Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Phamily Bites

Bo Luc Lac - 'Shaken Beef' - also nicknamed the Vindicator I think. Filet Mignon, marinated red onions, grilled jalapeno, watercress, Vietnamese mayonnaise on a baguette.

Green Seed Vegan

Dirty Burque - vegan pattie, New Mexico green chillies, arugula, avocado, cilantro, tomato, onion, mayo and mustard on a whole wheat bun.

Supermercado Teloloapan #s 7 & 9

5330 Chimney Rock just south of Westpark and 9908 Beechnut Suite E, just inside BW 8

I first wandered in to Supermercado Teloloapan # 9 on a whim. I was headed to Restaurant Dona Tere in the same shopping center and decided at the last minute I wanted to just grab something and go. It’s a new and rather small supermercado with a shiny taqueria area with stand-up stainless steel eating counters. There was no menu posted but the lady pointed to the various meats. I took the best looking one, a chuleta plate, basically a Mexican version of smothered pork chops with tomato, onion, peppers and chiles. It was very good. The beans (pintos?) were also very good, prepared very simply. I usually dread seeing Mexican rice on a plate because it’s so often dry and flavorless but this was very moist and full of flavor.

Given my current calorie counting regimen (and shrinking appetite) this was almost enough for two meals. After putting the leftovers away I was stuffing the bag in the trash and noticed the listings of the other 8 locations of the chain and the words ‘cabrito estilo Guerrero fines de semana.’ This I had to check out.

Teloloapan is a municipality in the Tierra Caliente region of Guerrero I found out but I was unable to find anything about how cabrito is done there except one reference on mexicodirect.com to ‘barbacoa - barbecued goat.’ It would take me four more visits to this location (the newest one) and the older one on Chimney Rock before I ever got to try the cabrito.

In the meantime, I had some so-so al pastor and good carnitas at the Chimney Rock location and disappointing carnitas at the Beechnut store. I never again got beans like those pictured. At the Chimney Rock store the beans are not just mashed or pureed, they’re liquified and runny and quite oily sometimes. The rice served there is arroz con vegetales, sometimes plain white rice sometimes Mexican rice, good either way.

Finally I hit them on a Saturday though the girl had to point out the cabrito for me as it didn’t look like what I expected. In fact it looked rather like chili except for the size of the chunks of meat. This, like the chuleta, smelled great on the way home. It was apparent both aromatically and visually the meat had been charred before being stewed and it was falling apart tender and pretty good - there’s a little ancho in there but not much. It wasn’t quite as interesting as I had hoped.

On my last visit to the Chimney Rock store I also saw some other interesting offerings - two shrimp dishes, one wrapped in bacon, fried fish filets and whole fish, probably both tilapia, and machitos according to the girl. The Wiki article says these are intestines of ‘various farm animals.’ I’ll have to try those, too.

Edit: I missed the Rodeo Parade Saturday morning but was watching the rerun on 13 Sunday night and saw a Supermercado Teloloapan float coming down the street. The announcer said something about them having the most flavorful fajitas in town. Now I know that copy is bought and paid for but I'll have to try them I guess. As I recall they looked pretty good.

Supermercado Teloloapan
, in Spanish

Bernie's Burger Bus

I'm not a fan of the current fashion in burgers, so stacked up with condiments and toppings and looking like you'll need 3 hands to pick them up. Fortunately, Bernie's offers some miniburgers that are just the ticket for me.

This is the Pre-Schooler - 3 oz. of Black Angus, mustard, ketchup, Texas cheddar and a bread and butter pickle on a locally baked bun. Bernie's makes all their own condiments and the standouts on this are the ketchup and pickle. The buns are made to hold up to the very juicy full-sized burgers and are a little too chewy, perhaps, for these smaller bites.

The Rolling Hunger

Korean - Vietnamese sandwich - Banh Mi.

Fusion Quesadilla. These three pics taken at the Haute Wheels Houston event in May, 2011.

Rolling Taco - Korean BBQ Pork, Korean slaw, pico de gallo, truffle fries, yum yum sauce.

Truffle Fries with Yum Yum Sauce

The Rolling Hunger

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Kasper's Meat Market

119 E. Post Office Street, Weimar, Texas

Back a couple of years ago when I was posting on one of the discussion boards about my interest in Texas sausage makers, I got a lot of suggestions for ones to check out. One good suggestion was Kasper’s in Weimar.

I’d been to Weimar before, on old US 90 just before Schulenburg, and didn't remember any meat market, but when I got around to looking into it I found Kasper’s has some very loyal fans.

Kasper’s has been in business since 1917. E. Post Office Street (which runs parallel to US 90 a block north) is also dubbed Old Sausage Avenue in honor of the town’s most famous business. Stepping inside the door is a trip back in time; the interior is time worn. there are ancient fixtures and some newer ‘country’ accouterments; the walls are lined with ancient clippings and photographs, including a framed picture of the La Grange Chicken Ranch and many of the town’s athletic heroes. Just across the meat cases which completely divide the room is the work area, giving me the feeling of being the closest I’ve ever been to being in a slaughterhouse.

I tried the ‘famous’ Weimar sausage, a beef and pork combination with natural casing. On my first visit I also picked up a jalapeno version of the same, a dry version of the same, and some of the wieners.

The sausage is unsmoked, mildly seasoned and excellent. It’s quite different in seasoning from most Texas sausages I’ve sampled and it goes right up to the very top echelon of my favorite sausages from Texas sausage makers. I was really kind of surprised I liked such a mildly seasoned sausage so much but the taste buds don’t lie.

The dry sausage likewise is excellent and is likely to replace the similar product from Patek’s Shiner Smokehouse as my favorite dry sausage. The natural casing beef and pork wieners already have done so, eclipsing the all beef but skinless Shiner Dogs from Patek’s.

One post online says that Kasper’s uses casings that have not been soaked in salt so don’t get tough when cooked. They give an excellent, slight snap when bitten into or cut.

The Wiki article on Weimar says that people flock to Kasper’s on Saturday for barbecue. Not wanting to be left out of all the fun, I made sure to schedule a trip through the area on a Saturday. I arrived just after 1 PM; there was only one parking space left on the entire block but upon entering I could neither smell nor see any barbecue being served. What I did observe was people lined up 3 and 4 deep all across the front of the meat cases, placing big orders for meats or waiting for their orders to be taken. Like what I've witnessed at Vincek’s in nearby East Bernard, Weimarians must be big meat eaters and I can imagine the meat departments of the 2 local grocery stores I saw might get pretty lonely.

I had seen a sign at a service station at the exit off I-10 (Chevron? Mobil?) that they carried Kasper’s sausages so I just headed over there to stock up on some of the ones I was familiar with but they had only a few samples of jerky; most of what the store had in its meat case was from Prasek’s in Hillje, about 40 miles south. Prasek’s is available all over this region and even in some supermarkets in Houston and I’ve had it before , though it’s been a couple of years; I think Kasper’s is better.

On yet another trip through the area I picked up more of the basic product and some more of the dried sausage, plus the liver sausage, which is excellent, like all the others I’ve tried. (I haven’t tried their boudin). One of these trips I’m also going to buy a roast or some steaks and see what their fresh meats are like.

Another fan of Kasper’s has posted a photo of the menu on the wall which also shows just a glimpse of some of the furnishings.


Side trip: the day there was no barbecue I needed something to eat. Rather than heading back to Schulenburg 10 miles away I went back into town and stopped at Franklin Fried Chicken, on W. Main, close to the high school, an old fashioned, small town chicken shack.

The very nice lady at the window admitted the potato salad is store bought but the slaw is home made. The potato salad was only so-so; the slaw was good, except for the texture - it was all finely minced and I like the cabbage in a larger shred or dice.

The chicken was not bad; I’d stop here again rather than try to find one of the chain outlets in Schulenburg or Columbus. The most amazing thing was the thigh meat which was darker than any thigh meat I’ve seen in a long time. Chickens are slaughtered so young these days their meat develops little flavor and it’s sometimes hard to tell the difference between breast meat and thigh meat just based on color or taste. This was very good.

There’s was also a Bob’s Cookshack on W. Main that was open, serving barbecue and other items, another place to eat in beautiful downtown Weimar.