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About Josh

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    Lone Ranger
  • Birthday November 30

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    Houston, TX

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  1. I can't keep track of all of the new poké joints opening or popping up around Houston, but I can say that I am a fan of Pokeology. I was a little surprised to see that rather than a standalone restaurant, it's a permanent stand/booth scenario situated in the back of Doc Holliday's bar in Rice Village. They have a number of "signature" bowls you can choose from, or a Chipotle-like build your own bowl option. There are 2 sizes, and for most people, I would recommend the larger. @CeeBee chose the "Applemachi" (hamachi, with green apple) and I went with the "Salmon Thaiviche" (salmon, fish sauce, basil, thai chili). All bowls come with cucumber and seaweed salad. I added on masago (no charge) for a little extra saltiness and didn't regret it. The proportions were right, the fish fresh, and not overly marinated. The rice was nicely seasoned, and stood on its own. Apparently the head chef behind the operation has several years in the sushi business, and the quality of his rice reflects that. Everything is served in plastic to-go bowls, and there is seating both inside the bar (dark and not terribly inviting, especially when the weather's nice), and on the patio.
  2. My bowl, and the few bites I had of @CeeBee's at Pokeology yesterday were much better than what I've had previously in Houston (or in DC for that matter).
  3. Houston is a taco-rich environment, and I had come to believe that at a certain level of goodness, all tacos kind of play at the same level, without stand-outs. I was wrong. The tacos at Tierra Caliente are the truth. These are the Platonic ideal of taco. They are the essence of taco-ness. I sampled 3: lengua, pastor, and barbacoa. Both the corn and flour tortillas are excellent, each spending a little time on the griddle before getting wrapped with the meat and a generous sprinkling of onion and cilantro. Both red and green salsa tasted fresh and bright, with a little bite, but not so spicy as to overwhelm the other ingredients. My only quibble was that the pastor veered a little on the sweet side for my tastes. (I prefer the version I had at Taqueria Tacambaro the next day up in the Heights.) Grab your tacos, head over the the Ice House and grab a beer or Topo Chico. If anyone else can think of a place that consistently tops (or even meets) what Tierra Caliente is putting out, I want to hear about it.
  4. Luna y Sol took home the trophy in Houston Press' best breakfast taco tournament against some pretty stiff competition. I've never had the breakfast tacos there, but I can definitely corroborate how good their tortillas are. I'll have to give them a shot soon. Taste Test: We Found the Best Breakfast Taco in the Loop by Erika Kwee on
  5. Why on Earth were you eating at Hickory Hollow?
  6. Check out the San Sebastian thread for some recs on tapas places. La Cepa is a great place for "traditional" tapas...especially fried things. La Cuchara de San Telmo really shouldn't be missed either. If you're driving to and from Bilbao you will hate yourself forever if you don't book a lunch or dinner at Etxebarri. I've had the fortune to go twice and they are both the most memorable meals of my life. A prawn I had last year still haunts me. Another short drive from San Sebastian that is fully worth it would be to do a lunch at Elkano. Fish perfected. And do try to get a spot at Arzak. I waited too long on our first trip there and was really bummed that we couldn't go, but they worked us in after a cancellation. The folks there are incredibly friendly and would likely bend over backwards to get you in if you really express an interest.
  7. Houston is a haven for CFS, traditional and non. One of our neighborhood Vietnamese joints has a very respectable version that is served traditionally (as in cream gravy, mashed potatoes) or with spring rolls and fried rice. It's quite good, but what I really love, and suggest everyone who comes through Houston make a point of trying is the masala chicken fried steak at Himalaya. It's not on the menu, but ask and you shall receive.
  8.'s here in force now. I had a bowl at one of the "elders" of the scene here (Liberty Kitchen) and found it to Probably my fault for sticking to a very plain mixture of ingredients, but for that setup, I prefer chirashi with really good rice as opposed to the plain-jane steamed variety. New Players in Houston's Poke Scene by Cuc Lam on A Poke Tour of Houston by Beth Levine on Where to Eat Poke in Houston Right Now by Amy McCarthy on
  9. Thanks for the report! Which location did you go to? Milam St. or the one on Washington?
  10. Apologies for the needlessly snarky reply, though the article does address that another traveler was the person who reported the events. As a man, I'm in a position such that my sartorial choices are not likely to be questioned or used to shame me. Yes, "rules are rules," and certainly United has the legal authority to dictate how their employees and the children/friends of their employees dress when using company benefits. And at the same time, the way they have written and enforced those rules is biased against women and, as @ktmoomau points out, a PR disaster. I would also say that what seems like a tempest in a teapot comes at a time when women in this country are feeling the pressure of their elected officials (many of whom are nakedly misogynistic) aiming to restrict their healthcare options and bodily autonomy. So I can understand the outrage over this seemingly silly episode of dress code enforcement.
  11. I'm guessing you commented without reading the article or anything related to the issue at hand. The publicity came from an unrelated bystander, not the people flying on the pass tickets.
  12. One of the problems I am beginning to understand from talking with my wife and hearing concerns from other women is that all-to-frequently, dress codes are not applied evenly to all genders.
  13. As much as I try to be a booster for neighborhood places, I can't go all out for Skinny Rita's. I'll admit to being put off by the name, but they were named by Thrillest as one of Houston's "Most Underrated" Tex-Mex joints, and called a "Hidden Gem" by Eater. They also have a multi-level patio with a nice view of downtown, and happen to be pretty close to my house. The margaritas are set apart by having only 150 calories...I prefer more calories apparently. These were unbalanced - too sweet, with no tequila edge that my favorite versions have. Cristina's carnitas tacos came with limp store-bought corn tortillas filled with a fairly dry roast pork any one of us could make in our home oven from a recipe. If that sounds harsh, it's meant to be. Carnitas are an actual thing, and I get annoyed when people call any pork-based taco "carnitas." My beef fajitas (half off on Wednesdays) were passable, but suffered from sitting for over 5 minutes until the accompanying (store-bought) flour tortillas arrived. ' Queso was par for the course for non-Texas versions but way behind the curve for Houston. A trio of salsas were actually great: a mild tomatillo, smoky chipotle, and moderately hot habanero. The green-colored chips are apparently made from cactus rather than corn, but come off as standard tortillas. The bottom line I took away from Skinny Rita's is that this might be a successful suburban chain in the Midwest, but for a Tex-Mex joint in Houston, it is far from a gem, and certainly not underrated. If I'm in the Heights looking for Tex-Mex, you'll find me sticking to Teotihuacan from now on. (BTW, there are a number of claims on the menu regarding "organic," "healthy," ingredients, etc. but importantly, I saw no mention of sourcing for said ingredients. Caveat emptor.)
  14. One thing I've learned about the top tier Texas BBQ joints is that they have pitmasters who have dedicated years not only to the craft, but to a particular smoker setup and particular space. The interaction of equipment and environment have a huge effect on the final product in central Texas-style barbecue. I imagine that DC can't hope to have a "great" barbecue place until someone makes that kind of long term commitment.