Friday Food Fail

The winner of Friday’s food fail belongs to James Coney Island, “Houston’s original hot dogs since 1923″. I don’t typically take lunches on Fridays because I get off at 1pm so when I do eat, it’s usually @ KL’s place in my building or something in my snack drawer. Quick and Easy. Well while waiting for the time to count down to 1pm, RSP asked if I wanted to grab lunch, he was craving hot dogs. Sure I said, why not. I’ll just stay back an extra hour at work, no biggie.

Worst idea ever.

With the plethora of gourmet places and food trucks popping up everywhere specializing in hotdogs, why in God’s name did we choose  JCIWorst idea ever. Why oh why didn’t I change my mind and go to the walking distance Food Truck Park. I only have myself to blame. 

Well let me first start off by saying I am a biased eater and tend to lean towards smaller chains or local things rather than food chains. I am definitely not a fan of JCi. It’s one of those chain restaurant places like “Logan’s Roadhouse” (Who by the way I have eaten at before) or Chili’s that you know you’ll never go to or in fact ask “who goes there anyways”?

*points at self using thumbs*  This girl. 

Walking into JCI I started wanted to believe it might be a good thing. First of all the nostalgic 50′s esque diner theme was nice. The 4 or 5 tables filled with old married couples was a plus but the topper was no lines – friendly staff – quick service.  That’s where it ends though. JCI turned  was a major food fail for me for several reasons. The bread texture was too chewy from sitting in the steam tray too long, the chili was more dog food than spicy Texas type chunky, stick to your bones chili, and the cheese was every bit the “gov’ment” cheese you get for free with WIC/LoneStar. Such a fail. I was expecting a huge all beef hot dog like Costco or Sams but instead got a wimpy slather of hot dog shaped over salted meat type. It made me sad. 

I should have just tried the “gourmet” hot dogs they’ve been advertising but man I was really feeling a Chili cheese hot dog.

But I ate the whole 830 calorie foot long (FOR REALS) because I was always taught to clean my plate. I’m such a pig.

Food Fail Win!

Food Fail Win!

Kim Son Cafe

RSP and I got a groupon to Kim Son Cafe, it’s right by my office and convenient. Kim Son has 3 locations I believe – Energy Corridor, The Woodlands & Memorial. Around the Energy Corridor there’s been a bunch of “Asian” places popping up lately. I’ve tried to hit up the Vietnamese ones when I can. It’s hard to do so when I pack most of my lunches, and I have to admit I have eaten at both Nom Nom Noodles & Pho Basil but those are a blog for another time; mainly when I get photos to go with. Haha

Anywho, I digress..

Kim Son Cafe, full disclosure, I feel caters to “Americans”. Looking at the prices compared to the portion that’s given, I think a lot of Vietnamese would agree. Not hating on Kim Son, I mean we all gotta make a dollar, but I’m just saying. It’s in a predominantly white area stepping stones away from the energy corridor where there are a lot of Oil & Gas people looking for a good meal.

My coworker and I once had this debate, I said I felt 10 dollars was more than enough for a meal meaning that’d be the maximum I pay for a meal, however he begged to differ. He thought paying 10 bucks for a meal was a steal. To which I answered “and THAT sir is why you’ll always pay for my meal.” See how I did that? It Works! I also have the same deal with J.

So last Thursday RSP and I went on a lunch date to Kim Son Cafe, Groupon in hand. It was a $15 dollar groupon for $30 dollars worth of food. At Kim Son, this meant 1 appetizer, 2 dishes and a soda for RSP.

Before I get into my review fully, I have to say here and now that Mi Xao Don is my utmost favorite dish of all time. If you look up my yelp info you’ll even see it written there under “last meal on earth”. No Lie. We actually ate it again twice last week!

Homemade Mi Xao Don

Saving the homemade version of mi xao don for another blog. You’ll see why when I post it.

So anyways, I chose, since we were getting fancy with the more than $10 dollar dishes, Mi Xao Don. What Kim Son called Shanghai Crispy noodles.

From Kim Son’s menu:

Shanghai Crispy Egg Noodles
Crispy egg noodles topped with shrimp,
chicken, squid, beef & assorted vegetables
sauteed in brown sauce.

So literally “mi xao don” means “crispy fried noodles”. This dish uses an egg noodle base that’s deep fried crispy then topped with stir-fry. The stir-fry is typically concocted of vegetables and meat. Most dishes will have a little bit of seafood, beef, and chicken  and a lot of veggies. The bulk of the price is the seafood part I think. I love the veggies though, that’s the best part.

Kim Son's mi xao don

Kim Son’s mi xao don

This is it.

I loved every bit of it, even the bowl.  If you’ll notice the layering, crispy noodles on bottom, piping hot stir-fry on top. What you don’t see is the pool of  broth, goop, sauce, whatever you want to call collecting at the bottom. It’s there to soften your noodles for eating. To eat it, is tricky. The noodles come out crispy and crunchy and if you’ve never eaten it before, it can become a hot mess quick. The trick is to start in the middle where most of the stir-fry has collected and using your chopsticks/fork dig from the bottom up to pull all the soft noodles below up. It’s hard to explain but once you get the rhythm down, and are able to have an even mix of crispy and soft noodles, it’s heaven in your mouth.

At Kim Son Cafe, this dish is I think 12.95 or so and at the most feeds 2 people. If you were to go to chinatown and get this dish, it would be about a dollar or so more  and “family size” – feeds about 3-4 people.

So I gave mi xao don more than enough attention but it was rightfully deserved. I realize this post is about Kim Son Cafe but who cares. The glory of mi xao don must be said I think.

Anywho, RSP got Peking Duck. The thing about both of our dishes you’ll notice is that they’re typical staples when going out for “family style” meals. Family style is wonderful and all, great conversation, great food, but the portions are never quite enough because you have to share. In other words, we got to be a little selfish.

Peking Duck

Peking Duck for 1

This dish was surprisingly delicious as well. Crispy skin, big portions of duck meat with hints of star anise seasoning on it as well as the hoisin sauce. It also comes with freshly steamed buns.

I’m a stickler about reheating food. I want to say this dish was reheated but I could be wrong. I do know it had dry parts that are typical in corners of meat when it’s been reheated, that and on the drumstick. Never the less it was quite filling and though I declined, RSP made me take a bite and I’m glad I did.

A Voodoo Stuffed What? What??!!

Voodoo Stuffed Loaves

Voodoo Stuffed Loaves

Wrap your head’s around this one folks. It’s a loaf of french bread stuffed with your choice of beef or chicken, the vendor who chose this apparently thought we’d like both.  The last time this vendor brought these I tossed them because they looked gooey like they’d sat in foil too long. This time when I saw it I opened and cut into it to see just what the heck it was.

Literally “Chicken or Beef stuffed in a french bread loaf.” It’s weird yet intriguing at the same time. Must try. 

The things cajuns think up.

****EDIT****

So I didn’t finish my normal lunch – com & thit kho (rice &meat) – so that I could try these crazy cajun concoctions (say that 3x’s fast) and people, it’s meehhhh.

First up, the chicken:

Voodoo stuffed chicken loaf

Voodoo stuffed chicken loaf

My first impression is that you’ll have to practically eat it right away or re-toast it. Microwave doesn’t do the bread justice and it ends up being chewy; however the insides were delicious. Very spicy and flavorful. They have actual cuts of jalapenos (jalapeno face!!!) which make the mix – at this point I have no clue what to classify it as… Perhaps a “stuffing” of sorts, who knows-extra spicy. I didn’t get a picture but once I’d microwaved it and took it out the grease was bubbling up like crazy.

The beef one was pretty much the same but beefy flavored.  Both are very salty and spicy. Very much of the corner gas station deli variety. I picture a trucker driving down (or up?) I-10 via Lafayette heading to Houston or even Florida with this and a Big Cup of Coke in their lap. Possibly setting him/her back 10-12 bucks and heartburn for the next hour or two drive.

photo 2

Final verdict? I wouldn’t venture to say it was good, or my go to word when I like something, “delicious”; however it’s edible and I’m lucky I didn’t spend my money on it. I’m surprised to say it’s not my favorite and I’ve had some favorites.

Snack Bar

We’ve got this new vendor trying to garner our business. From what I can tell, they’re a great company based off the snacks they give us. Haha What do they do you ask? No idea. 

But check out the spread they’ve made for us on two separate occasions now:

25sept2013

I sent this first photo from 25 September to RSP with the caption “you wouldn’t believe me if I told you so I had to show you”. Ridiculous right?  Fun as it was setting up all the goodies for display it literally only lasted a good 2 weeks. A record for our office and a good change from all the healthy stuff. I mean come on Twinkies?! Nutty Bars?! Shipley’s Donuts?! Haha ok so the Shipley’s were from the day before however it was still fun displaying it.

It was pretty awesome of this vendor to do this for us.

17oct2013

This spread is more recent and not as good as the first selection but still awesome none the less. i think this is a great idea for salespeople. It’s something different and gets more attention. We also once got like 6 or 7 boxes of ice cream over the summer, sucks I didn’t get a photo though.  Now THAT was fun! I ate the hell outta some Moo Bars when I was stressed from running around that day. Moo Bars are my new best friend. at 180 calories, you can’t beat that for a snack.

So the moral of the story here people is bring us more food. You may or may not get our business, but we’re thankful for your kindess. Ha!

 

 

Adventures in Bento Making Round 1, Trial 1

I love bento box lunches, so freaking cute. Don’t know why Japanese people always make things so cutsies but in the case of bento box making, its a win! So before I show you my lunch today, I have to say 1. I’m not that creative and 2. I’m terrible at creativity. Most of my meals (like my wardrobe) is copied off someone/something else I saw.

A quick google search of “Bento box making” I came up with some really cute websites:

I’m not sure how they stuff all that goodness into such tiny boxes. I failed for sure in that department.

These people seem to use a lot of seaweed, rice, sandwiches cut into cute shapes, and fruits & veggies. Fruits and veggies gooooddd. I need to start doing that too.  The best part about all of them though is that all of the food is 1. finger foods and 2. has variety. I did a bento box a few weeks back I wish I’d have taken a picture of but it’s amazing what wonders a silicon cupcake holder does for a lunch. It makes it very pretty, neat and organized and the best part your foods don’t touch. I have a thing about my foods touching. Like I can’t stand piling food onto a plate or mixing hot foods with cold foods. It’s weird I know. 

Anyways, here is today’s lunch made of leftovers:

Bento Trial 1 10222013

Background: Thit Kho & Egg, about a cup and 1/2 of rice, seaweed flakes for later ball rolling, and cucumbers.
Front: Spinach soup.

I bought that lunch box a few weeks ago at HEB. It’s a Rubbermaid brand called “lunchblox”. The photo shown comes with an ice cube but I don’t typically use it. It came with 2 3 oz. containers and 2 6 oz containers as well and they all “sort of” attach to the lid of that big box. I chose this one because it seemed efficient and convenient and it was at HEB at the time I was looking, but  do a quick search on amazon and you could go broke buying all the various containers, tupperware, cutters, picks, etc. Look at this one!!! Obsession overload.

Weekend RoundUp 10.18-20.2013

Another Monday is upon us which means another weekend come and gone too soon. This weekend was actually pretty fun though! With the hubs (ha i’m gonna enjoy saying that) gone my stepdaughter and I were pretty free to do anything we wanted…

So seriously we didn’t into  hella crazy stuff, come one she’s 15; but we did get to enjoy a husband/daddy free weekend though.

Highlights

Charity Event

This sweet little boy was diagnosed with Leukemia. I wasn’t sure of all the details however, when a friend is in need I try to help if I can. Though we don’t know Jace, we do know people that know him so we came out for moral support.

baby jace

Tapioca Dissing

Since the hubs wasn’t home we thought we’d try and get into trouble by getting silly off tapioca drinks and trying the most recent ones “Honeybee” and “Kung-Fu“. After the disappointment of Honeybee I didn’t try Kung-Fu but my girlfriend did and she enjoyed the passionfruit tea. Her ass was busy talking to people and not introducing us so we took sips off it. Very refreshing and light. Exactly what we were looking for in a drink. Sad to say we stopped at Honeybee first though and were sorely disappointed. First, the ergonomically deficient cup shape. Several people in person, and on instagram said “How is that suppose to fit in your cup holder?!” Seriously. Despite the cup shape, I took my chances and ordered safe – Jasmine Green Tea w/cream. The punk kid (Truth be told he coulda been in his 20′s  but I don’t care I can safely at my age call anyone a punk kid now. I have the right. Respect.) responded “so just a green tea cream”? NO MOTHER F’ER. Jasmine green tea is very light and has hints of jasmine that regular green tea doesn’t have.

Regular green tea is earthier and grassier. Schooled.  Anywho, I got that  while Kid Jr. got something she didn’t like anyways so it’s ok I didn’t remember and we ordered popcorn chicken.

honeybee popcorn chicken

The first photo is an instagram-shopped picture (and posted) and the second one is a close up of the popcorn chicken. It looks like a burnt Chickfila nugget but it’s not.  Man the cup was dumb but forgiving, the chicken though. Bad. It was crunchy, and the texture was there but it did terrible in the taste department. So I went back up to the counter and asked for seasoning and this is how the conversation went:

me: Can I get some seasoning, it’s kinda bland?

Girl behind counter: Like Cayenne Pepper?

me: uhh. sure but something with seasoning in it.

Girl behind counter: oh yea like cayenne pepper.

gives girl redonkulous look

me: yea that’s fine.

I forgive these kids because from the moment I walked in the place was pretty dead and the kids behind the counter looked like they didn’t even want to be there. I figured,”Hell they have Mean Girls on tv, this place can’t be that bad right?” I should have known not to get my hopes up when a 6 yr old kid pops out from behind the curtain in PJ’s at 3 in the afternoon. Sigh.

To quote my girlfriend “THIS ISN’T A BANH BAO!” which cracked us all up.

She was looking for this:

banh bao

But she got this:

baos

I don’t recall the names of them but they weren’t memorable. I do recall my girlfriend taking one bite of her “banh bao” and stating the above quote and then it ceremoniously falling apart into her basket. It was a bad day for her and food. hahaha The other thing I remember is the pork belly and how Valentina from the Valentina Special  keep mentioning how her pork belly tastes like “thit kho” and my girlfriend (I haven’t figured out a nickname for her yet) kept going “THIT KHO IS PORK BELLY!!!” Again, bad day for her and food.  HAHAHAH oh man, like I said good weekend. hahah

Baby Shenanigans

Look how much these kids have grown OMGZ!! Love them!

photo 4 adalyn nolan

Notice both babies are happy with food, doesn’t matter what or where  it came from. Little man is holding a Seaweed and Salt chip from Calbee brands. OMGZZZZZZ so good and addicting!!

seaweed chipsThey’ve definitely got a seaweed kick to them but not the fishy smelling kind and they have a hint of salt and a hint of sweet. I couldn’t find these at Hmart but they definitely have them at Hong Kong Supermarket and that market next to Star Snow Ice, getchu some.

Cooking Healthy for the Unhealthy

I’m totally gonna call RSP  out right now (hehe love you). That guy is totally a fat kid in a skinny kid body. Rounding it off, half a dozen donuts and 3 jalapeno and cheese stuffed sausages was just some of the things he ate this weekend. Lordy. Our rule of thumb is, healthy on the weekdays, binge on the weekends. So I tried to be healthy and make pasta for the week but so many people ate it that there was only enough for lunch today. Wasn’t how that was suppose to go.

pastaI was actually disappointed in my pasta this week. It was a little dry, I shouldn’t have used wheat pasta and turkey sausage wasn’t such a good idea. That on top of the hard carrots because I didn’t cook them long enough and not enough veggies just made me sad.

That’s right folks I don’t just criticise others, I criticize myself too.

The last highlight of the weekend I’ll leave with just a quote, “Have  you seen my brownie?” HA!

How was your weekend?

My Food Park HTX

I had to get my thoughts down in writing before I forget; I had fully decided to drop this blog as I hadn’t done much for a while now. After getting married, and life being thrown at me for real - new kid, new husband, new in-laws + life messiness – I just got too bogged down to even find time to blog.

And seriousnessly we’d settled into all old married couple mode fast – eating the same thing, doing the same routine- It’s the fairy tale ending ya’ll!  But because of all this seriousness,  we hadn’t ventured into new territory in a while so I didn’t’ feel compelled to write about the same old stuff. Y’all don’t want to hear that amiright!?

Well, that’s all about to change. Seriousnessly. HA! Not even a word but I love saying it. Rolls off the tongue.

I’d heard the whisperings, well I should say I started off seeing a sign, “food truck park” (FTP)  right by my office on Hwy 6 and Memorial a few weeks ago and didn’t believe it. To be honest, and not rude in anyway, the sign looked dilapidated and used up like it was a sign from the early 90′s with its colorful flags hanging above to get your attention. I thought it was something I might have missed out on already. You know the “died before you could catch on” type places.

A few weeks later though it just so happened I got my daily email from Houston Business Journal (Yes I get a daily email) and low and behold a few weeks after I saw the sign (sing it with me now: and I opened up my eyes and I am happy now!! Love me some Ace of Base) they’d written an article confirming it. So did Culture Map, btw.

My-Food-Park-Houston-new-food-park-sign_111947

A nicer photoshopped version of the sign.

So the lowdown was that they wouldn’t’ be open until Nov.2nd  according to both articles, however, a coworker of mine told me Monday that he’d walked down there. He told me that he could conveniently see the FTP from his window (that lucky bastard) and saw that there was food trucks out there so he went to check it out. Later that day he mentioned it to me and I was like minion voice whhaaaaaa!!! So yea I made a date w/some other coworkers to get check it out ASAP, which happened to be today. An. Hour. Ago. We are literally 5 minutes walking into suicidal traffic on Hwy 6 distance from the FTP, why not ya know?

And a way we go. 

I was kind of disappointed there wasn’t the more popular ones out there like Chi’lantro or Bernie’s Burger Bus (shoutouts!) so we had to try what was there, I mean we risked our lives didn’t we!? And so of the two that weren’t desserts and were out there at 1140am, The Golden Grill and Taco Nuts, I settled for the latter. My goal going to the food truck park was to get some dirty tacos, known to everyone else as “street tacos”. Don’t sugar coats it, they’re made inside a truck w/a sweaty hipster overcharging your ass for 3 miniscule tacos, they dirty. I got 1 order. Ha!

street tacos

It was 1 taco for 5 bucks or 3 tacos for 10 bucks. I originally thought just 1 taco but smart me, I asked to see what it looked like and chose the 3 for 10. So tiny.

 

I don’t know why but I started, facing me: right to left instead of normal left to right. I think bc that one looked more appetizing at the time, I can’t remember I scared those suckers down quick.

I have to say I was thoroughly impressed with what I had. I hate that they give you 2 corn tortillas but since 1. They’re small and 2. Packed with innards (is that a word?) because they’re so small, the 2 corn tortillas are obligatory.

My first one was the “Dr. Pepper brisket” with other stuff. I was very satisfied with that one, that one alone satisfied my dirty taco craving. You can taste the brisket and it was nicely done, thinly shredded and didn’t stick all in your teeth. Same goes for the pork carnitas. The tacos are tiny for sure but even though it doesn’t look like it, they were really filling.  The second one was a Pork Carnitas filling and was very similar to Torchy’s Tacos or Chipotle’s recipe, so to me, muy bueno. The small bits of pork skin, or chicharones – love that word, again, rolls off the tongue mmhmm.- was a really nice touch that added a happy crunch.

The third one though killed it for me. It was a chicken bits, dark or white meat I couldn’t tell ya but I do know, the chicken was too sweet. I’m not down with sweet when it should probably be savory. I mean, some people can do it right and I’ll venture to try but still I prefer savory over sweet, especially on my meats.

I have a really bad case of OCD some would say and well I’m kind of upset in the order I went. I like to save the best for last and in this case, I ate the best first which left the worst for last and that was just not cool. Damn it.

So, after all is said and done, I still killed it, though in my last two tacos I didn’t eat the extra tortilla.  I’d have to say my final verdict on Taco Nuts –IF it’s out there and there’s nothing else better I’d go back but not for the chicken taco.

done son

Remnants.

*Post Edit* This blog was originally supposed to be a post-lunch review, however it  is being posted at 645pm because at 1pm  our internet went down. And never came back up. dun-dun-dunnnnnn!!!!

This too shall pass

I thought up this title as I was remembering something I’d neglected for quite some time. I want to say “I promise I haven’t forgotten about my blog”, but I’d be lying. I completely forgot I had this blog until a friend mentioned it over the weekend. It’s been quite a while since I posted. According to my notifications, 67 days. Good Grief! Work has been crazy hectic which doesn’t leave room for much, that and being a newlywed + stepmom definitely leaves little room for writing, or reading for that matter. Oh Man, even that’s a lie! Ok so seriously, work has been busy and personal life is somewhat busy but I have to openly admit to ya’ll, tv lately has gotten too good to pass up. I’m currently on the TV show Scandal and Oh-Em-Gee it’s good!! The sultry seduction of Mr. President/Fitz/Untouchable to you Ms. Pope, The fixer squad with IT mystery guy, the smoother talking black guy, and the bitchy redhead makes for some good tv. If you haven’t watched, you need to. I thought Homeland was good, but this is getting pretty close to one of my top favorites. I watch way too much TV though, seriously I mean just to tick off a few:

- The Walking Dead (TWD)

- Pretty Little Liars (PLL)

- Homeland

- Revenge

- Scandal

- Game of Thrones

So much drama I have to watch shows to lighten the mood and those included Happy Endings (so sad to see it end), and Melissa & Joey (nostalgic reasons mostly). RSP keeps saying I watch too many shows how can I even keep up and admittedly it is, but man if you know me, you know how much I loves the drama. It’s my middle name. Some call me “TMZ” but we won’t go there.

My tangents, turn into tangents as you can see.

Anyways I was getting at my lack of posts and neglectful behavior as of late. I couldn’t believe it when in passing I saw that HRW 2013 is already upon us once again. New and old restaurants offering up their take on beef, chicken, fish and sometimes pork for a good cause was happening and I’d completely forgotten. Skimming the incredibly long list for 2013 I came across a few I want to try:

- Brasserie Max & Julie: strictly because I have a friend that works there.

- Indika; Indian food, been craving it. Or as an alternative, Kiran’s

- Eleven XI: I hear it’s the “hot new spot”

- Cinq: always wanted to go into La Colombe d’Or but it’s so fancy!

- Hearsay: their menu looked simple, but interesting.

- Courses at the Art Institute of Houston: Student Chefs, why the heck not?

Dang, I’m all lists today.

I should say now that HRW is a total scam, these normally super expensive restaurants make up their cheapest dishes using basic foods and charge 25-45 dollars depending on lunch or dinner for a “good cause”. So what does this say about someone like me who blogs not once, but twice about HRW? I am a total sucker for looking fancy on the cheap and shall very much want to participate. Besides, even if it is just basic dishes, it’s nice to know how these places are without breaking the bank incase there’s that rare time you do *looking at you RSPdecide to want to try the actual restaurant for real. HA! I’m such a bandwagon fan.

In other news, RSP is totally against HRW, which is fine because I have fatties foodies as some of my best friends and they’re more than willing to go out with me. Yay!

So I leave you with my choices for HRW 2013 and check back often as I’ll post about each place I end up going to.

This weekend I have a 1 year old’s birthday party to look forward to, and personally can not wait  to chow down on the salad buffet, pizza and wings at CEC, otherwise known as Chuck E. Cheese.

Not only can he dance, he cooks a mean meal too.