Tasting at The Tuck Room at iPic theater 

Since when has Monday become the new best day of the week for foodie adventures? The past two Monday nights I’ve been wined and dined more than I ever have on a weekend. No complaints though because it’s a great way to fight the Monday blues. I was excited to score an invite through the Houston food blogger collective (HFBC) to attend a media preview dinner at The Tuck room at the new iPic theaters in the new River Oaks. I dined with other HFBC friends KimMorgan, and Onolicious.

I had no idea this area even existed right behind Highland Village and boy was it swanky! Lots of high end stores similar to Rodeo Drive plus a brand new Equinox- Houston’s first. Will be fun to come here for window shopping and dinner + a movie at iPic.

 


Now on to the important things…

Hello liquid nitrogen vodka bar. Where have you been all my life? This was like science class meets a trendy club and I loved that you could build your own cocktail. I had a gingerade type mimosa with plenty of mint and fresh fruit.  You can order this at your movie seat! Mind blown

Awesome lobby installation art built from used books!


  More passed cocktail deliciousness

 

These cod lettuce wraps were a tasty apetizer

Deconstructed Caesar salad was a cool concept and great flavor combo 

Filet sliders were OMG amazing

BBQ brisket sandwiches – table favorite. Seriously get these at your next movie date

Onion soup rings were a huge hit and creative concept. Another one of our favorites

Fish tacos were good but not my favorite. Then again I’m picky about fish tacos being a Southern CA native.  

Food kept on coming… We had no idea what to expect and were shocked by how many courses they served! Plus there were some pairings which each course which was also but also dangerous for a Monday night…

These chicken skewers, steak, and thick sweet potatoe fries were all a hit

Then we got to tour the movie theater. Look at these movie seats! Like your own personal nap pod complete with blankets and pillows and reclining  seats! You will never be at to go back to regular movie seats…

Getting to talk to chef Sherry Yard was a highlight. She was sweet and funny and is kind of a huge deal in the foodie world for winning 3 James Beard awards . After tasting her innovative food I can now totally see why

Next up dessert. We were stuffed but obviously couldn’t say no. Chocolate truffle grapes were a surprisingly addictive dessert. And hey basically eating fruit + antioxidants right?

And then this happened…  chocolate molten lava donuts were pure heaven and worth getting chocolate all over my face for

Can’t wait to return to iPic and the Tuck Room for a movie, cocktails, and more tasty treats. Date night in Houston has now reached a new level, go check it out. Stay tuned for my next Monday night review about Buff Burger! 🍔

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Tacolandia Houston 

I’ve been counting down until Tacolandia aka the most magical event to ever exist. Given my love for tacos this event was right up my alley and a perfect way to finally try all the best tacos in Htown! I loved seeing such a wide range of restaurants and vendors there and it was a beautiful sunny Saturday (finally!) in Buffalo Bayou Park.  Tacolandia was organized by Houston Press. My sweet friend Kim was a sponsor and invited me as her plus one and we met up with our friend Renee who was also a sponsor. We all became friends through the Houston Food Blogger Collective. We were on a serious mission to determine who deserved our token for best taco in Houston. Thank god the tacos were mostly mini but we all left  in taco comas #noregrets. Here were some of my favorites!

 

Have you ever seen a tater tots taco?! This was  delish and a great vegetarian option from Tacos A Go Go who makes my favorite breakfast tacos in town.

 

Never did I expect to see a pink chicken and waffles taco! It was creative dessert type taco from the Pink Box food truck.

 

Berry Hill’s fish taco was super tasty!  I want to go back to try their grilled fish taco.

 

Cyclone Anaya’s taco wins for best garnish. I loved their cabbage slaw

 

Fusion Taco’s Spiced Lamb Keema Taco was a unique combo and bursting with flavor!

 

Los Tios was my runner up favorite taco and I loved their queso!

Drum Roll…My favorite taco was….

Anejo’s mole braised duck taco with a jicama and beet salsa…seriously YUM! I hadn’t even heard of Anejo before this event and I can’t wait to try their Uptown Park restaurant.

 


We had a great time and can’t wait to visit these restaurants for more taco adventures!

Apple Cranberry Cobbler

This cobbler recipe is my dad’s signature Shabbat dessert dish.  There isn’t even an official recipe, it has evolved based on what we have in the pantry or in our fruit bowl. You can throw it together at the last minute if you’re entertaining and no one will know how easy it is to make. It’s always a huge hit and my brother and I would always hope there would be leftovers to eat  the next morning cold out of the fridge! It’s arguably just as good that way, though others may prefer it hot out of the oven with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Basically you can’t go wrong eating this anytime of day. I hope you will enjoy it as much as we do. We all have our own preference on using either canned or fresh fruit. Both options are great though if you are in a pinch for time the canned option works well and is easy to always have on hand in your pantry. When fresh cranberries are in season I often will use those. Try both or even swap  out the apples for pears. There are lots of options and it’s a perfect way to enjoy Fall produce. This could also be great for your Thanksgiving or Friendsgiving tables…
Apple Cranberry Cobbler Recipe:

Preheat oven to 350•

2 cans of Ocean Spray whole berry cranberries or 2 cups of fresh cranberries

2 cans of apple slices or 4 sliced and peeled Granny Smith apples

Mix the fruit in an ungreased baking dish.

Next combine:

1 stick of melted butter,margarine, or coconut oil

1 and 1/4 cup of brown sugar

1 and 1/4 cup of oats

1 and 1/4 cup of flour of your choice

Mix together to form a crumble and then evenly distribute over the fruit.

Bake for 45-50 minutes or until it starts to just slightly bubble. Avoid burning the crumble topping, watch carefully around the 40 minute mark and you cover  with foil if necessary at the end.

Enjoy! It’s great with ice cream or with yogurt for breakfast.

Austin Eats         

Just returned from a weekend away in Austin with some close college friends who flew out to Texas to enjoy a weekend of Southern fun aka eat all the tacos. We had a blast and I was excited to try some new spots while also showing them some of our favorite Austin establishments.

We started our weekend with a delicious migas and mimosas brunch at Magnolia’s which was much needed after our 3.5 hour drive! Normally we can get from Houston to Austin in a little over 2 hours but there was an accident. Needless to say we arrived hangry! Luckily our friends had already put our name down on the brunch list, this place is quite popular and gets packed! I was excited to see migas on the menu  and these were some of the best I’ve ever had. Perfect combination of creamy eggs, cheddar jack cheese, jalapeños, and tortilla strips. Everyone loved their food and the location on South Congress is ideal for walking around the fun shops and boutiques afterwards.

We stopped by Allen’s boots after brunch which is like Disneyland for boots. So many fun and crazy styles that you have to try on when you have friends from the East Coast visiting. I’m always tempted to add to my cowboy boot collection but don’t  wear the two pairs I have nearly enough!  
After shopping, some of us settled in for football and pizza which was a good plan to escape the rainy afternoon. We had a hard time deciding where to order from, who knew Austin had so many great pizza spots?! We ultimately decided on East Side Pies and ordered a Moon Dingo pie which is a white ricotta sauce pizza with all sorts of cheesy deliciousness (ricotta,feta,goat,fresh and whole mozzarella) and mushrooms. I don’t even like mushrooms usually but couldn’t say no to this pizza because I’m such a huge cheese lover and this combo was insane! The other pizza we shared had a chimichurri sauce and had a fun combination of red onion, pineapple, and cilantro. We also shared a Greek salad to get in some greens and it was delicious. I highly recommend East Side Pies. Most of us had all lived in New York at some point or another so we have high pizza expectations and this blew us all away!


Afterwards we met up with some friends for cocktails at Rio Rita lounge. It totally looks like a dive bar but they have wonderful drinks and lots of infused liquor a. I had the Sal- strawberry vanilla vodka, fresh lime, and ginger beer. It was delicious and sweet. If you’re into  drinks with heat, my friends loved the Spicy Knees which is gin, hot sauce, honey, and fresh lime soda.


Next we went to The Liberty which is a bar with a great outdoor space with tone of picnic tables, twinkle lights, and my favorite Austin food truck (East Side Kings) in the back. Priorities in choosing a late night spot.


  Brussels sprout salad, tongue buns, and their new fried chicken sandwich.  
My favorite is always their Brussel sprouts salad and makes me feel slightly less guilty in the morning. It’s  basically all veggies at least! They were excited to tell us about their new after midnight only chicken sandwich but I wasn’t blown away. It was good for $5, but I still prefer the salad or their buns which are like pilowy clouds of deliciousness.

The next morning we went to Taco Deli which is always on our must-do Austin list. Their breakfast tacos are the best in Texas in my opinion. Lots of combos or you can build your own. I always add avocado to whatever I order. I also tried their watermelon agua fried a for the first time which was super refreshing. Afterwards we walked around the nearby creek and enjoyed the sunny day! 
It was a great weekend with old friends, new friends, and full bellies. Now ready for a week of cleaner eats!