May 28 Witchcraft Tavern

Happy National Hamburger Day!!

In honor of this occasion, Chad and I decided to try finding a new hamburger place.  We had just finished our interval training session at Memorial Park so a nice thick juicy hamburger sounded amazing.  After pulling out our trusty Yelp app, the first 10 places were ehhh.  Most of them were places we had either eaten at before or I had heard of their good burgers but the establishment just didn’t sound that appetizing to me.  Flip to the second page and Witchcraft popped up with a lot of good reviews.  Plus, it was like 2 blocks away from Lee and Tina’s place so they could join us!

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The restaurant was really small, but I have to admit, it looked pretty cool inside.

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They had a really cool collage of speakers on the wall and some of them were working speakers!  The photos of the singers and stuff over the fishtank was awesome as well.  Plus, check out their menu:

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Each page had some sort of musical reference on it.  When you first see this place, you think “oh, it’s like a brewery-witch type thing, but it looks like the tavern was named Witchcraft in honor of the Frank Sinatra song.  Nice…

After pondering over the menu, I opted to get the Singpore Ribs which were slow braised in some soy sauce marinade.  Chad got the portabella mushroom sandwich (even though it was his idea to celebrate National Burger Month) while Lee and Tina shared a Stilton Burger.

My Singpore Ribs – the meat just fell off the bones.  The sauce was a bit too much for me but everyone else loved it.  They finished off the plate for me. 🙂

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Chad’s portabella mushroom sandwich – I took a bite out of it and for a meatless sandwich, that stuff was good. I definitely liked that they cut up the mushroom for us!

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Lee and Tina’s Stilton Burger.  We clearly made the wrong choice after taking a bite out of theirs.  The bacon was SO good on top of that burger.  I only wished there was cheese on it but Lee’s lactose intolerant.  Oh wells, next time.

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I think one of the cool things about this place was how welcomed we were by the waiter. One of the things we saw on the brunch menu was the sake bloody mary which we really wanted to try but he said they couldn’t give it to us.  Instead, he offered to give us one for free if we came on Sunday for brunch.  “We will see you on Sunday then!”  For all their craft brews, he let us sample them to make sure we liked what we got.  It was so great.  We will definitely be back!

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May 27 Banana Leaf, Ikea

Yes, it’s the next day and after finding out we were “evacuated” due to a bomb threat, we still went back.  We needed to pick up a few frames and some planters for our balcony.  We decided to try eating at Ikea again and hopefully, we won’t get kicked out.  Some of you may wonder why the hell we’d eat at Ikea.  I’m not sure.  The food is super delicious but really, for the price, it’s not so bad.  Plus, I actually really like their swedish meatballs and Chad is a big fan of the smoked salmon salad.

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A new sandwich that they have rolled out is their tuna salad on croissant.  I’m not sure why Chad got it because he didn’t even touch it.  He also ordered a side of mac and cheese and barely ate any of it.  So weird!

One thing we did get was the chokladkrokant.  It’s this delectable chocolate cake with toffee pieces on top.  It’s one of the tastiest things I’ve ever had.

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I’m very tempted to buy a few boxes and serve it at my next event.  That stuff is SO addicting.  In fact, I ate the entire slice and only left Chad a few slithers.  I felt awful!  It’s one of the few desserts that he loves as well.  In the end, we did get our frame:

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What do you think?  That was hand drawn with a pencil by a friend of my cousin’s.  Beautiful, isn’t it?  He drew it using a photo my sister and I took on the beaches of Santa Monica a few years ago.

Anyway, later on that night, we had dinner with My and Michael at Banana Leaf in Chinatown.  We both really love Banana Leaf.  It’s a Malaysian food restaurant.  Everything there is so full of flavor and the prices are so reasonable.  I was already a big fan beforehand but after eating Malaysian food in Singapore, I became an even bigger fan of the restaurant.

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We ordered the Malaysian String Beans with Shrimp, Banana Leaf Curry Chicken, Pineapple Fried Rice and some egg noodle dish that My and Michael ordered.  I only remember it as F3.  Everything was delishious.  I would highly recommend Banana Leaf to everyone.  In fact, I have!  I wish I could take my coworkers there, but it’s so far away.  The food there is so authentic and delicious.  My mouth is salivating just thinking about it now. LOL.

May 26 The Egg & I, Texas Blizzard and Good Dog Hot Dog Truck

So Sunday started out like any other morning.  We decided we wanted to review breakfast at Ikea for you guys because we are actually big fans of their breakfast.  It’s not gourmet food but for less than $5/person, it’s a decent serving.  Plus, you can shop when you’re done! Anyway, we headed into Ikea and had been standing in line for maybe 5-10 minutes.  I barely grabbed my tray before something funny happened.  There was an employee in front of me who turned around, looking past us a bit and then got out of line and began leaving.  It looked like groups of people and other employees were leaving as well.  We didn’t hear anything on the PA system aside from some faint noises.  I tapped the employee that was in front of us and asked her what was going on.  Her reply was, “Something’s happening and everyone needs to leave.” While some people started rushing out fairly quickly, others were just taking their time leaving.  No doubt, it was probably because NO ONE knew what the hell was going on.  We were just following the masses.  It didn’t help that Ikea designed their stores to KEEP PEOPLE INSIDE.  We had to use the elevator to get down because the escalator wasn’t e-stopped so it was still moving up.  *sigh* Once we got outside, customers were just waiting by the front door to get back in while employees were halfway down the parking lot waiting under the awning.  We were so frustrated with the lack of information (and hunger) that we left to eat someplace else.  Only later did we find out that it was a bomb threat!  Serious?! That’s how you evacuate people when there’s a bomb threat?? *smh* Worst evacuation ever!!

Anyway, so we left and decided to give The Egg & I a try.  We’ve been to The Egg & I twice.  The first time was crap.  The waiter took forever to take our order and then forgot to put it in.  An hour later several tables had gone and a new table had even sat down, ordered and gotten their food before he realized we still hadn’t gotten ours yet.  It wasn’t looking good.  The second time we ate there was during a break in our long bike ride.  We biked 15 miles and then literally parked our bikes in front of the restaurant and walked inside with all our gear on.  It was so funny but the food was much better and arrived much quicker this time.  Maybe it was because we were at a different location?  Well, this time, we figured we’d give the first location on I-1o a second try.

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Chad ordered the Green Chili Chicken Hash and I got the Huevos Rancheros with Chorizo Sausage.  It may not look like much in the photos but it was a lot of food.  I barely finished half my skillet before throwing in the towel.  It wasn’t anything special.  It was tasty and I was definitely glad I opted for the chorizo at 50 cents more.  Chad was almost licking his skillet clean.  He LOVED his dish.  I didn’t want to try it after he busted his egg yolk and let it run everywhere.  EWWWWWWWWWW. After this experience, I can definitely say this location redeemed itself.  The food arrived fast and it was good for the price.

Now, I think in the past I’ve said that we eat out almost every meal.  Sunday was one of those instances.  We decided to go look at a house we saw on HAR (listing of homes for sale) so we picked up Lee and Tina to spend the day together.  After visiting two houses, we were all hungry for some snow cones and the only snow cone place Chad and I eat at is Red Wagon.  After 4 phone calls, I resorted to accepting that it was closed but we all decided to make the drive anyway just in case.  It’s possible that they were JUST THAT BUSY.  Well, after the 20 minute drive out of town, we saw that they were truly closed.  We each busted out with our trusty Yelp app to try and find another one and lucky for us, Texas Blizzard was closing in 30 minutes and they were somewhere in the Heights at Buchanans!  “We can make it!”  We hastily drove to the Heights area of downtown and were in the right area according to googlemaps, but Texas Blizzard was no where to be found.  “Awe man, maybe they left…” After all, it was a mobile snowcone truck. So as we’re driving up the street trying to find the snowcone truck, we’re all arguing about where it’s at:

Kim: Hey guys, there’s buchanans. we must be close.
Tina: I think we passed it.
Lee: Naw, I’m going to keep going.  Maybe it’s up here.
Kim: No, maybe we should turn around.  The numbers are going up.
Lee: What do you mean? We’re in the 1400s.
Kim: No, I mean, maybe the street numbers changed when you crossed Studemont.  Buchanans was back there.
Lee: So, I should turn around then?  Are we going to call Buchanans?
Tina: I’m looking right now.  It says it’s back there.
Kim: Yeah, we passed Buchanans back there.
Lee: So, we’re not going to call them and find out where they’re at?
Tina: I’m telling you, it’s back there.
Chad: This sucks.  Googlemaps says it’s right here.
Lee: Ok, no one’s calling them then?
Kim: Look you guys.  There’s buchanans right there.
Chad: Lee, just turn into the parking lot here (pointing to buchanans) and we’ll ask this guy where it’s at.
Lee: So we’re not going to call them?!
Tina: OMG, do you want me to call them?!
Lee: Yes, please call them!
(We drive into the parking lot at buchanans)
Lee: Excuse me, we’re looking for a snowcone place?
Attendant: Yeah, it’s inside here.

It was the most hilarious conversation I could be a part of.  Why don’t men just freaking say what’s on their mind instead of asking roundabout questions???

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Anyway, we FINALLY got our snowcones and guess what?  They were the BEST snowcones ever!!!  For those of you who are snowcone afficionados, you know the deal.  Snowcones have to taste like soft powdery clouds.  Most places that sell snowcones don’t really cell snowcones.  They sell flavored crushed ice so you’re constantly chomping down on pieces of ice, not powdery clouds.  That’s why we love Red Wagon so much and will make the drive out there to get snow cones.  Their snowcones are so good.  Well, after this adventure, we have found a much closer snowcone place.  These snowcones kicked ass!! I got their card so that we could follow them on twitter.  Hopefully, we can have them park outside the club when we host our birthday party in August.  Nothing like a nice snowcone with a shot of vodka on a warm night at the club!

Another cool thing about finding this snowcone truck at buchanans was that it was next to Good Dog Hot Dog.

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We didn’t know this but their Ol’ Zapata Dog was ranked one of the best in the nation and their food truck was rated Most Life Changing Experience by Esquire magazine.  We were intrigued… Tina wasn’t a big hot dog fan because she hates processed meat in hot dogs but after hearing this and that they source all their hot dogs from local gourmet shops, she had to give it a shot.  What do you guys think?

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Chad ordered the Ol’Zapata Dog. I got the Chillin’ Dog.  Lee got the guacadog and Tina got The New Yorker.  I had to take a side photo of one of them so that you could see the “bun.”  It was more like texas toast!

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I honestly think it was a thick slice of texas toast cut down the middle for the hot dog.  I don’t know how else to describe it.  The overall verdict?  Thank god that truck was there next to the snowcone truck!! hahah.

May 25 BBQ by the Pool

Many years ago, before Chad and I started dating, before I went back to school, when I was just a regular single girl living the city life, I used to throw a lot of poolside bbqs.  I’d invite random people over and we’d just hang out and eat for fun.  My friend, Viet, would even tell you that he’d sometimes come by without an invitation because I was grilling almost every Saturday so he knew I’d be out by the pool regardless.  Anyway, once I went back to school, the whole grilling by the pool stopped.  I just didn’t have the time or energy for it anymore.  Well, this summer, Chad and I said we would try to go back to that.  We want to see our friends and relax by the pool.  We want to enjoy the amenities that we have here at this complex before we move way (though I’ve already told him I want a pool and outdoor kitchen at our future home!)

Anyway, on Saturday, we hosted our first BBQ at this complex and it was a success!

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It may seem like a lot of food but I actually planned it out well.

1.  I brought back a bucket of fresh crabs from the gulf courtesy of my dad and boiled them up that morning with a bottle of corona light.

On the grill, we made

2. Hamburgers seasoned with garlic, worchestor sauce and all seasoning.

3. We also had spicy italian bratwursts

4. Fresh corn on the cob marinated with butter, fresh crushed garlic, italian seasoning, pepper and some cayene pepper

5. Pork tenderloin ribs with my special blackberry based bbq sauce

6. Skirt steak marinated with soy sauce, Maggi seasoning, olive oil and some other stuff

7. Veggie kabobs marinated with raspberry italian vinaigrette dressing

8.  Asparagus marinated with olive oil and italian seasoning

We only ended up with about 4 corns and a couple beef patties leftover!

Here’s a shot of Bailey chilling by the pool:

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May 24 Brisket and Crawfish at the Beach House

Rule #1 of grilling: NEVER squirt lighter fluid into a burning grill without making sure it is properly aired.  Even then, there’s really no point in trying to do that since th heat will just vaporize the lighter fluid.

As an early father’s day gift to my dad, Chad and I got him a Weber S-330 grill.  It’s all stainless steel and it’s pretty much top-of-the-line for our price range.  We decided to spend the day at the beach house putting it together for him.  When we got there, my mom had already cooked a batch of crawfish for us.  She scored a good deal at HEB for a sack of crawfish at 50 cents a pound!  I wish I had taken a photo of the crawfish.  My mom has an awesome recipe that gives the crawfish a real good sweet yet spicy kick to it.  Anyway, we sat down and ate a few pounds before getting started on the grill.

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The box itself weighed almost 200 lbs and most websites told us it would take 2 people about 2-3 hours to put it together.  By the time we actually started working on this, it was almost 2pm on a scorching hot day.  A little over 1.5 hours later:

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Voila! It was so hot and sexy.  I love that grill.  The only downside to it is that it gets incredibly hot when left out in the sun.  Duh, it was stainless steel. Of course it’d get hot in the sun.  *smh*

Anyway, earlier that morning, my brother Lee headed to the beach house early so that he could start smoking a brisket.  I’m not sure why, but this year, he seems to be in this big grilling and smoking kick.  He even brought his huge smoker with him just so that he could smoke the brisket at the house.

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Now, I could go into the story about how he engulfed himself in flames and singed off his hair and leg hair, but I won’t go into that.  Instead, I’ll give you photos of the brisket he smoked:

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I’ll admit.  This was GOOD.  For a 10 hour mesquite smoked brisket, this packed some good flavor AND the meat broke apart into pieces in my mouth.  It wasn’t dry at all and even the next day, when we reheated it over the grill, it was still good.  I’m thinking I need to learn how to smoke briskets now.

May 23 Homecooking at the In-Laws (Kim’s In-Laws)

So on Thursday, our little niece (Chad’s niece… we all know no one in my family has kids yet) was graduating from kindergarten.  At least I think it’s from kindergarten.  I get so confused when it comes to pre-school.  There’s like a million different levels.  You’ve got Toddler, Pre-K, then there’s like Pre-K 2, Pre-K 3, etc.  I don’t know these things anymore.  When I was growing up, you just had ONE Pre-K!  Why are there so many now???

Anyway, each year, the montessori school does a big production with all the different grades singing songs at the year end.  Last year was the first time I attended and I thought it was cute, but totally not necessary.  These kids are way too young.  The majority of the time, the audience is listening to the audio track and many of the kids don’t even know what to do.  Then, you’ve got the overachiever kids who know every word and every hand movement.  I guess since I don’t have kids, I don’t know what it’s like.  Maybe one day.  We did see a bunch of Asian kids that made us feel like maybe we could do it one day.  (Though to be honest, that feeling went away over the weekend when we were able to sleep in every day…)

Anyway, this year, our little niece was graduating from Pre-K which meant she’d be switching schools in the fall.  It was quite emotional.  The school did a Broadway Brainiacs theme for the showcase and all the kids wore black shirts with jeans and stars around their neck. I’m not sure what to think.  The teachers misspelled Brainiacs on the banner behind the stage.  It was spelled “Braniacs.”  Perhaps that was on purpose??

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Besides that though, I thought it was very clever how they did the banner.  They used paper bowls to make the lights that round the border!

Anyway by the time all was said and done, it was almost 9pm when we got back to Chad’s Mom’s house.  Luckily, she had cooked dinner for us.  I didn’t take any photos, but I can tell you, she made slow simmered pork riblets (mmmmmMMMmmmm), bitter melon soup (ewww, but Chad seems to really like bitter melon for some reason) and some stir-fried broccoli and snap peas with chicken (yum).

May 22 House of Pies

I know! I know!  I’m like 6 posts behind and here we are – I can SEE the finish line.  This is what happens when there’s a long holiday weekend.  LOL.

So May 22 puts us at last Wednesday.  I’ve said before that we always go to the dog park on Wednesdays and once again, that’s what we ended up doing and again, Pho-Jita was there so we had to figure something out.  Well, a long time ago, a coworker of mine made fun of us for going to bed so early.  “You guys have NO kids and ya’ll are going to bed at 10?  Man, that’s weak!” So, every so often, we remind ourselves of that conversation and make an effort to go out and do something.  After we came back from the dog park, it was close to 10pm and we didn’t know what to do, but I was sure craving something sweet.  In the past, we’ve always had a lot of trouble finding dessert places.  During our dinner with David and Allison, Allison had mention a yummy dessert place downtown but for the life of me, I couldn’t remember what the name of it was.  I tried texting David but he wasn’t with her and he didn’t remember.  So, after racking my brain, I thought “Ooh, let’s go to House of Pies.”

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The last time I was at House of Pies was probably 5-6 years ago after a drunken night of debauchery.  I always thought of it as one of those places you only go to after you’ve been drinking a lot.  How different would it be to go there when you’re sober??

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It was a bunch of families and old people.  It had a sort of 70s era feeling to it.  It’s funny because I remembered it looking a lot nicer but then again, it may have been the beer/liquor goggles.  Everything looks prettier after many drinks!  I didn’t know what to think but I guess we fit right in since we walked in wearing our PJs.

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A slice of heaven on earth.  Correct me if I’m wrong, but that’s a pecan pie (too sweet), another fruit pie (yuck) and some sort of whipped cream pie (maybe key lime?).  Ugh.  I’m not a fan of pecan pie because it’s WAY too sweet for me.  Fruit pie – don’t get me started.  Ya’ll KNOW how I feel about cooked fruit.  Key lime pie – maybe.   I was worried I wouldn’t be able to find anything to eat but luckily, I got myself a carrot cake and Chad decided to try the no-sugar apple pie after repeatedly asking “does it taste good??”

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You guys tell us.  Does it look good?  The carrot cake was pretty good but the cream cheese was too much for me.  I ended up eating only the cake part and leaving all the cream cheese on the plate.  It looked like a cake exploded on my plate.  As for Chad, he was pleasasntly surprised.  He said you couldn’t even taste the difference (the fact that it was sugar free).  Maybe it was the scoop of ice cream – I don’t know.  I didn’t want to try a bite…

May 21 Tom Eddy Wine Dinner at Vic and Anthony’s

Ugh, I hate to say this but I am actually not a fan of Vic and Anthony’s.  I know.  Weird.  People rave about this place and it’s really good but often times, I’ve found that what I order there is always a bit on the salty side.

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The menu above:  Cured Swordfish Belly followed by Lightly Smoked Monkfish, then Milk Braised Lamb Bolognese, Grilled Bison Strip Loin and ending with a Dark Chocolate Tart.  Each of these courses were served with a full glass of wine.  The fourth course (Bison strip) was served with 3 full glasses of wine.

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I love wine but seriously, that’s WAY too much for me to drink.  I should probably have Chad make this post since he ate all of his food and drank all of his wine.  I didn’t take a photo of the cured swordfish belly because we were served it the minute we walked in and it was on a spoon.  It was good though and the sriracha sauce really added to the flavor of the sauvignon blanc we were drinking.

The second entree – smoked monkfish – was a bit on the salty side.  It didn’t help that we were looking up what a monkfish really looked like and needless to say, we probably should not have done that.

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The third entree, lamb bolognese, was really salty.  I forgot to take a photo of that.  It was basically like pasta and ground lamb meat.  The pasta was hand made which was actually really good but due to the saltiness of the dish, I could only eat the pasta and left all the meat on the plate.

The fourth entree, bison strip, was pretty good but I couldn’t finish it.  Look at how red that thing is!  I literally had to touch the inside to make sure it was warm before I took a bite.  Seriously.  Oh, and that white thing on the right?  NOT a scallop.  It’s a freaking potato.

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The final entree was paired with the zinfindal port.  If the port wasn’t so sweet, I think the tart would’ve been a good match but it was like a butt load of sugar.

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I’ve never heard of Tom Eddy before this wine dinner.  After trying 7 different wines, I found that I really liked his sauvignon blanc and the pinot noir.  His pinot was the lightest pinot I had ever tried.  We left purchasing 2 bottles of the white and 1 of the pinot.  I’m excited to get them in soon.

May 20 Van Locs

So over the weekend, Chad and I were searching for a new grill for my dad for father’s day.  My dad is like freaking superman.  He can fix or build almost anything.  You always hear the saying that a girl will marry her father – meaning she’ll find a guy who is just like her dad.  I don’t think that would be fair in my case.  I don’t think anyone out there can be like my dad and that would be an unfair standard to judge a man by.  If men were like my dad, businesses would go bankrupt.  He handmade the grill that he’s been using at the house years ago.  He literally welded it at work with pieces of scrap metal.  It’s probably the sturdiest thing I’ve ever seen.  It’s a charcoal grill that he welded and spray painted black.  But the thing is, it’s spent so many years outside and the past two years, it’s been at the beach house that now it’s corroded. I hate grilling stuff on it cuz I worry I’ll die from eating rust.  LOL.  So for father’s day, Chad and I wanted to get him a really nice grill that would be able to sustain itself in the ocean environment.  We sent my mom this photo as a joke:

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and asked her if that outdoor kitchen would work.  I even mentioned it ONLY cost $2600.  Her response?  “Yes, that is perfect.” HA, like we’re about to drop that kind of money on a nice outdoor kitchen for someone else.  LOL.  After hours looking in the store and many more spent researching best-in-class grills, we settled on this Weber S-330.

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State of the art fully stainless steel 3 burner gas grill with a side burner.  This baby ranks top of it’s class.  I’m so excited to put it together for him but from what we’ve read, it’s about a 2-3 hour process.  Ugh. Chad and I don’t do well as a team when we have to put stuff together.  I SO got that gene from my dad where when I put stuff together, everything will work out once it’s all tightened.  Chad, on the other hand, is very straight laced.  It’s the engineer in him.  He gets mad when I don’t line up the holes and screws properly.  hehe.

Anyway, we picked up the grill on Monday and after all that work, I was starving.

My dad once told me that Vietnamese people tend to name their businesses in three ways:

1. after themselves or someone they know (example: Pho John)

2. the year the business was established (example: Pho 1982)

3. the street the business was built on (example: Pho Bellaire)

So, in looking at the name of Van Loc restaurant, I can only guess that this is named after two people, Van and Loc.  Both are first name in the Vietnamese language.  Loc is normally a guy’s name but I think Van can go both ways though it’s more likely a girl than a boy.

Anyway, after the dismal showing at Vietopia, I was actually craving some good Vietnamese food so I checked the blog to make sure we hadn’t been to Van Loc’s yet.  To my amazement, we hadn’t.  How weird is that?  You guys don’t know this, but Van Loc is like a staple restaurant for me.  One of the reasons why we even started doing this whole 60 restaurants in 60 days thing was because we were eating at Van Loc’s at least once every 2 weeks, if not more often.  It’s funny that during this time, we chose NOT to eat at Van Loc’s.  Anyway, when I do go there for a meal, I always get the same thing.  How can you not when it’s this good?!

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Claypot Catfish

The photo doesn’t do it justice.  Claypot catfish is basically a sugared caramel stewed catfish in a hot claypot with onions.  Look closely –

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Do you see the little pieces of fried pork fat sprinkled on top?  Holy crap.  Van Loc’s is the ONLY place in Houston that makes it this way and it’s not just the fried pork fat.  Their sauce is the best in town.  Trust me.  I’ve had claypot catfish in many other places.  No one can beat Van Loc and I know plenty of other people who will agree with me.  This is the shiznits.

Chad, of course, was sticking to his vegan dinners when he’s with me.

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General Tso’s Tofu

I’ve said this before.  I’m not a tofu fan but when Chad eats it, I tend to give it a shot and am always pleasantly surprised.  Tofu doesn’t have any flavor on its own so when you cook it, you really have to let it simmer a long time to soak in the flavors of whatever sauce you’re using.  Here, they deep fried it and then tossed it in General Tso’s sauce which made it taste more like chicken than tofu.  Nice.

Another couple dishes that I really like there are their egg rolls.  We didn’t order them this time around but I would highly recommend them.  Again, best in town that I have had.  For those of you wanting to eat healthier, I’d also recommend the hot and sour sop soup.  It’s loaded with vegetables.  I always get it with fish even though it’s not on the menu.  They’ll make it for you.  🙂 Just ask.

May 19 Argentina Cafe

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I read about the Argentina Cafe in the Houston002 Magazine a couple weeks ago and made a mental note that I wanted to try it out.  The cafe is new to Houston and even though it’s in the Galleria, it’s sort of in a shady looking strip mall across from Nordstom and next to the Bechtal towers.  Yeah… I think we were led astray by the nice photos in the magazine.  Funny how good marketing can do that to you.

Anyway, one of the reasons I wanted to try this place out is because I was sorely let down at my last Argentinean experience – Tango & Malbec.  Maybe we were too hungover or maybe it was weird that we were the first patrons there on a Saturday lunch-hour.  Whatever it was, we weren’t too impressed by the menu or our food.  When I read about this cafe, I thought “ooh, let’s try this place out.”  It had the same concept as Kobecue – a cheaper, cafe environment for Argentinean food.

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The menu is pretty extensive but the great thing was they had a PHOTO menu for us newbies.  Come on! We all know that it’s so much better to have a photo menu because human beings like to pick things that look pretty and appetizing to eat.  We did ask the waitress/counter girl what she recommended though and luckily, she picked the two things we would have ordered: Argentinean skirt steak with the house salad and Argentinean sausage sandwich with fries.  Those are the descriptions of what we ate, not necessarily the menu names because I honestly don’t remember the names of what we ordered.  It was all in Argentine (is that what their language is called)?

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I had to keep reminding myself of the prices we paid for the food.  It’s not really fair to judge food harshly when you didn’t pay very much for it.  (Remember my review of E Star Chinese Buffet?) Anyway, the skirt steak was $13 and my sandwich was $8.  With this in mind, I thought my sandwich was pretty good.  The combination of french bread, sausage, lettuce, tomato and mayo was just right.  I felt like the sausage “skin” was a bit chewy but then again, I guess most sausage skin is chewy.  I didn’t know what Argentinean sausage is supposed to taste like.  The only thing that seemed to be missing was any type of spiciness.  After mentioning that to Chad, he told me he didn’t think any South American food is spicy which made sense.  My coworker is from Chili and she said nothing there is spicy.  Our good friend is from Ecuador and he said nothing there is spicy, so maybe that’s what it is.  Chad did eat a bite of my sandwich and then the sausage alone.  His comment was that as a part of the sandwich, the sausage didn’t stand out against anything we normally eat but when eaten alone, you could tell the flavors were good.

As for his skirt steak, I think it was ok.  For $13 it was worth the money.  The salad was really good.  Whatever dressing they used on it made it really tasty.  The steak was chewy though and I thought that most skirt steaks are chewy.  Am I wrong?  There was a small bit of chimichurri served with the steak.  When eaten alone, I don’t think the seasoning was enough on the steak to make it anything good but with the chimichurri spread all over it, it was definitely a bit tastier than without.  There was nothing spectacular about it.

We ended our meal with a nutella crepe and a chai latte.

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It’s sad to say but we felt like the coffee and crepe were the best of the meal.  I don’t know.  I guess for the money, it was worth it.  The entire meal was $35 including tip.  Seriously, all that food for $35?!  I think that’s why I would go back there.  It’s definitely a place you can grab a lunch at with some coworkers and have a good experience.