Nerdie Foodies! I am back from our NC reunion adventures in Houston and Dallas! I’m pretty sure I know I gained a few extra pounds from all the delicious food on this trip. Thank goodness I had Rach to share each meal with, otherwise I would be even heavier! What was suppose to be a week-long trip touring Houston (aka. RoniCon) with no conventions, we took a detour to Fan Expo Dallas! Here is part one: the places we went to nosh at in Dallas!
Roni’s Mama’s Homemade Breakfast
Departure day heading to Dallas, we decided to stay in and have breakfast at home, thanks to Roni’s mama. I’ve had her homemade oatmeal before and it is delicious! I’m normally not a total oatmeal fan, but whatever it is that she cooks the oatmeal in (I think it’s condensed milk? Update: Turns out it’s just sugar and cinnamon!) makes it sweet, and I don’t mind that at all. Can you tell I have a bit of a sweet tooth? She also made some mini croissants and dipping the croissants into the oatmeal was actually a tasty combo. And the coffee is just how I like it – in a fox cup and I’m not really a huge coffee person. Such a super simple breakfast and you can tell it was made with a whole lot of love. I like a home-cooked meal just as much as eating out.
None of us has tried Buc-ee’s except for our local Houstonian and Captain of adorable awkwardness – Roni. She showed us the ropes and broke it down for us. Everyone stops at Buc-ee’s. This place is huge and has a mishmash of everything. It has your souvenirs section, refrigerated drinks, Slurpee machine wall, snacks of all kinds, prepared to-go meal packs (ie. Salads, fruit cups, cheese, cheese & meats/hams, Lunchables, sandwiches and wraps, etc.), hot meals and a barbecue section. We all ended up ordering the same thing from the hot meal section: the California Chicken wrap with no onion. We’re pretty much the same person, so much so that the lady at the counter had to confirm with Roni to make sure we wanted four of the same wraps! We also got fruit cups and a couple bags of Teriakyi Beef Jerky for snacking. The fruit cups had the usual: strawberries, grapes, honeydew, pineapple and cantaloupe. It was pretty standard, but I’m glad I got in my daily dose of fruit for that day because the con life pretty much doesn’t get you to eat healthy meals on a regular basis. The wrap was good. There was nothing special about it, but it was filling enough for all of us and kept us full during the rest of the drive to Dallas. The jerky however, was so good. We devoured those like no tomorrow. If you have the chance to go to a Buc-ee’s and can only get one thing, get the jerky. If you’re vegetarian, go for the toasted nuts, as those were delicious too because they’re coated in a layer of sugar.
Texas Spice (Part 1)
This place is addictive. If you can’t tell from the title already, we came here more than once. It’s located inside the Omni Hotel which is connected to the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center where Fan Expo Dallas was held. Roni has been raving about this place since we all got to Dallas, so we had to check it out! We ordered a little bit of everything to share from the a la carte menu. They do have a buffet every day whose menu is different from the a la carte menu. But we all felt like we could not eat $21 worth of food that night. Instead we ordered the mixed berry cobbler with vanilla ice cream, jalapeno sausage flatbread (Rach & I), tomato basil flatbread (Roni & Jams), chipotle pumpkin soup and brown butter and sage mac ‘n cheese. The flatbreads were really good. The cobbler…we could have just eaten that as our dinner. But the chipotle pumpkin soup and the brown butter and sage mac ‘n cheese were just out of this world. We swear it’s that addictive. The chipotle pumpkin soup has a slight kick to it, but Jams had a taste and she loved it! She’s not into spicy foods, but the soup is approved! The mac ‘n cheese….. *drools*. There are no words. When you first scoop into it, it has the gooey strings of cheese. It’s so rich, but not enough that you can’t have another bite. And we all agreed it was the best mac ‘n cheese we have all ever had in our lives.
Texas Spice (Part 2)
It was Day 3 of the convention and our final day in Dallas before we had to drive back to Houston, we decided to have one last go at Texas Spice (Part 2). This time around, we didn’t order as much as we had to save some room for dinner later on and it was a late lunch. Again, none of us could eat $20 worth of food to get the buffet option, so Rach and I shared the grilled fish tacos and had a cup of the daily soup each. There were only 2 tacos to one order, but they were big enough that they did fill us up. They were accompanied with some sort of grilled tomato-habanero salsa that had a bit of kick to it. You didn’t need much, but it did add a different dimension to the tacos. The soup of the day was a potato soup topped with bacon and what I think are chives. The soup hit the spot. Dallas was so cold while we were there that it was the same temperatures as upstate NY. Basically, winter chills. So, the soup was great to warm us up! Jaime Jams and Roni shared the smoked chicken black bean wrap as well as a cup of soup each. Our friend who joined us for lunch had the American Redneck Burger and it has a double smash patty and came with parmesan fries. I tried a bit of her order and that burger was tasty! The patties were cooked medium (not quite medium rare) and were seasoned well enough that it enhanced the beef flavour than covering it up. Both Roni & Jaime’s order and our friend’s order came with a side of fries. The fries were good, but they had come to our table slightly cold, so it wasn’t as crisp had it been freshly fried. But other than that, all of our meals were delicious! If and when we do come back to Fan Expo Dallas, we are definitely heading back to Texas Spice.
We do have a couple American burger chains in Vancouver (ie. Five Guys and the recently opened Johnny Rockets), but we don’t have a Whataburger and so Rach and I were curious and wanted to try it. Roni indulged us and we ordered it to go. Rach ordered the basic Whataburger (with cheese and no onions), Jaime ordered the basic Whataburger (with cheese, no onion, no pickles and no mustard) meal with fries and a drink. I had the bacon and cheese Whataburger (no onions) meal with fries and a drink. They ran out of white buns, so Rach and I got wheat buns and Jams had her burger with Texas toast. When I got the drink cup, I was surprised! The medium drink is huge! Roni asked us if we had Whatasized our meals, both Jams and I didn’t, but apparently the rectangular fries boxes means you’ve asked your meal to be Whatasized. Turns out we got more than what we ordered (not that I’m complaining or anything). They even have what they call fancy ketchup and spicy ketchup. Quite frankly, the fancy ketchup didn’t taste any different than regular Heinz ketchup. The spicy ketchup on the other hand was good. I did like their spicy ketchup better than the fancy ketchup. The burgers themselves were a bit on the dry side, otherwise, it was not bad. The fries were fresh and crisp, and the drink…well I just had plain old coca cola. Would I go out of my way specifically to a Whataburger? Probably not. But I wouldn’t oppose to ordering a meal from them in the future – that spicy ketchup is totally worth getting the fries!
Pretty sure I gained 2 pounds in Dallas at the end. Stay tuned for next week’s Nerdie Foodie for the other 3 pounds – at least!
‘Til next time,