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Weekly Favorites 02/25 to 03/03

It's been another exciting week for finding food and restaurant articles! Don't worry though, I've got a few new posts in the works too!

The Best Queso in Houston - via Houston Press

The Best Queso in Houston
The Best Queso in Houston
Photo Credit Erika Kwee/Houston Press
I honestly believe that best way to measure to caliber of a Mexican restaurant is by the quality of their queso! Luckily I live in Houston, where we have no shortage of  good Mexican restaurants to choose from! The Houston Press did the hard work for us here and diligently sampled 20 of the great city's quesos to bring us this Top 20 List. Spoiler, Torchy's Tacos came in at number one.

Shrimp on the Rocks - via Garden & Gun

Shrimp on the Rocks
Shrimp on the Rocks
Photo Credit Johnny Autry/Garden & Gun

One of my favorite fish preparations is a whole redfish with the scales removed, crusted in Kosher salt, with some olive oil and fresh lemon. The fish comes out of the oven and just falls apart! When i came across this Shrimp on the Rocks recipe, it struck me as similar to the fish recipe. This will be a must try for me!

Magnolia Table Opens in Waco - via
Magnolia Table Opens in Waco
Magnolia Table Opens in Waco
Photo Credit
Not long ago, Waco was just another small Texas town. Baylor University helped put it on the map, but it wasn't a destination. But then a few years back, Chip and Joanna Gaines helped put Waco on the map with everyone's favorite show. Then they made Waco a destination when they opened up shop at Magnolia Market. Now, it looks they may have done it again with the opening of Magnolia Table.

Bacon Popcorn Drizzled with Creole-Spiced Butter - via Garden & Gun
Bacon Popcorn Drizzled with Creole-Spiced Butter
Bacon Popcorn Drizzled with Creole-Spiced Butter
Photo Credit Eugenia Uhl/Garden & Garden
This has so many things going for it! The flavor pop of the creole-spice butter, the bacon. For those out there who maybe haven't noticed yet, Garden & Gun is quickly becoming one of my favorite stops for culinary inspiration. This popcorn is definitely getting filed away for our next movie night at home!


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Best Houston Coffee Shops

Anyone who knows me really well, knows that I drink a lot of coffee. So it seems fitting to compile a list of my favorite coffee shops around Houston. This list was surprisingly hard to make. There are so many great places to get a cup of coffee in this city, that limiting it to 10 meant leaving out some of those great places. Why 10? Well, a Top 10 list seems pretty standard, and I've already started a trend with the Houston Essential Restaurants 2016 post!

To be a great coffee shop is pretty simple. Good music, WiFi, comfy chairs are a plus, but overall good coffee! Oh and one more thing, it has to be a Houston original.

Paper Co Coffee
1100 Elder Street

Look for the blue door. Paper Co Coffee is located just across Buffalo Bayou from downtown. There is an art gallery off to the side that is always great to walk through.

Mod Coffee (Galveston, TX)
2126 Post Office St, Galveston, TX, 77550

I've always enjoyed heading to The Strand down in Galveston, but lately I've enjoyed…

Cleaning Cast Iron Skillets and Carbon Steel Woks

It has probably happened to each of us at some point. You get a nice cast iron skillet seasoned to perfection and someone comes behind you and cleans it with soap or a degreaser. So how do you clean a cast iron skillet, or in this particular case, a carbon steel wok?

I reached for my wok the other day and it was nasty. It was dust covered, had food residue, probably some dog hair, and then towards the bottom, rust. A lot of people would probably throw it out at this point. But not me, I reached for the kosher salt.

First, I rinsed the wok in some water to remove as much of the dirt and grime as I could. I left about an inch water in the bottom of the wok and added some salt. The salt is going to act as an abrasive agent on the metal. Using a paper towel or rag, rub the salt around to remove the dirt, food and rust. When you're done, apply a thin coating of mineral oil to combat the elements. I like to let it sit on the stove to let all of the water evaporate off before I put my w…

Linguine and Red Clam Sauce

One of my favorite classic Italian dishes is Linguine and Clams, especially with red sauce. I'll settle with the white or cream sauce, but I definitely prefer the tomato based sauce.

The Recipe:

3 Tablespoons Butter1 Tablespoon Olive Oil1 Shallot -  Diced3 Garlic Cloves - Minced1 Can Whole Clams1 Can Diced Tomatoes1/4 Cup Clam Juice1/4 Dry ChardonnayJuice of 1 Large Lemon1 Package Linguine1/4 Cup Chopped Parsley to GarnishSalt and PepperCrushed Red PepperParmesan Cheese (optional) Sauté the garlic, shallot, crushed red pepper, salt, and pepper in the butter and olive oil. Add in the clams and tomatoes. Stir until heated. Add in the the lemon juice, chardonnay, and clam juice. Cook until the liquid reduces by half. Stir into linguine and garnish with chopped parsley. You can top the pasta with some freshly grated Parmesan cheese as well. Sometimes I like to get fancy and  add some shrimp, scallops, or fresh clams. If you go this route, add them at the very end. They will cook very q…