Wednesday, September 9, 2015

labor day is for buffets

Three day weekends are pretty much the best. We didn't make plans for this one (because we leave for California in less than two weeks!), but it was still great and full of lots of food. Because why wouldn't it be?

On Friday, I got off work early and went to Good Dog Houston with a few friends. I had just gone there thirteen days before and living in a city with so much good food, I rarely go to the same place twice in two weeks, but after my friend saw my caphin cajeta shake, she had to go and who was I to make her go alone? This time, I tried the Ol' Zapata - a hot dog topped with bacon, muenster cheese, caramelized onions, jalapeƱo relish, tomato, ketchup, and mayo. It was great! I'm a little wary of jalapeƱos as I have become a bit of a spice wimp lately, but this was just enough spice to make me want a drink of water every few bites. The textures, from the tomato chunks to the crispy bacon to the melty cheese, also made me love the dish. Instead of a shake, I went for fries this time. They were crispy - just the way I like them - and the housemade ketchup and aioli for dipping made the fries more than worth it. I went home full and happy.

I think it's safe to say that the relish tastes better than it looks in this pic.

On Saturday, Revival Market did their much-adored (in my house, at least) kolaches. One of the flavors was fig and ricotta and since I'm crazy for all things fig lately, I really wanted them, but not badly enough to go and get them. Luckily, Andrew did want them that badly so he got them while I slept. What a good husband. I proceeded to photograph them from every angle when he got home since I need some DSLR practice (I think I mostly understand aperture priority mode now, woo hoo).

(Please tell me these look better than an iPhone pic? At least a little?) | the pale one is the pear and the dark one is the fig.

We had plans that afternoon to meet with some of Andrew's barbecue friends at a bar where a trailer is normally parked. Normally I make him go to eat barbecue all by himself, but I was actually excited for this Saturday because my BBQ-wife friend Amber was visiting Houston with her husband so I had someone to talk to. I wasn't all that hungry so I just had an order of loaded mac and cheese. I liked the peppery bark of the brisket with the mac and cheese (which would have been great on its own), but the sauce was too tomato-y for me. Amber and her husband still had some time before they needed to get to a friend's house later in the day, so the four of us went to Common Bond for a snack (and mostly for AC). We introduced them to baked good amazingness. Andrew and I shared a frangelico chocolate cake, which was delicious, and a chocolate hazelnut brioche, which was good but absolutely bursting with nutella. I love nutella, and it was too much of a good thing. We sat at the coffee bar and the baristas ended up with an extra cappucino, which I gladly took off their hands. The four of us sat and chatted for over an hour and already started a list for more things to eat together next time they're in Houston.

Loaded mac and cheese (there was plenty of pasta under that, I promise) | pretty and tasty cappuccino | our Common Bond treats. I would be bummed about the nutella explosion but I maybe just went there last weekend so I can't be too upset.

My husband is a huge football fan. He loves the New York Giants and joins multiple fantasy football leagues every year, so needless to say, Sundays during football season are sacred to him. That means that we can't really go to brunch, or if we do, we have to go so early to be home by noon that one can't enjoy her mimosas without feeling like a total lush. So, two years ago, we started a "bye-bye to brunch" brunch on the Sunday of Labor Day weekend. We've gone to our favorite brunch buffet, Hugo's, each year, and pigged out so I can ignore my brunch urge a little bit easier all football season long. Hugo's is a traditional Mexican place with the best guacamole and a vat of Mexican hot chocolate, just to name a few of my favorites. The meal was fantastic, as always. I especially loved an unexpected lentil salad with radishes, red onions, and spicy cheese. There was also an avocado and peach ceviche, and while I'm weird with fish, this stuff was so good, I got seconds. I also had a cocktail with gin (which I'm oddly drawn toward lately) and muddled peaches. It was a great way to say goodbye to summer.

(Both nights for dinner, I had hummus, crackers, veggies, and some meats and cheese. Just felt like I needed to throw that out there, too.)

On Monday, I wasn't exactly hungry after a weekend's worth of great food, but of course I needed to eat. After attempting to get a lighter lunch at our favorite taco place, which was closed, we ended up at a brand new Indian place in my suburb called The Curry House. Since it was a holiday, it seemed like ordering the buffet was mandatory, which was no big deal since it was priced around the same as an entree - around $10 per person. I had really low expectations - my suburb has proven over and over that it's a dining wasteland over the past year - but I was very pleasantly surprised. I especially liked the butter chicken and the vegetable biryani. The chutney was good and there were a few other things on the menu that I wouldn't want for a full meal but definitely enjoyed for a few bites. I really hope the community supports this place and I know we'll be back.

Plate one at Hugo's including an enchilada, guacamole, ceviche, refried black beans, corn and squash blossom casserole, and more | my brunch cocktail | Andrew's plate at the Indian buffet since I didn't think to take a pic

In between all of the eating, I did a few other things too - saw my parents for a few, gave the dog a bath, did some online shopping, read, started watching Veep, and stocked up on fall scented candles at Bath & Body Works, just to name a few. If only every weekend could be this long.


  1. I wish we lived closer to go to fun food spots together! Jason has joined five fantasy teams...I think he is an idiot. That is way too much! But yes thanks to that, our Sundays are sacred as well

  2. Looks like a fun, food-filled weekend! Which are the best kinds of weekends. :)

    I wish D and I lived closer to so many great restaurants. Both Augusta and Savannah are about 1.5 hour away from us.

  3. my husband is a huge football fan as well and when the patriots are playing, he ignores all of us and doesn't let kayla in the basement LOL

  4. Is it wrong that I just keep looking at the latte art?

    I really like the looks of the loaded mac and cheese too.

    I am not usually opposed to a buffet. I like the prospect of controlling my portions and sampling a lot of things.

  5. Okay I know I've said this like 5 times before but I am SO JEALOUS of all the good food you guys have in Texas. It's not fair!

  6. I want to come visit you so we can eat all the food! I feel like I never get to eat food because Tyson just wants to make it at home.

  7. What an awesome weekend! And yes, kudos to your hubs for getting those Revival Market kolaches. I want to faceplant into the fig and ricotta one!

    I don't know how this is even possible, but I STILL have yet to go to Hugo's. I need to get there, asap. And I love the idea of a "goodbye brunch," that's so fun!

    I've been avoiding B&BW like the plague these past couple of weeks, because this is the time of year where I drop an entire paycheck on their fall scented candles. At this point I'm just avoiding the inevitable...

  8. Okay now I am hungry. There is no such things as too much Nutella!! haha!

  9. oh i am such a spice wimp lol, i can't handle jalapenos at all.
    the pics definitely look better than iphone pics! congrats. i am hoping to get a new camera soon - not a DSLR - and I don't understand aperture anything at all, lol.
    i love buffets. i wish there was such a thing as a private buffet though, so i could eat all the food and not feel judged for going back for fourths and fifths haha.

  10. Oh man. That hot dog, and the loaded mac n cheese and those pastries!!!! I really want a fig kolache! I love fig! Sounds like you had a great weekend full of delicious food and some time with friends. I love that you guys do a bye bye brunch on Labor Day weekend.Such a great way to kick off fall and football season. And a pleasant experience at a buffet is always a good thing!

  11. I did not explore food enough while I was in Houston. I'm trying not to make that same mistake in DFW.


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