Monthly Archives: July 2009

Luling City Market

Rating: 4/10

Total bill: <$13 (1/2 lb ribs, potato salad and a Lone Star)

I only really enjoyed 2 things about this place:

1) The BBQ sauce  (Aubrey informed us that it’s mustard-based, and I lorve me some mustard)

2) The atmosphere. I genuinely felt like I had been transported to a small East Texas town for a couple hours.

Brad, Aubs and I had the ribs and came to the same consensus: a bit overpriced for some mediocre BBQ.

For a place as heavily pushed at Luling’s, I thought the meat was pretty  dry. And by pretty, I mean UBER.  When the little food server man cut the ribs, they appeared to be rare and red on the inside.  I got excited for nothing. Twas all a facade.

Whitney had the chopped beef sandwich that I think she liked alright because she ate it all… which, as we all know, rarely happens. But who can really mess up a chopped beef sandwich? It’s like making a bad taco. Impossible.

Potato salad was the pretty standard molded by an ice cream scoop stuff. Nothing special.

On top of the sub par food, the “service” wasn’t so pleasant either.  I had to walk up to the bar, clad with what appeared to be regulars, and the bartender was short with me and frowning at the same time. I didn’t much appreciate it.

Next time, I’ll try Beaver’s. This place has rave reviews.

Luling City Market is located at 4726 Richmond, just inside the loop.

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Cafe Mezza

Cafe Mezza: 9/10

Total bill: <$25 (appetizer, sandwich and dessert)

I ate hurr with my mom and sis last week after my mom begged me to choose a new place to eat (she’s sick of Mo City places and was blown away by my Collina’s suggestion)  Although I have eaten at Cafe Mezza before, I didn’t remember much about it. I also frequent foodinhouston.blogspot.com, and this is listed as a frequent eatery, so I knew I couldn’t be disappointed!

We split the hummus… which we found out was made in house.  Nice nutty flavor, and probably the best hummus I’ve ever had.  I couldn’t stop eating it. IN FACT, I ate so much I could barely eat the half almond chicken salad on a croissant sandwich I was splitting with my mom, which was also SO good.  There’s nothing like a buttery croissant and chicken salad. This is the ultimate comfort food to me. For dessert (which I don’t even know how I managed to eat any of it), the 3 of us split coconut tres leches.  Heaven on a plate.  The texture was a bit more on the leche side than I’m used to, but it melted in my mouth. perfect. Our waiter mentioned that they try to make everything, including the pastas, fresh in house – a huge plus. Eat here for lunch or dinner.  You won’t regret it!

Cafe Mezza is located at 6100 Westheimer Rd, in the same strip center as the Melting Pot.  Don’t let the outside fool you.  The food is spectacular!

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Little Big’s

Rating: 8/10

Total bill: <$12 (Trio and sangria)

Little Big’s gets an 8 because I like the ambiance. Burgers + Adult drinks = heaven.  Amirite?!

I was also ravenous at this point in the day, having not eaten anything prior.  I think I’d like eating outside a lot more if I wasn’t sitting in 100 + degree weather, but what are you gonna do?

I got excited about this place for 2 reasons:

1) It’s exactly 2 minutes away from my apartment

2) I love sliders. They’re cute. You know that Burger King commercial where the girls squeal at the mini burgers? I’d do that in real life.

So, I had the trio.  Two beef, one chicken.  ~$6. I’ll start with the beef. Heh.

Beef: I liked the onions and the bun.  The beef was ok. Maybe I’m used to less fatty meats, but this was still pretty good. Add the secret sauce and it makes it better. Unfortunately, I was unaware of the “condiment bar” until after the first beef slider.

Chicken: Picture a Chick-Fil-A mini chicken sandwich (it even had a pickle!)…except way jucier. I liked it a lot better than the beef ones, but that’s probably because I prefer chicken over beef.

Fries: Perfect and crispy.  And cheap for such a huge order. 2, maybe 3 people could split this.

Drank: Pink something or other frozen Sangria drink.  Preeetty preeettty pretty good.  Except it tastes a wee bit like cough syrup.  Not too much, but if you don’t take your lips off the straw (like me) that’s when you get the taste. Best part of the meal though.

So, Little Big’s, I’ll definately eat there again when its cold and I want a mini Chicken burger.

Update: I recently found out that Little Big’s shares the same owners as Houston’s REEF, one of whom (Bryan Caswell) was named one of the Top Ten Best Chefs of 2009 by Food and Wine Magazine.

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Five Guys Burgers and Fries (Voss)

Rating:  (7/10)

Total bill: < $10 (burger, fries and soda)

Side note: I know this is not a local place, but I always wanted to try it.

Yummmmmm.  The ordering structure is a 5 step process. Like the title. Bwa ha ha. Here goes:

1) Do you want a burger or a hot dog?

2) Do you want cheese?

3) How much meat you want on that thang?

4) Add your fixins of choice (like 15 to choose from)

5) Fries/ no fries

So, they cook all the burgers the same, and I prefer mine to be a little more rare, but pretty juicy still.  I ate the smaller version cheeseburger. So juicy! I couldn’t even eat that whole thing.  Whitney and I split the larger order of fries and had so much left over, we took them home so we could drunkenly devour them.  When that time came, there were enough fried to satisfy 3 drunk people. Imagine that.  Good price, good food, and pretty fast. I love burgers, so thumbs up.

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Mint Cafe

Rating: 7/10

Total bill <$20 (Appetizer, tea, and shwarma w/ 2 sides.. which lasted 2 meals technically)

Dinner Tuesday is maybe one of the nights I look the most forward to in a week.  I mean, I sit around my apartment and play with Bernie all day while other people have real jobs.  *sigh* Aubrey was out of town for this one, and yes, I am dating this blog entry for the actual dinner date even though I’m writing this entry July 27th.

ANYWAY. Mint Cafe.

I also would like to take this time to kick myself AGAIN for not bringing a camera to meals so I can show everyone what I ate.

Appetizer: Kibbeh. Super yummy balls with what appeared to be meat and pine nuts and some seasonings.  After revieweing the online menu, “fried kibbeh balls with beef, pine nuts, and minced onions”  Actually, the reason why I chose this plae was because I read online that Mint Cafe put someones “grandma’s kibbeh to shame.” Although I had never heard of kibbeh, nor knew what it was, anyone who says a restaraunts food puts their own grandma’s home cooking to shame is worth trying.

What I ate: Beef Shwarma. Overall, decent.  Now, I don’t know much about Lebanese tastes and my own might differ what what traditional food tastes like, but I felt this was a bit heavy on the mint and parsley. Also, they were out of the spiced potatoes and I recieved what I like to call a tease (a spoonful of what they had left) which was utterly delightful.  I had to go with fries as my second choice, which were also decent (aka. Ore-Ida fries sprinkled with Tony’s) Hummus was also pretty good.

NOW. The next day, I ate the second half of the Shwarma, cold.  It was SO delish.  Maybe because I put a little ranch dressing on it, but maybe not.  Either way, I gobbled that thang up.

Well done, Mint Cafe.

Update (8/18) I just read Mint Cafe was closing. This makes me sad. I’m sorry to see a good authentic place go!

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Bodega’s Taco Shack!

Rating: 9/10

Total bill: <$15 (3 tacos, rice, beans and horchata)

Holy crap, this place was DELICIOUS. The reason why I wanted to try it was because of a review I’d read saying they serve cucumber lemonade there and that sounded so crisp, I couldn’t wait to try it.

Located in the medical/museum district off Binz street, it looks a bit like a chain restaraunt with a Freebird’s/Chipotle type setup where you choose your meal (taco, nacho, burrito, quesadilla… etc), then your meat, the fixing, and the sauce(s).

Honestly, I don’t even know where to begin. The options you have to choose from are endless – 5 tpyes of meat, at least 15 fixins and at least 9 sauces.

I went with tacos, so I could try as many flavor combinations as possible and  Whitney chose a quesadilla.

Kelsey’s meal: Each fixin on the taco was the same (corn relish, lettuce, tomato and cheese)

Taco 1: Crispy, carnitas, and pineapple sala.

Taco 2: Corn, spicy ground beef, cilantro serrano sauce

Taco 3: Flour, rotisserie chicken, ancho honey sauce

Beverage: Horchata (a cinnamony milky drink… pretty good, but the texture was confusing to me)

Whitney’s meal:

I don’t even remember but I know it was rotesserie chicken and had the cilantro serrano sauce.

Bev: pepino y limonada (cucumber lemonade…. which was VERY refreshing.  Whitney ended up linking the horchata better, and I like the cuke lemonade, so we switched!)

Overall:

This is the first meal I have had (since Oporto’s) that I actually verbally said “mmm” at.  No joke. I spent about 10 bucks for the hole meal, with the bev’s being about 2.50 and including a side of rice and beans. De-fucking-licious. Eat there. You will NOT regret it. I want to eat here at least once a week.

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Antonio’s Flying Pizza

Rating: 6/10

Total bill: <$20 (calzone and glass of house chianti)

It’s right off Hillcroft and Westheimer.

The thing I like the most about it was the overal “Italian” feel.  It is truly a family run restaraunt.  You walk in to see the pizza tossing area, and the owner (maybe) delivers your meal uttering italian phrases. I honestly felt like I was back in Rome throughout the meal.

The restaraunt was Aubrey’s choice, and I had wanted to eat here for quite some time.  Mainly because of the little sign in front of a man throwing a pizza in the air.  Each little pizza lights up every second, one by one, to give the very believable illusion that a red figure 8 is being tossed in the air.

First I’ll begin with what everyone had.

Appetizer: Garlic bread (delicious, but, I’m pretty sure I could make it)

Kelsey: Calzone with mushrooms, onions and pepperoni

Aubrey: Pizza with spinach, tomato and garlic… half olive oil and half sauce

Brad: Baked ziti

Whitney: Pepperoni pizza

I had a bit of everyone’s meal, mine was pretty decent for a calzone, but I’m pretty sure I could get one just as good at Sbarros.  It also made for an okay lunch today. Brad’s was the most delicious as it looked homemade and tasted the part as well. Whitney’s pizza was a little oily.

Also, I had a delicious glass of house Chianti.

Not the best italian I’ve ever had, but I wouldn’t mind eating here again.

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