Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Dim Sum King

We had to run a few wedding errands in Bellaire (Chinatown Bellaire, not the city Bellaire), and we had been wanting to get Dim Sum for a while, so we stopped in at Dim Sum King. Kimmy had been to this one before, but I hadn't. It was pretty cheap and most of the things we ordered were really good. If you've never done dim sum before, it's basically a bunch of small plates of food - dumplings, fried stuff, etc. - and you just order a bunch of them. At this place, they have a nice menu with pictures so you know exactly what you're getting. You mark what you want on a sheet of paper, and they start bringing them out. We ordered way too much food, but Brian helped me finish the leftovers later that day. I embarrassed us by knocking my water glass over while trying to take one of these pictures, but the ladies swooped in and cleaned it up in about 10 seconds.

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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Snow Cone Cravings

With the weather not getting any better and just hotter than ever... I have been craving snow cones a lot. The problem is... out there near washington/heights area, I have no idea where snow cone stands are! My favorite kind of snow cones have a scoop of vanilla ice cream in the middle- I use to get it at Mr. Snow in Waco. A Korean dessert where they serve shaved ice, topped with condensed milk, ice cream, and fresh fruit would have also been great to eat with the heat but that's all the way down in Bellaire/Chinatown. After Ryan did some googling for me, he found Tampico Refresqueria which wasn't too far away. We drove up and there was a good line so we figured it would be good. It was alright as far as snow cones go I guess. They didn't have ice cream- I had to go with a regular snow cone. They put a TON of syrup on there so after you eat the top you just have flavored sugar water left over. There's a new snow cone stand that opened July 4th weekend closer to I10 that we found on the way home called Mango Beach. Will have to try that place out soon. :)

Back to that Korean dessert- In Ryan's search he found a place called Oasis. It's no where near the heights area but out in Bellaire/West U- where I work. Last week, I ended up having a lot of clients cancel or no show so there was plenty of free time. Lots of free time and nothing to do... get in the car and drive... where? We (the grad student and I) didn't know but then I realized that we were close to that snow cone place and asked if she wanted to stop by. We did. It was great! It just opened too. I got a snow cream which was shaved ice, flavored syrup, ice cream, and fresh fruit. The grad student wasn't sure if she'd like what I got so she got a lime snow cone instead, but after trying mine and after telling people at work what we had.. we went back later that week and all got snow creams. Too bad I won't be working over there for much longer. I would get snow creams almost every week!

Smash Burger

Jonathan claimed this place has the best burger in Houston, and I think we agree! Very good burger lots of choices for condiments and toppings, and some interesting "smash fries" sprinkled with rosemary. They also had hot dogs, and you know we had get a Chicago style to try, but we'll stick to the burgers from now on.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Manny's Cafe

Kimmy and I were running some wedding-type errands the other day and met up with my mom at a tailor right next to Manny's Cafe close to the Copperfield area, so we stopped in for lunch. We had read reviews while looking for other good Greek places besides Niko Niko and the ones near there, and this one kept popping up as having good reviews, so we were eager to finally try it. This place was actually pretty comparable to our favorites. Manny is a heavyset Greek guy and I assume he's always there, asking people if they want him to dance while they eat.

The spreads were good. Fresh tzatziki, hummus, and a spicy feta dip (tasted like buffalo sauce - a bit much) with soft warm pitas. I tried the chicken pita, which was really excellent. The chicken was perfectly grilled and flavorful, very juicy, and the cool tzatziki and vegetables made the whole thing very refreshing. My mom and Kimmy (and me by the end of the meal) split a gyros platter. The gyros meat was very good, a little greasy, as it probably should be. Niko Niko makes the best I've had, I like it because it's a little thicker cut and more charred, but this plate was really good for being outside the beltway. We'll probably stop by again when we're in the mood for Greek in Cypress again.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Chicken Fried Steak

I was trying to think of some new things to make for dinner, things I haven't made before. I had a box of roasted garlic scalloped potatoes in the pantry, so i tried to think of something taht would go well with that and came up with chicken fried steak. I've seen my mom make chicken fried steak maybe 100 times, so I had the procedure down pretty well I think.

Heat a pan with plenty of oil (I put enough to cover the steak, because I think it makes the crust stick a little better)
Pounded out the steak a bit to make it thinner and more tender.
Coat lightly with seasoned flour, the dip in egg/milk, then in flour again.
Put it in the oil for a few minutes on each side - when the crust looks done the meat will be too.

I also tried to make gravy, so I drained the pan, left a little bit of oil along with the stuff at the bottom of the pan, put in some flour to make a light roux (I put too much, my gravy was too thick - need to try it again to master the flour/milk ratio), cooked it a bit until the flour and oil were incorporated, then put in some milk, salt, lots of pepper, and stirred to try to get the lumps out - note: need a whisk - feel free to get us the utensil set from our BB&B registry.

On the side I made the scalloped potatoes, and some sauteed okra - which was really good - nothing special, just frozen okra sauteed with onion, garlic, salt, and pepper.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Little Big's

We went out to dinner with Jonathan and he suggested that we try out Little Bigs. This place is known for their sliders and shakes. They opened this location earlier in January I think, but for some reason, I never really noticed it up until about a month or so ago. One thing that really draws the Montrose crowd will probably be their late hours on the weekends (open until 3am Friday & Saturday). Then again BB's Kitchen is just across the street and is open until 4am on the weekends... their beignets are good- will have to post about them another time! Anyways, Little Big's concept is really simple- fresh beef, baked bread, hand cut fries, & shakes. Their food was simple too, so nothing too much to brag about. Sure I'd go back if someone wanted to, but I'd probably prefer to just have a real burger instead of these smaller sliders. If you want simple like you could do at home with regular salt/pepper beef sliders with cheese and onions then head there. I liked their fries though! Ryan tried the chicken slider and white russian milkshake. Maybe he'll add a little note below to talk about those things since I didn't try it..

Ryan - The chicken slider was ok - the batter was like a tempura type batter - think sweet and sour chicken on a bun, and the white russian milkshake tasted like a white russian (with plenty of bite to it) - naturally they call it "The Dude." It didn't really go that well with the meal - I don't generally drink vodka drinks with dinner... but it would probably be better on its own.