Sunday, January 30, 2011

Aramco Half Marathon Today!

Fun, fun, fun! Though my callouses aren't saying the same thing. Rainy today, but it actually helped with keeping the temperature down. I think I may make this a yearly routine. 13.1, annually, doable.  26.2, annually, not doable.
Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

My Regulars and Favorites

I never blog on my favorite places to go for anything and everything since I frequent them so often and my blog is turning into a blog of new experiences.  Since, I'm all about sharing amazing things and experiences I decided to post all things loved in Houston by me.  So here goes...

Most of these things I list are due to proximity to where I live. I'm sure there are really great places outside the loop, but since I don't really frequent places outside the loop very often, this is what it is.  But, I did add a few outside the inner loop.

I know Aladdin isn't the best, I'm not really crazy about the bread, but it's the closest thing to me so it's usually either Aladdin for Lebanese food or Niko Nikos for Greek.  I really like the energy at Niko Nikos, if you don't like crowded places, this is not the place to go.  It's usually bustling and crowded and I don't mind the long wait.  I'm not huge into gyro or shawarma, as a matter of fact, I dont think I've ever had it.  I usually get some kind of combination of falafel, hummus and tabouli at any Mediterranean place I go.  Lebanese food I like better, but I like the spread at Niko Nikos too.  I've gotten used to their plate and I customize my dish there by getting the hummus and tabouli appetizer add 2 falafel patties.  The wedding cookies are yummy, I like.  Outside the loop, I liked Phoencia deli.

It took me a while to find my inner Mexican.  When people don't like a certain type of food, I find it's mostly because they haven't found their dish.  That was my story with Mexican food.  I've now learned that I loooooove chicken enchiladas with tomatillo sauce (green sauce).  It's my litmus test for visits to new resturants or first time experiences.  I like Cyclone Anayas chicken enchiladas.  I also like their chips and salsa.  I love the chips and pico at Chuy's, their chicken enchiladas I don't like so much.  El Tiempo has the best beef fajitas!  The original Ninfas on Navigation has really yummy beef nachos!

My favorite sushi joint is Aka.  I think I like it mostly for it's quaintness and good quality sushi.  My favorite rolls are the Tony roll and the Red Moon.  My favorite waiter is Tony then Jay.  The Tony roll is not on the's sooooo freaking good.  I always get the salad with miso dressing and if I'm feeling dessert, it's hands down the fried ice cream...mmmm mmm.

My favorite chinese place is Sam's Cafe.  I haven't really tried a lot of things on their menu honestly bc I like this dish so much.  While I was doing my New Year's daniel fasting I ate here every week, same dish.  It's the stir fried green beans and I add tofu.  I love it.  It's so good.  I've had the orange chicken which I think is really good too.

North Chinese
I would probably say your average American doesn't know the difference between Chinese and North Chinese.  North China has a lot of Korean influences, so they'll have kimchi (pickled cabbage), which is a Korean food item but the style is different.  I love North Chinese kimchi, better than I do Korean kimchi.  Mandarin Cafe has yummy dishes, I wish there was one inside the loop, I'd probably frequent it more often.  Try the sizzling rice soup and the peking beef, along with the kimchi of course.  My mouth is watering...

Bonga is my favorite Korean spot.  I always get the dwen jang jigae which is like miso soup on steriods.  Lots of tofu, meat, veggies in a miso like base soup.  Love it.  I don't think they have the best kimchi pancake, but I like it enough.  The best thing about Bonga is the staff and owners.  Love them.  They are super friendly and nice.  I'm a regular here and come often with my mom. 

I think I'm over Vietnamese, I still like it, but I don't have to have it in my regular eating pattern.  The closest thing I get to with Vietnamese is probably Jenni's Noodle House.  I know most people don't like it, but I think it's just a matter of finding your dish.  My favorite here is "Teddy's Not Gay".  I really love their dream rolls too.  I'm quite the regular here.  I haven't tried the pho here, I don't like to go all trendy with my pho.  With pho it's just Pho Saigon or Pho Dalat on the West side of town near 290 since it's near my church.  Oh!  Cali Sandwich in downtown has the best Tofu Luc Lac (Garlic Tofu).  This dish is so good!  I like the vegetarian fried rice too...and no I'm not a vegetarian.  I really like the sticky rice with the cornish hen, most places I've had this are good.  I don't know if you can go wrong with this appetizer.

I'm still trying to find my favorite Thai place.  Just recently discovered how much I like green curry.

I like the quaintness of Collinas.  They have awesome pizzas.  My favorite is the Mona Lisa a la Lisa.  I don't like their pasta dishes so much.  I love the Corsica at Empire Cafe.  I typically get a half dish bc it's so big.  I also love the pizzas at Sonoma Wine Bar...soooo delicious!  While we're on the topic of pizzas, I think Pink's pizza is good too and surprisingly so does Oporto.

Wine Bar
I like Sonoma Wine Bar and Oporto.  They're both cozy and unpretentious.

My absolute favorite is Celebrity Cupcakes.  My favorite flavors are Red Velvet, Lemon Raspberry, Pumpkin and the Strawberry.  I think Sprinkles has a really good Dark Chocolate. I had their seasonal Lemon Blueberry and that was really good too.  I did like Frosted Betty's but after a few times, I just felt like the icing tasted really oily or something.

I really liked Buffalo Grill back before they added HEB next to it.  But, it's still good.  If you're in a town that has the Original Pancake House, you have to try the Dutch Baby pancake.  You add the lemon and butter, then the powder sugar on top, soooo good.  I usually visit here when I go visit Denyse in Las Vegas.  I know they have one in Dallas too.

Regular Healthy
I actually eat at Whole Foods at least once a week.  I think their hot section has some really good things.  My typical and favorite things to eat at Whole Foods in order is:
-Cilantro Tofu with Sesame Kale and brown rice (my absolute favorite combination!)
-Kale with Avocado salad I like...took a few times before I took to this
-Tofu Brown Rice Loaf thing in the shape of a meatloaf, but more round. I don't know what it's official name, but if they have it, I typically get this.
-If they have enchiladas, I always get half a square.  I find all their enchiladas, especially their vegetarian stuff really good.
-Salad Bar, I'll get a combination of spinach, soybeans, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, cranberries with balsamic dressing and olive oil.
-Matza ball soup
-Chicken Noodle Soup

Jenni's Noodle House
If I'm hungry "Teddy's Not Gay", soba noodles, tofu, veggies with a jalapeno soy sauce or if I need something light "Dream rolls".  These are the only two things I get and they're my regular dishes.  Most of the staff here usually call me by name, which I think is so cute. 

Tiny Boxwood's/Best Burger
My favorite dishes here are the turkey burger with fries or orzo pasta and the Turkey Avocado sandwich 86 the bacon.

Ruggles Green
I always get the Warm Baked Goat Cheese Salad add Chicken.  I love this salad and never eat anything else but this here.

I love the smoked turkey ciabatta, I get it all the time.  People I go with typically like this place, but I'm not crazy about the decor, but I do like the location and how the interior is set up on different platforms.  There's a raised area which I like and lots of windows

I regularly go to the location off of I-10 and Durham since I live close by.  I get into my little moods, sometimes I frequent daily, then I go through a long stint no desire for coffee.  Currently I'm in the no desire, but when I do go, I usually get a tall iced americano add creamer on my own or if it's cold I get a tall vanilla soy latte.  Staff is super energetic and friendly at this location.  It gets crowded in the mornings.

Fast Food
Whataburger is my fast food spot and really the only place I'll eat go for fast food.  I love the Jr Whataburger and french mm mm...I think I like it better than In and Out.

French Fries
Tiny Boxwood's and Baranby's.

Barnaby's has the best chocolate chip cookies...sooooo good.

Steak Night
I think Woodrow's has the best steak for steak night, but I like the overall experience at Onion Creek better.  Woodrow's on Wednesday, Onion Creek on Monday and Wednesday and I think Cedar Creek (same steak people) is on Tuesdays.

Hole in the Wall
Sparkle's Hamburger off the east side of town has a really good burger.  Hot Bagel off of Shepherd has a really good everything with cream cheese bagel, but most importantly it's super duper cheap! 

Wow...that was a long post...ok, enjoy!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Chatters off Washington Heights

My favorite smoked turkey ciabatta with sweet potato fries...mmm...
Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Sam's Cafe

I know I've already blogged about Sam's Cafe. I've been a regular here as of late. The stir fry green beans, add tofu is so delicious, I had to share!
Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Monday, January 3, 2011

Big Mamou

Another restaurant I live right down the street from and have never tried, Big Mamou.  Surprisingly, I actually like the interior, it's quaint.  I think this would be a great spot for a brunch place.  It's got nice outside seating for those amazing weather days.

Menu, kind of looks like Onion Creek's Menu...well the design of it.  Since this is cajun, the food is nothing like Onion Creek's.

I get the chicken gumbo since I'm not a huge seafood fan, other than sushi.  This dish is really different from other chicken gumbos I've had.  It's actually pretty bland and tastes really greasy, oily is more like it.  I still prefer Treebeard's chicken gumbo.  I also had the pecan pie which was yummy.

In summary, I heard this was atypical cajun, more northern or something.  I wasn't a big fan of the food, I did like the atmosphere inside.  Ryan liked his food, but he's really easy.  He always says I'm hard to please when it comes to food and that I don't like anything, not true.  I just like tasty things and Big Mamou was not tasty.  Hopefully, a brunch place will come take it's place and us Height residents can walk over and have a nice meal on a beautiful sunny day! :)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Glass Wall

I finally got a chance to visit glass wall.  I'm pretty shameful about it since I live right down the street.  Still haven't visited Stella Sola yet either. 
Its front is all window, I like.  I walk in, bar then this frosted glass that divides the bar area and the dining area.

Tasty potato chips at the bar.

I asked for a menu and the bartender says the kitchen is closed, so he reaches over offers his To-Go food, which I refuse, he insists and puts it on a dish and brings it out. It's the Beef Short Rib (apple cider braised, apple/jalapeno jam, whipped maple sweet potatoes, $23). Again, I'm thinking of that saying..."don't bite the hand that feeds you". He insisted it was the best dish on the menu. It was good, but it wasn't excellent. The mashed sweet potatoes I thought had a weird taste to it. I couldn't put my finger on it, but it was funky. He also insisted I try this specific cab and poured, I liked and he didn't even charge me for it.

In summary, I really liked the interior. I definitely want to try it again, I'll have to try another dish though. Our bartender was amazing. You can tell he believes in the restaurant. He was extremely accommodating and really wanted me to enjoy my food, wine and time there. He really made me feel important/special, he was fantastic. Great bartender. I will definitely be back.