To my two readers out there, I apologize for my extended hiatus!  I haven’t updated in awhile but here I am now with my first post for 2012.

I went through “The Essential 38 Houston Restaurants” for January 2012 from EATER and found that I’ve visited 22 of the 38 listed restaurants (that’s 57.9% for you math junkies).  While I’m not completely convinced that I agree with the list (I prefer Manena’s Pastry Shop and Deli over The Original Marini’s Empanada House!), there are definitely some on the list that I’d like to try and some more that I’ll look into!

Here’s the list (I italicized the ones I have visited and bolded the ones I’d like to check out):

EATER’s The Essential 38 Houston Restaurants

1. Himalaya Restaurant & Catering
2. The Original Marini’s Empanada House
3. Vinoteca Poscol
4. Giacomo’s Cibo E Vino
5. Aladdin Mediterranean
6. Fung’s Kitchen –> dim sum!
7. Vieng Thai
8. Gatlins BBQ & Catering
9. Kenny & Ziggy’s New York Delicatessen –> can’t compare to NY deli’s but close enough?
10. Seoul Garden Restaurant
11. Cafe Pita+
12. Barbecue Inn
13. Xuco Xicana
14. Feast Restaurant –> cool dishes but it’s been hit or miss for me
15. Connie’s Seafood Market & Restaurant
16. Plonk Beer & Wine Bistro
17. Crawfish & Noodles –> Jolynn’s Crawfish rocks my world!!
18. Polonia Restaurant
19. Cafe Rebelais
20. Goode Company Seafood
21. Pho Binh Trailer –> bit of a trek but awesome pho
22. Sylvia’s Enchilada Kitchen
23. Cajun Town Cafe
24. Bombay Pizza Co.
25. The Queen Vic Pub & Kitchen
26. Rioja Spanish Tapas
27. Bubba’s Texas Burger Shack
28. Hubcap Grill
29. Pondicheri
30. The Origina Ninfa’s on Navigation –> chicken fajitas!
31. Beaver’s
32. Kata Robata Sushi & Grill –> my fav but Uchi is opening soon…
33. Huynh Restaurant
34. Shanghai Chinese Restaurant
35. La Guadalupana Bakery –> great hole-in-the-wall breakfast place
36. Happy Fatz
37. Stella Sola –> eh, not that memorable
38. Benjy’s On Washington

In fact, I’m going to Bombay Pizza Company next week!  Any thoughts on the list??


Niko Niko’s

June 1, 2011

February 5, 2011 | I’m definitely not new to Niko Niko’s but they recently started serving mini-gyro’s!  This may not be enough food for the average person, but if you’ve eaten with me, you’d know that I actually eat rather small portions.  I almost always have leftovers!

This time, however, the gyro was a perfect size for me. I actually finished my meal and it was super cheap!

Niko Niko’s
2520 Montrose
Houston, Texas
713-528-GYRO (4976)

Black Labrador

May 13, 2011

February 4, 2011 | I was invited out by some friends to Black Labrador on this particular cold night. It was my first time there and I was excited to try one of their warm alcoholic drinks. I can’t remember which one I got, but it hit the spot!

For my dinner entree, I opted for the West Highland Cheese Soup, made out of an assortment of fine cheese, vegetables, and Bass Ale. Soup with cheese AND beer? Hell yeah.

The soup was good although the drink was more memorable!  I’d like to return and try some of the other traditional English pub dishes.

Black Labrador
4100 Montrose Boulevard
Houston, TX 77006-4936
(713) 529-1199

February 3, 2011 | Xin nian kuai le!  That’s Chinese for “Happy New Year”! Lunar new year that is.  Honestly, I don’t really know much about the traditions besides the red envelopes but my friends and I decided to go out to Peking Cuisine for a Chinese dinner– seems appropriate, right?

This wasn’t my first time at Peking Cuisine, and it certainly won’t be my last. Like the name suggests, they consistently serve an excellent peking duck! We ordered the duck, which came with a duck soup. We also ordered seafood dumplings, mapo tofu, and a whole fish.

FYI– some places use baos for wrapping the duck, but not here.  They use this thin tortilla– it works.  I can’t say the dumplings were particularly memorable but everything else was great! We way over-ordered and had a bunch of leftovers, haha.  If you’re looking for a good place for peking duck, definitely check this place out.  I would recommend calling ahead (at least a day, though I’ve been able to reserve the duck same day before) to make a reservation for the peking duck.

Peking Cuisine Restaurant
8332 Southwest Fwy
Houston, TX 77074
(713) 988-5838

Vieng Thai

May 11, 2011

February 2, 2011 | I’m a fan of Yelp because it helps me discover restaurants, like Vieng Thai.  The location may not be idea, but don’t let the neighborhood scare ya!  The food was fantastic! We ordered a papaya salad to start with (it came highly recommended) and split a boat noodle soup. The whole purpose of us going to begin with was for a good noodle soup.

The papaya salad is definitely a keeper.  The boat noodle soup was also good!  I’m a huge soup noodle fan so I’m easy to please when it comes to noodle soups. Vieng Thai is close to my place, so I’ll be back. =)

Vieng Thai
6929 Long Point Road
Houston, TX 77055-2211
(713) 688-9910

Classic Kitchen

May 11, 2011

January 30, 2011 | I mostly only have Chinese food in Houston when my parents visit me and this time was no different.  We went to Classic Kitchen for breakfast and ordered some familiar favorites. We had beef noodle soup, this one dish (tsong yiu bing wrapped with an egg pancake– no idea what the name is), and soup dumplings.

It was all very good– the second dish being one of my favorites!! If only I could remember the name– it only has a Chinese name and I’m not very good at remembering Chinese names.  I also generally prefer small soup dumplings.  They’re just easier to eat.

FYI– it’s cash only!

Classic Kitchen
9888 Bellaire Blvd Ste 106
Houston, TX 77036
(713) 270-8545


May 11, 2011

January 25, 2011 | Before Suzanne asked me to go to Sophia, I had never heard of it.  I’m always down to try new place so we came here for dinner on a weeknight, prepared with a coupon and a bottle of wine!  Like previous reviewers have mentioned, the parking lot could use some work, but at least there’s a parking lot.

Since it was recommended by fellow yelpers, we ordered the spinach Texas goat cheese dip— my friend normally isn’t a fan of goat cheese but even she thought this was delicious.  We ordered a bunch of appetizers and one entree to share.  The beet bruschetta was simple but pretty damn good.  I love calamari and was delighted that their version wasn’t fried!  The spicy sauteed calamari comes with this habanoer-tomato broth that was very yummy.  We also couldn’t resist trying the the mussels (apple smoked bacon, green apple, apple brandy sauce).  The only entree we tried was the cheese ravioli & lobster— I thought it was great! The food was so enjoyable, we were giddy (ok, maybe the wine contributed to the giddiness).

It wasn’t a particularly busy night but our service was great.  Yes, the decor could probably be vamped up a little but I’ve never been one to care that much about decor.

I’m surprised the other reviews on this place aren’t higher but I’m glad I didn’t let that stop me from trying out the restaurant.  It’s a little pricey, but it was a steal with the coupon. I’d love to go back– that happy hour special sounds great: $5 starters from 5-7pm everyday!


1601 W. Main St
Houston, TX 77006
(713) 942-7970

Jeannine’s Bistro

May 10, 2011

January 18, 2011 |  This place was on my list of restaurants to try before I moved out of Midtown.  As luck would have it, there was a coupon so my friend and I decided to go to Jeannine’s Bistro one Tuesday night to try out the Belgian mussels.  The waiter told us about one of the mussel dishes not on the menu yet– moules congolaise, made with lemon juice, tomatoes, coconut milk, chipotle, onions, and garlic ($12 for a small).  We ordered that one as well as a small moules gratin ($11), which is made with Parmesan cheese.

Since the mussels would take some time to prepare, we ordered a salade nicoise ($13) to start.  I’m not a huge salad person but my friend told me it was good and we were hungry.  The salad came out shortly, made with tuna, lettuce, potatoes, green beans, olives, boiled eggs and tomato with vinaigrette dressing.  My friend and I shared the huge salad and I actually enjoyed it a lot!  I also ordered a Duvel ($8.25) to drink.

I was so excited to try the mussels and they did not disappoint.  The mussels were delicious!!  We cleaned out the leftover cheesy sauce from the moules gratin with the complimentary bread.  The broth-like sauce from the moules congolaise was yummy enough to sip on by itself!  We couldn’t resist ordering a dessert and went with our waiter’s suggestion of crepes normande ($10)– an apple crepe that had a perfectly caramelized top and served with a scoop of vanilla icecream.  It was amazing!

The service at Jeannine’s Bistro was top notch and our meal was awesome.  After using our $25 coupon, our bill came out to be around $44, including 18% gratuity (automatically added as one of the conditions of the coupon).  It’s not the cheapest meal in town but the food was worth it!

Jeannine’s Bistro
106 Westheimer Rd, Ste E
Houston, TX 77006
(713) 874-0220

Tan Ba Le Baguette

April 6, 2011

January 17, 2011 | I went to Tan Ba Le Baguette for lunch with a few friends on a Monday.   I really didn’t know anything about the restaurant, but I’m glad I went!  The bo ne (steak and eggs) came highly recommended, so we each ordered a bo ne.

Not pictured is the basket of fresh bread.  The second image has a small salad plus the butter and pate.

Soooo yummmy!  It was tempting to just eat all of it but I stuck to my normal rule of just eating half and taking home the rest!  It was a delicious afternoon snack as well. =)  I’d definitely go back again for another lunch!

Tan Ba Le Baguette
11169 Beechnut St.
Houston, TX 77072
(832) 351-3389

January 16, 2011 | After going out in Dallas to Ghost Bar, my friends and I wound up at Dal Dong Nae Chicken & Hof Restaurant for some late night Korean food!  We ordered a kalbi (Korean short ribs) and some sort of dumpling soup with duk?  And as is usual for a Korean restaurant, a dozen little dishes came with the meal!

I think it was good? I actually really like Korean food but somehow I haven’t had much of it.  But it was really late and I was tired.

Dal Dong Nae Chicken & Hof Restaurant
11445 Emerald St, Ste 109
Dallas, TX 75229
(972) 484-2994