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ChrissieH's Profile

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Houston - Ostioneria Mar Azul

Just west of 59. http://maps.google.com/maps?oe=utf-8&...

And if any of you try it, be sure to report back.

Jan 23, 2009
ChrissieH in Houston

Best Restaurant Not in a Major Texas City - Texas

Bummer. But on the other hand, I tried Florida's Kitchen in Livingston and thought it was so good that I went out of my way on a recent road trip just to eat there again.

Jan 21, 2009
ChrissieH in Texas

Best Restaurant Not in a Major Texas City - Texas

Did you see the list of the 40 Best Small-Town Restaurants in Texas Monthly?

Here's a link:

http://www.texasmonthly.com/preview/2...

Jan 21, 2009
ChrissieH in Texas

Roadtrip from Dallas to Santa Fe!

Don't have any specific recommendations for restaurants, but when asked the quintessential New Mexico question, "Red or Green?" I'd advise you to say "Christmas" until you figure out which you prefer.

Also, you really must take the Turquoise Trail either coming or going. http://www.turquoisetrail.org/

Jan 21, 2009
ChrissieH in Texas

Houston - Ostioneria Mar Azul

Has anyone else tried this place on Belfort? I've been twice now and love it. Good MexMex, with wonderful ceviche, salsas, everything I've tried. Also authentic drinks like aquas frescas, horchata. The place is big, sparsely-decorated, clean. Each time I was there, I was the only white face, and my waitresses spoke no English. The restaurant is heavily patronized with workers on their breaks, families, etc. The tejano music on the jukebox is so loud that it's a little annoying, but it really feels like you're somewhere in interior Mexico. It's my new favorite restaurant in Houston. But it must be a 'hidden gem' because I couldn't find out anything about it anywhere. I just kept driving by and decided to stop in. Gracias a dios.

Jan 21, 2009
ChrissieH in Houston

Best BBQ in Texas

I like Artz Ribs, too, but just for ribs. I don't care for their brisket at all. So for people looking for the 'best BBQ in Texas,' I'd have to add that caveat. Get the ribs. Skip the brisket. There's MUCH better brisket to be had in Texas.

Jan 21, 2009
ChrissieH in Texas

V's Thai Restaurant & Bar - excellent Thai in Houston

How about Gourmet Thai on Richmond? I just moved to Houston and have been looking for good Thai. I just tried it and thought it was pretty good, although much too salty for me.

And, whoever posted that Nit Noy isn't it, sure is right. What a disappointment.

Jan 21, 2009
ChrissieH in Houston

New Zion Missionary Baptist Church BBQ

I've eaten there several times. It's a great stop on the highway between Dallas & Houston. I love the food, especially the homemade pies. And the story about how it got its start is heart-warming, with Annie Mae Ward just making barbecue sandwiches for her husband in the front yard while he was painting the church. Be sure to read the newspaper clippings that decorate the walls.

But check before you go, because the hours are limited. It boasts a lot of nicknames, including "Church of the Holy Smoke," and they say they're not open on Sundays because, "Sundays are for saving souls."

Here are some reviews and information: http://www.barrypopik.com/index.php/n...

Aug 24, 2008
ChrissieH in Texas

Black's, Lockhart - First Visit

Thanks for the report. Always fun to read about my favorite meal - BBQ in Central Texas. I've tried them all and found Black's moist brisket to be the most consistant.

Aug 08, 2008
ChrissieH in Texas

Classic Reubens in Houston?

Thanks. Will do.

Aug 07, 2008
ChrissieH in Houston

Classic Reubens in Houston?

I will. Thanks for the offer! Which reminds me - are there ever CH Houston get-togethers?

Aug 07, 2008
ChrissieH in Houston

Classic Reubens in Houston?

That's a great suggestion. I never would have thought of that. So now I've got two likely suspects - Doyle's & Specs. Hope springs eternal.

Aug 05, 2008
ChrissieH in Houston

Classic Reubens in Houston?

I'm in Tanglewood, and actually, had such a hankerin' for a 'real' Reuben that after reading the suggestions on the board, got on the phone and called both Doyle's and Mason Jar to find out where they are, and if either are open on Sunday.

Doyle's isn't, but I'm sure going to try it next - probably sometime this coming week.

Aug 03, 2008
ChrissieH in Houston

Classic Reubens in Houston?

Kahn's sounds good and I'm sure I'll be giving it a try, but not for the Reubens. I'm not interested in the mile-high variety. I'm still looking for the original, authentic, thin and crispy grilled sandwich.

Did try Mason Jar and that ain't it, either. Theirs is melted open-faced on toasted bread, not grilled after assembly. Think 'grilled cheese sandwich,' not toasted bread.

It wasn't bad. I ate it all. And it was WAY ahead of the Fountain View Cafe's Reuben in that at least it was edible.

But as of right now, the only authentic thin crispy grilled Reuben Sandwich I can find in Houston is in my own kitchen.

I'll keep looking!

Aug 03, 2008
ChrissieH in Houston

Classic Reubens in Houston?

Thanks to everyone! I figured there must be someone here in this great metropolis that serves almost anything. It's just a matter of finding it, eh?

Aug 03, 2008
ChrissieH in Houston

Classic Reubens in Houston?

Howdy y'all. I just moved to Houston and am wondering if it's possible to get a classic Reuben Sandwich in Houston. I mean the kind most-likely invented and sold at the coffee shop of the Blackstone Hotel in Omaha, where I first encountered it some 40 years ago.

It's not the piled-high-with-corned-beef version found at Katz's. It's a thin, grilled sandwich, with more the texture of a grilled cheese sandwich. You slice your rye, smear on some Thousand Island, stack it with a flat layer of sauerkraut, several slices of corned beef, Swiss cheese, and then you GRILL THE ENTIRE SANDWICH. The cheese melts, sealing the sandwich together.

The result is a fairly thin, crunchy, and yes slightly greasy sandwich packed full of flavor.

Does anyone in Houston offer one like that?

Aug 02, 2008
ChrissieH in Houston

preliminary report - pressed sandwich place on 5th

Thanks, DK. I might be moving to the Slope and am looking for a few local eateries that are good, quick and cheap.

Jul 02, 2008
ChrissieH in Outer Boroughs

preliminary report - pressed sandwich place on 5th

So it's been six years. Whatever happened to the place? Did they make it?

Jun 22, 2008
ChrissieH in Outer Boroughs

beans are boring!

I know exactly what you mean. I´ve got some really good bean recipes that I´ve always used to cook the average bag of store-bought beans. But you never know how long those beans have been lying around in that bag. I think it´s often even a year or more from the time they were picked until the time I brought home that bag. I also ordered from Rancho Gordo, and was stunned at the difference freshness makes. In fact, I don´t usually waste their beans with a "recipe." I´ve found that just cooking them with a little salt and garlic is all you need.

Oct 30, 2007
ChrissieH in Home Cooking

Best Austin tamales?

Like everyone else, I used to buy our Christmas tamales at Green & White Grocery but since they closed, now make the trek out to Bee Cave and the original Rosie's Tamale House. We usually get several dozen of the 'spicy' and several dozen of the 'mild.'

The original Tamale House is a small shack on Hwy 71, just across the highway from the larger restaurant.

Nov 30, 2006
ChrissieH in Austin

BBQ Hound`s First Texas BBQ Pilgrammage to Austin

You say that you make your own brisket "and clod," so probably I can't talk you out of ordering the clod but I personally think that smoking works best with fattier cuts.

So I'd agree with others that have suggested you order your brisket "fatty" or "wet"....

And skip the clod. Get a couple of slices of the prime rib, medium rare.

Heaven.

I'd also agree with others that you skip the Salt Lick.

(Unless you're traveling in a big chartered bus with a few kegs of beer and 45 of your closest friends and you're planning on marrying one of them that night. In that case, it's a hoot.)

Nov 17, 2006
ChrissieH in Texas

Austin 12/1-12/5 San Antonio 12/5-12/7

~~ "Perhaps there are matters of degree, but eating what one finds delicious is more important than eating what other people think is authentic." ~~

Boy, do I ever agree with this statement. Perfectly said.

Nov 11, 2006
ChrissieH in Texas

bbq near U. of Austin

"...this sort of hate?" Huh? I didn't read where anyone said that they "hate" it. I certainly don't hate it.

I suppose that like most things, what constitutes a "landmark" is up to the beholder, but if I'm judging (and I am) by the standards that most people use to determine a central Texas BBQ "landmark," I think it falls short. Waaaay short. I mean, seriously, it's not even in the same league.

I agree with you (and I said as much) that it IS a "great place to catch a show." It's fun, and I'd recommend it for that. But NOT when somebody specifically asks where they can get good BBQ. The BBQ is decidedly mediocre and absolutely not the reason to go there.

My recommendation to anyone coming to Austin and wanting great BBQ is to go to a true BBQ "landmark" and get some great barbecue.

And then go to Stubb's for a great "show...and overpriced beer."

Sincerely,
Food Hipster

Oct 24, 2006
ChrissieH in Austin

Chile con Queso in Austin

When I get a craving for real Mexican Queso Flameado, I go to La Palapa. http://www.lapalapaaustin.com/index.htm

Oct 23, 2006
ChrissieH in Austin

Central Texas small town restaurants - any recommendations?

Lordy. I feel personally responsible. That sounds NOTHING like the shrimp I drive over an hour each way to get. I'm kind of afraid that either they've changed cooks, or something else awful has happened.

Oct 23, 2006
ChrissieH in Texas

bbq near U. of Austin

~~ "Stubbs is for out-of-towners or those still in possession of their BBQ cherry...music is ok, but the food? I didn't even like it when Stubb was still around, sorry." ~~

I agree wholeheartedly with this. Stubb's is fun for the music when somebody good is on stage. But the food? Thoroughly below average, especially when compared with other central Texas barbecue.

And I really do not get all this "Austin icon" and "local landmark" stuff. Stubb's opened there in 1996. 1996! That's TEN YEARS! Certainly you can open a new restaurant and have it be good and worth patronizing, but I sure don't think you gain "icon" and "landmark" status in ten years. I mean, compare that to central Texas 'cue joints that opened around the turn of the LAST century. Over 100 years serving barbecue. Now THAT'S "icon" and "landmark" status.

Oct 23, 2006
ChrissieH in Austin

How are these places? (all near Austin)

Well said, Kent. And you're right that "some think Lockhart is better." I'm one of them. Although boy is it a close call and, as we've often discussed on these boards, because you're dealing with an organic product and other variables, on any given day, one or the other can be better or worse than it was the day before.

But my personal, considered, recommendation to you, Mr. DeMann, is to go to Lockhart. Go to Smitty's. Park around back like the locals do and step right in through that back door. Tour the whole building. Get just a couple of slices of fatty brisket, and medium rare sirloin, and a hot link. Then to Black's for more brisket and another hot link. And then to Kreuz. Then decide which of the three was your personal favorite, and go back and get some more to pack up and take home.

You simply cannot go wrong with this scenario. If you drive over to Taylor, and you unfortunately just happen to hit Louie Mueller's on an 'off day,' or you get a mediocre piece of meat, or if you arrive too late and they're all sold out (which certainly does happen), you be screwed.

Oct 17, 2006
ChrissieH in Austin

Austin - Hoover's and Threadgill's - still good?

I'll disagree with these sweeping, all-or-nothing "pronouncements" that unfortunately are stated as though they were facts, and not simply one person's opinion.

First, Hoover's is indeed "still pretty good," but it's not indisputably "Certainly the best Southern cuisine restaurant in the city." There are several others that also are "still pretty good" and, some people think, better than Hoover's, including the Stallion, and Tony's Southern Comfort Cafe. And when Dot is cooking, she beats them all, I think.

Threadgill's DOES "serve good food." I, and others, will tell you that it's not as good, and certainly not as consistent, as it has been in the past. You cannot count on everything being good. The CFS, for example, is mediocre. And Threadgill's definitely is something of a tourist trap, but the atmosphere is still fun, and some of the food still plenty tasty. I enjoy the vegetable platters, and the fried chicken livers with gravy. And Threadgill's does a lively business, so somebody besides me must think that the food is edible.

Hoover's probably never will be a "tourist trap" as there's no real reason for tourists to seek it out, like there is for Threadgill's.

If I'm taking out-of-town guests out for a bit of Austin history, I'll take them to Threadgill's and try to guide their menu choices.

If I'm taking out-of-town guests somewhere strictly for a tasty plate of southern comfort, I'll take them to Tony's.

If they're going to be around for more than a week, we'll work in Hoover's and the Stallion, too.

Although if I can find somewhere where Dot is serving food, we'll just go there three times.

I mean, you know...it's all subjective. You'll be making a serious mistake if you read any post and think that's the definitive word, and that there's any agreed-upon consensus of opinion when it comes to restaurants.

Because there isn't.

Oct 15, 2006
ChrissieH in Austin

Central Texas small town restaurants - any recommendations?

"Avoid bbq joints"?

Well, okay.

Here are a few of my favorites. There are the most famous ones, like the Blue Bonnet Cafe in Marble Falls (did you know that it's named after the hat and not the flower?), the Stagecoach Inn in Salado, and Royer's in Round Top. Also wonderful is the Hill Top B&B and Cafe in Fredericksburg.

And the Sunset Restaurant on the square in Blanco.

Don't know if any of you like fried shrimp, but I really do, when it's done right. And that's getting almost impossible to find. Not many places still bread their own shrimp. Most restaurants just buy it already breaded and frozen, from some place like Costco or Sysco. The breading is heavy and gummy, and the shrimp are small and it all tastes exactly the same as the last mediocre place where you had bad shrimp.

But the Sunset Restaurant still breads their own jumbo shrimp and it is delicious. And they also still have baked potatoes on the menu - another item that's getting harder and harder to find. I drive over to Blanco about once a month just to have that good fried shrimp and a baked potato.

Also, you can ask generations of college students that drove from the Houston area up to Austin or College Station where are the best sandwiches, baked goods, kolaches on HWY 71 and they'll answer without hesitation: Weikel's in La Grange.

It's still owned by the family that used to own the famous Bon Ton Cafe, and the food is terrific. It's takeout only, though, and it's located in a gas station, so you'll think at first you might be at the wrong place. But the crowds of folks jamming in to place their orders before the good stuff is all gone quickly lets you know you've found Weikel's.

Oct 04, 2006
ChrissieH in Texas

Las Manitas First-Timer

What do you mean, "Now that the clock is ticking"? I'm not currently in Austin, so I'm concerned... Is something untoward happening to Las Manitas?

Sep 29, 2006
ChrissieH in Austin