Monday, December 30, 2013

Onward into the New Year

I guess it's pretty obvious my favorite cuisine these days is Indian.  This has been developing over the last several years and occasionally I manage to tell myself I'm getting pretty knowledgeable about it.  I've even bragged on this blog about the blossoming diversity of our Indian restaurant options.  Then I come across this.

I've had exactly one of these dishes for certain and while it's possible I've had a couple of others unlabeled on buffets or thalis or under slightly different names, I've never even heard of most of them.  I wonder how many are even available here.

Of course that's part of the fun of it.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Saadeddine Sweets

6126 Richmond

I stopped in at this new 'Fine Mediterranean Sweets' shop right next door to Cafe Byblos the other day.  The owner is from Lebanon but the sweets are common throughout the Middle East and originate from several countries.  I haven't had much of a sweet tooth for a many years but I do feel like splurging from time to time and I walked out with a load of goodies.

Only one item in the entire store was labeled so I peppered the owner with questions.  He was not very fluent in English and I think I overwhelmed him with all my questions and I wound up leaving without even the Arabic names of a couple of the items I bought, though I think I've been able to identify them subsequently.  The items in the lower left corner are petit fours, one with pistachio and one with coconut.  These are also available with chocolate and walnuts.  In the lower right is Halowet el Jebn, the only item in the store that was labeled.  This involves a cream wrapped in a very thin pastry; I think the cream is the Lebanese clotted cream ashta.

In the upper right is a variety of kanafeh that is rolled rather than flat and has a cream filling instead of cheese.  The two on the upper left I got no names for but I think the nest-like items are possibly varieties of borma or burma and the cake I'm pretty sure is basboosa, a sweetened semolina cake with almonds and coconut.

I also got a box of sesame cookies, undoubtedly my favorite variety of Middle Eastern cookie.  I've had these from other bakeries and they're called barazi or barazik.  Of course they have baklava, lady fingers, mamool and other familiar Middle Eastern sweets, too

So far my favorites have been the petit fours and basboosa but I haven't tried the kanafeh - I'm saving what I think will be the best for last.

There is no web presence other than on Yelp where some pictures of the store have been uploaded.

There are three tables for those who can't wait to get their sweets fix and there's a small menu of manakeesh and spinach pies; the savory menu is visible on the wall in the rear of the store in a couple of the  pictures.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

A Food Truck Park in Sugar Land, sorta...

on the southeast corner of Highway 6 and Bissonnet

Bansuri Indian Food Corner has set up shop in it's new location; it's parked along Bissonnet actually, barely visible from 6 behind a Conoco station.  It will be closed Sundays and Mondays.

About 75 to a hundred yards away, at the other end of the same parking lot, are four other mobile units including Big 6 Bar-B-Que, which I have visited and reported on before, BB's Beef and Hot Dogs, Yum Yum Sno Balls, and a new one, MJ Seafood.  Since they're outside the city of Houston they are parked practically bumper to bumper and can set up tables and chairs for customers.

I think BB's is the same operation that used to have a small shop on West Airport off of 59 serving Chicago style hot dogs and Italian Beef.

There's also a Mexican restaurant in the strip center and Vishala Grocery and Restaurant is just across Highway 6.

9431 Highway 6 South is the official address.

Bansuri Indian Food Corner

Big 6 Bar-B-Que

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Onam Sadya

At Kerala Thanima

I haven’t been eating much Indian food this year.  Other than several visits to Maharajah Bhog, a current favorite, I’ve mostly been exploring Middle Eastern and African cuisines when I go out of late.  I was headed out to the west side a couple of weeks ago to check out a Middle Eastern grill I’d heard about with a unique dish but on a whim decided to head down to Missouri City to sample the ‘newest’ restaurant serving the cuisine of the Spice Coast state of Kerala, Kerala Thanima.  It’s been open better than a year probably but I had never been.

It turned out to be an inspired whim. I walked in on what was the last day of service of a sadya, a special celebratory meal.  There was nothing on the website and I couldn’t read the poster in the window; the owner spoke so softly I thought perhaps talking was frowned upon so I didn’t ask many questions.  These days, though, the Great Google can answer most of the mysteries of life with just a few clicks and after I got home and got to mousing around, I came to the conclusion I had experienced an Onam Sadya, a Hindu harvest festival meal which also celebrates the beginning of a new year and the return of the benevolent King Mahabali to check up on his subjects.

I was welcomed very graciously, of course, as would be expected at an Indian restaurant.
Sadyas are traditionally served on a banana leaf; here, a faux banana leaf was used.  Some articles suggest the placement of the various elements on the leaf and the order in which they are served is dictated by tradition.  Various pictures I’ve found online have not exactly confirmed that but it was true of the first elements, at least.  The lower left corner of the leaf is the place for the banana chips, jaggery-coated fried banana chips, pappadum and baby banana.  The upper left corner of the leaf is the place for the mango pickle.

The center of any traditional Indian meal is of course a starch with all the curries, dals, chutneys, pickles and sweets being accompaniments.  Here a short grain rice occupied the center of the leaf.  The server spoke so softly as he placed the elements on the leaf I couldn’t even recognize the names of typical dishes from Kerala I was familiar with until I sampled them but I understand the first thing ladled onto the rice was a dal or parippu which was drizzled with a few drops of ghee.  After this picture was taken the server came around again and a sambar was ladled over the other side of the rice.  To the right of the rice is aviyal, a typical mixed vegetable dish of Kerala; this version had many pieces of drumstick.  In the upper left hand corner of this picture is  cabbage thoran, a typical stir fry dish.

Unfortunately so far I have not been able to pin down the other elements in this picture or even whether they’re considered chutneys or whatever.  There are many possible elements to an Onam Sadya and my senses of smell and taste were impacted by some medications I was taking and I wasn’t able to do a very good job of picking out ingredients other than by shape and texture.  I believe these elements are either chutneys or pachadis or kichadis.

Toward the end of the meal an additional sweet was brought around in a small cup.  Traditionally this would be either a payasam or a pradhaman.  It was not as sweet as any payasam I have ever had and I detected no rice or vermicelli so I have guessed it was a pradhaman (never had one before that I know of) and it’s ingredients, as best I could ascertain them, best matched those for a Chakka Pradhaman or jackfruit pradhaman.

Everyone was eating with their fingers and even though a plastic spoon was provided I did my best to ‘do as the Romans do’ and I managed to get my plate more or less clean, though I was considerably less adept at it than the other diners I observed.  By the time I finished, the dining room was almost empty and I did get a chance to chat with the owner just a bit.  He emphasized that this was the last day of this special meal; the restaurant was shuttering for a day and then would resume its regular schedule and menu, which is not vegetarian as this meal was.  He also emphasized that this will be done again next year at about the same time though not on the same dates on our Gregorian Calendar. 

I had read about sadyas before and always expected that they were offered here in private homes and other private venues and never expected to encounter one offered publicly like this. There are many articles online about the Onam Sadya.  For those who want to know more, this site and this site offer pictures of the many dishes that may be included and if you click on the pictures you will pull up further explanations and recipes.  And more pictures from Google.

Kerala Thanima

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Indian Spices and Snacks

7320 US 90A, Sugar Land, about a quarter mile inside Highway 6

I've been going down to this Indian grocery for a couple of years now.  It's neat and very well stocked.  The staff is always very friendly and helpful; browsing the shelves is likely to attract attention and an offer to help in just a few minutes.

The produce line-up is good looking.  I'm drawn to the home-made yogurt but there are other home-made goodies available including several ladoos that I haven't tried yet.

Another attraction is the snack bar in the back of the store.  There's an extensive menu - I think it's all vegetarian - and I try to go when I'm hungry so I can take advantage of the offerings.  The plateful of dahi puri had at least nine puris, seemingly immersed in date/tamarind and mint chutneys, topped with yogurt and garnished with chickpeas, diced tomatoes, raw onions, mango and cilantro with a sprinkling of sev.   Ask for it spicy and they will comply and it's like a civil war in your mouth.  I've also had samosa chat and one of the lunch plate specials.  Dine-in accomodations are modest - 3 small tables - but some of this menu wouldn't travel well.

A Yelper has posted photos of the menu on the wall and in a departure from the usual, the pictures are clear enough to be read.  There are nine varieties of naan including red chilli naan and pineapple naan.  I've noted Khandvi and Khaman by the pound.  I've been wanting to try both these but not sure if I want to buy a whole pound.  I think the Khasta Kachori is a newer addition.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Openings and Closings on the Southwest Side

Bansuri Indian Food Corner is currently closed and will be re-opening in Sugar Land.  The way I read the announcement on the website, it seems they're going all brick and mortar on us eventually.

A new truck has been parked in Bansuri's long time spot on S. Wilcrest, Yashoda Chat Express, and has a menu posted that is very similar to what Bansuri offered.  I haven't caught it open yet.

The Chili Shak, Fondren at S. Braeswood has closed.  That is a location that has failed a couple of times now.

Yemeni Cafe, Beechnut at Wilcrest, has closed after only a few months.  The restaurant was a long way from where most of the Gulf States expats reside in Houston and drew little attention, I enjoyed a Fattah Lahm and some Yemeni tea there before it closed.

Mo's Knock-out Grill in the Medical Center area has closed.  I'm very sorry to see that one go.

Edit to add:  Pupusa Baleada Buffet has been open for several months at 7303 Bissonnett @ Lugary, apparently riffing on the success of the Pupusa Buffet restaurants on the SW side.  Actually a baleada buffet sounds like a good idea, I much prefer the Honduran over the Salvadoran specialty.  I haven't been.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Acacia Food Mart - MOVED!

11739 South Wilcrest @ US 59

Acacia moved in 2015 to 11821 S. Wilcrest, on the other side of US 59, back behind a Popeye's and in a large strip center that also houses an Office Depot and Dollar General.  The new store is more spacious.

Tis’ the season for new grocery stores in Houston, as any foodie who has been paying attention knows, but this one hasn’t gotten as much publicity as others.  Even though it’s very close to me I wouldn’t have known about it if I hadn’t received an email on my blog.  Despite the address (just down and across from Lopez Mexican restaurant), it does not face either Wilcrest or the SW Fwy Frontage road, you have to go into the strip center to see it.

It’s billed as Mediterranean/European but it’s mostly Turkish.  (The jar of ajvar I bought is a product of Croatia).  It is brightly lit and clean on the inside and very well stocked.  There’s a section devoted to frozen Halal meats including chicken and lamb pieces, plus sliced bastirma and pastrami.  A cooler offers multiple varieties of sujuk plus beef mortadella and bologna.  There’s also a very good selection of cheeses in the coolers, and of course Ayran and yogurt.  There are rows of Turkish cookies and pastries, multiple offerings of Turkish Delight (Lokum) and other candies plus Nutella and Nutella clones.  There is a small produce section and lots of pickles, olives and pickled vegetables. 

The mixed pickled vegetables were a bit off-putting at first because of the potent vinegar aroma and taste and the plastic mesh grill tightly wedged in to keep the vegetables submerged which looked like cabbage.  I had to resort to a pair of needle-nose pliers to get it out but when I did the contents quickly grew on me.  I’ve never had pickled vegetables that were so crisp; they must have been cold brined.  The label lists cabbage, cucumbers, carrots, yellow peppers, tomatoes, red peppers, wild cucumbers, green peaches, green plums, and okra.  I’m headed back to get another jar as soon as I finish this one to see if mine was an aberration. The Turkish Wedding Soup mix looked like and reminded me of the tripe soup I had at the Uzbek booth at the Silk Road Festival last year (kelle paça çorbasi) which was prepared by Turkish Kitchen of Sugar Land but I remembered the name wrong.  Actually all I remembered was çorbasi. I still haven’t figured out what’s in it - the label is completely in Turkish and I haven’t been able to find an English translation - but it’s good.  The Civizli Sucuk, so named because of its sausage shape, is a confection involving walnuts on a string, coated with (grape) molasses.  It took some time to develop an appreciation for its appeal.

This was my first time to try a mild version of the fermented soujouk.  Not bad, but I much prefer the hot versions.  In the photo the bottle of ayran just has water in it - I am a yogurt drink-aholic and I chug-a-lugged it as soon as I got home before remembering to take a picture.  It’s available also in half gallon and gallon jugs.

I’ve seen packages of yufka in the coolers, a Turkish markook, and Turkish lavash.  I’ve never had the Turkish versions of these Middle Eastern flatbreads before and don’t know if they differ from the Lebanese versions but they are some of my favorite Middle Eastern flatbreads.  There are both chilled and unchilled packages of kadaif, kunefe and baklava. 

A couple of caveats: many, perhaps most, of the product labels are only in Turkish except perhaps for the mandatory nutrition labels and packages tend to be large.  I didn’t see any jars of ajvar smaller than 24 oz.  Packages of dates (from California) and frozen sardines are at least a pound.

I didn’t hear about this in time to attend the grand opening and partake of the Turkish hors d'oeuvr/meze pictured on Facebook and unfortunately you are not confronted with an array like that when you walk in..   There’s no simit or bazlava but they do carry sandwich baguettes from Parisian Bakery on the Beltway and they are thinking of adding some sort of snack bar section that would offer more ready to eat Turkish goodies.  I hope they go forward with this.

Some of the pictures on Facebook show only partially filled shelves when they opened but they have been very fully stocked in the few weeks since they opened.  They’re open 7 days a week.

I was flabbergasted a couple of years ago when I first noticed street signs along 59 indicating I was in the Houston International District.  Just about the only international cuisine that's available around here is Mexican, Texan and Pakistani.  But there is the Arab-American Cultural Center on Stancliff, the Raindrop Cultural Center, Istanbul Conference Center and the still a-building Interfaith Peace Garden about a half mile west on W. Bellfort and past that  India House and a sign for a future Philippine Cultural Center.  It's good to see some 'international' merchants moving in to fill out the roster.

Acacia Food Mart

Friday, July 26, 2013


6905 Bissonnet


The menu board at Mido includes subs, sandwiches and burgers plus juices and smoothies and other items.  There are some familiar terms, some with amusing misspellings - kaboob, flafel, homace and hmmose, plus rotstry chicken and hollirotstry chicken - and also some unfamiliar names - Goss meat, Mekane, a Camekaaz sub, Tawook and a Fordsun burger among them.  I asked what kind of cuisine was served and was told ‘Turkish-Italian.’  Well, I think that’s what was said but maybe I heard it wrong.  I’ve identified most of the dishes as Turkish, Lebanese or ‘Arabic.’  Perhaps the ‘Italian’ refers to the subs, although subs are actually an Italian American creation, not Italian.

Prices are modest and I expected the sandwiches to be sized accordingly but prices are fair for what you get.  The Falafel sandwich was presented in an interesting purse-like bread I’ve never encountered before.  There were two falafel balls, one broken up inside the sandwich, plus lettuce, tomato, mild Middle Eastern pickles, maybe a couple of french fries,  a common addition in sandwiches here, and maybe a little bit of dressing, tahini or just mayo.  The falafel ball on top had absorbed a bit too much grease in the cooking but otherwise this was a very good sandwich.  I inquired about the bread and as best I could understand what I was told, this is considered neither a pita nor a pide but is a ‘special bread.’

The Tawook sandwich was even better, presented in a thin pita as a wrap.  Tawook is the Turkish word for chicken and this was tender, juicy and flavorful chicken kabobs.  The pickle spears ran the whole length of the wrap (I like pickles - this was a good thing), there were a couple of french fries and a generous amount of roma tomato.  Again there may have been a little dressing, hard to tell.  If so it was pretty well overwhelmed by the juiciness of the meat, pickles and tomatoes.

Goss is apparently another term for Turkish Doner because that’s what the Goss sandwich turned out to be, shavings of lamb and beef in a seeded version of the purse-like ‘special bread.’  Again there was lettuce and tomato and a couple of french fries plus pickles but the dressing was a big surprise, not a garlic or cucumber or yogurt or tahini sauce but a tart vinaigrette reminiscent of an Italian salad dressing. Edit to add:  I have learned doner in Denmark is also known as guss plus guss is the Iraqi word for shawarma/döner kebap, and it comes from the Arabic word for cutting (قصّ)

I had to try the Kamikaze sub, just had to find out what it was.  It involved a thin chicken white meat patty, not a flattened breast, on a very good sesame-seeded sub roll, with the usual fixings for a sandwich here plus a surfeit of mayonnaise.  It occurred to me this was a New Orleans style po-boy with it’s gobs of mayo, one of the signatures of a New Orleans po-boy to me, but with a chicken patty rather than the thin sausage patties of a New Orleans sausage po boy since Mido is Halal.  In this case, there was just too much mayo for my taste.

I also had to try the oddly named Fordsun Burger.  I was told it would include 2 kinds of cheese, peppers and onions.  Around here when you’re told a burger will have peppers on it you expect to find jalapenos or maybe roasted red bell pepper but this was green bell pepper and there were also mushrooms.  It was served on a large sesame seeded bun, a thin meat patty, nicely seared on both sides, and underneath the patty lettuce plus dollops of ketchup and mayo.  I can abide a little bit of mayo on a burger but ketchup is a real no-no and if I had known it was going to be included I would have asked for it to be left off.  With all the grease from the sauteed vegetables and the mayo and ketchup providing lubrication, this proved to be a very slippery-slidey burger.  Next time I'll be sure about all the ingredients when ordering a burger.  The Fordsun came with a generous side of french fries, perhaps as much as half a pound.

This burger perhaps gives a clue to the provenance of this little sandwich shop with the unique menu and breads.  Googling for the name you’ll find yourself looking at several listings in Dearborn, MI, the home of Ford Motor Co., which once upon a time made farm tractors.  In their later years of production they carried the Ford nameplate but in the beginning, in the early part of the last century, they were known as Fordsuns.  There is a Fordsun High School in Dearborn and also a Fordsun Halal Meat Market and a Fordsun Bakery.  Fordsun High was the subject of a documentary a few years back chronicling the exploits of its all Arab-American football team and another thing Dearborn is notable for is a huge population of Middle Eastern immigrants, said to be the largest outside of the Middle East.  Dearborn is also said to be home to a bevy of good Middle Eastern restaurants. I Googled on some of the unusual sandwich names at Mido also and found a couple of small sandwich shops in Dearborn with similar menu items including Kamikaze subs but no Fordsun Burger.

Mido is a one man show but the man who runs it turns out the orders quickly and efficiently.  There is a small, clean, well-lit dining area with four tables but otherwise pretty much bereft of adornment; most other customers I’ve encountered have been doing take-out. The rotisserie chickens have to be ordered in advance (allow forty minutes) and there is also a baked whole tilapia dish with ‘special rice,’ not listed on the menu but pictured on the menu board, which has to be ordered in advance.  The store is open 7 days a week starting at 12 Noon.

The printed menu has some different spellings than the menu board - Mekane, for instance, becomes Mekanek, a reference to the Lebanese sausage.  Some of the items, including most of the juices and smoothies, the Kishta plates and the ‘Liver Chicken’ sandwich are not being offered currently due to the perishable ingredients necessary and the as yet very small customer base. 

Prices and dishes may, of course, differ at the restaurant.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Freddy's Frozen Custard and Steakburgers

FM 529 @ Highway 6, Copperfield

I was urged by a friend way up north to try this place.  It’s a chain out of Wichita and I found some very favorable comments online alleging  it’s the best fast food burger ever and better than In-n-Out.  I don’t know about that last comparison since I’ve never been to In-n-Out but the website does make it appealing suggesting Freddy’s may be Wichita’s counterpart to our own James Coney Island or Prince's as an iconic local eatery.

They smash the meat down on the grill as it fries like Smashburger, they butter their buns and serve frozen custard like Culver’s, and they call their burgers steak burgers like Steak and Shake - that’s the competition.  It didn’t take much arm twisting by my friend to get me to check this out.  I know Houston is a hamburger mecca and I have my own favorites form Bernie’s and the Burger Guys and old time standbys  like Christian’s, Sparkle’s, Someburger and Cream Burger, but I like the thin, old fashioned patties and in the heat of last summer I was willing to check out some new custard.  I don’t ever go to long established chains anymore, even Whataburger.  That’s not a matter of self-denial or self-righteousness, it’s simply that my life is very relaxed these days and the only reason I ever have to hit a place like that is the need for speed.  But I’ve checked out every other new burger franchise to come to town in recent years (except Carl Jr.’s), just to see if any of them actually have managed to re-invent the wheel and I was willing to give Freddy’s a shot.

The first location of Freddy’s opened in Copperfield almost a year ago and I was there to check it out within the first 2 or 3 days of operation; that proved to be a mistake.  They learn on the job at Freddy’s, apparently; my cashier was learning how to work the register on the job with her manager actually doing most of the tapping of the touch screen.  I also came to the conclusion whoever grilled my burger was learning on the job - the patties were pressed down as thin as tortillas and spread out much larger than the bun, not only crispy but charred around the edges.  I also misunderstood the ordering system and got a dry burger without enough condiments to make up for the well done meat.  I also noted both the meat and the fries were under-salted.

I was sure that’s not what I was supposed to get so I went back a couple of months later and had a much more satisfactory experience.  I also got to try the custard and the chili.  The chili was the most impressive item I’d had.  I got it to go and got hung up on the way home by a plant fire along 529 that had the highway completely shut down so it was just a sludge by the time I got home (all the cheese had melted) but I thought it promising; even at that stage it was better than Wendy’s or Steak and Shake’s chili.

I returned recently for another round but the ordering system continued to confound me.  I’m so used to just being able to say ‘all the way’ if the toppings aren’t specified that I'm afraid I'll forget to include everything I want: on an Original Double - cheese, lettuce, tomato, and grilled onion, plus the pickle and mustard that come as standard.  The grilled onions are necessary to add a little grease to make up for the patties which have little and the others are necessary to add more moisture. They aren't apparent in the picture but they use those elongated, slightly thicker pickle slices so you should get pickle in every bite.   There wasn't enough mustard for my taste but this was a pretty good burger.  Once again both the meat and fries were under-salted.  There are salt shakers on the table and I discovered too late they have shakers of Freddy’s special seasoning on the condiments table.  I had seen the shakers for sale but there are none on the tables and only a few on the condiments table to use - that would probably help the patties and the fries.  There is also a dispenser of Freddy’s special french fry sauce, which seems to be a blend of just mayo and ketchup, to be added to the burgers or the fries for a little more oomph.  There are also bottles of Cholula.   I like the loose texture of the cooked patties and I do like these old fashioned style burgers.  I like the shoestring fries, too.  When they’re hot and fresh they are just a little gummy but as they cool off, which happens very quickly since they’re so thin, they do get gummier.

The chili, however, was a disappointment this time around.  There’s just way too much cheese added as a condiment - onions too, for that matter  - and even though not all the cheese has melted this has become a chili flavored melted cheese dish.   Somewhere in rather recent history it has become all the rage to garnish a bowl of chili with a ludricous amount of cheese and what is supposed to be a meat and spices dish has become a meat and cheese dish.  Nothing kills the spices in a bowl of chili, the cumin and the chile peppers and other spices, as quickly as cheese.  Sorry Freddy, but I’m very picky about my chili.  I still think there’s a basic chili here that’s better than Wendy’s or Steak and Shake; next time, I’ll try it without the cheese or with the cheese on the side.

Best fast food burger ever?  Naw.  I'll stick with my old favorite, Someburger in the Heights.  I can't compare this very well to the old standby chains as I haven't been to any of them, including Whataburger, in about 5 years or so.  Of the recent crop of burger franchises to come to town, however, both Smashburger and Five Guys have better meat, I think, but since I don't care for the buns at Smashburger, that leaves only Five Guys. Maybe with a light sprinkle of the special seasoning, Freddy's would edge ahead.

Another location has now opened in Katy and there's one in Bryan.  They're moving into the Houston market slower than they moved into other Texas markets.


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

East Africa and Middle East Restaurant

 6121 Hillcroft, Suite B





All of the buzz about Houston’s dining out scene in recent months both nationally and locally has been about the emerging chef-driven restaurant scene inside the Loop.  But Houston’s stature as a fantastic place to experience ethnic cuisines as offered by small Mom and Pop restaurants hasn’t gone away, it continues to grow and mature.  Last year I was thrilled to find several restaurants offering regional variations of Indian cuisine; so far this year, it’s been the Middle East and Africa.  In just the last couple of months I’ve come across Syrian, Egyptian, Yemeni, Turkish-Italian (I think that’s what the guy said) and Somali places that are new to me, anyway.

I guess I’m like most Americans in that I know very little about Somalia and most of what I know has come from the headlines over the last 15 years or so and hasn’t been positive.  So I was surprised when I started to read up on Somalia to learn that because of its colonial history and location on a major trade route, Somali cuisine over the centuries has been influenced by several of the world’s most notable cuisines including Italian, Turkish, Ethiopian, Indian and Chinese.  Both rice and pasta dishes are served, sometimes on the same plate which are known as Federation dishes. The cuisine is an un-like the foods of West Africa as Tex Mex and Scandinavian and even bears little resemblance to neighboring Ethiopia.

East Africa restaurant has recently undergone a change of ownership and its menu is in flux.  There are no printed menus and many of the dishes listed on the menu board are no longer offered.  Sharwarma, a couple of Eritrean stews - zegnis - and moofu, a Somali version of cornbread are some of the dishes I wanted to try but couldn’t.  Much of the menu uses English only; there are relatively few Somali terms used and the two young men who run the place both speak good English and are very easy to communicate with and ask questions.

On my first visit I was told goat is a specialty so I went with a goat dish, Goat and Rice.  This was also available with spaghetti but I was told more people order it with rice and it appears to be a common dish at Somali restaurants elsewhere.  The goat is so good, I wound up having something with goat for all my visits except one.  If I hadn’t been told it was goat I would have guessed it was lamb.  When I first looked at the plate I thought I was going to be experiencing some mango/banana rice, which sounded very interesting, but alas it was just slices of potato on top; I thought the potatoes were superfluous but otherwise the rice was excellent.  They do as good a job with the rice here as they do goat.  This came with a small, simply dressed salad and a beverage of choice - I went with the Somali tea., shaah.

Bananas are a regular accompaniment to Somali meals, presented on the side, unpeeled.  I was saving them for the end of the meal, even taking them home, but then I read a Somali blog and learned the banana is usually eaten along with the meal, alternating bites or sometimes even mixed in with the rice or pasta, the sweetness of the fruit serving as a counterpoint to the savoriness of a dish or a hot sauce which here is a house-made concoction with jalapeno, garlic, lemon and cilantro I believe.  The Somali blogger said rice or pasta without a banana just didn’t taste right and the proprietor of East Africa said probably 95% of Somalis eat the banana with the meal but he personally prefers to eat it at the end.  Some of the customers I’ve observed have taken the banana with them when they left and others have gone off and left it on the table.  I suspect this may have something to do with the quality of bananas available here vs. those in Somalia.  More about Somali bananas below.

On another visit I stopped by after running some errands and was anxious to get home with threatening weather making its presence known so I grabbed Angelo and Chicken to go.  Angelo is one of the staple breads of Somalia, usually compared to the Ethiopian injera.  It is also spelled with an ‘r’ instead of an ‘l’ and with a ‘c’ in front as in canjero or even canjeero.  Though it resembles injera there are significant differences - angelo is made from wheat flour not teff, it is smaller in diameter, about 9 inches vs. 13 or so, and it is thinner.  The elastic properties of wheat make this possible and angelo is less likely to disintegrate in contact with a wet dish like a stew and doesn’t tear as easily.  It is also fermented a lot less than injera, typically only a few hours or a day and so is noticeably less sour.  The angelo here has a little sugar in it and contrasts even more with injera.  It is used sometimes as a plate like injera and also as a utensil, it may be eaten alongside a meal or just by itself as an accompaniment to tea, especially for breakfast.  It actually is more comparable to a crepe than injera, I think, and it really made this dish.  There are four pieces in the picture.  A couple of pieces of this would make a very good snack with a cup of sweet and spicy Somali tea.

The other bread served at East Africa is malawah (also spelled malawax).  From the spelling and composition this is obviously related in some way to the Yemeni malawach which I encountered at Saba’s Kosher Café on Fondren.  Brought to Israel by Yemeni Jews malawach  has become very popular but whereas malawach is a layered bread made from multiple layers of phyllo like sheets and fried (and picks up a lot of grease in the process in my experience) and thus is comparable to Indian paratha, Somali malawah is served in single sheets (there are four on the plate).  The batter contains some egg and more sugar than angelo.  This is listed on the menu board with beef and maybe chicken but I asked if I could have it with some more goat.  I used the malawah as a utensil, pinching up the food and bringing it to my mouth. The combination of the savoriness and saltiness of the meat, the still slightly crisp vegetables contrasting with the slight egginess, caramelized sweetness and crispness of the malawah made for some of the tastiest mouthfuls I’ve had so far this year. 

I did not know that bananas were grown in Somalia but I've learned Somali bananas are known for their sweetness and are highly prized in Italy and Saudi Arabia.  Banana production has been decimated in recent years because of the civil unrest, piracy and the lingering effects of an El Nino, but efforts are underway to rejuvenate banana production. Still it’s unlikely we’ll ever be seeing Somali bananas here in Houston.  My one experience with eating the banana along with the meal was not very satisfactory; the banana was a little past prime both in terms of texture and flavors.  But I plan to try again, maybe with a different variety of banana such as a red banana or a burro from Mexico.

The restaurant is back from the street in a u-shaped shopping strip that also includes the Honduran restaurant Coquitos, a 24 hour Central American/Salvadoran restaurant Mondongo, a Desi game room, Sheikh Chilli's and the Pakistani grocery store Gulshan e Iqbal and formerly housed a location of the Pakistani sweets shop Dilpasand Mithai.  The menu board includes some breakfast dishes but I don't know for sure that the restaurant is open for breakfast under the new ownership.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Dandanah Cafe & Grill

2707 Fountainview

I first happened upon Dandanah a couple of months ago, wandering around in the Galleria area, a part of town I usually avoid, trying to find my way home after spending several days in a dentist’s chair.  When I discovered they offered Egyptian cuisine it redeemed the whole ordeal. 

Some of the most common dishes served in Middle Eastern cuisine originated in Egypt, among them falafel and ful medammes, but this is the only restaurant in Houston I know of offering more of the special dishes of the country’s cuisine.

 Though falafel originated in Egypt, where it is called ta meyya, the version served everywhere else differs from the original.  The Egyptian version is made from cooked, mashed fava beans instead of ground chickpeas.  The Falafel Platter at Dandanah comes with 5 rather large patties, along with vermicelli rice, hummus and pita bread.  It’s a rather generous spread for the price.  The interior texture was kind of mushy, which I sort of expected, but on another occasion, the patties had more of a fine cake-like texture.  I liked that a lot better.  A house-made hot sauce (shattah) was offered (it hadn’t arrived in time for the picture) but I found it too vinegary for my taste and anyway the creamy tahini sauce was excellent.  The falafel has a very mild, pleasant level of heat itself.  The Wikioracle says Egyptians like their hummus served with lots of olive oil and it seem the Wikiwriter got that right.  The mild Middle Eastern pickle assortment was a hit - pickled cauliflower, cucumbers, turnips, carrots, and olives - and the pita bread, fresh out of the brick oven was too.  It was still puffed up and stayed that way - it had been baked beyond the point of being pliable and the stiffness, almost cracker-like though not brittle, proved ideal for scooping up all that hummus. Unfortunately the vermicelli rice was dry and at room temp; it was a shortcoming of the kitchen I encountered on one other visit, too.

Koshari is sometimes called the national dish of Egypt, a version of the ‘mess of pottage’ from Biblical times.  Having just been wowed by the .mujaddara at Dumar’s and another version at Jersusalem Halal Meat Market, I was eager to try the Egyptian version.  The basics of the dish are brown lentils, a grain and caramelized onions.  The Egyptian version uses rice instead of cracked wheat and adds macaroni with garnishes of a tomato sauce and chickpeas.  This came with more of the tomato sauce and some of the hot sauce on the side.  The drill is to add the sauces to taste, turning it into a dish to your liking.  Apparently some people make this into a rather soupy dish but I never managed to get it adjusted where it tasted right to me.  The caramelized onions were pretty much negated by the blandness of all the rice and macaroni and I found myself wanting some more spice since I found the hot sauce again too vinegary. 

There are only a couple of dishes listed as spicy on the menu but I decided I needed to try them since I prefer spicier food and the Kebda Es Kandarany proved to be just the ticket - fried liver, Alexandria style.  Fried liver is said to be a specialty of Alexandria and there probably isn’t much competition from other cities in that category I would guess.  I’ve never had either a big aversion nor big attraction to liver but it does have that stigma of being ‘good for you.’  This was easily the best fried liver I’d ever had - bite sized pieces of beef liver, speckled with bits of red and green peppers including the seeds, seasoned with lemon juice and cumin.  This came with a portion of the pickles plus tahini that had itself been spiced up a bit, and a fresh, hot, pliable pita.  Though only an appetizer it was a generous sized portion and proved to be a meal for me as liver is pretty filling.

Making use of their brick oven Dandanah offers pizzas with both Italian and typical Middle Eastern toppings plus Hawawshy, the Egyptian version of pizza which is kind of a cross between manakeesh or Lebanese pizza and an empanada.  There are only two version on the menu and I wanted the special one with pastarma but had to ask if I could have it spicy.  I was told I could have it spicy or mild.  Now I’m wondering if I could have had the same options with the other dishes that I found too bland for my taste.  The filling is a typical Middle Eastern minced beef with onions and parsley such as would be used for kofta or kubideh and had some finely minced pastarma, the seasoned, air-dried beef, added, and it was good and spicy, This was the best entree I’ve had yet at Dandanah and I wish they had more varieties of Hawawshy on the menu.

There are some special beverages including Karkade, the Egyptian hibiscus tea, a deep burgundy beverage served just barely sweetened, tasting like a slightly citrusy cranberry drink but without quite the acidity of cranberry.  You can add more sugar or sweetener to taste at the table.  I had this with the liver, a generous 20 oz glass with a free refill and it’s part of the reason the appetizer was enough for a meal. 

Another special beverage is Sahlab, the Middle Eastern hot drink based on ground orchid roots.  I had this with the Koshari and it arrived at the table frothy, preceeded by it’s fragrant bouquet.  The authentic ingredient is a very rare and expensive variety of orchid grown only in Turkey and most versions served are based on substitute ingredients I understand.  I’ve never had it before but it is on the menu at at least one Turkish restaurant here.  It came garnished with crushed pistachios, slivered almonds, raisins and grated coconut and it not only redeemed that meal, it made my day.  You get protein, fiber, micronutrients and some aromatherapy all as part of the package.

Among the deserts I tried the Konafa, the Middle Eastern cheese pastry, a layer of mild, white feta like cheese sandwiched between layers of grated coconut and vermicelli, drizzled with simple syrup, garnished with crushed pistachios and raisins and lightly grilled on each side.  I never had room to try the Um Ally, the Egyptian national desert, variously described as a raisin cake or bread pudding.  I understand it is made with phyllo but I was told it needs to be consumed hot and doesn’t travel well or I would have gotten some to go.  I’ll have to make a special trip sometime just for desert.

The menu includes lots of the more standard dishes of Middle Eastern restaurants including schwarma, kofta, kibbeh and the like but in keeping with the focus of this blog I stuck to the cuisine’s special dishes.  There’s a very pleasant patio overlooking Fountainview, sometimes heavily perfumed from all the hookahs.  The restaurant has a couple of times been short on servers.

Dandanah Cafe and Grill

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Fresh and Savory

12343 Murphy Rd. @ W. Airport, Stafford

A couple of months back I became obsessed with finding a good Italian sub in Houston, a mostly frustrating endeavor.  In my wanderings I happened across mention of this place, a purported Italian deli in Stafford.  Seriously?  We’re not exactly teeming with Italian delis in Houston but Stafford?

It turns out I had seen it before having been in the convenience store in the strip center a couple of times, but never checked it out.  It was always closed when I was there and nothing in the strip was very promising.  I was wrong, of course.  Once I looked it up online the menu and reviews were so appealing I had to rush right over.  Now I’m seriously p.o.’d this place has been here for almost 30 years and no one has ever told me about it.  It’s not exactly a secret, though.  It’s packed for lunch every weekday, laborers, business-suit types, suspected pols, groups of people in scrubs.  It’s obvious there are lots of regulars.  It’s cramped on the inside with barely room to pass another person in the line back to the counter where you order.  A hard working, very efficient kitchen staff turns out a lot of food in a small kitchen in a timely manner including lots of take-out orders which is what I’ve done several times.

Most of what I’ve had has been very good such as a sandwich special of a Hot Italiano with Black Forest ham, provolone, salami, roasted red bell pepper, tomatoes, romaine, kalamata olives, olive oil and balsamic vinegar on rosemary sour dough bread and a very credible, reasonably proportioned Reuben, although unfortunately with just lean brisket.  The only thing I’ve had that didn’t impress was a soup and sandwich special of a spicy sweet potato and peanut soup that I found boring (and a humongous portion) and a half muffaletta.

Their Deluxe Po Boy is not made of the classic ingredients of an Italian sub but was one of the best of this general type of sandwich I had out of almost two dozen I tried working through my obsession, loaded with better quality meats than most places use and on a very good, light baguette.  And while some places, especially the sandwich chains, load you up with filler like shredded lettuce and tomato slices on an Italian and are kind of skimpy with the meats, this place is just the opposite, loaded with meats and kind of skimpy on the condiments.  It was just a little bit dry, needing a bit more of the vinaigrette.

I have yet to try any of the pastas or salads but what I’ve seen others digging into has looked very good.  So score one for the burbs.  While the sandwiches don’t quite measure up to Local Foods in the Village or Revival in the Heights, this place would be a welcome addition to any neighborhood in town.

Fresh and Savory

Friday, April 26, 2013


609 Dulles, Stafford, TX

All over the area the food scene in the burbs is taking off.  Sugar Land, Katy and The Woodlands have all been noted but you don’t hear much about Stafford except maybe on this blog.  While there are no celebrity chef-driven restaurants in Stafford yet, over the past year I’ve been pleasantly surprised  by the food and the diversity of ethnic cuisines at numerous restaurants.  The little stretch of Dulles just south of US 90-A, the continuation of South Main Street from Houston if you’re unfamiliar, has undergone a remarkable transformation in just the last few months with new outposts of Chinatown stalwarts Don Café and Parisian Bakery and Sandwiches and this new Filipino bakery and café.

I’ve eaten at a half dozen Filipino places around the southwest side of town over the last couple of years.  I can’t claim any great love of the cuisine nor knowledge but every time I see a picture of pancit, I want it. It’s the rice noodles that ring my Pavlovian chimes and so it was that after coming across this place online I immediately shelved my plans to try a North African version of pizza and headed down to Jambeto’s for dinner one night.

There was some miscommunication and they fixed my order to go but no problem, I just settled into one of the handful of tables and dug in.  It’s a small place with a very small café menu, perhaps more of a bakery than a café, stylish and spic and span in a brand new strip center across from Dulles Hi.  There are a half dozen varieties of pancit on the menu, I went for the recommended chicken and shrimp but next time I think I’d just opt for the shrimp.  Not that there was anything wrong with the chicken but why pass up the opportunity for twice as much shrimp?  The dish included green beans, cabbage, carrots and celery and came with a calamondin and a packet of soy sauce and there was banana sauce on the tables, too.  Apparently you can eat the whole calamondin, skin and all - I did not know that.

The empanadas here are snack sized, smaller than a golf ball, and are baked and there are some other tasty looking snacks including lumpia.

I haven’t had much of a sweet tooth for several years now but that has been changing of late and I spent several minutes drooling over the pastry case.  Next time, one of those cakes or some cookies is going home with me.   Check out there Facebook page for more pictures.


Thursday, March 7, 2013

Dumar's Mediterranean Grill

 4518 Hwy 6 South, Sugar Land

The first time I walked into Dumar’s I was taken back many years to my first visit to the original Antone’s on Taft.  Dumar’s is much smaller than that long shuttered store but the feeling is the same - a slightly exotic setting for dining and grocery shopping, with enticing sights and smells.

Dumar’s is a little gem, a small shop lurking in a large strip center back from the highway, behind the seemingly endless rows of chain restaurants, banks, chain pharmacies and auto repair shops that line Highway 6 as it makes its way through Sugar Land and Missouri City.  Are there any chain restaurants known to mankind that don’t have at least one location here?

Most of our Middle Eastern or Mediterranean restaurants just identify themselves generically.   There are, to be sure, many dishes that are common to countries throughout the region but there are also national specialties and recipe variations that we seldom have the opportunity to experience.  That seems to be changing - just in the last year, a couple of Iraqi places have opened, our Persian and Israeli/Kosher places have always set themselves apart and more Lebanese places seem to be identifying as such.  There is our Palestinian jewel, Al Aseel, too, and I was very excited recently to have discovered this place, which is Syrian, and also a restaurant featuring Egyptian dishes.

There are several Syrian specialties on the menu but the one I wanted to try first was the Mujaddara, a dish reputedly derivative of the ‘mess of pottage’ that Esau sold his birthright for in the Bible.  It’s another dish that has several variations throughout the region, the Syrian version as served here is made with brown lentils, cracked wheat, olive oil and long, slow, thoroughly caramelized onions.  As the server approached my table with the bowl, I was tempted to reach out and grab it and dig in, so enticing was the aroma, and it proved to be as tasty as my nose told me it was going to be.  Like the Ful Medammes I just discovered a couple of years ago, this is another ancient dish of really very simple ingredients that is enormously satisfying.  No wonder it’s been around so long.

I’ve also tried a falafel wrap.  We have at least one other restaurant with Syrian roots, Mo’s Knockout Grill on Kirby, and the falafel there is one of my two favorites in town; I wondered if Dumar would offer yet another great iteration.  Alas, the falafel was not as awesome as Mo’s but the sandwich itself was very satisfying - stuffed with at least three large, elongated and somewhat irregular balls of falafel (made with chickpeas and fava beans) with both tahini and hummous, lettuce, tomatoes, onion, pickle and pickled turnips.  A house-made hot sauce is available as a condiment but they tend to be very cautious in the application of it.

The small grocery section in the rear offers teas, some canned goods and spices, dried chickpeas and more.  In the cooler are some cheeses and phyllo dough.  There are Syrian and Armenian meat pies (safiya or sfiya) listed on the menu and in the cooler you can pick some up to take home plus Syrian pomegranate pies.  In addition to the sweets listed on the menu, they sometimes have kunafa, the Arabic cheese and vermicelli pastry soaked in sweet syrup and topped with chopped pistachios.

The owner, Bashar Dumar, is something of a character; he loves to banter with his customers as well as serve them the foods of his homeland, and he makes the visit here all that much more enjoyable.


Friday, February 15, 2013

Maine-ly Sandwiches

10745 I-45 North

I've got a new favorite getaway, a shack overlooking  the coast of Maine serving up lobster rolls - except it's actually along the North Freeway, just inside the Beltway.  Still, $9 in toll road fees beats air fare and lodging costs for the real thing.

When I vacationed in Maine a few years back, I was relieved to find I could indulge in lobster every day of the week without any untoward health consequences and ever since then, I've wanted to find a Maine Lobster Roll here, to no avail.

They're available everywhere there, even at McDonald's, but I only had a couple.  Usually you're offered a choice of butter or mayonnaise dressing.  I always opted for butter, seemed like a no-brainer to me.  I thought the mayonnaise was perhaps a concession for tourists from the Midwest or something, but here the lobster roll comes lightly dressed with mayonnaise and served on a lightly buttered, lightly toasted split top New England style hot dog bun that I suspect is from Slow Dough, and it's better than any I had in Maine.

A whole one is very filling.  I got a house-made Whoopie Pie also and wound up bringing that home for breakfast the next morning. 

I was going to keep this one secret for a while but now that b-4 has blabbed about  it in their weekly newsletter, it'll probably be mobbed, anyway.

Maine-ly Sandwiches

Monday, February 11, 2013

Sausage and Boudin Shack

3610 Reed Road

Back when I wrote about JW's Cajun Boudin Hut on Homestead I opined that our city needed more drive-thru boudin huts.  Up until now I have been rigorously ignored but there is at least this:  there's no drive-thru but in its stead is a parking lot and a neat covered outdoor dining area alongside a shotgun shack, just east of Scott, not far off of 288.

The owner is from La Grange originally.  He makes his own boudin but the sausage served is from Weimar.  There is also fried or grilled fish, wings, a pork chop and salmon croquets on the menu plus breakfast.  They are open 8 am to 8 pm Monday thru Thursday and 9 am 'til you stop eating' on Friday and Saturday.

It's a beef boudin.  I got an order by itself (also comes as a plate with choice of 2 sides and bread or toast).  It was about 12 oz of lightly smoked boudin with a portion of rice topped with diced tomatoes and green onions, plus saltines.

This is a Cajun Pate style of boudin.  You pierce the thick, inedible casing (not easy to do with the plastic ware provided) and squeeze it out onto the crisp crackers and you're good-to-go with Cajun Canapes.  This is not my favorite style of boudin but I found it very tasty.  There are no solid bits save for maybe a stray, partial grain of rice or the like and there's just a very mild heat.

I saw some of the fried fish plates being put together for takeout and they looked pretty good; the grilled fish plate on Yelp looks even better.

Sausage and Boudin Shack

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Selva Negra

3820 S. Gessner


This is the new name of the Nicaraguan restaurant at this location, replacing Nicaragua Restaurant and before that Managua.  I never went to either of those here nor Managua at its original location but looking at the Press review from two and a half years ago, I remember that I intended to and just never got around to it. 

I was introduced to Nicaraguan cuisine a few years ago at Fritanga Nica which was unfortunately lost to most Houstonians, so far out on Synott at Bissonnet.  Nicaraguan cuisine has some differences with other Central American cuisines, among them that the Nica kitchen seems to rely more on steaming (in banana leaves, not always with masa) than other cuisines.

Selva Negra means black forest and it’s the name of a coffee estate, mountain resort and nature preserve near Matagalpa.

On my first visit I spotted the Nacatamale on the menu and immediately chose that.  That was not on the menu at Fritanga Nica when it first opened, though I think they added it later, and I had never had one, but it’s the first thing I read about that made me want to try Nica cuisine.  It’s an entree sized tamale, one is enough per person, and compared to descriptions I’ve read online, the one at Selva Negra is pretty simple - chunks of pork, unpitted green olives, raisins, a tomato slice, maybe a caper or two and some bits of onion and carrot, I wasn’t sure, and lots of lard.  The herb on top is I believe mint as indigenous mints are commonly used  in Nica cuisine.  This was presented on the banana leaf it was steamed in.  I’ve sampled a lot of tamales over the last few years, including others of this type, the huge tamale Tolimenses of Colombia which can be big enough for two people, the Hallacas of Venezuela, Salvadoran, Guatemalan, and Cuban tamales plus the pastele of Puerto Rico and this has to be among the best I’ve ever had.

I got an order of Tajadas to accompany this (half gone by the time I remembered to take a picture) and though the tamale proved to be solid enough to be forkable all the way to the last bite, I used the chips as scoops, an excellent pairing.

 I also got a Maracuya, a passion fruit drink.  I had also learned at Fritanga Nica that refrescoes naturales are really popular in Nicaragua and there are 14 on the menu here.  It was very sweet but very refreshing on a rather balmy Houston ‘winter’ day.

On another visit I chose yet another entree from the Traditional Plates section of the menu which  comprises only about a tenth of the menu.  I went with the Indio Viejo or Old Indian stew which had been recommended by the waitress on my first visit.  This is shredded beef (brisket, I believe) in a sauce traditionally based on sour orange juice, thickened with masa.  This version had baby corn, tomatoes, bell peppers, maybe a little bit of potato or yuca.  It was very good, among the best dishes I’ve had at any of our Central American restaurants.  It came with Gallo Pinto, the Nica version of a dish common through out the Caribbean and Central American region - rice and beans, plus plantanos maduros and ensalada.  To accompany this one I chose the Linaza, the linseed or flax refresco and it proved to be awfully sweet, quite surprisingly as I was expecting something kind of savory.  I couldn’t even tell if there was a fruit juice base or if it was just sugar water with food coloring and I couldn’t finish it because of the sweetness.  There was just a little bit of the ground flax seed in the bottom of the glass.

I've also had the Chancho con Yuca, another traditional dish consisting of well seasoned fried pork (rib meat I believe), steamed with yuca and topped with the house ensalada.  I’ve seen the salad referred to as curtido and ensalada de repollo but here they just call it ensalada - finely shredded cabbage with some tomato, always served here well chilled, crisp and with a nice acidic bite.  Compared to the vivid flavors of the pork and cabbage, the yuca was very bland and uninteresting.  But as s I often do with dishes I’m not familiar with, I took the leftovers home and found the yuca to be a delightful dish on it’s own when it had more time to soak up the flavors from the pork and ensalada. 

With the Chancho I tried the Zannahoria con Naranja refresco - carrot with orange.  Although sugar had been added it wasn’t as sweet as the Maracuya and it was delicious and this was the best of the refrescoes that I've tried.

Selva Negra bills itself as Central American cuisine instead of specifically Nicaraguan; there are a few Mexican dishes and some labeled CentroAmericano but for the most part I think the dishes are Nicaraguan.  All of the dishes I’ve had were less than $10 but there are many that go for more than that.  I have been most interested in exploring the ‘traditional plates.’

They’re open 7 days a week.  At the present time, they’re only taking cash.

Selva Negra