Upper Kirby's Shanghai River Restaurant

Thursday, August 29, 2013
New Yorkers are proud of a lot of things. And a lot of those things I totally get: Pizza, bagels, old timey photos of construction workers eating lunch on beams of skyscrapers with no harness or anything (I totally can't take credit for that one. Read this book, and it'll be the best decision you ever made)...

So yeah. I get it. New Yorkers are frackin' proud, and they darn well should be. OW-HEVER, there is one thing that I never understood their pride in: Chinese food.

I blame Sex and the City and any other TV show/movie that over-idealizes New York and involves trendy female New Yorkers, crying over dirtbag boyfriends in their super posh (but TOTALLY  affordable and completely realistic!) apartments with their best gal pals, a bottle of vodka, and of course Chinese takeout, eaten straight from the box.

*sigh* What a romantic image.

And I'm absolutely NOT saying New York City Chinese food isn't good. On the contrary, it is EXCELLENT. But guess what? Unlike the ever allusive pizza slice, bagel, and old timey photos of construction workers eating lunch on beams of skyscrapers with no harness or anything, I'm going to go out on a limb and say most other cities are fully capable of doing Chinese food well. And H-Tizzy is no exception.

Can I say H-Tizzy? No?

I however had not had any Chinese food since I'd been back, which means I've not had any Chinese food in FIVE MONTHS. I'm sorry, what? No that cannot be correct, let me re-do the math. April to May, May to June, June to July, July to August, August to...


Needless to say, my unintended abstinence from Chinese food was long overdue. Determined to feed the flame (I actually don't think that phrase is applicable here), I ordered takeout from Shanghai River Restaurant in Upper Kirby the other night. And once again, all was right with the world.


First of all, the place is seriously cool inside, which is unassuming since (true to H-Tizzy form) it is located in a little strip center. You enter through a giant monstrosity of a red door, go through a closed off entryway with a large statue/fountain, and then step into the main, darkly lit, nicely decorated restaurant.


So I started with egg drop soup, which is actually an unusual move for me (I usually stick with the wonton variety). It was nice and tasty, but it was a little too thick for me. The thickness did not deter me, because the flavor was excellent, but I didn't eat too much of it, out of fear of it being too filling (Chinese food? Filling? I must be losing my mind).

Then it was a free-for-all of beef with broccoli, brown rice, and chicken lo mein dumped into my mouth.

I have to admit I inhaled the first round too quickly to even think, realized I had to make some form of sound judgment on the food, and thus helped myself to a second plate.

It was all delicious. The beef with broccoli, in my opinion, needed some more sauce, but it was pretty standard and did not disappoint.

The chicken lo mein was excellent. It had whole small mushrooms in it that really shone nicely through the dish, as well as long cuts of green onions. Superb. So superb that two hours later I helped myself to some more of it.

So that's three dinners for anyone who's counting. I had three dinners that night.

Perhaps the occasional abstinence from Chinese food is not such a bad thing after all...

No it is a bad thing. I should eat Chinese food always, and I'd be absolutely fine if it was from Shanghai River Restaurant in Good Old H-Tizzy. Was it the best Chinese I've ever had? No, but it was darn good and definitely hit the [Chinese takeout] spot.

Even Carrie and Miranda would be impressed.

Houston Restaurant Weeks Review: A Mixed Bag at Brennan's of Houston

Monday, August 26, 2013
Houston Restaurant Weeks give the perfect opportunity to get out and try certain restaurants you otherwise may not normally try for a reasonable price. I decided to take advantage of this, so I made a reservation to have dinner with my boyfriend Jason at Brennan's of Houston.

Brennan's, I had heard, is one of the nicest fine dining restaurants in Houston. The food there was supposedly incredible, and as it is not an inexpensive place, why not try it out for $35 a person, which includes a 3-course meal?

Spoiler alert: The food was great, but the service was a major disappointment. Total bummer, because as you know, I want to LOVE everything! But alas...

So my experience at Brennan's.

It's very beautiful inside this Cajun fine dining spot. The restaurant is lined with exposed brick, several chandeliers hang from the ceilings, and soft paintings adorn the walls.

The garlic toast actually came with 6 pieces, but Jason inhaled the first two before my camera stood a chance.
And I will say, the food was exceptional. Before any of our food came out, we were given a plate of small pieces of cheesy garlic toast. These complimentary little guys were my second favorite thing that we had. They were gooey, crispy, and packed with garlicky goodness. Excellent little starters.

Now in my humblest of opinions, I'm a pretty adventurous eater. Alligator, escargot, rabbit, and sweet breads are all in the spectrum of things I've tried. While I likely won't be caught eating bugs or snake anytime soon, I have been known to take a risk or two. So when I heard about the Turtle Soup at Brennan's I knew that I would have to try it as my first course. I quickly got over any reservations I had about it as I tasted this delicious gumbo-like soup. Heavy on the tomato base, and quite briny, it was not at all what I had expected. But it was fantastic.

(And FYI, Turtle tastes like beef.)

Breaking out of my shell and trying Turtle Soup. Pun absolutely intended.

For my entree I got the Chicken Clemenceau. It was good, definitely better than most chicken dishes. But I wasn't exactly floored by it. The brabant potatoes and red beans that came with it were outstanding though. Even though the chicken wasn't my favorite chicken ever, it was nice and moist, and the pieces with skin still on them were very flavorful and loaded with different seasonings.

Jason got the Creole Spiced Fillet of Beef for his main dish, which definitely won the award for best entree. It was a hearty cut of beef that was also seasoned beautifully.

For dessert we both got the much-raved about Bananas Foster. Jason and I agreed that this was the star player for the evening. Your server sets up a little station and flambés it up table-side. And let me tell you, it is quite the production, Benihana style. Flames abound, sparks fly, and the server makes a volcano out of onions and fake-squirts you with mustard! Okay, not that last part. It really is a spectacle though. And the taste? WOW. The bananas! The brown sugar! The ice cream! Just perfect.

So yes, the food was great. All that said though, I have to admit we were very disappointed in the service. The waitstaff were all incredibly nice, but we were completely rushed through our whole meal. We didn't get our bottle of wine until halfway through our soup because it came out so quickly, and as soon as we were done with our soup, we were given our entrees. By the time the meal was done, we'd only finished half our bottle of wine, and it's not because we were sipping our wine at a turtle's pace (okay I'll stop).

I don't know if it's because we were dining off of the Restaurant Weeks menu or what, but we seemed to have had the complete opposite service I'd had at Hearsay (where we were completely ignored). This time, we were rushed through our meal, as though they needed us out as soon as possible. I knew I wasn't being unfair when my laid-back, low-maintenance bf said something about it to me before I even had voiced the thought to him. When eating at a fine dining, white-tableclothed restaurant, I would expect it to be a longer, more enjoyable experience. Unfortunately, I must say the way we were rushed really did put a damper on the occasion.

So far, while I like the idea of Houston Restaurant Weeks, my two dining experiences with it have been sub-par mixed bags.

We have a reservation for America's in River Oaks this weekend, so here's to hoping my track record ends!

Glorious Bananas Foster

Ugh, but now I've got a Benihana craving like you wouldn't BELIEVE.

Lunching at Chatter's Cafe & Bistro

Saturday, August 24, 2013
I never met a cheese I didn't like.

I realize that's a very hefty statement, but up to this point in my life it is 100% true: I never met a cheese I didn't like.

I'm so confident in this statement that I'd be willing to make it my internet dating profile slogan, tattoo it on my arm (but please don't make me), have it on my epitaph, and swear it in a court of law.

Sure I prefer some cheeses over others - I'll take a Jarlsberg over a Gouda, or a Camembert over a goat. But given the option between having a less favorable cheese or no cheese? The answer is always cheese. No question.

My tried and true first love and nearest and dearest to my heart cheese, though, is brie. The cream, the wax, the melt-in-your mouth HEAVEN is just something I will never EVER be able to resist.

So when I went to Chatter's Cafe & Bistro in the Heights with my parents for lunch the other day, I couldn't NOT order the BLT & Brie Sandwich. It incorporated two of my great loves (Brie and - duh - bacon) and a new love of my life: APRICOT FLAVORED MAYO, ARE YOU SERIOUS. So you can understand why, as I tried to avert my eyes and explore other incredibly appealing options, such as the Mediterranean Salad, Smoked Turkey Ciabatta, or Buffalo Chicken Wrap, the BLT & Brie Sandwich kept calling me home.

BLT & Brie Sandwich, you gorgeous thing, you.
Fortunately for me, my mother is equally as crazy about my beloved brie, so she suggested she get another meal, and we go halvesies in order to experience more flavors. As a general rule, this happens more often than not with us. Love it. So she ordered the Mediterranean Quesadilla, which is filled with spinach, feta, mushroom, chopped tomato and hot peppers. MAH. GOODNESS.

Fun fact: My mother and are also equally crazy about John Cusack. Make of that what you will.

Needless to say the food did not disappoint.

The BLT & Brie Sandwich was - dare I say it? - PERFECT. I asked for it on ciabatta bread, which I think added the perfect outer crispiness to the inner gooey brie-ish-ness. The bacon was nice and crispy as well, and the apricot mayo (I STILL CANNOT BELIEVE THAT'S EVEN A THING) was DI-VINE. I also got it with a side Greek salad, which hit the spot.

Mediterranean Quesadilla
The quesadilla was also insanely good. The only gripe I have with it was that it was a tad soggy, but not to the point of ruining the meal. The feta was awesome (duh, it's cheese), and the mushrooms were marinated in something that gave them a nice tangy pop. The quesadillas came with a Greek sauce of some sort on the side, that was creamy and pretty mild in flavor (some sort of Hummus maybe?), and it complemented them perfectly. This dish was definitely also an excellent choice.

I also nabbed one of my dad's fries, which gets a thumbs up from me!

I am so happy we stumbled onto this little gem of a spot. Not only did the food receive rave reviews all around from the Ogonosky clan, the interior of it is very clean, simple, and pretty. Perfect lunch spot.

And I defy you to show me a cheese or a John Cusack film I won't like. It's just not happening.

A Celebration of 50 Years of Love at Perry's Steakhouse

Thursday, August 22, 2013
This is what 50 years of love looks like:

50 years of marriage is such a rare and incredible milestone that ought to be saluted with a fantastic celebration.

Last weekend I was lucky enough to be part of such a celebration - The 50 year anniversary of my boyfriend Jason's grandparents. The festivities started with dinner at Perry's Steakhouse and Grille in Champions, followed by wedding cake and champagne at Jason's Aunt and Uncle's house.

And let me tell you, not only was dinner at Perry's AWESOME, it was the perfect way to ring in the occasion.

Jason's family reserved a private room there for the 18 of us, and it was the perfect intimate setting. We were seated in the round (well, square) around a table decorated with rose petals. We were also given pre fixe menus that were personalized for the occasion.

First off, the waitstaff was incredible. The server on our corner of the table was beyond friendly, attentive, knowledgeable, and according to Jason's cousin, was a dead ringer for Chris from this season of The Bachelorette. We didn't have wine lists, so when he asked what I'd like to drink I said, "Do you have a peppery red wine?" (gross, what a snob). And he said, "Sure I'll bring you a great pinot noir we have." He came back and said, "Actually, I got you a red zinfandel that I'm sure is going to blow you away."

And blow me away it did, Chris.

Oh, I'm so sorry, you don't know who Chris from The Bachelorette is? ALLOW ME the pleasure:

Chris' initial claims to fame were that he took bachelorette Des up to a roof one night (exciting stuff), was a former minor league pitcher for the Cubs, and could spit out a mean poem. One that rhymes no less! But don't get too excited ladies because even though Des fell head-over-heels in love with Brooks (she told us like 2,543,029 times throughout the season), he broke up with her, and a week later she settled for professed her love to Chris.

I mean gross, who watches that crap anyway?

So enough about fake reality TV love, back to the real thing we were witnessing at Perry's.

They brought out family style appetizers for us of Fried Asparagus with Lump Crab Meat, Smoked Polish Sausage, and Cherry Pepper Calamari.

As I'm slightly over asparagus (what does that even mean.) and allergic to shellfish (WHYYYYYY), I only had the kielbasa (Say it right Perry's!) and calamari. Having grown up eating all the Polish things, I liked Perry's version, but I was not altogether blown away by it. It wasn't smoky or crispy enough for my taste. It did however have a bit of a sweetness to it that I did not expect, which I really liked. But the calamari may be in my top five calamari experiences ever (And no the time we dissected squid in 7th grade science class - and my teacher cooked calamari and gave it to us promptly after because she thought it would be funny - did not make the list). The calamari was so crispy and bursting with different flavors from all of the peppers it was topped with. It also had a little kick, which I was a total fan of. As a whole I liked the appetizers, but it was A LOT of food to contend with.

For my salad I got the Caesar, and it was a pretty standard Caesar. Nothing to write home about, but it did have (I think) pine nuts in it, which added a nice new textural level to it. But again, the salad was HUGE. I was only able to eat half of it, for fear of missing out on my entree.

As I am not a fan of re-writing menus, and most of the entrees were topped with EVIL CRABS, my options were pretty limited for my main course. I didn't mind though because the 14 oz Prime Ribeye "Grilled to perfection with herb-garlic butter" was calling my name.

The steak was pretty good, but the real stars of my dinner were the mashed potatoes and macaroni and cheese (since I'm over asparagus in general, they're not worth the discussion). The potatoes were light, smooth, and fluffy, and the mac and cheese (made with penne noodles) was oozing with bursting flavors of different cheeses.

The other star of my dinner was not actually my dinner, but Jason's dinner.

Just look at that pork chop of glory. It actually had three different sections to it, and according to Chris (I really should stop making up names for people I don't know), it WEIGHED THREE AND A HALF POUNDS (!!!!!!). In all earnest, this "world famous" pork chop was THE singular best pork chop I've ever had. It was so juicy, and each different section brought about completely new flavors. It was not at all dry, as pork chops often can be, and it almost tasted like pork belly. WOW. No applesauce needed here folks! (though I think it might have come with it).

The ONLY critique I have about Perry's (because it really was wonderful) is that there really was an obscene amount of food. I don't mind taking home leftovers (which we definitely did), but it seemed to be almost *too* much. And don't get me wrong, I'm an eater - Jason marvels at the way I can put back a large bag of kettle chips in a matter of mere seconds. But the steak ended up being three meals for me, and the pork chops came out to FIVE meals. FIVE. And Perry's Steakhouse is not a plate-sharing kind of establishment from what I gathered. I guess this is Texas, and portions are bigger - especially in a steakhouse - but a 7 ounce steak or a, I don't know, 1.75 pound pork chop would still have been plenty of food. If that's the only critique I've got, I'd say we're doing a-okay though!

Regardless, Perry's did a wonderful job of delivering exceptional service, beyond delicious food, and a perfect environment to celebrate such a special occasion.

And, even though there was a ton of food we OF COURSE made room for the delicious wedding cake afterwards.

So please join me in wishing Jason's wonderful "Mama" and "Papa" a Happy 50th Anniversary!

Taco Tuesdays: El Tiempo

Tuesday, August 20, 2013
It was a dark and stormy night........

Sounds like Houston these days, huh?

Also, I'd like to preface this blog post by apologizing profusely for missing out on last week's Taco Tuesday. I will do my utmost to make it to every Taco Tuesday on time.

Anyhoo, it was a dark and stormy night. My sister Emily was visiting from Austin, so our parents wanted to take us and the bf out to Local Pour for drinks and dinner.

And FYI, I've been hearing lately that it's the cool thing to hate on Local Pour, and all I've got to say about that is...

(That's my dog Newton. He's not very good at Hide-and-Seek.)
But this post isn't about my love for Local Pour (though I'm sure we will get to that). Because unfortunately due to the dark and storminess of the night, the power at Local Pour went out. Deterred but never dampened (ha), we ended up changing our plans and went to the El Tiempo on Montrose.

For a dark and stormy Friday night at a popular small restaurant in Houston's equivalent of NYC's East Village, I'm sure you can imagine what the wait was like.

It was long.

But we persevered! For an hour!

Needless to say, the second we got to our table we ordered a baller round of drinks.

I was doing my stupid "I'm not a margarita drinker" charade so I started off with a sangria.

It was okay, but nothing really to write home about.

I tasted my sister's frozen peach margarita, immediately regretted my lame decision, slurped down the 'gria, and promptly ordered a peach 'rita.

Much better.

We got the cheese queso to start (Yes, I realize I just said "We got the cheese cheese to start," but it's so nice I like to say it twice!), and it was probably a gallon of cheese. MASSIVE. Having not even looked at the menu yet, we didn't realize the cheese queso came in FOUR SIZES. So when our server said "What size would you like?" and we said "Large," we didn't realize we had ordered cheese queso roughly the size of Lake Travis. "There's no way we're going to eat all of that!"

Funny how cheese queso makes a liar out of you, because we were licking it off the skillet by the end.

Was it good? You betcha. I prefer my cheese queso with some meat in it, but someone at the table (EMILY) didn't want it with meat so I had to make a sacrifice.

I really am a selfless person.

Additionally, the chips at El Tiempo come with some sort of creamy green dipping sauce that is out of this world. It's tangy and completely addictive.

For our main course my mom, Emily, and I split a 1/2 pound of Fillet Fajitas, which are made with tenderloin beef.

Now. I know I may be guilty of saying "That was the best (insert food item) I have ever had" all-too-often, but believe me when I say those were the best fajitas I have ever had. Since it wasn't the usual flank steak, the meat was so tender, and I believe marinated in something. Something DELICIOUS. It also came with a SIDE OF MELTED BUTTER TO DIP THE FAJITA MEAT IN. I mean, that's pretty much the most brilliant thing I've ever heard/experienced.

The presentation of the fajitas was also wonderful. The 'jitas came out on top of a big metal box of magic, and it just made them look all the more incredible. These fajitas were so juicy and flavorful, I never want to go back to before. I want to eat those fajitas for every meal. I want to become best friends with those fajitas. I want to marry those fajitas.

Okay, I'll stop hitting on the fajitas.

Jason got some sort of crazy combination, and the two tacos that came with it were bigger than his head.

No, really.

So much food, so much deliciousness, and so many more things to say, but I will spare you. I'm just glad I now know what all the hubbub regarding El Tiempo is all about. It definitely lives up to its reputation. So go. Get the Fillet Fajitas.

I'll be looking for my wedding invitation in the mail.

Christian's Tailgate

Monday, August 19, 2013
Give me a good burger, and I could write all day on the subject.

There's just something about the perfect burger: The juiciness of the patty, the softness of the bun, the crispiness of the bacon, Mmm!!

Like a beacon on a rainy August Houston night: Christian's Tailgate

I usually go pretty simple with my burgers: Medium rare, bacon, and cheese, with the standard vegetable toppings of lettuce, tomato, and onion, of course. Every now and then I get fancy - To this day, I swear one of the most amazing burgers I've ever had was the Hi-Life Burger at Hi-Life Bar and Lounge, where yours truly waited on cranky New Yorkers for a brief moment in time. The Hi-Life Burger had bits of bacon in the patty and was topped with pickled ginger and spicy mayo. WHAT WAS IN MY MOUTH. A blaze of glory, that's what.

But other than the occasional change-up, I tend stick with my dear old friends: The bacon cheddar buddies.

Every Thursday night, my dad has "Martini Night" at his house. I attend Martini Night pretty frequently (uh, hello, why wouldn't you), which baffles him, because it consists of us drinking martinis while clearing out his DVR of old episodes of "Selling New York" and "Selling L.A." I will shamelessly admit that I love HGTV through and through, so this is pure bliss for me.

Side Note: While watching "Selling New York" a variation of this conversation always happens:

Dad: Kim, with amazing apartments like these, I can't imagine why you would ever want to leave New York.
Kim: Dad, my apartment in New York didn't have any windows, the heat didn't work, and the bathtub was in the kitchen.

My bathtub wasn't really in the kitchen, but I definitely had been to an apartment like that. Which was not abnormal.

Anyway, on one of these Martini Nights, my dad said, "You know I taped this show on the Travel Channel called 'Burger Land' where this guy travels around the country tasting the best burgers. This one particular episode focuses on Houston. Want to watch it?"

First of all, Mr. Burger Taster of America must have made a deal with the devil to be living the dream like he is.

Second of all, hell yes I wanted to watch it, and wouldn't you know Mr. Burger Taster visited Christian's Tailgate on Washington and sampled the Country Fried Bacon Burger.

So my dad and I obviously went a week later.

Not so brave as to try a burger topped with fried battered bacon and onion rings, I stuck with the Bacon Bacon Burger. Anything with two "Bacons" in the name holds the promise of a brighter tomorrow as far as I'm concerned!

And WHOA. Was it GOOD. Bacon in the patty, bacon on the patty. I of course added cheddar. It was so incredibly juicy and bursting with flavor. And the fries, ohmahlawd. Crispy, seasoned to perfection, and flipping brilliant.

Well the other night, my boyfriend Jason and I met up with some friends at the Christian's Tailgate in the Heights, and wouldn't you know it I got the same burger (Gah! Branch out Kim!). But I loved it. Let me paint a picture of how much I loved it:

New Friends 1 & 2 - Couldn't finish a shared burger and fries (In New Friends 1 & 2's defense, it was a one pound burger)
New Friend 3 - Couldn't finish her chicken sandwich and fries
Cole - Couldn't finish his mushroom swiss burger and fries
Jason - Ate the majority of his burger sliders and half of his fries.
Kim - Where'd her food go?

(I had just met New Friends 1-3, so I don't want to freak them out by writing their actual names on the interwebs. Although they were looking at me curiously as I photographed my food at different angles and did not explain why, so they probably were already a little perplexed by my behavior.)

I also really liked the inside of this location much better than the one on Washington. The Washington spot is pretty small, dark, and divey. Which, duh, I love, but the one in the Heights is HUGE. It has a semi-outdoor space which is mostly a bar, and then a large backroom that has table service. And there are ginormous TVs everywhere.

I loved it. La-la loved it.

Christian's Tailgate is a great spot to hang out with a group of friends over beer, french fries, and some of the best burgers you will ever devour in a matter of seconds.

And Mr. Burger Taster of America, wherever your magical travels have landed you: I salute you.

Corner Bakery Cafe

Friday, August 16, 2013
So here's a life update for you: Last Friday I moved into mine and Jason's new apartment!!

And by "I moved," I mean my mom, Jason, and some movers moved all of our stuff, while I worked and took a delightful, leisurely lunch break at Corner Bakery Cafe on Yale Street.

Side note: I cannot even get over the fact that I have a washer and dryer. In my unit! Is this real life?!? In New York that would be the equivalent of seeing a unicorn and a leprechaun enjoying a gin rickey together. Past Kim from a year ago is cursing Present Kim, as she hauls her 40 pound bag of laundry up and down her Manhattan 4th floor walk up. And Future Kim laughs at all the other Kims while smoking a long cigarette and sipping a gin rickey (I don't smoke, and I have no idea what a gin rickey is, contrary to what you might think given its popularity in this paragraph).

Houston, I LOVE you right now.

Also, I'm one of those people who takes forever to unpack an apartment. Like, months. It's really embarrassing. But for whatever reason, on Saturday Jason and I went all Type-A on each other and unpacked almost the entire apartment. It was like we were in an episode of 24 (I've never seen an episode of 24, so I have no idea if that's what it was like), and a bomb was going to explode in our bodies (that happens in 24, right?) if we didn't unpack our apartment by the 24th hour and hand the keys over to Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves to save a bus full of people who all met when a plane crashed on a mysterious island with a smoke monster on it. The end.

I've been wanting to try Corner Bakery Cafe since I first moved back and saw the cute lofty-looking brick building it's housed in. I had a $3 off coupon that I'm pretty sure had expired (okay I'm 87% sure it did), but I thought I'd try my luck and check it out.

And wouldn't you know they accepted my coupon (which I'm actually 100% sure said expired June 30, 2013)! Okay, Corner Bakery Cafe, I'm already loving you.

Looking for a light (read: not really, but I'm trying to convince myself otherwise) lunch, I ordered the Santa Fe Ranch Salad. It was big (thank you, Texas), spicy, tangy, hearty but light, and very delicious. I do have one bone to pick though (don't I always.) - Where the heck was the chicken?? I mean, there was chicken, and yes it was chopped up, but it was definitely largely missing from the salad. I'm a protein nut (har har.), so this assessment might be *slightly* unfair, but I say bring on the bird!

Sorry I'm not sorry about the parenthesis overhaul in that previous paragraph.

The salad came with a bread stick as well, and here are the exact notes I took on it: "salty, fluffy, good." And there you have it!

I got the black currant iced tea to sip on with my meal. At first it was a little strong, but after a few minutes the ice melted a little and diluted it. I liked it a lot. It was unsweetened, but still sweet because of the currant overtones, if that makes sense.

Also, can I get an Amen for free refills, Texas?! New York, you seriously need to get up to speed on this one.

I'm just going to keep personifying cities and states as though they were my friends. Just watch out Boston, because you're on my s* list. Just kidding Boston, love you mean it, byeeeee!!!

And it just got weird.

Apparently Corner Bakery Cafe is a national chain, and a great one to boot. I will definitely be going back there, maybe for breakfast next time. The food is great, it's very relaxed and welcoming inside, and they have free wi-fi hollerrrrrrr!!!!!

Oh, and no big deal, but I totally crushed Coach Dave on the kids menu.

Eurasia Fusion Sushi

Wednesday, August 14, 2013
Things I'm afraid of: Snakes, dying alone, clowns, and wood scraping against my teeth.

I recently had a hankering for sushi during lunch, so I did a quick Yelp search of nearby sushi places. Eurasia Fusion Sushi looked promising with it's glowing reviews, convenient location, and ONLINE ORDERING SYSTEM - Holy New York, I haven't seen that in a while!

Unfortunado for me, though, the online ordering system did not include lunch items. Further, I was not even able to view the lunch menu because it would not load on the site. Set back - but not deterred - (as there did not seem to be the possibility of reptiles, death, buffoons, or oak splintering against my canines, AGH!), I gave them a call and placed an order.

FYI, I like to take pictures inside restaurants to show you guys what they look like, but when I'm picking up a to-go
order - and even worse, when I'm doing it by myself - I feel like a total creep.

But it doesn't stop me.

I have to say, the inside of this place was not the typical sushi restaurant. Yes there was a sushi bar, as pictured above, but I feel like sushi restaurants generally either a) are pretty cleanly and simply decorated; b) feel like the inside of a spa; or c) feel like the inside of a club. Well shame on me for making generalizations, because this place was none of these. The only way I can think to describe Eurasia is that it felt like a really nice, pleasant, and classy (but not stuffy) restaurant. There was classical music playing overhead, the lights were dimmed, and all I wanted to do was sit back with a glass of wine (which I realize is pretty par for the course).

Pleased as punch, I brought home my $10 Two-Roll combo, which includes miso soup AND salad (Houston, you're the BEST!). I chose my standard Philadelphia Roll and Eel Avocado Roll. When I opened up my order at home I was floored at the sheer size of the rolls - Eight pieces each! The rolls I usually get are six pieces each. Maybe the actual size was no different, and there were just more cuts in the roll, but trickery be darned, I think it was more!

Even though I heard earlier that today's heat index was something like 178 degrees, I gladly dove into the miso soup because it had a phenomenal flavor. It was much saltier than what I'm used to, which I really liked (I may or may not have a tendency to dump soy sauce in my miso soup if it's lacking flavor...I mean, gross, who would do that...). However, the lack of "stuff" in it was disappointing - There was hardly any seaweed or tofu - Load it on up, Eurasia!

The salad was good, but not what I was expecting. I assumed it would be the standard greens with ginger dressing, but it actually came with what I believe was a honey mustard-esque dressing. And it was pretty tasty.

As I started into the rolls, Jason, who was watching me eat (That's weird? Really?), said to me "You're eating with fancy chopsticks," upon noticing me eating with the metal chopsticks from home. "Yes, I don't like eating with the chopsticks they give you because as you know I have a fear of wood scraping against my teeth."

The look on his face told me he didn't know.

Isn't it amazing that you can be with someone for years and not know their innermost fears, secrets, and phobias of eating sushi with wooden chopsticks or finishing off a Popsicle and coming into contact with the inevitable stick at the end????

Okay, maybe I'm being a bit dramatic. It just totally skeeves me out man.

Back to the rolls.

The Eel Avocado Roll was pretty disappointing. It didn't have a whole lot of flavor, and I think it's because the rice-to-eel proportions seemed way out of whack. There was a whole lot of rice, and not nearly enough eel.

But the PHILADELPHIA ROLL, Oh. my. goodness. It was in all earnest one of the best Philadelphia Rolls I've ever had. My first couple of bites, all I could think was "Wow, this is fluffy." I couldn't figure it out. All I could deduce was that it must have been a supremely excellent cut of fish used in the roll. Then after further investigation, I realized that they put avocado in the roll. MINDBLOWN. I have never had a Philly Roll with avocado in it, and it was just sublime. I didn't think anything else could possibly make the delightful cream cheese/salmon combo better, but the addition of avocado definitely sent it out of orbit.

Other added bonus: They give you TONS of ginger on the side. I hate it when sushi places skimp on that.

Will I go back again? For sure, but I'll probably substitute out the Eel Avocado Roll with something else. And sit inside so I can feel fancy with my wine and classical music.

Hopefully they've got metal chopsticks.
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