitely different...interesting, but still not my favorite.
Fyi, B19 has a really good warm apple pie. As always, I enjoy
Brasserie 19, and think it’s always a great place to go. It’s
currently one of my favorite restaurants at the moment.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Tiny's No. 5 (West University)

Do you not know?  Have you not heard? Tiny Boxwood's West U is now opened!!  It's official name is Tiny's No. 5.  Most have heard the buzz on the street about the new Tiny's in West U, but unsure about opening date.  I'm happy to report, it is officially opened and it's really nice!  It's big and spacious.  Same beautiful and inspiring interior.  Kind of empty at the moment, I think mostly because people don't know it's opened.  It started out opened for dinner only, but they're now opened for brunch and lunch too...without that long line! 

I got the Arugula salad, not so good, it was pretty dry.  At one point, I thought I was going to choke.  Janice got the Chicken Sandwich, which she said was the same dry.  I think if my salad had a little more grapefruit, it would have been perfect.  I should've gotten the Turkey Burger, which is ahhhh-mazing!  They've discontinued it at the original location because it takes so long to cook.  It's better than the Buffalo Burger, in my opinion, and the BB itself is really good.  We also got a Kolache and a Cinnamon Roll.  The Kolache was ok, the Cinnamon roll was really good!  It was moist and sweet...very good.  The staff was really good too, attentive, followed up.

Of course they had to include the same patch of grass as at the original location.  It's a little odd, I'm not sure what they use it for or what's its function.  I guess it looks kind of nice.  You're probably wondering what the golf cart is for.  I was told that if you call Tiny's, they will come and pick you up from your house!  That's if you live in West U.  That is the coolest idea!  Love it! 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Anvil Bar (Montrose)

Alas, I have Anvil, with great anticipation...along with friend, Hannah, ready for a full discourse, much needed girl talk,while experiencing a great new bar!  (It's pretty dark inside for this camera, so below are switched photos to standard camera shots.)  It's Monday, so it's a light crowd inside.  But, even then, the bar is full, but the booth and table seating around are light.  Typically, this place is elbow to elbow, I hear, which is not to my usual liking.  So at the moment, this is great just the way it is!  Quiet and low key.

We're finding it a little hard to keep at the girl talk, as our bar neighbors keep interrupting.  I'm resistant, but I eventually give in and we chat it up with Bob, to my left. Interesting looking fellow.  He interrupts us and joins our conversation on dating and relationships.  It seems the Anvil culture is come alone, that's fine, you'll find someone to talk to.  I guess we could have sat at a table for a more private conversation, but since I love sitting at the bar, we make do.

Anvil is a cocktail bar, but they have American microbrews, 13 strange beers on tap, and they pride themselves on making their own liquers, bitters, sodas, etc.  It's really interesting to watch the bartenders put together drinks and also concoct new ones.  The bartenders are amazing and really nice too.  They really get into this whole crafting cocktails idea.  Fun place!  Our bartender said he got the job at Anvil after beating the owner at a cocktail contest...that's pretty neat!  (He's the bartender towards the bottom of the photos.)  We finish the night with a few interesting drinks, a good cheese plate, and some new acquaintances.

More photos...

Friday, August 19, 2011

Isn't She a Beauty?

In with the new, out with the old.  I think that's been my theme for the year.  My D70 will be going to a new Las Vegas with my dearest friend Denyse Burgard and her family to capture the wonderful moments of her little ones early years.

I'm excited about my new camera, D90 is a 12 megapixel versus my D70's 6 megapixel.  Just a slight step up so the settings look similar so there's a very small learning curve.  Much bigger screen, can't wait to use it!  I also got a new lens a Nikon 50 mm for those nice close ups with burry backgrounds, only $145 brand new.  These are hard to find used.  I'll try my new lens and post them soon.
My two camera stops are Camera Exchange (Richmond/Fountain View) and Camera Co/op (Durham/Washington).  Quang at Camera Exchange and the guys at Camera Co/op are the coolest!  Very helpful and willing to spend as much time with you as you need....and I needed a lot.  They have brand new cameras, which I stay away from, and used for amazing deals, lenses too.  If you need camera help, I'd highly recommend one of these shops, they're amazing!

Becks Prime Heights

The Heights location, off of 20th and Yale, is officially opened...well sort of.  They're holding a soft opening at the moment, but they should ready for the public next week.  Nice building.  Tons of happy, eager, smiling employees!  Photographed here is the manager.  They are very interested in making your visit a good one.

I don't think I have to comment on the food, food is always really good, same at this location, very consistent.  That's it for now...

Monday, August 15, 2011

Borders Going Out of Business Sale!

Sad to see Borders go, tear...but look at this amazing sale they're having!  I was sure there was going to be nothing left, but no, still tons of books!  You walk in and you're overwhelmed by wanting to buy a ton of books and then you come to your senses, like me, and tell yourself to buy only what you need or what you were already planning to buy.  The deals are good at 30% to 40% off, but they're not rock bottom prices.  But then again, they're brand new books that you can buy for much much cheaper prices than what you'd be paying at regular book stores it really is a good deal.  They're even selling their furniture. 

My awesome purchases:
  • 2012 Planner, originally $17, got it for $8.
  • Wuthering Heights, originally $7, got it for $4.
  • Pride & Prejudice, originally $15, got it for $9.
  • Sense & Sensibility, originally $19, got it for $11.
  • I could do anything if I only knew what it was, originally $16, got it for $10.
By the way, all Borders are going out of business.  So, find one near you!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Quickie at Sprinkles

Get your mind out of the gutter!  It was just a quick stop at Sprinks with Jim after lunch fromTiny Boxwood's. I didn't realize they had coffee. I didn't have any but Jim said it was ok. He did say it was super strong, which I think is the best kind of mm.

My little thing to do is to get cupcakes, take them back to the office, and sample with the girls. I have to share my indulgences...share in the guilt!  That's my motto.  I got 4 cupcakes, Raspberry, Coconut Lemon, Dark Chocolate, and Red Velvet. At Sprinks, Dark Chocolate used to be my favorite, but I think I'm back to my lemon roots.  My favorite this time around was the Coconut Lemon, while Jodie and Amanda's was Raspberry. All in all, everything yummy...but Celebrity Cupcakes is still my favorite. 

Oh, and they changed the sign further down, right above the entrance, instead of way at the top of the building.  Not sure why it was so high up in the first place, as it's hard to find the shop if you've never been there.  Moving the sign down near eye level, smart.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

South Beach Auto Spa (Midtown)

I called the boys at SBAS about tree sap again.  Last time, SBAS fixed me up when I had serious tree sap issues all over my white suv.  They did it for 4x less than what Mister Car Wash quoted me.  They told me to swing on over and I did.  Everytime I go over there, I always think how nice and cool these guys are.  They also told me that with weather conditions like what we're experiencing now, in 100 degree plus weather, if I let it sit, it'll bake into the paint.  That's pretty common sense, but I just didn't think about it and I'm really glad he emphasized it.

They told me it was going to be an hour job, so I'm kind of bummed, that's a  long time to sit in the waiting room with nothing productive to do.  I walk into the sitting room, Hallelujah!  I forgot they have a computer!  I can do some work.  I'm looking around and it's a really nice set up for customers.  Computer, massage chairs, tv, gourmet coffee, water, etc.  Above and beyond the average car wash shop.  They really did think of everything.  I jumped on the computer, got a client phone call and 30 minutes later, they tell me my car is done.  Sweet!  They said it wasn't as bad as they thought.  I am very happy with my experience and highly recommend them!

Tell em Soo sent ya!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

2011 Houston Entree Awards!

Best Caffeine Fix
Finalists: Agora, Antidote, Catalina, Inversion, Paulie's
Winner: Agora

Finalists: Barnaby's, Buffalo Grille, Empire Cafe, 59 Diner, the breakfast klub

Finalists: Cleburne Cafeteria, Esther's Cajun Cafe & Soul Food, Luby's, Treebeard's, Yo Mama's Soul Food
Winner: Treebeard's

Finalists: Anvil, Barnaby's Cafe, Brasil, Cedar Creek, Paulie's, Raven Grill

Finalists: Becks Prime, Christian's Tailgate, Lankford Grocery, Pappas Burgers, Prince's Hamburgers
Winner: Becks Prime

Finalists: Bernie's Burger Bus, Branch Water Tavern, Hubcap Grill, Max's Wine Dive, The Burger Guys

Finalists: Barnaby's Cafe, Benjy's, Ruggles Green, Max's Wine Dive, Beaver's

Finalists: Demeris, Goode Co. Barbecue, Luling City BBQ, Otto's, Pizzitola's

Finalists: Bayou City Seafood, Danton's Seafood, Mardis Gras Grill, Pappadeaux, Ragin Cajun
Winner: Ragin Cajun

Finalists: Cafe Chino, Dragon Bowl, Fung's Kitchen, Gigi's Asian Bistro, Kam's Fine Chinese, Shanghai River

Finalists: Bistro Le Cep, Brasserie Max & Julie, Cafe Rabelais, Le Mistral, Philippe

Finalists: Brennan's, Danton's Gulf Coast Kitchen, Ouisie's Table, Ragin' Cajun, Tony Mandola's
Winner: Brennan's

Finalists: Bombay Brasserie, Indika, Khyber North Indian Grill, Kiran's, Red Lion Pub
Winner: Indika

Finalists: Carrabba's, Collina's, D'Amico's, Damian's, Giacomo's Cibo e Vino, Prego
Winner: Carrabba's

Finalists: Da Marco Cucino e Vino, Grotto, La Griglia, Nino's, Vincent's
Winner: La Griglia

Finalists: Amazon Grill, Americas, Churrascos, El Meson, Julia's Bistro, Mi Luna, Tintos
Winner: Churrascos

Finalists: Aladdin Mediterranean Cuisine, Dimassi's Mediterranean Buffet, Fadi's Mediterranean Grill, Niko Niko's Greek, Yia Yia Mary's

Finalists: Chuy's, Cyclone Anaya's, El Tiempo, Hugo's, Ninfa's on Navigation

BEST PIZZA (Traditional)
Finalists: Antonio's Flying Pizza, Candelari's, Collina's, Fuzzy's Pizza, Star Pizza
Winner: Star Pizza

BEST PIZZA (Nontraditional)
Finalists: Bombay Pizza, Cafe Pita, ERA, Pink's Pizza
Winner: Pink's Pizza

Finalists: Eddie V's, Goode Co. Seafood, Masraff's, Pesce, Reef

Finalists: Fleming's Steakhouse, Pappas Bros Steakhouse, Perry's Steakhouse Taste of Texas, Vic & Anthony's Steakhouse

Finalists: Azuma, Blue Fish House, Kata Robata, Oishii, RA Sushi, Sushi King
Winner: Kata Robata

Finalists: Asia Market, Nidda Thai, Padthai Thai, Thai Cottage, Vieng Thai
Winner: Thai Cottage

Finalists: Huynh Restaurant, Kim Son Restaurant, Les Givral Cafe, Mai's Restaurant, Van Loc Restaurant

Finalists: Brennan's, Hugo's, Mark's American Cuisine, Mockingbird Bistro, Tony's, Vic & Anthony's Steakhouse
Winner: Brennan's

Finalists: Brennan's, Hugo's, Mark's American Cuisine, Mockingbird Bistro, Reef
Winner: Brennan's

Finalists: Backstreet Cafe, Benjy's, Brennan's, Max's Wine Dive, Ninfa's on Navigation

Finalists: Arista, Beck's Prime (Memorial Park), Brenner's Steakhouse on the Bayou, Rainbow Lodge, The Grove

Finalists: Bernie's Burger Bus, Eatsie Boys, Htown StrEATS, Fusion Taco, Melange Creperie

Finalists: Ava Kitchen & Wine Bar, Brasserie 19, El Real Tex-Mex, Philippe, Pondicheri

Finalists: Backstreet Cafe, Brenner's on the Bayou, Cedar Creek, Onion Creek, Tiny Boxwood

BEST SLGT (Support Local Grow Together)
Finalists: Haven, Laurenzo's, Revival Market, Stella Sola, T'afia, Zelko Bistro
Winner: Haven

Finalists: Canino's Produce, Houston Farmers Market at Rice Village, Midtown Farmers Market/T'afia, Revival Market, Urban Harvest Farmers Market

Finalists: Amy's Ice Cream, Cheesecake Factory, Crave Cupcakes, Dessert Gallery, The Chocolate Bar

Finalists: Benno's on the Beach, Gaido's, Rudy & Paco's,The Mosquito Cafe, The Spot
Winner: Gaido's

Finalists: Perry's Steakhouse, The Barbed Rose, Tommy's Restauant Oyster Bar

Finalists: Aura, Escalante's,Grimaldi's, Japaneiros,
Winner: Japaneiros

Finalists: Alicia's Mexican Grille, Dario's, MezzanotteMezzanotte
Winner: Mezzanotte

Finalists: Babin's Seafood,Candelari's, Perry's Steakhouse,

Finalists: Americas, Hubbell & Hudson, Jasper's, Perry's Steakhouse, Tommy Bahama's
Winner: Jasper's

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Ruggles 11th St Cafe

I keep forgetting Ruggles took over 11th St Cafe.  That's the best news I've had all year...well,, not really.  But, it is great news!  I've always wondered how 11st St Cafe was staying alive. I heard they were going to shut down, but amazingly Ruggles saves 11th St Cafe.  With this amazing news, I just keep wondering why I keep forgetting about this great new marriage.  It's been maybe a couple of months and I'm just now visiting, it's totally bizarre behavior.

The interior looks great, different!  Layout is still the same as 11th St Cafe, but much more decorated.  I love the new decor inside.  It's so green and lively!  This new marriage really is an exciting development for the Heights!  Speaking of development, does everyone see all the new restaurants and real estate coming into the Heights?  Christian's Tailgate, Liberty Kitchen (Oyster Bar), Revival Market, Down House, not to mention the amazing restaurants and bars that are already over here like Stella Stola, Shade, Asia Market, Onion Creek, Pink's Pizza, etc.

Ok, back to Ruggles.  So, Ty and I both ordered the Texas Goat Cheese Salad, which is my favorite at Ruggles.  He had it with Salmon, I had it with Chicken.  Same great tasting salad.  Not much else to say, Ruggles is Ruggles, good food!  Ok, I know where I'm going to be a regular at...

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Visiting Grandma

One of favorite things to do Saturday afternoon is to visit grandma at the nursing home with my mom. She's not really my grandma by blood, but I've known her all my life, so she feels like family. It's fun hanging out with three generations during these visits.  It's when my mom goes back in time and tells the most interesting stories of the way things were in Korea and when we first came to America.

Look how stinking cute Grams is and she's 94!  She's so fun to hang out with and I love watching her eat the bananas my mom brings religiously because Grams really likes bananas.  My mom cuts her hair and I paint her nails.  She likes red, so that's what color her nails are.  She holds on to my feet because she doesn't want us to leave when she doses off. She's so cute I want to bite her! 

By the way, Seven Acres Nursing Home is probably one of the nicest nursing homes I've been to.  Although it's a Jewish nursing home and now thinking about it...Grams has a picture of Jesus over her bed...yes, you don't have to be Jewish.

Restaurant Week Hit #1 - Eddie V's Seafood (Upper Kirby/West Ave)

Sorry, no photos.  It was so dark inside, my photos weren't coming out right.  So, I decided to nix the camera and just enjoy the food and experience.  I've heard so many positive things about Eddie V's, but still had no idea what to expect.  Walking in, it's dark, but cozy.  It's got a Houston's Restaurant atmosphere, but a tad more upscale. 

We notice the servers aren't very chatty.  They're in these white tuxes and are very polite, but I was wondering if they're trained not to say much, because it really gives off a very upscale feeling to the entire experience.  We all decide to order off the Restaurant Week's Menu, $35 for a pre fixe menu.  I order the "Crispy Seared Tuna Loin Wok Fired Shiitakes, Soba Noodles, Soy Broth", sooooo good.  The others got the "Jonah Crab Gazpacho Paquillo Pepper Crème Fraiche", which they said was very good as well.  For our main course, we all mostly got the "New Zealand Barramundi Citrus Fruits, Brown Butter, Roasted Macadamia Nuts"...which was ok, way too buttery.  It's all I could taste.  I tasted the Salmon option, which I thought was fishy.  For dessert, most of us got the "Texas Peach Cobbler Mexican Vanilla Bean Ice Cream".  We all wished the cobbler was warm, it wasn't.  I tried the Chocolate Pecan Pie and wasn't a fan. 

If you go to Eddie V's for Houston's Restaurant Week, I suggest you order off the regular menu as I didn't think either fish dishes were fantastic.  However, our server did suggest the Parmesan Chicken out of the three.  Maybe, I'll try that next time, but I'm not really motivated to go back and try their regular menu for now.  Regardless, their service was excellent and so was the atmosphere.

Friday, August 5, 2011

My Hairstylist John Chao (Cutloose)

People ask me all the time where I get my hair cut.  I've been going to the same guy for maybe 6 years now, I think, maybe longer.  His name is John Chao and he's at Cutloose Salon located off of Westheimer and Dunlavy. 

He layers really well.  He's a little wild, so I always tell him not to go too short on top, as he gave me a mullet my first visit.  I wore my hair in pony tail for a few weeks as I was so abhorred by my haircut.  But, after a few weeks, it started to fall right and to my surprise, people kept asking me where I got my hair cut.

What I like most about him is that he gives me a hairstyle and not just a haircut.  He knows what he's doing.  He doesn't need to be told how to cut your hair, minus to not cut it too short on top.  I go in with all these pictures of celebrity hairstyles.  But in the end, I just let him do what he wants...minus not cutting it to short on top...did I mention to tell him not to cut it too short on top....see, I was traumatized.

He shows you little tips about how to make your hair look fabulous once you get home.  His services are not cheap, my haircut is now $80.  For me it's worth it since I only get my hair cut once, maybe twice a year.  He looks a little wild in these pictures, but he's a little puppy.  This orange hair is new, he's always had poofy black hair.  He said he's had it for 8 months, so don't be frightened by his punk look, he's super sweet, skilled and attentive.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Frosted Betty at Home

Frosted Betty is now officially settled in at their new home next to Tulips & Tutus, where I get all my newborn baby gifts. They have the cutest things. FB's part of this shopping center is actually decorated very cute. Curtains made out of sackcloth, wooden barrel bins to hd candies and other snacks. They also have a section of glass encased chocolates.

I've had FB cupcakes a total of 4 times. The first time I liked, noticed a bit of greasiness. The second time the greasiness was confirmed, third time I made up my mind I didn't like FB cupcakes. The fourth time I just wanted to try it again in their new home while I was shopping for John and Renee's new addition, Madeliene. I bought two, brought it back to the office cut them each into fours and everybody hated them, said all they could taste was the Crisco. Ok, it's been officially confirmed.

My office thinks I should tell FB or else they are going to go out of business.  We'll see...