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10 Pumpkin Dishes to Try in Houston: #4: Pumpkin Goat Cheese Croquettes at Pizzeria Dolce Vita Enoteca

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I adore pumpkin. It's orange (my favorite color), healthful (fiber! Vitamin A!), and associated with two lovely, food-centric holidays (Halloween and Thanksgiving). Starting around October, I always find myself on the hunt for pumpkin-flavored foods, and this autumn is no exception. So, between now and Turkey Day, I will be counting down 10 Pumpkin Dishes to Try in Houston.

#4: Pumpkin Goat Cheese Croquettes at Pizzeria Dolce Vita Enoteca

When I first began gathering ideas for this list, the most popular suggestion by far was the Pumpkin Goat Cheese Croquettes at Pizzeria Dolce Vita Enoteca. For a place that's best known for its thin-crust artisan pizzas and inventive pastas, Dolce Vita has still managed to gather an enthusiastic fan club for these unassuming appetizers.

Stuffed with goat cheese, the croquette's pumpkin flavor is primarily embodied in the orange crust. I'm the first to admit that my taste buds were initially preoccupied with the delicious crumbly, slightly sour cheese, and it was only upon subsequent bites that I noticed the subtle taste of pumpkin. An infusion of squash fiber within the croquette itself would have been welcome for a hard-core pumpkin fan like myself and would have added some textural variety to the perfectly formed spheres. Dolce Vita did, however, make the right move in only lightly frying the balls, whose dairy richness might have become overpowering if paired with an excessively greasy exterior.

The croquettes come five for $6 and are roughly the size of ping-pong balls, which makes it far too easy to consume an entire serving before your partner has even received his drink.

The list to date: #10: Pumpkin Cheesecake Balls at Chocolat Du Monde #9: Dogfish Head Punkin Ale #8: Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffin from Stone Mill Bakers #7: "Halloween" Pumpkin Curry from Khun Kay Thai Café #6: Pumpkin Praline Ice Cream at Amy's #5: Pumpkin Spice Latte at Diedrich "Dirk's" Coffee

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