Monday, February 28, 2011

Texas Cafeteria

Texas Cafeteria has been around for quite some time.  It's located across the street from the Fiesta, a regional grocery store, that my family frequented many, many times so naturally, I saw this place a lot.  (Fiesta features many latin foods hence the visits.)  My curiosity has always been piqued but finally, after decades, we went in to check it off The List and, unfortunately, I was disappointed.  The food was pretty standard though filling but it was nothing fancy.  Then again, we had the basic eggs, bacon, hashbrowns and pancakes deal.  It's pretty hard to fuck that up but, at the same time, I want omg yums and alas, dudes, it was just ok.  I still prefer my House of Pies usual of eggs, bacon, bagel and waffle. 

One of the problems I had with Texas Cafeteria was the way things were being run.  You order your food at the counter, because breakfast isn't served caferteria style, and you receive your ticket stub.  After your meal is prepared, they yell out your number and bring it to you.  Any extras you want, syrup, ketchup, Splenda, you must get on your own.  After you are done, you go back to the counter, swerving in and around tables, to pay.  It's an archaic and offputting method and I don't like it.  Let me pay as I order or have a station near the exit door so I can pay there.  The yelling is offputting as well.  But, having numerous photos of wildlife, such as bears, fish, deer and pigs, is more offensive than the gruff man yelling out ticket stub numbers because he thinks the waitress isn't loud enough.  Yes,  you read that right.  DEAD ANIMALS.  NEXT TO MY BOOTH.  I'm no vegetarian and I'm all for killing animals for food, etc. (cause I'm a Mexican) but holy shit, I don't want to eat some hashbrowns with a photo of a dead bear at my table. 

I may go back to try the lunch items but that is about it.  Disappointing but at least we finally figured out the mystery of Texas Cafeteria. 

Then yesterday, I went to the park and flew my Spider-Man kite.  Just like old times.

I also learned how to catch but not before I took one in the arm.  Holla!

Friday, February 25, 2011


I have to find a new vehicle before May is over.  When the lease on the BNC's vehicle (a Toyota Tundra) ran out in August, we opted to not purchase it.  I chose to give my huge-ass Toyota Sequoia to the BNC and asked my dad if he would let me drive one of his cars for a while until I decided what I wanted.  The car he lent me is a Toyota Avalon.  It's waaaay smaller than the Sequoia and it was quite an adjustment to drive it.  And then, when I had to drive the Sequoia a few times, whoa Nelly, I learned I lost my flare for driving it as well as parking it.  For shame.  So now, my old man wants to sell his Toyota Tacoma and keep the Toyota Avalon as his primary mode of travel.  It would make more sense to keep the Tacoma since it's a pick-up and he's a mechanic but you can feel every gust of wind, every pebble when you drive it.  I used to have a Tacoma so I know.  With the Avalon you get a smooth ride, quick turns and comfort.  I don't blame him for wanting the Avalon.  Besides, his choice.  So, my car search has begun.  I used to have a 4-Runner and loved it but traded it in for the Sequoia so naturally, I wanted to get another 4-Runner.  I narrowed the search and spoke to my bank about financing it.  Then, the Old Man, bringing along his Consumer Report Book, suggested I get a Toyota FJ Cruiser.  Shit.  Years ago I thought about it but wasn't too impressed with it.  I figured, "I'm not 20 and there aren't any mountains in Houston so WTF?"  But now, I've had to put it in the Maybe Column.  My search just got harder.  That's what she said. 

The 4-Runner, a beautiful and reliable car.  I love it. 

But then an FJ Cruiser shows up and now you got Brandon/Dylan problems. 

Let's throw in a Toyota Camry to symbolize the Mega Burger from the Peach Pit that I always wanted to try. 

I'm an amazing driver, TOOT, TOOT, so I know I'll rock out in any of these cars.  For example, a trailer blew a tire this morning on the freeway, right in front of me, and I kept my cool and didn't hit him.  Scared me the fuck out but I didn't contribute to morning traffic so yay.  But, I need to make a choice. 


BTW, Toyota ain't paying me shit to write this.  I just love them.  My parent's home can look like a Toyota dealership when we all gather there since my mom has a Rav-4.  B drives a Dodge Magnum though.  Go fig. 

Thursday, February 24, 2011


I'm in a funk in every way possible.  My cooking is uninspired and while it tastes good, I find it boring.  Roasted chicken with mashed potatoes, while moist, crunchy and fluffy, was just what it was, roasted chicken with mashed potatoes.  (It doesn't help that even the photo looks boring.)

Ths pork chops, roasted new potatoes and some couscous was ok.  A few minutes after starting the sear on my chops, I remembered why I don't do it as often.  It's essentially a fried chop, one that is not only unhealthy but also a stinky nuisance.  Granted, pork chops smell yummy but I really hate how the smell permeates everything.  Also, I don't like waking up at 2a and getting hungry because my bedsheets, once full of that awesome Downey scent, smell like pork chops.  Which, brings me to the other areas of my current state of funkdom.  I am not sleeping very well.  I toss and toss, wake up at all hours and have odd dreams.  I ceased taking Lunesta about a month ago because, I don't know, a strong dependency was about to occur and that would have been no bueno despite my strong, hard love for prescription drugs.  I'm also having some aches and pains that make me feel closer to 40 than I am willing to admit to right now.  Fuck, 40.  That's a milestone.  A really big adult milestone.  If (cause I can get really morbid) and when I hit 40, will I have to retire my Harry Potter calendars?  Remove my Little Mermaid pillowcase?  Will my love for Harry still be around at 40 or will a new boy wizard slither (not Slytherin, not Slytherin) his/her way into my inner 12-year old?  Dilemmas. 

Back to my funk, shit, it's really bothering me.  Maybe it's the move and still trying to find my groove there, trying to make our furniture work, getting the kitchen organized in a way that is most efficient for me, researching and researching cat trees, wall shelves, a TV stand and now a MFing car.  Maybe it's the stupid weather.  I'm sorry Snow/Icepocalypse.  Come back, even if for a day.  This damn, what I have deemed as Zombie Weather, which involves morning  fog, lots of humidity and overcast skies, sucks big, hairy balls.  For realsies.

I'd much prefer George Clinton than this.  Blah.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The List

Being on vacation is the perfect time to shop and eat out while the rest of the world works.  Thank goodness for us, we have The List. 

One of the places we tried was Gatlin's BBQ.  I had previously read many great reviews from the Houston Press and was excited about finding a great BBQ place after my original go-to place started to dwindle in quality.  Dudes, Gatlin's was amazing.  We tried the juicy and smokey brisket, the yummy pulled pork and while the homemade sausage wasn't my favorite (purely a textural issue) it was still an amazing feat.  The BNC was impressed by all of our meats.  Our sides included the dirty rice, which was spicy and filling and could have been a meal all on its own while the macaroni and cheese was nothing spectacular with its overcooked macaroni noodle.  The potato salad, enjoyed by the BNC so according to him, was ok.  Overall, it's a winner and we look forward to sampling the much raved about ribs, the rest of the meats and, most importantly, the sandwiches.  Mmmm, mmmm!

When I was making The List, I left some open slots in case we managed to stumble upon a place that was worthy of including to The List.  I'm glad I did because we found Jonathan's The Rub.  After working hard in our friend's yard, as mentioned in my previous post, it was an absolutely amazing reward.  Sure, it was too much and it was quite a heavy meal for it being lunch but it was everything you shouldn't be eating every day.  Just look at it.

Chicken fried chicken with Jonathan's fries topped with bacon-infused gravy and a side of mashed potatoes.  The chicken was crunchy on the outside and juicy on the inside as it should be.  The fries?  Yum.  The gravy?  Yums!  Mashed potatoes?  Whoa, very rich and heavy but good nevertheless.  I completely  intend on going back to Jonathan's but this time I am splitting the entree with the BNC.  I caught sight of other entrees leaving the chef's station and the portions were huge.  Personally, I can't see myself eating all of that food.  I'll gladly split it though.  Despite the big portions, Jonathan's The Rub still serves good food.  I'm looking forward to trying out other items on the menu and perhaps, making it a frequent haunt.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


I'm supposed to be sifting through emails, saving, printing, filing, catching up, etc. but eh, if those emails waited this long, they can wait a little longer.  I've been on vacation since Friday, February 11.  Yay for me.  However, it wasn't all rainbows and cupcakes.  We were in the midst of moving and, while it only took 2 days to move all of our stuff over, unpacking and organizing and settling in while battling a nasty cold is not the ideal vacation.  But, at least I wasn't at work, not going to the doctor and dying a slow death.  Shit got done.  We're settled and the cats have settled in nicely.  Proof, check it.

A few scenes from my time away in a completely non-cohesive manner.

Helping a friend with his yard work.  Talk about embracing the Mexican roots.  I didn't know I had it in me.  I'm going to print up some business cards soon. 

My reward for the yard work was chicken fried chicken topped with fries and bacon infused gravy with a side of decadent mashed potatoes.  I couldn't finish the whole thing, which brings me to a small side note.  Dude, can we start using smaller portions?  This was a ridiculous amount of food and, while it was good, (definitely not something I would eat on a regular basis) wowza.  And, we're back.

Troop, sans gun, at House of Pies.

We moved back into the hood both the BNC and I grew up in.  We're extremely happy about our decision and are relishing in visiting the park 3 blocks away.  Since I was denied being a part of the little league, I am living my dream of learning how to properly catch a ball.  Verdict?  I suck at it.  My index finger and part of my palm are bruised but it's not stopping me.  Even B has offered to help me since he's a softball fanatic.  (That is downtown Houston in the background.)

It was incredibly windy and cloudy Sunday evening when these shots were taken.  There is a bit of a hill in the background where we used to fly our kites as kids.  I can't wait to do it again. 

Meat lasagna with Darth.  Yea.

Ugh, 71 emails still inbox.  Wish me luck.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Monday, February 7, 2011

I haz a cold.

It all started yesterday,  the tightness in my throat, the congestion, the headache, the overall yuckiness; a cold has found its home.  As with any cold, it's not the right time to get sick as I have a busy week at work and at home.  Postings of the cats, the lack of good pictures of the food I eat as well as my mundane musings on 80s movies and music will be scarce. 

For now, enjoy this photo of Lily, waiting for a treat, her just reward for watching over my parent's home against a raccoon attack.  Or zombies.  Whichever comes first.

FYI, the Black Eyed Peas suck.  What, The Black Keys weren't good enough for you, Super Bowl?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Happy birthday, Dad.

Thug life.

Yesterday my Old Man turned 64.  It makes me happy and sad at the same time.  My dad is in great shape and takes very good care of himself.  I'm happy he's ok.  I'm happy he is here with us.  Yet, I am sad for the obvious reason; my dad is 64 now.  Next year he will retire and I am trying to learn as much as I can from him.  I want to spoil him as much as I am able to and I want to tell him that he has always and will continue to be loved immensely by B and I.  Truly, we have the best dad. 

Because I Can

That's right, I totally purchased these from Williams-Sonoma.  Why?  For evil cooking.  Holla.

They're flexible spatulas, able to withstand temperatures up to 480ยบ.  Cooking in hell?  No problem. 

Evil meeting her evil cooking utensils.  Empire omelette, anyone?

Poor Troop, trying to take an Onda photo with his Empire Family only to be photobombed by Bitty Girl. 

Ah, that's better except for that shadow.  Nice.  I'm a huge Star Wars fan and, for a while in my 20s, I was actively searching and collecting with the BNC.  We have a tiny collection that includes our childhood toys that weren't buried after they were destroyed in combat.  I'm looking forward to using these because I can.  Ooooo, I wonder if the internet can find me a Death Star cookie jar!  BRB

Found it!