This Week in Food Blogs: Churro Porn and Houston As Mutt City
Robb Walsh: In his continuing series on where Texas cuisine is headed, Robb Walsh talks to Underbelly chef Chris Shepherd about Houston's role as a "new Creole city," citing a recent article by Southern food writer John T. Edge called "Savoring Mutt City." (Mutt City is us, by the way -- and it's a title I really like.) Walsh writes of the difference between fusion food and Creole cuisine:
Photo by Gary R. Wise, courtesy of our Flickr pool Lemon curd, strawberry coulis, Italian meringue, salted shortbread and brandy snap tuile at Rainbow Lodge -- our weekly photo selection from the Houston Press Flickr pool.
Fusion is throwing foreign ingredients together. Creolization is cultural blending. Korean bulgogi on Mexican tortillas and Vietnamese sandwiches on French baguettes are familiar examples. Louisiana gumbo is the most famous creole dish of the last century; the combination of African okra, French roux, and native American sassafras (filé powder) is a unique expression of the place it comes from. Now that Houston has replaced New Orleans as the immigration center of the Gulf Coast, a new cultural blend is emerging.
Oxford American: Speaking of John T. Edge's brilliant write-up of Houston, here's the full text of "Savoring Mutt City." The director of the Southern Foodways Alliance writes that "Houston is becoming a top-tier destination to eat and drink," citing meals at places as diverse as Dadami and Oxheart as reasons why.
Saveur: Ever wondered how those delicious churros at Hugo's are made? Saveur has a terribly beautiful video of pastry chef Ruben Ortega demonstrating how it's done in their New York test kitchens. Bonus: Ortega's brother and owner of Hugo's, Hugo Ortega himself, jumps in at the end to "help" eat the results.
Patty and David Said: Riffing off a recent New York Times piece on Houston's Chinatown, Patty and David visited a place they hadn't yet been in the sprawling neighborhood: Fu Fu Cafe. Sampling five different dishes, they were impressed with them all.
J.C. Reid, Texas: Noted barbecue connoisseur and food writer J.C. Reid was recently asked to name his favorite barbecue joints in Texas. The one barbecue restaurant that he named in Houston might surprise you.
Urban Swank: Last but not least, the Urban Swank girls experienced the new Hotel Icon / Line & Lariat makeover firsthand when they stayed overnight at the hotel. The weekend included dinner and drinks from Line & Lariat as well as a tour of the renovated rooms and the Ritz Suite, which offers "breathtaking views of the city."
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