Happy New Year Readers! I hope everyone had a fun yet safe New Year's Eve Celebration! Welcome to the first year since 1987 where there are no numbers used more than once in the year. After having had a good year-end review and taken some time for reflection on a personal level, as well as a professional level in my career as a college professor and food blogger, I have now laid out a few goals for the coming year and already have a few events in the cue for the month of January. So fasten your seatbelt, sit tight and let's get things done!!!
13 Restaurants I want to Try in 2013
I'm always saying certain restaurants and food trucks are "on my short list" but that list is usually changing from week to week as I try them, or in some cases, I've moved too slow and missed an opportunity because the place closed. 2012 had A LOT of openings of great places and I managed to try some of the better ones, but I notably missed out on Oxheart, Underbelly, and Pass & Provisions in Houston this past year. Those three are at the top of my list along with a few others that I am going to share with you now. I am going for one a month, with one bonus one in the Summertime to hit all 13 of them this year.
TO BE CLEAR: I will OF COURSE be interested in new restaurants opening in the Houston area. I will STILL be covering Houston Food events and so forth. I am NOT saying no other restaurants than these 13 are worth trying. Please remember that I tried WAY MORE than 12 in 2012 and will try way more than these 13 this year.
However, these 13 are on my must try and must review list (aka my "Short List") for 2013 and I will achieve this modest task that it my charge. So without further jibber-jabber, here is the list:
1. Pass & Provisions
4. Sorrel Urban Bistro
5. Kata Robata
7. Feast (before it closes)
8. Local Foods
9. M F Sushi
10. Cloud 10 Creamery
11. Corkscrew BBQ
12. Coppa Ristorante Italiano
13. Cafe Pita +
In truth, my long list has A LOT more than these 13, but these are ones I've driven past, heard from fellow food bloggers, heard from critics and folks I talk to how great they are and how I need to pay them a visit. I have seen their websites, I have seen the pictures of the food, read the menus, kicked the tires, done everything except get in the chair and go for a ride. Well readers, with a bit of luck, a few bucks and well planned timing, I will hit all 13 of these places by the end of the year, in and around my other food adventures. If you've tried those places, I do hope my take does them justice. If you've not, I am certain these will all be blogworthy and will give you incentive to support these great local businesses and chefs as well.
Plate Party Upcoming for Ring of Honor at the Flying Saucer Sugar Land
I am just 5 distinct beers away from completing my first circle around the ring of honor at The Flying Saucer Sugar Land. I will be scheduling my Plate Party before the end of January. I already have invited a couple of folks, and will be giving away one invite to a reader and a plus one to attend. You and your plus one will each receive one pint of beer from the draught tap list and appetizers to be shared with the group. You and your plus one must be over 21 years of age per TABC requirements. I am looking for a regular loyal reader, who will post a comment with their Email address, who can tell me why they'd be the best random guest to be brought to my pint party. I'll make a selection by January 18. If I get no legitimate submissions, then it'll just be more beer and appetizers for me and the guests I invite that show up.
Other Items in the Pipeline for 2013
I am currently working on a craft beer and pizza pairing project with a great local pizza company using a few of our local craft brews. I'm not naming any names yet as I want to make sure it's a done deal before announcing it. This may involve some video media as well as photos and the blog. Stay tuned for more details.
I'm also going to do some more traveling this year. Minor road trips in Texas to visit a few great local places, plus a major trip I'm going to group fun due to its cost is being planned as well. If you are wishing to support the major trip which should lead to a eBook to be published on Amazon, please contact me directly as any sponsors will receive recognition in the forward as well as thanks on this blog.
Fast Casual Trucks Parking at the Houston Downtown Pavillions
Beginning Wednesday, January 2, four of Houston’s most in-demand food trucks will dish out fast and casual gourmet eats at Houston Pavilions. The trucks will provide lunchtime offerings from 11:00 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
The trucks will be located at the corner of Main Street and Dallas Street in front of Forever XXI. The Pavilions will provide tables and chairs nearby– creating an outdoor space for mobile food aficionados to eat in comfort. The restaurants on wheels broaden Houston Pavilions’ culinary offerings, which already include upscale options like McCormick & Schmick’s, Mia Bella Trattoria, III Forks Steakhouse, Crossroads, Andalucia and Guadalajara del Centro.
Houston Pavilions is located at 1201 Fannin and spans three city blocks. To visit, hop on the free Greenlink bus and exit at Dallas and San Jacinto, take Metro Rail to Main Street Square Metro Station or enjoy a quick walk from many of the nearby landmarks. Convenient, connected parking is available in the garage located on Clay between Main and Fannin. Visitors can safely access the Pavilions via a Sky Bridge.
Boxing up the rest to go
2013 is looking to be a good year in Food and in the restaurant industry, as well as in my life professionally and privately. Readership has grown locally thanks to support of my fellow bloggers and others in the local media who've promoted my blog. EaterHouston.com has been very supportive--thank you Eric Sandler. 29-95 has added me to their list of local blogs to check out as well.
I am especially grateful to several local TV news folks, specifically Owen Conflenti, Anthony Yanez, fellow Baylor Alum Lauren Freeman, Courtney Gilmore, Courtney Zavala and Mark Boyle from KPRC-Channel 2; Lily Jang, Katherine Whaley (whom I've met face to face at a number of openings this past year), Shern-Min Chow and Malini Basu of KHOU-11; and Michelle Merhar, Sally MacDonald & my old grad school Room Mate Ned Hibberd of Fox-26 who have read the blog from time to time, and given me more than a few shout outs on Twitter and on Facebook as well. Y'all make the news, be it AM or PM, more interactive and fun for those of us who watch and interact online. You all are also great assets to our community, helping out many charities as well as treating the fair, accurate and unbiased reporting of the news as important and relevant. I have much more respect for the local news media than national news media for these reasons especially, and ya'll are a tremendous asset to viewers in Houston. Thank you for your service to the Houston area.
So, let's get on with 2013.
And remember to Eat Happy, Y'all!!!