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Texas Itinerary Help

I just love me some Doobs. Glad to see you arrive with your usual excellent advice.

And, speaking of Uchi, does anyone know if Paul Qui is still up in Austin?

http://www.starchefs.com/cook/chefs/b...

Jan 23, 2015
Jaymes in Texas

Texas Itinerary Help

Re "campechana" - actually don't think it's a "Texas thang" as I had them all over Mexico (and in Mexican restaurants in Ariz, California, & New Mexico) for decades before I regularly saw them on menus here.

But I second Bruce's recommendation to try one while you're down here.

Don't know where you're from, Mr. Q. Ball, but, if you're not familiar with Mexican-style shrimp cocktails, that's something you should rectify. Mexican-style shrimp cocktails are served in a spicy tomato broth - more like a Spanish gazpacho with shrimp than our shrimp cocktails, and you eat them with a spoon.

I'm not a native Spanish speaker but I've been told that "campechana" means "a mixture" (in addition to meaning "a woman from Campeche") so on Mexican menus you'll see "coctel de camarones" which are made with just shrimp, and "coctel campechana" which are made with a mixture of seafood, usually including shrimp, octopus, etc.

Several of us have suggested that you visit Hugo's in Houston. Here's a link to an article in Texas Monthly about Hugo Ortega's Coctel a la Campechana:
http://www.texasmonthly.com/story/coc...

Jan 21, 2015
Jaymes in Texas
1

Texas Itinerary Help

If it's really a choice between Mueller's and Snow's, in my view, Mueller's, hands down.

Love Snow & Tootsie et al.

But when you step into Mueller's, you're stepping into history.

And my advice is that it's not to be missed.

Jan 21, 2015
Jaymes in Texas

Texas Itinerary Help

And the way it works at these meat markets is basically the same way it works at your local butcher shop; in other words, you can order just a quarter-pound, or less or whatever - one slice, maybe, just enough to taste the meat, you know, and no sides, not enough to fill anyone up, and then get on down the highway to sample at the next place.

Think of it as a bbq tasting menu - only instead of the waitstaff bringing the bites to you, you're going to them.

As for your wife, well, look at it this way...

If she kills you, at least you'll die happy.

Jan 21, 2015
Jaymes in Texas
1

Texas Itinerary Help

You do know that Snow's is only open on Sat mornings, right? And that, for that matter, you need to plan to get to most of these smoked meat markets fairly early in the day because they usually sell out of meat by early afternoon, right? And that they are not "restaurants" in the typical sense of the word?

Right?

Jan 20, 2015
Jaymes in Texas
1

New to Katy area... suggestions, please!

New Pho place on S. Mason - Pho 3D. Glad to have another choice, but we've tried every single pho place in Katy (there are quite a few) and, thus far, still think that Pho Saigon is the best, without driving into Houston, that is.

There are always lots of Asian faces in Pho Saigon, so that kind of validates our opinion, we believe, anyway.

Jan 19, 2015
Jaymes in Houston

Best Korean restaurant in Houston

So, after a little investigation, discovered that Korean BBQ Garden, on Gessner, does, indeed, offer charcoal grilling, so met my son there for dinner last Thursday night.

And here's what we had, and think...

We ordered an appetizer of pan-fried dumplings, and were not sorry. Enjoyed them very much. Definitely would order again, but they were not good enough for us to make a special trip to this restaurant just for that. Still, if you're already there, I'd recommend them.

For mains, we got the bulgogi and the boneless shortribs to grill. You do grill the meats over the open charcoal flame and it was very good. I'd have to say that it was not as good as what I had out in the SFO Bay Area but still excellent, and fun, and we'll probably do it again. One caveat, though - I thought it was extremely pricy - we had the one order of dumplings, two beers each, and the bulgogi and shortribs (you have to order two meats for them to fire up the charcoal grill), and the bill was $75.

On Gessner, we did drive by a place with a big banner proclaiming it to be a new Korean BBQ restaurant, and I suspect we'll be trying that soon.

https://www.facebook.com/BbqGardenkor...

Jan 19, 2015
Jaymes in Houston
1

Saturday Last, (fit, Papa Charlie's BBQ, Jackson's Watering Hole, Common Bond and Central Market)

I'm pouting.

And I'll bet you can guess why.

Jan 19, 2015
Jaymes in Houston

Texas Itinerary Help

Houston does have a few pretty good bbq restaurants but it's definitely not considered to be a "barbeque town" - to say the least. And, if this were their only stop in Texas, I'd say go for it. But, since Qball & family are coming from (or going to) what many folks (me) believe is the absolute number-one best barbeque region in the entire world, my heartfelt suggestion would be to skip trying to find decent 'cue here.

And instead concentrate on things that Houston does as well as (or better than) anyone else in the country; ie, seafood, Vietnamese, Mexican, TexMex, Middle-Eastern, etc.

Jan 19, 2015
Jaymes in Texas

Texas Itinerary Help

Well - it's like the 'kid in the candy store' - impossible to narrow it down. I just get my tray and circle along with the crowd. Their Tres Leches Cake is made by the angels and sent down from heaven each morning so you know it's good, but probably not the most convenient choice for travelers.

I love everything here.

I will say that if you're not familiar with the Mexican 'panes dulces,' you might want to do a little cursory research. They're different, primarily in texture, from our traditional sweet rolls - Danish, cinnamon buns, etc - drier with more of a bread-like 'crumb' and not so sweet - or so it seems to me - and I like them better - especially with a cup of coffee or Mexican hot chocolate.

But they have many, many choices other than the traditional Mexican panes dulces. Their churros stuffed with dulce de leche, for example, are ambrosial.

Jan 19, 2015
Jaymes in Texas
1

Texas Itinerary Help

In Houston, everyone raves about the pecan pie at Goode Co but, in my opinion anyway, the rest of the food there is so bad as to be damn near inedible. In fact, the last time our family went there, nobody could finish their meals of brisket, sausage and ribs and nobody wanted to take any of it home, either. Not even literally for the doggie. Maybe you could pick up a whole pie 'to go,' or just stop in there for dessert.

We do have an excellent local pie shop, Flying Saucer, but there are no tables and chairs there - takeaway only. http://flyingsaucerpieshop.com

And, speaking of sweets, hard for me to recommend highly enough that you pay a visit to El Bolillo Mexican Bakery. I'm telling you, that will be something you'll remember your whole life. If the only way to get you there were for me to pick you up at your hotel and take you, I'd do it. It's been named the "Official Best Bakery in Texas." But you must go to the original location on Airline Drive.

http://elbolillo.com
http://www.houstoniamag.com/eat-and-d...

Jan 19, 2015
Jaymes in Texas
1

Texas Itinerary Help

Back in the day, the original Chuy's on Barton Springs in Austin was funky and fun. And the food, although not the best TexMex anyone ever had, was pretty good, too, so it was a great place to take out-of-town houseguests and yankees for the Elvis Memorial Combo Enchilada Plate (and matching souvenir t-shirt).

Now, however, it's just another chain, expanding rapidly, with 51 restaurants across the country and more coming soon to a location near you.

And therefore quite likely to a location near Qball as well.

Jan 19, 2015
Jaymes in Texas

Texas Itinerary Help

Many folks love beef ribs, but, although I'll eat them when somebody else buys them and puts one in front of me, they're far from my favorite, so I never order them and can't comment as to whether or not they're any good at Mueller's (or, for that matter, if Mueller's even has them).

I can tell you, though, that Louie Mueller in Taylor Texas has some of the finest sausage and "fatty" brisket on the planet.

And, while you're in Taylor, if you want to stick your head into a place that epitomizes "bbq joint," mosey down the street another block or so and turn right at (actually under) the railroad tracks and stop in at the Taylor Cafe. Pitmaster and owner Vencil has his diehard fans, too. I don't like it as well as Mueller's but, as I say, you're basically right there so might as well give it a try. One thing of unpleasant historical note - Taylor Cafe still has two "front doors" - a holdover from the sad and bad old days of segregation in the south.

Jan 17, 2015
Jaymes in Texas

Texas Itinerary Help

Want to re-emphasize Louie Mueller in Taylor. A definite 'do not miss.'

And when you get to Smitty's in Lockhart, park around back and go in through the back door like all the locals do. Do not leave without touring the whole building. It's literally the sacred temple of Central Texas Smoked Meats. Many of us consider it to be hallowed ground.

Jan 17, 2015
Jaymes in Texas
1

Texas Itinerary Help

Seafood - two restaurants in Houston receiving considerable national buzz:

Caracol https://m.facebook.com/CaracolHouston

And Reef (Bon Appetit rated #1 seafood restaurant) http://www.reefhouston.com

Jan 16, 2015
Jaymes in Texas
1

Texas Itinerary Help

Regarding Asian in Houston - a huge Vietnamese population in particular.

Many people (including me for sure) really love Huynh Restaurant http://huynhrestauranthouston.com

And Mai's -http://maishouston.com

Jan 16, 2015
Jaymes in Texas

Texas Itinerary Help

Boy, to each his own and all, but I can't help saying that these folks are talking about hitting some of the best barbeque joints that Texas has to offer, and Mikeska's is, at least in my opinion, so far below that standard that I'd never recommend it to them.

Sure, when were on a road trip with a big family, including several hungry teenaged boys with bottomless pits where their stomachs should be, and we needed to fill them up as quickly and cheaply as possible and get back on the highway, the Mikeska's buffet was useful.

But for discriminating food tourists in search of the best the state of Texas has to offer?

Never.

Jan 16, 2015
Jaymes in Texas

Texas Itinerary Help

And if you don't have time to stop at both Weikels and Hruska's - just want to say that our family did a blind taste-off a while back and Weikels was the clear winner. (No surprise there - after all, they're the Bon Ton folks, you know.)

http://www.weikels.com

Jan 16, 2015
Jaymes in Texas

Texas Itinerary Help

ABSOLUTELY Hugo's in Houston. And I'd seriously suggest you go for the Sunday Brunch. You'll need reservations.

Jan 16, 2015
Jaymes in Texas

Gift for chefs that scream New Mexico

Have you had the Green Chile Cheeseburger at Buckhorn? And, if so, where does it place on your personal "best of" scale?

Jan 13, 2015
Jaymes in Southwest

Gift for chefs that scream New Mexico

Thanks for the update. I'm sure I'm not the only one that was wondering.

And did you see that, over in the "ABQ-Las Cruces-Tucson" thread, someone was inquiring as to whether or not the lunches at Curious Kumquat are as "interesting" as the dinners?

Jan 12, 2015
Jaymes in Southwest

Best Korean restaurant in Houston

Just out in SFO Bay area. We went for Korean BBQ at Han Sung Charcoal BBQ. Food was cooked on a grill over an open charcoal flame - no gas.

https://m.facebook.com/HanSungBBQ?_rdr

Anyone know of the same thing in Houston?

Was told Myung Dong might be. Anyone know?

Jan 11, 2015
Jaymes in Houston

ABQ - Las Cruces - Tucson - Cottonwood

Everything there is interesting.

Right, Rob?

Jan 11, 2015
Jaymes in Southwest

ABQ - Las Cruces - Tucson - Cottonwood

Should mention the obvious...

If "side trips up to an hour" are fine, I strongly recommend driving an hour north of Demming up to the delightful small town of Silver City and its equally delightful restaurant, The Curious Kumquat. You can take Hwy 90, another beautiful and scenic route, back down to 1-10.

Should you decide to do this, you definitely will need reservations, as The Curious Kumquat has been receiving national notice and has become something of a "destination restaurant."

http://curiouskumquat.com

Jan 10, 2015
Jaymes in Southwest

Cheese Curds in Houston

Are you making the gravy yourself?

Jan 09, 2015
Jaymes in Houston

TULSA -- New restaurants offer totally authentic Asian dining experiences

Not new, but I've got to put in a plug for KEO.

I love that place.

Jan 09, 2015
Jaymes in Great Plains

Gift for chefs that scream New Mexico

Rob - what did you wind up taking, and how was it/were they received?

Any particular favorites?

Anything that didn't work out so well?

Jan 09, 2015
Jaymes in Southwest

ABQ - Las Cruces - Tucson - Cottonwood

I just drove that route like, yesterday. Stopped in, as always, for a green chile cheeseburger at Buckhorn Tavern in San Antonio, NM, about an hour or so (depending upon how fast you drive) south of Albuquerque.

Love this place.

However, I, personally am not fond of their onion rings - just sayin'. Their green chile cheeseburgers, on the other hand, are nationally famous.

And that's really why you came.

http://www.buckhornburgers.com/

Jan 09, 2015
Jaymes in Southwest
1

Hill Country TX Recommendations?

Obviously too late to help the OP but, when we're in that neighborhood, we never miss a stop at Hill Top Café, just outside of Fredericksburg.

http://hilltopcafe.com/

Jan 09, 2015
Jaymes in Texas

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

The Greek Consulate is sponsoring a Pastichio Dinner next Thursday night.

Think I might try to make it:
https://m.facebook.com/greecehouston?...

Jan 08, 2015
Jaymes in Houston