Welcome back to the weekly roundup here at Eating...Our Words, where we're already replacing bags of Halloween candy we bought then tried to hide from ourselves with no success. Damn you, fun-size candy bars. You snack like popcorn.
We started the week off right with a call for aid in deciding the 15 most iconic Houston meals. So far, people are agreeing on those choices about as well as we're agreeing on the election issues right now.
My Table Magazine handed out a bunch of awards this week, for best Caesar salad and some more generalized Houston culinary awards. We won for Favorite Food Blog, by the way. Hee! That's a good feeling.
It's fall, finally, which means not only that every once in a while it might be less than 90 degrees outside, but also that local favorites are rolling out their fall menus and offering tasty tastings. It also means it's time for the Renaissance Festival, which is just like the Renaissance but with significantly less plague. There are also very high ATM fees, though, so it's a bit of a trade-off. In any case, there's good food to be had there, and if I might humbly suggest an addition to the list: the empanadas in the Spanish Quarter. I won't eat anything else while I'm at Ren Fair.
New vending machines will be displaying calories right on the front of the machine to remind you of how bad for you the sugar water you're buying is. As to whether or not it will work, who can say? Americans regularly, defiantly consume deadly things (bacon and cigarettes, we're looking your way), but we're also a Pavlovian bunch prone to be affected by immediate reminders, or else advertising wouldn't work so well. And it does work: In fact, when we see foreign advertisements of bizarre otherworldly treats, our first thought is to secure those treats at all costs, even if it means going to war.
How far will $20 take you at Houston's new Trader Joe's? Quite a long way, if you're not including wine with your meal. Three Buck Chuck is a palate ruiner on par with drain cleaner. Avoid drinking it with meals unless you want everything to taste like a goddamn airplane crash.
Speaking of alcohol and crashing, this week we wondered if servers are perhaps over-serving us, as far as booze goes. It would be easier not to over-serve if, by cutting someone off, a bartender wasn't also automatically volunteering as that person's babysitter. You could try and call the police, but they've got better things to do than make sure people don't drink and drive. We're damned lucky to live in a city where all violent crime has evaporated so completely, aren't we?
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Here's a science project for the kids: Which is the best bread/cheese combination for grilled cheese sandwiches? I'm going to tentatively answer sourdough and muenster respectively, but I am very open to suggestions.
Finally, we had a look at the top ten restaurants in the Heights, one of our favorite parts of town, and not just because we lived and worked there for so long. Okay, partially. I never promised objectivity.