Friday, July 31, 2015

Brasil - Houston

Although I was in Houston for only a little over 2 weeks, I did manage to have some pretty good dining experiences. Houston is surprisingly extremely underrated as a foodie city, and I hope folks around the rest of the States come to realize this. And fast! I think Houston is unfortunate that it tends to lose out to Dallas and perhaps Austin in terms of popularity, but when it comes to food, it clearly is miles ahead of both cities. One of the more popular neighborhoods in Houston is Montrose, and a really popular street called Westheimer Street cuts right through Montrose.

Brasil sits quietly at the intersection of Westheimer and Dunlavy, and when I say quietly, I mean it. Literally. They don't even have a legible sign out front, but trust me, it's there. It tries to be anonymous, but it hardly is. Although they're open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner (see their menu here), I've only been here for lunch on a few occasions, but those few times created a lasting impression on me. A lovely brick interior with high ceilings keeps you sheltered from the harsh Houston sun. There's also an outdoor seating area that looks quite nice and I've seen a lot of folks sitting there even in June! The most surprising thing for me (not in a bad way) is that they don't have table service. Instead, you queue up at the counter, place your order, pay up, and collect an order number and someone brings you your order when it's ready.

Even though this place may not be know for it's burgers, I think their Poblano burger is right up there! The poblano mushroom seems to go really well with ground beef, and I'd asked for my burger to be done medium - which is was - and it was quite juicy. I actually had the juices roll down my arm to my elbow. I was in two minds, whether to try to lick it off, or collect it with a spoon at my elbow :) I chose the latter... ok, TMI! But the burger - have it, it's awesome!

Poblano Burger with fries

Poblano Burger with salad

For lunch, I ordered a combination of a quiche along with their soup of the day! This is one of the best combinations in terms of taste and satisfaction. I had the bacon and spinach quiche along with the soup of the day (can't remember whether it was a squash soup or a pumpkin soup). Both were amazing. The quiche was baked to lovely perfection where it wasn't tasting eggy and yet wasn't overdone, especially around the crust. The soup was nice and hot and had the right amount of seasoning.


Soup and quiche

Brasil also has free WiFi, and you'll find a very diverse set of people visiting this place. From folks in business suits to teenagers, and no one feels out of place here. The staff here are extremely friendly and they're always ready to help you out in deciding what to order. If you're in the Montrose area and looking for a place to eat, Brasil has to be on your list.

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Monday, June 29, 2015

Torchy's Tacos - Houston

Torchy's Tacos is your go to place for Mexican comfort food if you're near River Oaks. They've got a pretty nice patio, and and their tacos are pretty darn awesome! What's equally awesome, and interesting, are the names of some of these tacos!

I had The Democrat (shredded beef, avocado, queso fresco, cilantro, onions), the Baja Shrimp (shrimp, cabbage slaw, pickled jalapeños, onions, queso fresco, cilantro), and the Green Chile Pork (pork carnitas, green chilies, queso fresco, cilantro, onions). The Baja shrimp isn't heavy on your stomach, and yet, it was The Democrat that won me over - in terms of flavor, and filling :)

The beef in The Democrat was seasoned well, the avocado and spices blended well, and the cilantro and onions added the 'icing' in terms of the zing it adds to the overall flavor. The green chillies in the pork are exactly what's needed - not many people know that adding green chillies to pork can add an awesome flavor profile (most stick to just black pepper and other sauces that are made from red chillies).

The only disappointing aspect was that the tacos were quite obviously not made in house, and seemed like they came out of a packet. Not the most ideal, but then again, I guess for a small-ish fast food kinda place it could suffice.

We had also ordered a portion of tortilla chips and it was pretty swell with the dip it came with. Overall, satisfaction guaranteed!

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