Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Brick & Mortar Kitchen

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While shopping for some new couches at Gallery Furniture we stopped in Brick & Mortar Kitchen to eat off their happy hour menu. We had eaten in their main dining room before, but the prices for the same items are almost twice as much! I don’t mind a smaller bar area to eat in for a quick meal.

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We ordered a SAN MARZANO Pizza $6 ($12 on regular menu) (TOMATO MOZZARELLA, ROASTED GARLIC, BASIL) My son loved this pizza and it was big enough to take half of it home for leftovers.

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CALAMARI $5 ($10 on regular menu) (SALT ROASTED FINGERLINGS, HARISSA, FRIED CHICKPEAS, LEMON AIOLI) This is always a good go to appetizer. The sauces where nicely done with a Cajun flair and a cooling lemon aioli.

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BMK BURGER $7.50 ($15 on regular menu) (TEXAS WHITE CHEDDAR, PICKLED ONION, BUTTER LETTUCE, GARLIC AIOLI, FRIES) Their burgers are HUGE. I took half of mine home to eat for lunch the next day. They also make their own ketchup which is really good.

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I suggest going to their happy hour time to eat. Click HERE for the menu. As you can tell by the prices above it’ll save you a lot of money!

EVERY DAY 4 – 7PM • BAR & LOUNGE AND PATIO
$3 OFF ALL WINES BY THE GLASS • $1 OFF ALL DRINKS

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Masraff’s

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We where last at Masraff’s in 2012 (click HERE for post). It’s one of those places we always say wow that was an amazing dinner why has it been so long since we last visited?

Since there was 4 of us we had a little more variety so I have extra pictures to share with you. We started out with the Garlic Seared Calamari ($17 on the menu) oyster mushrooms, shaved onion, cilantro sweet soy reduction. This is always one of our favorite items and I see why it’s been on the menu for so long it’s a winner!

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My brother in law and I both ordered the Summer Ahi Tuna Tartar (closest thing on the menu is the 3 ahi tuna tacos for $12). Served with mango relish and mango vinaigrette. Wow this dish is perfectly paired with the freshness of the fish and the brightness of the mango.

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My sister in law ordered the Baby Spinach Salad $10 (creamed goat cheese, onion confit, roasted walnuts with apple cider garlic vinaigrette). I failed to get a picture of hers so I apologize.

On the main course I ordered the Pan Roasted Alaskan Halibut $31 (wild mushroom risotto, buttered asparagus foie gras beurre blanc). I personally really liked this dish. The risotto was cooked perfectly and the sauce was just enough extra to have some on each bite.

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2 others ordered the Filet Mignon A La Plancha $41 (lobster and yukon gold potato puree, sautéed broccoli, horseradish demi glaze). D said he didn’t really taste any lobster in the potato puree, but the steak was really tender.

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My brother in law ordered the Duet of Carmelized Diver Sacallop and Hawaiian Big Eye Tuna $31 (wasabi infused whipped potatoes sunomono salad, sweet soy reduction). Not sure how I missed a picture I think I must have been talking too much!

For dessert I got the Butter Roasted Pear Crème Brulee with whole berry sauce $9. The poached pear is on the bottom and then it’s topped with a scoop of the cream which then has a nice bruleed crust on top. I loved this dish! The warm poached pear was lovely, I need to remember to try doing this next I make creme brulee.

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D and my sister in law ordered the Warm Chocolate Fondant $9 (creme anglaise, vanilla bean ice cream, almond tuile). No complaints about this warm chocolate cake. It’s sweet, but not overly rich and the creme anglaise compliments the cake. I loved the amount of vanilla bean in the ice cream it was delish!

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My brother in law ordered the Summer Sorbet $9 (peach, champagne, and raspberry). He said it was a really nice combo and enjoyed the dessert.

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As if the meal itself isn’t enough I hear every night the owner Tony Masraff comes around and visits every table. I just love this touch! He’s for sure a charmer and I can see why this place has lots of fans, because we are one for sure!

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I would go back in a heart beat. The prices are a little high, but worth every penny. The service it top notch and you will not be disappointed. If you want to save a little go during Houston Restaurant Week and only pay $45 a person for 3 courses. We saved about $51 by doing this.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steak House

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We visited Del Frisco’s back in 2011 during their Restaurant Week (click HERE to see my review). Sadly not much has changed and most of my complaints are still valid today several years later. This is the second chance I’ve given and I won’t be back again.

We had a 6:30pm reservation and was lead upstairs to where we were one of 3 tables seated. Quick prompt service followed by the waitress getting each of our names. We ordered drinks and all of our food choices for the evening and where off to a great start. By 7:15 we just got our salads and the upstairs started to fill up. This was our down hill spiral to the end of the night. Our waitress never really came around and when she did she said I’ll get my team to clear the table. Ok so your team was a bunch of food runners who mainly stood on the side most of the time talking. How come it took so long to get our food? Tables came and left around us all ordering multiple courses. I feel like the only change for the better from our visit in 2011 was we where at least offered the pepper grinder this time!

So onto the food….

For cocktails I had the VIP Martini $14 (Svedka Clementine infused with sweet Hawaiian pineapples). The pineapple is soaked for 2 weeks in vodka then pressed to make this cocktail. I have to say this was a great recommendation from the waitress as it was really tasty.

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The bread was just as good as I remembered. Super soft, warm and fluffy as well as soft whipped butter.

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Fried Calamari $17 (Shanghai Style). Once again by far the best thing we had all night. I highly recommend ordering this. There’s a nice sweet, heat, Asian sauce that goes really well instead of the traditional marinara. I could have eaten several orders of this. It’s a little on the high end for an appetizer, but it’s really good. The priced was $15 in 2011 and has gone up. I really think it should be priced at $10.

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We all ordered the Caesar Salad. (regular menu price $9.50) Nothing to wow about, just a good standard salad. I liked the croutons being lightly baked as apposed to rock hard like some places.

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For the main I ordered the broiled Filet Mignon 8oz with chateau potatoes and thin green beans. I did the entrée enhancement of $10 for Oscar Style. (regular menu price $42 for the steak, plus add on of Oscar and additional sides). The steak was better than I remembered last time, because last time I didn’t care for it. I love Oscar style, again is it worth $10 probably not. I had room temp sauce, minimal shavings of asparagus and just a few hunks of crab meat. For $10 I could make a batch to feed 20 people and they would get more crab and asparagus than what I got. I will stand by my last review and say they have good potatoes. The green beans on the other hand needed to be cooked a lot longer. They where so hard I had trouble cutting them with a steak knife.

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D and T upgraded their steaks to the Prime Ribeye 16oz $18 entrée enhancements plus $6 Black Truffle Compound Butter (regular menu price is $48). Honestly with both guys getting the Prime steak they where not the same. I should have taken a picture. D had a prime, his was juicy, tender and flavorful. T did not his was full of fat, tuff and didn’t look the same.

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K got the Pan Roasted Chicken. I missed on getting a picture. She said it was good and juicy and wouldn’t change anything. Her green beans where under cooked as well.

We also got a side of lobster mac and cheese $17. Not sure I would order again. It was really salty, and the sauce was really loose. 

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I ordered the cheesecake with strawberry and K got the cheesecake with butterscotch. I couldn’t wait for this since they where out last time we visited. Sadly once again it was a disappointment. K ended up with the better topping I would have just ate a bowl of that. The cheesecake tasted like whipped whipping cream with a touch of cream cheese. I see why they laid it down it was so fluffy I don’t think it would have stood up. The taste was just off.

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The guys both got the warm banana bread pudding with caramel sauce and fresh whipped cream. Again glad I didn’t order this. At least the cheesecake was edible. the bread pudding was so dried out and it was room temp so the ice cream didn’t melt except for one little drip on it.

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From start to finish we where there 2 hours. Normally I wouldn’t care, but when it’s this little of food it should not take 2 hours. It took us 45 minutes just to get our salad. Another 30 minutes after that we got our main entrée. By then my food settled and I wasn’t as hungry anymore. On 2 occasions we alerted the manager or whoever the 1 of 6 guys running around in suits where. Their response “I’m sorry let me go check on that”, only never to return to check on us again. Our bill ended up being $400 after all the drinks we ordered to kill the time. I’m not proud of this, but I have NEVER walked out of a restaurant without tipping. This was a first for me. The food was crap, the service was crap and the attention to detail was lacking in a huge way. I guess they figure they have all the business people meeting after work who run up bills, but this was in no way how you treat people who come in for a good meal. Luckily we live in a big city with lots of steak places to pick from, because this is high on my list of DO NOT TRY.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Local Table

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I attended a dinner meeting at Local Table to meet with the fellow moms of our co-op program to see what changes we needed to make and get ready for the next school year. I love dinner meetings, because it gives me a chance to try new places and everyone orders different things so I get to see more than just 2 dishes we would normally order.

The inside is nicely redone since the last tenant. They added brick to the walls and it has a nice modern feel to it.

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I ordered a Bourbon Smash $9 (Maker’s Mark with muddled mint, lemon simple syrup and soda). The flavor is really good and just the right amount of mint added.

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Their home-style fries $4 each (sweet potato with chipotle ketchup and Cajun seasoned hand cup). Each are good, but I favored the sweet potato with that dipping sauce. Wow is it good, you won’t be disappointed ordering these!

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Baja Chicken Wrap $12 (Avocado, black beans, lettuce, tomato, feta, and our homemade chipotle chili sauce in a whole wheat tortilla. Served with iceberg wedge salad topped with chunky feta jalapeno dressing.)

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Classic Grilled Chicken Baguette $11 (Provolone cheese, roasted red bell pepper, basil pesto and fresh mixed greens. Served with Cajun seasoned hand-cut fries.)

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Mediterranean Salamon $17 (Grilled salmon, guacamole, feta with herb basmati rice and seasonal market vegetables.) My friend said the dish was just ok nothing special about it and would order a different plate next time.

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I had the Mediterranean Wrap $12 (Seasoned lamb and beef, tomato, oinion, lettuce and our Grecian sauce in a whole wheat tortilla. Served with iceberg wedge salad topped with chunky feta jalapeno dressing.) I thought it could have used a little more meat in it, but overall the flavor was really good. The one thing I loved the most was the dressing on the salad. O…M…G…. there’s a little spice, but not too bad just to get the jalapeno flavor. I probably would have licked the plate if no one was looking.

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Cheeseburger Americana $12 (Our hearty favorite with cheddar.)

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I have my fingers crossed for them. Their food is good and priced good. Please stick around a while we need more good restaurants like this in Katy!

Thursday, July 7, 2016

El Canton

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We had a chance to try out the new wood fired pizza shop called El Canton that just opened up with another couple. Be sure to check Groupon we where able to get a 50% off coupon on there.

The inside is nicely done. You can tell they put a lot of work into the place.

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Fried Buffalo Mozzarella $9 (fresh buffalo mozzarella, hand-breaded & topped wiht parmesan, served with marinara). These little balls are bites of heaven. I loved each and every one of them!

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Calamari Fritti $9 (Hand-breaded squid, served with marinara). The breading was perfect and it was cooked perfect, my only complaint is that they must have forgot to sprinkle a little salt on top to really bring out the flavor.

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Meatlover $17 large (Pizza sauce, mozzarella, ground beef, bacon, chorizo, ham, Italian sausage). Their pizza was nice and meaty. The chorizo seemed to dominate the flavor so you couldn’t taste the flavor of the other meats. I also wished it had a little more of the wood fire taste to it.

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Alfredo Fettuccine $12, added chicken for $2 (Parmesan & Mushroom). I would not order this again, the chicken was diced so small you didn’t know it was in there. The sauce was also a little bland.

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I would probably give them one more chance, I expected a little more wood fire flavor on the pizza. Service was attentive, I just expected a little more on the food end.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Little Barrel and Brown

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A friend of ours told us about this little place called Little Barrel and Brown. He said they have good food, but most known for their burgers.

The place is tiny, but huge plus they are on Open Table so you can make a reservation ahead of time. We sat on the side near the kitchen which my son loves watching all the action.

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Since there’s no kids menu they did do a cheese pizza for him and only charged $5. I loved how accommodating they are! They had a flatbread of the day which they charge $12 for so this is a steal!

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D ordered the Burger $12(Marrownaise, fixins, pickle), added sharp cheddar $2 and bacon $2.

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I had the House Made Fettucine $18 (asparagus, oyster mushrooms, truffled cream, shaved parmesan). Wow was this dish amazing! You could taste each individual flavor along with the delicate pasta it was a perfect combination. I would love to order this every time we drive through Austin!!

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Overall, I can’t wait to go back and try another dish. The attention to detail is spot on and the service was really good.