Friday, May 29, 2009

Coaches Sports Bar & Grill

Coaches Sports Bar & Grill
17754 Katy Fwy
Houston, TX 77084

Lately lunch has been pretty bland. Since I have started this venture in food blogging I have chosen to eat healthy while not on assignment. I pass on the burgers, pizza and sweets and instead opt for soups, salads and sandwiches. Not to mention all the protein shakes and creatine cocktails I take on a daily basis.
So, on Fridays I like to let loose for lunch and get my grub on. Who doesn't? I just consider it as my preparation for my food blogging commence on Saturday. At least that's how I validate it *wink wink*. On this particular day I was in the mood for something different. I wanted something that would knock my socks off and send my taste buds to flavor heaven. Well, I was in Katy because that's where I work. We all know Katy doesn't have many chocies for amazing restaurants but I did notice Coaches Sports Bar & Grill had just opened their 3rd location on the west side of town. On the border of Houston and Katy Coaches sits on the feeder of the Katy Freeway amongst the business area of Park Row. I have been to other Coaches locations in town for drinks but I had never given their food a chance. I might have never gone there for lunch until I saw sign that must have been sent from heaven which read, “Crawfish Served Daily”. As we drive past the place our jaws dropped open because normally you can only get Crawfish on the weekend......SO we made a quick u-turn to see if this was true. Walking into Coaches I was pretty impressed. The place was nice and the staff was very friendly. The lunch crowd hasn’t caught on yet so the place was pretty empty but by the size of this place I don’t think getting a table would ever be a problem. As the waitress brought the menus we only had one question. “Do you have crawfish for lunch?” the response seemed to bring joy these grown men. “Yep, everyday.” F*CK YES, I thought. Everyone ordered their preferred poundage of delicious little mud bugs. Within 15 minutes the crawfish were headed to the table. I’m sure to the outside eyes we looked like hungry wolves ready to devour our meal. Steaming hot, these crawfish seemed to shock everyone at the table. HUGE. These were no little mud bugs that you usually find. These things looked like baby lobsters. They were bright red and the seasoning seemed to intimidate crowd but we couldn’t wait to dig in. Some of these tails were almost the size of an adult thumb. They were so big even the claws had a nice helping of meat. If I have emphasized the size of the crawfish enough to ya I have to mention the taste. WOW. Even though these crawfish were big, the taste was enormous! They were spicy but they actually had a flavor. It seemed to make these men groan in bliss or maybe it was the burn. Either way it was without a doubt the best crawfish I had ever had. At only $3.50 per pound it’s hard to not get carried away. There are no potatoes or corn on this tray just spicy big crawfish. They make sure you get your money’s worth here. On Sundays they have an all you can eat special on their crawfish and I can only imagine how many pounds they go thru. This was the best lunch I have had in a long time and we have chosen to make Coaches a weekly thing. Cheap food for a great price is the secret to success and Coaches is on key. With daily drink specials and live music on the weekend this is a definite must. Whether for food or drinks, Coaches is your place!

Christian's Tailgate Bar & Grill

Christian's Tailgate Bar & Grill
309 Gray, Suite 3503
Houston, TX 77002
(713) 816-0908

Among this hustle and bustle of midtown you will find little bars and restaurants jam packed with patrons looking to unwind. Christian’s Tailgate sits on the backend corner of Bagby and is said to be serving up some of the best award-winning hamburgers. Christian’s Tailgate has been said to have the best burgers in town by both the Houston Press and even Playboy magazine.
On a Thursday night, I was looking for a quick bite to eat and have couple of drinks to start my night. I stopped in to Christian’s to see what all of the hype was all about. The place was a little crowded but I didn’t have a problem finding a table. Luckily we got to sit close to a TV hanging on the wall and watched the Astros game. Waitresses walked around but no one seemed to want to help us. After awhile I decided my best move would be to approach the bar for some menus. We looked over the menu and I can say they had some pretty enticing choices. After about 15 minutes still no one came to check on us so I decided to order at the bar. Since I had heard so much about these burgers I had to try one and I went with the 1/2lb Swiss Mushroom burger with a side of onion rings. The bartender was very friendly and was happy to take my order. I will admit Christian’s has some pretty good drink specials, so I ordered up a couple of drinks and we sat back to watch the Astros game while we waited for our order. The looks of the place wasn't anything too special. I did like that there were TV’s located throughout the place so any seat in the house would be good. We were lucky enough to get a good seat to watch both the NBA Playoffs and the Astros game on two different screens. A little over 30 minutes had past and still no food.... I went to talk to the bartender and she said they would call our number as soon as it was ready. So I went back to waiting. Another 15 minutes had passed and finally our number was called. By the looks of the burger I was pretty pleased. It was nice and big and the meat looked very juicy and the swiss was melted and oozing all over the mushrooms. I couldn’t wait to enjoy this burger. I added some mayo to the bun and I was ready to dig in on this big burger. The meat was cooked perfectly and bun was nice and soft but something was missing. The onion rings on the other hand were terrific. Fried golden brown the batter was soft yet crunchy. The onions almost seemed caramelized as you took a bite. I returned to my burger and still something was amiss. The swiss was mild and the mushrooms gave it a nice flavor but it seemed like the meat itself was unseasoned. I could barely even taste any salt or pepper in the meat. I felt a little disappointed; they could have at least kicked it with a little Cajun seasoning but nothing. Don’t get me wrong, the burger wasn’t disgusting I just felt like it needed to be seasoned. I really don’t think that it lived up to an award winning status. To make things worse the manager came over to change the Astros game during their 9th inning rally to put on some horrific 90's music videos to go along with the "Virtual DJ". Yea sure the Astros were going to lose, but c'mon. It’s better to watch them lose than to watch Blue Traveler music vids. All in all, this place isn’t all that bad. If you are just looking for some drinks and mediocre bar food this is your place. I don’t know what the Houston Press and Playboy magazine were eating when they tried this place but I felt duped. Award winning burgers? Not exactly but you can be the judge.

-Sorry for the bad picture. Only had phone camera-

Memorial Day BBQ

Every year we get a 3 day weekend and pay respects to the brave men and women that have given their lives and continue to fight for our country. We spend time with friends and family and if you are from Texas you usually have a BBQ. I am a big fan of BBQ and I try to do it every month if possible. This Memorial Day weekend I went all out grilling brisket, chicken, sausage, burgers, hot dogs and more. I like to think of it as a meat-stravaganza. I like to start the marinating process the day before. Coating the beef in liquid smoke with secret spices and giving the chicken a spicy citrus bath. I form the hamburger patties as large as my hand and pack them with onions and spices. Just marinating this food makes mouths water. Another specialty of mine is my queso con carne dip. A spicy cheese dip with onions, tomatoes, peppers and ground beef is a favorite of all my guests. It’s a nice snack to have while the meat is sizzling the grill. You can’t have a BBQ without beer and this year I wanted to take a little tour of Texas. The fridge was packed with Lonestar, Shiner Bock, and St. Arnold’s Texas Wheat. Someone even showed up with some German brews, Hofbräuhaus Hofbräu Hefe Weizen & Weihenstephaner. With friends and family gathered, the Astros on the TV, meat on the grill and cool beers going down, I couldn’t ask for more. As soon as the brisket was cooked I was ready to make a little snack, my famous BBQ Nachos. Since I love my readers so much, I have included the recipe below. Grilling can be a very tedious but rewarding event. Once you see your guest savor each bite it all seems worth it. The burgers came out juicy and smokey with a nice mild kick to them, the brisket falling apart,oozing hot succulent juices, the chicken had a smoked flavor running through and through. This BBQ without a doubt was a success. Even though it rained hard in the afternoon the BBQ was a hit. Nothing goes better with good ole Texas BBQ than beer! And since we had such a nice selection, it made this meal scream "Texas". Even the German counterparts complimented this carnivorous feast! Weihenstephaner is said to be the world’s oldest brewery. Brewing since 1040 they have made one of the best German beers I have ever had. This smooth beer gave a nice clean finish with no harsh overtones. This beer was perfect between each bite because it seemed to refresh the tongue and add a sense of excitement to every bite. The Hofbräu Hefe Weizen was a floral bouquet of deliciousness. It’s little lighter than other Hefe Weizens, but has a heavier punch to it. Both beers went great with grilled meat. As always you can never go wrong with Texas beers. The Lonestar and Shiner went down quickly while St. Arnold’s Texas Wheat was something to savor. This was a great Memorial Day BBQ and I patiently await the next chance I get to grill. I would like to personally thank all of the men and women that fight for our country and given their lives. They will never be forgotten. I just wanted to remind my readers that you don’t have to support the war or the president but always support the troops. This Bite is for you troops! I hope everyone had a great and safe Memorial Day Weekend.

Mike’s BBQ Nachos

1 Hand Full of Tortilla Chips
1 Cup – Chopped or Shredded Brisket
1 Cup – Baked Beans
1 Cup – Spanish Rice
1 Cup – Chili Con Queso

Lay the chips on a plate and layer on the Brisket, Beans, and Rice over the chips evenly. Dump the queso heavily upon the mountain. Grab a beer and devour!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

GrumBar & Grill

GrumBar & Grill
306 Main, Ste. A
Houston, TX 77002
(713) 224-6448

During the Houston Press Menu of Menus event, I came across a restaurant that really caught my attention. It was the GrumBar & Grill. Now the name might throw you off and admittedly I was a little discouraged because it was in downtown on Main St. I have spent many years in the nightlife industry and over the last 8 years I have watched downtown dry up and die, but this weekend I decided to go forth and explore the cemetery that has become downtown and try the GrumBar & Grill. Located in a small building squeezed between two nightclubs, GrumBar is a tiny little place that seemed to catch my attention right off the bat. As we walked in we were given advice from the patrons sitting on the patio. Friendly little place, I thought. Walking in, a 3 piece jazz band is setting up, the NBA play offs are on the screens and there is a table waiting just for us. Keep in mind this is a very small place so seating can be limited. The tables are against the wall on the right and the bar and band on the left. A very friendly waitress walks right over to hand us menus and offer drinks. Upon her quick return with the drinks she asked if we had any questions. She was very helpful and her advice on menu options was great. This trip I went with the Black & Blue Burger. A half pound blackened burger topped with blue cheese crumbles. They had a special on MGD 64 for only $2 which isn’t bad (even though MGD 64 taste like a beer with water). We sat back and enjoyed the jazz trio waiting for our food. This kind of made me think good things could be coming for downtown if we could get some more spots like this. It didn’t take very long for the food to come out and the smell was amazing. The burger was pretty big and topped with lots of Blue Cheese. I picked up the bun to slap on some mayo and couldn’t believe how soft the bun was. It was soft and squishy, which is just how I like my buns, no pun intended. I added my fixings and I was ready to take a bite into this soft and juicy burger. As I took a bite I noticed the bun was perfectly toasted but still soft to the touch, the meat was juicy and flavorful and the blue cheese gave was tangy and added a semi pungent kick. This burger was near perfect! To make things better the home cut fries were seasoned lightly and fried to a beautiful golden brown. I was really starting to like this place more and more. The jazz trio complemented the meal perfectly. I really appreciate live music with dinner, let alone some toe tapping soul jazz. This place was a true joy. I couldn’t really find anything to complain about. My girlfriend had the chicken salad sandwich which I thought was pretty good also and came with a fresh salad with a wonderfully delicious balsamic vinagerette. GrumBar should be an example of what Downtown Houston needs more of. If we could get more spots like this downtown there might be hope for downtown Houston to live again. There are a few new spots on Main St. that are worth checking out, but if ya make it downtown be sure to stop by GrumBar you will not regret it!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Crave Cupcakes

Crave Cupcakes
1151 Uptown Park Blvd
Houston, TX 77056
(713) 622-7283

Bite Me Houston is where I like to keep things real. I try not to sugar coat anything and tell you my honest opinion about a place, whether it be good or bad. This brings me to Crave Cupcakes. I have heard so much hype about this little shop whipping up some of the best cupcakes in town. Located in the posh and trendy Uptown Park, Crave is drawing in people anxious to taste the decadent little treats. Crave has 24 different cupcakes and some are only made on certain days and they only make small batches throughout the day so you better there early to get the ones that you want. I had heard so much about this place I had to try it for myself. As I arrived at Crave I noticed it had a very nice exterior but that is to be expected since it is located in the Uptown Park. Designed by an award winning design firm, Crave is a small place with lots of windows. You can watch the team prepare the cupcakes as you sit outside and chow down. There is no seating inside just a little shelf that you can post up on. On the outside they have little café tables that hug the storefront which is nice but umbrellas would have been nice to block out the sun on a hot spring day. On the inside a glass case displays the little cakes waiting to be selected. The line to order is a little unorganized and people bumble around trying to decide on what to get. Your options are pretty limited near closing time and as they run out of a certain flavor they remove it from the board. At first glance I notice how small these cupcakes were. Sure they are supposed to be a little small but at $3.25 a pop I was a little shocked. I was at the point of no return now and I decided to go with the Red Velvet. Described as a “Traditional Texas red cocoa cake with a sweet cream cheese frosting”, I wasn’t really aware Texas had a traditional red velvet cake but I figured eh what the heck! First, you don’t really notice how small the cupcakes are until you get them on your plate. I felt a little ripped off but I held my opinion until I finished this little treat. The cream cheese icing had a medium thickness and creamy, but the taste seemed unproportioned. The frosting seemed like it had too much powdered sugar and you could not taste a rich flavor of cream cheese, which is what is traditionally put on Red Velvet cake. The cake itself while good, didn’t really move me. This really wasn’t any better than your average Betty Crocker do it yourself mix. While it was decent, I wouldn’t go back and pay $3.25. You can go to a grocery store and pick up a whole dozen for around $10, while here you will pay $36 for mediocre cupcakes. I personally would not recommend Crave. Maybe it’s just me but I don’t buy into the hype that, just because it’s in a trendy area and it’s the latest fad does not mean it’s going to be good. Nothing here really makes me Crave more. In the end, not so crave worthy!

BB's Cajun Cafe

BB's Cajun Cafe
2710 Montrose Blvd
Houston, TX 77006
(713) 524-4499

It’s one of those nights where you get out late and you’re looking for a bite to eat before you head to the bar. It was passed 10pm and a lot of places were closing, so as I came to towards the intersection of Montrose and Westheimer I noticed the small gleaming light coming from BB’s Cajun Café. Located in a small strip with a gas station, the parking is limited but I was hungry so I made it into a narrow spot and headed in. At first glance nothing really screamed "Louisianan café". Not much for decorations either, just a few hand painted signs thrown upon the wall. While the place was a little small we didn’t have a problem getting a seat. The staff was very friendly as offered advice and answered any questions we had about the menu. He also recommended the daiquiris but the Abita beer took my attention. Abita Amber is a great beer brewed in Louisiana. It’s a delicious amber lager that is oh so smooth and malty. It is not a heavy beer so you can drink up without feeling weighed down and I think it goes perfect with Cajun food. I will admit that the menu is a little short and they specialize on the Po’boys but there isn’t a very large selection for down home Cajun cooking. The waiter recommended the Bedtime in the Bayou Po’Boy (fried gulf shrimp dressed) but I wanted something with New Orleans flair so I went with the Royal St. Secret (Turkey, ham, sautéed mushrooms, tomatos and a mayo relish sauce) and a cup of Maw Maws Chicken & Shrimp Gumbo. I felt a little let down with the limited selection but I was too busy enjoying the Abita. The gumbo came out right away. Served hot it was perfectly complimented by the cool refreshing beer. The gumbo was rich and thick with plump soft rice and generous chunks of sausage and shrimp. It was a little salty but not over powering. I was starting to really like this place. The gumbo came with a slice of French bread that was soft and chewy. When the food came out I was pretty amazed by the appearance of everything. The Po’Boy was pretty big and was stuffed with meat. The fries were cut very thin in a shoestring style. Seasoned with some Cajun seasoning it gave these crispy little fries a nice little bite. The bread was very soft and chewy. This really calmed my nerves because Po’Boys are often served on a hard piece of French bread ready to inflict damage for all the year of bad French jokes. At first bite I knew I was in love. The combination of the ham, turkey, shrimp and mushrooms make a perfect pairing that seemed to rave in my mouth. The mayo relish sauce was thin and flavorful. It brought so much to the delicious plate. After devouring the first half I felt almost full. It was like Mardi Gras in my belly, the party was packed and I still wanted more. As I tried to keep going I couldn’t get enough of this delicious creation. At first glance I was expecting a very mediocre café with half ass food but I soon fell in love with this place and I didn’t want to leave. I highly Recommend BB’s Cajun Café if you’re looking for a bite even late into the night. They are open till 3am on the weekends and till midnight thru the rest. Also the website says they have a special on Lone Star for $1.75 every day! I honestly can’t wait to go back to try their daiquiris, boudin and beignets. BB’s ya stole my heart.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Twitter Me!

Thanks right folks! Bite Me Houston is now on Twitter so be sure to follow us there. Be the first to know when we Bite!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Howdy Burger

Howdy Burger
1029 N Highway 6 #1010
Houston, TX 77079
(281) 599-8844

In the Park Row area on the west side of town lays a growing cluster of business offices. Around here the restaurants are few and far between and as soon as a new one pops up the employees at the nearby offices rejoice as if a new Wal-Mart opened up in a "Podunk" town. Howdy Burger is one of the newest restaurant establishments bringing people out of their cubicle hell. Located on Highway 6 in the shadows of the new overpass Howdy Burger is serving up juicy flavorful burgers and a few other specialties to fill any Texas appetite. As soon as you walk in, you're greeted with a big ole Texas “howdy!” The staff here, decked out in western wear are very friendly and welcome you right up to the counter to place your order. With a very descriptive menu board your stomach churns awaiting to be fed. Being at a place with burger in the name I thought it would be best to go with one, so I went with the Swiss Mushroom Cheeseburger. I was very tempted in trying one of their many salads but I will try that on a return trip. A nice appeal is that everything here is fresh. They have a display cooler just behind the counter with all of the salad fixing ready to be prepared to order. The beautiful colors bring a sense of cool freshness to the whole place. Here your burgers are made to order and they give you the freedom to add your own fixings at the bar. Once I received my order I was I admired how soft the buns were. The meat looked juicy as steam rose from within. I added some cool lettuce and pickles to add a tangy soft crunch to this burger topped with melting swiss cheese and perfectly browned mushrooms. As I took the first bite I found that everything was very juicy and tasted very fresh. My only concern was the burger could have used a few more minutes on the grill. I am very put off by pink hamburger meat and though this wasn’t extremely raw I felt the urge to finish what I had started. If all else failed I could tell the perfectly cut steak fries would fill in the gaps. The fries were seasoned to perfection with a nice hint of spice. It was a great combination of burger and fries and filled my afternoon hunger. Howdy Burger has only been open for a couple of weeks so they are still working out the kinks. I feel that as soon as they get a handle on the heavy lunch crowd they will prepare the food thoroughly. Though my burger could have used a little more cooking time I think that this place will pick up the game. I have the intentions of coming back here in a few weeks and I think it’s a great place with great potential. If this by any way scares you off I would still recommend going for the salads. I place to go back for one myself!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Oishii Japanese Restaurant

Oishii Japanese Restaurant
3764 Richmond Ave
Houston, TX 77046
(713) 621-8628

Over the last few years I have become obsessed with the Asian cuisine and cultures. Lo and behold, the Japanese have won my heart over with their succulent fresh fish, many of which never touch a pan.
A coworker told me about Oishii, a hole in the wall sushi spot tucked in the Greenway Plaza area, in a small shopping strip. I felt the need to check this place out, because in life you find that some of the best things come from the most unsuspecting places. As I drove down Richmond Ave. looking for Oishii I found it hard believe this was going to be cheap night. As I pulled up I was a little nervous by the looks of the place because it was a very small little restaurant located next to a convenience store. When we walked in, this place immediately reminded my girlfriend of an authentic sushi bar in Japan. This place is decorated in an authentic Japanese decor equipped with a large shrine of the Japanese lucky cat figurines and Japanese beer signs. It gave this place a very friendly and inviting feel. The waiter took us to our table and gave us time to look over the menu. They were very helpful and answered any questions without giving off the feeling that we were being rushed. The menu was pretty big and offered a wide array of both cooked meals and sushi. I couldn’t believe how cheap everything seemed. I was expecting to find tiny rolls and thin slices of fish. My expectations were pretty low but I decided to enjoy my Asahi and just go with the flow. We ordered the Rainbow Dragon roll, six pieces of sushi (Red Snapper, Fatty Tuna & Spanish Tuna) and two salmon hand rolls. As it arrived to the table my jaw dropped. I couldn’t believe how big everything was. The roll was bigger than many other spots in town and almost half the price! Wow. The fish was robust and full of flavor. No words could do this place the justice it deserves. The hand rolls were pretty big and stuffed with salmon and rice but the seaweed was a little dried out to my liking, but still tasty as all hell. My mouth was in heaven, the fresh flavors made me beg for more. Each piece of fish was so big it took at least two bites to finish. I was blown away by everything here. While savoring the experience I went over the drink menu and something caught my attention. Asahi Black was something very new to me. As a long time Asahi drinker I felt a sense of being a novice when it came to this beer. I had to try this hidden treasure. It was very mellow and rich with a nice finish and it added a very nice complement to the sushi. It has no harsh overtones or long lasting flavors but seemed to clean the pallet for the next bite. I couldn’t believe how impressed I was with Oishii. Everything was so delicious and colorful. The taste of the sushi took away any concerns I first had about this place. When I got the bill I felt this place was just too good to be true. At only $36 for food and drinks for two people I found that Oishii was pretty much half the price of other sushi restaurants and you got more food for the money. Though Oishii is not a trendy upscale see and be seen spot, it is a place for great food for a great price. I honestly feel that I have found the best place for sushi in Houston. I can guarantee I will be coming back here for years to come. A piece of advice about Oishii, the place is very small so expect to wait for a table with that being said it shares the parking lot with a convenience store so parking is limited but you can park in the lot next door to the left of the building. Other than that this is a sushi lover’s dream come true. Thanks for the recommendation Jane!