Monday, January 31, 2011

Benihana

I have been to other hibachi joints before but not the nationally known Benihana's.  As with all others on The List, I wanted to find out for myself what the whole hoopla was about.  Turns out, not much.  The food was okay, it wasn't something to ah over and over at.  The company was much, much better.  I believe it's because of the company that I'm being so easy on them.  Would I go again?  Maybe but it would depend on the company. 

Side note, I got a lot of flack for not liking Romano's Pizza.  All I can say is, I've eaten a lot of pizza in my lifetime, and I know what I like and what I don't like.  Romano's I don't like, Brother's Pizza I adore. 

Friday, January 28, 2011

All About Pets


Bitty Girl has ALWAYS been crazy.  I see people with their kittehs, all snuggly, letting their humans carry them, etc., Bitty Girl never did that.
 

Why can't you be normal?








You're still cute, though.



Lily, my first cat, 9 years ago.  She is a total bitch and it's that sole reason why she lives with my mom.  She refused to live with Apolo and Logan, her brothers from another litter, and even lunged at Apolo once.  Bitch.  But, I love her. 

"You think I look bad?  Shit, you should see them."

This is what happens when you're a bitch and you take on the racoons, you wear the Cone of Shame. 



My Lily, plant killer and guard dog.


Logan is all sorts of needy and whiny, but remarkably, he's the alpha male.  He has no balls so I don't get it.  I just notice that he calls the shots and he gives looks to the others and they back away.  Odd. 



Because I can. 


One of these days, I am going to buy this and find out, once and for all, what the fuck they do all day.  Maybe I'll just get shots of the couch.



Boochie, Apolo and Logan many years ago.  Sigh.



Watching me eat dinner, praying that a crumb fell or I had mercy on those eyes.  I did.  I'm a sucker.

It wasn't always cats.  I had a dog once, for about a month. 





His name was Atticus and he was magical.  Then, he grew a bit bigger than the cats and started playing a bit too rough with them.  They didn't like it so they started hiding.  They were never hiders so, I made the choice of giving him away.  The cats won, they were here first.  He was a good dog, other than the aforementioned, and was crate-trained. 

They know me well at the vet's. 

Thursday, January 27, 2011

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...



The 70s were a grand time, huh?  Well, from what I remember it was.  The 80s were much cooler though.



Except some, if not most, of the clothes.  Those, not so much.  How tragic was my dad's shirt?  His mullet?  My yellow shirt and red pants combo?  The automobiles?


Paneling on the walls was awesome once.  Wearing a dress, cause your mom wanted you to, was not.

I need to steal my mom's photo albums and scan all of those photos.  Hopefully, in a few weeks, when time gives me some, I will do just that. 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Another Cat?


I try to furminate the cats at least once a month.  They aren't long-hairs but they still need a good brushing.  Thank goodness they LOVE it especially the fat one in the middle, Apolo.  He will stay still and even back his stinky butt up towards me for a furminating.  And, after the grooming, a nice big ass ball of fur is left over.  It kind of looks like a Gremlin after you poured some water on poor Gizmo. 

Monday, January 24, 2011

Romano's Pizza, Etc.

Friday night we finally decided to start tackling The List.  There are 24 places listed and, if we average 2 a month, we'll be good for the year (not including any last minute additions). 

I was in the mood for pizza, and since we had a couple of errands to run, we opted for Romano's, which was in the general area.  B worked here over 10 years ago, after he quit working at the movie theater next door where the BNC and I saw many movies for free.  Romano's is also the place where B met his current girlfriend, a lovely girl that is soooo totally in.  I had only eaten at this place once before and never bothered to return so this year, since it's the Year of Try It, it was placed on The List.  Dudes, I really, really, really wanted to love this place.  It would have made me happy to find a pizza place that was closer and thus more easily accessible than my beloved Brother's.  However, it's not going to happen.  We ordered a regular pepperoni pizza because, if they can't make a basic then why bother.  It was so bland that the first words out of our mouths were, "It ain't Brother's."  I was so disappointed.  The pizza was just a small notch above pizza from the mall.  But, my disappointment doesn't go far since, afterall, this is the whole point of this; to try (and retry) new places.  The pizza may have failed but our mission hasn't.

There are a couple of more pizza places on The List but, after talking to B about them, I have learned that Pink's Pizza is bad.  I'll most likely end up going anyhow for researching sake because it's a permanent notecard.  It's the law and I am no lawbreaker.

Galtin's BBQ, which recently got a great review in the Houston Press, will be the next place to tackle.  Wish us luck.

In other food news, Troop, Chapa and I went to Wings-n-More Sunday afternoon as a precursor to the NFC and AFC Championship games.  As usual, a great time was had.


That is, until I lost Troop's gun at the BNC's show Sunday night.  Yea, I suck.  Troop gonna have to learn MMA. 

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Monday, January 17, 2011

Troop and I


Having Spider-Man has been pretty awesome BUT, it's no fun to play with him while he's on his invisible motorcycle.  So, I did what any normal person would do, I bought a toy; A Storm Trooper whom I call, Troop. 


I was really looking for Han, Chewy or Darth, but they were gone.  I'm not too fond of Luke and Leia so no.  Troop though, being part of the Empire and pure evil, was the logical choice.  (I root for the underdog, ok?)  And now, our adventures begin.  First up, Smashburger.


Troop and I, along with Chapa, headed out to Smashburger, a location on The List to find out for ourselves whether it was still the best burger I ever ate.  The burger was juicy, seasoned very well, cooked to perfection (medium) and oh man, there aren't enough words to describe how awesome it was.  For realsies, I cannot wait to go back and eat another one.  The fries went down to ok after being ranked yum a few years ago.  But, who cares when you have that burger, the one I forgot to take a picture of because it was delicious.


You so silly, Troop.  This isn't Return of the Jedi.


Sundays typically are House of Pies days for us, and Troop was happy to join in.  So far, we're having a good time and no waitstaff have given me the you crazy eye from playing with Troop as we wait for our food. 



Bitty Girl, on the other hand, isn't too frazzled by another evil entity in house.  Not while it's time to clean the fur, that is.  Will they join forces or will a war break out?  Stay tuned.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Does whatever a spider can.


Today, in The New Adventures of Spider-Man, watch as he rides his imaginary motorcycle to his second job, working as an assistant to the assistant of the assistant.  Will the copy machine jam?  Will he make the necessary edits to his report before EOB? Will he meet his deadline? And if so, will he have to defeat it using his web and Spidey Senses atop a cable car while trying to save the children trapped inside?!  Stay tuned next week as we answer these questions and more on The New Adventures of Spider-man!

My Dad


I truly, absolutely, without a shred of doubt, lucked out the day they were handing out dads.  He set the bar and he set it high.  That saying about how daughters marry men like their fathers has a whole lot of truth to it.  I wasn't out searching for an asshole who beat his kids, beat his wife, drank, smoked, cursed, etc. because my dad wasn't that.
 
The photo above is of my dad, circa 1970, which would make him 23.  It's an old Polaroid, slightly battered but highly treasured and constantly scrutinized by me.  I know my dad's history, with all its ugliness, and marvel at the handsome man posing for the camera who made it against all odds.  I couldn't have asked for a better dad.  He's always been supportive, loving, funny, kind, a real character, forgiving, knowledgeable and, most importantly, compassionate.  He treated me like a daughter and a son. We spent many weekends changing the oil on a car, fixing a leaky faucet, watching football, grilling hamburgers, enjoying documentaries and, most importantly, how to never depend on anyone or let myself be treated badly by anyone.  I learned so much from my dad and I try, every day, to be at least a 1/4 of what he is.  If I can do that then I know I can sing Ice Cube's It Was a Good Day.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

For The Love of Harry...


My MIL made me a Gryffindor scarf last year and, to date, it's been the best gift she has ever given me.  It has kept me warm on days such as today, when it hits 20ยบ and Houston is freaking out.  And yea, that's a doodle of me, with my hair up, bangs (!!) and my awesome purple glasses that apparently match my purse, my scarf and the sweater I'm wearing.  Oh, and the car I'm driving at the moment.  Nice.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Snack Time


Nothing will ever come close to milk and cookie time in kindergarten; THAT will always be the bestest snack time ever.  However, Nature Valley's Nut Clusters is the bomb!  They're perfect when it's around 2p and the Ghost of Robert Goulet shows up. 



They hold me over until dinner time and aren't too harsh on my blood glucose.  By and by, I had a physical done while I was on vacation (cause getting blood taken is my ideal vacation destination).  The results came back and all they could find was low vitamin D but no STDs.  Ha!  I should mention that I didn't go in with that intention but my doctor offered and, because I love to do things for shits and giggles, I said ok.  I would have had some words with the BNC if anything came back.  :)

Friday, January 7, 2011

Cliff's Notes

Here is more info on the places on my list. 

100% Taquito 

It's a taco place and apparently it's one 100% of the time.  That means it's all the time.  C'mon, man, you can't go wrong with that.


A hibachi joint that I am very much looking forward to. 


It's a Mexican restaurant that is mostly known for their yummy tacos and you know how much I love tacos.


I'm picking up on a trend right now, are you? 


I've tried several times in the past to hit this place up but have always had a few roadblocks stop me from proceeding.  Rest assured that I will come here and enjoy the British food since rumor has it that it may close down since no one is going.  It has consistently been on the Best of Houston lists so it's a priority.


Yelp has this BBQ place listed with 5 stars (from 17 reviews) and well, we're in Texas so BBQ places have to be on The List.


You design the food and someone else cooks it for you?  Wait, what?  Ok.  It's a chain though but still, it's on.


Gorditas!  I love me a good gordita.  A gordita is just some masa shaped into a semi-thin disc, imagine a thick, slightly smaller corn tortilla, that is either fried in oil or cooked on cast iron.  Once cooked, an opening can be sliced and beans and cheese stuffed inside (my favorite filling).  Mmm...  Aparently this place makes them that doesn't involve me whining to my mom, or grandma, about making me some because theirs is ALWAYS better. 

Gourmet India

I haven't been here in a while and I miss it.  I miss the yummy Indian food with its naan and paneer and basmati rice.  Hopefully the service is still good.

Hugo's

I have heard many great things about Hugo's and its Mexican menu, mostly how it's incredibly traditional and worth it .  I've also heard glowing things about its brunch buffet.  This will require me wrangling up my posse of hungry Mexicans who want to do brunch like the folks over at How I Met Your Mother.

Jus' Mac

Just macaroni and cheese?  Shit, where do I sign up, son?

Mai's

Mai's Vietnamese Restaurant has been closed for a while but it's on the list because it is scheduled to reopen soon and rather than wait for another fire to take it down again, and perhaps run the risk of the owners opting to not reopen, I must go and visit this Houston nightlife staple.

Miyako

I had my Bachelorette Dinner here, a little over 6 years ago, and never went back.  The food wasn't bad but I just never got around to going back and really tasting and enjoying the food without holding up crotchless panties in the air for all my girls to see.  Well, 2011 is here and so is the reason for The List.

Mongolian Hot Pot

You get to assemble your own food?!  In a hot pot?!  Like soup?!  Sweet.  These guys and Genghis Grill are on to something.

Pizzitola's BBQ

Another BBQ place but I have read so many reviews, including one from a renowned Houston food critic, driven by so many times, that to not visit would be a fail of my list.

Pink's Pizza

Finally, a pizza place on The List.  This place now occupies where a Pizza Hut used to sit so it's nice to see those ovens put to use.  I grew up in this neighborhood, my old high school is just a few blocks over, so I am hoping it doesn't suck because you know how much I love pizza. 

Rainbow Lodge

Typically known for its seafood, something I am not too fond of unless it's Lent and I have to, you know, for soul saving purposes, but Rainbow Lodge is known for doing seafood very well and I'll give anything a whirl, or two.  Besides, there are other items on the menu and if it's not Lent Season, then I may sample those. 

Romano's Pizza

Oh, Romano's Flying Pizza is the right name.  You would think I would have remembered this since B worked here many, many, many moons ago.  As a matter of fact, he met his girlfriend here.  I haven't returned since he made me pick up his last paycheck for him about 10 years ago, (still waiting for my Best Sister trophy) but I will triumphantly return, without Sister Duties, and scarf it down. 

Russo's NY Pizzeria

Russo's is a pizza chain but one that does its pizza and marinara very well. It's been a while and I am eager to try them once more.

Smashburger

Ah, Smashburger, another one that I have neglected for far too long.  The burger still stands as the best I have ever had but I'm scared, Monkey Shines terrified, that it may have dropped as Title Holder.  A visit will help to decide if its cuisine still reigns supreme.

Taconazo

Many of my peeps tell me that this place has the best tacos in the city and that is saying a lot especially when it's located in a predominately Mexican neighborhood.  Sooooooo....

Taco Tote

Most Sundays, the BNC and I wake up, wipe the eye crispies from our eyes, and head out to House of Pies where they know us as Charlie 2, the BNC's real name and how many people are in our party.  Taco Tote is next door and this past Sunday, I admit, it smelled heavenly.  I have resisted visiting this place merely for spite.  About a year and a half ago, I lent my BFF my vehicle, for Mexican wedding purposes, and she lent me her mom's.  (I have a Sequoia, do the math.)  As I was pulling out of my parking spot at HOP, Mr. and Mrs. Douche started to pull out of Taco Tote.  I honked and honked because obviously they were stupid and didn't notice me and BAM, they hit my BFF's mom's car.  They were so douchey about it, waiting for HPD to show up and refusing to exchange info with us much less talk to us.  Their request went unanswered until the BNC called them himself where they immediately showed up.  (I should mention that the BNC's dad is a retired HPD veteran of 35 years. Yea.)  Anyhow, our insurances ruled in my favor so take that, Douches.  Back to Taco Tote, I know it wasn't their fault but, the smell on Sunday was enough for me to put them on The List.  It better be good.

Texas Cafeteria

Much like my beloved Barbecue Inn, I've driven by this place so many times over the years and never once walked in.  Wait no more because it's about to get stuffed in my belly.  It seems to be your basic American diner food but it must be doing something right for it to have remained in the same spot, much like the aforementioned, as it watch me grow up from afar.  Word.

Zelko Bistro

Cap'n Crunch crusted chicken?  For realsies?  Shit, it's on.  This place is new to the area and it has opened to much fanfare and good word of mouth, the best kind of advertisement.  I have dreamt of this place and that chicken, as has the old ball-n-chain, and to say that we aren't eager would make us liars. 

And that's The List.  I'm sure some will be added as the year progresses but it won't be done without want.  Many are central to where we live in Houston, with Pink's Pizza, Zelko Bistro being in The Heights, the neighborhood where both the BNC and I grew up, went to school, still have our parents living in, and hope to ultimately live out our golden years in.  Trust me when I say that no place in Houston compares to The Heights area.  It's the oldest part of the city and suddenly, one of the most expensive to move into.  But, boy, it does have delicious food, places that have withstood the test of time.  I'm looking forward to 2011 like I have never done with any other year.  It's full of such uncertainty but promise, if that makes any sense.  It's going to be a good year and I am going to sop it all up with a biscuit.  Yum. 

And, because I have it on the brain..

"Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May, but thy eternal summer shall not fade." Phat! Did you write that?
Duh, it's, like, a famous quote.
From where?
Cliff's Notes.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

I'm Ready


Ha!  And, I left blanks at the bottom for those last minute, we're-dumb-and-didn't-think-of-it-last-minute add-ins. 

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The List


The BNC and I have been working on The List since before NY and I think we finally have it completed.  Towards the end of the year, we both started visiting places that had either popped up in the neighborhood, driven by or just received glowing reviews from friends.  Oh, and coupons.  So, we decided to make a list about places we would like to try and then it took off from there.  It was then decided that it would be our NY resolution.  We don't really eat fast food, except for the occasional Wendy's or Subway outing, but when we do, we want to make it count.

I can't tell you how excited I am about trying these places out.  Very few, perhaps 7, are chains and while I'm not a big fan of giving money to big chains, I'll give props to chains that do food well.  For example, Smashburger, a place we've visited before, about 2 years ago, still has the best burger I have ever had the pleasure of making When Harry Met Sally noises to and yet, it's a chain.  It's yummy.  It's on The List simply because it's been a while since I've been there and, well, I have yet to find a burger that still has me talking about it well after.  Besides, I'm curious to see if it's still just as good.  I hope it is or my search for a good burger will resume once again.  I've also started making notes in my yearly planner about all the times I eat out and where. 


Now, what place will be the lucky one to go first?


PS....my apologies for the bad handwriting yet again.  And, the horribly made stars next to the name are places I've stuffed my face at before.  :)

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

2011


In keeping with tradition, I made a New Year's Resolution but that's as far as traditional as it gets.  Rather than make false promises, with good intentions, about hitting the gym more often, stop making up my own commentary during House Hunters, etc., I made a list of restaurants I would like to try, or just revisit, in the Houston area.  It's growing ever so slightly since its inception but I am looking forward to tackling it as soon as time permits.  January is a rough month filled with birthdays, working weekends and throwing a Chuck-E-Cheese party for Logan and Apolo (they're turning 9) but we may squeeze a new place before the month is over. 



I am incredibly excited about what 2011 may bring us.  We have so many things on the agenda, not just with yummy places to eat but things to do and futures to set. 

As for The List, I am making cards to carry in our wallets, with enough space for last minute add-ins, and will preview them as soon as time permits (again).  

May your 2011 kick some ass.