We had a lot of help from our diligent scouts this week, sending in reports from all over Houston. Monday morning started off with a brief item alerting us to the bitchin' Cioppino at Farrago, then segued into $7 at the impressively popular Laredo Taqueria, courtesy of Brittanie Shey. Be sure to notice the MexiCoke. MexiCokes (the ones shipped up here from Mexico in glass bottles) are the best, because they're still made with pure cane sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup. Can we all just agree sugar tastes better? Annnnd now I want a Dublin Dr Pepper. Great.
What else happened on Monday... we're having a hard time remembering. Could be due to the fact that it was April the 20th, or 4/20 in some crowds. A great time to figure out foods you'll only eat when you're high. As detested as Funyuns are by the non-stoned, they still manage to consistently outsell Responsibilityuns.
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Our faithful scouts peppered us with reports on $7 at the Wesleyan Café ("best dumplings this side of Chinatown"), $7 at the well-liked El Rey Taqueria ("creative mix of traditional and nontraditional tortilla wrapped goodies"), $7 at Chaat House ("puffed rice that would make Snap, Crackle and Pop weep"), and a whopping $13 at Picazo ("an inspiring rainbow of cuisine-based tolerance"). Good work, scouts! Your Eating Our Words decoder rings are in the mail.
Our more in-depth coverage this week extended to a day in the life of a personal chef, in this case chef Jo Gonzales, whose career Katharine Shilcutt discovered is just as exhausting as it sounds, but also very rewarding. J.C. Reid also took us on a nostalgic voyage to Stingaree, a Bolivar favorite that still stands strong even after Hurricane Ike's little temper tantrum around those parts. Finally, Katharine examined the problem of mandatory valet parking in many area restaurants: turns out it's not always necessary, and can be quite the bothersome little racket. Enough to avoid those restaurants altogether? Several commenters said "yes", but our Commenter of the Week had an even better approach: according to Conn, "I'm of the 'drive right over the cones' school myself. Just like back in the day, when I had to regularly hop out of my car and remove cones that were placed in front of downtown parking meters by valet 'services'. Then, I would have to not-so-politely point out to the valet driver that was threatening me that it was illegal for him to shanghai FREE PUBLIC PARKING for his personal monetary gain." Ballsy! We whole-heartedly approve, Conn.
Finally, I myself managed to say "I went to the Ben & Jerry's on Free Cone Day but it was closed" in a couple hundred words, and just in case you didn't notice the article right under this one: this Sunday is National Pretzel Day. Go have one.
Those of you who miss Robb Walsh, don't worry; he's just on vacation, he'll be back soon. No doubt he'll return with stories of strange and exotic dishes from wherever the hell it is he's vacationing.