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Josh

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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. Josh

    Foods that Should Not Be Paired

    Yep. Can’t hop on board with that for the exact reasons you originally described.
  2. Josh

    Foods that Should Not Be Paired

    It has been my (nearly weekly) experience that Vietnamese and Cajun are 2 foods that absolutely SHOULD be paired.
  3. I've been back in Houston about 2 years now, and I have to acknowledge that the food scene here is so huge and varied that I could eat out somewhere different every night for a year and still not feel able to wrap my arms around it. So I'm hesitant to criticize this list too much, because honestly, I couldn't make a "better" one, whatever "better" means. But that's no fun, so I'll criticize anyway. Leaving off Theodore Rex makes absolutely zero sense. They have Justin Yu represented on the list for Better Luck Tomorrow (which is appropriate), but he's the most exciting chef in Houston in the past few years. T-Rex has to be on there. Nobie's would be a no-brainer for my list. I would rank Fadi's over Aladdin for Lebanese, though I like them both. Benjy's is certainly popular, but it's not a terribly unique place. I'd replace it with Local Foods. I can't imagine why Lee's Fried Chicken & Donuts is on the list. It's good, and in my neighborhood, but is not even close to being an "essential" place to dine if you're in town. I get wanting to have a pizza place on there, but Pizaro's hasn't been consistently great when I've gone. Wouldn't be on my list. If you absolutely want a pizza place (& don't want a regional chain like Cane Rosso), I'd go with Pi Pizzeria. Inventive pies and great cocktails. Same locally-owned restaurant group as Lee's Fried Chicken, so no harm no foul. I am biased, coming from DC, but Houston is not known for its Ethiopian cuisine, so including Blue Nile is a head-scratcher. We ARE known for our Vietnamese community, so I'd add the amazing Nam Giao, and probably list Pho Saigon instead of Pho Binh (though I love both). I kind of want to put a banh mi shop on there too...either Les Givrales or Cali Sandwich. (Probably Cali Sandwich.) Sri Balaji Bhavan or maybe Shiv Sagar would be on my list in addition to Himalaya. Killen's is great BBQ, but there's room for another place, and I'd probably go with Pinkerton's. (Corkscrew is amazing, but I don't count Spring as Houston). Paulie's is a neighborhood institution, but I don't know that it's "essential" in the sense that it's a "don't miss" place in Houston. Mexican is well-represented on the list, but I'd consider Cuchara. I'd want a Cajun place on there, and while it may not be the "best" in Houston, The Boot wins my vote for solid food in a very Houston Ice House kind of location. Eight Row Flint might have to make it too as another example of a place that embraces the Ice House thing. ________________ Those are my thoughts for today. What an amazing assortment of places to eat & drink we have to choose from in Houston.
  4. Well, before I even read the list, I think it’s important to acknowledge that the author of the list lives in Dallas.
  5. 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."
  6. 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.
  7. And now the Vietnamese chef featured is opening her “Vie-jun” restaurant in Houston. Super cool.
  8. 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.
  9. 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 miso dressing, and the "bread service" of a Slow Dough giant (GIANT!) pretzel, with 3 spreads (marinara, pimento cheese, and furikake butter). The cauliflower was indeed tasty, reminiscent of takoyaki. 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 a 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Josh

    Sushi

    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.
  12. Josh

    Sushi

    Come to Houston, dude. Get in while the gettins good (and it isn't hot as hell).
  13. 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?
  14. 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.
  15. Josh

    Sushi

    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?
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