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James Cristinian's Profile

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Sous Vide Hamburgers

I cook frozen patties in an iron skillet medium/medium rare if I don't have fresh. Been doing it for 50 years but I assume I'm breaking some food rule.

about 22 hours ago
James Cristinian in Home Cooking

Pollo Feliz

I really want the place to succeed as I hate seeing a business close. The wifeacita suggests I/we should go back in a couple of months after they get the kinks out. I gave Pollo Campero two tries so why not. The road destruction on Long Point is not helping them as it was difficult to get there coming from the west.

My original destination was Pancho's Meat Market just to the west for carnitas which I love along with their asado de Puerco. The place was packed at 1 pm Saturday and being on a lunch break passed it by. I've also got some good fajitas from the meat market to cook at home.

Don't let the outside, or inside of this place scare you away, it's crowded for a reason. You'll also probably have to bus your own space among the limited dining area should you choose to eat in. A working knowledge of Spanish is a huge plus.

http://www.yelp.com/biz/panchos-meat-...

about 23 hours ago
James Cristinian in Houston

Chiles Rellenos - Meh?

Duffy, I wouldn't trust any Tex-Mex outside of Texas or Oklahoma.

Pollo Feliz

Went to the new Pollo Feliz, happy chicken, for lunch today in the old Pollo Campero spot on Long Point. It's a chain out of Mexico with 2 or 3 locations here. They do grilled chicken with tortillas and salsa and lots of sides. I got a two piece breast and wing with two sides and a drink for 8 bucks and change drive out price. The chicken was very salty with the breast being dry, but the wing was a little better. The mac and cheese I got was watery and not very cheesy and the red salsa also watery. When I told the wifeacita about it she said she was sorry I got sad chicken. Que triste. I don't see this place lasting long with an El Norteno grilled chicken bus across the street, another just down the road and multiple grilled chicken places in Spring Branch, but would hate to see them close.

2 days ago
James Cristinian in Houston

Hot Dogs... Grilled, Boiled, Steamed... or really?... Microwaved?

Grilled to bursting with Whataburger mustard.

Giant Dave & Buster's Opening in Pelham Manor!

I live in Houston and went about a year ago on a 50 dollar freebie. It's what the others said, sports bar food and loud. I asked if they had pinball machines and the young waitress said without sarcasm, "What's pinball?" Never went back.

Top Chef Season 13 Is Heading To...

I live in Texas and found it unwatchable so I quit on the show. The stereotypes were predictable and sickening. The largest city, Houston with arguably the best food was excluded. The word on the street was they didn't want to pay Top Chef's extortion fee.

This one is for you Doobs. Roegel's BBQ.

Your.

Apr 20, 2015
James Cristinian in Houston
1

This one is for you Doobs. Roegel's BBQ.

From the Chronicle and allegedly close to you executive office:

http://www.chron.com/entertainment/re...

Vanished Restaurant you miss most

Great photo!

Apr 19, 2015
James Cristinian in Houston

Coming for work, dinner recommendations

I'm interested in the pits, and the food of course.

Apr 17, 2015
James Cristinian in Houston

Complain or Shut Up?

This whole discussion reminds me of too many Gordon Ramsay
"Kitchen Nightmares" that I've seen, or Robert Irvine's, plus some of the shows originating in Canada. The lazy "chef" relies on chef mike, the microwave, and frozen, pre-made, or brought in food. The kitchen is often filthy and the stored food is unhealthy. The management is clueless and in denial. Run away and do not look in the mirror.

mcd s chicken strips?

Strike three hundred and fifteen from the Golden Arches, even the fries are terrible now and my last filet-o-fish a year ago was luke warm. No mas, I give up.

Apr 12, 2015
James Cristinian in Chains

Federicksburg and Texas Hill Country

While I've never been, driven away by an ice storm in a failed attempt coming from Houston, Cooper's in Llano is about as Texas as it gets.

http://www.coopersbbqllano.com/

You might also try the Austin board for day trip recommendations as the Texas board is sleepy at best, the Austin board being the most active in the state.

Apr 11, 2015
James Cristinian in Texas

Aaron Franklin and Adam Perry Lang Unleashing Ultra-Exclusive BBQ Pop-Up

Anybody can buy a brisket, but can they make it taste like Texas' best, be it Franklin's or scores of other places?

What does New York have that LA doesn't?

Tony, all the shouting, then normal conversation, followed by more shouting made your post unreadable. I quit early on, point did not get across.

Do you hold Grudges against Restaurants? And for how long?

Grudge held for almost 20 years at a popular Houston crawfish place/sports bar. Strike one, future wifeacita and two friends go with really poor service and good crawfish. El strike dos, same group and unable to get any service of any kind after too long so we left and got better crawfish and real service at a nicer place. Final straw, I went by myself on a slow day after crawfish season and ordered a crab dish. The new waitress brought out the wrong dish, stuffed crab no problem, I'll eat it. The crab was cold inside so I send it back. It comes back cold again and a third time the manager slams the again cold dish on the table. I call him an a-hole loudly, respectfully leaving out the SS since there were other patrons nearby.

I pay the bartender for my drink and a tip never to return again. The bartender was very nice, we were familiar as I'd often stop in for a few drinks after work. Turns out the food side is run from a different company than the bar.

I looked the place up on Yelp and the terrible service exists to this day.

http://www.yelp.com/biz/big-woodrows-...

Do you hold Grudges against Restaurants? And for how long?

Bingo. Me too.

Searching for deep-pit BBQ

Real Tex-Mex barbacoa cooked in a pit in the ground uses a cow's head wrapped in burlap and slow cooked. This is what my wifeacita grew up eating in the Rio Grande Valley a driver and a four iron from Mexico. I looked at Jake's menu and nothing on it resembles the Tex-Mex I grew up eating. Minor rant over.

Apr 09, 2015
James Cristinian in California

Spring Water Cafe

Sounds like a Wifeacita kind of place. I'll let her know....if she ever gets back from the Valley.

Apr 06, 2015
James Cristinian in Houston

SW Houston Chow - Trudi's Birria de Chivo

Nope, I was seriously, hopelessly, udderly dumbfounded, and confused. I'm ok now.

On a lighter or darker note, I sure do miss Westbury Square, especially the cheese shop.

Apr 06, 2015
James Cristinian in Houston
1

Closeby small town places where you like to eat for a mini roadie

Brucesw, how is Corkscrew, sounds intriguing? A mini- roadie doesn't even mean leaving the city limits given the size of this city and my disdain for freeways. Some of my favorite destinations are on the E/SE side and from my W/NW abode can take an hour using side streets.

Favorites in no particular order:

Frenchy's, chicken and red beans and rice w/Andouille.

Merida on Navigation, chorizo nachos and refried beans on the side, chips and salsa.

El Jardin Harrisburg on the far east side, carnitas and anything grilled.

Burt's Meat Market on Lyons, chicken and dumplings, beef tips, gumbo, red beans and rice, boudain, stop it, I can't take it anymore. To go only.

I'm intrigued by Mandola's Deli on Leeland but haven't been.

http://www.burtsmeatanddeli.com/deli.php

Apr 06, 2015
James Cristinian in Houston

SW Houston Chow - Trudi's Birria de Chivo

Duh! Thanks, ironically my parents almost bought the Bee and Are in the shopping center brucesw brought up.

Apr 06, 2015
James Cristinian in Houston

Closeby small town places where you like to eat for a mini roadie

The trip was an impromptu accident with one of our favorite chicken places in Brenham having turned Chinese, the next town was Giddings with a Golden Chick I believe, saw the sign for San Marcos and went all in with a trip to Gil's Fried Chicken.

We spent the night and the wifeacita go to do some shopping at one of the outlet malls. That town has exploded in population since I used to spend summers there in the late 70's. There's literally three times the people, traffic in town is a nightmare, and I-35 is the home to every chain restaurant known to man. I won't be going back.

Apr 06, 2015
James Cristinian in Houston

Closeby small town places where you like to eat for a mini roadie

I have seen that blog, have it saved to favorites and check it out every couple of months or so.

Apr 06, 2015
James Cristinian in Houston

SW Houston Chow - Trudi's Birria de Chivo

I'm even more confused about B&R, don't know what it is and as a kid living ten minutes from Westbury Square don't remember B&R, whatever it is. Help!?!

There's a you know your from the Valley if, and one of the answers is you took your honeymoon in San Antonio. You guessed it, the Wifeacita is from the Valley and we honeymooned there. She's down there now as we speak. We got married outdoors at a small ranch in between Shiner and Halletsville with lots of Hispanics, rednecks and at least two gay friends. How Texas is that.

Apr 06, 2015
James Cristinian in Houston
1

New HEB for Bellaire

If they raze that center it means they will take out Hong Kong Chef, my favorite hole in the wall Chinese place. Shrimp Kew, great egg rolls, and the best won ton soup I've ever had. I hope all the doctors and lawyers enjoy their new HEB.

Maybe that Niko serves better food than the home base.

Apr 04, 2015
James Cristinian in Houston

SW Houston Chow - Trudi's Birria de Chivo

Yep, the large space was A&P. The pool place was Wacker's. When I was a tike we went to get a Christmas tree at A&P and my cat got in the trunk of the car before we went for the tree. When we opened the trunk at the A&P the cat, Benny, shot out like a rocket across Beechnut, never to be seen again. The next morning Benny showed up after navigating a good mile while being locked in the trunk. I was one happy little kid.

There was a Chuc Wagon burger place just east on Bissonnet that is now a papusaderia, at least last time I was there.

Apr 04, 2015
James Cristinian in Houston

SW Houston Chow - Trudi's Birria de Chivo

Bruce, I grew up not far from that shopping center and here's a mid-60's sample of what was there. Anchor, A&P grocery store, a barber shop, Wacker's five and dime, Bigwick liquor, and a pharmacy that had a soda fountain and great burgers. I can't remember that pharmacie's name and it's driving me nuts.

Apr 04, 2015
James Cristinian in Houston

SW Houston Chow - Trudi's Birria de Chivo

What is B&R? Brown and Root?

Apr 04, 2015
James Cristinian in Houston