Houston : Fried Chicken and Waffles

Two of my amazing cousins moved down to Houston a long time ago.  What I thought was two years ago, is actually three years ago (time passes so fast when you’re having fun!) I went to visit her.  I’m due for a second trip but I’ve been putting that off for something even more exciting that you’ll find out about in the near future.

IMG_20140215_160817I hopped on a plane via my Aeroplan points, still paying about $200 in taxes which is insane.  Sometimes I’m not sure if Aeroplan is really worth it but anyway.  I flew down for 5 days, trust me, this is NOT enough even though my main point of being there was just to see my cousins.  First of all, how lucky was I to get a free row to myself?  I guess people don’t usually fly out on a Thursday afternoon.  Either way, I arrive and was picked up by Cousin A.  She brought me to Maine-ly Sandwiches where I inhaled one of their famous lobster rolls.  We then headed home to drop off my stuff, set up my air mattress and meet her dogs (whom are the most adorable).  We spent most of the afternoon lazying around until my cousin-in-law came back from work and then went to the park with the doggies and the baby.  Such a quaint little area that felt much like a mixture of suburban Toronto and downtown Toronto at the same time.

IMG_20140215_212137At dinner time, Cousin A wanted to show me a true Texas BBQ, so we went to The
Brisket House.  It was a small restaurant with wooden furniture and amazing ribs.  I had to stop myself from over eating.  This place is like a cafeteria style restaurant, where you go up to the counter to order the food and choose your own table to sit.  It was so packed, but we were lucky to find a table for ourselves.  The ‘slaw is to die for too.  As if not to fall asleep from a food coma, we went to a nearby bar called The Pastry War.  What an odd name I thought, but nonetheless the cocktails were delicious and the atmosphere was chill and elegant.

IMG_20140217_170727The next morning I was told that I had to eat at Chicken and Waffles, so we woke up somewhat early to line up before they opened.  It was almost like pandemonium when you got inside.  It was cafeteria style, again.  Obviously I had the chicken and waffles.  I tried grits for the first time, the texture was a little weird but it was good.  From there, we went to the Saint Arnold Micro Brewery for a tour and fries for a snack.  Because you can’t really drink beer in the middle of the day and not eat.  Man, was I full at this point.

From there, we went back home and Cousin B came to visit us from almost an hour away – real suburban Houston.  The babies played together for a little bit before I was hauled out of the house and went downtown, cruising.  You’re not going to believe this but I actually had Pho for lunch.  How did I eat so much? honestly, I have no idea!  The pho was way better than the ones that we have in Toronto because it’s less salty and more ingredients.  Pho Saigon Noodle House was also known for their spring rolls.  Thank goodness, this portion of the day allowed me to walk more, seeing the odd sculptures and apparently missing the market that is generally put up on a Saturday morning.  We drove to the beer can house which was a museum of a man that was bored and had covered his whole house with beer cans.  Odd but interesting.  And then finished my tour of DT Houston at the Asian Tech Society Center that was coincidentally not open.  This is where Cousin A shows up again to pick me up to go home.

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Still wanting to hang out with Cousin B as well, we spoke about getting dinner together.  Thankfully, I managed to convince them to go to a coffee shop instead because I couldn’t think of food again.  Unfortunately, I forgot this coffee shop’s name.  They had the best muffins…. Don’t judge me.

IMG_20140216_211702It was time to part from Cousin B and head home to drop off one of the babies.  Cousin A and I waited until the very last minute, before the shops would close to go to eat crawfish because we were so freaking full!  No wonder I gained so much weight at this time of year.  Anyway, so this little shop was literally connected to a grocery store.  You ordered and you’d get bags full of crawfish or mussels and you sat at a table getting your hands dirty and your head sweaty.  It was spicy!  But so darn good.  I don’t think I can eat crawfish often because it’s so much work for so little food.  All shellfish for that matter.

Food coma.

Next morning, I was driven to Chick-Fil-A for breakfast and then we went to go horseback riding.  Cousin A wanted my experience there to be similar to my sisters so she booked us a place.  When we arrived, it was a sketchy little house, in a sketchy little neighbourhood.  The horses were thin and we literally trotted on the road with the cars.  Either way, it was fun.  My horsie was called Freckles, matching my freckly face, and he liked to slow down behind the other horses so he could do a small gallop to catch up.  We had loads of fun, Freckles and I.  I miss that little bugger.

We spent the rest of the day chilling at home with the baby and the dogs.  Watching kids television and Downtown Abby.  Then we got dressed up and had a girls night at Uchi.  My cousin raved about this place.  The sushi was served tapas style and the service was incredibley good.  The sake wasn’t bad either 😉  Afterwards we took a quick walk around to digest and see if I could find some souvenirs at a local book store.

Then…

Another food coma.

My last day slash morning in Houston was met by this awesome bakery around the corner to my cousin’s place.  It had a witty name.  I forgot it.  But the bread was made fresh every morning.  I was sort of feeling a little blah from all the food I had been ingesting so I just got a croissant and we were on our way.

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I think it’s pretty clear how my family works.  We spend most of our time eating.  Especially in a city so full of amazing food and vibrant culture, it’s hard to catch everything.  I’ve been day dreaming about going back now and then.  It’ll happen soon, I bet, but we’ll see.

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