Houston food, restaurants and dining review. Urban living, travel, thoughts and other randomness.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Goode Company Barbeque

5109 Kirby Dr

What is Houston without Goode Company's Barbecue? It's New York without Le Cirque. It's Napa without French Laundry. It's Lufkin without Fuller's. Goode Company is the best barbeque in Houston. It's not just the cowboy atmosphere (outside picnic tables, wood burning smell, and beer in a tub of ice). No, it's not the fantastic ice tea (I really will write that ice tea article one day). It's not even their pretty good jalapeno bread.

It's the ribs. You come for their ribs. Rubbed with some spices, it makes a good accompaniment to the deep smoky barbecue sauce. Eat the ribs here. You'll love them. You might also like the sausage (not the turkey sausage crap) and the brisket. It all goes good with the sauce.

Now, if I could figure out how to get the creamed corn from Rudy's at Goode Company, we'd really be talking.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Xiong's Cafe !

9888 Bellair Blvd.

A hole of a restaurant. No one speaks English. Most of the menu is in Chinese. Go for the scallion pancakes. Try the $1 cold appetizers. Indulge in the dozen fresh wontons. Give the noodles in beef broth a shot. Order lots of food--your budget will allow it. Rekha and I usually order 5 dishes and have yet to hit $20.

Try not to let the little tables and the deep ethnic flavor scare you away. Wait for that rare open table during weekend lunch. The chili sauce, hot tea, garlic and chopsticks are in front by the counter. They also take your order at the counter. Make sure that before you order, you've looked in the refrigerator and picked out some pickled cabbage or pig ear.

Look around at what other people have on their table and copy how they eat their food. If you're really at a loss stick with what you understand on the menu. Please don't blame me if what you order is 4 times as spicy as you usually get it.

Sunday, August 21, 2005


14135 Southwest Freeway

When a new restaurant owner takes over a failed restaurants and makes no upgrades, it's probably a good indication that there wasn't very much money. But Fernando Echeverria didn't just lease 1000 square feet of space in a strip mall. Instead, the eponymous Fernando rented a huge honkin space formerly belonging to Ruth Chris Steakhouse.

Upon entering, we were greeted by the former hostess for Panda Garden on Highway 6. Fernando hasn't changed anything on the interior of the restaurant. He has, however, created a new menu with more affordable items from the latin world. Latin is pretty all-encompassing, so he has paella, pasta and a little bit of everything in between. I tried the chicken dish that came with rice, vegetables and a salad. Tender and flavorful, it was doused in a mushroom sauce. Fantastic.

If Fernando can figure out how to destroy the ghost of Ruth Chris and how to lower prices without lowering quality he'll have a shot at winning the lunch crowd. Dinner? Well, moderate prices will entice some people, but the stench of Ruth Chris would make me think twice about spending my dollars here when you can find good food and good atmosphere at so many other places.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Rickshaw Far East Bistro & Lounge

I always thought rickshaws were exclusively Vietnamese until I came to this restaurant a few years ago. I don't know why, but only after going to this restaurant did I realize these things were ubiquitous in Asia until mopeds and cars became the rage.

This restaurant is as sexy as sexy sounding as its name. Dark woods, sexy patrons, moody lighting. I can go on and on about the drink menu, the decor, and the uber-cool ambiance, but you might be interested in the food: I wish you weren't. The food here is expensive and often not very good. I've had the Miso Bass there. The bass smelled like fish--not good for a sushi restaurant. We tried the Unagi roll there today. The rice fell off the roll and it seemed doused in soy sauce. We tried the Spicy Tuna handroll--where's the spice?

Rekha and I will be back, but for the Upside-down Pineapple Cake martini and the coolness factor--not the over-priced food. Who pays $6 for siu mai dumplings?


Saturday, August 13, 2005

Spanish Flower

4701 N. Main Street

In the venerable Heights sits a venerable Houston institution, Spanish Flower. We've been told that this is the restaurant to get real Mexican food. Perhaps we shouldn't have had the fajitas then... The fajitas were dry and tasteless even though we ordered the special $28 version with sausage, shrimp and extra-dry ribs. Going away from the Tex-Mex and towards the real Mexican food, we tried the chile relleno. Yummy! Nice smoky flavor with ground beef nicely seasoned.

I highly recommend this place for the tortillas (hot and fresh), the fruit at the end of the meal, the soup at the beginning of the meal, and the chile relleno. I imagine the combination is downright addictive after a late night partying.

In Lufkin, there's a dive of a restaurant across from a sooty foundry called Unica. It served interior Mexican food at rock bottom prices. More importantly, everything is made fresh and tastes fantastic. Anyone know where I can get a similar experience in Houston?

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Peking Cuisine !

8332 Southwest Freeway

I love Peking Duck. My wife loves Peking Duck. Everybody loves Peking Duck. Peking Cuisine serves an excellent Peking Duck. Go to Peking Cuisine.

You should call a few hours or even a day in advance to reserve your duck. They don't reserve tables, just ducks. And only one person there speaks English proficiently, so be patient when you call to reserve your duck. You should probably reserve one duck for 4 people. If you have 6 people, you can still order one duck, but you'll probably need to supplement from the rest of their good menu.

The Peking Duck here is a bargain. $23 for a meal. When I say a meal, I mean that the duck comes with steamed bok choy (Napa cabbage for you Californians) and a soup infused with the duck bones and tofu. Yummy.

The duck here is excellent. They cook away quite a bit of fat compared to A Ly (on Bellaire) and the skin comes crisp and flavorful. They come out with a doctored up hoisin sauce that seems more runny than normal, but also less salty and more appropriate to the duck. The wrap is homemade and very thin. I prefer the non-traditional A Ly wrap, but I see the draw of this thinner wrap when the duck is so flavorful. After you finish the duck and bok choy, they'll bring out a big bowl of soup filled with cabbage, soft tofu, and the duck bones and dark meat from your duck. The soup brings lightness to a flavorful meal.

Oh yeah, if you're in the mood for adventure, try the "la pi", "pi lo", or something like that. I forgot what it was called, only that it's thick clear noodles in a garlic sauce. Absolutely fantastic side dish with the duck if you're in the mood for some strong flavors--vinegar, garlic and peppers.

The service at this restaurant is problematic. The wait to get a table is annoying on the weekends. The tea is mediocre. But the Peking Duck and the fact that everyone is Chinese mitigates all its faults. Peking Duck is yum yum at Peking Cuisine.


Monday, August 01, 2005


807 Taft
Houston, Texas

We have been thinking about trying Gravitas since it opened a few weeks ago. Until last week, they were only serving lunch, so it wasn't until today that we got to try this Scott Tycer restaurant. Scott Tycer is the uber-chef at Aries on Montrose. He has won about as many awards as any chef in Houston and has even appeared on Food TV.

The restaurant is set back in a neighborhood right next to the beautiful new Federal Reserve building. It has an open industrial feel and is definately a place that can become a Houston hotspot. It's right next to the woefully inadequate Annabelle's Diner. They have a sexy looking bar area and will probably have an outdoor area at some point.

And now the food... This is definately a Scott Tycer/Jason Gould restaurant--SALTY. If you're one of those strange people who salt their food before tasting it, then you'll love this place. We started with the summer squash soup. Beneath the salt water, you could taste what squash soup should taste like.

Rekha had the Spinach salad with bacon bits and poached egg. She had this dish in San Francisco a few years back at a restaurant called Globe and loved it so much she still talks about it. Scott Tycer's version is good, but not quite great. We'd order it again in a heartbeat. Only, we'd ask them to go easy on the salt.

I had the grouper with string beans and bacon bits. Quite yummy. A bit salty, but that didn't interfere with the taste of the nicely cooked fish--crunchy skin and tender meat. I ate every bite of the dish in the time it took the maitre'd of Da Marco's to order at the table next to ours.

For dessert we tried the Godiva chocolate cake. It came with icecream festering in ice crystals. It also came too cold. Get this dessert to room temperature and we would have enjoyed the Godiva chocolate better. This dessert proves my theory that for some desserts, like chocolate cake, it's better to have a lot of a good (not great) chocolate, rather than a little bit of a great chocolate.

Scott and Jason, if you're listening... Please go easy on the salt. Saltiness was what we remembered of Aries and saltiness may define Gravitas. I want to love your restaurant. I want to root for the local guys. I want to be a regular here. But, the tinnitus in my ears (sometimes caused by high blood pressure brought on by salt) scares the shit out of me.

Copyright Huan Le 2005 - Powered by blogger
La concurrence entre les maisons de courtage a donne lieu a le compte de demonstration forex forex recherches sont necessaires avant l'ouverture d'un compte de trading et de depot large eventail de plates-formes de negociation