Hi folks. It’s been a while, hasn’t it?
If there’s one thing I love about living in a big city, it’s the variety of unique and sometimes oddball food experiences that pop up all around. There’s a new restaurant in Montrose that I had been dying to try. I believe it fits the oddball bill: Little Big’s– a small burger stand with limited seating (but a huge porch) that serves only sliders and their buddy, the french fry. Little Big’s was started by Chef Bryan Caswell, the chef/owner of Reef– another place I need to get to soon (it was recently named the #1 seafood restaurant in America by Bon Appetit). Although Reef specializes in seafood, the sliders became a popular menu item- so popular that Bryan decided to open a casual, counter-service outpost where the slider is king.
I jumped at the chance to go on a recent weekend night, and I’m glad I did. It wasn’t the best burger I’ve ever had, but then again, I wouldn’t necessarily go there if I wanted a burger (and by burger, I mean a giant, dripping behemoth that is covered in ketchup and mustard). I ordered a trio of sliders, one of each of their offerings: spicy chicken, beef with caramelized onions, and mushroom. The spicy chicken was possibly my favorite, and I don’t typically go for white meat. It was perfectly spicy, perfectly crispy, and the single pickle was a nice touch. I love you, Chick-Fil-A, but this deal put the #1 combo to shame. The beef that makes up the beef slider is very tasty. You can tell that it is freshly ground in-house. However, mine was a little dry. The mushroom slider was a fried portabello mushroom cap stuffed with some kind of molten cheese. It was very good as well- the breading was nicely done. The buns are freshly baked, yeast-y wonders. We also ordered several baskets of handcut fries for the table and they were tasty. There is a condiment station featuring Little Big’s signature sauce: a sriracha remoulade that is perfect for dipping fries and smothering over the beef slider. I can’t wait until the weather decides to stay warm, as I have a feeling I’ll be spending a lot of time on that fabulous porch.
Thai food was one of the first ethnic foods I fell in love with, and for that reason it will always hold a special place in my heart. In search of a big bowl of curry, I had lunch one day at Nidda Thai. The dining room is your typical cheesy Asian-themed decor, but you don’t go to a Thai restaurant for the atmosphere, you go for the food! I had the Panang curry with chicken. The curry was perfect- just spicy enough and appropriately sweet from the coconut milk. I love dumping spoonfuls of rice into the curry. In fact, I could probably be served just the curry base with rice (and no protein) and be perfectly happy. I would drink that stuff if it weren’t so spicy.
In Houston (and Texas in general), rodeos are a big deal. I don’t know that I am a rodeo kind of gal, but any fair-like opportunity with free food and drink is A-OK in my book. To kick off the huge Houston rodeo season, there is a World Championship BBQ Cookoff. $7 gets you in the gate and one plate of food from the public tent (this is usually catered by a second-rate local BBQ joint from what I hear). Lucky for me, I had a friend who scored a free ticket to a private booth- and these are pretty hard to come by. There are hundreds of private booths where competitive BBQ pit masters test their skills. These booths are then sponsored by various corporations (from what I understand) and feature free ‘que and drink (open bar!). The pulled pork at our booth was DELISH. I could have eaten only that and been really happy. While I’m not ready to claim Texas BBQ as my favorite, I’m definitely warming up to the idea. The stuff I grew up on- Dreamland and Byron’s- remains #1 in my book for now.
Look for a foodstalkers trip to Austin very soon! My favorite city should have a lot to offer in the eats department.