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jscarbor

Texas food trail: Houston -- try something new!

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comments on the above....

Mexico Deli on Dairy Ashford > Tortas El Angel.  Mexico Deli has creative options for tortas & home-made aguas every day.  Good joint.

BB's on Montrose > Jazzie's.  I've had bad food at Jazzie's & won't go back, though it's been about a year since I last went (maybe improved?).  BB's has very good roast beef po-boys.

Vieng Thai > Thai Lanna.  I continue to be impressed with Vieng Thai after many, many visits.  Always enjoy their salad options.

Carnitas at Teotihuacan (the Irvington location!) are always good - never had them at Los Cucos.

Kerr,

I ordered the Sambroso (?) plate, because of this Alison review

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/dining/cook/5556306.html

All I got were 2 lousy chunks of dry pork, not what I would consider carnitas to be.

I haven't been to Vieng Thai yet, but in all fairness you should at least try Thai Lanna, and I will try Vieng!

Yeah, Dairy Ashford is out of my comfort zone. I need to go with someone who is more familiar with that area. But now BB's is much closer, not as close as jazzie's. I'll have to try both.


Red meat is not bad for you. Fuzzy green meat is bad for you.

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<Jazzie Café on 19th - I’d heard there’d been a change of ownership and it was a good thing.  Great NO style roast beef po’boy.  Expanded menu, improved accommodations.>

Bruce, can you elaborate a bit more about Jazzie's? What have they added to the menu, and describe the roast beef, please.

Don't know what to say -- you saw the picture on my blog (I'm trying to get better as a photographer). I think it's a little more down-home and messier sandwich than at BBs but it's been a couple of months since I've been to BBs and will need to go back.

Original owners were Vietnamese I think; new owners seem to be Chinese - there are lots of Chinese dishes on the menu. One new item was the Angus Beef Po'Boy which sounds like it might be an upscale version of a NO hamburger po'boy which is kind of a minor obsession for me (like the sliders at LBBB). I asked and he said it's chopped angus, patty shaped to the sandwich roll as it should be. Everybody in town that does a NO hamburger po'boy just cooks a regular patty then cuts it in half and puts the two halves side-by-side lengthwise on the roll - that's not the way it's supposed to be done.

I wouldn't hesitate to have the roast beef po'boy at either Jazzie or BBs but really can't rate which one is best right now.

BTW, congrats on your 'food exploring.' Sometimes I hit a disappointing stretch and get discouraged but sometimes I hit a real winner and that's great.

I'm planning on checking out what looks like an old fashioned neighborhood chicken shack on the North side maybe this weekend - I think I've got my hopes up too high for some killer FC.

Bruce,

I had a major DUH moment after I asked about the roast beef, because I then saw the Chili Bob link and went to that. Odd mix of chinese and cajun at jazzie's.

I left one more place off my list, Fuegovivo Churrascaria, way out Westheimer. We really enjoyed it, but we do love meat. The salad bar was very good, IMO, and the hot sides smelled good, but I was saving room for meat! I am looking forward to going back.


Red meat is not bad for you. Fuzzy green meat is bad for you.

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comments on the above....

Mexico Deli on Dairy Ashford > Tortas El Angel.  Mexico Deli has creative options for tortas & home-made aguas every day.  Good joint.

BB's on Montrose > Jazzie's.  I've had bad food at Jazzie's & won't go back, though it's been about a year since I last went (maybe improved?).  BB's has very good roast beef po-boys.

Vieng Thai > Thai Lanna.  I continue to be impressed with Vieng Thai after many, many visits.  Always enjoy their salad options.

Carnitas at Teotihuacan (the Irvington location!) are always good - never had them at Los Cucos.

Kerr,

I ordered the Sambroso (?) plate, because of this Alison review

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/dining/cook/5556306.html

All I got were 2 lousy chunks of dry pork, not what I would consider carnitas to be.

I haven't been to Vieng Thai yet, but in all fairness you should at least try Thai Lanna, and I will try Vieng!

Yeah, Dairy Ashford is out of my comfort zone. I need to go with someone who is more familiar with that area. But now BB's is much closer, not as close as jazzie's. I'll have to try both.

I saw Cook's review and couldn't believe it; glad I didn't follow up on the urge to try it. Mexico's Deli is a neat place, much nicer than your typical Houston hole-in-the-wall place and Dairy Ashford at Westheimer is a very safe area - it's just half a block north in a strip center.

Another one I could have listed was Taqueria Mi Lindo Huetamo mentioned by the Taco Truck Gourmet in the Press recently. I went to the one on Hillcroft just below Bellaire. The al pastor taco was as good as any I've had in Houston, the lengua and barbacoa I wasn't that impressed with. Really like the different 'salad' - chopped radishes onions and serranos with lime. There are 2 other trucks with the same name ususally parked outside the Beltway on Bissonnet but I'm not sure from the newspaper listing if they're still operated by the same owner.

I guess my best 'find' of recent months is Huarache Azteca Express in Stafford; went Friday and may go again today for the lamb barbacoa. Really a shame this is so far out of the way for most people; I keep thinking there'll be a line out the door but it hasn't ever been busy. Really nice owner, too, and great aguasfrescas. Actually, the only one I've tried is the cantaloupe - can't pass it up. Had about half a cup of pulp in the bottom of mine last time - real fruit.

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If you get the chance check out Rizzi's over on Dulles Ave.  They don't have a wood fired oven but the pizza tastes like I remember from Philly/New Jersey.

How about the Italian Fried Chicken - have you tried that?

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No, I haven't had the time to get back there. I have tried Smokin' Mike's on Hwy 6 just North of West Airport (in the same strip center with Javred Nahari), I thought the sausage was great but pass on the rest. I have no experience with Pakistani food but I did like the beef nehari at Javed Nahari, the owner is very nice - even scored a free dessert first time there.

Edited to correct spelling


Edited by JimH (log)

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No, I haven't had the time to get back there.  I have tried Smokin' Mike's on Hwy 6 just North of West Airport (in the same strip center with Javred Nahari), I thought the sausage was great but pass on the rest.  I have no experience with Pakistani food but I did like the beef nahari at Javred Nahari, the owner is very nice - even scored a free dessert first time there.

Great - another Pakistani place. I'll have to try them both. Beef Nihari is an incredible dish.

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comments on the above....

Mexico Deli on Dairy Ashford > Tortas El Angel.  Mexico Deli has creative options for tortas & home-made aguas every day.  Good joint.

BB's on Montrose > Jazzie's.  I've had bad food at Jazzie's & won't go back, though it's been about a year since I last went (maybe improved?).  BB's has very good roast beef po-boys.

Vieng Thai > Thai Lanna.  I continue to be impressed with Vieng Thai after many, many visits.  Always enjoy their salad options.

Carnitas at Teotihuacan (the Irvington location!) are always good - never had them at Los Cucos.

Kerr,

I ordered the Sambroso (?) plate, because of this Alison review

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/dining/cook/5556306.html

All I got were 2 lousy chunks of dry pork, not what I would consider carnitas to be.

I haven't been to Vieng Thai yet, but in all fairness you should at least try Thai Lanna, and I will try Vieng!

Yeah, Dairy Ashford is out of my comfort zone. I need to go with someone who is more familiar with that area. But now BB's is much closer, not as close as jazzie's. I'll have to try both.

I have tried Thai Lanna a couple of times - it is good, but just not as good as Vieng Thai (at least that's my opinion).

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If you are in the mood for Chinese, try Elephant Garden. It's just North of W. Airport on Hwy 6 close to the Sonic. The menu is different, more Chinese less Americanized. The young lady that works there is very helpful, steering me away from menu items she thought I might not like.

I worked all day so it was Javed Nehari tonight, they are undergoing some renovation so the menu was limited, goat/chicken biyrani and the nehari.

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If you get the chance check out Rizzi's over on Dulles Ave.  They don't have a wood fired oven but the pizza tastes like I remember from Philly/New Jersey.

How about the Italian Fried Chicken - have you tried that?

Is Rizzi's a take out place or dine in? I spent a week in the summer 20 years ago in Jersey/Philly area and the pizza and calzones were to die for.

Italian fried chicken at Rizzi's?

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If you get the chance check out Rizzi's over on Dulles Ave.  They don't have a wood fired oven but the pizza tastes like I remember from Philly/New Jersey.

How about the Italian Fried Chicken - have you tried that?

Is Rizzi's a take out place or dine in? I spent a week in the summer 20 years ago in Jersey/Philly area and the pizza and calzones were to die for.

Italian fried chicken at Rizzi's?

http://www.houstonpress.com/2008-08-14/res...zzi-s-pizzeria/

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comments on the above....

Mexico Deli on Dairy Ashford > Tortas El Angel.  Mexico Deli has creative options for tortas & home-made aguas every day.  Good joint.

BB's on Montrose > Jazzie's.  I've had bad food at Jazzie's & won't go back, though it's been about a year since I last went (maybe improved?).  BB's has very good roast beef po-boys.

Vieng Thai > Thai Lanna.  I continue to be impressed with Vieng Thai after many, many visits.  Always enjoy their salad options.

Carnitas at Teotihuacan (the Irvington location!) are always good - never had them at Los Cucos.

I've been to Tortas El Angel just once, wasn't that impressed, but Mexico's Deli is great. BTW, Jay Francis posted recently on Eating our Words about his search for the Torta Ahogada and Robb Walsh replied that they have it at Mexico's Deli. I've been to MD since Jay told me about the quest and looked for it but didn't see it - maybe it's time for a visit to the eye doc.

Yeah, Jazzie really went down hill. I think the owner thought I was the one (Walsh) who had published a pretty negative review, she dogged me everytime I was there. That and the declining quality of food was why I stopped going..

I was going through my stuff and came across a business card for Mexico's Deli and discovered they have a website.

I don't see a torta ahogada on there.

I think I've had the #s 12 and 15.


Edited by brucesw (log)

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Mexico Deli on Dairy Ashford > Tortas El Angel.  Mexico Deli has creative options for tortas & home-made aguas every day.  Good joint.

BB's on Montrose > Jazzie's.  I've had bad food at Jazzie's & won't go back, though it's been about a year since I last went (maybe improved?).  BB's has very good roast beef po-boys.

Vieng Thai > Thai Lanna.  I continue to be impressed with Vieng Thai after many, many visits.  Always enjoy their salad options.

Carnitas at Teotihuacan (the Irvington location!) are always good - never had them at Los Cucos.

I've been to Tortas El Angel just once, wasn't that impressed, but Mexico's Deli is great. BTW, Jay Francis posted recently on Eating our Words about his search for the Torta Ahogada and Robb Walsh replied that they have it at Mexico's Deli. I've been to MD since Jay told me about the quest and looked for it but didn't see it - maybe it's time for a visit to the eye doc.

Yeah, Jazzie really went down hill. I think the owner thought I was the one (Walsh) who had published a pretty negative review, she dogged me everytime I was there. That and the declining quality of food was why I stopped going..

I read about Francis looking for a torta ahogada as well. I have been looking for 4 years to find one and I havent found a great one in Houston yet. There is a torta ahogada bus at the beltway and Beechnut in the parking lot beside City Pets, but I was not too impressed with the one I had. All heat and no flavor. Sigh. The search continues.

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If you get the chance check out Rizzi's over on Dulles Ave.  They don't have a wood fired oven but the pizza tastes like I remember from Philly/New Jersey.

How about the Italian Fried Chicken - have you tried that?

Is Rizzi's a take out place or dine in? I spent a week in the summer 20 years ago in Jersey/Philly area and the pizza and calzones were to die for.

Italian fried chicken at Rizzi's?

It's both, they have about 8 tables but most of their business is take-out. The crust isn't as good as the crust you had up North but it's close.

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I have been into home-cooking and comfort foods since Ike and only going out about once a week with several misses and 2 finds:

The Local - 120 Circle Way, Lake Jackson - owned by the people from Cafe Annice this is a very nice upscale sandwich shop, bakery and small boutique.

Boogie's Chicago Style BBQ, 9244 W. Bellfort @ Gatlinburg - a bbq trailer open only Th-Fr-Sat serving some pretty good bbq. Home-made beef and pork sausage was very good, ribs a little underdone when I had them, brisket very, very tender. Oak and pecan woods used; sauce is very, very, very sweet, ditto the baked beans; potato salad is an institutional product and almost runny but this is perhaps my best Q option in this end of town.

A little more info on both and pics of Boogie's on my blog.

Misses: 3 P's bbq - 9409 S. Gessner - not ready for prime time. Brisket was tough, ribs on the verge of being dried out, not enough rub; very faint 1/8" smoke ring on the brisket; sauce pretty good but maybe a jarred product; potato salad one of the highlights of the meal but possibly institutional. A plus is that they use a beef, pork and jalapeno sausage from Poffenberger's Bellville Meat Market. Only open a couple of weeks and doing no business - I'll try again in a month or so.

D'Village African restaurant, S. Gessner at Westbrae Parkway, just down from Makola Imports - Nigerian - unpleasant aroma (like bathroom deodorant) in the restaurant which was spic and span, very dark, with red linen table cloths. Cook and waitress thrilled to see me and at great pains to explain the food to me in her limited English. Took a chance on egusi, a staple soup (porridge like) with beef, chicken, fish and cow's foot. Edible, but not very interesting. A side of a huge glob of fufu - like putty and apparently used like injera in Ethiopian cuisine as an edible utensil - can't say anything nice so won't say anything at all.

Jouy's Tamales - Clute - home-made??? Aroma of stagnant water on the plate; left most of the food which was unmemorable anyway.


Edited by brucesw (log)

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The only place I've had good food consistently is Elephant Garden on 6 near W. Airport. Home Style Tofu, Chinese Spaghetti, General's Chicken, Beijing Beef are all good. Next up to bat is the Stewed Tofu then maybe the Crab & Sharkfin Soup.

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If you get the chance check out Rizzi's over on Dulles Ave.  They don't have a wood fired oven but the pizza tastes like I remember from Philly/New Jersey.

How about the Italian Fried Chicken - have you tried that?

Is Rizzi's a take out place or dine in? I spent a week in the summer 20 years ago in Jersey/Philly area and the pizza and calzones were to die for.

Italian fried chicken at Rizzi's?

It's both, they have about 8 tables but most of their business is take-out. The crust isn't as good as the crust you had up North but it's close.

Rizzi's was really good.

My current Pizza favs are probably Rizzi's and Pinks who looks to be opening a 2nd location.

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I'm glad you liked it, I'll try Pink's next time I'm in town.

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I generally prefer thin crust but I really like Rizzi's crust. Fortunately it's only a little more than 10 minutes from where I live.

Also tried the fried chicken - beautiful golden color, smallish pieces, very tender, not over cooked and dry but I personally didn't care for the seasoning. Likewise didn't care for 'those potatoes.'


Edited by brucesw (log)

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I didn't try the chicken, "Italian" fried chicken just didn't appeal to me.

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The original Press blurb seemed like a lot of hype to me but the pizza was surprisingly good so I thought I'd try. Live and learn. I'm sure many people do like it.

You've found several good things down there in SL.

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You guys inspired me to go looking/tasting around. I'm off to Boogies now to try their BBQ.


Edited by JimH (log)

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I had the ribs, sausage & boudin. I like ther sausage but the ribs were out of sight. They were a little too tender ( I prefer the kind that cling little more to ther rib) but the smoke and rub were perfect. They may have the best ribs in the Houston metro area, they are better than mine. The BBQ sauce is Kraft that's been doctored, beans are Campbells also doctored, the potato salad I would pass on next time. I originally asked for sliced beef but he said it was not up to their standard. I need to try their brisket next time. The sausage is peppery with the right amount of fat and loose texture, smokey good just like the ribs.

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Wow Jim, I've only been twice but obviously I've got to go back. I saw a new container of ps being opened and a container of sauce with no label - how do you know the sauce and the beans are store bought??? I'm just not that familiar with bottled bbq sauce or canned baked beans.

I went out last weekend to Midway in Katy which has been reviewed both by Walsh and Francis in the Press - very good stuff, incredibly meaty ribs, brisket a little underdone to my taste; I also liked the sausage there. It's just a little far for me and I probably won't go unless I'm out that way.

Today I tried Pollo Bravo, 6015 Hillcroft #2800, just off 59 in the same center with Tortas Las Llardas and Manolo's Cuban Cafe. I had been once back in May and tried the Pollo Rostizado which was very good as were the maduros. I had a taste for ceviche today and was looking for a Peruvian place and Pezcalato has closed but this showed up on b4. The menu I picked up back then doesn't have the word Peru or Peruvian anywhere on it but now the menu does identify some dishes as Peruvian, some as Mexican. I had the Ceviche Mixto which included fish, calamari, octopus, corn, red onion, lettuce, cilantro, lime and camote (sweet potato) and was very good. This was accompanied by a very creamy salsa verde which I didn't think it needed. I also had the Aquadito, the house soup, with chicken, corn, onions, tomato and peas - a little bland until I saw another patron adding some of the salsa verde - bingo, a winner.

I tried the Chicha Morada, a drink made with purple corn, pineapple and cinnammon classically but I think their version had pear in it. It was rather bland and not sweet at all (but it's supposed to be good for your blood pressure I think?)

I wanted to try one of the desserts but I was stuffed with 2 appetizers and the drink.


Edited by brucesw (log)

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Wow Jim, I've only been twice but obviously I've got to go back.  I saw a new container of ps being opened and a container of sauce with no label - how do you know the sauce and the beans are store bought???  I'm just not that familiar with bottled bbq sauce or canned baked beans.

I grew up eating Campbell's beans and Kraft's BBQ sauce. Most places that make their own beans do it ranch style or just plain bland pintos, these were very uniformly cooked and sweet. Don't get me wrong, I liked the beans, they sautéed some onion and added chopped meat (brisket or rib tips?) to them which I prefer over the aforementioned beans. Kraft BBQ sauce has this distinct flavor that just cannot be doctored out of it, it's a very strong vinegar/chili powder flavor profile. They again sauteed some onion and added a sweetner (brown sugar?) but his BBQ doesn't need it. Making your own BBQ sauce is time consuming and they probably only have it because people here expect it. I'm sure they cook with all wood, I think you said it was pecan, because it's the only way you can get that kind of quality smoke flavor. Of all of the places I've eaten BBQ this place is a stand out. The real test is brisket and if he wasn't willing to sell me the sliced beef because it didn't turn out speaks volumes. His ribs have me rethinking my approach to ribs and I'm betting his smoker is a vertical with some of the fat dripping into the fire.

Thanks for writing about Boogies it's quite a find.

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Okay, just wondered. I knew someone who wasn't above climbing in a dumpster out back to look for what supplies were being used and passed off as home-made; thought you might have seen something with a label on it. I never used sauce when I barbequed (smoked) other than years ago Woody's sometimes.

The guy told me they use oak and pecan; around on the back side of the trailer, down low, is a smoke box, I think.

Here's the open-faced brisket sandwich. You can see why I described the sauce as like a glaze. This was melt in your mouth tender.

gallery_58650_5736_41826.jpg

If you liked Boogie's beans I think you'll like Pierson's.

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