H-Town! Third Coast!

It always surprises people I meet when I tell them how much I enjoyed living in Houston, TX. To be fair, despite the recent New York Times endorsement (naming it one of 46 places to go in 2013) Houston is not a particularly great place to visit. Sprawl, smog, traffic, a confounding system of freeways, ring roads, frontage roads, protected U-turns which take a while to figure out make it a difficult place to have an interesting weekend in.

However, living there is another thing entirely. And it doesn’t really reveal itself until you’ve been there about six months or so and know your way around town. I understand people being skeptical, but Houston is a very fine place to live.

Anyways since I spent almost 4 years in Houston, and I hadn’t been back since 2008, so it felt like a good time to go see some friends, eat some real Tex-Mex and barbecue!

Here’s barbecue #1 – right off the plane to Goode Company on Kirby Drive.

California Visit 2013

That’s chopped brisket (brisket is the key to Texas barbecue. I know some purists don’t like the Goode Company sauce, but I think its really quite good), sausage, German style coleslaw, Jalapeno bread and buried under the bread is potato salad. Really hit the spot after 5 years of mediocre barbecue.

I got to stay with my dear friends Audrey and Bobby and their two daughters Sofie and Maya. Here is me and 4.5 year old Sofie watching Disney videos:

California Visit 2013

Barbecue spot #2Spring Creek Barbecue – again going with my favorite of chopped brisket, sausage, with green beans, mac and cheese and super fresh baked bread!

California Visit 2013

I met up with some former colleagues at Ninfa’s Tex Mex restaurant. Purportedly the inventor of the fajitas, you need to be careful in Houston because Ninfa’s is a huge chain – and almost uniformly bland. However, the original restaurant still pumps out quality Tex Mex. Here’s the signature fajita plate and my friends from my work.

California Visit 2013

Sarah, Andrew, Shima, Korn and Marc (me in the middle)
California Visit 2013

Unfortunately my time in Texas was short, but I had time to meet up with my good friend (and local celebrity!) ABC-13’s Miya Shay! Not a lot of soul food restaurants in China (or Asia, really) – so we went to the Breakfast Klub for a good soul breakfast. A long line but short wait later, I had the sausage and grits.

Texas Visit 2013

Here’s the line

Texas Visit 2013

Up next – the Pacific Northwest

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