Last weekend, my husband surprised me with a weekend getaway trip to Houston. We are both foodies. So it is no surprise that our weekend trip turned into a culinary adventure. O(∩_∩)O~
I did some homework right before we leave. Every star on the map stands for the restaurants on our to eat list.
We went for a hair cut in Chinatown after arrival. So we had our dinner at a nearby Sichuan cuisine restaurant named Mala Sichuan Bistro.
We ordered crispy and water boiled beef, sour and spicy noodle, dan dan noodle, spicy pork intestines.
Water boiled beef came first. It was really far away from authentic Sichuan style.
Neither of us enjoyed it at all. The beef was coated in thick and mushy starchy batter and boiled into a bowl of beef soup.
Sour and spicy noodle was bit heavy on the sour side. The broth was kind of flavorless despite of heavy dose of chili oil sauce.
He thought it was ok. I agreed to disagree O(∩_∩)O~
Don’t be scared by the name of spicy pork intestines. They were actually a delicacy in Asia.
It was the only dish I found ok. It was hot and spicy. The intestines were a little bit crunchy and crispy on the outside, tender and juicy on the inside.
Dan dan noodle was also far away from traditional and authentic.
Dinner didn’t go well, so we treated ourselves with dessert at Star Ice & Teriyaki.
Matcha shaved ice was really good.
Although it was named shave ice, it was just like eating fine ice cream. And you can pick four toppings.
Milk tea was ok.
The second morning we went to Rudy's Country Store & Bar-B-Q for breakfast. This one is conveniently located close to the Houston Space Center.
They had breakfast menu. I asked if they had BBQ, and yes they did! O(∩_∩)O~ They were sold by pound. We ordered 1/4 pound lean beef brisket, 1/4 pound moist beef brisket, one jalapeno smoked sausage.
Lean brisket was good; tasty and smoky. But they were so lean that they taste a little bit dry.
There was a seasoning basket on every table.
The moist beef brisket was so much better than the lean one. They were smoky, juicy, tender and loaded with tons of flavors.
Each piece came with beautiful smoke ring.
The sausage was surprisingly tasty!
We spent most of our day at Houston Space Center.
We went toJinya Ramen Bar for lunch. It has two locations in town. This one is really close to Space Center too.
I am ordered number 2 Cha Cha Cha
The pork broth is very thick and rich, just the way I like it!
He ordered NO.3 Jinya Tonkotsu Black
The noodle was thicker than mine. Brussel sprouts were added to the broth to create rich and refreshing flavor which was also quite tasty.
We continued our tour back at Space center for the afternoon. And then we headed back to midtown for dinner.
We made a reservation for two at 6:15 at Pappas Brother Steakhouse. The parking was already full although we arrived before 6: oopm.
The restaurant atmosphere was great, elegant and upscale. A gentleman in suit was playing piano next to the entrance.
My attention was soon distracted by the meat counter. There was a huge display of all kinds of dry aged meat. I was drooling like crazy inside. O(∩_∩)O~
Numerous waiters and waitress greeted us on the way to our table. Too bad it was so dark in there that every photo blurred even though I bumped up the camera ISO to 2000.
The bread was really good. It was crunchy on the outside but with a soft and light inside texture.
Pappas is famous for their wine collections. I couldn’t drink at the time. So he ordered a glass of cabernet sauvignon.
We ordered bacon-wrapped scallops, steak house salad and 18 oz dry aged prime ribeye.
The scallops were very amazing. They were wrapped in crunchy bacon but stayed tender and juicy inside.
Salads were a bit too sweet for my taste.
Maybe I had held my hope too high for the steak that I was slightly disappointed by the steak. Yes, it was grilled to medium rare just the way we like. And it was good steak, juicy and tender. But I didn’t find the beef flavor intensified by the dry age process.
What I am trying to say is that I prefer my husband’s version of fire grilled ribeye over Pappas’.
Dun Huang plaza became our new favorite hang out spot in Houston.
We went to Gong Cha for tea.
It was late in the night. There was still a long line.
One bubble milk tea and one red bean milk tea. The tea flavor was really good. But both of them tasted too sweet for me. I should have asked for half sweetness.
It was only 11:00 pm. The night was still young. O(∩_∩)O~
What would you do when you see somebody is selling rolling ice cream? Join the line!
It looked like they were making crepes. The ice cream batter was spread evenly on a flat pan. It cooled and frozen very quickly, and then they scrape and rolling the ice cream from one end towards the other.
It tasted no difference from regular ice cream. But it was really fun to watch the whole making process.
The next morning, we drove to Fung’s kitchen for dim sum.
The restaurant was spacious and clean.
Pu erh tea
Dim sum is served in a traditional style here. Food carts loaded with all kinds of snacks and dishes come and go. You can stop the waiter or waitress any time if you’d like something from their food carts.
Shrimp noodles were great. The silky fine texture made it one of my favorites.
Beef tendon was very tender and seasoned in traditional Cantonese way.
I added a couple teaspoons of chili oil sauce to spice it up.
Tofu skin rolls were ok
Shrimp dumplings sucked. The dumpling wrap was really thick and sticky. The shrimp filling felt out when we tried to pick it up with chopsticks.
Chicken feet with black beans sauce were good.
Egg tarts were good too. They would have been better if served hot right out of oven.
The layers were very light and flaky.
These were one of their signature dishes: salted egg yolk custard buns
He found it ok but I didn’t like it.
First of all, they are cold. A lot of Chinese snacks need to be served hot to remain their taste and flavor. Salted egg yolk custard buns definitely should be served immediately right out of oven. Second, the filling taste greasy and lack of flavors.
After dim sum, we went shopping. And then we went back to Dun Huang Plaza for desserts. O(∩_∩)O~
I ordered taro flavor shave ice. It was not as creamy the matcha shaved ice as I had before.
You can pick up to four toppings.
And then we went back to Gong Cha for tea.
Two cups of bubble black milk tea on ice was a must for a 90F muggy day! We asked for only half syrup this time so they tasted a lot better!
We drove to airport after the milk tea. The amazing weekend getaway trip was over. But I know I will be back soon! O(∩_∩)O~