Thursday, February 18, 2016

Hoodadak Korean Fried Chicken

1645 Winding Hollow Drive @ S. Mason Road, Katy

So we've all heard Bonchon Korean Fried Chicken is coming to Katy this spring (and later, hopefully, to more of the Metro area).  But there already is a Korean Fried Chicken place in Katy - Hoodadak.

We found out about it on Hungry Onion and my friend Lambowner went out to get her first taste.  She came back with a very positive review so I had to make the trek, too.

I got the same order she did but I didn't get the complimentary pickled radish and I found the special lunch combo with just 4 wings not quite enough.

The chicken is extra crispy, the fries are excellent.  A special dipping sauce is offered for the fries and there's Heinz Sriracha Ketchup on the tables.  Extra napkins were forthcoming upon request immediately (very necessary).  There are five flavors for the fried chicken to choose from in all; I'll refrain from picking a favorite since I've tried only one.

Hoodadak is a small sitdown restaurant with table service.  The room seats only about 45 or 50 at 2 tops and 4 tops plus 3 mostly enclosed cubicle-like booths and a bar.  Missing from Lambowner's picture of the interior in her report are the bottles of wine and sake lined up at the right side of the bar, next to the register monitor; they got their license and will sell bottled and tap beers plus wine, sake and soju.  Just remember the chicken is twice-fried and not until you order it, so it does take some time

I thought Katy was Katyzuela but let the Korean fried chicken wars in Katy begin!

Hoodadak Facebook, with a link to the menu

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Mediterranean and Arabic Kitchen

5930 Bellaire @ Mullins



I had noticed this new truck several times, right across from Honduras Maya Grill, and today was the day to stop and try it out.  I thought I would go blind standing next to the gleaming white and silver truck, trying to read the menu card in the brilliant afternoon sun, but I squinted my way through and made the choice of a Saj Sharwarma.


A saj is a domed grill, like a large overturned wok, used to bake thin flatbreads like markook and a bread itself called saj, which is thicker than markook and thinner than a pita.  That is presumably why this is called a Saj Sharwarma and I don't know that it differs in any other way from the Chicken Shawarma on the menu.  I got it with a spicy sauce added and it was a very wonderfully aromatic sandwich.  Some pieces of the chicken sliced off the spit were well done to the point of having charred tips but most were not overdone and the addition of the thin sauce made for a very drippy and tasty sandwich.   There was also lettuce, tomato and mild Middle Eastern pickles as condiments and the sandwich was griddled very briefly in a press and heated through before being wrapped and sliced for presentation.

The menu includes dishes labeled as Saudi, Jordanian and Iraqi plus there is Kushari, which is Egyptian.  Not all dishes are available every day - they couldn't serve the Arabic Mixed Salad this day - and I was advised it's necessary to call in advance for some dishes.  It would truly be amazing if the kitchen on this truck could turn out all of these dishes everyday.

As much as I loathe having to get up and go out for breakfast, I'm very tempted to make my next visit on a weekend, to try some of the special breakfasts offered.



Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Halal Food Al-Arabi

Almeda @ Hepburn (between OST and 610), in the parking lot of a Texaco station

I'd seen this little truck several times when headed down Almeda, about a mile south of the intersection with OST where Gyro King and Abou Omar's halal stands hold forth, but it had never been open.  It turns out it's open only in the evening.  The sign on the side says Mediterranean Food, on the back one proclaims Halal Food, but shields on the hood and one of the cabinets on the rear give the Al-Arabi name.

I wanted to try the Koftah Halabi pictured but it's not available.  In fact, none of the dishes pictured on the side of the truck are served anymore, only sandwiches/wraps made with either chicken or lamb.  I think it's a very small menu.

I got what was called an Iraqi Kabob - lamb (gyro meat), freshly grilled, with grilled white onion and tomato, mixed salad greens including lettuce, red onion and more tomato I think, dressed with tahini sauce and a hot sauce that provided a pleasant heat, wrapped up in a 9" pita.  It was a good sandwich, really hit the spot.  I wish the truck was closer to me as I don't get over that way very often.

One of the other sauces visible in the window is just ketchup I understand; the fourth one I didn't inquire about.