Cane Rosso (Heights)

So I happen to read an article about the best pizzas in Houston, Napoletana style and not...and all the pizzas they listed I would have to agree with.  They did list Cane Rosso as well, so of course I had to go try for myself.  It's pretty casual dining.  As I am now with child, we have to consider family friendliness, so on that front, CR checked out fine.  On food, it was hard to pick, so many options!  We decided to get "THE JOAN MARIE" pepperoni, housemade mozzarella, goat cheese, roasted jalapeno pesto $16 and I always have to get a Margherita, $13, to compare.  They were both good, texture, taste, but I really didn't think the Joan Marie was that much more tastier than the Margherita, but I'm not complaining.  We also got the CAPRA salad, field greens, crispy pancetta, dried cherries, toasted pecans, grape tomatoes, goat cheese, balsamic, $7.  I have to say, this salad was really good and we got the small one, which was big enough for the 2 of us, but we're big salad eaters, so I think we could have gotten the $12 portion, which our server says feeds 4 people.  And it was better than what I have had at Pizaro's.  We definitely liked our experience, I think we'll revisit here before we go back to Pizaro's, for that salad!

Steel City Pops (Heights)

With all the hub bub, I had to try! I visited twice since my first visit, once with my girlfriend Jennifer and the second time with the husband and kiddo. The pops are $3 and so far I have tried the Mango, Coconut, Avocado and Strawberry Lemonade. All pretty good, the Coconut is the best of the creamy pops, the Strawberry Lemonade for the fruity pops. Fun place!

Republic Diner + Sojubang (Heights)

It's always nice to have a Korean restaurant nearby...my personal biased opinion.  This new place took over the former Witchcraft bar and same owner as Lola's Diner.  I think I heard he was Korean too.  Kind of excited but also don't want to get my hopes up about the food, diving in...

Location isn't bad, close so that's good.  Our server was great and we ordered several things...the veggie pancake for appetizer, the galbi (beef) dish with rice, and the kimchi fried rice.  I liked the veggie pancake, the beef dish was tasty but a bit too fatty and greasy tasting and the kimchi fried rice just didn't have the right flavors, and it was a bit too saucy.  The side dishes were not tasty at all.  The flavors were off.  This one traditional black bean side dish, literally had like 7 or 8 little beans in the dish.  A little underwhelming.  They also charge for a refill on the side dishes, but I can understand that.  In a traditional Korean restaurant the patrons usually don't really abuse the "service" of freebies or side dishes...whereas an American crowd may? ...so I can understand, but I still don't like it if I'm used to freebies and now I have to pay for a refill?  But, that's just me being a Korean patron.  Overall, it was an ok experience, maybe I'll try again with my family and see if they want to add it to the rotation for the convenience of the location.

Breakfast at Revival Market

Well now...people...did you think I went missing?  I guess I sort of did.  You know how the holidays come bombarding you with to-do lists!  I'm finally done with those lists and now ready for some smooth sailing into the new year!  The last 2 weeks of December always feel so unstable to me.  Nothing is consistent, the days, the work hours, the obligations, events, parties, get-togethers, the family...  It's bitter sweet...hectic, but it's festive and fun.  It's my favorite time of year.  You love it, but you're also sad it's all going to be gone soon.  So as part of my inconsistent days, this morning we decide to go to Revival Market for breakfast.  It was disappointing to see their breakfast ends at 11am.  However, they do have a few all day breakfast items, this picture above being one of them.  I ordered the Traditional Breakfast, $12, which includes 2 farm style eggs, bacon or sausage, and a piece of toast.  We subbed ours with a biscuit which was nice of them to allow.  When my breakfast arrived, the eggs came sunny side up.  I don't eat eggs sunny side up and then realized our server never asked me or matt and ethan how we wanted our eggs.  None of us eat our eggs sunny side up, but that's how we got them.  They were accommodating enough to send mine back to scramble.  They should ask though...

The sausage was really good, the biscuit was really good, but I wish...wish they would keep breakfast open longer.  The full breakfast menu.  It's a small place and it would be nice if they offered that...especially since their restricted breakfast menu looks really good.  Or at least on Saturday and Sunday have breakfast a little longer.  Overall, we enjoyed our meals, just that one wish and it would be the perfect weekend place.

*the picture above is without the eggs since they sent them back to scramble them.

Trying the Newly Opened Lee's Fried Chicken & Donuts (Heights)

Well, it's about what you think...just fried chicken and donuts.  A little odd of a combination, but hey...there must be something to it or else they wouldn't be doing it.  They do have a Kale Salad on the menu...I wonder how many people are ordering that.  

The place is brand spanking new, first day opened...and we get there at 730pm and they're open till about 10pm or as they said, when their fried chicken is sold out.  We order the combo #3, which includes 2 breast, 2 thighs, 2 wings, 2 drumsticks.  Of course we ordered some donuts, we're not party poopers.  We got 3 glazed, 2 jelly, and as suggested the bacon and praline.  I'm not sure what Matt was thinking with the jelly donut, but who am I judge...I'm all about nostalgic experiences.  I eat mash potatoes with white gravy and a white roll strictly for the nostalgic reasons.  

The fried chicken has to be the best fried chicken I've had since the whole fried chicken movement.  It's super tasty, crispy, flavorful!  We all agreed the fried chicken was really good.  I have to tell you, just thinking about it is making me crave it!  And surprisingly the doughnuts were really good too!  I liked the glazed doughnut the best.  I find it's hard for doughnut shops to get the glaze to dough ratio right.  Shipley's does it right and Krispy Kreme does it right, other than that...most fall short, incudling, in my opinion Dunkin Donuts.  Anyways, I was pretty impressed.  However, the two they high suggsted, apple fritters, which I didn't get to try, sold out, they said were their most popular item.  She also suggested the praline bacon, which I thought was a little too sweet and way to much on it.  I'm a big fan of mixing bacon with the unexpected, but for me and Matt this one wasn't that great.  However, the 14 year old did like it. I took a bite of their jelly doughnuts and did not like it.  We also got the potato salad and coleslaw, which I thought were also both good...we were all on the same page, Lee's gets 3 thumbs up!  Definitely worth the try!  

Pho Binh (Heights)

Well now...Vietnamese food hits the Heights!  Is it good, is it not, is it going to make it...well, that's what I came to find out!  They've been 1 week opened...and me and Matt both are with somewhat low expectations, open, but a little apprehensive.  As I'm looking to see what their hours are, I do find out there are several Pho Binhs in Houston.  The manager says third one, and he's Vietnamese and so are most of the employees.  Good sign.  There are servers that are not, but that's ok, it still feels authentic.

I ordered Pho Ga, Matt ordered the Pho Tai and we also ordered Vietnamese egg rolls and the Vietnamese coffee.  The coffee came out first, it wasn't bad.  Not the best I've had.  It was quite a hefty serving in a plastic bubble tea-like cup.  Good ice.  Our Pho comes out and yes...it's good!  The temperature was great, hot!  The taste was good too!  We both liked it.  We did notice they brought us both our own individual plate of greens, which is different.  We noticed they were kind of limpy.  The lime slice was teeny tiny.  I happened to notice there was a big portion of noodles in my soup and when the manager came by to check up on us, I told him about it and he said that there was someone that came in the week before that complained there weren't enough noodles.  I asked him if they were non-Asian and he said yes.  Well, what they don't get is you're not suppose to have too much noodles because it expands and overtakes the soup!  Anyways, we got a laugh about that.  

Just like an authentic Vietnamese restaurant, where nothing comes in order, our egg rolls come at the end of our meal.  The rolls were ok, again not the best we've had.  We did also notice they brought us one piece of lettuce leaf with the egg rolls.  I guess they didn't think we would use it...so we had to ask for more and our server came out with a plate with one more leaf...haha!  We got a laugh out of that too.  Also, I don't know if they were having ac issues or it's normally like that, but it was hot in there too.  But, all in all, we liked it and it will probably be our go to pho spot, simce it's much closer than Simply Pho.  They seem like they're ironing out some kinks, but we liked the pho and that's what really matters the most...and they seem to care.  Good job on the grand opening.

Hugs & Donuts


Small place.  Long line.  The wait is nothing in comparison to how long we've all been waiting for this place to open!  We came by yesterday just after lunch and they were sold out and closed.  Today we made sure to show up early, however it did cost us going to our class at church.  The things I do to bring you all information!  

I ordered 6 glaze donuts, 1 coconut lime, 1 lemon meringue, and a dozen of cake holes.  In the car, on the way home, I tried the cake holes and they were definitely different and they were tasty.  Not too thick, but definitely more cakey than I'm used to.  Not too glazed or sweet, but overall texture and taste was great.  So far so good.  The glazed donuts were actually a little disappointing.  I guess waiting all this time, I had done a lot of following of their progress on Facebook.  I thought they were going to be closer to Krispy Kreme quality and taste than any old donut shop.  Unfortunately, that was my take and Matt thought they weren't even as good as Shipleys.  On another note, I had these new doughnuts from Shipleys, they were the yeast one, and oh my gosh they were good.  I usually never go back for seconds, but I had 2 of them!  If we weren't out in public I might have even gotten a third!  

Ok so back to Hugs & Donuts doughnuts...I tried the coconut lime, it's ok.  The lemon meringue also ok, better than the coconut lime, but it's probably just because there was more umph to it because of the filling.  The coconut lime was just a little bland.  So overall, a bit disappointed, but not a bad place to go for just some regular old doughnuts.

The Chicken Ranch (Heights)

Ok, I lied.  I said I was done with my mission to try the best fried chicken, but after hearing about this new fried chicken joint called The Chicken Ranch, I was sucked back in.  I have not been into fried chicken since I was a child.  So, it's been awhile and there is no love lost, but still, I don't mind trying some amazing fried chicken, you know, for old-times sake.  

There's quite the hype for this small fried chicken joint.  I haven't really read any actual reviews, but lately in the last week, I have seen a lot articles, highlights, etc.  So, I make it a plan to visit today with my family, but due to work schedules, am only able to take my stepson.  He's on board with it, what 13 year old doesn't like fried chicken?  It's in the north part of the Heights.  Limited parking spots.  It looks exactly the way the photos portray it.  No frills, no pizzazz.  You come here just for some good ol fried chicken, not for the atmosphere or presentation.  

We put in our order for the Dolly Special (2 chicken breast), $10, some mac n cheese, mash potatoes, creamed corn and the okra & tomatoes.  Observing the kitchen, it's  four guys, one handling the orders and check out, one battering the chicken and dipping in a flour and a liquid concoction, one at the fryer, and one helping to put the orders together for customer pick up.  The staff is nice enough, and my curiosity is growing more and more.  We finally get our order and dig in!  Ethan takes the first bite of chicken and I ask him how it is and he says, "it's crispy".  I ask, "crispy is good, right?", he says, "it's really crispy".  I try it for myself and I think the crispiness is really nice.  I'll be honest, it's not as good as I was hoping, but it's better than most of the chicken I have tried in the last few months.  He liked the mac n cheese.  I thought the mash potatoes tasted like real potatoes, which was nice and the creamed corn was pretty good.  The okra & tomatoes weren't bad.  Overall, a decent meal.  I ask Ethan what his rating was, he said 3.5, which is higher than his rating for Birdhouse.  I give it a 3.5 as well.  Nice, decent  joint for some crispy fried chicken.  This time I think I am officially good with my fried chicken mission.  

Fluff Bake Bar (Heights)

First and foremost, let's talk location, where it is.  In case you're like me and don't know anything about Fluff Bake Bar and use google maps...and then end up driving around in circles...it's inside Revival Market off of White Oak and Heights!

I let the gal behind the counter choose the best stuff and she loaded me up!  I could not keep up with the names, as you can see, I really did load up.  But, I will describe my favorites.  This cake-like dessert in this short plastic container was divine!  So many different things going on, tastes, textures, delish!  Also, my favorite cookie was this one to the top right (pictures on my blog).  I have no idea what it was but it tasted like it had toffee, lightly sweet, somewhat sticky, yum yum yum!  I also really loved the lemon tart pound cake!  The others were all great too, but these were my standouts!  Definitely a good spot for yous with a sweet tooth, like me!

Funky Chicken (Washington/Heights)

Same owner as BFD, Bradley's Fine Diner of the Bradley Ogden group.  I'm expecting the food to be good.  We ordered the family meal and the fried chicken was actually not bad, pretty tasty.  However, the rest of the items we got were just ok.  We got the mac & cheese and coleslaw and biscuits.  Staff was very friendly and helpful, atmosphere nice.  Overall, not bad, but not great.

Dinner at DownHouse

I love everything I have had at Downhouse so when I was craving a burger I decided I wanted to go to Downhouse! It's my first dinner at Downhouse and at our server's suggestion I got the Kimchi burger. I thought it was pretty good, but my only complaint was the kimchi. You know being Korean, I'm going to be picky about kimchi. The average person wouldn't care, but to me the kimchi had way too much ginger, which isn't usually used in kimchi, so that was very distracting to me. If it wasn't ginger, whatever it was, was very overpowering. The one thing in the world that my mom hates is ginger, but she absolutely loves kimchi so she would not have approved. But, overall the burger was great, it was just that kimchi was a tad strong, but Matt liked it a lot. He didn't like his dish so much, Curry Fish & Chips. Ethan did like his fried chicken.

I am never disappointed with DownHouse!

Downhouse (Heights)

This is not exactly my first time here, but it actually is.  I've had food catered from Downhouse and have walked in once when they first opened, but I'm pretty sure Downhouse has evolved since then.  I just don't remember it being as attractive inside as it is now.  I think more lights have been added or something, but whatever it was, the place looks really great!  I love it's rugged, vintage, rich textures, very nice interior.

I order the stuffed French toast with a side of egg whites, scrambled.  Matt ordered the breakfast tacos and grits.  We both really liked and enjoyed our meals.  I think I ate more of Matt's food than he did.  His grits were so good.  I did not know grits were made of corn, and these grits, you could taste bits of corn, it had so much substance to it, I loved it!  My French toast was good, I think I could have skipped the apple sauce on my French toast.  I did like the pear in the sauce though.  The problem with a lot of breakfast places is that the food is too oily.    My eggs did not feel greasy and there was no oil on the plate at all.  I thought the quality of food was great.  I really loved everything, even our server.  Downhouse will definitely be on the list of regular places to go!

Boomtown Coffee (Heights)

I would guess Boomtown has been around, not too long, not too recent.  On walking in, I found myself not really loving it.  It also smelled like people had smoked in there at one time, but that can't be because it has been around, not too long.

The guys at the counter are really nice.  I order the "Clean Sweets" cookies and they are both really awesome!  They both tasted, surprisingly good.  I say surprising because they don't look very tasty, but they were!  They weren't too sweet, but had substance and good texture.  On drink, I was planning to order a soy latte but saw the "Salted Caramel", and that's what I got.  It was good, but wasn't over the top.  I was expecting it to be a lot sweeter, but it wasn't, and I liked that.  Also, when they draw the little art on the latte, I unconsciously think it's a better latte, thus a better coffee house.  For one, I don't think you can do the art drawing if the foam isn't the correct kind of foam.  It usually does taste better too.  I have found most baristas at the more commercial coffee houses do not know how to make good foam.  But, Boomtown makes really good foam.

Everybody in there is there to do whatever they came to do.  It didn't feel like a people watching place, which is nice.  It took a little bit, but I liked it and it's right around the corner from my office, which will be a nice place to go when I need to work but want to be out of the office.  It's a nice alternative to Antidote.

Coltivare Pizza & Garden (Heights)

Hearing about it more and more recently...this farm to table restaurant, Coltivare Pizza & Garden, was on the destination list for tonight's date night.  We arrive and it's a 1.5-2 hour wait, they do not take reservations.  We sit at the bar and between the two of us we had a glass of wine, 3 blonde bombshells, and a Lilly Langtry.  Apparently, they just got their liquor license so they are still very limited on the wine and beer, only had 2 beer options.  I'm a light weight, so they said the further down you go on the crafted drinks list, the more boozy...so I got the first thing, Lilly Langtry, which was just the right drink for me!  It was tangy, sweet, not too strong, just perfect!

Our bartender was owner, Morgan Weber.  I asked him what he recommended, he recommended the below appetizers.  After he made his recommendations, I asked if he has good taste, or was his taste unique.  He said, he thinks his taste is good, haha.  I don't think he knew I knew who he was.   He recommended the cauliflower and the Bycatch Baccia, which were amazing!  BB was light and tangy, with some hints of nuttiness, very good.  The cauliflower appetizer to me tasted somewhat similarly to Uchi's brussels sprouts appetizer, but with Uchi it's almost too saucy.  This cauliflower dish had the right level of sauce, sweetness, and tang.  I think it's better than Uchi's brussels sprouts, and that's saying a lot.

So we finally get seated, our main meal we had the butternut salad, pepperoni & yukon potato pizza, which are Morgan's favorites.  All so excellent!  The butternut salad, recommended by our server Laney, was tangy, crispy, so good!  Great recommendation!  The pizzas, I'm not really sure because by this point I started to go into a full force allergic reaction to the amount of alcohol I had, which I really hadn't had a lot.  Disclaimer, I have very low tolerance, but the Lilly Langtry was soooo good, I couldn't pace myself.  I thought the textures of the pizzas were good, the crust was so crispy.  I saved some pizza so I could try again later, but my dining partner thought both were really good. We asked our server, Laney, to surprise us on the dessert and she brought out the pear crostata with a salted something gelato, which I could barely taste.  I did sense a salty, sweet, and butteriness.  I was very pleased with my entire dining experience, except the 2 hour wait.  I thought the atmosphere, food, heart of the restaurant were so excellent.  And for everything we ordered, our bill came out to $100, which I thought was so reasonable.  Excellent experience, I definitely sense the love in the food, drinks, the whole restaurant, actually.  Fabulous experience!

Heights General Store (19th St)

I was very excited to visit, it's a great place, food was great, one of the best chocolate chip cookies I've ever had, and the staff was great!  Tip, do go upstairs.  There is a full restaurant, outdoor patio, and bar!