Southern Food

Southern food. Soul food. This is a contentious topic. The ingredients, the dishes and the way of cooking in Southern food often originate from West Africa, or from slaves or former slaves in the American South where black cooks were the ones who cooked these meals for the white families that either enslaved them or…

Mexico City

I love Mexico City. And if you haven’t been before, you should absolutely go as soon as possible. It’s a cheap, quick flight from Houston or Dallas, making it the perfect weekend trip. There are plenty of attractions – from 20th century murals to 1st century pyramids – and, of course, great food. Food ranges…

Pho Ga Dong Nai

April 30. 1975. The Fall of Saigon. Otherwise known as Reunification Day. 44 years later, I remember this day over a warm, comforting bowl of pho gà – basically, Vietnamese chicken noodle soup. This day, and the closing days of the Vietnam War, led to thousands of evacuations and Vietnamese refugees coming to the U.S. Often,…

Indigo

I hated soul food because it reminded me of poverty. – Chef Rhodes Described as “neo-soul food” and some of the “most innovative, socially aware cuisine,” Indigo is not just a great dinner, but a necessary dialogue. Jonathan “Jonny” Rhodes and his wife Chana head Restaurant Indigo. It’s located next to a bodega in Houston’s…

Crawfish & Noodles

Off Bellaire Blvd, Crawfish & Noodles sits in a parking lot with a Vietnam War memorial and a public art project called Open the Door that strives for intercultural understanding. On a Saturday night in the height of crawfish season, there was a 45 minute wait, but grab some beers and friends and it will…

Khao Noodle Shop

This is a Laotian restaurant. Yes. Laotian. You’ve probably never heard of Laotian food – or honestly may not even remember that Laos is a country. It’s a country that has been overshadowed by neighboring Thailand and Vietnam – in both politics and in cuisine. During the Vietnam Conflict, Laos was known for having as…

Afghan Village

Afghanistan is at the crossroads, and this comes across in its food, with various influences from China, India, Russia and the Middle East. Afghan Village, near Hillcroft (Little India) in Houston, is a great spot to try Afghan cuisine for the first time. I’ve included a few dishes below that I’d recommend trying. Bouranee Baunjan –…

Shanghai

A city so modern, yet historic and traditional. Steam and various smells rising from street food stalls. Skyscrapers rising out of the smog. Shanghai isn’t known as a tourist city – which is most blatantly obvious in the difference in amount of people walking around during the week compared to the weekend. There aren’t tourists…

Dim Sum

What’s it all about? Dim sum is a style of food from Cantonese China and Hong Kong. It originated in teahouses along the Silk Road, offering tea and a snack to weary travelers – giving birth to the tradition of yum cha. Yum cha today is most often used for the act of getting a group…

Al Aseel

One of my top meals in Houston. Located in the Middle Eastern strip mall on Richmond, near Westpark Tollway and 59, and right next to Cedars Bakery – another favorite Houston spot of mine – Al Aseel caters to a wide variety of clientele. It focuses on Mediterranean food, in the broadest sense. You’ve got…