Eye Opener's Tour- Awwww...You guys are the best

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Jay P Francis

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Mar 9, 2000, 3:00:00 AM3/9/00
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Thanks for all the responses. Here it is in its entirety.

If anyone out there wants to put this on a website, they have my blessing.

Anecdotes and Bits and Pieces (for Reading on the Bus)

FIESTA

Fiesta began inauspiciously on Houston's near north side in 1972. Donald L.
Bonham was working for Opportunity Stores, finding & purchasing stores that the
company then reopened. Bonham had just bought a supermarket on Fulton Street
when Opportunity Stores suddenly went bankrupt. Bonham & his partner, O.C.
Mendenhall, opened the supermarket themselves, offering the Mexican-American
neighborhood the foods & dry goods that reflected its culture.

Bonham had a good idea about shopping Hispanic-style. In the 1960's he'd farmed
in Guatemala and Belize, then worked for a supermarket chain in Chile studying
food distribution. A trip to the Far East in the 70's increased his knowledge
about non-American eating habits. By the 80's he was an expert on ways to
market to ethnic populations.

The first Fiesta had fewer than 100 employees but within 10 years, employment
increased tenfold and 5 stores were added. Fiesta really "turned the corner" in
1982 with the opening of the 7th store, located at Bellaire & Hillcroft. This
110,000 square foot supermarket was the largest in Houston at the time. It was
also the first truly international supermarket with products from a multitude
of countries. It resulted in nationwide publicity and the momentum to double
Fiesta's size in the next two years.

Two questions most frequently asked are Why the name Fiesta? and where did Pepe
the parrot come from?

When Bonham was opening his first store, he planned to call it "El Mercado."
But he happened by an apartment complex where workers were removing a 25-foot
wide sign with the name Fiesta. The sign was soon his for no cost but the
installation. The name fits perfectly: fun, friendly and fast service to the
customer.

As for Pepe the Parrot. Fiesta's first advertising director decided the Fiesta
spokesperson needed someone or something to talk to in the television
commercials. They found an old stuffed parrot at the studio and it was an
instant hit. Shortly afterward, a man came into Fiesta with a live, Spanish
speaking parrot named Pepe. The store's colorful trademark was born

When we enter Fiesta, we'll be veering to the right which is where the fruits
and vegetables will be stacked up. We Texans already have good feel for stuff
which would seem very exotic up in, say, Iowa...such as dried chiles and mole.

Keep an eye out for the dried chile section...I've got a book with me which
describes the different kinds and their uses, piloncillo (pee yon see yo) which
is a raw cooked sugar used similarly to brown sugar, used to flavor mexican
style coffee with cinnamon, epazote, which is an herb used when cooking beans
to help break down the sugars which cause flatulence, big tubs of two or three
kinds of mole, and the fresh cheese section.

There's a snack bar as you first walk in where you may be able to pick up a
taco. And, there'll be a roasted corn stall outside (we hope) where you can
grab a freshly roasted ear, seasoned with butter, cream, and chile powder, on
your way out.

After cruising through the vegetable section, we'll be taking a quick tour
through the canned goods section and the meat areas. Feel free to browse on
your own.


(On the way to the Farmer's Market)

Let's talk about taquerias.

With a few exceptions, these are working class eateries, serving simple,
typical, Mexican fast food, like you'd find in any city in Mexico. Whereas the
typical Tex-Mex taco is a crispy fried tortilla, filled with lettuce, tomato,
ground beef, the Mexican taco usually consists of two soft corn tortillas
filled with one of several traditional meat fillings, onion, and cilantro.

In assessing the quality of a taqueria, you should be on the look out for
better-than-average of any of the following:

The tastiness of the hot sauce.

The quality of the meat: freshness and flavor.

The chips are called totopos in Mexico. The Aztecs called tortillas tlaxcalli,
and the chips have evolved out of the name, tlaxcaltotopochtli which
incorporates the word for thunder and tortilla, so I guess we could say the
meaning implies "noisy tortilla.

Mexican tortillas tend to soak up the fat, due in part to the quality of the
corn, possibly due to the use of lard (called manteca) instead of vegetable
oil, or possibly due to a lower frying temperature.

The lightness and delicacy of the rice and beans.

A typical taqueria will offer your choice of the following fillings for your
taco:

Sesos: Cow brains.

Barbacoa: you'll see this translated as 'barbecue' but it is actually more akin
to pot roast.

Carne asada: chopped beef ( res picado) similar to fajita meat, generally tough
and chewy.

Pastor: a style of cooking (pastor=pastoral or country style) chunks of pork on
a rotating spit. You'll see these as upright, vertical, roasters, usually with
a pineapple and onion skewered on top. This is a style very typical of Mexico
City.

Alambres: basically a shish kabob (alambre means wire). Sometimes a better cut
of meat, sometimes not. Often served with grilled green onions on the side.
Note (a la parilla usually means 'grilled' as in camarones a la
parilla...grilled shrimp).

Pibil or Cochinita Pibil: usually shows up at better restaurants, This is a
slow cooked pork roast, usually cooked with orange juice and garlic, very
typical of the Yucatan.

Lengua: tongue.

Tripas: tripe.

Nopales: the nopal or prickly pear cactus, usually sauteed till tender, and a
vegetarians best choice for tacos. Nopales are a little slimy, like okra, but
not at all unpleasant.

Aguacate (avocado): When it is blended with lime, chiles, garlic, and onions,
it becomes guacamole. The traditional Mexican avocado is small with a thick,
black skin, and not as cloyingly sweet as our big old American green Haas
avocados.

Most taquerias will serve up soups called caldos or sopas (note: 'soap' in
Spanish is jabon, not 'sopa'). Many feature seafood (mariscos) or fish filet
(pescado). While the fish is a fish, it's a pez; once it's caught it's pescado.
If it comes from the sea, i.e., seafood, it's mariscos. Also on the menu,
although usually just offered on the weekend are pozole, which is a chili
flavored soup with pork meat and white hominy, and menudo, which is a chili
flavored soup with pork or beef tripe.

One of the signs of a good restaurant is if the pozole is served Mexico City
style with chopped cabbage, onions, and radishes on the side for adding to the
soup.

In Houston, you'll usually find a good ol' Tex-Mex plate of enchiladas, usually
cheese or beef, served with refried beans (frijoles refritos) and Mexican style
rice (arroz a la).

A very filling sandwich, is the Mexican torta, which, when done right, will be
a toasted, fresh, bolillo (a French bread type dinner roll), smashed flat and
grilled, spread with frijoles, guacamole, lettuce, tomato, and meat of your
choice, re: the taco fillings, or, milanesa, which is a thin scallopine of
meat, breaded with cracker crumbs and deep fried ( a battered, fried dish is
called 'empanizada', by the way...Milanesa, or Milano style, refers to the
cracker or bread crumb breading). Delicious when all the ingredients are
freshly prepared.

A burrito, I'm pretty sure, is a Californian invention. You find it in Mexico
now, but I never remember seeing it on menus when I was growing up.. Basically
it is a taco made with a soft, hot, flour tortilla(re: Taco Bell), rolled,
sometimes deep fried but usually not. Burritos at taquerias can be big enough
to be a meal in themselves.

A flauta is a corn tortilla, stuffed usually with chicken, rolled tight, and
deep fried. Very greasy.

Carne guisada is a stew, usually chunks of beef stewed with potatoes in a chile
gravy. It can be very delicately flavored, with a light gravy, or dark and
heavy with a lot of chile powder.

Tinga is another kind of stew, usually very spicy, which may show up on a menu.

If you can handle hot food and you see something on the menu that has the word
'chipotle' or 'chipotlado/chipotlada' in its description, this is the smoked,
dried, jalapeno pepper, which gives a wonderful but fiery flavor to everything
it touches.

Be sure to try an 'agua'. You'll recognize limonada as our limeade. But you
need to try an agua de tamarindo (tamarind) which is very tart and tangy, or
an agua de jamaica (jamaica pronounced. hah-my'-kah, is the flower of a type of
hibiscus, what the Jamaicans call sorrel, and what we know as the flavor in
Celestial Seasoning's 'Red Zinger' tea).

There is a traditional seafood cocktail from the state of Veracruz called,
"Vuelve a la Vida", which translates as 'return to life'. Various seafoods
such as shrimp, octopus, oysters, etc. are served in a sauce made of ketchup or
tomato sauce, orange juice, onions, cilantro, and chile peppers.


Farmer's Market.

FARMER'S MARKET

The market started in 1942 as a farmer's cooperative organized by a group of
local farmers to serve Harris and surrounding counties by providing a location
to sell their produce. To maintain Coop status the group must maintain a ratio
of 50% active farmers. By 1988 that ratio had declined so that the group
recalled the stock and reorganized as a privately held corporation. One must
be actively involved in agriculture to have a voting membership or have
inherited the stock to be a nonvoting member. There are now 52 voting
stockholders and 17 nonvoting members. Most of the membership comes from local
areas including Klein, Rosehill, Tomball and Alvin. There is a nine member
board of directors.

The Association manages the entire market area including warehouses, retail
stores such as Canino's, the restaurant, the farmer's sheds you'll see in the
back and the retail tables. Tables may be rented by the month, week or even
daily. Space is much in demand. Farmers do take precedence over retail
venders in obtaining space. Vendors must be licensed by the city/state to sell
unless they raise their own produce.

The market opens for trade at 2:30 a.m. Yes! 2:30 in the morning.
Conveniently after the local bars close! Most commercial trade takes place in
the wee hours of the morning. At this ungodly hour many local restaurants,
small retail store owners, and wholesalers conduct their business.

The market has future plans for expansion. They have purchased one and a half
blocks directly behind the market to the east where the blue buildings are.
They are trying to get the city to close the street.

When we disembark, we'll try to stay together as we explore this area. Word of
warning.

Although I only know of two instances in over ten years, I have had one friend
who had her pocket picked here. Since we're such a big group, it might be wise
to take an extra precaution.

There will be several stands which sell freshly cut fruit seasoned with lime,
that you can sample.


After touring this area, we'll go to the Mexican Panaderia next to the market.
I'll try to fill you in on the different types of breads. A typical Mexican
breakfast would consist of tamales, a sweet bread called a Pan Dulce, and
coffee, hot chocolate, or atole (ah toe lay) which is a corn masa based drink,
probably dating back to pre-Colombian times.

The types of breads we'll see here are pan Frances style bolillos (bo lee yos)
which are delicous dinner rolls and also the Mexican slang expression for
gringos, breakfast breads which are sweet, usually dusted with an egg
white/sugar wash, teleras (te le ras) which are used to make torta sandwiches,
and various dense, artery clogging lard cookies.

Open 7 days a week, from 5am to 10pm, El Bolillo specializes in traditional
Mexican baked goods. Pastries for all occasions including weddings, birthdays,
Quinceanos (ken-see-ah-nos) where they celebrate the girls 15th birthdays.

They have flan, cheesecake, tres leches. They bake authentic Mexican breads -
their specialties are bolillos con jalapeno, chile rojo & con especies
(es-spee-see-es) - bread with jalapeno, with red chile or with spices.


Phoenecia


We've been listening to a cassette of North African music to get into the mood
for our next stop at Phoenecia.

The family which owns Phoenecia is Armenian. They had a grocery store in
Lebanon, and when they immigrated to the United States, they opened up the
Phoenica cafe just down the street. Over the years, they converted this
building which was mainly for storage into the mega store it is today, and they
do both wholesale and retail.

This is a tremendous store, which I recommend you explore on your own. I'll be
doing a walking tour down the various aisles pointing out interesting things.
Be sure to ask lots of questions. There will probably be samples out of
different relishes. This is a great store to shop in.

If you're looking for diet foods with a lot of flavor, Iwould recommend picking
up an Eastern European eggplant/pepper relish called Ajvar while you're here,
and maybe some Czechoslvakian "SPA" cookies.


(read on the way to HKCM)


Hong Kong City Mall

What can we say about this mega store? You're going to be overwhelmed by the
variety of fresh and dried foods here. The original Hong Kong market is on
Gessner. This store is very new, it was just opening when we were doing the
explorations for this tour.

I'll be doing a walking tour starting in the vegetables section and then moving
through the fresh fish and meat section finishing up with the dried goods.
There isn't a food court here, but you can pick up exotic snack foods such as
honey coated shrimp chips, salted and dried fruits, and fresh fruits.

Here's some information about the story of Moon Cake which is a food of
the traditional Chinese celebration and is for the Autumn Harvest.

Long long ago there was a man that was a very good shot with a bow and
arrow. At this time there was supposedly 9 moons in the sky. The
emperor of the country had heard of the skilled archer and seeked him
out. The emperor told the archer that if he could shoot the moons out
of the sky he would be blessed by the gods. The archer was able to
shoot 8 of the 9 moons out of the sky and he was rewarded with a pill
that would give him immortality. That is how the festival came about
and the tradition of eating Moon Cake to celebrate the harvest.

Years later during revolutionary times people would put messages inside
of the cakes to spread the word of when to take action.

The exact quantity of the ingredients is unknown (everyone buys them
already made), but the ingredients are:

Lotus Seed
Pig Skin Oil (that is, lard)
Beans
Sugar
Flour (probably made from rice)

About Chinese New Year the Dragon represents evil spirits and you want
these to go away so you beat on drums and yell loudly to chase the
spirits away, if the dragon does go away you will have good luck for the
year.

(read from Beverly Parker's information)

Chopsticks. One tradion says that chop stickes were recommended by Confucious
who did not feel that weapons of violence such as knives and forks had a place
at the dinner table.

Usually the more upscale Chinese restaturants are that way because they use
more rare and expensive ingredients in their specialty dishes...but typical
dishes will not be any more expensive.

In China, better quality restaurants will usually have the word "garden" in
their name.

After here we will proceed to the Ten Ren Tea Store. This company has 100's of
stores in China and quite a few now in North America and Canada. Tea is sold
by weight and the cost is determined by the quality, the most expensive being
the King's teas which may be as much as $125 a pound.

Open Tuesday through Saturday, 11am to 7pm and Sunday, 1pm to 7pm.

Ten Ren Tea & Ginseng offers a huge selection of teas. We're going to taste one
of their most popular teas, priced in the neighborhood of $100 a pound. Ten Ren
also does a big Chinese herbal medicine business. Don't hesitate to talk with
Mr. Lin or his wife Cindy Lin about the teas or the herbs. This is a lovely
setting with blooming orchids, beautiful tea services, Chinese ceramics and
furniture.
The Asian Pakistani Area on Hillcroft

ASIAN AMERICAN FOOD MARKET

It turns out the Asian American Food Market is actually a part of paradise --
the Paradise Center, to be exact. It feels like heaven when you come in -- it's
big, full of light, with divine smells and sounds. Staying focused on food
isn't easy, since olive oil competes with natural shampoo, cd's, videos,
jewelry, nice tight-lidded canisters, piles of movie star posters, clothes . .
. The 5 "full azan" talking alarm clock, in the shape of a mosque, little bags
of Smarties, an English candy (the display box price says 25 pence!) are
perched next to mustard seeds right by the cash register. How's that for
impulse purchase temptation! There are huge sacks of rice, even bigger ones of
puffed rice, acres of spices, Indian gherkins, rose syrup, pickled mangoes,
coconut milk, a surprising array of Mexican foods, aisles devoted to cookies
and biscuits and cakes. The slightly ghoulish Indian music competes with KQQK
coming from a vaguely defined area towards the back. The whole space has a
dynamic feel, punctuated by areas under construction thru-out. Clearly,
Paradise, is a work in progress. "You are welcome here," Saqib informs me. I'm
glad to hear it!

This area is an amazing mix of Persian restaurants, Indian restaurants, one
Persian grocery store operated by a guy from Mexico, several terrific Indian
grocery stores, and more. There will be opportunities to pick up Indian style
snack foods and sweets.

Indian sweets are typically boiled milk and sugar confections and are very
dense, flavored with almond, or carrot, or other flavors. Some will have
silver paper stuck to them, which the Indians believe has health benefits.

Indian snacks such as pakoras are chick pea flour battered veggies, deep fried.
Samosas are like small fried pies, stuffed with peas and potatoes usually
served with a tamarind sauce.

Some of the restaurants in this area specialize in dosas, the most popular
being the Masala Dosa.

Here is some additional information:

Dosas or Dhosas are a Southern delicacy, originally from Madras but now found
all over India. Think of them as the Indian crepe or enchilada. These are
lentil flour based pancakes, fairly large, stuffed traditionally with a mashed
potato and onion mixture flavored with mustard seeds and turmeric. The dosa
is made by grinding very fine a mixture of urad dal and rice flour, adding
water to the right consistency, and leaving the batter to ferment so that gas
bubbles form. Served with sambar which is a thin spicy vegetarian broth or
soup, hot tomato chutney, and mild coconut chutney.

Here are several types of Dosas which may show up on a menu.

Plain Dosa: Crepe made with fermented lentil flour.

Masala Dosa: Crepe stuffed with the potato onion mixture.

Rava Dosa: Crepe made of cream of wheat and rice flour.

Pesara Dosa: Crepe made with moong bean flour, onions, chilies, and cumin
seeds.


Here are some other types of Southern Indian food.

Masala Vada: Crisp deep fried lentil patties.

Methu Vada: Urad dal lentil patties deep fried.

Dahi Vada: Methu vada soaked in yogurt, ginger, and chilies.

Idli: Steamed rice cakes.

Uthappam: Thick pancake made with fermented lentil flour, onions, and chilies.

Upma: Thick cream of wheat type pancake cooked with butter, ginger, onions,
chilies, and cashews.


"On Your Own"


A Guide to the Ethnic Grocery Stores and Market Areas of Houston
Prepared by Jay Francis


A. 6100 Hillcroft.

A collection of Latin American and Pakistani stores and restaurants.

Spicy Foods Grocery
Sheikh Chilli's Pakistani Restaurant
Mazatlan Seafood Restaurant
Chat 'n Paan Snacks
Azukar Salsa Nightclub

B. 5000 Hillcroft from Harwin to Richmond.

This is one of the better areas for Middle Eastern and Indo-Pakistani grocery
stores, restaurants, clothing shops, and video stores. Places worth checking
out include:

Jerusalem Halal Meat Market
Good meat market and sandwich shop with kabob sandwiches. Good Islamic stuff
for sale.

Sri Balaji Bhavan Restaurant
Great place to get southern India foods including excellent masala dosa.

Standard Sweets
Another great location for inexpensive all you can eat Indian buffet.

Darband Kabobi
Specialty is Persian style chelo kabab with freshly made flat bread.

Asian American Food Market
One stop shopping for all your Indo-Pakistani groceries.

Cairo Palace Restaurant
Egyptian style restaurant and place to hang out with friends over coffee or
tea.

Raja Indian Restaurant.
Samosas, pakoras, thalis, and other fast food.

C. Bellaire from Gessner to Beltway 8.

This is one the great concentrations of Chinese and Southeast Asian grocery
stores, restaurants, bakeries, and more. I would recommend starting off some
Saturday morning at Bellaire and 59 and making your way up Bellaire, stopping
off at the two Diho Markets (One is "L" shaped, the other is a long "C" shaped
strip mall), continuing west on Bellaire, stopping off at the market center
where Corporate meets Bellaire (Treasure Island is located here), and finishing
up on the other side of the Beltway at Hong Kong City Mall. Places worth
checking out include:

Vietnam Coast II for black pepper crabs and other delicacies.
Santong Snacks for regional dumplings and noodle soups.
Treasure Island for dim sum on the weekends.

D. Long Point Market Tour.

There are several Korean grocery stores and a pair of Korean restaurants worth
your investigation on Long Point.

Hyundai Department Store
8624 Long Point

Teapots, videos, weird Korean knick knacks, Jesus paintings.

Dong Yar Market
(Next door to Hyundai Department Store)

Fermented soy bean paste and hot pepper paste in giant plastic tubs.
Dried anchovies.
Boiled royal fern.
Pickled vegetables.
Banana powder beverage.
Acorn barley tea.
Honey flavor twist snacks

Oriental Super Market (Recommended)
9501 Long Point

Piping hot Korean red bean pancakes shaped like fishes in kiosk outside. 3 for
$1.00.
Udon noodle samples.
Fritter mixes.
Seasoned fish and kimchi with descriptions in Korean and English.
Pumpkin gruel beverage powder.
Giant beverage boxes of peach juice, citron tea, carrot juice, and Chinese date
juice.

Korean Garden Restaurant
(Next door to Oriental Super Market)

Well reviewed and recommended eatery for Korean foods. Also, down the road,
Seoul Garden Restaurant with beautiful interior decoration ( waterwheel at
entrance)

Memorial Market
1049 Gessner

Big grocery store with Korean, Chinese, and standard grocery store fare.

Giant electronic kimchi pickling tanks.
Korean tatami spreads.
Exotic tea gift sets.
Korean deli, soup and sandwich shop.

E. 2600 Travis.

The Cho Que Huong Center has the excellent soup restaurant, Pho Cong Ly and:

Cho Que Huong Supermarket
Hong Kong Restaurant
Thien An Sandwich Shop
Lu Quan Cafe
Nguyen Hue Restaurant

F. 2800 Travis.

The Hoa Binh shopping center includes the Hoa Binh Vietnamese supermarket, one
of the best in the downtown area and:

Phnom Penh Tailor
Banh Me Ba Le Restaurant
My Phat Fashion
Pho Tau Bay

There are several other strip centers to the west on Smith with restaurants and
specialty stores.

G. Downtown Chinatown. St Emanuel and Chartres at McKinney and Lamar.

Several excellent grocery stores including Kim Hung and restaurants are
concentrated right near the George R. Brown Convention Center.

Kim Hung Grocery Store

Very good Chinese grocery in a two story complex on St. Emanuel which includes
eateries, liquor stores, clothing shops, and jewelry stores.

New My Canh II

Good choice for dim sum on Saturday mornings, and the starting place of Dorothy
Huang's Chinatown tour through Leisure Learning.

The Lucky Inn Restaurant

H. Murphy Road/Wilcrest at Highway 59.

A real mixture of Pakistani ( The Savoy strip center on Wilcrest...restaurant,
grocery store, video store, and jeweler), Mexican taquerias, and one or two
Chinese buffet style restaurants.

I. Cavalcade at Airline.

A gem of a Thai grocery store, Asia Market, caters to the Thai, Laotian, and
Cambodian community. Laotian soups and weird stuff to snack on, on Saturdays.
Located on Cavalcade between Airline and North Main.

J. 9600 Bissonnet just at Highway 59.

An interesting mix of Pakistani halal style butcher/grocery stores, restaurants
and an excellent Guatemalan restaurant ( one of the best in Houston ) called,
Lo Nuestro. I've been told that the newly re-opened Koh I Noor Pakistani
Restaurant is very good.

Shahenshah Restaurant
Timmy Chan's Chinese Restaurant
Islamic Books
Maki Masjid Temple
Quality Sweets Chaat Restaurant
Middle East Halal Meat
Afrikiko Nigerian Restaurant
Top Flite Club

K. 6065 Bissonnet.

The Maru Ethiopian Grocery has unroasted coffee from various regions of
Ethiopia, freshly made Injerra bread, teff flour, Bethany flat electric grills,
Ethiopian clay coffee pots, and really fresh spices. You can buy the green
coffee beans and roast them at home in your hot air pop corn popper (Wear-Ever
Popcorn Pumper, available at second hand stores for about $5.00. Look for the
ones which have ribs at the bottom, these will impart a spin to the beans to
keep them from flying out. Use 2-3 tablespoons and roast for 7-15 minutes).

L. 6611 Chimney Rock #10.

Gran Tangolandia is your one stop shop for music from all over South America,
and especially Argentina. They also stock giant bags of Mate tea, many
different brands.

M. 5406 Birdwood off North Braeswood at Braesmont.

The Russia General Store is one of the coolest places in town to check out.
They have Russian souvenirs including medals and pins from the Communist era,
samovars, Russian style dry salami, sunflower halvah which looks a lot like
something you might step in accidentally but probably tastes terrific, Russian
malt beverages, lots of candies, Russian videos, music, and newspapers.

N. 38281 Fondren.

Andros Foreign Foods is a Greek oriented sandwich shop and grocery specializing
in Greek videos, wines, coffee pots, spices, sailor caps, halvah, and various
frozen and fresh goodies.

O. 5600 South Gessner.

Another big Chinese/Vietnamese venue. Includes:

Hong Kong Market

This place smells like a Hong Kong market. You can get ginseng, teas, herbal
medicines, coconut graters, religious candles, all the cuts of meat for each
critter you can think of (everything but the "oink" as they say). I noticed
the packaged beef cuts say "Shoulder Road" instead of "Shoulder Roast". This
was the forerunner of the new Hong Kong City Mall mega-complex on Bellaire.

Parisian Bakery
Huong Viet Restaurant
Vietnamese Noodle Shop Restaurant

P. 7433 Bissonnet.

A little cluster of West Indian places.

Caribbean Cuisine

You can get authentic Jamaican jerk chicken, Jamaican patties, roti, and
curried goat here. Also, ginger beer, banana bread, jerk seasoning, and fried
plantains.

Island Restaurant

Another West Indian restaurant which has not been tried by me but looks very
enticing.

Q. 9500 Richmond.

On both sides of the street, some interesting places such as the Sahara bakery,
La Gran Sorpresa Restaurant, the World Food grocery store complex, Mi Pueblito
Colombian Restaurant, and Dodo's Chicken.

R. 11138 Westheimer at Wilcrest.

The sign says "Oriental Foods" but this is Nippon Daido, Houston's Japanese
grocery store. All manner of Japanese products, fresh flying fish roe, boiled
lotus root, dried fish, fresh fish, chopsticks for beginners, sake, magazines,
videos, this place has it all. Located in the same shopping center is a
Japanes fast food cafe, and a Japanese travel agency.

S. 7333 Hillcroft (between Bellaire and Bissonnet)

Droubi's Bakery and Imports - a nice Lebanese store, making some of the most
delicious Middle Eastern style flat breads in Houston, which also sells a
variety of foods from the Middle East (including Israel) and Greece, excellent
selection of olives and feta cheeses, and a terrific steam table style lunch
counter.

T. Harwin from Hillcroft to Gessner

This is another truly amazing by-way in Houston, full of discount perfumeries,
sunglass stores, luggage stores, and more. One of the most interesting shops
which you will find is on a side street. At 5615 Savoy Lane, you will find
Paayal, an Indian store which stocks the wonderful stainless steel cookware and
eating utensils, along with shelves and shelves of multi colored glass
bracelets and other Indian curios. This is a great store.
Excellent Web Sites.

www.asiarecipe.com
www.lonelyplanet.com
houston.eats (newsgroup)
www.earthfoot.org/mercados/mer_menu.html
www.tenren.com

Recommended Reading.

Enjoy Chinese Cuisine Judy Lew
Southeast Asian Specialties Culinaria
Yan-Kit's Classic Chinese Cookbook Yan-Kit Martin
Beyond Bok Choy Rosa Lo San Ross
Noodle Terry Durack
Korean Cooking for Everyone Ji Sook and Yukiko Moriyama
North Africa Kitty Morse
From Tapas to Meze Joanne Weir
The Best of Quintana Patricia Quintana
Mexico Victoria Wise

Dim Sum.

Dim sum describes a wide variety of Cantonese style appetizers which when
combined make up a meal. The dim sum luncheon consists of bite size meat and
vegetable morsels which are steamed, pan fried, deep fried, or baked, and
served with tea. Most restaurants serve dim sum between 11:00 a.m. and 3:0


Lee S.

unread,
Mar 9, 2000, 3:00:00 AM3/9/00
to
On 09 Mar 2000 03:06:34 GMT, jaypf...@aol.com (Jay P Francis)
wrote:

>Thanks for all the responses. Here it is in its entirety.
>
>If anyone out there wants to put this on a website, they have my blessing.
>
>Anecdotes and Bits and Pieces (for Reading on the Bus)
>


<snip>


Thanks Jay- this will be a great little handbook for all us Houston
foodies.


Lee

Ronald Kerr

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Mar 9, 2000, 3:00:00 AM3/9/00
to
"Lee S." wrote:

Thanks Jay -- "you da man!" Very impressive research you've done.
Speaking of TenRen Tea House, I drink a cup of Hibiscus Spice Tea every morning
from TenRen. I originally bought it at the TenRen shop in San Francisco's
ChinaTown. They also have a website at tenren.com.

Kerr.


Judy

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Mar 9, 2000, 3:00:00 AM3/9/00
to
Jay P Francis wrote:
>
> Thanks for all the responses. Here it is in its entirety.
>

WOW! Just WOW! Thanks for posting this. It is now shooting out of my
laser printer and will be well-used!!

Judy

MareCat

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Mar 11, 2000, 3:00:00 AM3/11/00
to
Thanks Jay!! Very handy reference with a lot of useful information!

Mary
--
http://home.att.net/~patrickgorman/mareslair.htm

"Jay P Francis" <jaypf...@aol.com> wrote in message
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