Noun 1. gastronome - a person devoted to refined sensuous enjoyment (especially good food and drink)bon vivant, epicure, epicurean, foodie, gourmetsensualist - a person who enjoys sensuality. Follow me on Twitter: @Aghastronome

Friday, December 16, 2011

Breaking My Fast: Bibas KitBar

So, I told you back in October about overhearing all about the new menu, from the new owner.  And, I told you it sounded de-luscious and country and I gotta go get me some of that.  Well, I did so, twice.  The old "Bibas" is now "Bibas KitBar" and I am not a fan of the new name.  Partially, on account of the failure to shed the "Bibas" part.  It seems less like a whole new venture and more like the old one is trying to reinvent itself but, is scared to cut the apron strings completely.  What the hell is a kitbar? From the Urban Dictionary:  A douchebag, a whore, also used when talking about backstabbing, nasty boyfriend stealing bitches.  Hey, it's the only definition or explanation of a kit bar I could locate.  Gastropub, I can reasonably infer what that is.  Kitbar, I cannot get past infant fox place to drink, and that makes zero sense.

 A group of us likes to drink across the street, we note the cars, or lack thereof.  We wonder why people, in large groups are leaving the hair salon, which has had the lights off for a couple hours.  These conversations occur because we're betting whether or not they are customers.  They mostly are not.  I have only had breakfast on both occasions, so I cannot speak to the rest of the menu.  Also, I'm not repeating hearsay, this ain't yelp, so who cares what my friends have to allow about their experiences.  I may, you don't.

Breakfast on the first trip:  I ordered the country benedict and my dining companion ordered an omelet with ham, onion, cheese, mushroom and tomato.  Choice of potatoes?  Crispy homestyle was chosen over the country potatoes.  A plate lands in front of me and it's amiss.  Then, I am told "oh, we forgot your crab"....for the country benedict?  It's supposed to be one biscuit, divided, each half topped with a pork chop, poached egg, country gravy and cheddar.  What I got was a new creation, entirely.  English muffin, pork chop, egg and etouffee, with a belated thing of crabmeat.  I did have a bite, as I was starving and they were remaking my order - it was weird.  The omelet my companion had was a fat stuffed cheesy thing, with country potatoes, which were not the ones ordered.  My order comes out correct, wrong potatoes.  Delicious potatoes, but, not what I ordered.  The country benedict, done right was pretty good, but the gravy was "off" it was lackluster and thin.

Breakfast on the second trip:  I ordered the omelet just like my dining companion got the first time and my friend ordered two eggs sunny that came with black beans.  To be completely honest, I forgot what he ordered because I was focused on my order.  The omelet - not fat and stuffed but thin and meager. The ham was a tiny dice and about as prevalent as hens teeth, as were the rest of the ingredients.  I think a teaspoon each went into that omelet, the cheese on top was plentiful.  The potatoes...wrong again.  The sunny eggs my friend got had runny whites (but, I find no one cooks a medium egg properly, so you have to go sunny and hope for the best) and the beans were denounced as mediocre at best.

I will go a third time, mostly because I am dying to see if the elusive crispy breakfast potato side exists, or if it is a freaking misprint.  Overall, with breakfasts running around $8-$9 and with the West Gray Cafe down the street doing the same, better for less get the picture.  The third time will be the charm, I'll either decide to go regularly or go not at all unless someone else insists.

Shut: Souper Salad in River Oaks

I was just having a nice cell phone conversation with a dear friend, about anything but food.  Apparently, he was driving for a late lunch, as he advised me that the above referenced establishment and location is closed.  They have a "Thanks for the business" sign up.  I did my best to find him another salad bar, that might also sport soup and some cornbread, to no avail.  As we began to lament the sheer lack of salad bars (I guess they are scarce and perhaps passe - but, I love being able to make my own salad with spinach, canned beet cubes and cottage cheese and then glop some skroodle salad on the side), he said the best thing ever.  I don't think he realized it, but, he did.  And it paraphrases something like this, "How the hell, in the third largest city in America, is it that a grown man cannot find a single decent salad bar inside the loop."

 I bet he eats quiche too, on account of he's a real man, and he just wants to pile all the onions he can stand on a bed of greens and top it all with some dressing and cheese.  Me, I like the beets and green peas, myself.  I don't care if sneeze guards are so a couple decades ago - I'm with him on this, I want a salad bar, with soups and corn bread.  While you're at it, tell me where a Steak N'Ale is, I loved their french onion soup.

Food PSA: Fertitta buying Morton's Restaurant Group Inc.

So, he who likes food as much as I, and shares my complete lack of infatuation with the Landry's group and it's illustrious CEO sent me this here article this morning.  Fortunately, I'd already eaten my kolache or I would not have broken my fast yet.  So, it appears that the transaction will close in February, 2012 with Morton's selling it's soul for $6.90/share, or $117 million, which is 34% more than the shares were trading.  Take note, if you want something, you gotta pony up for it.

What this leads me to believe, if I follow my logic, is that people are flocking to these chain restaurants.  *Sigh*.  Okay, this is simple really - follow me.  "The Protester" is Time Magazine's "Person of the Year" (I am grappling with the concept, it's sorta like giving the Nobel Peace Prize to Pol Pot - and the announcement has resulted in a lot of people laying claim to being the basis for the decision).  Where was I?  Yes, here - so, effectively protesting can work (why do I have visions of Greek persons hurling rocks?).  Given that protesting doth work, and given that I'm not the only one that is not his biggest fan, if people put their money where their mouth is and eat local, we can make a difference (and I still caveat the whole shebang with my liking Vic & Anthony's and feeling dirty about it).   Or, you can keep running food down your neck from McLandry's.  Really, it is your choice, as a consumer.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

December a, 2011: National 3.14 Day (That's Pie, Fools)

Today....National Pie Day! I know, right after Thanksgiving, the holiday during which pumpkin and pecan pies are for dessert, second breakfast, high tea and a before bed snack. However, National Pie Day is a time for indulging in sweet or savory pies. So, whether it's a fast food pot pie, shepherd's pie, or apple pie - go forth and get thy pie on.

Houston Area Pie Joints

- any local diner/cafe/pub in your general vicinity
- Oh My Pocket Pies (food truck, seek 'em out)
- House of Pies
- Flying Saucer
- your local bakery, nooooo, not the grocery store chain one, the family-owned one near your residence

And many, many more.  You have a favorite crust-encased hand held place I have missed?  Yeah, I am thinking "empanada", but, that ain't pie peeps....