Monday, December 29, 2008

Hiatus Explained...

Was away for a cruise for a week, then had a not-fun cold for about a week. Will have cruise food photos *soon* to make up for absence!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Restaurant Review: Beaver's!

I had driven past Beaver's on a couple different occasions of exploring unfamiliar streets in my general vicinity. Randomly, this venue's name popped into my head when being asked by a friend about what to do on a certain Friday night this December.

A quick search of their internet revealed a fun website that made the place look more like a "bar with food" than a standard restaurant. This impression was wrong, however. Upon dining [and drinking] at Beaver's, I would say a more accurate description of the place is "Hipster barbeque joint with a solid bar menu". If the cute animal silhouettes on the wall, modern (yet wood-sy) decor, and fun names of menu items weren't enough to assure you, Bar patrons dressed for an 80s prom night (as well as one or two in animal costumes) definitely convince you that Beaver's is a fun place to be. Oh, and they make their drinks strong!

While I didn't fall in love with the Rosemary Rickey that our waitress had recommended to me, the option for ordering a "mystery beer" made it an adventure to go up to the bar. For only $2.75, you can order a Mystery Beer. In return, you will receive a top-shelf beer selection of the bartender's choosing. We got to try some new beers at bargain prices. How can that be a bad thing?

For the most part, the group loved the food. As a vegetarian, I had few options--I was underwhelmed with the Macaroni and Cheese and just plain not impressed with the Vegan Chili. The Macaroni and Cheese clearly took time to bake in the oven and had been labored over. The sauce, however, was too runny and it lacked the necessary amounts of cheesy goodness required in "From-Scratch" Mac & Cheese (except for the cheesy crust baked on top). The Vegan Chili was just plain unoriginal. It tasted like an unfinished work of art. By that, I mean it was enjoyable enough and had potential, yet was missing some flavors and necessary oomph. Plus, I have a bias against mushrooms, which were not a fun surprise to discover amidst black beans.

Two of the boys got the Pit Boss Chickwich and raved about it for several days. Even the coleslaw was good! Though some would simply call it a Chicken Sandwich, the Pit Boss is hearty enough to give you the meat sweats, but thoroughly enjoyable at the same time.

So, would I return? I would love to return for happy hour to sample more of their inventive drinks (like Smokey Julep & Blood Orange Sour) or to bring some meat-loving out-of-town visitors. You will like this place if you enjoy good [Texas] barbeque, want a fun & casual place to eat good food, or have a thing for beavers (and who doesn't like beavers??!!).

Friday, December 12, 2008

Ode to Milo

Though you sit in my cupboard,
untouched for days on end,
whenever we meet, you make me happy again.

You expired years ago,
but now your shelf life is truly done,
and chocolate energy drinks won't be as fun.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

<3 Tea

Among many other qualities that I adore, one of the things J has starting doing for me lately is making tea for me in the mornings. I'm not a morning person, and the last few weeks (months?) have been especially bad. I'm not sure if I've just been more sleepy or simply less enthused to go to work. Either way, having a ready cup of tea in my travel mug really helps get me start the day in a more cheerful way!

Since it is actually snowing in Houston this evening (if you can even call it snow...), J decided that we should have tea tonight. What a fantastic idea! He pulled out all the stops for me and we even had tea of the loose-leaf variety! As I enjoy this delicious minty brew, I just think back on how we've come a long way in our relationship, beverage-wise.

J comes from a household where tea is served iced (and sugared) and coffee is the hot drink of choice. My childhood was pretty much the opposite in that we drank plenty of tea (only hot, and never sweetened) and coffee was only for guests. To get him to be a purveyor of tea seems like we've gone leaps and bounds from our initial encounter!

If you're not a big fan of hot tea, might I suggest sampling a different variety than what you've previously tried? Herbal teas (technically, "infusions") are a great place to start. And I minty or fruity teas are great "starter teas", too.

Of late, our "mutual favorite" teas come from the Tea Spot. We pick it up locally at the grocery store (I've seen it at Whole Foods and Central Market). I've given it as gifts, and I truly believe it is part of the equation that factored into turning J into a [hot] tea drinker. It's that good!

Time to check if there's any more tea in the pot.. I hope to have a 5th cup today!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Wishlists and such.