Pizza Is Good, Calzones Are Better at La Fresca Pizza

Categories: On the Menu

HOU_FOOD_20150119_LaFrescaCalzone_JoannaOLeary.jpg
Photo by Joanna O'Leary
Chicken, Mushroom, and Spinach Calzone

There is a paucity of restaurants in Houston that serve calzones and even fewer establishments offer versions that match the quality of those found in Italian-American hubs along the east coast.

La Fresca Pizza is among these few, these happy few, and they have two locations. So, give thanks if you have been craving calzones over-stuffed with lots of cheese and any number of toppings.

People who describe the calzone as simply an "inside-out pizza," or worse, a "pizza pocket" (which conjures horrific images of hot pockets) do this dish a gross disservice. The calzone, whose origins can be traced to Puglia, Italy, is made from thicker, saltier dough than that found in a typical pizza that is folded over in semi-circle fashion to enclose a filling of cheese, meats (chicken, pepperoni, Italian cold cuts are popular) and vegetables such as mushrooms, onions, spinach, etc. Note: Tomatoes are usually not included among this "etc." interior toppings because calzones are traditionally served with a side of marinara for dipping.

This story continues on the next page.

More »

Try These 5 Absolutely Loaded Grilled Cheeses in Houston

htownstreatsshorty.JPG
Photo by Kaitlin Steinberg
H-Town StrEATS takes grilled cheese to a whole new level.
If you're going to pay for grilled cheese, it better damn well be a step up from the white bread and American cheese number you can make yourself at home. These buttered-up, overloaded and cheesy as all hell sandwiches most definitely are...

See also:
Try These 5 Outrageous Mac & Cheeses
Try These Five Monster Breakfast Dishes
Try These Five Monster Sandwiches
Try These 5 Absolutely Loaded Pizzas
Try These 5 Absolutely Loaded Fries
Try These 5 Chili-Smothered Dishes
Try These 5 Awesomely Outrageous Burgers in Houston
Try These 5 Awesomely Delicious Kimchi-Packed Eats in Houston
Try These Five Outrageously Awesome Shellfish Dishes
Try These Five Outrageous Hangover Cures


More »

Takeout Trials: $16 Steak & Curry Fries on Tuesday at Ambrosia

Categories: Meat!, On the Menu

HOU_FOOD_20150116_curryfries_oleary.jpg
Photo by Joanna O'Leary
Steak & Curry Fries Tuesday Special

After my first visit to Ambrosia, I stated that despite the good food (particularly, the curry wedges) I wouldn't return anytime soon unless they lowered their prices or started a happy.

In the 18 months since this initial visit, Ambrosia has not only added a "reverse" as well as a regular happy hour, but also introduced a Tuesday night special where for $16 you you get a steak and curry fries (aka wedges). Having enjoyed this special in-house, I was curious as to whether Ambrosia would honor a request for two orders for takeaway as most restaurants that serve steak specials do not. This restriction is reasonable given the point of the food deal from the restaurant's perspective is to entice customers to dine in and buy additional food and drinks to make up the difference.

What a lovely surprise it was when Ambrosia not only agreed to package two steak specials to-go but did so in a bang-up fashion.

This story continues on the next page.

More »

Taste-Testing Snap Kitchen's New Winter Menu

Categories: On the Menu

HOU_FOOD_20150112_SnapKitchenWinter1_JoannaOLeary.jpg
Photo by Joanna O'Leary
SNAP Kitchen's winter menu holds some terrific finds.

With new locations in the Heights and the Museum District, Snap Kitchen is making it very hard for Houstonians to avoid eating healthfully while eating out. And, after the never-ending food binge also known as "the holidays," that's probably a good thing.

The grab-and-go cafe offers a diverse line of well-constructed breakfast, lunch, and dessert entrees as well as cold-pressed juices that are rigorously classified by dietary needs ("carb conscious", "gluten-free", etc.). Many of the dishes are healthful versions of ordinarily diet-destroying mainstays such as burgers, enchiladas, lasagna, and delightfully, these revamped editions are not just palatable, but, in fact, delicious.

One can even go so far as to say that Snap Kitchen is rather addictive; recently, Houstonia writer Katharine Shilcutt chronicled her very positive experience completing the 21-day challenge from Snap Kitchen, noting she is likely to continue to incorporate Snap goodies into her regular diet.

After taste-testing some of Snap Kitchen's entrees from its new winter menu, I can assure Katharine she won't be alone.


HOU_FOOD_20150112_SnapCreoleGrils_JoannaOLeary.jpg
Photo by Joanna O'Leary
Creole "Eggs and Grits"

Among their additions to the breakfast offerings is the Creole "Eggs and Grits," in quotes to recognize that neither eggs nor grits are involved. Tofu and cauliflower masquerade quite well, however, as the former ingredients thanks to their supple texture and well-balanced seasoning of the tomato sauce. Of course, they don't taste THE EXACT SAME as regular eggs and grits (who could ever buy such a claim), but they do taste very, very good, and more importantly, don't one leave one hungry or guilty for blowing all your calories for the day before lunch.

This story continues on the next page.


More »

Try These Five Awesomely Outrageous Mac & Cheeses in Houston

Thumbnail image for Kata Robata's Mac & Cheese.JPG
Photo by Joanna O'Leary
We can't get enough of this miso lobster mac'.
Every sound minded individual loves mac' and cheese. Hell, even Easy Mac could make do in a pinch. But we say if you're going to eat a bowl of cheese, fat and carbs, you may as well go all in.

Here are 5 Outrageously Delicious Mac' & Cheeses To Try In Houston:

See also:
Try These Five Monster Breakfast Dishes
Try These Five Monster Sandwiches
Try These 5 Absolutely Loaded Pizzas
Try These 5 Absolutely Loaded Fries
Try These 5 Chili-Smothered Dishes
Try These 5 Awesomely Outrageous Burgers in Houston
Try These 5 Awesomely Delicious Kimchi-Packed Eats in Houston
Try These Five Outrageously Awesome Shellfish Dishes
Try These Five Outrageous Hangover Cures
Try These Five Monster Bar Snacks


More »

Eat This: Oysters at Punk's Simple Southern

Categories: On the Menu

HOU_Food_20150109_PunksOysters_JoannaOLeary.jpg
Photo by Joanna O'Leary
Punk's Broiled Oysters.

Although my first visit to Punk's Simple Southern proved mediocre, the restaurant seems to have gotten its act together. Somewhat. Despite the fact that we had made a reservation 72 hours in advance, no tables were available when we arrived; the manager then set up a table approximately three feet from the door, which opened regularly bringing in gusts of 40-degree air. No thanks, we'll wait for (non-refrigerated) seating.

Forgiving that small snafu was easy, however, when it was followed up by otherwise very attentive service plus some delicious and well-executed albeit slightly overpriced dishes. (The worst offender is the fried chicken, which costs $40 for a whole bird.)

The hush puppies and the various biscuits (especially those stuffed with "ham and jam") are terrific and can by themselves make for a reasonably satisfying happy hour meal. If you're craving protein, however, but not in the mood for a burger (if you really were, would you be at Punk's?), and/or don't eat fish tacos at non-TexMex joints, then please go for the oysters.

This story continues on the next page.


More »

The Season Is Ending Soon: Get Your White Truffle Fix in Houston While You Still Can

Categories: On the Menu

HOU_FOOD_20150107_ristorantecavourtruffle_mpham.jpg
Photo by Mai Pham
House-made pappardelle carbonara topped with freshly shaved truffles from Ristorante Cavour. Sadly, they don't have any white truffles any more, but you can still get them in Houston if you know where to find them!

You've been seeing pictures of them all over, right? These earthy, sandy-gray-colored bulbous things displayed on a bed of rice, often inside a glass jar or a glass case? We're talking about his majesty, the king of all truffles, the white truffle from Alba, Italy. The most expensive of all fresh truffles on the market, white truffles immediately elevate a dish with their incredibly heady, earthy aromas.

This season has been especially abundant, but they'll be running out very soon. In fact, we're at the tail end of the season, so we encourage you to get them while you still can. Here are three good bets for where you can still find truffles:


More »

Try These Five Monster Bar Snacks in Houston

HOU_FOOD_20150107_NobiNachos_TroyFields.jpg
Photo by Troy Fields
Nobi's Viet-Tex-Mex nachos are exactly what fusion should be.
When you're downing a few beers, nothing hits the spot more than something deep-fried, cheesy and salty. Whether huge in flavor or size, here are 5 Monster Bar Snacks that keep us coming back for more.

See also:

Try These Five Monster Breakfast Dishes
Try These Five Monster Sandwiches
Try These 5 Absolutely Loaded Pizzas
Try These 5 Absolutely Loaded Fries
Try These 5 Chili-Smothered Dishes
Try These 5 Awesomely Outrageous Burgers in Houston
Try These 5 Awesomely Delicious Kimchi-Packed Eats in Houston
Try These Five Outrageously Awesome Shellfish Dishes
Try These Five Outrageous Hangover Cures


More »

First Look at Dak & Bop, a New Restaurant Specializing in Korean Fried Chicken

HOU_food_20141230_dakandbop_mpham_03.jpg
Photo by Mai Pham
Houston, we have a bona fide restaurant for Korean fried chicken!

Stepping through the doors of Dak & Bop, the new Korean fried chicken joint in the Museum District, you're immediately enveloped by feel-good vibes. There's something about the space -- the decor, the lighting, the music selection -- that is warm and inviting, putting you immediately at ease.

"I could totally see myself hanging out here!" said a friend whom I'd corralled into joining me one evening. We'd arrived around 8 p.m., and the place was abuzz with activity. In fact, if you arrive at Dak & Bop between the high-traffic hours of 7 and 8 p.m., chances are you're going to have to wait a bit. It's still in soft opening stages, but the word is already out, and the place gets crowded.


More »

Hey, HuffPost, Pizza Hut's Cock-A-Doodle Bacon Pie Isn't So Bad

Categories: On the Menu

CockADoodle.jpg
Photo by Joanna O'Leary
"Cock-A-Doodle Pie"
Contrary to what was recently posted on the Huffington Post, Pizza Hut's Cock-A-Doodle Bacon Pie isn't so bad.

And neither, for that matter, is the similarly dubiously named "Sweet Siracha Dynamite" pie.

More »
Loading...