B&B Butchers HFBC Dinner

B&B Butchers HFBC Dinner

Aloha Amigos!

Last week I was lucky enough to get to try the summer special Happy Hour at Eddie V's in West Ave. I had gone to Eddie V's at that location once before for a late night steak and wine snack with ones of my BFF's, but to be honest I had totally forgotten how delicious it was!

This summer, Eddie V's is featuring some awesome Happy Hour specials, starting with $5 light bites and some deliciously decadent and fizzy cocktails. I grabbed some gal pals and we made our way over for Friday's Happy Hour, featuring the music of one of my favorite crooners Michael Bublé. Hurry up and go now, the event ends August 29th! Link to menu and schedule. 

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May the Pax Be With You. Seriously.

Greetings Sizzlings! Happy Monday... I know right? Those 2 words just don't mesh. 

I spent a lovely weekend in the country with MainSqueeze and ate some delightful treats. 

Speaking of delightful treats, you need to know about a new treat in Houston. Pax Americana

We had a reservation for Thursday night, and my entire week was spent in anticipation. We were a party of 7, so they offered to serve us family style; which is one of my favorite ways to eat. 

Here's the rundown of the #nomz. Photos will be below as well. Highly recommend, the staff was super knowledgeable and accommodating, and I love the general vibe of the place. I'll definitely be back. 

(Dishes in BOLD are TheSizzles faves from the meal): 

Beverage of choice: Evening Land Blue Label Pinot Noir by the glass and the Smoked Old Fashioned. REALLY tasty cocktail with a delightful drunken cherry as a garnish. 

FAMILY STYLE DISHES:

Farm Fresh Eggs, scallion kimchi aioli, chilies, herb salad, purple barley

Grilled Honeydew Melon, hazelnut vinaigrette, thyme honey, feta

(not featured on the online menu) Baby carrots cooked in general amazing fashion with some hints of curry and candied nuts. PHENOMENAL. I could eat these with every meal. Call me Bugs Bunny. 

(Also not on the online menu) Pan seared tile fish with a magical beurre blanc sauce and root veggies. Honestly, some of the best fish I've had in Houston to date. 

(not online either) Enormously humongous ribeye, cooked medium rare. I love steak, and I love slicing my steak instead of hacking into it like a rabid wolf. The spices on the steak were on point, but I think it could use a little work on the sear. STILL  a great cut of meat. 

Brisket, nine spice, potatoes, soured cream, black garlic, sweet onions

Sanguinaccio Fritters, horchata ice cream, lemon curd, candied pecans

Chocolate Custard, bittersweet chocolate hazelnut cookie, lemon mint sherbert

***Please excuse the quality of the photos, it was super dark and I was too hungry to get technical!***

carrots. dreamy dreamy carrots.

carrots. dreamy dreamy carrots.

grilled honeydew

grilled honeydew

amazing amazing tile fish

amazing amazing tile fish

Please excuse our friend "guau's" obscene hand gesture photo bomb,...

Please excuse our friend "guau's" obscene hand gesture photo bomb,...

chocolate filled thangs

chocolate filled thangs

And there you have it, a new "must go" in Houston. We're so lucky to have this burgeoning food scene, And now I'll be getting back to the treadmill...

NEXT UP: music, recipes, recommendations and more! 


A #Nomcity for the books.

Greetings amigos! I'm in foodie rehab right now. I honestly don't even know how I ate so much this weekend, but it was like a delicious blackout that I never want to forget. However I spent my entire Sunday groaning and sipping Peppermint tea. I felt so gluttonous that I couldn't even crack open my new issue of Bon Apetit. The mere sight of food made me die a little. 

For some reason, the vast majority of my friends have fall birthdays, so a lot of my weekend was spent celebrating. 

It all started Friday. I had a very skinny soup for lunch, and then met a friend at Uchi for Happy Hour. I know Uchi does a lot of things right, but their Happy Hour just knocks it out of the park. So that happened. I went home totally content and very stuffed. 

Saturday morning I woke up to go on a nice run, but of course it started to monsoon. I really did have the best of intentions! I had a Birthday lunch at Caracol. I LOVE Caracol. I love the space, I love the staff, I love the menu and I can't even start on the food. Eight ladies who lunch gathered around a table and we ordered the hell out of that menu. 

Tuna tacos and raw tuna with ginger/coconut magic. 

Tuna tacos and raw tuna with ginger/coconut magic. 

Ceviche caracol. Conch ceviche. 

Ceviche caracol. Conch ceviche. 

Blue crab miracle soup. 

Blue crab miracle soup. 

All the girls pretty much ordered 2 dishes a person, and house "Caracol Ritas" abounded. It was one of the best lunch outings I've had in a WHILE. And it only got better when we gathered afterwards to drink some ice cold bevs and watch college football. 

Later that evening, for Birthday celebration Numero Dos, Foodie Photo Blog and I headed to Tony's for a MEAL. We had originally planned on practicing restraint and splitting several things, but yeah right. Of course my phone died, so all I have are the photos she texted me later that night as I was lying in bed hoping the button on my jeans wouldn't pop off and shatter a window. 

Tony's is truly a wonderful dining experience. I picked out a delightful Italian Dolcetto D'Alba to sip, and we split the Burrata Pugliese; fresh Oregon figs, Balsamic and some 'beer nuts.'  Our pasta entree were breathtaking; Capelletti al Midolo (Bone Marrow, House Made Ricotta, Cognac) and Pansoti (Squash Filled Pasta, Parmesan Puff, Sage Essence.) 

We also had the ribbons & squares ( ribbons and Squares of Ahi Tuna, Avocado, Soy Lime Vinaigrette) and then the grand finale was Birthday Souffle. Chocolate souffle with a fresh raspberry sauce and very fresh whipped cream. Un.REAL. If you've never been to Tony's, make it a priority. Another fun fact is that they can pretty much make ANY souffle you want. Our server informed us that "the sky's the limit" when it came to flavoring. Both of us stared at each other and after a couple minutes of feeling overwhelmed, we decided chocolate/raspberry couldn't be a bad call. 

Brovia Wine
Tony's souffle
Tony's cotton candy

So now you can see why my Sunday was spent in a food hangover. But guess what? WORTH IT. 

I know I still haven't finished telling y'all about Hawaii, and I promise I will! I also have some fun recipes coming up and lots of Holiday cheer! Stay dry, eat well and see you soon!


Scallops and Lobsters and Oysters, oh my!

Cheerio Sizzlers! I hope this finds you well, I'm chugging along these days, counting down the minutes for my trip! We're currently at the 6.5 day countdown. 

So I need to let you in on a new place in Houston that you should hopskipjump on over to. Like...now. 

If you like delightful cocktails, particularly of the Julep persuasion, and if you're a lover of all that comes from the sea, or a bay, or a gulf, river, stream etc, then you must try Julep. Don't mind the fact that I'm a bit biased since one of my close galpals is dating the Chef. Bias or not, this place is great. Adam and Lauren handpicked the cutlery, plates, stemware and helped customize each tiny detail.

I'm not typically a fan of anything on Washington Ave. Like...anything. But alas, Julep was a refreshing break from the hair gel, Ed Hardy and untz untz untz clubs that have taken over that stretch of Houston. 

So let us begin. Girl's night at Julep started with a cocktail and ended in a gluttonous seafood festival. (Not pictured were the amazing hand cut fries, fresh hush puppies and East coast oysters). 

I arrived parched and ready for a bev, so I opted for the "Sparkling Julep" which is garnished with mint and a lovely sprig of berries. This one is all the umph of a mint julep with some prosecco added for some fizz. 

My personal favorite from the night: Creme fraiche topped with smoked bluefish, farro, butter braised radishes, a lovely arugula salad with vinaigrette and ever so thinly sliced beets. This picture doesn't even come close to doing it justice. 

Another highlight were the bay scallops served atop a mint/pea puree, and topped with speck and microbasil. The scallops were juicy, sweet and ever so tender. Chart topper. 

Because what's a meal without the mandatory artsy intagram shot? We were anxiously awaiting our seafood tower and all we knew is that if clarified butter was an option, this would be gooood. 

Le seafood tower. Holy mackerel. Littleneck clams in white wine parsley, gigantic prawns, another serving of the scallops, but this time they were raw and perfectly seasoned. Dipping sauces included a house made mignonette, and two others that I was too excited to write down. 

seafood tower 2

The crowning jewel. Lobstaaaaaah. I can eat lobster all.day.long. 

Not pictured was the top tier which had fresh East coast oysters. Delightful

All in all, Julep is destined for greatness, and with Chef Adam Garcia in the kitchen, you know it's going to be an experience. 

So, mosey on over to Julep, have yourself a cocktail and slurp down some oysters. You can thank me later. Happy Friday dears, hope it's a great weekend!

No, You Can't Read My Poker Face.

Bonjour! I hope San Diego part 1 was satisfying to your soul, but if it left you wanting more, then more you shall receive. We really had such a blast in SD, and I was reminded that there are actually parts of the world where cool, arid temperatures reign, and hair does not fall victim to humidity and constant rainstorms (ahem, Houston). Nevertheless, aside from the incredible weather, we packed in a lot of adventuring during our short stay. 

Our group rented a quaint little beach house in Mission Beach. The morning after our steak smorgasbord, MainSqueeze and I ventured out for some breakfast and bicycling. I can honestly say this was one of my favorite days ever. 

We started out walking to breakfast at The Swell Cafe. I was craving something sweet, and MainSqueeze is a fan of Mexican style eggs, so he went the savory route. We sipped on delicious vanilla lattes as we waited on our food. I'm no stranger to a latte, and these were superb, I liked them a ....latte. (I had to. I just had to). 

#nomcity

#nomcity

Strawberry Banana waffle. Yes please. 

Strawberry Banana waffle. Yes please. 

Cali Scramble

Cali Scramble

Now that we had sufficiently re-fueled, we were ready to cycle. We rented some rad cruisers at a local shop and started our day. I haven't ridden on a fixed gear bike since fannypacks were in style, so I had a minor incident on the road which involved me not braking in time, jumping off the bike and darn near zooming into traffic. Phew. Crisis averted. 

Once I got the hang of it, we biked up the coast, all the way up to La Jolla. We stopped to look at the amazing views and walked down to some tide pools where I was delighted to see tiny little crabs scuttling around. 

amazing.

amazing.

La Jolla should maybe sometimes be called La Hilla, because those hills had our legs screaming on the bikes. We parked it in a little cove and ran into a local "brah" and asked if he had any recommendations on where to whet our whistles. We ended up ducking into a surf shack type spot and ordered some refreshing cocktails. 30 minutes later, we were playing poker. You just never know what to expect around us!

The luck of the draw...

The luck of the draw...

By this time, we had worked up an appetite, so we zoomed across the street to this amazingly awesome spot that also doubles as a catering company, The Promiscuous Fork. We split an appetizer of lamb lollipops and went on our merry way in search of our next adventure. 

We ended up at a beach side bar, dancing and then once again attempting the lift move from Dirty Dancing. It went really well, and ended in hilarity as I fell on the concrete and dissolved into peals of laughter. Needless to say, we had not a care in the world, and we were loving life. 

Our final days in SD were spent cycling, sunning, watching MainSqueeze and #Guau get housed by the waves and we threw in a couple more delectable nomz. 

Breakfast at   The  Mission.  

Breakfast at The  Mission. 

I'll spare more "you had to be there" stories. But the following images will speak for themselves. We had a lovely girl's lunch at La Valencia Hotel while the boys golfed at Torrey Pines, sunset cocktails at George's at the Cove, and a splendid afternoon at Neptune Beach. 

Lobster Bisque at La Valencia

Lobster Bisque at La Valencia

Lunch at La Valencia...with a view!

Lunch at La Valencia...with a view!

Cocktails at George's on the Cove

Cocktails at George's on the Cove

Hamachi Sashimi at George's on the Cove

Hamachi Sashimi at George's on the Cove

Neptune Beach, La Jolla

Neptune Beach, La Jolla

And there you have it amigos. Our San Diego trip in a nutshell. We had a blast, everyone finished the race, we ate ourselves silly and had adventures I'll never forget. 

I actually almost went to college in San Diego but my instincts told me I'd flunk out, become a surfer queen and maybe not have a job. SO I went to Nashville. A decision I'll never ever ever regret! 

Next on TheSizzle, recipes, TV interviews, doggie bags and more! Happy Hump Day!


Huffing & Puffing & Hobbling. The Half Marathon.

Well, here we are again and it's been a while...again. I've been neglecting TheSizzle in favor of Body Pump class, sunbathing, work and Skype. I'm also leaving in 16 days (not that I'm counting or anything). 

I digress. I promised y'all San Diego, and here she is. 

SAN DIEGO PART ONE:

MainSqueeze and I hopped on a red-eye flight from Honolulu to LAX, then squeezed into what I was certain was Amelia Earnhardt's first prop plane for the short ride to San Diego. I hadn't slept, and we were supposed to run 13.1 miles the next morning. Riiiiiiight. 

In true Sizzle form, I pinched myself and went on a hunt for some caffeine and got the spring back in my step. We had a great brunch at Café Chloe. Mimosas happened, and all was right in the world. Except I still needed to sleep. 

That night I whipped up a pasta primavera of sorts with linguine, fresh basil, blistered cherry tomatoes, olive oil, lemon, prosciutto and blanched asparagus; topped with some reggiano cheese. It was a great "carb load" meal. 

After MainSqueeze forced me to drink 13123423 bottles of water, it was bedtime (he worries about my hydration. But he'll be very proud to know I currently have a 1.5 litre Nalgene of water on my desk that I have dutifully been chugging as the day wears on).

We were up at 3:45 am for the race. As we shuffled around that morning looking for shoes, shorts, lucky rabbit feet (just kidding) and bibs, we made it to the start line. Before the race, I spotted "Teddy" the mayor from the TV show "Nashville" and made a fool of myself. He got a laugh and I walked away feeling awkward. 

ANYWHO. The race was great, I finished with an OK time considering I hadn't trained like I planned on. I'd like to run another and really push myself. Remind me to tell you the story about our friend #guau accidentally putting a popsicle stick with a glob of vaseline in his mouth during the race. I still laugh. every. time. 

Post race, we rehydrated by way of margaritas on the rocks and fish tacos at a local spot Downtown in the Gaslamp that I do not recall the name of. Probably because the food was unremarkable and I was covered in a thin layer of salt and grime and my joints were about as stiff as a poker. #runningproblems

HOWEVER. That night we had reservations at Cowboy Star, a well reviewed steak house in town. Now, you put 9 red blooded Texans in a California steak house and...well. It was surprisingly decent. 

Amouse Bouche.

Amouse Bouche.

We obviously wore our race medals to dinner, and so this deserved a complimentary amouse bouche to start the night off. MainSqueeze and I ordered a nice red (it's good for post-race muscle soreness...or something) and others around the table ordered more wine and various cocktails as we perused the menu. 

pardon the funky photo.

pardon the funky photo.


I was immediately drawn to their asparagus salad. I have to say it's one of the most interesting salads I've had to date, and the asparagus were cooked perfectly. 

Grilled asparagus, pro blanco, grapefruit, cardamom-lemon ice cream and Thai Basil. 

Grilled asparagus, pro blanco, grapefruit, cardamom-lemon ice cream and Thai Basil. 

The salad was the highlight of my dinner. Being the carnivore that I am, I ordered a  NY Strip steak medium rare and it was a tad overcooked. Honestly, I was so tired that I didn't even care. I usually have a minor conniption if a steak house can't get a steak right, but I figured I'd give these Cali folk a break and suck it up. I didn't have the energy to throw a hissy fit, and hissy fits aren't really my style anyhow.

cowboy star steak

After steak and sampling the variety of sides we ordered (sweetbreads, mushrooms and some sort of mac and cheese concoction) I obviously had to satiate my hankering for dessert. 

deconstructed cherry pie

deconstructed cherry pie

I love cherries. I currently have 2 bags of fresh cherries in my kitchen and have made several delightful treats (recipes coming soon). My Dad and I used to hole up in the kitchen on Thanksgiving and make about 10 pies. One of his specialties was a cherry pie that would have you licking the pie pan. Literally. So MainSqueeze and I opted to share their "deconstructed cherry pie" and it was eh. Good but not something to lick the plate over. 

Our good amigo who we will call #guau ordered some bread pudding of sorts as well. Please note that we really did wear our medals our in public. The more laughable thing is that we were all gussied up for dinner, and I was literally HOBBLING everywhere. I don't know why I thought wearing wedges was a good idea, but other diners sure got a kick out of watching me hitch and totter in and out of the restaurant. 

bread pudding something or other and a MEDAL.

bread pudding something or other and a MEDAL.

After dinner, we all struggled to keep our eyes open and I dragged myself up the stairs to bed. We were truly a sight to be seen. 

Next on TheSizzle, I'll tell you about one of my favorite days ever, spent in the sun with MainSqueeze, rented bicycles, a near death experience, impromptu poker games in the sunshine, cliffs and coves, choreographed dance moves and a coconut margarita that changed my life. 

Until then my friends!