Nerdie Foodie: RoniCon Part Deux

Welcome back! This week on Nerdie Foodie we are checking out part two of our Texas Nerdventures – aka. RoniCon Part Deux! This time, it’s all about Houston, Texas, and boy did we eat through a small chunk of the huge mountain that is the foodie scene. If you’ve never been and are a foodie, definitely add Houston to your list of places to visit. Without further ado, these are the spots we hit up this time around!

Akashi

Our first night, we decided to stay close by the house and have some sushi. Contrary to some belief, Houston actually has a few really good sushi places. Akashi is definitely one of them. I don’t want to sound like a snob, but we are definitely spoiled here in Vancouver, we have a ton of good/great sushi places and it’s cheap due to accessibility. We let Roni do most of the ordering since she’s most familiar with the menu. We ended up getting the Cowboy Roll, Rach chose the Mango Tango Roll, and Jams and I wanted to try the Art of Maki Roll for something a little different. All three rolls were De.Li.Cious. 

Akashi time!

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Photo Credit: Jen

I think my absolute favourite out of the four was the Art of Maki Roll. That sauce is just something else. It even made the garnish taste amazing and is something I would order again. Check out their menu and locations here!

Brasil Café

I came here for the first time during my first visit to Houston. The food here is just yuuuuum! We decided to have a sleep-in day and do brunch. This was the first time both Rach and Jaime tried food at Brasil Café. The place has a very relaxed feel yet is still hip and trendy without trying too hard. The decided to eat out on the patio. We all tried the almond croissant – so good and I’m pretty sure I got powered sugar everywhere when I bit into it. Rach and I shared the eggs benny with prosciutto and we each had freshly squeezed OJ. The eggs were poached perfectly and when cut through with a knife, the yolk was beautifully runny, and it was accompanied with prosciutto and roasted tomatoes, and a side of crispy potatoes. Roni and Jams shared a large tomato, spinach and feta omelet – the omelet could easily feed 2 people and is super filling and yummy. And what is brunch without a mimosa? They both ordered a glass. Their champagne is on tap people. That is all.

Tranquil outdoor space!

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Photo Credit: Jen

E Tao

We went to the Galleria Mall to pick up some forgotten essentials and do some window shopping. But before we got too far into the shopping, Jams and I decided to get some bubble tea. We stopped by E Tao (a Hong Kong style café) and tried their milk tea bubble tea. Their version is more of the Taiwanese version which is sweeter than the Hong Kong version. Again, Vancouver has such a large Asian community that I couldn’t help but compare it to the ones we have back home. Despite being on the sweeter side, it was still very good. I liked the tapioca pearls they had put into my drink because it wasn’t super chewy. Some bubble tea places have super chewy tapioca pearls that I just end up substituting for either pudding or aloe pieces. I would order this drink again from E Tao. And they gave us our favourite coloured straws!

Bubble tea time!

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Photo Credit: Jen

Tin Roof BBQ

We had some really good barbecue. And I mean really good. It’s one of those things where you can’t go to Texas and not have barbecue. Rach and I had the Ranch Hand plate which included two meats and two sides. We went for the brisket and pork ribs, and our sides were mac ‘n cheese and a creamy broccoli rice casserole. The brisket and pork ribs were well seasoned and cooked but not dry – yum! We tried both their spicy barbecue sauce and their non-spicy/regular barbeque sauce. I can’t say which saw is better because they are both so different. I liked both the spicy and regular sauces. The spicy sauce had just enough kick, and the non-spicy sauce was just so good! The mac ‘n cheese was deliciously gooey. But I was pleasantly surprised that the broccoli rice casserole was so good. It was creamy, cheesy and the broccoli was so tender it pretty much reminded me of a cross between congee and risotto. Jams and Roni had the brisket and sausage with mashed potatoes, green beans and a corn muffin for their sides. If the quality of their choices were anything like what we ordered, their pickings were amazing in taste too. According to Jams, Texas BBQ has ruined her for NY BBQ. We also tried their homemade root beer. It. Was. So Good! I would definitely get that again over their other pop choices. It was cane sugar sweet and had the right tangy-ness to it. 

Our Ranch Hand Platter!

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Roni’s brother-in-law ordered a side of fried mushrooms (which comes with ranch dipping sauce) and we all got to try some of that. I’m drooling just thinking about it. Nothing like good ole fried food and I love mushrooms! Rach wanted to try their dessert, so we got the peach cobbler. I wanted to eat it, but she wanted to go back to the house and heat it up before eating it. The next thing you know, she left it in the fridge and I kept reminding her to eat it, but she kept putting it off, so we never had a bite. I hear it tastes orgasmic. Roni, y’all can eat it now lol. But in all seriousness, you need to check this place out because their menu is legit! Check it out here!

Tout Suite (Part 1)

For our final brunch meal, Roni took us to Tout Suite because they had a macaron deal and if you’ve been following the Nerdie Foodie column for a while, you know that I have a soft spot for macs. We really are the same person. We all shared the grilled cheese sandwich with fries and we each had a bowl of roasted tomato soup. Rach also got the dragonfruit juice, I had coconut water and the other two ladies had Mexican coca cola. There were no prices listed for their drinks section, so be careful what you choose. The Mexica cola was roughly $2.50 USD, while the dragonfruit juice was $8 USD and the coconut water was $10 USD. $10??!! I had no idea! If I had known, I would have chosen the Mexican cola. Mexican cola is made with cane sugar and it is so good! The grilled cheese sandwich was made with four different cheeses and was gooey and stringy and on perfectly toasted sourdough bread! The grilled tomato soup had a bit of a kick to it because it had some red chili flakes in it, but it wasn’t too spicy that Jaime was able to enjoy it. The grilled cheese dish is so big, it’s enough to feed 2 people because it also comes with fries and homemade ketchup!

Juice List (Note: No prices listed)

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Photo Credit: Jen

Tout Suite (Part 2)

Before we left, we went back to the counter to order some macarons to go. Roni and Jams chose pistachio, crème brulee, salted caramel praline, and chocolate peanut butter. Roni loved the chocolate peanut butter mac and Jams really loved the pistachio. If they were to buy macs from Tout Suite again, Jams would stick to the more simpler flavours than the more expensive flavours (fruity pebble, crème brulee and salted caramel praline are $3 USD while the other flavours are $2), and both would buy a box of the pistachio macs again. Rach and I ordered 8 flavours because they were buy 3 and get 1 free. We got the lavender honey, earl grey, crème brulee, birthday cake, lemon, green tea raspberry, vanilla bean, and mango passion. Rach really loved the lavender honey mac, and I loved the lemon one and the green tea raspberry was a close second. The Earl Grey mac needed a stronger flavour. It did taste like earl grey but was very faint. The birthday cake didn’t really taste like birthday cake, vanilla bean was good but I personally prefer a stronger vanilla taste. The mango had more of a tart/sour taste to it and the crème brulee tasted like the custard but it was more on the chewier side. We’re not sure if it’s because of how the macs were made, but it definitely was not a crisp outer shell and a melt in your mouth inside bits. A couple of the macs didn’t have enough filling in them, so I had more meringue cookie than cookie and filling. Both Roni and Jams found the macs a bit chewy, but they also couldn’t wait and ate theirs right away.

The Mac Menu

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A note to those who do love eating macs: to get the best texture after purchasing your macs, let them come to room temperature first before consuming them. This usually takes about 30 minutes to 1-2hrs depending on your area’s climate. Stores usually store/display macs in fridges/cooler display cases, so the shells and the fillings need to marinate together in order to get the right texture. When Rach and I ate ours, it was roughly a couple hours after we purchased them and they had the right texture and consistency. Other than that, the macs at Tout Suite are really good, but they are pricey. Check them out here!

Mi Rancho

For our final meal, we went for some delicious Mexican food. The freshly made tortilla chips were served with a great salsa and queso. Rach and I shared the chimichanga that was filled with fajita beef and came with sides of rice, refried beans, guacamole, sour cream, and pico de gallo. So. Good. Jaime got beef tacos, Roni had the tacos al carbon, and they also ordered the flan. Oh man, that flan…. drool worthy. Creamy custard and it was served on top of a circular slice of pineapple, and a wedge of watermelon and pineapple on the side. Overall, just straight up legit Mexican food that you can’t really find much here in Vancouver. Check them out here for their various locations!

Jams' tacos! They included fresh avo!

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Photo Credit: Jams

And rightly so, I ditched my waistline in Texas.

If you ever venture or have ventured to Texas, check out these places and let us know what you think! Are there any places we missed and should check out next time? Let us know in the comments below.

Stay nerdalicious!

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