brucesw

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About brucesw

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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Houston - Charcuterie

    I checked out Revival Market's Cured Plate Monday. It was my first visit since they morphed from being a meat market/market that had counter service sandwiches and some plates into a full service restaurant that also has a butcher shop and a few other market items. The place was very sparsely populated compared to every other visit I've made. Counter-clockwise from the lower left: spiced honey whipped lardo, Coppa, Pepperone, Head Cheese, pecans and peanuts, chicharrone, bread, salami (underneath the chicharrone and bread), sour cucumber, and, in the center, buttermilk ricotta. I'll say upfront the Coppa made little impression on me. I think it just kind of got lost with all the other things I was tasting. Basically everything was great except for the pecans which were soft and flavorless. The pepperone was cold and hard at first but by the time I worked my way thru the whole platter, which took about 40 minutes, it had warmed up to room temp and was much more enjoyable. My two favorite items were the pepperone and the salame, which I never got a picture of. I had browsed the meat cases while waiting and was aware there are at least 4 varieties of salame and pepperone but the waiter could not tell me which ones I got. I went back up to look again on the way out and the two most likely suspects were both missing any identifying signs. I didn't want to linger and try to get a butcher's attention; I was having diner's remorse from having eaten too much and was ready to go. The chicharrone were quite greasy. My shirt went right into the laundry when I got home. Next time I'll tuck the starched linen napkin into my collar. The article linked above says Revival makes all their own cured meats and that's what the website claims but the waiter only said 'house-made' when pointing out the Coppa and I noticed only a handful of meats displayed were identified as house-made, for some reason. Website
  12. Short notice on this - I just saw this today. Home-made kolaches? Pork loin? I presume we'll be hearing some polka music? I had other plans for tomorrow but am reconsidering and thought I'd pass it along. Website
  13. Andes Cafe - Houston

    Chef Guerrero is now serving cuy. I think I had read he was planning on doing this. I have to make some reservations.
  14. A restaurant, bar and bake shop, the main retail outlet for Slow Dough bakery with baking on premises. Plan B for lunch today; I was thinking they had a charcuterie plate but it was a pressed salumi sandwich - 2 types of salami, ham, cheese and red pepper on a pressed ciabatta roll, with house-made chips and bread and butter pickles. I woulda rather had a charcuterie plate with bread and cheese. It was supposed to be a half pound of meats and I was so full afterward I couldn't even contemplate the sweets in the bake shop but I did score a loaf of pumpernickel. I've had a thing about pumpernickel in recent months and I think Slow Dough makes the best one in town. Website W + M was recently named by the reviewer for Houstonia Mag as one of the ten best new restaurants of the past 12 months.
  15. Fiesta can be a pretty amazing store but I've got to say that pretty well blows my mind. I'm just so used to the big one on Hillcroft and Bellaire where the emphasis is on Mexican, Central American and Caribbean. And those folks at Sur Peruvian sound real nice. I don't get around all over the metro like I used to a few years ago but I may have to drive all the way out there, eat at Sur Peruvian, and then go over and gawk at the Peruvian produce department at Fiesta! And I will get up and check out Flores. I'll be going back to Tampico when oysters are in season.