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New to Katy area... suggestions, please!

New restaurant in Katy - Pho 3D. It's on S. Mason, across from Las Tarascas and in the same strip mall as Duke's Tavern.

I ate there today. Didn't try the pho yet but had the charbroiled pork with rice. The pork was very tasty but didn't like the texture as well as Pho Saigon's version, which is thinner and more tender. It's probably a matter of personal preference but mine would be for Pho 3D to run their pork through the tenderizer one more time.

Also had a crispy spring roll and an avocado smoothie and they, too, were very good.

All in all, like the place pretty well and I'm very happy to see it open. Not only is it always a good thing for more restaurants to come to Katy but, my auto mechanic's shop (Exhaust Pros Plus) is around back in the same strip mall, and I really like having a place to go while my car is being serviced. A place to go, that is, that doesn't involve me having to dodge traffic as I sprint across S. Mason.

http://www.pho3d.com/

2 days ago
Jaymes in Houston

New to Katy area... suggestions, please!

Palma de Cera in Katy has "Latin cuisine." They don't have any specifically Panamian items on their regular menu but, since we lived in Panama for several years, developed a fondness for Panamian food and the Colombian dishes we've had here are very similar.

Plus, I've chatted with them about Panama and they've told me that, with a little notice, they'll be happy to make us anything we'd like.

Suggest you give them a try:
http://www.palmadecerarestaurant.com

As far as what might be available in Houston itself, don't know.

Nov 22, 2014
Jaymes in Houston

Where are you buying your turkey, or other main course this year.

Back when I was cooking for a large family and on a budget I always bought at least three extra turkeys at Thanksgiving. I'd have the butcher at the store slice two of them in half, still frozen. They were great to have on hand during the rest of the year. Sometimes I would put some cornbread dressing into that big glass baking dish we all have, put a turkey half on top and roast it. Often in the summertime, I'd cook a half out on the grill and serve it with a cool, crunchy cranberry and apple salad.

And for special occasions (sadly, funerals come immediately to mind; I had a lot of elderly relatives in those days), I'd take the whole one to a local bbq joint and have them smoke it for me.

There's nothing like taking advantage of Thanksgiving loss-leaders to help out a thrifty mom's budget.

Hot Tamale's (not Mexican)

I think I might have some really good news for you.

The folks at CC's Hot Tamales are working on their storefront location in Katy. They are from the Mississippi Delta, so it's realistic to hope for the best.

You can call them for more info at 832-768-9826.

Website at ccshottamales.com

Nov 19, 2014
Jaymes in Houston

New to Katy area... suggestions, please!

Wanted to tell you I tried that fried chicken wings appetizer and you're right - it was wonderful. I ate every bite including all that crispy crunchy skin. Can't do that too often. But I enjoyed ignoring my inner "that's not good for you" voice for a change.

And, speaking of Chinese, can't believe I forgot to mention T Jin. I definitely like it as well as any other Chinese restaurant out here, and maybe better. The steamed pork dumplings are the best in town. Also love the mo shu pork, hot & sour soup, etc. In fact everything I've tried. It's in the same complex as that HEB on Pin Oak, just west of Katy Mills.

http://katytjin.com

Nov 04, 2014
Jaymes in Houston
1

Delivery in Austin to help out a friend

You sound like an awesome friend! You undoubtedly will get much better (and quicker) advice if you post your query on the Austin board:
http://chowhound.chow.com/boards/61

Nov 03, 2014
Jaymes in Texas

cookie recipe

Don't have it. Didn't see it. But I have absolutely no doubt whatsoever that if you contact the newspaper they will be able to retrieve it for you. You can do this the old-fashioned way by telephoning them and asking to speak with the food editor, or by going to their website and doing a search.

Nov 03, 2014
Jaymes in Texas

Help a Boston CH Have Great Food in TX !

I don't know your route but, if you're driving between Austin and Houston, I'd very strongly suggest (actually, I'd insist, if it were not impolite) that you do as every single Texan that drives that route has undoubtedly done at least once, and probably much more than once, and that's stop in at Weikels in La Grange.

http://www.weikels.com

This bakery/sandwich shop is run by the same folks that owned the Bon Ton Cafe - a Texas legend for generations. (In fact, if you do even the most cursory bit of research into the history of La Grange, you'll discover that the entire town was a Texas legend for generations - for a different sort of 'Bon Ton' other than that available at the Bon Ton Cafe.)

You mentioned sandwiches at lunchtime. At Weikels, you can get sandwiches made to order or, better, our famous combination of bread and sausages that some of us call 'sausage kolaches' but that the 'what-is-and-what-is-not-a-kolache' police call a 'sausage roll.'

Also at Weikels, you should buy some 'everybody-agrees-are-kolaches' kolaches.

They will be just perfect for in-car snacking as you cruise along and wonderful to heat up for breakfast in your hotel room.

And, while we're talking kolaches, because you and I have not known one another that long, I have no clue as to whether or not you're familiar with our beloved pastry so, in case you are not, here's a quick primer from Texas Monthly:

http://www.texasmonthly.com/story/we-...

If you're driving between Dallas and Austin, chances are good that you'll be on I-35. Just north of Waco is the little town of West, famous for kolaches.

The place you hear most about is the "Czech Stop" because it has the catchy name and the most visible location, right on I-35.

But folks in the know drive on into town a couple more blocks, and go to either Village Bakery, or Gerik's Ole' Czech Bakery.

Also in West is Nemecek Brothers Meat Market - an old-fashioned butcher shop that's been there forever - it opened in 1896. When I lived in Austin and frequently drove up to visit relatives in Dallas, I was always under strict orders to be sure to bring enough Nemecek Brothers ring baloney for everyone. My family first developed their fondness for that ring baloney back in the 1930's when my uncle worked in the wholesale division of Community Coffee and Nemecek Brothers was on his route.

http://www.texashighways.com/food-dri...

Oct 25, 2014
Jaymes in Texas

Help a Boston CH Have Great Food in TX !

In Houston, I'd definitely agree with James Cristinian's excellent recommendations, and emphasize that, in my opinion, Hugo's is a "do not miss." If you're lucky enough to be in Houston on a Sunday, Hugo's Sunday Brunch will give you a feast you'll talk about for years. And it's unique to Houston - not something easy to find anywhere else.

Open about a year is Caracol, which some folks are calling, "easily the best Mexican seafood restaurant in the nation."

http://caracol.net

Oct 24, 2014
Jaymes in Texas

New to Katy area... suggestions, please!

Yes that kaya is expensive to order - but way cheaper than a ticket to Singapore! So I don't mind.

Oct 24, 2014
Jaymes in Houston

John Mueller BBQ in Houston This Weekend

I don't think you have to. I think they attach themselves.

Oct 24, 2014
Jaymes in Houston
1

New to Katy area... suggestions, please!

Funny that this thread now has recommendations for both dining with and without children, but since you mentioned Dekkers, MKAbel, want to tell EMDizzy (Is it just me or has anyone else noticed that the poster dining with kids is 'Dizzy' while the one without is 'Abel'? Sounds about right to me.) that Dekkers also has a sandbox/playground for kids.

Love sitting out on that deck on cool autumn nights with the fire pit blazing. Utterly sublime.

http://dekkersmesquitegrill.net

Oct 23, 2014
Jaymes in Houston

New to Katy area... suggestions, please!

Well, the Lupe Tortilla mention in this thread was easy to overlook. It didn't get a lot of emphasis because this OP mentioned not wanting to deal with hoards of children and, due to that playground, it can be a real zoo there. I don't like dealing with it and I'm one of the ones traveling with a passel of little kids. So I doubted that this would be a good spot for a couple of grownups to "unwind." Lupe Tortilla always gets me pretty wound up and, like I said, my crew is contributing to the winding.

I'm sure there was a more "noticeable" review/recommendation for Lupe Tortilla in one of the Katy threads about dining with children.

Oct 23, 2014
Jaymes in Houston

New to Katy area... suggestions, please!

I'm pretty excited that Katy is getting all this attention! For years, it was just me talking to myself and that was no fun.

So, in the immortal words of Monty Python, now for something completely different: http://www.cajun-eats.com

If you imagine that you are lucky enough to have a bunch of redneck Cajun cousins that live on a farm on the outskirts of town, where the party never stops, you have an excellent idea what "Good Ole Boys" is like.

I found this open-air, y'all come, mudbugs-and-boudin-balls restaurant by accident. I was looking for an auto body shop and, upon seeing the haphazard parking lot jammed full of old pickups in various stages of disrepair, felt certain I had found it. I wormed my way in, parked my car, and set off to find someone to give me a repair estimate. I wasn't terribly surprised to hear music, even Cajun music, because that's pretty typical of mechanics while they work.

But then...

I smelled food.

That's when I realized this was no garage. It was a restaurant.

With its open-air picnic-table seating and rather raucous atmosphere, this definitely is not the quiet neighborhood restaurant where you go to relax after a hard day's work.

But it is the place to go for crawdads and buckets of beer and a hell of a good time. Cher.

Oct 23, 2014
Jaymes in Houston
1

New to Katy area... suggestions, please!

Thanks so much for getting back with us. I'm sure I was not the only one wondering how things were going.

Yep, Lupe Tortilla (a Texas chain) is pretty good for sure, and I mentioned it in my first post about Mexican restaurants out here, as did txpickyeater. But they have the best children's sandbox in town (as you no doubt noticed) so, you know what they say: "If you build it, they will come." And they did. And they certainly do.

You might give Ephesus a try for Middle-Eastern. It's a nice restaurant for dinner. At least stick your nose in and see whether or not the faint aroma of cigarette smoke from the bar next door is bothersome.

And, don't know if you've been to Phoenicia yet, but it's a Middle-Eastern super store. It's not in Katy, but the Westheimer location is not too far into town. Any fan of Middle-Eastern food absolutely must visit. It's heavenly. http://www.phoeniciafoods.com

PS to EMDizzy - I had to drive past the location of the Singapore woman's cafe, so stopped to inquire. Unfortunately, she is gone for good. However, want to point out that, this very evening, I enjoyed a tasty Indonesian-style chicken sate from Thai Cottage. That might hold you over between trips into town and the many excellent restaurants in Bellaire.

Oct 23, 2014
Jaymes in Houston

New to Katy area... suggestions, please!

RE Kaya toast - I have ordered kaya from these nice folks: http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00FVZ2...

It's not like sitting at Ya Kun having Kaya toast and Singaporean coffee, but it's not bad.

Oct 22, 2014
Jaymes in Houston

New to Katy area... suggestions, please!

Swinging Door has a great family atmosphere and is a lot of fun. It's a perfect place to take out-of-town guests. I always get the smoked turkey there.

And, since you mentioned kids, not sure if you're familiar with Rainforest Cafe, but it's easily my grandkids' favorite place. It's cheesy, kitschy, over-the-top (think Disney Jungle Cruise) and not inexpensive, but children love it. There's a location at Katy Mills Mall. Were it only me and thee going somewhere for a lovely lunch, I'd never mention it. But for keeping a passel of kiddos entertained, it's hard to beat.

Oct 22, 2014
Jaymes in Houston

New to Katy area... suggestions, please!

Wow, thanks for the compliment. I mean, you never know, do you? You sit here and think and type and try to be helpful, but you never know.

I need to do a brief bit of research, but there was a woman out here that offered Malay & Singaporean food. She was Malay, but her daughter lived in Singapore, and the woman would close her cafe for three months every year and go visit her daughter and buy supplies for the restaurant.

I thought her food was very good.

The only reason I'm hesitating with the recommendation is that the last time I tried to go there, it was closed, and somebody told me she had moved. I couldn't find her, but I didn't really give it my all. Now that I know somebody else is interested, I'll try harder.

Singapore, eh? Lovely and fascinating city. Don't guess you brought back any Kaya toast?

Oct 22, 2014
Jaymes in Houston

Local cane syrup?

Well, I'm pretty sure I've seen it at Revival Market. However as it's a Southern staple, I don't think it's hard to find here. My local HEB has it.

Besides, haven't you heard...?

There ain't no more cane on the Brazos. We done ground it all into molasses.

Oct 22, 2014
Jaymes in Houston

Pastured, local bacon/smoked sausage in Houston area?

Aren't the guys at Revival Market smoking/curing meats from their own farm?

Oct 17, 2014
Jaymes in Houston
1

New to Katy area... suggestions, please!

So, MKAbel, I'm sure I'm not the only one that is curious if you've been out & about in Katy...what you've tried, what you liked, what not so much.

Please check back in when you get a chance.

Oct 15, 2014
Jaymes in Houston

Is vegetarian-friendly barbecue an oxymoron?

Thanks, Bruce, for taking the time to write such a detailed and informative post. I don't get into town from the hinterlands all that often and so have not made it to Killen's. After this, I'd say it's pretty clear that I need to.

Is it like the central Texas meat markets (sells out early, etc) or more "restauranty"? Okay to go for dinner? I do drive in from Katy occasionally to meet my son for dinner. He actually worked at a small BBQ shack in south Austin when he was in high school and loves the stuff. Would dinner at Killen's be a good option for us?

Oct 03, 2014
Jaymes in Texas

New to Katy area... suggestions, please!

One more really interesting restaurant in Katy that we like a lot is Palma de Cera. They say they offer "Latin & South American" cuisine but, as the Palma de Cera (wax palm) is the national tree of Colombia, much of the focus is on Colombian food, which has been a favorite of ours since we lived in Panama.

Not sure how familiar you are with Colombian food but, for a quick lesson, you can order the "Bandeja Paisa," a combination plate featuring many of Colombia's "tipico" dishes. You get a lot for your money - sausage, beef, pork belly, beans, rice, plantains, avocado, eggs, and an arepa. The full plate at dinner definitely is enough for two. Or, you can order a half-plate, or the lunch portion. At dinner, it's $12.99 but, as I say, easily enough for two. The lunch plate is $8.95.

Also, they have those wonderful "batidos" (smoothies) so popular in Latin America. They make them with your choice of a wide range of fruits: banana, mango, guava, pineapple, strawberry, blueberry, etc. My favorite is the raspberry or blackberry. When my granddaughter was small and in pre-school at Spanish Schoolhouse just down Mason from there, I used to pick her up every day at noon and we'd go to Palma de Cera for one of those sublime smoothies.

And I'd pick up an order of Bandeja Paisa to take home for dinner.

http://www.palmadecerarestaurant.com/

Oct 02, 2014
Jaymes in Houston

Why Does Ketchup on a Hot Dog Piss People Off?

So you can't have ketchup on your dog because it's sweet?

I'll bet every one of you sucks down Coke or Pepsi or some other nauseatingly-sweet drink with every blessed thing you eat.

Speaking of a palate-killer.

But that's okay, right?

And makes it just fine to criticize the ketchup-on-their-hotdogs crowd.

Oct 01, 2014
Jaymes in Features
2

We Do Not Like and Do Not Get Niko Niko's

Oh, I pick up moussaka, etc., from Niko Niko's all the time. I was wondering about the ladies at the Greek Festival. Do you know if they're set up to do that sort of thing?

Sep 30, 2014
Jaymes in Houston

We Do Not Like and Do Not Get Niko Niko's

Do you know if one can pick up a pan of moussaka to go?

Sep 30, 2014
Jaymes in Houston

New to Katy area... suggestions, please!

New addition -

I used to go often to Taqueria Arandas when we first moved out here, especially for Mexican breakfasts. It was located on the I-10 access road. It was very popular with Mexican families. It moved into a better location in the Fiesta parking lot and a new Mexican restaurant, El Patron, took its place. Now I see El Patron is also moving along and Dimassi's is going to be expanding into Katy.

Might be a nice option, but I note the other locations get decidedly mixed reviews:http://www.dimassi.com

Sep 30, 2014
Jaymes in Houston

New to Katy area... suggestions, please!

A few more suggestions...

Tokyo Steakhouse & Sushi - http://tokyosteaksushikaty.com/locati... We've been to quite a few of these hibachi-type restaurants but find this one to be the best. Don't think it's part of any chain (although I could be wrong) and it's very good. It's in the Villagio - a small shopping center at the corner of Westheimer and Peek.http://villagiotowncenter.com/

Also in the Villagio is Sweet & Salty, a great little bakery owned by a lovely lady from Argentina. http://www.sweetandsalty.com/ Not the place for you to go for a weeknight dinner, but wonderful for breakfast, or for a light lunch or coffee and pastries.

There are several good restaurants in the Villagio but another one that we particularly like is the Babaloo International Café & Tapas Bar. http://www.babaloocafe.net/ Definitely caters to Katy's considerable Latin expat community and, on Friday and Sat night, there's music and dancing. As we say here in "Katy-zuela," Bailamos.

Katy continues to surprise folks that are expecting nothing but soulless chains. We're even blessed with two artisanal chocolatiers: Schakolad http://www.schakolad.com/Chocolate/Ka...

And Araya: http://www.arayachocolate.com/

We also have several very good Indian restaurants. One that gets a lot of favorable reviews is Udipi. I've never been there because it's vegetarian and I often am with my daughter and her family when we're eating out. The last place my son-in-law wants to go is to a vegetarian restaurant.

We have, however, had very good luck with Tandoori Garden, and with Mantra.

Sep 30, 2014
Jaymes in Houston

New to Katy area... suggestions, please!

Think I might pick up some 'to go' this afternoon on my way home from work.

Sep 30, 2014
Jaymes in Houston

New to Katy area... suggestions, please!

Thanks for the Chang's recommendation re chicken wings app. I've been in there a couple of times but it couldn't pull me away from Hong Kong's Cafe. I'm definitely going back to try that appetizer, though. If it's good enough to compel anyone to endure the Katy Freeway that doesn't have to, it must be good indeed.

Sep 30, 2014
Jaymes in Houston