Hank on Food: Hank has been blogging up a storm lately, but one of his most useful recent entries is a review of Just Burgers up near Spring. He notes that the outside of Just Burgers is pretty nondescript, but inside it's a veritable shrine to the Texans and to burger. The menu features creatively named theme burgers, all of which are served on pretzel buns (how trendy!). Hank is a fan of the pretzel bun: "it's hearty, reminds me of a bagel sort of and is still great at holding in the contents of a good burger." He also noted that that meat was juicy and the burger fixings fresh. Hank gives Just Burgers an overall rating of A-.
The Avenue of Houston: I love a good food truck round-up, and The Avenue of Houston's list of Houston's top five taco trucks does not disappoint. The original food trucks long before meals on wheels were trendy, taco trucks can be found all over Houston. The Avenue highlights El Ultimo, which has "a roster of meats painted on the side of their truck that well make any aficionado full of glee," and El Tacambaro, located in the Airline Market, which specializes in gorditas. Also on the list is El Taconazo, with quesadillas that are "simply like the rest of their tacos with cheese thrown in, but somehow magnificently mind-blowing," and Taqueria Ruby, which serves sincronizada made with lunch meat. Rounding out the top five is Taqueria Maya Quiché, which is less notable for its tacos than for the fact that it's open late inside the Loop near lots of bars.
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Patty and David Said: Having already reviewed Kata Robata's HRW menu, Lindy Stamper returned to the Japanese joint for some serious sushi eating. She went on Sunday afternoon during happy hour, and was pleasantly surprised by the deals she got on excellent sushi. Stamper tried the Rising Sun roll for the first time, and she writes that she'll definitely be ordering the yellowtail, avocado and peppercorn tuna roll flavored with truffle vinaigrette again. She also notes that Sunday afternoons are a great time to hit up Kata Robata because you don't need a reservation and the food and service are just as good as during prime dinner hours.
Jack Around: This week, Jack begins a post by lamenting a few too-prevalent food trends (lump crab meat and fried eggs on everything), but one thing he's totally behind is the proliferation of arugula. He illustrates the importance of arugula in the culinary world with a clip from the film My Blue Heaven, in which Steve Martin bemoans the lack of arugula at the grocery store. A few of Jack's favorite local places where you can find arugula on the menu are Coppa Ristorante Italiano, which offers potato pizza featuring rapini, leeks, arugula and a truffle vinaigrette "that brings all the voices into a harmonious choir." He also enjoys Piola's Lisbona pizza, in which "the pungent arugula plays off the piquant cured meat, both tempered by the cool, tart gorgonzola." Jack reiterates his love for the spicy green, writing, "I, for one, welcome our new arugula overlords, not least because it's been prized in Italy as an aphrodisiac since Virgil was on the bestseller list." I'm with you, buddy. Arugula forever!
Bayou City Bites: Adam Bevo is having a major German food moment. Either that, or he fell asleep on the keyboard, because this week his blog features words like "Schweinebraten," "Franziskaner" and "Weisswurst." I kid. Bevo recently visited the newish King's Biergarten in Pearland, and he liked what he saw (and ate). He notes that it has one of the best selections of German beer in town, the the weisswurst, "a delicate, finely ground sausage made of pork and veal that is traditionally eaten at Oktoberfest or for breakfast in Bavaria," is worth the trip to King's Biergarten by itself. Though some of the sausages and the breaded pork cutlet weren't the best, the beer and the atmosphere make King's Biergarten a place where Bevo guarantees you'll have a good time.
CultureMap: Joe Luks reports that a Friendswood bakery is appearing on the Food Network's Cupcake Wars this Saturday at 7 p.m. Luks spoke to Brittany Todd, the owner of Rise Cupcakes, about the competition and her small artisan bakery. Todd tells CultureMap that Rise Cupcakes was picked for the show due its "small batch, specialty approach to crafting flavors." Todd sources many local ingredients and doesn't use any artificial additives in her creations. "It was a lot of hard work, very long hours -- filming Cupcake Wars was one of those experiences you'll never forget," Todd says, adding that meeting the other chefs was one of the best parts of the competition. At 7:45 p.m. on Saturday, Rise Cupcakes is hosting a viewing party at the bakery where guests can sit outside and watch the show while munching on mini cupcakes. Yum!