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For five star dining I highly recommend Chez Nous in Humble. It's tucked away in a very small suburb of the old town and if it weren't for the cars parked all over the place, you wouldn't even think it's a restaurant. Excellent menu of French and American cuisine. While it has a weird name, they have the most fabulous chocolate mousse dessert called "Chocolate in a Bag".

When French chef Gerald Brach first started his classic French restaurant Chez Nous in a former Pentecostal church in Humble, he did it to flee the inflated real estate prices of boomtown Houston in the 80s, figuring when his restaurant caught on, he'd move to the city. "But when it caught on, there was no reason to move," the loquacious and charming Brach jokes ... Many Houstonians happily make the trek to enjoy Chez Nous's classic French dishes such as duckling and rack of lamb. Emphasizing seasonal ingredients, all Brach's meats and seafood are fresh within the last 24 hours, and he buys his produce right off the truck from the organic Cleveland Wood Duck Farm. See the rest here

As for downtown (re: birthday) dining, I'm always open to cuisine when it comes to fine dining. I've never found myself suddenly finicky in such a restaurant. So really, I'm curious about a great restaurant (evening apparel) with a really great view. And while The Aquarium was interesting, I was quite underwhelmed by the food. Any suggestions, downtown or otherwise?

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For five star dining I highly recommend Chez Nous in Humble. It's tucked away in a very small suburb of the old town and if it weren't for the cars parked all over the place, you wouldn't even think it's a restaurant. Excellent menu of French and American cuisine. While it has a weird name, they have the most fabulous chocolate mousse dessert called "Chocolate in a Bag".

As for downtown (re: birthday) dining, I'm always open to cuisine when it comes to fine dining. I've never found myself suddenly finicky in such a restaurant. So really, I'm curious about a great restaurant (evening apparel) with a really great view. And while The Aquarium was interesting, I was quite underwhelmed by the food. Any suggestions, downtown or otherwise?

A restaurant I really liked recently was 17 food. It's Ryan Pera's new restaurant in the Alden (used to be the Sam Houston hotel) downtown. He trained at Le Crique and has had other restuarants in Houston. Just order the tasting menu and treat it like a high end Tapas experience. Personally, I tried the filet and was blown away. The menu changes often so you do have to check before you go. Though I doubt you'd be dissapointed. It's the kind of place you have to kill someone to get a table against a window.

View wise I liked the Skyline Grill in the Hilton Americas by the Geroge R Brown. It's generally a relaxed bunch of professionals that counts more as an upscale bar than a restaurant.

Also, if you go to the theater at the Hobby Center's Sarofim Hall, which I highly recomend as a modern opera hall with incredible acoustics btw, go to the restaurant there called Artista. The head chef from Churasco's and Amazon Grill went all out. There are full course servings, good waitstaff, and a nice wine list. It's really a surprise that this is really meant to service the people that go to the Sarofim and not a full time restaurant that I'm aware of. The red snapper is the best I ever tried. So you could go see Wicked and stop there for dinner or just schedule to go when there is a performance.

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  • 4 months later...

I am in Houston through Monday and will be meeting up this weekend with a few friends who are also from out of town. Can anyone provide me with a very last minute recommendation of a reasonably-priced (under $12 per person) Indian buffet that is open either Saturday evening or Sunday afternoon? I am specifically looking for a place that offers a buffet and not one where it is necessary to order from a menu. Unfortunately, the vast majority of Indian restaurants offer buffets only during weekday lunch hours. Sadly, I discovered today that the place I have been to before and really enjoyed has changed its name and gone upscale on me with no buffet and prices much higher than I am willing to spend.

Thanks

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I am in Houston through Monday and will be meeting up this weekend with a few friends who are also from out of town. Can anyone provide me with a very last minute recommendation of a reasonably-priced (under $12 per person) Indian buffet that is open either Saturday evening or Sunday afternoon? I am specifically looking for a place that offers a buffet and not one where it is necessary to order from a menu. Unfortunately, the vast majority of Indian restaurants offer buffets only during weekday lunch hours. Sadly, I discovered today that the place I have been to before and really enjoyed has changed its name and gone upscale on me with no buffet and prices much higher than I am willing to spend.

just any sort of Indian?

Thanks

What part of Houston? It's pretty a sprawled out city. Do you prefer South Indian, Punjabi, Gujarati, or are you open?

edit for clarity

Edited by scottkursk
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What part of Houston? It's pretty sprawled out city.

I'll say its sprawled out! My hotel is just off Hwy 290 not far from I-610 and I picked it because, on the hotel locater map, it looked like it was a reasonable distance from Spring, Texas where I have been recording a broadcast for Radio Dismuke - and for the past two days I have actually had to commute! Not an activity I especially wanted to spend much time on during my little holiday! Other than the idiot drivers on I-45, it wasn't all that bad. But had I known, I would have tried to find something a bit closer.

As for the location of the Indian place, I am pretty much willing to drive anywhere within the 610 loop and as far out as Hwy 6 on the West and North side of the city. We haven't finalized plans on exactly what we are going to do for sure on Sunday, so I am not sure where we will be starting from when lunchtime arrives. Saturday we will be at my hotel listening to the broadcast until about 6:30 so a location convenient to the Northwest side of the city on that day would be nice - but even with the sprawl, it doesn't really take an unreasonable amount of time to get to the other side of the city so long as the roads are not clogged. I am an Indian food fanatic and one of the people in our party has never had it before, so I don't mind driving a ways for it if necessary.

Thanks,

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1st rule about Houston - NEVER trust the maps or "expected commute time". They are rarely right except on the weekends. At least you weren't trying to commute from Spring to the loop. Now that is a nightmare.

2nd rule about Houston - never refer to it as I-610. Just call it 610 and you won't set off the new guy in town detector. It's the old Houston vs Dallas bs. Some old habits die hard.

3rd rule about Houston - most map directions are best visualized by putting a rifle scope over the city. Think of a bit crosshairs with 2 circles. 610 is the 1st circle, betlway 8 is the outer one.

Well, the best Indian places are in Sugar Land which is in the southwest part of town. Which doesn't help you. Though having one of the world's largest BAPS temples 1/2 mile away and a big Indian population does mean some great eats.

Masala Wok on Beltway 8 and Westheimer, think left side of the crosshairs on the second ring. It's really good but no buffet. They do up a pretty good curry with woks and it really does manage to work. They also do some chinese-ish dishes that are good for people afraid of Indian.

I did hit this place in Spring where I got married called Sitar Cuisine of India or just plain Cuisine of India. It has ALOT of sitars on the wall. It was during the week so there was a buffet. Not sure if they have it on the weekend. It was a bit on the spicy side but not horribly so. It was on the west side of 45 north of Rayford/Sawdust. If you have friends up there, that should be enough of a direction to find it. It was a while ago but I remember it being nice.

Probably one of the best places inside of Houston is Shiva. Food and service incredible and the crowd is pretty fobish so that's usually a good sign. It's more north Indian food wise. Good buffet that I seem to remember is up and running on the weekends. Downside is that it's south of 59 in Rice Village. I have them in outlook and their number is (713) 523-4753. They could tell you whereabouts they are and someone at your hotel should be able to point them out on a map. Think bottom crosshairs just outside of the 1st ring.

Sorry I can't be of more help but the gazillion other Indian places I go to are in Sugar Land and that's probably more of a drive than you'd like. If you are here on Sunday, there is a Hari Krishna temple that serves an amazing vegeterian spread. Though you do get to eat in the temple, caveat emptor. Still, they are pretty nice and not preachy. It's ungodly (pun intended) spicy. It's like it's cooked by south Indians with an axe to gring. The other great places are Bombay Brazzerie on 59 south. It's 1/2 English 1/2 Tandoori cuisine. So it's one of the more authentic British pubs food wise. I've been to their weekend brunch buffet. My all time favorite is Cafe India in Sugar Land. It's run by a Punjabi and a Gujrati so the food is quite different. I eat there once a week and the food is really good. They've got a really small buffet but the quality is up there. They do a great deal of the wedding catering for the Desi's here in Houston and have been here forever. But they are all well outside the second ring of the crosshairs to the southwet.

Hope that gives you some ideas. Sorry but I'm not really that familiar with the north side.

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Scott -

Thanks so much for all the great information. I am actually going to print your posting and keep it on file for the next time I am down here. I will definitely have to check Sugarland out sometime.

I've been to Rice Village before and know how to get there so I googled Shiva (imagine the funny looks one would have gotten 10 years ago if one said something like "I googled Shiva.") and found their website which indicates that it has a lunch buffet on Sundays. I think that is what we are going to try and shoot for if at all possible.

I also googled Sitar Cuisine of India. Apparently they only have a buffet at lunch. But since I am going to already be up that way, depending on how pressed I am for time returning to Fort Worth, I may be able to give it a try.

If you are here on Sunday, there is a Hari Krishna temple that serves an amazing vegeterian spread. Though you do get to eat in the temple, caveat emptor. Still, they are pretty nice and not preachy. It's ungodly (pun intended) spicy. It's like it's cooked by south Indians with an axe to gring.

I absolutely have to try that place some time. Ungodly spicey is exactly what I like - give me fire!

There is a Hari Krishna temple in Dallas that also has a vegetarian spread. I was a bit apprehensive the first time I went there that I might be subjected to preachy stuff. But I wasn't and the people who run it were very friendly and gave great service. Indeed, the customers tend to look more bizarre than the staff - lots of the same hippie specimins that can be observed at most Whole Foods locations. The food is really good - though I was a bit disappointed that it was not the sort of spicy Indian fare that I was expecting. It sounds like the the Hari Krishna place down here is going to be more my speed. Is that in Houston or is it, too, in Sugarland?

While I am generally not a fan of sprawlish, modern cities, I think Houston is really cool - except for the horrifically oppressive humidity, of course. One of the things I love about it is that it is there are so many ethnic neighborhoods that the place has a really cosmopolitan feel.

The one thing that I always make a point to do whenever I am here is head to the huge Fiesta Mart location at I-10 and Blalock and stock up on ethnic food items that I have a hard time finding at home. We do have Fiesta Marts in Fort Worth - but they are small compared to the Houston locations and at least one is downright nasty. The one near me in Fort Worth has a modest international section - but nothing like the I-10/Blalock location. When my friends and I last met up in Houston back in January, I took them to that Fiesta Mart and it was a big hit. Going to Fiesta is the one thing that was specifically requested that we do again. I suppose it is rather odd to regard a supermarket as a tourist destination - but outside of Houston, I don't think there is anything quite like it in Texas. I consider myself very fortunate to have a Central Market very close to where I live in Fort Worth. But as neat as Central Market is, I would swap it in a minute for one of those larger Houston Fiesta Marts.

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There is a Hari Krishna temple in Dallas that also has a vegetarian spread. I was a bit apprehensive the first time I went there that I might be subjected to preachy stuff. But I wasn't and the people who run it were very friendly and gave great service. Indeed, the customers tend to look more bizarre than the staff - lots of the same hippie specimins that can be observed at most Whole Foods locations. The food is really good - though I was a bit disappointed that it was not the sort of spicy Indian fare that I was expecting.

According to this report, the trick is to add the right spices yourself.

I was surprised when I Googled Kare Kirshna – I had always thought it was some kind of new age cult, but apparently it’s about eternal bliss through good eating.

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I was pretty surprised by the Hari Krishna's. I always thought they were the 1/2 naked guys in the airport. It wasn't until I started working with one from Inida that I realized they were different. Those people in the airports are really just cutls that us the Gita as their book. The Hari Krishna's I know here are really no different than the Mormons I know. Pretty much hard working people with some different food habits. Though the Gita is a lot better read than the Book of Mormon.

The Hari Krishna temple here is is Houston actually. Not really far from Shiva actually. Like the one you went to, the customers do tend to be wierder than the worshippers. It's a few hippies and a smattering of new agers but for the most part they are pretty much Desi. There is a BAPS temple here in Sugar Land that serves meat but their not really friendly. Especially if you have a woman with you.

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Scott -

We went to Shiva on Sunday and it was a big hit with everyone - and I thought their buffet was an especially good one for introducing Indian food to someone who has never had it before. Thanks again so very much for the suggestion. The chicken curry they had on the buffet was, by the way, out of this world good. Even the weather cooperated, very mild for Houston.

I also stopped at Sitar in Spring for lunch on my way back to Fort Worth. They had more selection than Shiva and they had the sort of spicy legume dishes that I really enjoy as well. Their chick pea curry was VERY spicy and good. I even came a cross a couple of slices of jalapenos in it. Somehow, I don't think jalapenos are especially authentic Indian - but who cares, it tasted very good.

For some reason, the Indian restaurants down there seem to be much nicer than the ones here in the Fort Worth/Dallas metroplex. I guess that is what happens when you have a larger ethnic population. There is a small Indian community not far from where I work and a few restaurants - but I have become rather disillusioned with every last one of them. None of them even begin to approach Shiva or Sitar. I used to be especially fond of the Bombay Palace on Westheimer not too far inside the loop - that's the one that I had planned on going to and which changed its name and went upscale/expensive. I have been to other Indian places in Houston as well and they were all good - but that was several years ago and, not being from the city, I cannot recall their names or what part of town they were located in.

Do you have a URL or an address for the Hari Krishna temple? The special broadcast I was down there for is going to become an ongoing feature on Radio Dismuke so I will be making a trip to Houston every few months to record it. I am very curious to give the place a try.

According to this report, the trick is to add the right spices yourself.

I was surprised when I Googled Kare Kirshna – I had always thought it was some kind of new age cult, but apparently it’s about eternal bliss through good eating.

David - have you been there yet? The one thing that really amuses me about the place is the sign on the wall that states how much the buffet costs for lunch and for dinner. The sign has a disclaimer indicating that the prices listed are merely "recommended donations." I guess this means that if one were to walk the ticket, they wouldn't be upset. I have always had a very morbid curiosity as to why they would make their prices optional. I have never bothered to ask, however, as I figure that once I do so I will immediately regret it. But when one considers the fact that a very significant percentage of their customer base consists of hippie types, you just know that there are those who will undoubtedly try to exploit the policy on a regular, if not daily, basis. I am sure you have probably heard of or even encountered the type - the sort of person who almost never holds a job and survives by going from city to city mooching off of the generosity of relatives, friends and old acquaintances until he wears out his welcome, gets booted out and moves on to the next sucker who will take him in. With so many hippies dropping by, the Hari Krishna place has got to be a virtual magnet for people of such a mindset: "The world owes me a living - and the role of the Hari Krishna is to nourish me with nutritious veggies." I wonder if it is possible to wear out one's welcome at the Hari Krishna restaurant and how long it would take to do so.

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If you guys are ever visiting Connecticut, you must try out the food at the Wake Robin Inn. When I first went there, it was to check them out, to see whether I would allow them as a sponsor for my radio show, Adventures in Anime Music. I was impressed beyond my wildest expectations. Their food is a phenomenon. Their soups especially, are sheer concentrated pleasure. The taste is complex, a blend of many subtle flavors, it comes across as a great Michealangelo painting in detail, rather than a crude computer rendering or a Peter Max painting. My wife an I return again and again for special occasions. It's an inn, but also one of the finest country restaurants I've ever eaten in.

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We went to Shiva on Sunday and it was a big hit with everyone - and I thought their buffet was an especially good one for introducing Indian food to someone who has never had it before. Thanks again so very much for the suggestion. The chicken curry they had on the buffet was, by the way, out of this world good. Even the weather cooperated, very mild for Houston.
Very glad to hear. Most people vote it tops in Houston.

I also stopped at Sitar in Spring for lunch on my way back to Fort Worth. They had more selection than Shiva and they had the sort of spicy legume dishes that I really enjoy as well. Their chick pea curry was VERY spicy and good. I even came a cross a couple of slices of jalapenos in it. Somehow, I don't think jalapenos are especially authentic Indian - but who cares, it tasted very good.
This is Houston after all. Jalapeno samosas are de riguer. ha ha. Or you could call it indo-latin fusion. Have you ever tried jalapeno meatloaf? It's really good.

For some reason, the Indian restaurants down there seem to be much nicer than the ones here in the Fort Worth/Dallas metroplex. I guess that is what happens when you have a larger ethnic population.
That's why San Antonio is so good for Mexican food. Houston is good for Indian. Fort Worth is good for BBQ & chicken fried steak.

Do you have a URL or an address for the Hari Krishna temple? The special broadcast I was down there for is going to become an ongoing feature on Radio Dismuke so I will be making a trip to Houston every few months to record it. I am very curious to give the place a try.
I don't have it handy but I'll get it from my coworker tomorrow.

The sign has a disclaimer indicating that the prices listed are merely "recommended donations." I guess this means that if one were to walk the ticket, they wouldn't be upset. I have always had a very morbid curiosity as to why they would make their prices optional.
This is actually for practical and legal reasons. It's the same as in a strip joint. The prices for meals are like lap dances: they can't 'sell' them. If so, they technically engage in a business that requires many licenses. So that way they are not a restaurant. And as so I've heard, the dancer is not officially engaged in the business of dancing for you. You're making a voluntary contribution in both cases.

But when one considers the fact that a very significant percentage of their customer base consists of hippie types, you just know that there are those who will undoubtedly try to exploit the policy on a regular, if not daily, basis.
At least in the case of the latter example, I think you could get away with it. This depending on a) how good your health insurance is b)how good of a runner you are
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This is Houston after all. Jalapeno samosas are de riguer. ha ha. Or you could call it indo-latin fusion. Have you ever tried jalapeno meatloaf? It's really good.

Never tried it. But it does sound interesting.

That's why San Antonio is so good for Mexican food. Houston is good for Indian. Fort Worth is good for BBQ & chicken fried steak.
I guess part of my problem being from Fort Worth is I am not a big BBQ fan and as for chicken fried steak......well, let's just say that I don't do that kind of stuff.

One of the difficulties being in a different city is actually finding out which local places are, in fact, good. On one of my trips to San Antonio, I came across a really neat looking Mexican restaurant right on the Riverwalk. It offered outdoor seating in a very nice setting. And since it was a glorious sunny day with 70 degree temperatures in November, of all months, it would have been a shame NOT to eat outdoors. There was a sign there indicating how the resturant had been in that location for generations. I figured that one couldn't go wrong with that and was very eager to try it. Well, the food was mediocre at best - I could easily have gotten much better for the same price at a chain restaurant. And then, a few hours later, I ended up being sick with a (fortunately) mild case of food poisioning. It wasn't until a subsequent trip that someone told me that the very last place to get good food, Mexican or otherwise, in San Antonio is along the Riverwalk.

BTW - another great place for Indian food is New York City. There is a block or two along Lexington Avenue with cross streets somewhere in the high 20s, if my memory is correct, (it is not too far a walk from Ayn Rand's old neighborhood) that is lined with Indian restaurants. As far as I could tell, all of them were of the vegetarian variety. I eat meat - but I really enjoy the frequently very spicy offerings at the vegetarian places. I went to a couple of lunch buffets - and they were outstanding and very inexpensive. In the evenings, however, one has to order from a menu and the prices go way up. I simply refuse to spend $12 or more for a plate of rice and a bowl of lentils. But I am also a fanatic for those greasy, hole-in-the wall pizza-by-the-slice joints that are all over the city, so that, along with my passion for those tiny White Castle hamburgers which one simply cannot get in Texas, is what I look forward to in the evenings whenever I am fortunate enough to be visiting NYC. I guess between the vegetarian Indian and the pizza and White Castle burgers, I end up getting more or less balanced diet. As you can see, I am rather low-brow when it comes to my choice of restaurants - there are simply so many other things that I can blow my discretionary funds on which are of higher value to me than restaurants.

This is actually for practical and legal reasons. It's the same as in a strip joint. The prices for meals are like lap dances: they can't 'sell' them. If so, they technically engage in a business that requires many licenses. So that way they are not a restaurant. And as so I've heard, the dancer is not officially engaged in the business of dancing for you. You're making a voluntary contribution in both cases.

Unless, of course, the dancer is Cindy Sheehan. Then the term for the transfer of funds would be "pity" (something which she already has plenty of experience capitalizing on). :worry:

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Never tried it. But it does sound interesting.
If you cook, it's actually pretty easy. Just chop up three or four peppers and dice them finely when you do your mix. Mmmm.

I guess part of my problem being from Fort Worth is I am not a big BBQ fan and as for chicken fried steak......well, let's just say that I don't do that kind of stuff.
I know what you mean. I detest chicken fried steak. Maybe it was growing up around here that I learned to detest it. Even Chinese food restaurants serve it. It's one of those foods restaurants keep on the menu in case someone hates whatever the cuisine.

It wasn't until a subsequent trip that someone told me that the very last place to get good food, Mexican or otherwise, in San Antonio is along the Riverwalk.
Usually, the worst places to go are touristy places. In San Antonio, the Riverwalk is bad. My Tierra and Margarita's are pretty decent. I prefer Margarita's. Personally, I'd pick somewhere like Taqueria Alteno. They are only located in places where there are alot of Mexican nationals. I've never walked into one where it didn't get quiet for a second.

Same thing for Galveston. It's not great for seafood but if you just go up the road to Kemah, avoid the Boardwalk. Try across the water at some of the greasy spoon that get their catch straight off the back of the boats. Actually, even better is go to the fish wholesalers who will cook your food there after you buy the catch. In-flippin-credible. (sp) But, it is assuredly caveat emptor.

BTW - another great place for Indian food is New York City.
New York is good for everything. Boy, living there for a short time I rarely ate in a single meal and tried so many different cuisines. I fell inlove with dirty water dogs and any ethnic cuisine you could buy off a cart served by a guy with little command of English and a greasy beard. Heck, the best Mexican/El Salvadorian food I've ever had is at a roach coach ouside of the pull you own part junk yard in Pasadena.

Have you ever tried El Salvadorian food? The most common is a pupusa with cortida.

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I know what you mean. I detest chicken fried steak. Maybe it was growing up around here that I learned to detest it.

That, too, is part of my reason for at least being biased against it - I have never been able to relate to at all the southern, so-called "redneck" subculture that exists in this part of the country and which, I suspect, might even be more visible these days in Houston than in D/FW (though, oddly enough, at the same time Houston is, in other ways, more cosmopolitan and urban than D/FW). When a place advertises itself as having "down home cookin'" I am immediately biased against it. For example, I have yet to step inside a "Cracker Barrel" location despite the fact that a couple of people tell me I would enjoy it - their radio ads just get under my skin. So I suspect I would have a cultural prejudice against chicken fried steak even if I could eat it. But I can't even get that far with it as I think the stuff is thoroughly gross. Something about the texture of that cream gravy alone turns my stomach. It is sort of like sushi - the feel of the stuff inside my mouth causes me to lose it. And even without that nasty gravy, I think the fried patties taste bad too. Chicken fried steak is one of those dishes where, if someone I am eating out with orders it, I make it a point NOT to look at the other person eating. Thankfully, it does not have a strong oder so all I have to do is avert my eyes.

Personally, I'd pick somewhere like Taqueria Alteno. They are only located in places where there are alot of Mexican nationals. I've never walked into one where it didn't get quiet for a second.
I have tried the sort of Mexican food that actual Mexicans eat and it was ok. I prefer the TexMex variety however. But I have noticed that TexMex seems to have evolved a bit since I was a kid. Happily, I have found a family owned chain in the Dallas area that still serves the type of TexMex I remember as a kid - and it is very inexpensive too.

Same thing for Galveston. It's not great for seafood but if you just go up the road to Kemah, avoid the Boardwalk. Try across the water at some of the greasy spoon that get their catch straight off the back of the boats. Actually, even better is go to the fish wholesalers who will cook your food there after you buy the catch. In-flippin-credible. (sp) But, it is assuredly caveat emptor.

That is something I am definitely going to have to try one of the next times I am going to be down there. I got really hungry for seafood last weekend when we stopped at the huge Fiesta Mart. There was a Mexican lady ahead in line who had this huge bag of live blue crabs from the seafood department. She told me that there was a place that had even better seafood at lower prices - a small oriental owned market where the owners have their own boats. But even if my hotel room had something more than just a microwave in it or if I was up to packing a cooler full and lugging it back to Fort Worth, I am not really that experienced at cooking seafood - so what you are talking about sounds like a winner.

Heck, the best Mexican/El Salvadorian food I've ever had is at a roach coach ouside of the pull you own part junk yard in Pasadena.

Have you ever tried El Salvadorian food?

I have never tried El Salvadorian food. I will have to do that sometime. I have had Cuban food a couple of times. And while what I had was rather good, I was a bit disappointed in the cuisine as a whole because I had expected it to be much more spicy than it is. But black beans are always good, even without spices.

A few years ago I was in Atlanta on business for a couple of weeks and ate at a Columbian restaurant - and that was extremely disappointing. Perhaps it was just the restaurant. However, I learned that Atlanta has one of the largest Jamaican communities in the USA. I already knew that Jamaican food was spicy as I have bought Jamaican hot sauces, curry powders and ginger beer in stores before. So I asked around for recommendations of a good Jamaican restaurant. The place I went to was as lowbrow as it gets: it was located in the corner of a small grocery store , had Formica tables, florescent lighting, styrofoam plates and plastic forks. I was the ONLY white person there. But, oh, wow - that stuff was out of this world great. They did look at me kind of odd - but I suspect that was because I ordered two entrees . The place was way out of my way and I had to juggle my schedule a bit just to make it there at all. So I decided to try two entrees knowing I probably wouldn't be back again.

Yikes! Writing all this has now made me hungry!

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..."redneck" subculture that exists in this part of the country and which, I suspect, might even be more visible these days in Houston than in D/FW
Having grown up in Pasadena, (see the movie Urban Cowboy, he was my neighbor) I am not to horribly adverse to redeneck culture. Though the deliberate stupidity that some who "embrace" it chaps my hide. Places like Cracker Barrel and places that advertise "Kounty Kookin" are embacing ignorance as a marketing ploy. The one exception to the rule is the Kelley's Country Cookin. Opened 30+ years ago by a retired cop, they cooking is flat out amazing. Actually, it's as big as it is amazing. The breakfast food is usually what I get there as I have never finished 2 pancakes. There are quite a few locations but no website as of yet. Oh, and are they cheap....

I have never tried El Salvadorian food. I will have to do that sometime. I have had Cuban food a couple of times. And while what I had was rather good, I was a bit disappointed in the cuisine as a whole because I had expected it to be much more spicy than it is. But black beans are always good, even without spices.
It's somewhere between Mexican and Cuban. Alot of black beans, ham, corn masa, and things like cortida, which is a sort of saurkraut. Not as spicy as Mexican but it's got a lot more flavor.

The place I went to was as lowbrow as it gets: it was located in the corner of a small grocery store , had Formica tables, florescent lighting, styrofoam plates and plastic forks. I was the ONLY white person there. But, oh, wow - that stuff was out of this world great. They did look at me kind of odd - but I suspect that was because I ordered two entrees . The place was way out of my way and I had to juggle my schedule a bit just to make it there at all. So I decided to try two entrees knowing I probably wouldn't be back again.
I know what you mean. Some of the best restaurants I've found are totally lacking in pretence and focus solely on delivering the food. Generally, they are ethnic restaurants since they rely on word-of-mouth to advertise in small communities.

Yikes! Writing all this has now made me hungry!
Ditto. I am about to tuck into my inlaws Easter feast.

Oh, the link for the Hari Krishna temple I mentioned is here. This may be the first time someone on OO.net has refered someone over to a temple. ha ha.

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Having grown up in Pasadena, (see the movie Urban Cowboy, he was my neighbor) I am not to horribly adverse to redeneck culture.

I am afraid that I grew up in a suburb of Dallas that was just as, if not more, "redneck" than Pasadena - and that is my basis for being adverse to the culture. My mother is British so let's just say that my upbringing was VERY different than that of most of the kids I went to school with. It was very much a case of culture clash between what I was exposed to at home and what I was exposed to at school. And since I had no real problem with the way I was brought up, I had no particular desire to conform to the other kids in school and, happily, I held my ground against doing so. Kids, of course, tend to be pack animals so a child who stands out tends to be a target - which is exactly what I became. So, for that reason, I tend to have some rather negative and malevolent associations with "redneck" culture.

To be fair, however, I suspect I might have had a similar experience had I gone to a school dominated by some other firmly established subculture. For example, had I been sent to some sort of exclusive private school with kids who were from well-to-do families, I probably would have been just as much of a target if not more so. I would have been a target there on the same basis I was a target where I did go to school: I was different.

I certainly do not let my dislike of "redneck" culture go to the point of being bigoted towards people from that background. Indeed, on another discussion forum, I have made it a point to confront and slam rather hard a small group of arrogant, elitist snobs who regularly disparage total strangers as "rednecks" and "white trash" based on what part of town they live in or the type of stores or restaurants they patronize. These snobs really tick me off, not so much because I have any great love for southern blue collar culture, but rather because they are making collective judgments about people - and I have known a great many moral and decent people who have come from such a background.

The one exception to the rule is the Kelley's Country Cookin. Opened 30+ years ago by a retired cop, they cooking is flat out amazing. Actually, it's as big as it is amazing. The breakfast food is usually what I get there as I have never finished 2 pancakes. There are quite a few locations but no website as of yet. Oh, and are they cheap....
I have been in such restaurants and had some good food from them. And they do tend to be very good for breakfast. It is mostly the way certain restaurants of that category promote themselves that is a turn off for me.

Oh, the link for the Hari Krishna temple I mentioned is here.

Thanks for the link. I did not see any mention of the restaurant at that website. Is the restaurant in the temple complex?

This may be the first time someone on OO.net has refered someone over to a temple. ha ha.

That's right. Some rationalist newbie will probably put up a posting denouncing us as immoral and irrational because we have been endorsing the culinary premises of primitive, mystical cultures. After all, anyone who is at all familiar with the name "Hugh Akston" ought to know that real heroes eat burgers!

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... I have made it a point to confront and slam rather hard a small group of arrogant, elitist snobs who regularly disparage total strangers as "rednecks" and "white trash" based on what part of town they live in or the type of stores or restaurants they patronize. These snobs really tick me off, not so much because I have any great love for southern blue collar culture, but rather because they are making collective judgments about people - and I have known a great many moral and decent people who have come from such a background.
Actually, you're probably one of the only other people that though of redneck culture as a type of cultural elitism. I always thought it was a triumphing of ignorance and unsophistication. Kind of like Hooter's motto "delightfully unsophisticated" or something along those lines.

Thanks for the link. I did not see any mention of the restaurant at that website. Is the restaurant in the temple complex?
It's a part of it and it really isn't a restaurant. They do the usual to serve food on Sundays. It's on the calendar.

That's right. Some rationalist newbie will probably put up a posting denouncing us as immoral and irrational because we have been endorsing the culinary premises of primitive, mystical cultures. After all, anyone who is at all familiar with the name "Hugh Akston" ought to know that real heroes eat burgers!
Actually, there was a topic that was about the morality of being a vegeterian. Or at least something along those lines. There are a couple here or at least people with grazer diets but I quit eating meat due to very real health reasons. Still, I do enjoy a good piece of buffalo on occasion.
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  • 3 months later...

Hey, Scott - horrible news for Indian food junkies: India has banned the export of lentils and other legumes. Apparently there was a major crop failure this year and since dals constitute the major source of usually cheap protein for India's poor, the socialist politicians there have put the export ban in place to artificially lower the prices and keep the dal in India. As a result, there are now massive shortages at Indian grocery markets in the USA which, in some cases, have resorted to rationing lentils.

See: http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/15124773.htm

Indeed, since the second week of July, Udupi Palace restaurant in Sunnyvale has posted a sign at its popular lunch buffet, announcing that masala dosas are now $1 extra. Previously, the crepes were included in the regular buffet price. But now, with the skimpy supply of urad dal, owner Bino Jacob wants to make sure diners don't waste the dosas.

Dasaprakash, a South Indian restaurant, already has pulled five types of lentil doughnuts (vadai) -- all made with urad dal -- from its menu. Owner Das says he's contemplating removing iddlis (steamed cakes made of rice and ural dal) next, as well as raising prices 10 percent, even though he's never had to increase them in the restaurant's five-year history. At his other restaurants in India, though, it's business as usual.....

Sun Microsystems software engineer Raj Premkumar, 32, still has sticker shock. He and his wife used to pay $6.99 for a 20-pound bag of dal. Now, they're appalled to see some stores selling a four-pound bag for $15.99.

Since all the Indian buffets that are convenient to where I am are less than wonderful, it has been a couple of months or so since I have been to one, so I am not sure what the situation here in D/FW is. I have had no need to replenish the little supply I have in my cupboard as my attempts to make Indian food myself at home have not been especially successful.

The ban lasts til the end of next March so things will get worse before they get better. Let's hope the crop failures were limited to legumes. My preferred morning cup of tea is Assam which is grown in India as is Basmati rice which I consider to be vastly superior to the tasteless, starchy white rice one normally finds in supermarkets.

Hmmmmm. I think this constitutes the very best argument I have ever seen for bringing back imperialism and the existence of colonies! :)

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