Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Outlaw 3 Meat Cheeseburger at JerryBuilt for a Limited Time

One of my fave local burger places I've written about many times here is JerryBuilt Home Grown Burgers.  Their Holcombe Location is close to my kids' cousins' house, which gives us an easy excuse to stop by there on a regular basis.  Besides the fact that their burgers are just plain good, the fact that they try to locally and organically source as much of their meats, veggies and other ingredients as much as  practicable doesn't hurt either.  Their community involvement with local charities and schools is well documented (Remember Dad's Big Delicious Mess, the burger yours truly created that JerryBuilt had on their menu, which they can still make on request?)

All that notwithstanding, they also have great seasonal offerings that change every few months and today I am writing about their Outlaw Burger.  This is one beauty of a burger that was made to celebrate the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, but is being offered through the end of April. The Outlaw ​has in-house prepared pulled pork, batter-fried bacon, ghost pepper cheese and BBQ ​sauce on top of an angus beef patty​.  Just take a look at that burger!  It is a meaty, juicy, spicy, crunchy, flavourful mess!  I took a bite and enjoyed that crunch of the batter fried bacon, the spicy sweetness of the pulled pork they smoke in house, and of course, the organic, juicy, Angus beef.  The Ghost Pepper cheese sneaks up on you a bit, giving a bit of a hot kick at the end.  Over all a winner of a Burger that hits all the taste bud receptors on full throttle.

Besides the Outlaw Burger, two other seasonal offerings that are available at JerryBuilt through the end of April are the Divine Harvest Salad and the Strawberry Cheesecake Blue Bell Ice Cream Shake.  The Divine Harvest Salad features a mix of Spring Greens, Kale, Apple slices, Walnuts, Spinach, Goat Cheese Crumbles, golden raisins, cherry tomatoes and house-made Local Honey Vinaigrette Dressing.  This is a beautiful and colourful salad that is full of texture between the greens, the nuts, the raisins and the apples, as well as sweet, sour and salty flavours with a strong herbal undercurrent.  For those who are not into lots of meat, this Salad will also be in good taste for this Spring.

The Bluebell™ Ice Cream Shake of the Season, Strawberry Cheesecake, features real bits of dense New York Cheesecake blended with strawberry ice cream & Milk, is topped with whipped cream and crumbled graham crackers.  This shake is literally like drinking slice of strawberry cheesecake.  I'm also very thankful the folks at JerryBuilt give you a Boba Tea style straw, because their thick shakes wouldn't get through a regular old straw!

All these offering are available at both JerryBuilt Locations (Holcombe Blvd and The Woodlands Mall) through the end of April.  For more on these items, please see my Tastemade Video below!

Eat Happy, Y'all!!!

JerryBuilt Homegrown Burgers

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Chargrilled Oysters and a Hurricane at The Rouxpour in Sugar Land

Well folks, I am very fond of some N'awlins style oysters.  As a fella who has lived most of his life along the Gulf Coast, Mostly in Baton Rouge and Houston, they can be served great so many ways.  Batter fried, raw on the halfshell, stewed, Rockefeller or chargrilled.  Oysters are a seafood delight of which I love to partake.  Recently, a colleague from Louisville was asking where they could get some New Orleans Style Chargrilled Oysters and I drew a blank because it had been a while.  So I solicited some friends who write about food and they gave me several great places, one of which I had forgotten about:  The Rouxpour in Sugar Land Town Square.  Here's a bit of background on them:

The Rouxpour, is a New Orleans inspired concept by Mack McDonald and Lincoln Ward. The two teamed together in the early part of 2010 to begin the planning and development of the 3,676 sq ft design located in Sugar Lands bustling Town Center. McDonald and Ward then hired veteran Chef J. L. Quevedo, and the three began developing a menu reflecting the flavor and culture of New Orleans’ renowned French Quarter. The Rouxpour officially opened Labor Day 2010. McDonald is an entrepenuer originally from Baton Rouge LA. and currently resides in Greatwood TX. Ward is a Texas born restaurantuer whose home is in Sugar Land TX. and J.L. Quevedo is a 10+ year chef originally from Vera Cruz Mexico and resides in Houston TX. Fashioned after the historic French Quarter in New Orleans, The Rouxpour offers an authentic New Orleans experience like no place else. The Rouxpour restaurant and bar boasts a classic New Orleans atmosphere complete with stunning decor, cozy patio seating, a warm yet vibrant ambience, and an ambitious menu concentrating on authentic New Orleans cuisine.
Although my colleague went to another recommendation, I knew I needed to haul myself over to the Rouxpour and refresh my absent minded professor's memory on this seafood treat!   However, when I first stopped in I also knew I had to avail myself of the classic New Orleans Cocktail called The Hurricane (named after the Lamp glass that it resembles!) The hurricane is a sweet alcoholic drink made with rum, fruit juice, and syrup or grenadine. The creation of this passion fruit–colored relative of a daiquiri is credited to New Orleans tavern owner Pat O'Brien. The bar allegedly started as a speakeasy called Mr. O'Brien's Club Tipperary and the password was "storm's brewin.'" In the 1940s, he needed to create a new drink to help him get rid of all of the less-popular rum that local distributors forced him to buy before he could get a few cases of more popular liquors such as scotch and other whiskeys. He poured the concoction into hurricane lamp–shaped glasses and gave it away to sailors. The drink caught on, and it has been a mainstay in the French Quarter ever since. It can be done frozen or on the rocks, so I went with the Rouxpour's frozen version called the SLURRICANE: light and dark rum, 151, pineapple, oj and passion fruit.  While this one is potent, it's a bit less sweet than some Hurricanes I've had, so nice job!!!

Now for the Oysters (or as some of my N.O. peeps call them ERRSTERS!!!)  There are 4 Different Varieties of Chargrilled Oysters available at The Rouxpour, and since it was hard to commit to any one of them, I went with the Chargrilled Trio!  You can choose a dozen of their Rockefeller (Creamed Spinach, lump crab, and Hollandaise), Rouxpour Signature (Cheese and herb blend with their heralded secret sauce.), Marinara (Marinara sauce, asiago cheese, and pickled jalapeños) or Spinach Madeline (Creamed spinach, asiago cheese, and chopped bacon) style Chargrilled Oysters in the bunch.  Just be aware that if you go Rockefeller, it will cost a little extra.  These are served with a couple of slices of grilled French bread and they simply fill up the plate!  WOW!!!

I had the Rouxpour Signature, the Spinach Madeline and the Marinara style chargrilled oysters.  Each of them had a meaty shellfish topped with a good amount of toppings.  I found the Signature to be somewhat garlicy, had a semi pungence and perhaps a hint of horseradish in the Secret Sauce.  The Madeline had a good amount of spinach with the cheese slightly crisp on the top  and a nice smokey crunch from the bacon.  The Marinara had a good, robust, rich tomato base and the hint of heat from the jalapeño added some zest to it.  All in all a great plate of a dozen oysters for a good afternoon's snack!  And in a place that feels like New Orelans without the long drive to get there!

Report Card for the Rouxpour:
Food & Beverage: 

     Signature Oysters: A++
     Spinach Madeline Oysters: A+
     Marinara Oysters: A+
     Slurricane: A
     Speed: A-
     Friendliness: A
      Dining/Bar Area: A
      Kitchen: Incomplete
      Men's Room: Incomplete
Ambiance (High End New Orleans Seafood Place): A

Overall Grade: Solid A

The Rouxpour is located in Sugar Land Town Square at:
2298 Texas Drive
Sugar Land, TX 77479

Hours of Operation:
Sunday 10:30am-10pm, bar till 11pm
Monday-Wednesday 11am-10pm, bar till 11pm
Thursday-Saturday 11am-11pm, bar till 12am

Eat Happy, Y'all!!!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Best Bets for St. Patrick's Day

Faith 'n Begorrah, Erin go Bragh!  St. Patty's Day 'tis a coming tomorrow!  And even this descendant of Scots, Welsh, Swedes and Danes can get in the mood f'r it, b'ys!  Thankfully, some great places in Houston are observing it in their own way.  And with that, AND AWAAAAYYYYYY WE GO!

Hearsay Gastro Lounge and Hearsay on the Green
Both locations of Hearsay, the great downtown Gastrolounges, are having food, beer and drink specials!  Drink Specials includes Green St. Arnold's Lawnmower a Travis St. and Brooklyn Lager at Dallas Street for $5, Jameson's Irish Whiskey shots for $7, Irish Coffee or Bailey's and Coffee for $8, and Irish Car Bombs (Irish Creme Liqueur floated on top of a shot of Irish Whiskey and then dropped into a pint of Irish Stout) for $12. Food specials include Beer Braised Bangers and Mash (sausages and potatoes) for $16 and Corned Beef with Cabbage for $20.

Hearsay's locations are at:

218 Travis St.
Houston, TX 77002


1515 Dallas St.
Houston, TX 77010

Mr. Peeples Featuring Bubba and Greg
Let's not forget that Mr. Peeples isn't just a restaurant, but they also have club nights featuring DJs and dancing as well.  Bubba and Greg are a pair of Houston artists and business people who like to perform 70s and 80s R&B, Pop and Disco, and will be performing for your entertainment pleasure!  For those who enjoy a floor show with your dinner, this will be a nice evening out. Be sure to call in and reserve your table ASAP at 713 652 0711.

Mr. Peeples is located at:
1911 Bagby St
Houston, TX 77002

Grimaldi's Pizza brings back Irish Cream Cheesecake
Since we are in an Irish Mood, which includes the infamous Bailey's Irish Cream Liqueur, I figured you'd like to hear about this great dessert available for the dreaded Limited Time Only.  Start with your regular cheesecake, and then add Bailey's to the mix.  With an Oreo Cookie Crust, whipped cream and Chocolate Sauce garnish, this is sure to hit the spot for those who love a great dessert.

Grimaldi's Coal Brick Oven Pizza has three Houston area locations:

16535 Southwest Fwy, Sugar Land, TX 77479
20 Waterway Ave, Spring, TX 77380
2643 Commercial Center Blvd Ste C390, Katy, TX 77494

Raising Cane's Brings Back Green Lemonade through St. Patrick's Day
Just FYI:  if you have a Caniac Card, there is one FREE 22 oz Green Lemonade that will expire after St. Patrick's Day ends.  So be sure to get to one of the MANY Raising Cane's Chicken Fingers around Houston to enjoy some!

Houston Press BREWFEST Upcoming!!!  SPECIAL PRESALE!!! 
Join Houston Press and Lucky’s Pub on Saturday, May 16th from 3PM – 7PM at Silver Street Station as we celebrate the 4th Annual BrewFest. BrewFest is an indoor/outdoor beer-sampling event and festival that will feature craft beers, local food trucks and live music! Purchase tickets during the exclusive Pre-Sale Tuesday, March 17th at 10AM – Saturday, March 21st at 10AM using our special promo code. Tickets are On Sale to the Public Saturday, March 21st at NOON at www.ticketfly.com.

Starts: March 17 @ 10am
Ends: March 21 @ 10am
Promo Code: HANK15

Boxing it Up To Go! 
Well folks, I'm sure there's plenty more where these came from, but these are the ones that really caught my attention.  Enjoy St. Patrick's Day RESPONSIBLY and don't forget to:

Eat Happy, Y'all!!!