Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy New Year from Hank On Food! A look back at 2011

Greetings everyone and Welcome to 2012.  It's not been a full year at Hank On Food Yet, and already I've just passed 100 entries.  The past year has been eventful personally, professionally and in the realm of food, restaurants and dining.  New restaurants in Houston have opened and closed, sometimes in the same year.   Long term restaurants have closed forever.  New up and comers have solidified their hold on certain markets and in some cases, expanded.  In looking back at the past year, several things have stood out for me as Milestones or Eventful.  And so with respect to that, here are some important milestones I've seen happen with regards to food and restaurants:

1.  Hank On Food Begins--May 14, 2011

3 meat combo at Fadi's
Not too toot my own horn too much, but I finally stopped just making food review videos on YouTube and started this blog in earnest.  I had a lot of backlogged reviews and videos and began getting my blogging feet going starting this particular date, partly at the urging of several viewers on YouTube, I began working at doing food write ups.  With some advice from fellow foodblogger and YouTube personality Mijune Pak, I began carving out my own niche and finding my personal style.  This is still very much a work in progress, but I've gone from quick reviews with short grades to a detailed food report card coupled with blueprints of dishes I sampled.  I am hoping by May 14, 2012, I will have upped my game and be producing better quality postings/columns here.  My first written review was of Fadi's Mediterranean Grill.  Below is an old video. For your enjoyment is my first video review on YouTube of Five Guys Burgers and Fries:

2.  The Battle of The Burritos Begins--May 24, 2011.

After a debate among friends--where can you get the best build it yourself burritos--I went to Freebird's, Mission and Chipolte.  Freebird's was the overall winner by grade, followed by Mission and then Chipolte.  However, later on August 20, 2011, I tried Bullrito's and after evaluating them, they and Freebird's are tied for 1st place in that battle.

3.  A Trip to San Francisco, CA--Foodie Style-- May 30, 2011 through June 4, 2011

Café Bellini in San Francisco
A family trip to the Bay Area netted me a nice group of food reviews.  Café Bellini, Mama's on Washington Square, Dojima Ann, Cako Bakery, Boudin Bakery, Honey Honey Café, and In-N-Out Burger were all visited and had various dishes reviewed.  This trip was special for me because I was able to visit a large number of places in a short time and it really gave me a chance to hone my craft of sharing great food with you readers.

4. Service Issues raised in Hank on Food  July 11, 2011 and October 29, 2011

One area of ongoing concern in Food Service is the Service part.  Customer Service standards have dropped in recent years for a long list of reasons, and many restaurants are actively trying to fix things to make customers happier, as well as shore up revenue streams.  The issue was examined from the perspective of a Table for One as well as HOW Food is prepared (diner's preference versus proper recipe directions).

5. A Foodblogger Friend Hits the Big Time on FoodNetwork Canada

Mijune Pak appeared on Recipe to Riches with her Canadian Pie in a Jar recipe.  While she didn't win, Mijune is always a winner in my book and here is a quick recap of her category's finalists.

Of course there were other things that happened that were great--a few mentions in the Houston Press, 29-95 and Eater Houston on different columns and reviews I posted, I passed up 10,000 views two months ago, and was invited to a couple of new restaurant openings that were just wonderful.  I also posted a few personal recipe/experiments that some folks really enjoyed.  And of course, got some very useful feedback and tips from y'all as well.

Now that it's 2012, I am looking forward to another year of great food, great restaurants and recipes to share with you, the readers.  Let's Eat Happier in 2012!!!

Zao an, Y'all!!!

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