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anywhere to eat half-way between little rock and st. louis, along US 67?

thanks for the suggestion! we've had to postpone till another year that portion of our trip (realized that with three young children, we had to reduce the mileage we were going to undertake), but i'll definitely keep this in mind for next time. anybody who can get creative with a burger is alright in my book.

Aug 03, 2013
mommyrock in Central South

6 days in Old Town at Second City... feed me and get me drunk!

i'm going to be chi town next week for a week-long immersion at second city. i'm staying at the hotel lincoln and will be on foot. so keeping me within a reasonable walk is preferred.

so where should i go to eat? i'll be by myself and don't want to spend a lot, especially since this will be several nights of eating out. i like food adventures, cheap eats, ethnic cuisine (indian/thai/bao/latin), and prefer fresh/interesting/quality over views/atmosphere.

i also want to drink on the cheap. my drink of choice is a margarita and i don't do beer at all, but i can be convinced to drink wine or other mixed drinks. i'll be by myself and would love to find cheap entertainment (live music/comedy) to go with that drink.

better yet, got an all-in-one place that will liquor me up, feed me well, and make me laugh? that would be a winner in my book!

Jul 17, 2013
mommyrock in Chicago Area

anywhere to eat half-way between little rock and st. louis, along US 67?

we're doing a road trip that will include lunch in little rock, a little touring, and then heading to st. louis with dinner to be eaten somewhere halfway between. that looks to be somewhere around pocahontas, arkansas, or poplar bluff, missouri.

please tell me it isn't a complete culinary wasteland out there...

Jul 13, 2013
mommyrock in Central South

Where do 'hounds go in Beaumont?

I wanted to update some things on this thread, as it seems so many of the places i suggested previously are closed.

first though, favorite upscale places now are finch hutton in nederland (even though chef ruiz is gone and took with it some personality, it still seems to be holding its own) and the grill in beaumont. both have their menus online.

we also like tibideaux's (also a former ruiz joint) in beaumont, as they seem to have gotten their act back together. for awhile, after ruiz got kicked out, it went to hell. horrible, horrible, horrible service, and the food was mediocre. but they seem to have gotten their footing back.

closed: goodfellaz and john's grill.

the building for john's grill is now occupied by the 3rd former ruiz restaurant, railway cafe. as i understand it, ruiz's ouster happened just before it opened. oh, you can tell. it has NONE of the atmosphere he brought to his other joints, the food is mediocre, and the service was some of the worst i've ever endured (i've eaten all over the world, so that is saying something). we won't be back there. a true shame, as we need a good breakfast place in town.

for sushi, we still love sake in port arthur or koi in beaumont. tonight though, we're going to check out the former ichiban in port arthur, now apparently called red door.

and if you really like good southeast food, join the "southeast texas foodies" group on facebook and help us build a little community!

Jul 13, 2013
mommyrock in Texas

anybody been to the house of blues in houston?

as it turned out, we were running way behind schedule, so we ended up just going the easy route and eating at the house of blues restaurant (crossroads). it was surprisingly good. maybe it was because my expectations were so low, but it was pretty tasty fare and didn't have that typical chain place sense of being stale. it wasn't the best ever and it was pretty pricey, but i'd certainly eat there again. i got the voodoo shrimp appetizer as my meal (we were in costume and mine was too tight to eat a big meal) and my husband got the juicy lucy burger. that i even remember the names of what we ate (after all the alcohol involved that night) means it must have been pretty good. ambiance isn't particularly special, but wasn't horrible.

Dec 30, 2012
mommyrock in Houston

anybody been to the house of blues in houston?

normally, we steer far away from the big chain restaurants, but on friday night we're going to a show at the house of blues and we're dressing in costume (burlesque). i think maybe the safest bet for not getting soooo many stares is by going where others may be doing the same.

so is it good? bad? mediocre? or are there much better restaurants in the immediate vicinity (we don't live in houston) that might also be in on the fun?

Dec 25, 2012
mommyrock in Houston

Arancini di Riso in Houston?

i'm craving arancini di riso (risotto balls) and will be heading in to houston tomorrow night for dinner. anybody know of any great italian places that have them?

Nov 08, 2012
mommyrock in Houston

Where do 'hounds go in Beaumont?

regarding the place on boston ave...

it is Finch Hutton. i just walked by there the other night and talked briefly to the owner (hadn't even heard of it until then). they just opened. i haven't tried the food yet, but it looks good. and a NICE, NEEDED change of pace for around here. i have this fantasy that nederland (where i live) could magically become this little foodie town. we did get fuzzy's taco place, which is surprisingly different and fresh, compared to all the schlocky mexican around here. but i want more. i think it could be so cool if this little town could support a few small, independent, really chow-worthy, destination places. is that too much to ask?

anyway, back to finch hutton. i haven't tried it yet. but it was reviewed in cat 5 very, very favorably. and here's their website with menu...

if anybody gets a chance to try it before i do, do let us know how it is!

Nov 01, 2011
mommyrock in Texas

Where do 'hounds go in Beaumont?

i need to update a couple of my comments.

first, la fiesta: don't bother. the last two times we went were utterly disappointing.

second, guidry's galley: closed.

Aug 24, 2011
mommyrock in Texas

Where do 'hounds go in Beaumont?

ok, this isn't exhaustive, so i'll add more as i think of them. we live in nederland, so many of my recommendations will be more midcounty-centric. but we used to live 12 miles from manhattan, so we knows us some chow.

first, avoid the stretch of mexican places along 69 from jimmy johnson to nederland avenue. there are SO many of them in such a short stretch and they are all unimpressive. i've named that stretch of 69 the "mediocre mexican mile."

but there is good mexican to be found. la casita out on highway 90 in beaumont is a little hole in the wall place on the edge of the city limits (or perhaps just beyond). REALLY good and authentic, but only open breakfast and lunch. we've also had pretty good luck at la fiesta on nederland ave (i think that is technically port arthur, but nederlandish). these are the only places i've found mole on the menu around here. there's a new place in nederland called fuzzy's that, while a chain out of fort worth, has a nice change of style and fresh flavors. nothing fancy, but cheap and the queso is good.

chaba thai on phelan in beaumont (the lucas location is good too, but i thought the food at pheland tasted fresher) is delish... eat the fish. we've eaten thai food all over the world, including incredibly fresh seafood in thailand. this is a pretty darn good substitute. seriously, try the fish.

for homecooking, al t's is good but a drive. in nederland, i've had some pretty tasty fare at guidry's galley (only their in-house made stuff... don't get anything they buy pre-made... you have to ask what that is) and bobbie's.

for seafood, i've been really surprised to find some really fresh and delish seafood at john's grill on twin city highway. but their hours are limited as well. and the popcorn shrimp at j martin's is similarly fresh and battered in-house. their regular shrimp would be fantastic, except that they don't clean the veins (just the popcorn shrimp). that just tastes nasty to me. AVOID baytown seafood!

for upscale, our new go-to place is goodfellaz. we've never even been slightly disappointed by anything on their menu and the service is the best we've had here. hands down, the service is above and beyond.

crazy thing, but go get the frito pie at uncle henry's tamale stand on lucas in beaumont. i never, in a thousand years, thought i'd recommend something as lowly and pedestrian as frito pie. but really, try it. don't turn your nose up at the nacho cheese sauce. just try it.

oh, and los compadres pupuseria on 25th street in port arthur. pupusas! in port arthur! good!

china inn in groves. if you like pedestrian, nasty, big buffet chinese places, this is not your place. i've never been disappointed by anything there.

go to larry's french market when you have out of town visitors. the food is good (not the best, but still quite respectable), but the real fun is getting a table near the dance floor where you can see the band. call ahead and know there will be a cover charge.

want indian? you're SOL. go to belanji market and get the ingredients and great guidance from the owners.

Jun 29, 2011
mommyrock in Texas

Found: Good Indian Fare in Beaumont @ Spice 6

Oh no! I asked my husband for Indian food from Spice 6 for Mother's Day. So he went today, ahead of time, to pre-order (things like samosas had to be ordered in advance). And they are closed! It is a sad, sad day in our house...

Apr 30, 2011
mommyrock in Texas

Best Boudain/Boudin Kolache in Mid-County/Port Arthur?

we love nick's boudain, though i prefer smoked boudain, which nick's doesn't offer. so often, we'll buy boudain there and bring it home and smoke it ourselves. that is seriously yum.

i can also report that sun donuts on twin cities hwy in nederland has good boudain kolaches. there's another donut place in nederland, donut palace that was just downright awful. i'll never, ever go back there again. blech.

so any boudain kolache suggestions for port neches, port arthur, or groves?

Aug 22, 2010
mommyrock in Texas

Found: Good Thai Fare in Beaumont @ Chaba Thai

So this is my second post on finding good ethnic food in what might otherwise seem to be the culinary wasteland of Beaumont, Texas.

OK, really, it isn't a wasteland. There's amazing southern, bbq, cajun, tex-mex, and seafood here, among other things. But we just moved back to Texas after 7 years just outside of NYC. Needless to say, we were a bit spoiled. And now we live in a town south of Beaumont where there's a real lack of interesting, ethnic cuisine.

I'd heard about Chaba Thai from a couple of people, so my husband and I got to check it out this afternoon. Going out to eat thai food is dangerous for us, as we've spent some time in Thailand and have had amazing, fantastic, fresh Thai food. So it is easy for us to be disappointed.

We most assuredly were not. For some silly reason, I always try the pad thai anytime I try a new thai place. It is my standard bearer, even though it has become a bit pedestrian. Their pad thai was quite good. And they brought a small bowl of chili pepper flakes so we could tailor the heat to our own tastes.

We also had the pla tod (pad fried tilapia) with vegetables and the garlic and chili sauce. It was delish! My husband couldn't stop eating it. It reminded us a lot of a meal we had in Ko Phangan, which was one of the best meals we've ever had. For dessert, we had the sticky rice that was also quite wonderful.

No, this wasn't as good as the food in Thailand. But it was still quite good and it was certainly some place we'd take even our foodiest of NYC friends if they came to visit. That is saying a lot.

Needless to say, we'll be back.

Chaba Thai Cuisine
4340 E Lucas Dr, Beaumont, TX 77708

Aug 21, 2010
mommyrock in Texas

Best Boudain/Boudin Kolache in Mid-County/Port Arthur?

Since moving to Southeast Texas, I've slowly been sampling the boudain kolaches in Nederland. So far, my favorite is at Happy Donuts on Nederland Ave., but this may also be due to the fact that they have a drive-thru. I love the donuts at Davis on 365, but don't care as much for their style of boudain kolache.

So any suggestions on where else I should try?

Oh, and if you've never had a boudain kolache, you're missing a little bit of heaven.

May 15, 2010
mommyrock in Texas

Found: Good Indian Fare in Beaumont @ Spice 6

My husband and I just moved from a NYC suburb to a suburb of Beaumont. Needless to say, we're going through a bit of culinary shock. (We're originally from Texas, but got quite spoiled in the northeast.)

So imagine my surprise when I found good Indian food here. And imagine my further surprise that it was at the mall!

I learned that if I order ahead, you can have anything from their fairly extensive menu of standard Indian fare. It was seriously fresh. I've been to India and Singapore (where the best Asian food can be found), so I can't say this was the best Indian food I've ever had. But even with that tough competition, Spice 6 still held up very well. I'll be craving it a lot now that I know it is here, especially the cashew-based chicken korma.

Spice 6 - CLOSED
6155 Eastex Fwy Ste 660, Beaumont, TX 77706

May 15, 2010
mommyrock in Texas

San Antonio - Best...

can't help with the other items, but we're in san antonio right now and found a REALLY outstanding bbq joint called dinky's. i'm planning on posting separately about it, but haven't gotten around to it yet. we tried the ribs (really tender, but still held to the bone, and none of that jerky-like surface that tells me it has been held too long), sausage (made in-house... couldn't stop eating it when i was already full), brisket (husband loved it... said it wasn't overly lean, which he thought gave it more flavor), and the chopped beef (so good, the baby dropped some on the floor and got down and ate it before i could stop him... and nobody in the restaurant could blame him). their bbq sauce (served on the side, meat is not pre-coated) was exactly as i like it... a perfect balance of spicy and sweet without being too thick or gunky. oh, and the husband loved that the sliced brisket sandwich was served on buttered texas toast, not plain hamburger buns. the beans and potato salad do their job, though i wouldn't write home about them.

it is a tiny joint and not easy to find, but we're hoping to head back before our vacation ends to try out their breakfast offerings. at that point, i'll do a full-blown review.

Dinky's BBQ House
114 N Weidner Rd Ste B, San Antonio, TX 78233

Dec 31, 2009
mommyrock in Texas

Great Mexican in Union County, NJ

this is in essex county, but not too far afield, so i thought i'd mention it. it is a hole-in-the-wall place called los braceros on scotland road in orange, just south of the 280 overpass. it is the best mexican we've had in nj. no alcohol, but you can byob. their chillequillas (i'm sure i'm misspelling that) and sopes are great and a nice change of pace from the usual mexican assortment of tacos and enchiladas.

i'm not a fan at all of picante (i know a lot of people who rave about it, but i found it to be bland, bland, bland) and jose's in new providence didn't knock my socks off either.

Georgie Porgie's BBQ, Clinton NJ

i'll definitely second this! we went camping for father's day at spruce run and stopped at georgie porgie's on our way home sunday. oh my, it was yummy! we had ribs, the pulled pork sandwich, and the brisket sandwich. we're from texas, so finding good bbq brisket is so rare up in new jersey. finding good bbq brisket is even rarer, so this was a great find. the baked beans were good, but nothing to write home about. but who cares? the meat is what it is all about!

the place is just a little shack with outdoor seating just north of the spruce run entrance. we don't live nearby (it is about a 45 minute drive for us), but anytime we're headed west on 78, we'll be stopping in.

talked to the owner who said he'd just opened a few months ago, but things were going well so far. also, said because of his water supply, won't be able to be open when it is too cold.

Jun 18, 2008
mommyrock in New Jersey