Friday, July 20, 2012

Wild Salmon Burger caught doing the Watusi at...

... the Field of Greens Healthy Cuisine Restaurant or was that me doing the Watusi after eating the Wild Salmon Burger.  Either way it's a great sandwich. I go there specifically for it. I crave it, I want it, so I go get it. I can feel my booty and feet moving just thinking about it.
The wild caught salmon patty is grilled perfectly leaving it moist yet firm. Served on a sprouted grain Ezekiel bun,  it comes with a choice of soup, salad or fries. I usually get the salad, because it is such a nice companion to the burger.
This casual restaurant offers Vegetarian, Vegan and Raw menu items as well. To be honest I have only had the Wild Salmon Burger. I vow that I am going to try something else, but that never happens. Let me know if you try something else. I bet it will be good. I did notice that they use Gluten-Free pasta and they put a notice on their menu to please notify them of any food allergies. They are clearly looking out for our best interest.

I snagged this description from Wikipedia in regard to the Watusi.
In the classic Watusi, the dancer is almost stationary with knees slightly bent, although may move forward and back by one or two small rhythmic paces. The arms, with palms flat in line, are held almost straight, alternately flail up and down in the vertical. The head is kept in line with the upper torso but may bob slightly to accentuate the arm flailing. The dance, which became popular in the American surf/beach sub-culture of 1960s, may be enhanced if one imagines that one's feet are on sand.

Visit the Field of Greens Healthy Cuisine
The Field of Greens
2320 W. Alabama
Houston, TX 77098

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Friday the 13th at the Queen Vic was a very good day....

...for my birthday celebration.

High Tea, cocktails and good friends added to the merry making. Thank goodness for friends, thank goodness for the Queen Vic. I think going for afternoon tea is one of the best things to do.

That probably started when I was just a little girl, living in Kansas, having afternoon tea with my mom. She made it fun. I would go out the back door and come around to the front, knock, she would invite me in as if I was her long lost friend. We would sit and have tea and PB&Js, with the crust cut off and talk and laugh. The tea was probably Lipton and that was good, too.

At the Queen Vic we had a choice of finger sandwiches and organic teas, served with fresh berries, vegetable chips, cream, jam and a lovely pineapple carrot cake.
This is the cucumber, cilantro, chutney sandwich.

This sandwich is made with Brie, walnuts and figs.

My sandwich was made with cucumbers, cilantro and chutney, crust off, of course. It was really good, as was all the other things on my plate. We talked and laughed. It felt like home.

The celebration continued after the tea pots emptied and cocktails arrived. A toast to a wonderful year was made and I am a glad for it.

Thank you Flora for thinking of afternoon tea. Thank you Cath for joining in the celebration.

Quote of the Day:  "There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea."  Henry James

Tea is served at the Queen Vic on Fridays from 3 to 5pm.

The Queen Vic Pub & Kitchen
2710 Richmond Ave.
Houston, TX 77098

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Asia Society of Houston is a place to lunch... a pleasing dining venue with fresh salads, soups and sandwiches. There is art, too!!!

My initial introduction to the Asia Society was by chance.

I had heard of it, but had never ventured there. A friend invited me to join her for a Tai Chi class taught at the Asia Society by Henderson Smith. I jumped at the chance.  I had been taking Tai Chi from Henderson at Rothko and any additional instruction was a bonus for me. He really is a marvel. The Asia Society has a perfect space for Tai Chi, wood floors, a wall of windows looking out onto a garden. Really nice. Long story short, before class started I was invited to look around the building. It is quite beautiful. It was during this mini tour that I discovered the dining area. I instantly knew that I would have to come back and give it a try. As I found out, the name of the restaurant is The Jade Stone Cafe and lunch is the only meal served from 11 am to 2 pm daily. The menu consists of two soups, which they are expanding to three starting next week, five salads and three or four sandwiches. With every new place I try, it is always a pleasant chore deciding what to eat. I opted for the soup and sandwich combo, figuring that I could at least try two out of the three menu groupings. The soup was chicken and wild rice with chopped summer squash and carrots. The sandwich, chicken curry salad with chutney on whole wheat. The sides were potato chips and a red cabbage and carrot slaw tossed with sesame oil and cilantro. I was very pleased with my lunch. It was tasty, all the flavors complimented each other, melding in my mouth, making for a happy belly.
The savory chicken curry was nicely offset by the sweetness of the chutney.

The manager of the cafe told me that the food is prepared by The Stone Kitchen, a catering company in Houston, owned by executive chef Elizabeth Stone and then transported to and then assembled to order at The Jade Stone Cafe.  The tables are dressed in white linens, the room itself is unadorned, taking away visual noise allowing for a serene place to enjoy lunch. While I was sitting there a mist formed outside the window. It reminded me of being in the mountains.
The mist is released every 11 minutes.

Look through the glass and you can see the tables with white linens.

When I asked at the information desk about it, they told me that the mist is released every 11 minutes from the reflecting pool on the second floor. The pool is a wonder all unto itself. I could sit and look at it for hours.

I am so glad that I was invited to the Tai Chi class. It opened the door to a new place to have lunch,  meditate and view art. It doesn't get much better than that!!!
Exhibition thru October 7, Treasure of Asian Art: A Rockefeller Legacy
Asia Society of Houston, 1370 Southmore.
The Asia Society of Houston
1370 Southmore Blvd.
Houston, TX 77004

The Stone Kitchen

If you want to learn more about Tai Chi, I find it relaxing and invigorating all at the same time, here is Henderson's contact information. He is an excellent teacher.
Henderson Smith
Living Well Therapies

Quote of the Day: "The refreshing moon of the Buddha is traveling in the sky of utmost emptiness. If the pond of the mind is still, the beautiful moon will reflect itself in it."  Thich Nhat Hanh

Friday, July 6, 2012

The Day the Music Died, so long Fiesta.... will be missed.

This Fiesta Store was small, but it had all the good stuff.(I use the past tense here, because for all practical purposes, the store is no more.) I shopped there as often as I could. Sometimes it was just for one or two things, sometimes it was just to go into a friendly place where music from my early years played. Singing along and dancing down the aisles was a regular occurrence and I wasn't the only one. If you listened carefully, you could hear a whole grocery store singing along with Ray Charles, Three Dog Night, Chicago, Aretha.

It was weird going in there recently. The shelves are not being restocked. Some of them looked threadbare.
My favorite sections of the store were the produce, the seafood and the wine. There will never be better deals on wine anywhere else. That's the truth.

great produce

Best wine deals in town.

While I was checking out, I asked the guy at the register if the store was really closing on July 15. He said yes. I told him I would really miss coming into the store. He said that he would miss all the customers. He went on to say that the whole strip center is going to be demolished to make room for a high rise. I asked if Fiesta had made a place in other stores for all the displaced employees. He said that they had. Yeah!! Fiesta.

I like grocery stores. I'm fortunate to have such a selection within a one mile radius from my apartment. Each one of them offers something different, each one has its own personality and even though I have other stores to shop, I will really miss this quirky fun little store.
The whole strip center is going down.

The Fiesta at West Alabama and Dunlavy
Goodbye, Fiesta.
Ah, I love the smell of cilantro in the morning.

Quote of the Day:
"I love grocery shopping when I'm home. That's what makes me feel totally normal. I love both the idea of home as in being with my family and friends, and also the idea of exploration. I think those two are probably my great interests." Yo-Yo Ma

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Toasting Patrick Flanagan at Hendricks Pub.... just seemed like the right thing to do.
I have been wanting to go into Hendricks Pub, because it is a curiosity to me. I remember it not as a pub but as Settegast Kopf Funeral Home.

Hendricks Pub is on the right. The left side of the building is a club called Roak. It has a pool inside.

Certainly, the outside screams "I AM A PUB" not "I USED TO BE A FUNERAL HOME," albeit a very nice one as those things go, but I remember it as the later. It is in fact the last place that I saw Patrick Flanagan, before being taken to his final resting place at Lawndale Cemetery. Patrick and his wife Peggy, neighbors at the first apartment complex I lived in, had taken this hick-from-the-sticks young woman under their wings when I blew into Houston from Kansas, a very long time ago. They  introduced me to Houston as only natives can. I will be forever grateful for their kindness. I felt it was appropriate to give Patrick a proper toast in this funeral home turned pub.

Plus, I have another connection with this pub/funeral home, I worked on an industrial training video with my friend David, who directed the video for SCI, in the 80s. In fact, I played a dead person, lying on a gurney, waiting outside the embalming room. I think I was fully covered by a sheet, but still, it was a bit creepy. We also did a shot of a hearse leaving the garage. The parking lot was sprayed down with water so the concrete looked even, with a nice reflection. David timed the shot perfectly, the garage door opens, the headlights are revealed, the hearse pulls out, turning to the right. We did it at sunrise. It was dramatic and well done.

To be honest, I was a bit nervous going into the pub, so I asked my friend Taavi, who is a good friend and an excellent hip hip horrayer, to meet me there. I just didn't know what to expect or how I would feel once inside the place. I liked it. The pub was warm and open and very lively!!! We sat at the bar, the service was great. Taavi and I raised our glasses to Patrick Flanagan.  "Here's to you Patrick Flanagan, a kind and generous soul. I am so glad that I knew you."

I looked around the place and realized that I was one of the older folks there, wondering if any of these youngster even knew about the funeral home aspect of the place. Luckily a young man in his mid 20s stepped up to the bar, so I asked him if he knew the history of the place, did he know that Hendricks Pub used to be a funeral home. He said that he did. I asked if that bothered him at all. He said not in the least bit. He seemed to be having a good time with friends.

Hendricks Pub has an impressive beer selection and a full bar. I had my usual local beer from Buffalo Brewery Co., Taavi had a beer from Oregon. Both very good. I also tried one of their signature drinks, Hendricks Gimlet made with gin, elderberry flower liqueur, a dash of orange bitters, lime, topped off with champagne. I liked it, because it wasn't overly sweet and it had an effervescence that was refreshing. I do want to go back and try their food. Pub grub is a favorite of mine.

An Old Irish Blessing
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

Hendricks Pub and Eatery
3320 Kirby Drive
Houston, TX 77098