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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 just read a great review of a bar not far from my house that serves Viet-Cajun crawfish on the weekends. I had them at the cook-off mentioned in the article and can vouch for the quality. In line with the themes discussed in the episode, the chef making this delicious Vietnamese-Cajun mashup is a "Houstonian of Iranian-Jewish and Mexican extraction."
  2. To Don’s port point, we enjoyed a bottle of 1937 port over New Years. My father-in-law received a number of ooooold bottles from an friend’s estate. The 1937 was even better than a 1965 we tried a couple years ago.
  3. And now the Vietnamese chef featured is opening her “Vie-jun” restaurant in Houston. Super cool.
  4. Funnily enough, after almost 2 years off H St, Big Board is the restaurant I miss the most. By the time I left, my beloved Boundary Road had gone through a number of changes and Liberty Tree was a shadow of its former self. Toki was always delicious and unattainable because of the wait. Maketto was...ok, maybe Maketto is my most missed, but BB is close! Big Board was a couple blocks from our house, and such a solid, dependable choice. Great beers too.
  5. Alison Cook has listed Roost in her Top 100 for a few years now, placing it at 29 in this edition. From reading about the restaurant, Chef Naderi introduces a new menu monthly, highlighting local and seasonal ingredients with little regard for staying in one particular "lane" of cuisine. Cristina and I had a quiet and pleasant dinner the other night. Top-line assessment: Pleasant enough to be a neighborhood fave, but in a sprawling food town like Houston, it would be tough to recommend traveling for a special visit. We started with 2 appetizers: the much lauded fried cauliflower with bonito, and a miso dressing, and the "bread service" of a Slow Dough giant (GIANT!) pretzel, with 3 spreads (marinara, pimento cheese, and furikake butter). The cauliflower were indeed tasty, reminiscent of takoyaki in flavor. The only thing I would say is that after a few bites, they became a little dull (as in, not sharp), and could've used some sort of acidic element to brighten things up (capers maybe? a squeeze of lemon? I don't know). The pretzel itself was massive, warm, buttery, and delicious. The spreads...eh. The marinara was totally off-putting in a way neither of us could put our finger on, but it went completely untouched. The pimento cheese was a totally straightforward take, without any noticeable spice. The furikake butter won out, mainly because it was butter. This dish seemed like an afterthought. I moved on to the "Country Captain" chicken - pan seared, along with deep fried wings, and topped with a vaguely curry-ish sauce with raisins. All in all a nicely cooked, but standard take on a Lowcountry classic. Cristina had fried quail served over black eyed peas and greens. I much preferred this dish, mainly for the delicious peas. Earthy, and with just enough bite to them. We drank a South African Cab blend (2013 John X Merriman Stellenbosch) that played well with everything we ordered - medium bodied, with a good amount of earthiness that I enjoy. Roost has a small but nicely curated wine list and a number of local beers on tap. Given that the menu changes monthly, I think it's probably worth another look down the line, but for now I have it in my good-not-great category.
  6. Josh

    Planning a trip to Spain

    I love every part of Spain, but I would agree with the initial suggestion to really spend a good amount of time split between 2 places. Tons to do, see, and eat in Barcelona. Don't miss out on nights of too much cava and jamon at El Xampanyet, and definitely squeeze yourselves into the chaos at Quimet y Quimet. San Sebastian should def be the 2nd spot, and is where I long to spend my retirement. Repeat visits have not lead to the shine wearing off. Amazing food all around and fantastic vibe. Make a reservation at Asadero Extebarri and rent a car to get out there. Lunch is probably the best way to do it. Otherwise, AirBnB an apartment in the city, and eat all around with the locals.
  7. Josh


    It's neither hot nor humid as hell right now, but that can and will shift anytime within the next 12 hours to 2 months.
  8. Josh


    Come to Houston, dude. Get in while the gettins good (and it isn't hot as hell).
  9. Aaaand wouldn't you know it, Eric Sandler at Culture Map reports that Kukuri is closed. I wonder if Chef Ishikawa has any other Houston-based plans?
  10. 2 new BBQ places opened in the Heights over the past few months (Willow's and Victorian), and I finally got around to trying one. Scott Sandlin wrote a glowing review over on Houston Food Finder, and I largely agree with him. We got a couple 2 meat plates, with brisket, ribs, and turkey. The brisket was nicely done, moist, with well-rendered fat. Assertive pepper bark, just as I like it. The ribs were similarly seasoned, and juuuuust a little on the tough side. Not "tough," just not quite as tender as I'm used to. The turkey was very well done - juicy and so, so deliciously smoky. Sides were pretty good, and all had a bit of spice to them. Creamed corn had bits of jalapeño, but when I want creamed corn with BBQ, I still think Killen's. The potato salad is mustardy, with a bit of creole spice. Charro beans are chock full of diced chiles. The "Flaming Lips" slaw was not quite as spicy as I'd been lead to believe, but was a nice counterpoint to the richness of the meat, and a nice alternative to a mayonnaise-based slaw. Overall a solid choice, and though we got it to go (I'm still struggling through the flu, and have no business being out in public), I think the best way to enjoy this is with a couple beers outside at Big Star.
  11. Josh


    I would definitely not think of Houston as "inland." I can think of a few places off the top of my head that source from Tsukiji: Kata Robata MF Sushi Zen Izakaya Kuu Kukuri Uchi It ain't all cowboys on horseback and old-timey iceboxes down here, you know?
  12. Josh

    Houston with 11 year old in November

    Hey, sorry for the delay...struggling through a week with the flu. My kids are younger, but here are a few thoughts: NASA - depending on your kid's love for space stuff, it may be worth the drive south to Clear Lake to visit NASA. Discovery Green - this park is right outside your hotel. They have a number of activities year-round, and typically have outdoor ice skating in the "winter." Children's Museum - My 5 year old loves it, but there are also plenty of cool science-y stuff for older kids too. Menil Collection - Fantastic art museum, if the tween is into that sort of thing Art Car Museum - Small, quirky museum focused on the strange and wonderful Houston creation that is art cars. (Also, have a couple St. Arnold Art Car IPAs while you're here.) I'll add more here as I think of other stuff, and will try to ask some friends with older kids what sorts of things they like doing in the city.
  13. Josh

    Low- and no-carb recipes

    Couscous is basically just pasta, so pretty carby. My favorite is quinoa. Make sure and rinse it well before cooking. I oscillate between cooking like rice with a 2:1 liquid:quinoa ratio, and cooking like pasta (lots of water until done, drained and spread to cool on a cookie sheet). Definitely adds more flavor to cook in broth (I like using Better Than Bouillon vegetable base or roast chicken base).
  14. Quick note (to remind myself, mostly) that Kata serves lunch, and has a great $20 sushi special with 7 nigiri, a roll, and salad. Their ramen is also available. Still far and away my favorite sushi in Houston.
  15. Houston Meat Master Felix Florez Parts Ways with Ritual by Phaedra Cook, Feb. 14, 2018 on Houstonfoodfinder.com Curious what this means for the restaurant's sourcing.