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James Cristinian's Profile

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New Orleans to Austin

Also assuming small children, Memorial City Mall has an old time merry-go-round at the entrance to the food court. The kids love it. Just off to the right is Berryhill Baja Grill with unlimited chips and salsa and pretty good Tex-Mexish food plus, free soft serve ice cream, and the parents can get an adult beverage if desired.

Brucesw, speaking of Nathan's there's one at the food court attached to a pretty decent fish & chips place that I want to say is Arthur Treacher's.

The favorite mall place by far is Chic-Fil-A plus the requisite McDonald's and Sbarro. Gessner exit about 3 miles west of 610 Loop West.

OP mentioned doughnuts and one exit before the mall on Bunker Hill, turn left for Houston institution Shipley's. Ask if they have freshly cooked glazed and you'll be hooked forever. I also love anything chocolate filled plus all the fruit and cream filled.

Texas favorite Whataburger is also at the Gessner exit a four iron north of I-10. Classic Texas burger with mustard, but if you want mayo or ketchup you'll have to ask. They'll make it anyway you want be it grilled onions or jalapenos. They also have real ice cream shakes.

http://www.memorialcitymall.com/

http://www.berryhillbajagrill.com/

about 14 hours ago
James Cristinian in Houston

New Orleans to Austin

Yep to Pappy's. A friend of mine eschews the Sheila Partin buns claiming they are too sweet. I like them and regular buns are available.

Agree on Freebird's. It's the only burrito I've ever eaten and was not impressed. We had some freebies at work and the youngsters were shocked I'd never had one. I grew up on Tex-Mex and burritos were not on the menu.

I love James Coney Island. My regular is an original no onions, one with. I don't get cheese but it's an individual thing.

I've heard many good things about Sam's but have never been.

1 day ago
James Cristinian in Houston

New Orleans to Austin

I'm really quite good with directions, proof reading is a different story. I delivered RXs in high school and can read a Key Map like a first grade reader. GPS, I don't need no stinking GPS. I also took lots of geography at Mighty Cougar High.

Actual, actually true directions tale. I called a business I was unfamiliar with. My final question, "Are you north or south of I-10?" Answer, "It depends on what direction you're coming from." Ok, gee, thanks.

1 day ago
James Cristinian in Houston

Barbecuing - Does ANYONE Think Of Food Safety When Grilling?

Well, he is still alive.

New Orleans to Austin

Just west, really west of 99 Ranch will be Houston's first PDQ chicken tenders opening June 7th. It's just east of the indoor skydiving place, can't miss it.

http://www.eatpdq.com/

1 day ago
James Cristinian in Houston

New Orleans to Austin

Yes I do, thanks.

1 day ago
James Cristinian in Houston

Pete Wells on Javelina.

Bad Tex-Mex in NYC, I'm shocked. Shocked!

Table Hogs and Coffee House Etiquette

We had a Houston police officer killed in the line of duty last night. A woman with whom I work with husband, also HPD was injured in a fight with a meth head Saturday night requiring hospitalization. Oh dear, the police have better things to deal with.

http://www.chron.com/news/houston-tex...

Table Hogs and Coffee House Etiquette

Hail kaleokahu! Hail!!

New Orleans to Austin

Going through Columbus assumes 1-10 to Columbus via TX 71 instead of US 290 to Austin. I would avoid 290 in Houston at all costs with construction going on and gridlock occurring at any time. I-10 is pretty new but can also melt down with an accident, avoid evening rush hours on the west side, morning rush hours on the east side.

May 19, 2015
James Cristinian in Houston
1

Barbecuing - Does ANYONE Think Of Food Safety When Grilling?

I have a friend who defrosts chicken, outside, in the sun, in the summer, in Houston. Houston in the summer is 5 months of relentless heat and humidity broken only by a welcome tropical storm, unless of course it camps out and dumps 20-40 inches of rain.

Sunshine842 can relate.

I brought my own top sirloin to grill that day, another friend brought his own meat also, and we washed and used our own utensils, needless to say his indoor hygiene is just as bad.

Bon Fayhr BBQ Buffet Tappan NY/NJ Border

An observation from far away Houston. We have an all you can eat BBQ place here. The Golden Corral/all you can eat crowd loves the place, anybody that knows anything about BBQ steers clear, pun intended. I went exactly once.

Don't get your hopes up too high, BBQ doesn't do well sitting on a steam table.

http://www.yelp.com/biz/larrys-bar-b-...

May 19, 2015
James Cristinian in New Jersey

New Orleans to Austin

About 70 miles east of Houston in Columbus there is Dairy Cone on Business 90 as you come in to town. The burgers are made of fresh hand formed meat, if you're a fan of bacon it's as good as it gets, plus all the frozen treats for the kids.

http://www.yelp.com/biz/dairy-cone-co...

May 18, 2015
James Cristinian in Houston

New Orleans to Austin

There are over one million Waffle House locations on that stretch of I-10. Every town has one, they're reasonably priced with something for everyone, plus if you can snag some places near the grill you get to watch some fast-action cooking!

Houston super chef Bryan Caswell likes to hire their cooks because of the pressure they deal with. He has/had one for a sous chef.

My favorites, waffles, ya think, hash browns, and ham, bacon, or sausage depending upon which way the wind is blowing. Eggs, I don't do eggs. It's a plus if you can bring in some fresh butter for the waffles.

http://www.foodandwine.com/contributo...

http://www.wafflehouse.com/waffle-hou...

May 18, 2015
James Cristinian in Houston

Helen - a new Greek restaurant

It's going to be in the old Khan's Deli place. That is going to be one small restaurant. I don't recognize any of the wine but if they have retsina, which they should, I'll give the place a shot.

May 17, 2015
James Cristinian in Houston
1

i am not planning to replace the dishwasher when it dies.

We love our dishwasher. It's great for storage.

large shrimp and grilling

That's how I do it and a brief marinade in olive oil, butter, and Cajun spices grilled 2 minutes max per side.

Lunch after redeye

I'd rather be served a long, luxurious lunch.

May 14, 2015
James Cristinian in Manhattan

How do you get the fine cooked ground beef texture?

Potato masher, don't you mean a bean masher? My wifeacita called this implement a bean masher growing up in the Texas Rio Grande Valley a driver and a four iron across the river from Mexico.

Yay!! New Sandra Lee TV show coming to ABC

When I was a wee lad my friend's mom made hamburgers in hot dog buns for some of the neighborhood kids. We thought it was the greatest thing since, well sliced bread.

Years later it dawned on me that she was probably out of hamburger buns or hot dogs.

Hidden gems

Thanks for posting about the fideo at Laredo. I have some leftover in the refrigerator for lunch tomorrow that I was on the verge of forgetting until your post. I got there a little before 11 the other day to beat the crowd and cooled my heels with a spicy fajita taco until the asado de Puerco was ready. I also got extra to take home.

I love Burt's, along with the boudain, chicken and dumplings, beef tips, gumbo, plus I'm probably leaving something out.

http://burtsmeatanddeli.com/deli.php

May 10, 2015
James Cristinian in Houston

Dictators' Dinners

Hitler was a vegetarian and also had a foul temper.

Supermarket music

Little Martha, very nice.

Please help me to learn to enjoy fish

I've caught bluefish in the Galveston surf and they were mushy when I was taking the hook out to throw them back. I catch them by accident when fishing for speckled trout, now there's a great fish if you can lay your hands on a freshly caught one.

May 10, 2015
James Cristinian in Home Cooking

Barbecue in Lockhart

I agree about the sides, and pretty much never order them, plus would never praise a BBQ joint based on sides. It's all about the meat.

May 09, 2015
James Cristinian in Texas

Barbecue in Lockhart

Luling is a short 15 miles south of Lockhart with City Market, not to be confused with Luling BBQ. I love the ribs, then the brisket and sausage in that order, but it's all good.

I Refuse to Eat Crawfish in a Restaurant

Good idea.

May 05, 2015
James Cristinian in Houston

I Refuse to Eat Crawfish in a Restaurant

I forgot to add that it turns out the pierogis were frozen, but everyone near us commented how good they were. I saw the boxes being unloaded and they said frozen product of Chicago. At least it's a great Polish town and not a Beijing or Atlanta.

I know the bartender at Polonia pretty well and I'll ask her if it's the same product they use. I'm curious.

May 05, 2015
James Cristinian in Houston

I Refuse to Eat Crawfish in a Restaurant

There is a fall festival September 19 & 20. The food was provided by Polonia Restaurant from across the street and home made desserts made by the church ladies.

We focused on the desserts having been to Polonia multiple times but did order a couple of items. The wifeacita got a bacon on a stick late Saturday and a kielbasa late Sunday. The bacon was a bit dried out by then but I saw someone eating one early Sunday and it looked excellent. The kielbasa was fantastic.

The cabbage rolls and pierogis were the favorites of the different groups coming and going at our table. Ironically the cabbage rolls were the one thing I wanted to try since I've never had them but they were out by the time we were hungry.

Ah the desserts. Our favorite Kremowka, also known as Napoleonka a Polish cream flaky pastry was eclipsed by a very fine tiramisu. We tried three different delicious cheesecakes, brought lots home and I just had a few bites of cheesecake.

We had big fun at the festival, it's the perfect size with good people watching, live music and folk dancing in ever changing colorful costumes.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Napoleonka

May 05, 2015
James Cristinian in Houston

I Refuse to Eat Crawfish in a Restaurant

Farley, the dead ones are a natural part of the process as it's very difficult for a restaurant or an individual such as myself to pick out all the expired crawfish before cooking. One of two per pound is normal but if there are more consistently I'd start looking for a new place.

I kept some warm for about an hour that I got at HEB. They were fine. If a batch is overcooked then you should have a problem with most or all of the crawfish.

All the places where I've had crawfish in Houston serve them hot and cooked to order. Warm crawfish would have me looking elsewhere.

Now, I had crawfish in New Orleans twice the spring before Katrina and they were warm to cool and not mushy. I was expecting hot and was not sure if this is how it's done there but was not satisfied. One of the places served pasteurized oysters which were vile. How can anyone do this to an innocent oyster? We're not talking tourist traps in the Quarter but places locals frequent.

May 04, 2015
James Cristinian in Houston