Thursday, April 11, 2013

Houston Eats

First up, Melange Creperie Street Cart at the Urban Harvest Farmers Market at City Hall (901 Bagby Street Houston, TX)  Urban Harvest Farmers Market is at this location on Wednesdays and then at Eastside Street on Saturdays and Sundays.  We waited about 20 minutes or so, but it is worth it.  Tehy guy who makes them is so outgoing and friendly.   They serve both savory and sweet crepes.  We ended up splitting the Strawberry and Bitter Orange Crepe.  The flavor was magnificent, and the crepe was light the perfect compliment to the sweet and bitterness of the fruit.

I've tried a couple of Pho restaurants in Pittsburgh and unfortunately the Pho was not that impressive.  They were ok in comparison to what I've had in Vietnam.  (Ok, that sounds snobby but once you have the real thing in the home country it's hard to go back.)  This place actually had the same name as the place we went to in Vietnam so we had to try it.

We started out with the spring rolls, which had shrimp and pork in it.  The sauce was good, however I thought that they were pretty fishy tasting.

Spring rolls with spicy peanut sauce
Next came our Pho, I ordered beef tenderloin and beef balls.  The broth was really good.  My experiences with American Pho is that the broth is too watery and unflavorful, not the case here.  They brought out a huge plate of the add-ins, sprouts, jalapenos, basil, and lime wedges which I loved.  I'm glad they didn't skimp out on those.  Definitely would come here again the next time we're in Houston.

Beef Tenderloin & Beef Ball Pho
Next up Korean Noodle House.  Handcut noodles and free homemade kimchi? Yes please!  Kimchi was amazing, I'd go back just for it.  So, so good!

Doesn't get more beautiful than this.
My husband got the hand cut noodles with beef and I got the cold noodles with spicy chili paste.

Seafood comparison from my mil's dish.
We both loved our entrees and pretty much cleaned our plates.  That being said, my mil wanted more broth with her soup and they were very nice and gave her more without charge I believe.  The people were incredibly nice as well.  Would defintely come back to Korean Noodle House.

Soba noodles with spicy chili paste, daikon radish, a slice of pork, hardboiled egg, and sesame seeds.
Two words for Boomtown Coffee, Mayan Mocha.  Oh my gosh, we went here two times.  Our first time we came I got an iced coffee which in my opinion don't even waste your time on it.  For me it was weak and they did warn me it was pre-made (aka out of a box).  Hubby got the Mayan Mocha and it is amazing.  The girl even asked us on a scale of 1-5 how sweet would you like your coffee and he choose 3.  It was perfect and spicy.  (Which if you do not like spicy foods, I do not recommend this drink for you.)  Anyway, after you took a sip you had the nice sweetness of the mocha and then a nice spicy kick afterwards.

Hot Mayan Mocha
We went back before we left Houston and I grabbed my own but iced.  Hubby kept his hot.  I was a tad disappointed, it was a little too sweet and the nice spicy kick was faint.  In hindsight, the key is to specify your preferred sweetness to the barista which I did not do.  It was still good.  All in all, this will be my coffee place when I come to Houston.  Adios Starbucks!

Iced Mayan Mocha
Looking for good dim sum, go to Fung's Kitchen.  We made the mistake of going there on Easter Sunday and we had to wait about 30 minutes to get seated.   I'm not sure if it's normally this crowded on a Sunday or if it was because it was Easter.  After we were seated we quickly got to business in ordering our dim sum items.  (For those not familiar with dim sum, the food comes out on carts from the kitchen.  There is an order sheet pre-placed at your table and the waiter will stamp it with whatever you picked up.  Standard fare include chicken feet, dumplings, sticky rice steamed in banana leaf, and sweet egg custard buns.)  Like the Pho, I've had real dim sum in Hong Kong.  This place transported me back to Hong Kong.  It is the best I have tasted stateside.  My two favorites were the pork shumai (pronounced shoe-my) and the sweet egg custard buns.

A fourth of our order.
Oh the infamous tamales!  My husband wanted to try an authentic Mexican tamale during our stay in Texas.  After browsing around the web, I found Alamo Tamales.  Originally we planned to stop their for a snack however something else happened.  When you walk into Alamo Tamale, it reminds you of a cafeteria.  There's a window where you can peak into and see tortillas being made.  I first spied guacamole and picked up a small container.  Next we had to place our order.  I ordered 1 beef tamale and 1 bean tamale.  Unfortunately I did not realize that 1 equals 1 dozen.  We  received the the bag and my husband questioned the lady and the lady said there was 1 beef and 1bean in the bag.  The guacamole was spectacular, dare I say better than my beloved Chipotle.  The tamales were good and verry filling.  I seriously did not eat for the the next six hours I was so full.  And no we did not finish the order, hubby had 6 and I had 4.  Not wanting to let good food go to waste we decided to give the rest to a hungry homeless man on the highway.

Last stop, BBQ!  A must when visiting the South.  I had picked out two places to choose from, Gatlin's and Lulings.  We choose the latter for date night.  I got the turkey and Hubs got ribs and beef.  I've never had Southern BBQ so I wasn't sure what to expect.  I was sort of disappointed, my turkey tasted like ham.  If I had to rank from best to okay, I would say rib first, beef second, and turkey last.  The amazing thing that we did discover at Lulings was their amazing hot sauce.  Holy cow, vinegary, sweet, hot... perfect. If it as airport approved I would have bought a few.

Note that no meal would be complete without Texas Toast!
I also want to mention, Central Market on Westheimer Road.  Central Market is a foodie paradise.  The giant, organic Honeycrisp apple that I posted here was from there.  I seriously could have spent an afternoon there, ooh and ahhing.  Plus they were giving out free samples of sushi.  Winner, winner sushi dinner.

Overall, it was a successful food trip.  We found some wonderful and tasty places and if we're ever back in the area we'll be back.  Thanks Houston for the delicious food! 

Central Market
3815 Westheimer Rd
Houston, TX 77002

Melange Creperie at Urban Harvest Farmers Market (City Hall location, Wednesdays only)
901 Bagby 
Houston, TX 77002

Pho 24 Cafe
9750 Bellaire Blvd.
Houston, TX 77036

Korean Noodle House
1415 Murray Bay St
Houston, TX 77080

Boomtown Coffee
242 W 19th
Houston, TX 77008

Fung's Kitchen
7320 Sothwest Fwy #115
Houston, TX 77074

Alamo Tamale
809 Berry Road
Houston, TX 77022

Lulings City Bar-B-Q
4726 Richmond Ave
Houston, TX

No comments:

Post a Comment