This Week in Deliciousness

Welcome back to the weekly roundup here at Eating Our Words, where our special brand of Christmas party punch can double as deck sealant and paint stripper. Greenway Barista started off the week with some deep-dish Chicago pizza that looks like a crust-bowl filled with cheese and marinara, which is a good way to start off any week.

Robb Walsh enjoyed some chicharonnes at Leña Verde, and Lauren McKechnie enjoyed some gourmet mac and shells at the Oceanaire Seafood Room. Jane Catherine Collins continues to pair wine with junk food, and not to be biased, but that pretty much makes her TWiD's favorite columnist of anything, ever.

Robb explored whether or not fruitcake can actually be any good, and despite his somewhat positive verdict, we remain bitter. TWiD has never forgiven fruitcake for containing actual fruit and not gummi bears, which is what all those colorful little blobs looked like to us when we were kids. Far more palatable to our adult sensibilities are the many holiday cocktails conjured up by Mike Morris, even if he did forget our favorite winter drink: The Hottentoddy, which is hot tea, whiskey, lemon, honey, ginger, a shot of chicken soup, a dissolved eucalyptus cough drop, and Vicks Vapo-Rub around the rim of the glass. We've been sick, in case you couldn't tell.

Ruthie Johnson raised some alarms regarding what your kids are eating nowadays, and we don't want to be gross, but it made us think fondly back on the days of eating Salisbury steak that was mostly horse testicles and ground-up gym mats. Not much more appetizing was Greenway's venture into the suburban arm of the Egg and I, which just goes to prove what we've always said: Suburbia ruins good things.

After a chat with Kahlia of Bubba's Sports Bar & Grill, we were served up a piping hot wad of sodium courtesy of the Shameless Chef, who evidently feels that what those poor college kids need around final exam time is an early start on a massive coronary. Lauren McKechnie saluted the greatest Christmas film of all time with an investigation into some actual Jelly of the Month clubs. "That's pretty low, Mister. If I had a rubber hose, I would beat you..."

Oh, what a wondrous-looking creation is the salchi-burger; we must have one immediately, and wash it down with some holiday beer. Robb got his bun bo hue cherry popped this week, and now of course he thinks he's in love with it and is being super clingy. Katharine discovered that brunch sucks at the Rockwood Room, but that's no shocker; brunch always sucks, everywhere you go. The whole purpose of brunch is to suck, so you don't eat very much and get too full for lunch. We thought everyone knew this.

Greenway chatted with Lisa Hedrick of Hedrick's Gourmet Group, and Robb enjoyed some delicious fried catfish and cheese grits at Cedar Creek Cafe, which may finally cement "yellowish brown" as our favorite color for food to have. We'd also like to cook up some perfect mulled wine and celebrate Robb's cookbook being named one of the best cookbooks of 2009 by... Eat Me Daily? That's not one of those food publications that arrives in a plain brown wrapper, is it?

Good Lord, we had a lot of content for you people this week. The ten best places to eat in Westchase! Double-fisted breakfasts with cracked nuts! Pupusas at El Cuscatleco and Armenian kebabs at Cafe Rita! We could go on and on and on, and it looks like we're going to have to. If anyone accuses Eating Our Words' writers of being lazy, TWiD will murder them. With kindness! And a meat cleaver.

Rick Bayless proposed a multicultural food tour of Houston, which is one of the best damn ideas we've heard lately. Christ, if we can get people on an amphibious boat in Galveston, we should have no problem getting them to try shawarma and flan. Especially not if we promise them breakfast with a side of breakfast, another damn good idea. We're full of 'em.

After Houston Wine Merchant's Marcy Jiminez provided us with the wine of the week, Katherine got into a very one-sided Food Fight with Battle Bo Luc Lac, which we're pretty sure is a character from one of the Star Wars movies.

Greenway elaborated on what exactly is wrong with mass-produced meals, and Katharine helped us look back fondly on some of the biggest grocery store closings of the past decade. Anyone remember AppleTree? We still have some of their shampoo lying around here, somewhere. It's apple-scented. We are never, ever going to use it. Far less depressing are the best grocery store openings. Mmmm, Central Market.

Lee Riner tried the Bellaire Broiler Burger, and Robb got some quality local produce at Froberg's Vegetable and Fruit farm. Oh, we could eat German chocolate pie and homemade banana pudding for days and days, and we dare someone to dare us to.

Happy hour seems fun at Leon's Lounge, almost as fun as our wine tasting shindig at Sonoma Wine is going to be. Greenway spoiled the fun a little by reminding us that we should be responsible citizens and find out where our food comes from. Our argument for that is: Ignorance is much tastier. We know... we're very, very bad people.

We're shallow, too: The first time we read Mike's article on his four courses at Sophia, our eyes skipped over everything but the words "house-specialty bread pudding." Yes, please.

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John Seaborn Gray