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brucesw

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About brucesw

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  1. I came across Piknik a few years back in a little store on the south side in a neighborhood where there were several businesses run by refugees from Katrina who stayed on here in Houston. I seem to remember something claiming it was a favorite in New Orleans, but that may have been for one of the other products I'd never seen here before. I remember being surprised it was made in Alabama. They had Cheewees and Louisiana style hot sausage and some other products, a lunch counter with po'boys and fried chicken (neither very impressive). I'm perilously low on Duke's and I think I'm up to try a new product. I'll try to get back over there.
  2. I have seen the SnoBalls, not sure if I've seen the Twinkies, at both HEB and Walmart in Houston. Displayed alongside Dreyer's; cartons are the same shape and size and price so I suspect Dreyer's/Edy's is producing the brand. Never was a Hostess fan; mother loved to bake so we always had home-made pies, cookies, cakes, etc., and home-made ice cream regularly in the summertime. I'd buy an individual portion out of curiosity but I don't want a whole carton to have to finish off.
  3. A little taste of Kerala

    I am frustrated that the board software does not let me 'like' some posts multiple times! I am loving this. I was going to ask what body of water was pictured in your first post - you have answered that. We have a substantial expat community from Kerala in the Stafford/Missouri City suburbs of Houston and I have eaten at all of the restaurants there - none of which, unfortunately, are as seafood oriented as this last post. I hope you have much more to share.
  4. I haven't been to Dallas in decades so I can't give personal recommendations but here's the latest Texas Monthly Top 50 list - alphabetically by city, scroll down to Dallas. Five years ago when the list was last published, Pecan Lodge was ranked # 4 overall. This time around, it doesn't make the Top 10 (separate list but numbers appear with reviews in the link) but is still on the list, as is Lockhart. A newer Dallas joint does make the Top 10, Cattleack,@ # 3. I also see one joint in McKinney and one in Fort Worth and there may be others in towns around Dallas I don't recognize, just in case your friend is not going to be close and convenient to any of the three actually in Dallas. Here in the Houston area there is a ton of coverage also in the media, blogs, podcasts and such like; I'm sure there's a lot of that available in Dallas but I don't have any links. Your friend should prepare for long lines at any of these, I'm sure.
  5. Food recalls

    There's a 'TX OK' tab on that page, too. A week or so ago when I first heard of this there was a Sysco distributor in the Houston area on the list but now all I see are two restaurants in the metro Houston area. I had an Aji Tuna Burger, seared, at Hopdoddy in Houston last month. Looks like I don't have anything to worry about for now but I'll have a test next time I visit the doc.
  6. Aldi

    First trip in a couple of weeks today. My store had no pork bellies nor any blank spaces in the meat cases where there might have been some. I sure hope this makes it here. It hasn't been mentioned in the circulars (this week's edition is late in arriving). The Brie was back; I got the last of it. I was sorry to see for the second time the Specially Selected Sea Salt Pita Chips were missing. I've been buying those for months and really like them. I bought a box of the Savoritz Sea Salt Pita Crackers and I am not happy with them as a replacement. There was a dearth of dark chocolate options where the chocolates are displayed. That had better be an abberation! I've been trying pulled pork products (refrigerated) to see if any are any good. I tried TJ's previously and while it's not bad it's not what I want. I was hoping the Aldi/Appleton Farms would be more of a Carolina style product with vinegar and mustard listed in the ingredients for the sauce before the tomato products but it was cloyingly sweet. I did not like it on it's own at all but could get it down with a generous dollop of plain yellow mustard stirred in or liberally spread on buns. I won't be buying this again. I have the HEB product in the fridge and will try it in a few days but don't expect it to be what I want, either. There are probably good Carolina style pulled pork products available but I'm not interested in doing mail order for this so expect to be making my own.
  7. Aldi

    Thanks. I didn't know Aldi did that. The store near me has only been open 7 months and I've only been going about half that time so I'm still learning but I am very glad to have some new competition in this part of town and I'm trying lots of products.
  8. Aldi

    Sorry to hear that. I know there was none yesterday at my store but I think there was a couple of weeks ago (I didn't need any so didn't buy any). I was disappointed not to find any Cowgirl Caviar in the freezer section yesterday and I won't be surprised if it suffers a similar fate. It was a steamable side with 7 whole grains (brown rice, oats, rye, red wheat, triticale, barley, buckwheat and red quinoa) plus black beans, shoepeg corn, and green bell peppers with either guajillo pepper seasoning or mango. I really liked the one with guajillo. Fortunately I stocked up a couple of weeks ago.
  9. Houston: Chinese Restaurants

    @csingley - Hi. I was just at Mein this weekend with Jaymes and several others and she mentioned this thread, which I had missed. Glad to see your comments. Back in 2011 I was doing a tour of Sichuan restaurants in Houston, trying to educate myself about the cuisine, and happened on Mala Sichuan (the original) when the Grand Opening banner draped over the sign for the previous tenant in that space was all the signage there was. They were less than 2 weeks old. I ranked them in the middle of the 5 restaurants I sampled then and was surprised they became such a hit with foodies but chalked it up to my lack of knowledge of the cuisine. But I do have to agree, I find Cooking Girl, which I've been to only once with the same group (minus Jaymes) to be much, mjuch better. East Wall sounds good. I will have to put that on my list. I have been to Shanghai several times, Shandong many. I have noticed the frozen dumplings but never bought any. I was also doing a tour of soup dumplings back then. Fu Fu was proclaimed the best by most foodies. I don't remember how many I tried (Shanghai may have been one of them). There was a place where Uyghur Bistro is that I had them, as I recall and a place down the sidewalk from Fu Fu, Friends Kitchen or something like that. I gave up; if any of those available in Houston at the time were good examples then I didn't share the fascination. E-Tao started getting notices after I parked my tour bus and I've never been but I did see this last spring and it's on my list to try. Uyghur Bistro, which I've been to only once, and Cooking Girl are my two favorite finds this year as far as Chinese restaurants. BTW, of the 5 Sichuan restaurants I tried back in 2011, 2 are gone (Banana Leaf II replaced one of them, Uyghur another), one has either changed hands or the kitchen has completely changed and I wouldn't recommend. The fifth I can't remember. Our group at Mein over the weekend was somewhat underwhelmed, given all the hype. Recommend a good noodle dish there, if you will. Thanks.
  10. Sabich -- the Iraqi Israeli sandwich

    I first had sabich almost a decade ago at an Israeli restaurant near me. I got it as a plate with chopped, roasted (I think) eggplant, hummus and Israeli salad (diced tomato, cucumber, green bell pepper), a hard boiled egg and a thick, warm, fluffy pita. I made pita sandwiches out of it and I loved it; their pitas are excellent. The hot sauce accompanying it I judged to be harissa since I've never heard of schug but I later saw it elsewhere on the menu and found the Sabra product in the Kosher section of a nearby grocery store. The Sabra schug (red or green) is a thick, rather dry paste-like product but what I had at the restaurant was flowable. I've also had it there as a sandwich on a baguette, with thick slices of eggplant plus tomato and cucumber.and hard-boiled egg They also offer it as a pita sandwich and a wrap with malawach, the fried Yemeni bread similar to porotta but made with phyllo, I think. I see places online giving the pronunciation as sabikh but that place said it was sah BEECH. So far as I can recall, there was no amba. I'll have to look for that at the grocery store. I see another Israeli restaurant nearby has added it to the menu also as a pita sandwich, on a baguette and as a wrap in lafa, the Iraqi flatbread. Their lafas are so big I probably wouldn't be able to finish one at one sitting. Serious Eats did a recent feature on sabich and I agree, it's far superior to falafel.
  11. A little background: http://www.bellissimofoods.com/Distributors_Area.aspx?state=OH but the linked website is parked. Maybe you could contact the restaurant itself: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sidaris-Italian-Foods/151869574825945
  12. Are the canisters interchangeable between different makes of burners? They all look alike, both burners and canisters. If so, you could pick up supplies from any of the retailers I mentioned above. Unless there's a hurricane on the way.
  13. You can buy those at lots of places, Walmart and Academy (Houston based sports and outdoor stores) in the camping and outdoors departments; also at Asian grocery stores like Hong Kong Market (Houston), Super H Mart and more. Aren't they commonly used for table top cooking in Asian restaurants and, presumably, homes? Jaymes - I've been thinking about getting one since Ike (the hurricane, not the President) but never have gotten around to it, for power outages but also as an adjunct cooker to my two induction units, since the bulk of my pots and pans don't work on them. I'll be looking forward to your reports.
  14. Here's the article Note this is just a list of the best new or most improved places since the last Top 50 List. Several commenters didn't understand that and bemoaned some longtime revered places not being listed. Well you can't actually expect people to read the title or the introductory paragraphs now, can you? The barbecue scene in Texas has been mushrooming for almost a decade. Lots of new places are opening up, especially in Austin and here in Houston, and, apparently, other places are upping their game. So it's no longer adequate, TM reasons, just to publish a Top 50 once every 5 years. There are 5 in Austin, only one of which, Terry Black's, have I heard any mention of, and that was just an announcement that it was planned. Terry Black is related in someway to Edgar Black of Black's in Lockhart. There are four in Houston (Killen's in Pearland counts as Houston to everybody here). Most of these places will probably not make the next Top 50. Virtually everyone here expects Killen's to not only make the Top 50 but crack the Top 5. Ronnie Killen expects to unseat Aaron Franklin as the reigning king of Texas barbecue. We'll see about that.
  15. Houston - Charcuterie

    Ha-ha. You have a much nicer HEB out where you are than I have. I'll look forward to that report. I'll see you at Coltivare and I'm counting on you to answer some questions and offer some explanations --- you have more experience with this than I do.
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