Devouring Houston: Exploring Houston One Bite at a time

Houston has so many incredible food establishments...from sumptuously designed restaurants to fun storefronts selling gourmet cookies. From Mexican Food Carts to the Best BBQ in the World. And...I want to expore it one bite at a time.

Friday, December 31, 2010

Rainbow Lodge

My visit to Rainbow Lodge leaves me with lots to say!  Almost all totally and completely delightful!  So, hold tight with me through my thoughts.  You'll be so happy you did!

I had not been to the Log Cabin since before the switch from La Tour D'Argent.  I loved being back in that quaint, rugged old cabin (history of the cabin is on the Rainbow Lodge website).  The service was lovely.  Friendly.  Cordial.  Helpful.  Knowledgeable.  The wine list offered a large variety at decent prices.

For our starters, our table ordered several items.  The Classic Caesar Salad ($7) was ho hum to me.  While fresh and crisp romaine, it didn't really blow me away.  The Slow Smoked Duck Gumbo with andouille sausage and wild rice pilaf ($7) was thin, lacked kicked-up spice and lacked big chunks of meat.  However, the person who actually ordered it (and a gumbo aficionado) loved it describing the flavor as seasoned very well.

Slow Smoked Duck Gumbo

But, let me end there with the complaints - because the rest of the meal I found to be DELICIOUS!  The Matchstick Honey Crisp Apple salad -- with celery root and endive, smoke mustard and creme fraiche ($11) was fresh and crisp.   A hint of spice from the visible mustard seeds.  It was a great way to cleanse our palate before moving onward.

Matchstick Honey Crisp Apple Salad

The appetizer of Honey Sweetened Local Goats Cheese with walnut bread and fig jam ($9) was a fantastic way to start a meal!  The goat cheese was creamy and fresh.  Very delicious.  The fig jam was a perfect pairing to the cheese.  Sweet, but not too much sweetness, the sweet and savory combination worked in perfect combination together.

Honey Sweetened Local Goats Cheese

I ordered the Bryan Farms Chicken with black kale colcannon, red eye gravy and prosciutto and shaved sugar peas ($25).  This dish was a symphony on my plate.  All the flavors and textures worked in perfect concert together.  The Black Kale Colcannon was delicious when eaten with the very tender and moist chicken.  Colcannon is a traditional Irish dish of mashed potatoes with hearty greens.  Black Kale isn't really black, but a deep grayish color.  The two together were heavenly.   The prosciutto as you can see below was a fried strip, reminiscent of bacon.  But better.  Thin. Light.  Delicious combined with the colcannon and chicken.  The sugar snap peas were tender.  Crunchy.  Delicate, yet held their own with the gravy, potatoes, and kale.  And the gravy.  Yum.  A little salty, but I actually really like salt.  Therefore, the dish was perfection.

Bryan Farms Chicken

Dessert.  Ah, Dessert!  The Guinness Chocolate Cake with Irish Whiskey glaze, spiced chocolate ganache, and vanilla bean ice cream ($8) rivaled my chicken dish in regards to best flavor combination ever.  I mean...ever.  The cake had a subtle hint of the Guinness giving it a unique quality.  Mild chocolate.  Extremely tasty.  Moist.  The strip of hard  toffee combined with the soft cake, sumptuous whiskey glaze, and the chocolate-y ganache was the most exquisite bite of divine heaven.  Really.  It was that good.  The flavors and textures truly complimented each other in the way that food is meant to be consumed.

Guinness Chocolate Cake

The Warm Almond Cake was beautiful and delicious as well ($8).  Almond cake with orange creme anglaise, caramel and candied almonds, and citrus salad.  The cake was indeed the perfect warm temperature. Thick.  Moist. Dense.  A very nice partnership of the orange and almond flavors.

Warm Almond Cake

Our dining visit at Rainbow Lodge, clearly, was truly an excellent gastronomic experience.  I highly recommend dining there.

Rainbow Lodge
2011 Ella Boulevard at East TC Jester
Houston, Texas  77008

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christian's Tailgate Bar & Grill - Washington

I have a new favorite hamburger place.  Christian's Tailgate on Washington.  Oh, you have already been there?  I know.....I think everyone has been to Christian's Tailgate but me...until today.  Goodness, what took me so long?  Hello Hamburger Love.  I cannot wait until we meet again.

Christian's Tailgate is not fancy.  No frills.  Nothing out of the ordinary.   It is exactly what you expect a hamburger joint to be.  And, it was perfect.

They have 3 different sizes of burgers (1/3 lb., 1/2 lb., and a double, 1 lb).  The 1/3 is what I ordered and it was plenty thick and fairly juicy.  Is this very best burger I've ever had in my entire life?  No.  But, is it a super, great burger for $4.49?  Absolutely!  I will go back there.  Very tasty. Tender, moist meat.  Lots of melty, gooey cheese.  Not too greasy, but enough burger grease for those times when you really need it!  :)

1/3 lb. Cheeseburger and French Fries

The french fries were extra crispy, yet still soft on the inside.  So they aren't homemade cut fries -- I'm okay with that!  They were still most flavorsome.  The onion rings were crunchy on the outside with the sweetness of the onions on the inside. 

Onion Rings

The hot dog was good, too.  Again, what you expect in a hot dog, and what you actually want in a hot dog.  Good beefy flavor.  Not dried out.  Soft bun.

Hot dog with French Fries

Let me also mention that the service was really commendable.   The staff was extremely considerate and nice.  And, our order was cooked up quickly.

It took me a while to visit Christian's Tailgate, but I was not disappointed.  I look forward to going back.

Christian's Tailgate Bar & Grill
7340 Washington Avenue (@ I-10)
Houston, Texas 77007

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Jus' Mac ...back for more

As I promised myself a few weeks ago, I was going back to Jus' Mac to try the Fried Mac Balls.  I did. ($4.95). Hello Deliciousness on a Skillet!  The mac and cheese inside the perfectly crusted and lightly fried balls was soft and creamy.  An excellent contrast and texture.  And, the flavor...Yum.

Served with marinara sauce AND melted cheese.  Oh my goodness.  Fried Mac and Cheese Balls dipped in melted cheesy heaven-ness.  Yummmmmmm.

Fried Mac & Cheese Balls

Here is what the All American Mac & Cheese looks like below.  American blend of cheeses topped with Colby Jack.  Mild and cheesy.  Pasta perfectly al dente!  ($5.95)

All American Mac & Cheese

Now, to kick up that good old fashioned Mac & Cheese -- we ordered the Chili Cheese Mac & Cheese ($6.95).  Mac & Cheese topped with chili, Colby Jack, and bread crumbs...and Fritos!  So, to summarize....Mac and Cheese meets Frito Pie.  Hello Tasty Goodness!  The chili had great beef flavor.  It did have beans, so if you are a particular Texan where beans should just not be part of chili, well, take a breath, it was really savory!  Very delicious.  Very satisfying.  Very filling.  Very delectable.

Chili Cheese Mac & Cheese

As one of my dining partners said, if all they are going to serve is Mac & Cheese, it better be really good.  And, I'm SO happy to say, it really is THAT good! 

Jus' Mac
2617 Yale Street
Houston, Texas 77008

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Fluff Bake Bar

Rebecca Masson is well known in the foodie circles and by the restaurant industry for her delicious and inventive confections.  She studied at Le Cordon Bleu and worked in a few of New York City's finest restaurants.  Then, lucky for us Houston folk, she moved here, and now bakes for us!  She's known as the Sugar Fairy.  How great is that! 

I first had one of her ingenious and divine desserts at the My Table Culinary Awards.  It was her Lemon Snickerdoodle Ice Cream Sandwich with Whipped Caramel and Cinnamon Asian Pear, and it was fantabulous!  While she does not have a bakery that you can visit at any time, she does bake for customer orders.  I thought Christmas would be the most excellent time to taste some of her delectable goodness.

First up, the Devil's Food Cupcake with Salted Caramel Frosting ($30/dozen).

Devil's Food Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting

This was a good cupcake!  In a twist of fate, the devil's food cake was heavenly!  Seriously, it was moist and dense.  Subtle chocolate flavor.  Not too rich.  Very satisfying.  And, again, perfectly moist.   The frosting was thick and tasty.  Lots of butt-ah!  Very fluffy frosting.  The sea salt sprinkled on top was very, well, salty - an excellent contrast with the sweet caramel whipped frosting.  The icing was sweeter than the devil's food cake.  All three flavors worked really well together.  Savory and Sweet. Luscious.

One of my fellow diners said it was the best cupcake she has ever eaten. That is a huge recommendation coming from this person -- she herself is excellent cook and has sampled the finest foods and restaurants from around the world.  It was a delish cupcake that really left us satisfied.  However, it is definitely a specialty cupcake and the flavors may not be for everyone. 

Devil's Food Cupcake with Salted Caramel Frosting

Next up:  The Famous Fluffernutter. Oatmeal-peanut butter cookie with a peanut butter cream and marshmallow fluff center ($25/dozen).  I like everything about the description of this cookie.  I looooooove peanut butter.  Reese's are my crack.  And, this cookie was definitely peanut butter-y.  Great contrast between the chewy oat cookie and fluffy, soft center.  The whipped peanut butter center was like a cousin of the Whipped Reese's candy bar, but not quite as potent in the peanut butter department (and not overly sweet like some peanut butter balls that combine with powered sugar).  I loved the marshmallow fluff in the center -- would have enjoyed even more of it!  A very, very satisfying cookie.

Famous Flutternutters

Also, just to be nice at the Holidays, Rebecca Masson gave her Christmas customers two of her chocolate chip cookies.  They were were chewy, buttery.  Plenty of chocolate chips and small bits of chopped nuts.  They were not too sweet.  They were satisfying and pleasurable.  Yummy!

Fluff Bake Bar

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Sam's Deli Diner

Sam's Deli Diner is known for their burgers.  I have heard about them through Houston Chowhounds.  And, they were also nominated for "Favorite Burger" for the My Table Houston Culinary Awards 2010.  And, happily, I live near Sam' off I went to try one of their famous burgers.

Their location is relatively new; their previous location moved across I-10 during the Katy Freeway Construction.  Their store is long and narrow, although they are in the process of expanding the eatery for additional seating.  Nothing fancy about Sam's -- paper plates and plastic ware.  Patties and fries are not made in-house, but the food is pretty good and the staff was extremely nice, friendly, and efficient (because they do alot of business).  And, the prices are super wallet-friendly!

I ordered the Cheeseburger.  Very traditional.  The cheese wasn't melty, but all was good.  The veggies were very fresh.  The lettuce remained crisp -- not wilted at all from the heat of the patty.  ($3.70)


The hotdog was simple.  Chili and cheese are options, but we went plain.  The dog had an excellent beefy flavor.  It was a bargain for $1.90.


The Bacon, Mushroom, Swiss Burger encompassed LOTS of bacon, mushrooms, and swiss.  This was no sissy burger.  A man's burger, so I was told.  ($6.10).

Bacon, Mushroom, Swiss Burger

The Fries.  Their seasoned fries were excellent.  Great flavor.  The regular fries needed salt.  But no complaints from me...salt is easy to add. ($1.50)

Seasoned Fries

I did not try a shake on this trip, but the shakes looked really good.  Handmade with Blue Bell ice cream in a variety of flavors from Peppermint and Cookies and Cream to good old fashioned chocolate and vanilla ($2.95, $3.80, and $4.65).  While I still think Beck's Prime has the best burger, I will head back to Sam's.  For the prices and the efficient service, you can't beat them.

Sam's Deli Diner
11637 Katy Freeway (at Kirkwood)
Houston, Texas 77079

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


I had not been to Tony's in at least a year.  Although I grew up going there (Tony's is where I always chose to celebrate my birthday), I had not visited the iconic Houston restaurant in over a year. It was long overdue for a visit.  Now, I realize why I waited so long.  The word -- DISAPPOINTED -- doesn't even accurately describe my time there yesterday.  I was SO deflated and SO let down at my visit. 

I ordered the Greenway Express lunch for $17, which is a great deal - soup of the day or the Dicampo Salad (similar to a house salad), choice of Chicken Involtino or Tony's Cannelloni, plus dessert choices of assorted gelato or chocolate chip cheesecake.

I went with the Soup of the Day -- Roasted Cauliflower.  And, It. Was. Good!  Creamy.  Sinfully creamy.  Addictively rich, luscious, and delicious.  Cream based with a subtle cauliflower flavor.  I mean, really good. 

Roasted Cauliflower Soup

Sadly, our lunch was all downhill from here. 

I opted for the Chicken Involtino for my entree -- chicken stuffed with spinach, sundried tomatoes and fontina cheese, pan fried with a crispy, light crust.  Sounds good, doesn't it?  Not so much.  The flavors just didn't work well, and truly, it was just bland.  And, the spinach was bitter, not the succulent, sweet fresh vegetable that I have come to expect from, well, everywhere. 

Chicken Involtino

I opted out of the dessert options, ordering a famous Tony's souffle instead.   In the meantime, one of my dining companions ordered the Elysian Fields Farm Rack of Lamb.  Rack of, uh, 2 lamb chops -- for $49.  Yes....$49. 

Elysian Fields Farm Rack of Lamb

Where to begin on how horrible this particular dish and experience was....she ordered her lamb medium.  The first time it came out rare.  No big deal, that happens.  She sent it back for a little more cookin'.  Ten or fifteen minutes later, as the rest of us had finished our entrees by now, her lamb came back to the table even RARER than the first time (new set of chops).  This little lamb was baaa -ing.   So, back to the kitchen this plate went, too.  The third time the lamb came back totally over done.  Tough.  No flavor.  Horrible.  And do you know, no sorries from our server.  No apologies.  Nothing.  NOTHING.  Great service, huh?

Other disappointments: the Foie Gras.  Tough. Leather-y.  The Sauce Bercy superb, but the fois gras, not so much.  ($24).  The Seared Tuna Ai Fagioli ($36) was tender and cooked well, but bland, no flavor, boring, dull.  But, the white bean ragu was tasty.

Fois Gras al Midoilo

Finally....the reason for my visit.  THE Souffle.  The Grand Mariner Souffle.  It was good.  Although I do think it had been sitting in the kitchen awhile (probably due to the fact we had to send the Lamb back a gazillion times), so the dessert was a little lukewarm (not piping hot).  But, it had not fallen and the sauce was delectable.  The souffle was light and fluffy.  I was momentarily happy.

Grand Mariner Souffle

Tony's last parting gift to their guests is a big glass of pink cotton candy.  Super cute and fun, right?  Might have been if it was actually tasty.  Have you ever had non-sweet cotton candy?  I mean, isn't cotton candy by definition sweet?  It is spun sugar afterall.  Well, this cotton candy was not so sweet.  The Rodeo cotton candy blows Tony's version away.  Literally, my last bite at Tony's left me with a bad taste in my mouth.

Cotton Candy

The service was ho-hum (for the amount of money one spends at Tony's, an apology, a "how is it," as little interaction would have been appreciated).  The food was maybe mediocre.  The ambiance is okay.  Seemingly a little tired, in my opinion.

Unless you can convince me otherwise, I'm not going to go back anytime soon.  Houston has way too many amazing eating establishments to waste my time and money here.

3755 Richmond Avenue
Houston, Texas 77046

Monday, December 20, 2010

Mockingbird Bistro

Mockingbird Bistro, and Chef-Owner John Sheely, have gotten much attention and praise over the years, since opening in 2002.  The decor is eclectic as is the menu -- excellent pairings and matches.  Tucked in the middle of a Montrose neighborhood, the eatery itself is a funky collection of King Henry Era light fixtures, surprise contemporary touches, and a huge, old, wooden beautiful bar.

Mockingbird Bistro

The menu provides many excellent and diverse choices.  And, all the foods popped with flavor!  The service was prompt and courteous. 

I started with the Tuscan White Bean Soup with smoked ham, croutons, and basil pesto ($10).  Outstanding.  Broth based, the soup was full of chopped veggies, including celery, carrots, peas, and broccoli.  The croutons were mixed in with the soup itself and remained crunchy the entire time.  They had excellent garlic butter flavor.   Yummy!  A great way to start my meal!

Tuscan White Bean Soup

For my entree, I ordered the Penne Pasta with shrimp Andouille sausage, tossed with oven dried tomatoes, garlic, shallots, and goat cheese ($21).  I loved this dish.  The construction was simple with fresh ingredients, and the contrasting textures between the creamy goat cheese and spicy sausage was fabulous!

Penne Pasta

So my dining companion ordered the American Kobe Beef Burger with watercress, pickled red onions, pommes frites and Stilton cheese ($16).  I actually had a hard time deciding between the penne pasta and the burger myself, so I was really interested in tasting his dish.  YUM!  The burger was cooked perfectly to order (rare).  The pickled onions were tart and sour, with a touch of sweetness.  The watercress was fresh and crisp.  The bun was flawlessly toasted with butter. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.  The frites were splendidly fried with the perfect crispness on the outside.  Served with a garlic aioli that was yummy enough to eat with a spoon by itself! 

American Kobe Beef Burger

Pomme Frites

Last Stop:  Dessert.  Like the main menu, there were many choices on the dessert menu that sounded tempting!  I asked our server which she recommended.  Her answer:  Caramelized apple & pecan crostata, hazelnut creme anglaise, nutella, and vanilla ice cream ($10).   A crostata is an Italian baked dessert tart, much like a pie baked fully inside the pastry.  The apples within the crostata were thinly sliced and deliciously tender, tossed with cinnamon and brown sugar.  They were scrumptious!  And, Hello!  Anything with Nutella is a winner with me!  Great pairing between the apples and nutella.   I could have done without the crostata pastry, but that is not because the pastry was poorly executed, more so because I wanted more apples and nutella! 

Caramelized Apple & Pecan Crostata

Our meal was full of flavor, the menu offered great selections, and the service was distinguished as well.  John Sheely was intimately involved in the kitchen and the front of the house on our visit.   Mockingbird Bistro is a funky neighborhood eatery that is worth checking out.

Mockingbird Bistro
1985 Welch Street
Houston, Texas 77019

Sunday, December 19, 2010


I've seen so much PR buzz on TQLA that I was super interested in trying this new eatery on Washington.  I was so NOT disappointed.  The atmosphere is hip and contemporary with warm tones that embrace you upon entry. High-end Tex Mex with a gazillion tequilas.  Worth your trip, for sure.  Go try it and see!


TQLA has 170 Tequilas available -- yes 170!  With 5 tequilas on tap (yes, on tap...who knew one can even imagine tequila on tap -- my college keg days have come a long way....).

We sampled a few, including the El Jimador (spicy, vanilla, sweet) - $7.00.  And, the TQLA Original ($6.75).  I ordered the later on the rocks, and it was totally rockin'.  Super smooth and super fresh.  (Aguavales 100% Blue Agave Tequila, orange liqueur and fresh lime juice).  YUMMY!

TQLA Original Margarita

El Jimador

Oh, yes, they have food, too.  And, it was very impressive.   The Queso Blanco with Poblanos (actually made with 3 cheeses) was velvety-smooth.  I could swim in it.  So thick, yet light and happy. 

Queso Blanco with Pablanos

The Todos Santos Nachos -- chips topped with roasted corn (love corn on nachos -- how come more tex-mex eateries do not do this?!?), black beans, jalapeno queso, salsa fresca, Mexican crema and guacamole - $8.50 (added chicken to mine - $3.00 extra).  Delicious, Yum-o Nachos.  Different than the standard nacho fare.  More gourmet, but not fussy at all.  Very enjoyable.  Also, the plate served up cabbage instead of lettuce.  Loved that!

Todos Santos Nachos

The Habanero Jerked Chicken Breast was described to us as their spiciest dish.  And, it was pretty darn hot!  My dining companion, who can eat fire, said it wasn't hot.  So, clearly the hot-scale is subjective.  But, this diner found it spicy!  The chicken was very tender and the Caribbean rice on the side was marvelous! ($14.95).

Habanero Jerked Chicken Breast

Finally, the Ensenada Chicken Enchiladas.  They were my least favorite item ordered.  The enchiladas contained some dark meat -- I'm not a dark meat fan.  That's one of those subjective things again.  Also, the enchiladas were not super cheesy.  I'm pretty sure that is by design, and maybe the fact that I grew up eating Molina's food is my down fall in getting out my tex-mex comfort zone.  Great tomatillo sauce on these puppies!  And, the caramelized onions were divine.  ($11.25)

Ensenada Chicken Enchiladas

I recommend TQLA to anyone and everyone.  While they cater to a younger crowd, anyone who enjoys excellent food and tequilas will appreciate this establishment.  The ingredients are entirely and perfectly fresh.  The service was fantastic -- knowledgeable and friendly.  Oh, and the place was super know I like my eateries clean!  I look forward to going back soon!  Cheers!

4601 Washington Avenue
Houston, Texas 77007

Friday, December 17, 2010

Afternoon Tea at The St. Regis

I love a nice lunch.  I love a nice dinner.  A fantastic brunch is swell.  But, give me a classy, sophisticated, upscale Afternoon Tea, and I am such a happy camper.  In Houston, our classiest Tea spot is at The St. Regis.

Today I went for Afternoon Tea.  I selected the St. Regis Blend for my tea.  I always select the St. Regis Blend.  Oh, I have tried other varieties such as the Raspberry and the new white tea offered.  But the St. Regis Blend is what I look forward to each time.  While I believe it has Earl Grey and Breakfast blends in it, this blend is so yummy, so delish....its a tea that you can really sink your teeth into.  So scrumptious!

The St. Regis Blend Tea

All the sandwiches offered at Tea are mouthwatering!  We sampled Chicken Salad on soft, thick wheat, Gruyere Cheese on white bread (excellent contrast with bold cheese and simple bread), cucumber (super fresh) with creamy herbed cream cheese, Provolone cheese with Breasola (Italian, air-dried, aged, salted beef), and the Salmon.  My favorite:  the Chicken Salad. 

Tea Sandwiches

THE SCONE.  Ah, the Scone.  Never will you ever find a scone that is an equal to these scones.  Most scones are dry, hard, dense, compact.  St. Regis currant scones are consistently light, airy, moist.  They are the most divine scone on the plant Earth.  I kid you not!  These delicious treats make me so happy.  Served with Devonshire Cream (foodie fact:  Devonshire cream is produced in the Southwestern part of England, in the counties of Somerset, Cornwall, and Devon).  If you are really, really nice to the servers, sometimes they'll give you an extra scone!

Currant Scone with Devonshire Cream

Dessert.  I know, you'd think the delectable scone would be enough.  But, nope, Afternoon Tea comes with a 3rd Course!  Dessert.  Today it included a fruit tart (tasty vanilla custard with fresh berries), cream puff (light), and the best of the 3, in my opinion, the key lime tart (tart and sweet at once, with a dense, rich meringue on top).

Dessert Pastries

No Afternoon Tea is complete without Champagne.  House Bubbles: Chandon ($14 a glass).


The St. Regis never, ever disappoints.  Always classy, elegant, sophisticated.  Excellent, excellent service.  A beautiful harpist plays in the background.  The ambiance is second to none.  I treasure my Tea Times. 

Price:  Usually $35 for Afternoon Tea.  During Christmas Time, the price changes to $40 for Holiday Tea.

Food Fact: Afternoon Tea is the correct term for dainty teas in the afternoon, not High Tea.  Many folks get confused.  Afternoon Tea is what is traditionally thought of when referring to Tea with sandwiches and scones, as described above.  Historically, Afternoon Tea was served in the afternoon to help ease hunger before dinner.  High Tea is actually more of a meal, serving heavier foods including meat, egg, fish dishes, and served later in the day at about 6:00 pm.

The St. Regis Houston
1919 Briar Oaks Lane
Houston, Texas 77027

Friday, December 10, 2010

Sprinkles Cupcakes

So thought I'd check out the special Holiday flavors at Sprinkles Cupcakes.  I'm usually a loyal Crave Cupcakes fan, but Sprinkles called my name today.

First up, Eggnog Spice.  Oh. My. Gosh.  This little cake was stupendous!  Spice cake with an eggnog cream cheese frosting.  And, you know, ordinarily I do not even like cream cheese icing.   But, this was delicious.  I truly meant to eat just a few bites, and yet, I devoured that puppy in minutes!  It was THAT good!  It was moist, too.  I super highly recommend the Eggnog Spice.  

Eggnog Spice

My other Cupcake Christmas Confection was the Vanilla Peppermint.  Usually, I am a humongo fan of anything peppermint, but this cupcake left me a little disappointed.  Although a really beautiful looking cupcake, the Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla cake was dull.  Boring.  Dry.  Not much flavor.  The icing a not-much-more-exciting vanilla peppermint.  I'd stick to Peppermint Bark or a York Peppermint Patty if you need a mint fix.  Go for the Eggnog Spice cupcake instead!  Yum-o!

Vanilla Peppermint

Both Flavors, and Chocolate Peppermint, available through December 24th.   Merry Christmas!

Sprinkles Cupcakes
4014 Westheimer
Houston, Texas 77027

Brennan's of Houston

Ahhhhhhh....Class.  Elegance.  Fantastic Service.  Excellent Food.  Just a few words that consistently describe Brennan's of Houston.

Jazz Band

This trip to Brennan's was for Sunday Brunch.  Different brunch options and combinations are available.  I started with the Coplin Farms Honey Butternut Squash Soup with all spice, creme fraiche, and cayenne pepitas.  (What is a pepita you ask -- otherwise known as a pumpkin seed).  The soup was creamy, rich, delicious.  A bit of sweetness to it, but in the most delectable way. 

Honey Butternut Squash Soup

One of my tablemates ordered the Soup 1-1-1.  In addition to the Butternut Squash Soup, she was able to sample the Pheasant & Venison Gumbo YaYa, and their famous Turtle Soup Au Sherry.  She said each tasting complimented one other.  Excellent variety.  The winner of her taste testing:  The Honey Butternut Squash Soup.

Soup 1-1-1

For my entree, I ordered the Gulf Coast Shrimp and Grits.   The creamy goat cheese grits were a great pairing and contrast to the crispy mirlitons (part of the gourd family, used like a squash or potato).   The sweet peppers were crisp tender.  Perfectly wilted arugula on top. 

Gulf Coast Shrimp & Grits

For dessert, I couldn't step away from the comfort of the famous Bananas Foster.  A true classic.  Creamy vanilla ice cream.  Ripe, yummy, warm bananas.  Perfect warm, buttery, sugary, vanillay, rummy sauce.  Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm....

The making of Bananas Foster

Bananas Foster

Another friend ordered the Chocolate Texicana Mousse Cake.  White and dark chocolate layers flavored with Patron XO Cafe Liquer and spiced with chipotle sea salt.  It was a light cake.  And, those were some spicy sea salts!  All of those flavors do make me happy, but we decided this was not our favorite dessert option.  Impressive to look at though, don't you think?

Chocolate Texicana Mousse Cake

Price:  my 3 course brunch was $36, plus my mimosas ($8 each) and valet parking ($5).  Worth every penny.  Brennan's is always spot on perfect. 

Brennan's of Houston
3300 Smith Street
Houston, Texas 77008