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
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.