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.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Hop Doddy Burger Bar

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We originally visited Hop Doddy Burger Bar last year in their Austin location (click HERE for post). I was more than thrilled to hear they opened up a Houston location and was even more thrilled to be invited in to their pre-view party soft opening.

When you walk in you stand in line and place your order to which they hand you a number and bring your food to you once ready. It’s nice to see in the kitchen and the bar is centrally placed in the restaurant. I really like that they offer eco friendly cushions with straps as a booster seat for young ones.

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My friend and I started off with a cocktail we got a Classic Frozen Margarita $7 (gold tequila, fresh citrus juices, house-made triple sec, served icy and delicious) and a Spacecitea $7.50 (house infused limoncello, deep eddy sweet tea vodka, raspberry puree, fresh squeezed lemon). I loved the spacecitea! It’s the perfect warm weather cocktail. The margarita was also really tasty.

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For starters we got Chili Cheese Fries $6.75 and Truffle Fries $6.95. Honestly you can’t go wrong with either, but I would for sure order the truffle fries or you’ll be sorry you didn’t!

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For the entrée burgers we both got an Ahi Tuna Burger $12.50 (Sushi-Grade Tuna, Sunflower Sprouts, Nori Chips, Teriyaki, Honey Wasabi, Mayo, Pickled Ginger, Red Leaf Lettuce, White Onion, Beefsteak Tomato). Holy Smokes is this burger good!! I probably could have eaten two! That honey wasabi is so good on the tuna!!

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Since the kids didn’t eat we ordered a burger for the hubby’s instead. My friend ordered the Llano Poblano Burger $8.50 (Angus Beef, Texas Goat Cheese, Field Mushrooms, Mayo, Basil Pesto, Red Leaf Lettuce, White Onion, Beefsteak Tomato). I ordered the Prime Time Burger $12 (Texas Akaushi Beef, Brie Cheese, Truffle Aioli, Arugula, Caramelized Onions, Steak Sauce). I really enjoyed this burger. The onions are perfectly caramelized and I love the added brie with a hint of truffle flavor such a great combo!

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You can’t leave this place without getting a shake! Nutella and Pretzel Milkshake $6 and Caramel Sea Salt Milkshake $6. Bot equally delish!!

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Will I be back? Heck yes I can’t wait! For a higer end burger you get what you pay for here, packed full of flavor.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

North Italia

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We originally had plans to go to Maggiano’s, but when we arrived they had some gas leak going on. change of plans and we got to hit up a new spot I have been hearing rave reviews on. North Italia has locations spreading over the US and I can see why.

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When you walk in it’s modern and trendy and fully booked. I love that they have a huge glass wall to see into the kitchen. You can go up and watch the dishes being made.

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K ordered an APRICOT LIMONATA $11 (smirnoff vodka, apricot liqueur, smashed lemon). Wow this drink is so good! It’s the perfect summer cocktail to lounge by the pool.

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The guys each got the QUIET ITALIAN GENTLEMAN $14 (bulleit rye, cocchi vermouth di torino, campari, disaronno amaretto). I thought this was also a tasty choice.

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For appetizer we started off with the TRUFFLE GARLIC BREAD $9 (house made ricotta, grana padano, herbs) and CRISP CALAMARI $12 (arugula & lemon vinaigrette). Both are worth ordering for sure. I had second thoughts on the calamari till I tasted it. The breading is nicely done and that lemon vinaigrette makes you want to lick the plate clean. You won’t be disappointed with either of these!

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K ordered the SPAGHETTI & MEATBALLS $17 (tomato sugo, basil, olive oil, pecorino cheese). The pasta was so fresh and light and it was a huge portion. For the sauce it was a little too spicy, but I loved it once you ate a bite all together with the meat and pasta.

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I ordered the SLOW COOKED SHORT RIB $26 (roasted vegetable & creamy mascarpone polenta). It was tender and good, but the over charred veggies threw off the taste a little. Next time I would pick something different.

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The guys each ordered the CHICKEN PARMESAN $20 (rigatoni noodle & grana padano cream). This was another winning dish! The chicken could have used a little more pasta sauce, but wow those rigatoni was melt in your mouth good.

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I read a lot about this dessert and knew we had to try them. The BOMBOLINI $7 ((italian donuts) Meyer lemon curd, vanilla mascarpone) super light and fluffy and the curd with the mascarpone was just enough sweetness to add to the dish.

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DARK CHOCOLATE TART $8 (nutella mousse, pecan toffee). This dessert is over the top in richness. I suggest ordering this as a table, because it’s so rich you won’t want more than a bite or 2.

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We also ordered an ITALIAN COFFEE $8 (espresso, galliano ristretto, amaretto, vanilla whipped cream). So good! It’s a dessert in itself and I could have drank a pitch of it!

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Honestly I can’t wait to go back. Although the time we waiting sitting outside waiting on our waitress was a little longer than I would have liked, the food is outstanding.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

La Balance

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Tucked away as what I like to call a hidden gem of Katy, is La Balance Cuisine. We’ve been a few times now and I have never been disappointed. I recently teamed up with the Cinco Ranch Foodies and with our first dinner I happened to choose La Balance. The chef and owner Manuel Atenco was excited to host us and designed a wonderful menu for our guest to test. The reason I chose this place is because it’s off the main road and a lot of people pass by it all the time without knowing it’s there. The chef/owner recently told me he’s thinking about other locations to get a larger space and be more easily seen. With being the only French restaurant in Katy, it’s also something not everyone thinks of trying due to being unfamiliar with what French food is.

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For the first course we had Les Betteraves (roasted beets, blue d'Auvergne, walnuts, arugula). I have to say the dish is simple yet sophisticated. The beats where roasted just right and thinly sliced. My favorite part of the dish was the blue cheese cream. Hopefully I can get this recipe from the chef. The candied pecan gave you just enough sweetness to balance out the tang of the blue cheese.

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For the main course we dined on fresh Lemon Sole with mashed potatoes, lemon caper sauce and green beans. The fish was freshly flown in and stuffed whole with lemons and herbs in parchment paper. Accompanying the fish was a well balanced lemon caper sauce. If I was a lone I might have licked the plate and probably asked for extra sauce just so I could soak it all up with a roll! It’s hard to find a place that cooks fish just right and this is a place that knows how to do it. It came out so moist and flaky I tried not to eat it fast and enjoy every bite.  

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Dessert ended our night with home made Profiteroles with vanilla ice cream and hot chocolate sauce. You can’t go wrong with a dessert that’s made all from scratch! The pastry is light and flaky, topped with creamy ice cream and a hot chocolate sauce with nuts on top. Yum yum and more yum!

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Overall my favorite course would happen to be the fish. I can’t stop thinking of it and how well it tasted married with the lemon caper sauce.

I can’t wait to come back and enjoy a wine pairing dinner, wine tasting or just a simple meal from their menu. Be sure to check out the web page or Facebook for upcoming events.  

Thank you to Agnes for letting me partner up with you, Chef Manuel for hosting us and all of the foodies in our new club! Stay tuned for our monthly dinner review coming soon.

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Monday, May 9, 2016


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Cocohodo just opened up and we gave it a try after lunch right next door. I heard they had really good coffee and sweets. They also have a small outdoor patio for when the weather is nice. We sat outside since we had kids with us. The menu offered a nice selection of breakfast crepes, savory crepes, sweet crepes, ice cream and sorbets.

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We ordered the Nutella Ice Cream $4.99 (2 scoops and a pastry). The ice cream was good for sure, nice and silky smooth.

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It’s a little pricy from what I remember everything ranges from $5-$10. It’s a nice date spot or meeting spot or even a quiet spot to get some work done.