This is where the hungry come to feed. For mine is a generation that circles the globe and searches for something we haven't tried before. So never refuse an invitation, never resist the unfamiliar, never fail to be polite and never outstay the welcome. Just keep your mind open and suck in the experience. And if it hurts, you know what? It's probably worth it.

Aug 31, 2013

FINALLY. that greece/turkey video.

so it took me literally YEARS to do this video.  well to finally look at the footage and compile it in some sort of highlight reel.   Nice to look back,  Greece was beautiful and Turkey was even more so.  And since I've even done a highlight of a recent road trip.  next post.  also in the works.. the video highlight from this years big overseas adventure.   It's been too long personal blog... it's been way too long.

Feb 27, 2013

the pass.

had my belated birthday dinner at The Pass. (actual birthday dinner at MF Sushi, more on that later) I had previously dined at the provisions side twice and enjoyed myself well enough, more casual, yet unique, still not on regular rotation though.  the pass is completely different besides the unique part.  upon entry you go through a 'hidden' door - one-way only, and enter into a crisp white dining area with the chefs at one end plating their creations.

we were seated right at the end, with the best view of the open kitchen. i treated myself to a glass of champagne from the champagne cart, and then we opted for the 8 course option (sick or not i wanted all 8), as the 5 course has all the same dishes sans a few, we didn't want to miss out on anything good.  now they say 8, but it ends up more like 11 counting the amuse-bouche, which was a modern take on a fish/seaweed chip, and the trou normand which was a delicious "egg yolk" concoction along with a housemade soda, and the petits fours which we packed up, not counting the lemon cake they sent everyone home with.

The snacks course was an oyster, a jellied 'ol fashioned with foie gras, a black olive pocky and nasturium soup, enjoyed everything here, while the hubby especially liked the foie gras. my favorite course was called ham & eggs - fresh chicharrones with ham powder, served with caviar on a bed of of creme friache and dehydrated seasonings normally served with caviar, like parsley and capers and lemon. next up was the raw course, a bucatini pasta wrapped around silk tofu along with uni, clams, amberjack, ikura, and dashi foam.  this course was more on the pure flavors of each ingredient, not my favorite, but visually stunning.
The beef course came out and i was already getting pretty full, it was a beef tartar with the sousvide egg yolk hidden inside, served with a bone marrow brioche with some dehydrated bone marrow to add to the tartar. i do wish the yolk was a bit more runny, and for the brioche to be a bit softer, but it was tasty just the same.
The next course was the bread course, a french onion flavored french toast per se.. along with various onions and a freakin amazing onion and black garlic sorbet. srsly i could've just had a bowl of that. the bread was good too, but by that time i was getting full and being choosy at what got the rest of the real estate of my stomach.  and the last savory course was a good one (for the most part) the Pig course was a house made headcheese, not even close to what you'd buy at the grocery store, delicious fatty pieces of pork with an acorn mash on top.. i'm glad this slice was small, because i ate it all, served with a green apple chip, and on the other side, not for the faint of heart.. a molten blood pudding.  now i like my pigs blood. like the dish you get at dim sum, or the chunks of it found in bun bo hue.  but this had an odd taste to it, a bit too tart with a mousse like texture, maybe it was because i was sick.. but i could only take a bite, likewise the rest of my dining companions.
Now for the sweets. the Fernet, a chocolate mouse based on the bitter italian liquor fernet, a very semisweet dish with some beet cake and sorbet on the side, i seemed to like all of the sorbet this night, and for the life of me cannot recall the flavor of this one.  The cheese course was house made mini donuts with kumquat jelly, served with alongside a chunk of a cheese like brie in consistency and look but closer to a roquefort in smell and taste.

Would we come again?  Most definitely, once the menu changes over.  It was a unique experience, with great flavors with a molecular gastronomic flair.

The Pass
807 Taft, Houston, TX 77019

Oct 30, 2012

because he turned 7.

Oct 11, 2012

dirty little secret #1 - extreme couponing

so everybody knows i'm up for a good deal when shopping.  i mean have you checked out the Secret Sales pinterest board me and Tramanh share?  it's mainly a mix of high-end items with a few supa cheap good deals mixed in.

after seeing an episode of extreme couponing over a year ago - i was intrigued.. and so began my slight merge into good deal shopping to home goods and groceries.  it's almost the same thrill as shopping  the sale section plus scoring an additional 50% off at checkout.   like a contest. how much can i save??  what percentage? my high point so far is 50% off a grocery bill at krogers..  some good work there.  also now i know it takes time and a plan beforehand.  Amazingly it's simple enough with all the websites out there dedicated to couponing. who knew right?

it was a bit confusing at first - what with all the different stores coupon policies, target lets you use one target coupon + one manufacturer (SWEET), Randall's still doubles coupons up to 25 cents, Kroger is face value but also has a way to load some to your card, and now even Dollar Tree takes coupons. srsly.

latest haul:  total spent $4.16

Quick tip deal:  Cover Girl purple eyeshadow  -  $0.14 for 3!

  •  Make sure you add the one that is $3.14 - it doesn't seem to pop up right away so you'll have to click on the right hand side that says more buying options - select the Amazon seller.
  • When you check out (or go to edit shopping cart) you will see a “Clip Coupon” option for $3
  • Clip the coupon!
  • And then go ahead and select the FREE Amazon Prime Shipping option (if you have it otherwise you have to buy $25 worth of qualifying amazon items to meet free shipping), and you’re done!

Sep 23, 2012

kia soul contest - alice in raverland

Thanks so much to my wonderful FRANDS.. for letting me use them in making this video.  IT's a bit out there.. that's hoping to catch your attention.  so please vote :)   

Aug 14, 2012

o canadia!

earlier in July we made our way back up north to visit friends and family, and attend a wedding..  was a quick trip - but filled with good meals, and good company.. and of course some caesars and poutine.  and on the way back? a carry-on full of all-dressed and ketchup chips.   

Jun 7, 2012


oxheart is Justin Yu's baby.  minimal decor, minimal space, minimal menu and utterly perfect.   reservations are an absolute must - and once you find the coolly located  space in houston's warehouse district, you'll feel you're transported to another city.  one where walking to places is the normal. dare i say NY-ish even.  you walk up to the packed spot and feel like you're eavesdropping on a private party.  seated either at the counter or a smart wood table, you can see the chef hard at work.  on the farm-to-table menu you have 3 selections - 4 course meal (meat), 4 course meal (vegetarian), 7 course tasting which is sort of  like a combination of the two previous.

our menu for the night:

  over ripe nectarines and sour green plums, fig leaf, green tomato, salted coconut, ‘delfino’ cilantro…

 ‘yellow lunar’ carrots cooked in elderflower vinegar, cured and smoked triggerfish, chickpea, horse mint

 crawfish warmed in butter, texas rice, green coriander seeds, and fermented carrot

 barley and sunflower seed stew, purple broccoli, vine beans, brandade of gulf hake

 heirloom potatoes roasted with vegetable ash, juniper, sofrito of chard stems

 sirloin of heritage pork coated in nori, roast cucumber, nasturtium flower and leaf

 steamed cake of ‘chiogga’ beets, chocolate namelaka, beet creme.

missing from the list was the fresh baked bread of the day by in house baker Karen Man.
each dish.  delicious. and the next even more so.  it was a treat awaiting each course.   even the men of the group raved about the vegetarian dishes in the meal including some of the best potatoes you'll ever have.  i've seen reviews where they likened the dishes to an episode of chopped. i can see it.  the random concoction of ingredients seemingly haphazardly put together.  orchestra in your mouth?  yes please.

so dinner was divine as well as our dinner party, dining amongst fabulous friends is always a treat.


1302 nance st