In our dining escapades over the past few months, we’ve revisited an “old” fave, checked out someplace “new”, dined at a “renewed” restaurant concept, enjoyed fantastic eats at a “repeat”, and even indulged in an pretty impressive dessert. From fast casual to fine dining, here are the dishes we’ve been digging around town.

The Old

Crawfish & Noodles – Now we know that this Vietnamese Cajun spot has amazing crawfish, which season after season (and even in the off season) have crawfish lovers from all over the city flocking to Chinatown to indulge! However, that’s not what we want to bring to your attention. We would like to take a moment to do the happy dance and shout “WELL DAMN” for their Salt and Pepper Blue Crab. If you are a seafood lover, this dish needs to be placed at the top of your must-try list ASAP! If Blue Crab is not your jam or too much work, you can sub out for Snow or Dungeness crab. The Salt and Pepper Blue Crab is prepared stir-fry style after being seasoned with salt and pepper, battered and deep-fried.

The New

Peli Peli started out with one South African restaurant in Vintage Park and has quickly grown into a second location inside the loop with two more Peli Peli’s opening, one Austin and one San Antonio this year. So it was no surprise that they would find a way to increase their customer base by adding something more casual and more approachable for the masses, Peli Peli Kitchen. This fast casual concept marries many cultures and flavors to give us their take on southern comfort food.

We must admit that there are a plethora of delicious dishes on the menu. Like the crowd favorites Braised Oxtails and the signature dish The Peli which is their Peri Peri Rotisserie Chicken; but we wanted to highlight one that knocked our socks off and had us excited and inspired by its big flavors and amazing taste. It was the South African Roast Beef Banh Mi (roast beef sliced thin & dipped in au jus with Peli Peli Kitchen spread, liver pate & creamy horseradish). We would put this one up against the best Banh Mi’s in the city, and this one could hold its own.

The Renew

Although the menu may have changed, the location and most importantly the chef, have not. Formally an Italian restaurant set in an old-world Italian theme, Trevisio has transformed into fine dining concept, Third Coast. The focus on “modern Houstonian” cuisine is a welcomed treat as to love Houston is to love the diversity of the food offered here. Under the direction of Executive Chef Jon Buchanan, the locally-sourced menu gets straight to the point. One of our favorite bites came by way of the Red Snapper. A tail-on Filet Red Snapper placed atop a generous portion of creamy (and perfectly spiced) green curry, cashews, and lemongrass-ginger rice. The menu is filled with dishes that are reminiscent of our culinary melting pot, and we are all over it.

The Repeat

In the words of Jenni’s Noodles…noodles rules! Well, that is something we can definitely agree on and apparently we are not the only ones. Jenni has been giving us Houstonians something to love over and over again and with the opening of her newest (and fourth) location, this Houston classic continues to offer the same dishes Jenni herself grew up enjoying and watching her mother prepare, which now influences her own cooking – Lemongrass Beef, Salt & Peppery Shrimp (fave!!!), Vermicelli Salad, the list goes on and on. The only difference between now and then may be the funny names given to the dishes. Teddie’s Not Gay or TNG Noodles anyone? We’ve been going to Jenni’s Noodles for a while now, and our list of faves is fairly long, but no matter what we order, the Infernal Chicken Curry, Pork & Shrimp Egg Rolls, and Steamed Pork Dumplings always make the cut!

But wait there’s more…

Now we had to get a sweet bite on this list for our dessert lovers! It’s the Whiskey Cake at the new Whiskey Cake Kitchen & Bar in Katy! Yes, you must travel west to Katy for this goodness, but we feel this dish is totally worth it. Plus the apps, entrees, and cocktails are pretty tasty creating a stellar dining experience. This dessert pulls you in from the first bite and commands your attention the entire time as the toffee torte, Bourbon Anglaise, and spiced pecans work together in perfect harmony!

Crawfish & Noodles Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
Third Coast Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
Jenni's Noodle House Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Urban Swank Girls


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