Cheflambo's Profile

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One week in Houston

Not sure where you might find greem corn tamales, but for authentic Mexican (not Tex-Mex) food consider Hugo's (on Westheimer).

There is no Bhutanese restaurant in Houston. They are few and far between.

Brennan's is a lovely restaurant. A jacket is required at dinner (I believe) and a tie would be a good idea too. Shri Balaji Bhavan will not disappoint either, and the price point is at the opposite end of Brennan's. If you're really interested in South Asia/Pakistani cuisine, don't miss Himalaya at 59 & Hillcroft. Let chef Kaiser tell you what to have. Not sure if you will have a vehicle, but be aware that Peli Peli is about +/- 30 miles from where you are staying.

Dec 07, 2014
Cheflambo in Houston

Servers who pick up dishes but not flatware between courses: was I rude to bring this up?

I hope you didn't reduce your gratuity for this horrendous faux pas?

I too need help on uninvited guests.

Congratulations. I know this was difficult for you. If any of the offended individuals decline to come back next year, its their loss, not yours. They need to understand that your request was made out of love and concern for everyone's safety and enjoyment of the event.

Nov 30, 2014
Cheflambo in Not About Food
1

What type of cuisine do you NOT like?

I'm totally burned out on Tex-Mex, which is unfortunate because I live in Houston, where you can't swing a dead cat without hitting a "mexican" restaurant. Authentic Mexican food is good, but if I never see another enchilada, tamale or nasty pile of refried beans in front of me again, I would be grateful. That said, I do like fajitas and the ubiquitous chips and salsa.

Nov 15, 2014
Cheflambo in General Topics
1

Parents of Adult Children: When should kids start picking up the check?

My dad was always the first to reach for the check. My brother is the same way. We were taught this from a young age. That said, the first time I went to a casual dinner with my folks not long after getting my first job, dad looked at the total, then looked at me, and said "your meal was $_____" He saw the startled look on my face, and then added "well, you're working now, right?" The juxtaposition of personal responsibility vs. generosity was confusing to my then-22-year-old brain. But the next time my parents invited me to go to dinner with them, I told them I couldn't afford it. We're all past that now. Even when we take my now 87 year old mom to dinner, she fusses that she want to pay (she really doesn't) so we let her leave the (never more than 15%) tip.

Nov 09, 2014
Cheflambo in Not About Food

Pastured, local bacon/smoked sausage in Houston area?

The best you will get anywhere is from Al Marcus at the Grateful Bread (Urban Harvest Farmers Market on Saturday mornings). He sources locally and his bacon and sausage are amazing. Most farmers and very few butchers are set up for smoking.

Oct 17, 2014
Cheflambo in Houston

Breakroom Freezer

Every office situation Ive ever worked in had this "help yourself" issue with the community fridge. On the plus side, I could leave all my baking and cooking disasters in there and know for sure they would get eaten somehow. I love the swap of the auto part for alcohol, however. Impressive.

Oct 05, 2014
Cheflambo in Not About Food
1

Moving a fridge full of food... HELP?!

IMHO, use this as an excuse to completely purge the fridge of all but essentials that you KNOW will be stable for a couple of hours. Those half-empty jars of condiments, etc. should REALLY get the heave-ho and start fresh in your new place. Stuff that is frozen hard could be transported in a cooler if you just cant bear to part with it. DO NOT TRANSPORT A REFRIGERTOR THAT IS NOT EMPTY. (voice of experience here)

Bad service (not horrible). Check adjusted. What to tip?

None of these things is really a "punishable by reduced gratuity" offense. Have you eaten there before? Did they usually clear your dishes & glasses at the pace you prefer? (Some servers wait for everyone to finish a course before they clear plates so that slower eaters do not feel rushed). Im surprised the manager comped as much as she did. Is this the kind of resto that expects servers to memorize the orders rather than write them down? Did you ask for a lot of special service (something "on the side", a substitution, or a dish prepared without an ingredient noted on the menu)? Any one or all of these things can throw someone off their game. I agree with the poster below who did the math and noted that you're cutting the server twice by tipping low on the post-discounted tab. 20% on the original check would have been the right thing to do. The server will surely be corrected by his or her manager.

Sep 01, 2014
Cheflambo in Not About Food

sensational sour cream but only sold in part of the midwest

Well, Boo. Now I want some, and I'm in Texas. You guys are just teasing me ...

Jul 27, 2014
Cheflambo in General Topics

Restaurant Pet Peeves

Wondering why you think this is part of a stock broker's sales training..... its just common courtesy. And really, there's no harm in knowing the server's name. If you need to get their attention, its much more polite to address them by name than, say, snapping your fingers (yes, people still do this) or saying "hey, you!"

Liver?

Revival Market might be able to help, or know of a source.

Jul 07, 2014
Cheflambo in Houston

guests not offering to do dishes, is it rude?

I am always happy to help the hostess with the dishes, but acknowledge that many folks want things done "their way", a method with which I am not always familiar. I don't think there's a "wrong" way to load a dishwasher, but reading this thread, I've learned otherwise. If my offer to help is met with "no no, just relax" ... that's what I do.

Perhaps my pacing is different. At many a Thanksgiving dinner with my family (after my siblings were grown) two of my sisters are lightning fast eaters, and are whisking the plates off the table before the rest of us are finished. My brother and I would be leisurely enjoying our pie and coffee while getting the stink-eye from the other two for "not helping".

Jul 04, 2014
Cheflambo in Not About Food

Suggestions for Thursday, July 3rd w/79 yr. old mother

Hubbell & Hudson is closed http://blog.chron.com/primeproperty/2...

Jul 01, 2014
Cheflambo in Houston

Women who don't eat much when among peers

Has anyone considered that Mrs. Z may have had a big lunch, wasn't hungry après ballet, but BECAME hungry again later?

Jul 01, 2014
Cheflambo in Not About Food

Why do people find it so strange to take photos of your food?

Mona, she has worn out her welcome with most of our mutual friends. She's also highly critical of the food, the ambiance, and anything else she can find to complain about. You can imagine how she treats waitstaff.

Jun 03, 2014
Cheflambo in Not About Food

Why do people find it so strange to take photos of your food?

If the fact that you ate lunch today is the most newsworthy thing in your life, well, go ahead and share it with everyone who has friended you on FB. 99% of us don't care, however, and will scroll right through it.

But like anything else that is taken to excess, photographing everything you ate is just one more passing obsession, enabled by the cameraphones we all have in our pockets.

When I go to special events where food is the focus, it just cracks me up that everyone.... EVERYONE ... pulls out the phones as soon as the first dish is laid down. If I have a dish that is different from the photographer next to me, I have to wait until THEY have taken a picture of MY food before I can dig in. Again, I can let this go.

But I have one friend who hauls around a big, honking Nikon with a flash. No matter how dark or intimate the restaurant, EVERY plate gets a shot, disruptive flash included, because she fancies herself a "food blogger", Her "blog" is FB. She likes to mention this when she makes reservations (presuming that this will somehow garner her a few comp items, or special treatment somehow - she also thinks hauling out that conspicuous camera will make "them" realize she is important). She is traveling in a foreign country at the moment, and I wonder how the locals perceive this behavior .....

When you are hosting a dinner party, do you ask guests whether they have dietary restrictions, or preview the menu for them?

I respect and accommodate any medical or religious dietary restrictions, and when I invite someone to dinner, I usually know them well enough to be aware of these things. If someone is bringing a date I have not met, I do ask about their requirements, but if they're vegan or vegetarian, there's always plenty of food, and something they can eat. I just don't prepare a special dish just for one person who has chosen to eliminate something from their diet. I am never offended if someone brings their own food. Its the pleasure of their company I hope for, not a debate on the merits or sins of eating something that once had a face ....

Jun 01, 2014
Cheflambo in Not About Food
1

Advice from Dear Abby

I second THAT emotion. I will always give someone's food a second chance, but life is too short to eat with unpleasant people.

May 20, 2014
Cheflambo in Not About Food

A Non-Offensive Universally Acceptable Meal

I have way more than 15 friends. They ALL know what to expect at Chez Cheflambo. The rule is ... if you cant eat it, don't eat it. No whining. There will be meat. Probably fish or shellfish (in season). A big salad. Lots of vegetables/crudités. Good bread. And a gluten-free option if my one gluten-intolerant friend can come (she's delightful and always welcome, because she doesn't complain about her issue). Plenty of wine and beer. Soda and water for the non-drinkers. If anyone thinks there is not going to be enough food to accommodated their appetite and special needs, they usually bring their own, and I am not offended.

Discount for well-behaved kids on restaurant bill

I know plenty of servers who would like to add a surcharge for the bratty kids ... see how far THAT would fly....

Nigellissima disappears

Thanks! I will look for it. Seems Iike Ive only seen 3 episodes of Nigellissima. Are there more?

Apr 28, 2014
Cheflambo in Food Media & News

Nigellissima disappears

Has anyone else noticed that as soon as Nigella Lawson had visa problems getting into the US, her show just disappeared from the Cooking Channel? Or had the series run its course?

Apr 28, 2014
Cheflambo in Food Media & News

Houston Food Websites

Visit Facebook and checkout Houston Chowhounds - its an open group and we share ALOT

Apr 28, 2014
Cheflambo in Houston

Restaurant Pet Peeves

Teague (and I sure hope you are not the Teague married to a friend of mine) ... you're really put out by having to wait for them to bring you salt? Asking for it is a PITA? Does waiting for your food really stress you out as much as these other things do? Why not just automatically ask for salt when you order your food, if you don't see any on the table?

Apr 25, 2014
Cheflambo in Not About Food
1

Restaurant Pet Peeves

Unless you're a celebrity "regular" at Gramercy Tavern, one usually has to wait at least a few minutes past their "reservation time" (were you on time?) As far as waiting in the bar, where else were they going to put you? And its an extremely popular place - why would you be surprised to find so many people there?

Refused my order in restaurant.

And this is relevant how?

Apr 25, 2014
Cheflambo in Not About Food

I'm sorry you don't like what I ordered, but keep your thoughts to yourself

Life is too short to eat with people like this. There are folks like "Roz" in my circle of friends, and a few in-laws. I never know when they are going to go bonkers over something I am ordering and enjoying, but I ignore the in-laws, and just recently told a friend "if you don't like it don't order it". It IS rude to tell someone "don't order THAT!" or, my favorite jibe ... "Is that all you're having?" My personal beef (so to speak) is with the self-righteous vegans and vegetarians who whine "there's nothing here I can eat" and feel the need to deliver a lecture at every meal.

Date.... ordering seafood?

Yes, first dates are a distant memory here, too. However, I think if you like something, you should order it. If you start making choices based on someone else's preferences, they'll expect you to continue doing so. Be yourself from the beginning, and the path to culinary compatibility will be a smooth (or divergent) one.

You eat too fast! ... No, you eat too slow!

Notoriously slow eater here - I was always the last one at the table, after my siblings had inhaled their food and moved on to their homework. I live with a man who eats at a normal pace, but if we're in a restaurant and served at the same time, and he's really hungry, he wolfs down his food, never once putting down the fork or pausing between bites. In these cases I am only halfway through my meal when he's finished and asking for the check. After years of this, I just continue at my own comfortable pace. If I can see from the get-go that this is going to happen, I will just order an appetizer as my meal, a smaller portion, and we can finish "together". If it bothers him, he's never said so.

The only time I really even pay attention to this type of situation is when I am eating with clients, and then when they are finished (and these are usually hungry men who eat fast) so am I. I'll take the rest to go. The polite ones apologize for rushing me (sometimes we just cant spend 90+ minutes at lunch); the rest just don't care.

Apr 15, 2014
Cheflambo in Not About Food