Monday, February 24, 2014

Houston Eats

On Valentine's Day, I hopped on a plane and flew to Houston just for the weekend. I'd never been to Texas before and since my cousin and cousin-in-law were happy to host us and I had a three day weekend, it was the perfect opportunity to go.

The four of us - cousin, cousin-in-law, sister, and myself - are really into good food so indulgent eating was a big theme. We're all going to France together in May as well; I expect that to be one crazy awesome food fest. Anyway, we went to some amazing eateries and I took as many photos as I could remember to and that's what I'm sharing today.
First up: Hay Merchant
As soon as we jumped off the plane, we were picked up at the airport and whisked away to this cute pub-ish place. They have an extensive menu of beers and some pretty awesome bar food. I got a pecan porter; it was nice and sweet, v. nutty, and better than Guinness. Sorry Ireland, but it was seriously yummy. The four of us also shared a plate of wings - half in fish sauce and the other half in gochujang. I loved the creative sauces and they were delicious. When we were halfway done with the wings we also decided to get a plate of nacho fries (which I forgot to photograph because I was too excited). The fries were covered with beans and seasoned beef and cheese and pickled jalapenos but the best part was the cilantro sauce.
Pretzels at home
On Saturday morning when we woke up, my cousin-in-law made a batch of pretzel dough and we made a batch of homemade pretzels (with a few in weird shapes). We even filled some of the dough with pizza ingredients (tomato sauce, pepperoni, and shredded cheese). Not only was it fun, it was delicious. We ate the pretzels for breakfast that day and the next, dipping some in coarse grain mustard, spreading a few with Nutella, and enjoying the pizza ones on their own.
Les Givral's
There's a decent-sized cluster of Vietnamese restaurants in Houston so for lunch on Saturday we headed to that neighborhood and treated ourselves to some banh-mi. I got the #1, which is chargrill pork with pate. The banh-mi was made on a warm baguette and topped with plenty of cilantro, pickled carrots, a long cucumber spear, and half of a jalapeno. I loved the addition of the jalapeno and the marinade on the meat was awesome. My sister got #8, the pork meatball banh-mi, which was amazing as well. The texture of the bread was perfect - crisp crust, squishy interior - and the sandwich was packed with meat. The best part? The banh-mi sandwiches are all under $3.
Torchy's Tacos
Oh my gosh, if you're ever in Texas, you must go to Torchy's Tacos. There are a few locations in Houston and Austin. The different filling varieties for the tacos are creative and delicious; I wish I could have tried them all. I got the Mr. Pink (seared tuna) and I also tried the green chile pork, the dirty sanchez (which was like a breakfast taco), and the special of the day which had fried shrimp. All of the tacos were great. We also got an order of the sweet corn (so good) and a few containers of the diablo sauce which was delicioussssss.
Goode Company Barbecue
Delicious and authentic barbecue was on my list of things to eat and Goode Company totally hit the spot. It's a cozy spot with indoor and outdoor seating and there are several other Goode Company eateries (like Goode Company Taqueria and Goode Company Seafood to name a few). We shared three different dinner plates - brisket, ribs, and jalapeño pork sausage - with tons of sides. We had cole slaw, potato salad, austin baked beans, pinto beans, and jambalaya. The jalapeño pork sausage was the favorite but the brisket and ribs were yummy too. The jalapeño cheddar bread was delicious and the sauce was so good. It was sweet and full of spices and the perfect consistency to coat the meat.
Cloud 10 Creamery
Cloud 10 makes delicious ice cream - it's rich and creamy and delicate and smooth - and they have some amazing flavors. All of the ice cream is made without any additives or artificial flavors and it's made just a half gallon at a time. There are 10 regular flavors and then 10 special/new flavors that are switched out every season.

On our visit, I got the nutella & marshmallow flavor in a waffle cone and as I type this, I'm wishing I could eat another. They have a lot of unique and unexpected flavors - two examples are egg custard and toasted rice - both of which I've tried and both of which are delicious.
Hugo's
Hugo's was our "last hurrah" and final meal of the trip. We indulged in five different appetizers - a red snapper ceviche, grilled octopus tacos, lechon (pork) tacos, plantain empanadas, and crispy potato tacos. For the entree we shared two dishes - a tenderloin with mole sauce and scallops on top of cornbread. And for dessert we had two different kinds of flan, one with queso and a fruity sauce and one that was made with corn. Everything was delicious and I wish I could relive the meal over and over. It was the perfect way to end the trip.

We also did a lot of fun things so if you want to see some of the cool sites we saw you can pop on over to my travel blog.

xoxo.

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