This Week in Food Blogs: Sharing (Your Mixer) Is Caring

In the spirit of the season, H-Town Chow Down reveals an act of kindness by a Woodlands pizza parlor owner to a new potential competitor in the area. The new Chicago-style pizzeria, Gino's East (25657 I-45), was almost unable to open when their dough mixer broke down. RC Gallegos, owner of nearby RC's NYC Pizza (501 Sawdust), stepped in and saved the day by lending them his. He additionally connected Gino's to local repairmen so they could get their mixer fixed. It is this kind of cooperation that makes Houstonians fiercely proud of our food community. Besides, we're plenty big enough to support both Chicago-style and New York-style pizza, aren't we gang?

The ladies of Urban Swank give us an early look at Doc's Motorworks (1303 Westheimer). The verdict? They liked it overall. The menu is enjoyable "upper scale bar food" and as far as drinks go, there's something to please everyone: wine, beer and cocktails.

Lucille's scored rave reviews from Tag Sale Tastes. They made time for a last-minute date night and loved the chili biscuits, fried green tomatoes, shrimp and grits and striped bass. They called the "pork and beans," a pork shank atop fava beans, lima beans, peas, and tomatoes, a "standout."

CocoDijon used some less-than-complimentary adjectives to describe the service received at Mia Bella Trattoria, including "rude," "lack of details" and "inattentive." Then there was the Salmone Pompelmo which they say, "called our attention, but it was not what we expected at all." Yeah, tasteless, heavy salmon and risotto would call our attention for all the wrong reasons, too. At least the Cozze Al Pomodoro (steamed mussels in pomodoro) earned a perfect score.

Jack Tyler at Culinary Houston has been a fan of Tony Mandola's for about 35 years, since the original location was on the Gulf Freeway. It's now located at 1212 Waugh and Tyler took some friends to go see what it's like now. It's particularly interesting if you know that there's a new executive chef there, Samuel Beier. We had a Chef Chat with Beier about a month ago and he was tasked with updating the menu without alienating longtime customers. Well, it sounds like he's succeeding. Even when he noticed that a few things had changed, Tyler still loved everything.

In a case of, "you say tom-ay-to, I say tom-ah-to," Eric Sandler at Culturemap deemed our #23 pick for Top New Restaurants, Punk's Simple Southern Food, to be one of "Houston's Most Disappointing Restaurants." His beef is not about the food; it's about the prices. It's $21 for five "small" pieces of fried chicken (are you wanting them to use bigger, tougher chickens?), a side and a biscuit. First off, that's enough for two people, so that comes up to a more reasonable $10.50 per person. Eight pieces of fried chicken, two large sides and three biscuits is $24 at The Chicken Ranch. Let's say that's enough for three. That's $8 per person, only $2.50 less than Punk's, and while I dig it, it's admittedly more of a lowbrow place than a sit-down restaurant.

Other than that, I agreed with pretty much everything he said, so go have a look.

Not a blog, per se, but the photojournal Common Bond posted to Twitter as they made Panettone al Cioccolato was fascinating. They hang the pans upside down to prevent the top of the panettone from caving in. The process wasn't complete until 1 a.m., when they were wrapped in transparent plastic and made ready for sale. That's dedication and the results are why people rave about this bakery.

That's it for this week. Keep those Houston food blog suggestions coming and we'll consider including them in a future post. To submit a link, click the author's name at the top of the page and send an email.