Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
w

waderoberts's Profile

Title Last Reply

Best Potato Salad

Hot on the heels of my inquiry about cole slaw . . . .

I know that potato salad is easy enough to prepare at home (though a little more time consuming than cole slaw). Often, I just want to pick up a mess to take home.

Houston has potato salad everywhere. Grocers, soul food joints, BBQ and seafood places. Hate those ice-cream-scooped mounds of mashed potatoes. Hate too much dressing, mayo and mushy potatoes.

I admit that that I may be compulsive, but my ideal potato salad: large cubes of potatoes, diced onions/scallions, diced dill pickles, maybe celery, vinegar, and a little mayo and mustard.

Appreciate any suggestions.

Wade

May 26, 2015
waderoberts in Houston

Best Cole Slaw

I know it's easy enough to prepare at home, but, sometimes, I just want to pick up a couple or for quarts to take home.

Houston has cole slaw everywhere: groceries, seafood houses, BBQ joints. I'm almost always disappointed.

I don't want diced cabbage limp and drowning in mayo and sweeteners.

I actually like cabbage, and I prefer my slaw shredded thick, with lots of bite and crunchiness, light on the dressing (vinegar and little mayo).

May be blasphemy, but I've come close to my ideal at Pappa's BBQ and Rudy's BBQ.

Interested in any other suggestions.

Wade

P.S. Fixing to post a similar inquiry about potato salad.

May 26, 2015
waderoberts in Houston

Popeye's: Thou hast forsaken me

Totally agree about the hit-miss at Frenchy's former locations. The original is always excellent. I haven't been to any of the new locations, but I plan to try the new Pearland Frenchy's this week. Hopeful . . . .

Jack-in-the-Box tacos are a weakness of mine, too, though the drive-through gets all alarmed

Wish I lived closer to BBQ Inn . . .

Abe's is in Clear Lake City, and offers carry-out with phone orders. Big plus: a market selection of oven-ready stuffed chickens, frozen red beans, gumbos, Étouffées, boudin, andouille sausages, tasso ham, and various meat-seafood stuffed pies. http://www.abescajunmarket.com

Floyd's has no market or frozen foods, but does offer phoned-in carryout. Good gumbo, Étouffée, red beans and rice, and excellent broiled Oysters Floyd. Little pricey, but worth it IMHO as an occasional splurge. Several locations (I've only been to the Webster and Pearland places). http://floydscajunseafood.restaurant

Justin's is a new-comer in Friendswood: Gumbo, red beans and rice, grilled/fried seafood. Accepts phone-in carry-out orders: http://www.justinsseafood.com

All have decent red beans and rice. Abe's get's my nod for their frozen RB; you add your own rice.

Gumbos are all good, but I find them all lacking in okra. I like okra. Add my own.

Outside of frying my own chicken (Bon Ton Mini Mart recipe [http://www.roadfood.com/Recipes/12/fr...] or skillet frying), looking for new fried-chicken nirvana. Mourn the sudden closing of Pollo Campero on Bay Area Boulevard.

Apr 29, 2015
waderoberts in Houston
1

Popeye's: Thou hast forsaken me

Through the years, across a number of cities coast-to-coast and North-to-South and on several boards and forums, I have advocated for you and have occasionally suffered slings and arrows for it.

I WAS a fan of your red beans and rice.

(Yes, I know it's easy to fix from scratch at home, even easier with canned Bluerunner Creole red beans.)

Sometimes, though, I just wanted to pick up a big mess of red beans and rice and head home. I'm in Friendswood, near Abe's, Floyd's, Justin's, and, now, a new Frenchy's. You were always, though, my quick in/quick out.

Last night's red beans and rice pickup severed our ties. Thin, watery, little evidence of red beans, more like a soup.

I'll now either fix my own beans and rice, or go elsewhere. While I still like your spicy fried chicken, I can surpass it at home. If I'm in a hurry, well, there's now the new Frenchy's, which also has red beans and rice.

BTW: Never forgave you for eliminating the onion rings.

Apr 28, 2015
waderoberts in Houston

Vanished Restaurant you miss most

The Chuc-Wagun.

Vanished Restaurant you miss most

I do believe that you are correct.

Apr 19, 2015
waderoberts in Houston

Vanished Restaurant you miss most

A little research confirms my memory. In "The Tex-Mex Cookbook - A History in Recipes and Photos," Robb Walsh writes that Mexico City opened on South Main in 1929. In 1941, the Molina family, which had opened their first restaurant on West Gray in 1940, bought Mexico City and operated it as Molino's Mexico City. Don't know when it closed; wish I could find some pix.

The Original Mexican Restaurant on Fannin (opening and closing unknown) was where Felix Tijerina trained. In 1929, Felix opened his own Tex-Mex restaurant, The Mexican Inn. Felix’s Montrose location opened in 1937. The Felix on Westheimer debuted in 1948.

Molina's lives on with various Molina's Cantinas. Haven't been to any of them.

For old-school Tex-Mex, at least we still have Spanish Village on Almeda and The Original Mexican Cafe in Galveston (since 1916).

Apr 18, 2015
waderoberts in Houston
1

Vanished Restaurant you miss most

High school friend of mine with an incredible memory (he can still recite Chaucer's Prologue to The Canterbury Tales in Old English [a requirement in our 11th-grade English class]; not only can I no longer do that, but the two years of college French, one year of German, trig/calculus, and the ability to balance chemical equations are all gone as well) informs me that the Telephone Road BBQ place was Ranch House.

He also suggested Jamies Hamburgers on South Main.

Didn't want to wax too much about what others have listed, but I still have dreams about Hillman's crab-stuffed shrimp and shrimp cole slaw.

Apr 17, 2015
waderoberts in Houston

Vanished Restaurant you miss most

How could I forget about Roznovky's? I think the original location was on Birdsall, near Washington, but I swear I recollect going to a location on W. 34th near N. Shepherd, maybe Ella. It was near a Catfish Kitchen (kinda miss that, too),

Old Abbot Schoolhouse was on the south side of Washington, much closer to downtown.

I have many fond memories of spending sweltering August nights with friends over pitchers of beer in the outdoor beer garden at Bavarian Gardens.

It's still around, but I miss Last Concert Cafe back when Mama Lopez still ran the open kitchen, there was only a tiny dining area and teensy outdoor courtyard, and when there was a real reason to keep the front door locked.

And I also overlooked Las Cazuelas on Quitman off of North Main, on the second floor.

Apr 17, 2015
waderoberts in Houston

Vanished Restaurant you miss most

Great thread and responses! Others have mostly already touched upon the ones I mourn, but here are a few others.

Mexico City (?) on South Main near the Sears.
Hamburger Hamlet (?) near University of St. Thomas.
Bavarian Gardens
The BBQ place on Telephone Road near the old Hobby airport terminal. They had a killer sandwich: mini-loaf of bread stuffed with chopped brisket and sauce. I never could figure out how they got the brisket in there..
Old Abbot Schoolhouse (?) burgers on Washington.
Der Wienerschitzel for the Polish sausage sandwiches with swiss cheese and pickle.

BTW: Monterey House later morphed into Monterey's Little Mexico. There are six around the Houston area.

Apr 17, 2015
waderoberts in Houston

What's up with Houston nachos?!?

I just came across this thread, and wanted to chime in.

Yes. Nachos are Tex-Mex, invented by Ignacio Anaya in 1943 in the border town of Piedras Negras MX, across the Rio Grande from Eagle Pass TX. The original nachos consisted of crispy fried corn tortilla chips, jalapeno slices and topped with melted cheese.

These were prepared, broiled, and served as individual hors d'oeuvres/snacks/appetizers. Later versions included a dollop of refried pinto beans atop each chip.

They are elegant and sublime in their simplicity. Each chip remains crispy and crunchy, with molten cheese. A clean finger food.

Later, came the "queso/nacho/pump cheese," pile on whatever: taco meat, chicken/beef fajitas, crema, guacamole, lettuce, tomatoes,olives, rice, etc.

Now, I dearly love my chile con queso, but I prefer it for dipping. I also love taco meat, fajitas, crema, guacamole, lettuce, tomatoes, rice, etc., but in their proper places and order. These smothered versions of nachos result in a gooey and soggy mess, with no texture. It's as much an abomination and a mess as a fully loaded "taco salad" is.

Up until a few years ago, it wasn't that hard to find the real nacho in Texas. Until it closed, a San Antonio TX ice house/beer joint served an inspired version: the Shypoke egg, a crispy, fried small round tortilla with a jalapeno slice, broiled with white and yellow cheese to resemble a fried. egg over easy.

Authentic nachos a la Ignacio are increasingly hard to find, as restaurants move to the cheaper and easier and more profitable ladle/pump/dump version, but, thankfully, they're easy to prepare at home.

sources for free-range, hormone/antibiotic-free, humanely and locally raised beef, pork, poultry, eggs and dairy (cheese, butter, buttermilk)?

I kindly appreciate the lead. I'm on it.

Oct 28, 2013
waderoberts in Houston

sources for free-range, hormone/antibiotic-free, humanely and locally raised beef, pork, poultry, eggs and dairy (cheese, butter, buttermilk)?

Thanks kindly. It was very helpful.

Oct 28, 2013
waderoberts in Houston

sources for free-range, hormone/antibiotic-free, humanely and locally raised beef, pork, poultry, eggs and dairy (cheese, butter, buttermilk)?

Apologies for the long topic. For a variety of reasons, I have decided to try to source my meat, poultry, eggs and dairy this way. Unfortunately, I am in the Clear Lake/NASA area, where the pickings seem to be slim-nonexistent.

Any suggestions?

I could drive into Houston once or twice a week to load up. I'd also be open to the idea of a club/subscription/share/pick up/delivery option.

Thanks kindly for any leads.

Wade

Oct 27, 2013
waderoberts in Houston

Nachos -- probably beating a dead horse, but what the heck?

O.K., call me a purist, a crank, a Neanderthal, whatever, but I like nachos in (or close to) their original form (as invented by Ignacio "Nacho" Anaya, in 1943, in Piedras Negras, MX, just across the border from Eagle Pass, TX). Individual tortilla chips and jalapenos, covered by melted cheddar cheese. (The cheese is melted under a broiler or salamander.) The only other incarnation I like is refried beans on the chips under the jalapenos and melted cheese.

I do NOT want taco meat, chicken/beef fajitas, tomatoes, lettuce, olives, guacamole, and, especially, sour cream. If I have a hankering for any of those, I'll order them separately.

These nachos were once the norm here. Years ago, my favorite place for these traditional nachos (and beer) in Houston was Las Cazuelas, a 24-hour joint on (I seem to recollect) Quitman off North Main on the second floor. I also have fond memories of the nachos at Last Concert Cafe, when mama was still alive. Las Cazuelas is long gone, and the nachos at Last Concert Cafe are not the same. A few years living in San Antonio got me hooked on the Shypoke eggs (nachos) at Hip's and Little Hip's, now gone, too.

While I do love chile con queso, what I really hate is ordering nachos, only to find queso slathered over a pile of chips, which instantly disintegrate into a soggy pool that requires a spoon to eat. This seems to be the norm these days: queso, stuff I don't want, haphazardly prepared, and overpriced. Might as well wait for one of the new 7-Elevens to open.

I want the gooyeness of melted cheese and the crispy crunch of the tortilla chips.

Yeah, I know, I can and do make them at home (mess of nachos for dinner). But, sometimes, I'd like to grab some for lunch or dinner out.

About time to see if Spanish Village still does them the right way. Any other suggestions, particularly around the NASA area would be greatly appreciated. Will drive anywhere in the Houston area for the real thing.

And wondering when, how, and why Houston nachos started to suck.

P.S. Oops. Just looked at the on-line menu for Spanish Village. No way, no thanks.

Jul 21, 2013
waderoberts in Houston

super-coarse-ground sausage/hot links?

Thanks for the tip, bornie. One more reason I have to get back to San Antonio soon. About the only other occasional Chicago craving I get is for a good Italian Beef sandwich, dipped in gravy and topped with hot giardiniera. Tried a couple of "authentic" beefs in Houston, but they just weren't right. But . . . . I hear that James Coney Island has a limited-time Italian Beef. Think I'll try one tomorrow. I grew up on and love their original coneys (mustard, chili sauce, extra onions, no cheese dammit). When I get the hankering for a few more veggies, I've found that they do a respectable Chicago-style dog with a Vienna beef wiener. And their Polish is pretty good, too, if you get it the Maxwell-Street-style: only mustard and grilled onions, maybe sport peppers.

Apr 11, 2013
waderoberts in Houston

super-coarse-ground sausage/hot links?

Thanks kindly. I was away too long before moving back: totally forgot about BW Meat, Pete's, and Hebert's. Fixing to head out to those soon. Meanwhile, I remembered a pretty fine rendition of what I was hankering for at Leon's World's Finest In & Out BBQ house in Galveston (Broadway @ 54th). Skip the regular links and go with Leon's homemade pork & beef hot links.

Apr 08, 2013
waderoberts in Houston

super-coarse-ground sausage/hot links?

My name is Wade, and I'm a sausage-oholic, dry/wet/fresh/aged/smoked from the cheap bright-red hot links to the artisanal and imported stuff.

I'd be the first to argue that Texans are blessed in the U.S., sausage-wise, thanks to the traditions of the Czechs and Germans. We are, perhaps, the only state with such bounty at the grocery store, and within a reasonable drive: Elgin, Lockhart, Taylor, Huntsville, Pittsburg, and even close to home.

But I'm on a particular quest . . . .

Before moving back home, I developed a serious addiction to the super-coarse-ground pork hot links that are a staple in Chicago's BBQ joints. With few exceptions, these are African-American-run, and excel in pork ribs, rib tips, and meaty hot links.

See link about these links: http://chicago.seriouseats.com/2012/1...

I've had similar hot links in the Mississippi Delta, but I'm coming up dry here in Houston (and Texas).

Before I moved back home from Chicago, I even had my own source: Peoria Packing, a wholesale/retail butcher/meat packer in Chicago's meat-packing district (Wabash, under the L). I could buy a 5-pound box of fresh for $15. All I had to do was to twist the long thing into links and smoke them.

Any suggestions? Doesn't have to be pork. Could be pork/beef or beef. Just meaty and super-coarse.

Thanks kindly,
Wade

Apr 07, 2013
waderoberts in Houston

Mourning the humble fish sandwich

Thanks kindly. That is now near the top of my must-try-soon list.

Jan 08, 2013
waderoberts in Houston

Mourning the humble fish sandwich

James,

Thanks kindly. I totally overlooked Christie's since returning home (most of my time is spent in the NASA area, but I do make into town often).

BTW: I also recently found a decent rendition at the NASA Fuddrucker's.

Jan 07, 2013
waderoberts in Houston

Chicago-style deep-dish / stuffed pizza?

Damn, I DO love good pizza, but there's a lot of dubious stuff out there, and, well, I like to eat pizza at home. Even the best pizza does not travel/reheat well. I've tried making it from scratch at home, but the typical home oven won't do the trick (doesn't get hot enough). Thinking about building a brick wood-fired oven for the back yard, but then I doubt I'd use it much here May-October.

Jan 03, 2013
waderoberts in Houston

Chicago-style deep-dish / stuffed pizza?

Thanks kindly for the responses. I suppose it's like a lot of things in life: some things just don't transplant well. After posting, I DID find a frozen deep-dish Gino's East spinach/garlic pizza at my local HEB. Heated it up (with lots of anticipation), but it turned out to be easily 75% dough. That might've gotten me over the hankering for a while. I'm a pilot, and I'm thinking about flying back to Chicago come the spring thaw. When time draws near for the flight, I'll post again. I could fly back with quite a few Lou Malnati's frozen pizzas in the baggage compartment of my Cessna.

Jan 03, 2013
waderoberts in Houston

Chicago-style deep-dish / stuffed pizza?

Just to clarify: stuffed pizza is not the cheese-stuffed crust-edges of the pizza chains. It's more like a full-crust pie: bottom crust; fillings, sauce and cheese; top crust; more sauce and cheese. It's a knife-and-fork-thing, impossible to consume with hands alone.

Jan 02, 2013
waderoberts in Houston

Chicago-style deep-dish / stuffed pizza?

I recently moved back home from Chicago. Food-wise, I'm much happier (Tex-Mex, BBQ, fresh Gulf seafood, boudin, etc.). Until recently, the only Windy City food I occasionally yearned for was a good Italian beef sandwich. Normally, I'm a thin-crust/cracker-crust pizza eater. Every now and then, I need a thicker-crust New York-style pizza. But now . . . maybe it's the onset of cold weather . . . I have this serious hankering for one of those heavy-weight deep-dish Chicago monsters (as in Lou Malnati's, Pizzeria Uno/Due, Edwardo's, Gino's, Leona's) or even one of the heart-stopping stuffed pizzas (double crust/cheese/sauce, as in Giordano's). Yeah, I know I have to try Chicago Pizza and Italian Beef in the Heights, but I'm near NASA and the drive plus the breadth and ambition of the menu have so far dissuaded me. Any other sightings? Even grocery-store frozen would be appreciated (in Chicago, you could often find Edwardo's and Gino's at some grocers). And yes, a lot of those Chicago pizzerias will ship frozen/ready to baked, but I'm not yet desperate and crazy enough (and may never be) to pay $20-some-odd (with shipping) for a frozen 9-inch stuffed pizza). BTW: This craving is all kinda weird to me, since about the only time I had deep-dish/stuffed pizza while living there was when I had visits from out-of-town friends who wanted to experience Chicago-style. Most everyone I knew there preferred thin/cracker crust pizza. Oh, yeah, and cut into saltine-cracker-sized squares.

Jan 02, 2013
waderoberts in Houston

Mourning the humble fish sandwich

There was a time when a decent fried fish sandwich, drive-through or carry-out, wasn't that hard to come by. Even some of the fast-food notables (Whataburger's What-A-Catch, Sonic, Burger King's BK Big Fish, Wendy's, MacDonald's, Jack-in-the-Box) had fairly decent renditions. Those days, alas, seem to be gone, and, I fear, inescapably behind us. I was moved the write this after discovering recently that Jack-in-the-Box had discontinued it's Moby Jack (sad if only for the loss of the name) and finding out that Sonic had reintroduced (looks as if it's one of those "limited time"menu items) its fish sandwich.

By "decent," I mean: fairly substantial, a nice (and real) filet (not "constituted from minced," lightly breaded and fried correctly so the fish is crispy, moist, flaky and relatively grease-less. These days, it seems as if the poor fish sandwich is a second or third thought, forsaken for chicken, wraps and salads. They're no longer substantial, no longer real filets, and rarely properly fried.

Before moving back home to Houston from Chicago a couple of years ago, what I have argued was the city's best fish sandwich was not far from my house, at Hagen's, a Swedish family-owned market/take-out operation that dated back to the 1950s. Their fish sandwich consisted of a nice-sized filet (that also LOOKED like a real filet, not a square of finely textured marine by-product) of cold-water fish (I believe it was Alaskan pollock), perfectly fried, and with a gargantuan bun overhang. (Hagen's also had incredibly toothsome smoked fish [chubs, salmon, whitefish, pike, sable, sturgeon and catfish; for a modest fee, they'd smoke your own Lake Michigan catch).

I actually had a dream last night about Hagen's fish sandwich.

I'd be greatly indebted for any suggestions about worthy fried fish sandwiches in the Houston area (I'm casting my net wide enough to encompass catfish, flounder, etc,, but I'd be particularly grateful for sightings/tastings of the classic-style cold-water fish version (pollack, cod, haddock, etc). And especially indebted for recommendations to the city's southeast (Hobby Airport to Galveston, Galveston Bay south of the Ship Channel to, say, Pearland), although no drive is out of the question.

(On a side note, I've pretty much abandoned by search for smoked fish in the Houston area; my dedicated fish smoker should arrive this Friday. But more about that later . . . . )

Apr 03, 2012
waderoberts in Houston

BBQ Fritos?

Yep. I have found them on-line, and have come dangerously close several times to ordering a case. After years of living all over the country and having Texas, Southern, and Cajun foodstuffs shipped to me, I finally adopted this pre-order test: If the shipping cost is as much or more than the cost of the item, my hankering may not be THAT bad. Of course, though, sometimes it is . . . .

Jun 26, 2011
waderoberts in Houston

Boudin in Houston - for you Jaymes

One of the best on-line boudin references (with ratings) I've found is boudinlink, a work in progress by a professor at the University of Louisiana in Lafayette:

http://www.boudinlink.com/

Like all ratings, as texasredtop mentions, they're relative and depend on a lot of personal subjectivities, but I have generally agreed pretty much the gradings.

Another terrific source is Boudin Trail, a work by the Southern Foodways Alliance at Ol' Miss:

http://www.southernboudintrail.com/

By the way, texasredtop is correct: the migrating Acadians didn't stop at the Sabine River and the TX/LA border during their migration following their expulsion by the British from Canada. Quite a few settled in southern East Texas.

O.K. A few personal local sources I like:

Perry & Sons Market and Grill (at least the Friendswood location) has excellent in-house-made frozen boudin:
http://www.perryandsonsmarketandgrill...

Burt's Meat Market in the Fifth Ward is top-notch:
http://www.burtsmeatanddeli.com/

and Pierson & Co. BBQ in Acres Homes, 5110 W. T.C. Jester, has great smoked boudin.

Jun 26, 2011
waderoberts in Houston

BBQ Fritos?

That's pretty much the one automated-like response I got from Frito-Lay. But why not BBQ Fritos in Texas, of all places?

Jun 26, 2011
waderoberts in Houston

BBQ Fritos?

Haven't tried Billie's or Nick's. I'm fond of the Abe's in Lake Charles, and I hit the Clear Lake City outpost often (I live close by). I don't recollect them making their own, but I recall decent frozen boudin (pork or shrimp or crawfish), either Savoie's or Poche's. I was happy with a few visits to Best Stop. I must say, though, that I've found the boudin at a lot of the small markets to vary in consistency, much like BBQ; there's the occasional off-day/off-batch.

Posting now to texasredtop's new Boudin in Houston thread.

Jun 26, 2011
waderoberts in Houston

BBQ Fritos?

For boudin, I like Cormier's and Boudin King in Jennings, Hebert's in Maurice, Floyd's and Ray's in Opelousas, Redlich's in Basile, Charlie's and T-Boy's in Mamou, Jennings and Opelousas have nice little airfields. I can fly in, pick up an ice chest full of boudin, and be back in Houston in under four hours. By car, they're all right off I-10.

Jun 24, 2011
waderoberts in Houston