Good News for Torchy’s Lovers (Local Eats)

Image Credit: Eater Denver

Austin-based Torchy’s Tacos is opening a Conroe location very soon at 351 S. Loop 336 W., Ste. 100, in Grand Central Market. The fast-food restaurant plans to open in the 336 Marketplace development before in the coming weeks and staffing has already begun.

The location will be managed by Monika Lupkovics and the bar will be tended by Mellisa Melendez among others. Torchy’s Tacos will feature their signature tacos, chips and dips, and signature sauces as well as a full-service bar. For more info visit their site, www.torchystacos.com

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Avenida Brazil Churrascaria Steakhouse (Local Eats)

When it comes to celebratory eating, nothing beats a Brazilian Steakhouse.

The highest quality buffet of endless meats that come to you? Count us in. Start the meal with an all you can eat, gourmet salad bar stocked with fresh, delicious meats, vegetables, and soups. Oh, about the soups, the lobster bisque rivals the best we have ever had in the area. You are going to want to keep going back for more and we don’t blame you. But keep in mind that you have an endless stream of beef, lamb, chicken, and shrimp coming your way. So, maybe limit yourself to five two cups.

Now that drinks have arrived, you’ve restricted your bisque intake, and everyone has settled in, it’s time to flip that magical card to green. If you’ve not dined Churrascaria style, they will explain the simplicity of it all to you. The card next to your plate has a red and a green side. Green indicates to the attentive staff to keep bringing on the delicious meats. While red means that you’ve given up or that it’s time for a break.

Image Source: Yelp

The protein options come in waves to allow your party to sample any or all of Avenida’s amazing options. They are carved tableside from a skewer and delivered to your plate. As with any dining experience you should let the staff know of any allergies in the party. The shrimp is absolutely delicious but would require one of our friends to use a pricey EpiPen if they came in contact with the crustaceans. The server made sure this would not be an issue.

Speaking of crustaceans, our shrimp allergic friend can have lobster and he HAD lobster. The special that was available on our last visit and will be available through March 20th is $3 lobster tail weekends. You read that correctly, $3! If seafood isn’t your thing and there are a few types of meat that you fell in love with all you have to do is request them. They will arrive as promptly as the kitchen can ensure their perfection. Meats can be ordered to temperature. If you’re a caveperson and like your meat well-done, it’s done. They will readily offer up medium rare cuts to those who appreciate a perfectly cooked cut too.

It can be difficult to find the perfect dining spot for a group with varying tastes, allergies, and dietary requirements. Avenida seems to be ideal in all regards. As mentioned above we have a friend with a severe shrimp (iodine) allergy. We also have a couple that joins us frequently who strictly adhere to a diet requiring Halal fresh meat. This is available at Avenida with 24 hours advanced notice. Seriously, this is one of the only restaurants at which we can all meet and eat meat (or salad bar for the meat-averse).

The cost should not be surprising. You have just had the endless filet, lamb chops, shrimp, chicken, gourmet salad bar, lobster bisque, and a finely crafted cocktail or ideal bottle of wine. This is one of a handful of places that we visit and don’t feel awkward asking for separate checks. It deservingly receives the $$$ or $$$$ from the review sites. But it also deservingly receives glowing reviews all the same. There seems to have been a staffing issue on Valentines Day that has resulted in some poor reviews. I suspect the lesson has been learned and that likely won’t be an issue going forward. We dined at Schilleci’s for V-day like we always do. So, we can’t comment to those reviews on that day. Trust us when we say that we have NEVER had bad service or slow wait times for requests when we have visited.

So, somehow you have made it this far and are still reading rather than booking a table. I suppose now would be a good time to remind you about the $3 lobster tails going on for just one more weekend! See you there and Bon Appétit!

CHICKEN LO MEIN (Simple Home Cooking)

Chicken Lo Mein With Chewy Chinese Egg Noodles, Bean Sprouts, Chicken, Bell Peppers And Carrots In Under 30 Minutes Like Your Favorite Chinese Takeout Restaurant.

Today’s feature comes from Sabrina at dinnerthendessert.com.

As a kid growing up my mom was not very well versed in making Chinese food (she once made chow mein with angel hair noodles). I wanted to know how to make lo mein like in Chinese restaurants but despite her best efforts we’d end up with were soy sauce flavored noodles with all the veggies she thought she could hide in the pot.

It was a valiant effort, but it never really tasted like Chinese food from a Chinese Restaurant.

Since watching my favorite Daytime talkshow make their version of The Chew chicken lo mein (I’m a huge Micheal Symon fan), I had a craving to make some lo mein.

What you’re looking at is my quickly thrown together lo mein with the ingredients I had on hand and it was as delicious as my favorite takeout spot. My husband was watching along with me but he didn’t understand the difference of lo mein vs chow mein until he saw the difference in these noodles!

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LO MEIN AND CHOW MEIN?

A traditional chow mein has noodles that are boiled, then stir fried until having a slightly crisped exterior while lo mein is boiled then tossed in a sauce without cooking the noodles an additional amount. The noodles are roughly the same, both egg noodles, but lo mein noodles are normally thicker and chewier.

WHAT KIND OF SAUCE IS IN LO MEIN?

Lo Mein sauce is made with a sesame oil base that the noodles are tossed in with garlic, ginger, oyster sauce and soy sauce to round out the slightly sweet and slightly spicy sacuce.

LO MEIN RECIPE VARIATIONS:
  • Shrimp Lo Mein: Cook the shrimp after the veggies instead of before and remove them reserving them to toss with the pasta at the end. Undercook the shrimp by about 15 seconds before cause they will keep cooking in with the pasta.
  • Beef Lo Mein: Flank steak is the best beef for lo mein. Slice the beef against the grain and cook in on a high heat for just 30 seconds on each side.
  • Vegetable Lo Mein: The easiest of all the varieties, add in your favorite vegetables cooked until just softened but still with a crisp bite.
BEST VEGETABLES FOR LO MEIN:
  • broccoli
  • red and green bell pepper
  • snow peas
  • green onions
  • sliced baby bok choy
  • sliced zucchini
  • julienned carrots
  • thinly sliced onions

INGREDIENTS

  • 10 ounces Chinese egg noodles
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 chicken breasts sliced thinly
  • 1 red bell pepper thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup lite soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 carrot thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup onion slices
  • 1/2 cup shredded cabbage
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • Cook the egg noodles one minute shy of the directions.

Drain and toss with sesame oil in a bowl to coat.

Heat canola oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat.

Cook the chicken 3-4 minutes on each side until cooked through.

Remove from the pan and add in the red bell peppers, ginger and garlic and cook them for 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently until just softened.

Add in the water, soy sauce, cornstarch, vegetable oil and oyster sauce into the skillet.Add in the carrot, onion and cabbage and cook for 1-2 minutes before adding back in the chicken and egg noodles.

Add in the bean sprouts, toss all the ingredients together well and serve.

NUTRITION INFORMATION

Yield: 4 Servings, Amount per serving: 281 calories, Serving Size: 1 , Calories: 281g, Carbohydrates: 10g, Protein: 26g, Fat: 14g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 72mg, Sodium: 1080mg, Potassium: 599mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 70.3g, Vitamin C: 53.5g, Calcium: 2g, Iron: 6.5g

Source:  dinnerthendessert.com ; Enjoy more of Sabrina’s recipes HERE

Thursday’s Local Eats

Traditional Korean cuisine made from scratch daily.

This delightful, family-owned Korean Cafe offers casual dining, excellent service, and fabulous food. Most of the recipes are old, traditional family dishes. One such dish is the cross-cut beef short ribs marinated using a recipe passed down from many generations in the owner’s family, served on a sizzling hot plate with rice and kimchi. The kimchi is made fresh every day. Another must-try is the Hotpot Bibimbap with beef, chicken, or spicy pork bulgogi served on top of rice and egg along with a variety of vegetables and sesame oil in a super HOT stone earth bowl served sizzling. *Warning* this is an extremely hot plate meal, please use caution when eating!

Korean Dumpling Soup

Dosirak persevered through initial tragedy. Owners Sung and Youn Kim were just months from opening what they considered their American Dream when a fire at their home caused devastation. In May 2016 Sung died in the fire that ravaged the couple’s Conroe home.

Youn considered selling the restaurant but ultimately decided to open Dosirak Korean Cafe in September 2016 as a tribute to her late husband. “We came here for [the]American dream; I got this [restaurant], so I got the American dream now,” Youn said. “This is Korean food, and that’s my way. I’m so happy, and I’m working hard.”

The restaurant includes a small market offering traditional Asian items, including ramen, seaweed chips, and sweets.

Wildly popular brunch spot coming to The Woodlands in 2019

Pineapple upside down pancakes are coming to The Woodlands. Courtesy photo

There’s no stopping Snooze: An AM Eatery. Fresh off its announcement that the Denver-based restaurant will open near the Galleria comes word that the rapidly expanding brunch concept has also inked a deal on a location in The Woodlands.

Slated to open in the summer of 2019 at 2415 Research Forest Dr., the new outpost will be the Houston area’s seventh Snooze, joining the restaurant’s existing locations in Montrose, Katy, Town & Country, The Heights, as well as two under development in the Galleria and Webster. At 4,400 square feet, the location will be among the largest Snoozes, which hopefully will mean a slightly shorter version of the restaurant’s famous wait for a table. It will also feature a dog-friendly patio. 

“The Woodlands is an entire community built around the principle of being a good neighbor,” said Snooze CEO David Birzon in a statement. “That’s the same principle that guides us at Snooze, and we’re thrilled to be in a community where giving back is such an important part of the culture.”

Known for its creative interpretations of classic breakfast fare, Snooze also gives diners choices by offering pancake flights (diners choice of up to three different options) and Benedict duos. Dishes get faired with the usual juices or coffee, but a full menu of creative cocktails really sets Snooze apart from more traditional diners. Bright colors and a cheerful staff have also helped it win fans.

Snooze also does its part to be a good neighbor. Each restaurant donates 1 percent of sales to local charities (more than $600,000 in 2017), and it diverts 85 to 90 percent of its waste by composting and recycling where facilities exist.

Source: houston.culturemap.com ; Eric Sandler

Joe’s Italian Restaurant (Local Eats)

Joe’s Pizza was voted BEST ITALIAN RESTAURANT in Montgomery County, as well as ‘Number One‘ for Italian food in the greater Houston area, by KHOU-TV viewers. Eat at Joe’s Italian Restaurant in Conroe, Texas today, and discover for yourself why so many folks like eating at Joe’s Pizza.

Yelp

Who better to ask about the local, family owned restaurant than the guests?

“Joe’s is Our ‘Go-To’ Lunch Place” — Whenever we are stuck for a place for lunch, Joe’s Pizza and Pasta always fits the bill. But, that doesn’t mean it’s the last choice, rather always at the top of our list. Their lunch specials are awesome and the fresh rolls are tremendously delicious. The service is always good and the owners/managers are always on site. The atmosphere could use a little sprucing, but you won’t be disappointed in the food.

“The Best Italian food- our favorite restaurant” — My husband and I went to school at Sam Houston State University, and Joe’s became our favorite place! Every entree we’ve had has been excellent, but my absolute favorite is the spinach tortellini. When joking about if we had to eat one thing for the rest of our lives, it would definitely be a dish from Joe’s! We now live out of state, but any chance we get to come back to the Houston area, Joe’s is always on our list.

Here is a link to the Menu.

Tony’s Italian Delicatessen (Local Eats)

Rated the Number 1 Restaurant in America 2017 on Yelp and Still One of the Very Best

Photo: Tony’s Italian Delicatessen

So, what’s all the hype about? A counter service, self service beverage, sandwich shop, in an obscure strip center beats out Michelin Star restaurants and world class establishments? Well, in a word, YES. While we are happy to share our experiences (all wonderful), why not see what a few reviewers had to say:

If you have not made a visit to Tony’s yet, you are missing out. These are some of the best sandwiches I’ve ever had and their deli is a must visit for any Houston area foodie. Calling Tony’s a sandwich shop is an understatement as from the moment you walk in, you’re welcomed by the smell of an authentic New York Italian Deli,” wrote a reviewer from Spring. “Everything was, on a scale of one to ten, off the scale. The owners, Mary and Hootie are the nicest of people, they greet their regulars by name and make even the non-regulars like me feel welcome and appreciated.

Best sandwich I have ever had. The people there are great. The food is outstanding. Some days you can wait 30 minutes for a sandwich but it is worth every second of waiting. Get the Lucky Luciano. Also get the peppers on it and have them hollow out the bread. You will thank me,” wrote a Google Local Guide.

Seeing is believing, here are just a few sandwiches offered.

Lucky Luciano with Crusty Italian Bread
Genoa Salami, Sweet Italian Sausage, Pepperoni, Marinara, Roasted Red Peppers, Provolone – Traditionally Served Hot
Muffaletta with Crusty Italian Bread
Mortadella, Genoa Salami, Maple Ham, Provolone Cheese, Olive Smear & Sub Oil – Served Hot or Cold
Ham Melt with Crusty Italian Bread
Maple Ham, Apple Bacon, Cheddar Cheese, Roma Tomatoes

Tony’s now has well over 400 five-star reviews. With mainstream sandwich shops on every corner, this little spot has more to offer than any other. We have mixed feelings about Yelp and tend to let hype settle before giving a place our dollar vote. The hype was more of an accurate assessment and if you haven’t been we think you’ve been missing out.

Top Recommended Sunday Brunch Spots

Listed in Alphabetical Order

Links to the brunch menus and pages are found by clicking the restaurant’s name below.

The omelet station during Sunday brunch at Robard’s in The Woodlands. Photo by Phaedra Cook.

So you’re thinking about Mimosas and delicious food this Sunday? What are the top recommended options according to Woodlands Area Foodies (WAF)? We’ll list them here in alphabetical order for you. Know these spots and recommend any must-have items? Let us know in the comments below.

April Sound Country Club

Your search for great restaurants ends right here at your own Club. At April Sound, we strive to provide you with an extraordinary Club experience each and every day – this includes our phenomenal array of daily dining options. Whether in the mood for formal or informal fine dining, your options for world-class cuisine at April Sound are virtually endless. 

Black Walnut Cafe (Conroe)

With an inventive, extensive menu and a put-you-at-ease atmosphere, Black Walnut Cafe emerged in 2002 as a contemporary destination for hungry Houstonians, and we’ve been savoring the fun ever since.

Encouraged by our fellow Black Wal-“nuts”, we have since expanded across Texas (with locations in Houston, Dallas/Fort Worth and Austin) and into Georgia with our newest restaurants in Atlanta. Since our creation we’ve had the continued desire to create a space where casual comfort welcomes a cultivated palate — your go-to place for a quick burger, a leisurely brunch, or simply just because.

From handcrafted sandwiches and freshly tossed salads to chilled local craft brews and swirly rows of gelato, you have at your fingertips an option for every appetite and any occasion — and a favorable chance that during your next visit, you’ll happen upon something entirely new.

We serve breakfast, lunch and dinner every day of the week, happy hour twice daily with a wide selection of beer and wine, and To-Go and Catering service when you’re on the run or in a hurry.

Browse our menus, see what we’re up to in the community, and always feel free to let us know how we’re doing.

After all, this is your place.

Churrascos
Image Credit @BrunchNoir, Twitter

Established in 1988, Churrascos offers the bold flavors of the South American Parilla with all its fire and passion. From appetizers like empanadas and ceviches to our signature chimichurri marinated center-cut tenderloin and famous Tres Leches. Paired with distinct wines, Churrascos warmly transports you to an orchestra of flavor celebrating the grill, fresh ingredients, and your guests.

Cru Wine Bar

Yes, you can brunch at lots of places. And yes, many of them will serve you a mimo-so-so-sa-like beverage, made with (gasp) sparkling wine from a box. But at CRÚ, we’ve elevated brunch to the casually elegant dining experience you imagine it to be (and wish for) after a weekend of hardy partying. Oh, and our Mimosas are made from charming prosecco and grove stand orange juice. Cheers!

Crush Wine Lounge

All You Can Eat Sunday Brunch Buffet is available from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Crush is located at 20 Waterway Avenue Suite 200 in The Woodlands, Texas on the beautiful Woodlands Waterway.

We offer hundreds of treasures and one-of-a-kind wines personally selected by our wine specialists:

Boutique wines, limited production, up-and-comers, and other wines that you just will not find elsewhere. All are reasonably priced.  A vast selection of wines by the glass, combined with the best view in The Woodlands create a unique lounge experience second to none.

We also have an extensive Spirits, Beer, and Cigar menu, bringing an eclectic mix of the classics along side various craft selections.

We believe the service we provide is just as important as the drink in your glass.  Let our staff introduce you to new beer, spirits and wine,.   We welcome you to the premier wine destination in The Woodlands.


Fielding’s Local

At Fielding’s local kitchen + bar, fresh is everything. We source our products from 44 Farms, Houston Dairymaids, Mill King Family Creamery, small wineries and craft brewers everywhere. We hand cut our own steaks, we dry-age our own beef, we make our own pasta and we bake all our breads and pastries daily.

Our restaurant was built using as many repurposed and energy efficient materials as possible. The main wood is reclaimed Douglas fir, while part of the bar is made of a reclaimed white washed wood and all booths and bar stools are recycled leather. The majority of lights are LEDs, the heating and air conditioning system is environmentally friendly and the grill itself only uses wood as it energy source. We even have a filtering water system for cooking and drinking water.

The Goose’s Acre Bistro and Irish Pub

While back in Ireland visiting relations, Brian Young and Colm O’Neill proposed purchasing the contents of the pub, to include both bars, from the previous owner who was distraught over the pending loss of the pub’s history and heritage. Although it meant shipping the pub across the Atlantic Ocean, the previous owner was ecstatic that The Goose’s Acre Irish Pub would continue its traditions of bygone times.

Brian Young and Colm O’Neill made the decision to bring this authentic pub to The Woodlands to share the romance and history of years past. We welcome you to pull up a chair and enjoy the experience of The Woodlands Only Authentic European Pub.

Robard’s Steakhouse

“Do the impossible, because almost everyone has told me my ideas are merely fantasies.” – Howard Hughes

Howard Hughes constantly challenged what he could be and devoted himself to every endeavor with a zeal that excluded all else. Much like he redefined what it is to be a businessman, Robard’s is redefining the classic American steakhouse. An evening at Robard’s is an experience that unleashes the adventurous spirit in all of us – whether through a wonderful meal, a social hour spent on our inviting patio, or an evening relaxing by the firepit. Our commitment to pushing the boundaries of what a steakhouse can be makes for unforgettable dining moments that embrace the extraordinary.

Walden Yacht Club

Walden Yacht Club is open to the public, its the best kept secret in Montgomery Texas. If you’re in the mood for a fine dining restaurant overlooking Lake Conroe, with great food such as seafood, steaks, Walden Yacht Club is what you need. Reservations are recommended and children are always welcome. A special menu for children under age 10 is available. “Take-out” from the Dining Room is another service offered by the Walden as well a great family night.

Walden on Lake Conroe is the hub of the Walden social activity. The 17,000 square-foot building contains the spectacular Lakeview Dining Room with a great view of Lake Conroe, as well as smaller rooms for meetings and private parties and weddings. Walden on Lake Conroe boasts an award-winning executive chef, a superb service staff and a full-time banquet event coordinator. Providing full-service, Walden on Lake Conroe also offers catering service for all types of events.

Schilleci’s New Orleans Kitchen (Local Eats)

Classic Cajun Creole, Seafood, & Steak Specialties

Voted “Best of the Woodlands” every year since 2010 opening Schilleci’s New Orleans Kitchen is an intimate, elegant French Quarter-style restaurant on Market Street. Come enjoy our fresh fish from around the world with your favorite toppings. Our awards consist of our Smoked Crawfish Dip, Duck and Sausage Gumbo, and Bread Pudding. 
Schilleci’s is proud to offer a menu consisting of Louisiana classics, from seafood gumbo to crawfish etouffee, shrimp creole and red beans & rice.
The Schilleci goal is to use many New Orleans staples in our restaurant. A few of them consist of Gambino’s Bread, Blue Plate Mayonnaise, Community Coffee, Abita Beer, and Pat O’Briens Hurricanes We prepare our beignets with Cafe Du Monde’s famous recipe. 
Schilleci’s has an extensive wine list and offer $10 off any bottle of Wine or Champagne Wednesday and Thursday nights from 5-9pm. Our 3 Sommeliers on staff are eager to help in your wine and food pairing.

Stop in for lunch or make a reservation for dinner at the Market Street location in The Woodlands (Next Door to Charming Charlies).