FarleyFlavors's Profile

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The forever LHR question

Another good Indian option at Heathrow is Mr. Todiwala's Kitchen at the Hilton, an off-shoot of the highly regarded Cafe Spice Namaste.

Whatever you do, don't take a taxi though. I understand it's £35 one way for a 1.5 mile trip because it's outside Greater London. The Hotel Hoppa bus service runs every 20 minutes or so from Terminal 5 and is under a tenner return.

Menu here: http://www3.hilton.com/resources/medi...

Mar 17, 2014
FarleyFlavors in U.K./Ireland

Diners in Houston

I can list a few personal favorites, with a couple of caveats. I've been to neither Slim Goodies nor Surreys so I don't know exactly what you're looking for. And I rather like the food at Lola's!

(I also used to like 59 Diner but I reckon it's gone downhill in the last ten years or so).

Avalon Diner. Three locations around town; I've only ever been to the original on Westheimer. Excellent milkshakes.
www.avalondiner.com

Triple A Restaurant on Airline. Homey and a tiny bit scruffy. Good homemade biscuits and Chicken Fried Steak.
http://www.triplearestaurant.com/

Dot Coffee Shop on the Gulf Freeway, just inside the loop. Surprisingly decent coffee for a diner. http://www.pappas.com/restaurants/dot-coffee-shop/

Tel-Wink Restaurant and Grill on Telephone Road. Cheap and cheerful;also does very good homemade biscuits.
http://telwink.com/index.htm

Jan 25, 2014
FarleyFlavors in Houston

Artisanal Hot dogs in Houston

This seems to be a common problem with the Nathans franchises. They never seem to cook the hotdogs as well done as at the original location.

Jan 09, 2014
FarleyFlavors in Houston

Houston Day Trip

There's a branch of Frank's Grill (local mini-chain) at 1915 Magnum Road. Traditional and slightly scruffy diner but they do decent chicken fried steak and the homemade biscuits are excellent.

It's "cheap and cheerful" rather than "mid price point" but it's only half a mile from the 610/290 interchange.

Jan 08, 2014
FarleyFlavors in Houston

Galveston Breakfast

La Estacion for giant breakfast burritos on house-made tortillas. It's on Ball Street, about half a mile from the Strand.

Dec 24, 2013
FarleyFlavors in Houston

Spending Christmas at MD Anderson Cancer Ctr. Need recs.

Good cajun food which won't break the bank is to be had at Beaucoup Bar and Grill, a couple of miles east of the Hampton Inn on Old Spanish Trail. Order the gumbo, it's dark and delicious.

http://beaucoupbarandgrill.com/

Next door is Guy's Meat Market which does very good smoked burgers. The ribs and links are decent too but their brisket is to be avoided. No seating though.

http://www.guysseasoning.com/PDF/Guys...

Dec 20, 2013
FarleyFlavors in Houston

Looking for inexpensive non-seafood in Katy

There's also decent BBQ to be had at Red River BBQ and Grill on Mason.

(It was probably Jaymes who originally recommended it on here).

Dec 13, 2013
FarleyFlavors in Houston

Help with gift basket for an Anglophile!

"Most Americans, I think, prefer other brands."

Indeed. The figures are in the article you mentioned. Heinz has only around 1% of the U.S. market while Bush's have 69% of the U.S. market; about the same share as Heinz has in the U.K.

Dec 12, 2013
FarleyFlavors in U.K./Ireland

Help with gift basket for an Anglophile!

At the risk of going wildly off-topic and boring everyone half to death ... the British baked bean market as a whole ($615m per year) is bigger than the U.S. baked bean market ($530m).

http://metro.co.uk/2011/06/20/price-o...

I'm guessing the British Heinz beans recipe is the original American recipe, which over the years has evolved into a much sweeter version across the pond.

(Me ? I prefer Branston's)

Dec 12, 2013
FarleyFlavors in U.K./Ireland

Help with gift basket for an Anglophile!

Brown sugar and bacon ? Molasses and pork ? Maple syrup flavour ?

Way too sweet I'd imagine.

(And the article confirms what I suggested above - if Heinz only sells $5 million worth of beans per year in the States, the Brits eat more Heinz beans in a single week than the whole of the U.S. consumes in an entire year !)

Dec 12, 2013
FarleyFlavors in U.K./Ireland

Help with gift basket for an Anglophile!

American baked beans tend to be much sweeter than British baked beans.

As for more Americans eating them - I doubt it. Baked beans are a British staple, eaten for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Not so in the States. According to the Heinz site, 1.5 million cans of Heinz beans are sold in the UK every day.

Dec 12, 2013
FarleyFlavors in U.K./Ireland

London Trip Report, July 2013

They have a markedly different taste. Golden Syrup has a milder, more buttery flavour than Black Treacle. I suspect Black Treacle would be too strongly flavoured to work in a steamed pudding.

Growing up in Scotland, we always used Golden Syrup when making a sponge pudding, but we called it "syrup pudding" rather than "treacle pudding". Treacle was reserved for dark desserts such as black bun, gingerbread and cloutie dumpling. It was also used to make toffee and scones.

Oct 17, 2013
FarleyFlavors in U.K./Ireland

Vanished Restaurant you miss most

After the sell-off of the Denis' Seafood House name, the place on Westheimer became Jimmy Wilson's for a while before it moved to San Felipe. I ate at the Westheimer branch once and wasn't too impressed, so I never tried the Galleria area one. Sounds like I should have given him another chance.

Sep 10, 2013
FarleyFlavors in Houston

"National Dining Rooms" at The National Gallery.

The East London Steak Company is currently cutting Dexter if you're still interested ...

http://www.eastlondonsteak.co.uk/

Jun 07, 2013
FarleyFlavors in U.K./Ireland

Coming to Houston Next Week

I guess I *do* have you confused ! That other, more illustrious DoobieWah would have noticed that I already provided a link to Pappasito's brunch menu ...

Feb 26, 2013
FarleyFlavors in Houston

Coming to Houston Next Week

As a Scot with admittedly limited Tex-Mex experience I shouldn't really be disagreeing with the illustrious DoobieWah, but I reckon the breakfasts at Ruchi's are kind of get-what-you-pay-for. They're undoubtedly a bargain though.

If you're willing to drop a few more bucks (by which I mean about 3x the price) the breakfasts at Goode Co Taqueria are worth trying. Their jalapeno venison sausage and homemade chorizo are both excellent. It's about 4 miles and 10 minutes from the JW Marriott according to Google Maps.

Menu here: http://www.goodecompany.com/media/pdf/restaurantmenu/taq/TAQ-Menu-Breakfast.pdf.

If you're around at the weekend, Pappasito's Cantina on Richmond (again, around 4 miles from the Marriott) does a mean brunch. It's similarly priced to the above though.

Menu here: http://pappaspizza.net/images/dyn/men...

Feb 25, 2013
FarleyFlavors in Houston

Wales!

Maes-y-Neuadd country house restaurant is only a mile from the A496 coastal road as it heads inland north of Harlech. I've had several decent meals there and given the quality of the cooking and the standard of produce, I reckon it offers excellent value for money.

The rooms are pleasant enough, but as is normal with a country house with a decent restaurant, they're a tad overpriced.

Sample winter menu available halfway down this page ... http://www.neuadd.com/restaurant.htm

ETA: Seems PhilD didn't have as good an experience there - and his complaint about the wine service is valid (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/4563...). So your mileage may vary.

Nov 29, 2012
FarleyFlavors in U.K./Ireland

read in a book [moved from U.K./Ireland]

Definitely not "a London thing" - a quick google for "chicken maryland chinese menu" and you get takeaway menus from Belfast to Dundee to Axminster. It does seem to be more popular in Scotland and Northern Ireland though.

Oct 25, 2012
FarleyFlavors in General Topics

read in a book [moved from U.K./Ireland]

That would be Chicken Maryland. In the UK, it usually consists of breadcrumbed and fried chicken breast with bacon and fried bananas. It's found on Chinese takeaway menus.

Oct 25, 2012
FarleyFlavors in General Topics

Wales: Cardiff and Betws-y-coed

I agree with Harters - in fact, at the Ty Gwyn in Betws-y-coed I had one of the worst pub lunches I've ever eaten.

I've had several very good (and excellent value) meals at Maes y Neuadd, which is about 40 minutes away.

http://www.neuadd.com/

Sep 27, 2012
FarleyFlavors in U.K./Ireland

Nine Days in Glasgow

Unfortunately the Shish Mahal is a far cry from its late Seventies/early Eighties heyday.

Jul 18, 2012
FarleyFlavors in U.K./Ireland

Trip Report (Well Overdue) [moved from UK/Ireland]

I can understand the desire for steak. It's tricky to find a decent steak at a reasonable price over here.

I got quite excited a few years back when an Outback opened a mile away from my house. But they were 50% more expensive than in the States and soon after opening they dropped the free bread and salad, without dropping the prices. About five years after opening they had closed down. They've now left the UK market altogether.

Jul 15, 2012
FarleyFlavors in Houston

Trip Report (Well Overdue) [moved from UK/Ireland]

Thanks James and brucesw. All recs noted for the road trip.

Jul 15, 2012
FarleyFlavors in Houston

Trip Report (Well Overdue) [moved from UK/Ireland]

Regarding Olde Towne kolaches, I'd heard good things about them but it seems I was duped.

The one on Memorial is called Olde Towne Kitchen, which also has a branch on the 290. The one on Westheimer is called Olde Towne Kolaches and Bakery. Different establishments. I guess trademarking "Olde Towne" would be difficult !
www.oldetownekitchen.com
http://www.otkbakery.com/

And regarding The King's Head - do I *really* want to be visiting Houston from the UK and going to a British pub ?!

Jul 15, 2012
FarleyFlavors in Houston

Trip Report (Well Overdue) [moved from UK/Ireland]

Thanks, Jaymes. We'll be driving, but it appears that La Grange isn't too much of a detour.

Jul 15, 2012
FarleyFlavors in Houston

Nine Days in Glasgow

Agreed on Mother India. It's over-rated, overpriced and the service can be really poor when it's busy (which is frequently).

If you're looking for "modern" British-Indian food like Mother India does, I agree with spyke23 that Balbir's on Church Street is a better bet. It's not exactly cheap either, though.

For traditional Glasgow-style curry, both The Shenaz and the Koh-I-Noor are only a fifteen minute stroll up the hill from your hotel. Both have been in business since the early Sixties.

The curries at the Shenaz are amongst the best in town (try the Lamb Rogan Josh or the Special Beef), although if you don't like your naan bread swimming in ghee, you might want to ask them to leave it off.

The curries at the Koh-I-Noor are solid, if not quite up to the standard of the Shenaz. But they're worth a visit for the superb naan breads alone.

In the same area is Mr. Singh's, which isn't as good as it used to be but might be worth a trip for the kitsch appeal of the kilted Asian waiters.

Also a fifteen minute walk away from your hotel in a nice location on the banks of the Clyde is India Quay, which does a reasonable evening buffet Sun-Thurs for £12.95.

As you're on a limited budget, you should check out the many lunch and pre-theatre deals on offer. The Koh-I-Noor does three courses for £7.95 1200-1500, rising to £10.95 from 1500-1800. As it includes one of their enormous naans, the lunchtime deal is a particular bargain. The Shenaz does three courses for £12.00 from 1600-1830.

As for smoked salmon, if I was on a limited budget I'd be buying a good pack in a deli and having a feast back in my hotel room with a bottle of white wine !

Jul 15, 2012
FarleyFlavors in U.K./Ireland

Trip Report (Well Overdue) [moved from UK/Ireland]

Yes I know you were kidding, James - the "just kidding" bit gave it away !

Regarding crawfish - I wouldn't mind trying to cook them myself but they're virtually impossible to find live at fishmongers in the UK. So I just did a quick search to see if they're available online and found this place: http://www.finefoodspecialist.co.uk. Including delivery, just under 4.5 pounds is $89.92 at the current exchange rate. It works out at $20.40 per pound. Now *that's* criminally insane !

At some point we're planning to go on a pilgrimage to the Central Texas barbecue spots, so have you got any suggestions for kolache places along the I-10 corridor ?

Jul 07, 2012
FarleyFlavors in Houston

Trip Report (Well Overdue) [moved from UK/Ireland]

I was in Houston at the beginning of April and never got around to a write-up, but better late than never, right ?

TACOS A GO-GO

Armed with a coupon offering ten tacos for ten bucks, we visited Tacos A Go-Go twice.

The first visit was to the Main Street branch in Midtown for lunch where we had Fish, Carne Guisada, Pork Guisada, Beef Fajita and Picadillo Tacos. All perfectly pleasant, if unspectacular, although their smoky red salsa was memorable.

The second visit a few days later was a breakfast stop at their Heights location, where we ordered various egg-and-two-item tacos. Now, as has been correctly pointed out in a previous thread, I'm from the UK and know jack about tacos. In fact, this was only my third ever experience of breakfast tacos. But we both thought that these were superb. Much, much better than the breakfast tacos we ate at El Rey Taqueria on our previous visit. Unsurprisingly, the breakfast tacos at Tacos A Go-Go are served all day. They must be their most popular menu item.

THE ROYAL OAK

Awarded "Best Bar Food" by the Houston Press last year, so we thought we'd check it out during their happy hour.

It's a nicely done out, comfy bar with lots of dark leather and wood panelling.

Stuffed Jalapenos with Spiced Cream Cheese and Bacon had too much cream cheese and neither enough spice nor enough bacon. They really needed something - a bit of acidity, maybe - to cut through the cloying richness of the cheese.

The Blue Cheese and Mushroom burger was perfectly acceptable. Ordered and served medium rare, it was clearly made from decent beef and served in a tasty bun. A minor complaint - it was one of those patties that looked more like a squashed meatball than a burger and the meat didn't come anywhere near the sides of the bun.

The Parmesan Truffle Fries we subbed with the burger were spectacular. Perfectly cooked hand-cut fries smothered with parmesan and herbs and a hefty slather of truffle oil.

I'd return just for a bowl of those fries, especially as the happy hour prices were very reasonable - two bucks for domestic bottles and four bucks for a martini.

OLDE TOWNE KOLACHES

Arrived at a bar at 5.30 a.m. on Saturday hoping to catch a live Scottish soccer match and waited for an hour before realizing that they weren't going to open. Oh well, I thought, I'll cheer myself up with a bag of kolaches. Olde Towne Kolaches is in a strip just off Westheimer near the beltway.

The place was deserted and they only had three kolaches ready - sausage, jalapeno sausage and cheese, and cheese and bacon.

They were all pretty awful. Cheap, nasty sausages. A tiny smear of cheese and about three tiny chunks of bacon. The dough wasn't up to much either. Avoid.

BEAVERS

A visit for lunch. I'm not sure I understand the praise this place gets. This was our second visit and again, everything was just average. And at the prices they're charging, it should all be better than average.

Ordered Chicken Fried Chicken Livers and Fried Boudin Balls from the happy hour menu. You could tell the livers were going to be overcooked just by looking at the overly browned and too-crispy batter. The boudin balls were fine, I guess - nice and meaty - but two barely-over-an-inch balls for five bucks ? One of them had split apart in the fryer which didn't help.

The Gulf Shrimp Nachos were acceptable enough, but at over a dollar apiece they too were overpriced.

I'll give them this - their cocktails, especially their Bloody Marys with celery-infused tomato juice and wasabi, are excellent. And I had a delicious pint of 512 Porter from their decent beer selection. Next time, drinks only.

SPANKY CRAWFISH AND BAR

Drove around for fifteen minutes trying to find this place on Bissonet, only to find it was closed permanently. Strangely, they'd left all the TVs on. So, back to the hotel with a takeaway from the nearby ...

BROTHERS PIZZERIA

... on Hwy 6. I'm more of a Chicago-style pizza than a New York-style pizza kind of guy, but this was rather good. Thin, floppy and greasy (in a good way). A decent amount of good toppings.

THE CONCERT PUB

On Richmond. Stopped in for a Sunday lunchtime crawfish fix. It had been a few years since my previous visit but the mudbugs were as good as I remembered. They were a decent size and obviously boiled in spiced water, as evidenced by the lemon wedges and bay leaves scattered around the serving tray. My OH doesn't particularly care for crawfish ("too much work") but she managed to put away well over a pound. Buy four pounds and get one free, so they worked out at less than $5 per pound.

Word of warning - a loud and dismal band started playing when we were halfway through eating. If you're going, get there early.

HANK'S CRAWFISH

... on Hwy 6. They serve their crawfish with five levels of heat and on my previous visit, I'd been talked out of the New Orleans Spicy by the barmaid. "If it's too hot for you, you can't return them". Well, I can now report that they are in fact very, very spicy. I polished off two pounds and the sweat was dripping from my forehead. They come in a plastic bag with a full bowlful of thin sauce at the bottom, which I mostly finished off with a spoon. The spiciness isn't all just hot sauce and chili, though - there's a good amount of cumin, garlic and butter in there. Very good indeed.

The crawfish themselves weren't as good as the Concert Pub's - a bit smaller and slightly overcooked. I'd return in an instant for that sauce, though.

Note to James Cristinian - you might want to stop reading at this point. They were a "criminally insane" $6.99 per pound.

The OH had a bowl of Crawfish Bisque, served with a mound of white rice. Tasty enough, but I'll stick to the boiled ones, ta.

DANTON'S SEAFOOD

Popped in for their Monday happy hour at the bar, with half price gulf oysters. Excellent oysters and a bargain at only $5.50 per dozen. A fellow diner was making his way through a few pounds of crawfish which looked very good too.

On a Monday the place is understandably very popular. By the time we left at 6.15 there was a queue of a dozen people waiting for a table.

CHRISTIAN'S TAILGATE

The newish location on White Oak in the Heights. Our first visit to this establishment, to check out their legendary burgers.

What can I say that hasn't already been said about them ? This is quite possibly the finest burger I've ever had. Ordered medium rare and delivered on the medium side, which didn't matter in the slightest as it was still beautifully juicy and tender, served in a bun which managed to be soft yet resilient enough to support the contents all the way through eating. Perfectly judged swipes of mayo and mustard and just the right amount of tomato and crisp lettuce.

We tried both the Bacon Bacon Burger (with bacon in the burger mix and further bacon on the bun) and the standard Cheeseburger with American cheese. Both were excellent, but the basic cheeseburger was particularly outstanding.

Bonus points for some great fries and onion rings, and Monday evening $1.50 domestic pints to wash it all down.

That was the all-too-brief trip just about over and it was off to an IAH hotel for the night. With some time to kill before the late afternoon flight back to London, we headed for Pappadeaux in Terminal E and split three Maryland-style Crabcakes and a Wedge Salad. For an airport restaurant, the quality was very high indeed. Lots of chunky crabmeat in perfectly crisped cakes.

Roll on September and our next visit to your fine city. No crawfish this time, I suppose.

Farley.

Jul 06, 2012
FarleyFlavors in Houston

El Jarro Cafe Taco Trailer

"You're from the UK, what do you know about tacos?"

Bugger all, my good chap. I fear you have me rumbled.

Jul 02, 2012
FarleyFlavors in Houston

El Jarro Cafe Taco Trailer

Must admit, I had only an average taco experience in the Jarro Cafe, but I agree that the salsas are excellent.

Jun 30, 2012
FarleyFlavors in Houston