Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Lent in Houston: Shrimp Tacos @ El Rey

Restaurant Info:
El Rey
233 Main St
Houston, TX

My Experience: El Rey prides itself on serving quick, good Cuban and Latin American food. During Lent I abstain from eating meat on Fridays, therefore I scanned their non-meat menu section and was surprised to see the various options available to me. The Summer Taco Combo caught my eye!

The Summer Taco Combo is 3 Shrimp tacos served on corn tortillas topped with mango, cilantro, tomato, onion, and avocado. The dish not only looks like summer (with it bright colors) but it tastes like what you would expect from an Island taco shack! The mangos added a hint of sweetness which went well with El Rey's green salsa.  I was served 4 tacos on this day because my ordered had been lost in the lunch rush.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Breakfast in Houston: Harry's Restaurant

Info: Harry’s Restaurant
318 Tuam St
Houston, TX 77006

Must Tries: Pancake Omelet!
Healthy Options: The menu has egg and protein options.
Price: Under $8 a dish.
What to Expect: Harry’s Restaurant serves what they call Home Style American food with a Greek touch. I expected a cafeteria style experience but I read that lunch is served cafeteria style not breakfast. On this Saturday morning we were seated promptly and little did I know what the multiple page breakfast menu had in store for me.

My Experience: What impressed me most of Harry’s besides the food, was the diverse breakfast menu. Listed were omelets, migas, pancakes, waffles, the options spanned American, Latin and Mediterranean cultures. The menu has many safe “traditional” breakfast choices as well as several interesting options. I always have trouble decided whether to go with an omelet or stick to pancakes. As I skimmed the menu the Pancake Omelet caught my eye. What is a Pancake Omelet you ask? Think of an omelet stuffed within a rolled pancake! Yes, the best of both worlds!

Harry's Pancake Omelet is eggs, cheese and your meat of choice stuffed into a huge pancake!

The pancake was served hot, right off the flat top which gave it a slightly crispy exterior, just enough to hold this ultimate breakfast fusion together. The inside of the pancake was moist and soft, the eggs, ham and cheese stuffed within were a great combination.        

The more I ate the pancake omelet, I realized I enjoyed it so much because it reminded me of a fresh corn dog. This has all the potential to be a great hangover cure! I may be wrong, in summary the Pancake Omelet is a winner! When in Houston try Harry's.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Pho Binh Trailer

Info: Pho Binh Trailer
10930 Beamer Rd
Houston, TX 77089

Must Tries: Pho, Pho Chicken Soup/Pho Ga!
Healthy Options: Choose from lean beef soup dishes.
Price: Under $6 for a large bowl.
What to Expect: Famed groundhog forecaster Punxsutawney Phil decaled 6 more weeks of winter which means 6 more weeks of PHO!!! If you decide to make the journey to the famous Pho Binh Trailer be sure to bring your appetite. The Pho Binh trailer offers generous portions of flavorful Pho.

My Experience: Reports of good Pho in Houston come from every part of town. My quest to find the best Pho in Houston led me down I-45 to the highly recommended Pho Binh Trailer. Come early, the good stuff sells out on most days.

Prices are pretty low and the menu is pretty easy to read!

For the sake of clarity, Pho Binh is not a trailer on wheels, but a double wide which is set on a foundation.

A generous plate of Pho condiments allow you to assemble the perfect winter blues cure.

Today I went with traditions beef Pho. Thin slices of raw beef are dropped into the scoring broth prior to be served. The Pho was good, not to salty or greasy. The beef was actually rare and not over cooked like other places. The broth had layers of flavor which made it unique, but today might have been an off day because it lacked the wow factor which I expected.

We also tried the Pho Ga/Chicken Soup. Thinly sliced chicken breast, chewy noodles and a flavorful broth made for a solid choice.  

The Pho Ga had hard boiled eggs in it which was a surprise.
This dish is a great twist on traditional chicken soup.

While I enjoyed the Pho here I could not conclusively make a ruling on the best place to get Pho in Houston. The quest continues, I leave you with what might be the best view offered by a Pho restaurant.