Paulie’s: Homemade Rigattoni Bolognese

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If you’re ever craving a great bowl of pasta, Paulie’s Restaurant on Westheimer in Houston is the place to go. Their pasta is homemade and is so delicious. My favorite is the Rigatoni Bolognese with ground veal and beef, tomato, cream, red wine, basil and Parmesan.

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Celebrating Our Anniversary at Uchi

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We knew we wanted to celebrate our second wedding anniversary at Uchi. We hadn’t been there since my birthday in March and we knew that it was the perfect restaurant to have an unforgettable meal. I had done my research the first time we went and had one of their tasting menu’s and some extra dishes so we knew exactly what we wanted on our second visit. I made a list of all the dishes we were for sure going to get but of course when we got to the restaurant there were other dishes we had to have. Below is a list of all the dishes we had.

miso shiru – miso soup, tofu, scallions, shiitake mushrooms

edamame – grilled soybeans with sea salt
maguro sashimi and goat cheese – bigeye tuna, pumpkin seed oil, fuji apple
pitchfork – wagyu beef, leek crisp, avocado, yuzu kosho – this is so amazing and was one of our favorites.
walu walu – oak-grilled escolar, candied citrus, yuzupon, myoga – we love this.
hamachi nabe – baby yellowtail, koshi hikari rice, farm egg, soy broth – this is my husband’s favorite.
machi cure – smoked baby yellowtail, yucca crisp, marcona almond, asian pear, garlic brittle
ham & eggs – katsu pork belly, yolk custard, espelette – we love this.
brie ringo – tempura-fried brie, apple chutney, sweet potato crisp – we had never tried this before and it will be something we get every time.
fried milk – chocolate milk, toasted milk, iced milk sherbet – our favorite dessert.

It’s time to go back to Uchi

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I requested that we go to Uchi for my birthday this year because I had read how awesome it was and had it on my “must try” list. I have been thinking about our meal since then and am getting the itch to go back.

We did a six course tasting menu, but we ordered some other courses that I had read about so we ended up doing nine courses and were very full at the end of the evening. The courses came out pretty quickly and our waiter didn’t tell us much about what was coming next, which made it more interesting. The waiter we had was also excellent – which confirmed what I read about Uchi having a very knowledgeable and helpful waitstaff.

Here’s the courses we had in the order they came out:

Edamame – grilled soybeans with sea salt and olive oil

Hamachi – six pieces of delicious yellow tail sashimi

Hama chili – yellow tail with tai chili and ponzu sauce

Maguro sashimi and goat cheese – tuna with pumpkin seed oil, fuji apples and goat cheese. Loved.

Walu Walu – an oak grilled escolar with candied citrus, yuzupon and myoga. This was one of my favorites.

Zero Sen – sushi roll with yellow tail, avocado, shallot, cilantro, tobiko and yuzu.

Hamachi nabe – yellow tail with fried rice and soy broth – This was my husband’s favorite.

Ham and eggs – a sushi roll with pork belly, yolk custard and espelette. This wasn’t on the tasting menu; we ordered it because I had read about it. It was AMAZING. One of our favorites.

Fried milk – chocolate milk, toasted milk and iced milk sherbet. Delicious.

Go to El Real and have Queso Flameado

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I have been a fan of Chef Bryan Caswell ever since he appeared on “The Next Iron Chef.” I am so lucky that I live in Houston and can visit his restaurants often. REEF, Little Bigs and El Real are some of the best restaurants in this great city. The first time I went to El Real I ordered Queso Flameado with chorizo and puffy tacos – two of the best things on the menu, in my opinion. I have never gone to El Real and not ordered Queso Flameado. It’s that good. It’s also why El Real is my favorite Tex-Mex restaurant in Houston. If you haven’t been, go now. Seriously. Go. Right now.

Harry’s Restaurant and Cafe: Home to the Feta Fries

My husband and I have eaten breakfast on the weekends at Harry’s ever since we stumbled upon it soon after we moved to Houston. From the outside, it looks like any other breakfast place, but the creative and delicious items on the menu set it apart. Harry’s is known for its Feta Fries, hot French fries, sprinkled with herbs and feta. They are served with what I consider the best honey mustard sauce I’ve ever had. Some of our other favorite dishes are their breakfast tacos, a croissant breakfast sandwich with fried egg, grilled tomatoes, ham and cheese. They also have fantastic biscuits, which are perfection with butter and honey.

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Opa Houston! The 46th Annual Greek Fest

My co-worker and friend John and I had planned on going to the 46th annual Greek Fest at the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Houston on Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012. Our plan was to take advantage of their free shuttle service from Lamar High School to the festival grounds. We arrived at the school, along with hundreds of other people, at 11 a.m. and expected to hop on a shuttle and go feast on delicious Greek delicacies. Two-and-a-half hours and multiple 10 minute promises later, shuttles began to arrive to pick up the sunburned, cranky and hungry crowds of people. Our Greek Fest experience was not off to a good start, but they gave us free admission and bottles of water once we arrived at the fest.

It’s a good thing the food at the Greek Fest was AMAZING or the day would have been a total bust. We decided to split up, get a little bit of everything and share our take.

We had a dinner plate, which included pastitsio (pas TEET see oh – baked macaroni with beef filling and Romano cheese topped with bechamel sauce); tiropita (tee ROH pee tah – triangular-shaped cheese-filled puff pastry); spanakopita (spa nah KOH pee tah – spinach and Feta cheese rolled in filo); keftedes (kef TE thez – Greek meat balls with fresh mint); and salata (traditional Greek salad with seasonings, vinegar, olive oil, and Feta cheese, garnished with olives, tomatoes, and a salad pepper). We also had Dolmades, which are stuffed grape leaves, and Souvlaki, seasoned and marinated tenderloin cubes with onions, prepared over burning coals.

After taking a tour of the church and making our way through the throngs of people in the gift shop, we stopped and got dessert. We had Never-on-Sundae, vanilla ice cream, topped with baklava sprinkles, Baklava, nuts, butter & spices in layers of filo pastry, topped with honey syrup, Kourambiedes, all-butter cookies with toasted almonds, topped with powered sugar and Finikia, sweet honey cookie with various spices, topped with nuts.

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