Wednesday, July 22, 2015

🚗 Houston Travel Diary: Shaved Ice🍧, Best Hotdogs, Crazy Gas Station!

⏩Hey guys! It's been a while since I've vlogged! This is my first food vlog so I'm new to explaining what I'm doing while trying to live my life. Mostly shot on my Samsung S5! This was my last trip to Houston and I'm always asked about recommendations on where to go. Luckily, I have family who lives there so I'm always trying new places! I also go quite often so I plan to continue these in the future, hopefully shorter and more steady!

 Tan Tan on Bellaire

Tan Tan is one of those restaurants with that you just can't stay away from once you're hooked. Known for their Banh Bot Chien and terrible service, I always find myself here. My last experience took the cake. Meeting people in Houston is a task. We waited for my cousin to arrive and when he was 5 minutes away, we put in the order for our hotpot. The entire time we were wondering why the portion was so small compared to last time on top of the price going up. When we received the bill, we found out that they only put in the order for two! We repeatedly told our server it was going to be three and she kept treating us like it was just us two (two place settings when asked). No bueno for two hungry guys and a foodie. But the food is just so good when it's done right! The struggle.

Kung Fu Tea on Bellaire

Look guys. This place is bomb. I went three times in this trip! I've had a lot of bubble tea in HOU, but this place has great drinks. The boba is perfectly sweetened, and I normally don't care for boba. Milk tea, yum. Taro slush, yum. Egg pudding, SO YUM. Will be back.


You're probably wondering why I chose to vlog about Whataburger. It's a franchise that I just don't have close to me. My cousins introduced me to the A1 Thick & Hearty. This looks like it'll clog your insides but it will touch your inner fatty. So rich and hearty. The sauce. My gawd.


I JUST came from having a bad experience from a Smashburger in New Orleans, and I was really disappointed in a Houston location as well. I received flack from a cousin of mine for being so basic, and he was probably right. My other cousin and I were just hungry from our grocery run. The chipotle seasoned bun was aromatic, but very disappointing

Pho Ve Dem on Bellaire

This place was okay. Standard bowl of pho with a little something lacking. Pros are that they open a little late and housemade durian ice cream if you're into that thing!

Tea Bar & Organics on Bellaire

This is a boba type place that opens a little late. If you dine in they give you your drinks, shaken, in large mugs to enjoy. I walked away with a taro with egg pudding. Their egg pudding is not perfectly silky with a little bit of a stiff texture on the outsides. I had my very first milk tea here years ago. Decent for studying. 

Killen's Barbeque

This place is rated #2 best barbeque for a reason. I thoroughly enjoyed their meats. I admit I'm not much of an expert on BBQ, but this packed some flavor. My cousin and I loved their coffee sauce and while it sounds peculiar, it's definitely worth a try. I loved the brisket but my cousin did not. Next time I would pass on the pinto beans, it wasn't really what we ordered anyway.

Sushi King on Kirby

It's really hard to find good sushi in Houston that doesn't cost an arm and a leg. I'm used to a certain price point and quality and that combination hardly exists here. Sushi always feels more expensive and less filling. This place was decent. I loved the ferris wheel roll for sure. The cowboy roll was also good and everything else was just meh. Ambiance was classy but the clientele was not as much so.

Juice Box on Bellaire

My must stop place in Houston. A part of me dies when I don't get a chance to come here on a visit. Despite the name, they are known for their Thai shaved ice. Perfectly shaved ice that's nice and fluffy with various fruit and condensed milk. The combination is just divine. I recently started to add flan and it has the perfect texture for me. The only con is that the fruit can be hit or miss, most of the time when strawberries are out of season they are very sour. They also sell jasmine fruit teas, hence the name.

Cajun Craven on Beamer Rd

For this Lousiana girl, Houston crawfish takes a lot to impress me. Most places slather the outsides with sauce but the meat itself is nearly tasteless. I've heard that they boil in chicken broth then toss the crawdaddies. This place's sauce was spot on and the meat wasn't too bad. The spicy craven was a little too spicy and salty for my taste, but this place is a definite recommend. Prices aren't too bad either, MKT price was between 6.99 and 7.99 at the time.

Comedy Showcase on Fuqua

A recap of how this works: pay the price of the ticket depending on the day (weekends or bigger headliners are more expensive) and you must purchase two food/drink items per person. We ended up getting fried appetizers and it was so heavy. Drinks were fairly strong, but I'm weak so hey. We had a "Last Comic Standing" runner up as our headliner and he was very entertaining. There were two smaller comedians to warm up the crowd. I would definitely do it again, but next time I would just get drinks.

Yo Yo's Hot Dogs in Rice Village

Yo. These are the best hot dogs you will have in your life. Open Thurs-Sat, it is a little hot dog cart run by a hard-working [Korean?] man. His timing is impeccable. He toasts the buns, uses delicious Nathan's hotdogs, and tops with curry ketchup, kimchee mayo, honey mustard, cream cheese, perfect caramelized onions and [store bought] fried onions. Because of him, I always top my hotdogs with mayo, sriracha, ketchup, and mustard now; TRY IT. Also don't be discouraged by the cream cheese. It takes on a savory flavor and the texture is like a nacho cheese when melted. Ugh. So good. Unfortunately this time mine was ordered before I got there so I didn't get to vlog his process. =(

Ruggles Black on Kirby

OMG. Houstonians will always tell you all Ruggles are the same. INCORRECT. Ruggles Black is a classy/club vibe version of Ruggles with a Vietnamese executive chef. I am used to going to Ruggles Green, a comfortable cafe with lunch-type food and great white chocolate bread pudding. The boyfriend and I came dressed in gym clothes. We felt so out of place and awkward. The markup for the food was SO HIGH. $20 for a bowl of pho? I'd better be able to feed my whole family with one bowl. I will tell you that the duck pizza was amazing. It was reminiscent of banh mi with the pickled carrots,with a great hoisin sauce concoction and something I've never seen before: poached egg on a pizza. We also had brussels and some sort of either miso or yuzu tuna (it wasn't memorable), and the flavor profiles were so similar to the pizza also being Vietnamese fusion. The white chocolate bread pudding just did not taste the same being in a different setting and probably at a higher markup.

Gordough (from Austin, TX)

My cousin brought this home from a food truck when he went to Austin. By this time, I was so full of dairy from visiting Kung Fu so many times, I couldn't take anything else indulgent. I did enjoy the pudding doughnut, but I can't really form an opinion when I only picked at them.

I do intend on visiting Houston again soon, but I don't have a set date! Stay tuned, and next time I'll try to improve my vlogging skills.

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