This Week in Houston Food Blogs: Oyster Offerings

This week, we've got a few standout shellfish dishes to share with you, plus a St. Paddy's Day recipe and a must-read guide for sausage lovers.

Sally Tyler of Culinary Houston ducked into Gilhooley's, 222 9th in Dickinson, for a quick bite of its famous oysters before heading to Galveston, and she found the positive rumors about the eatery to be true. The plump raw oysters were served in a no-nonsense fashion that let the large shellfish do all the talking, and the oysters in the gumbo weren't overcooked or otherwise mishandled in that dish. She also thoroughly enjoyed the fried chicken livers with cream gravy, as well as the pinto beans, which include significant amounts of sausage. Potential diners beware: Gilhooley's is cash-only, and you should leave your kids with the sitter before you go.

Speaking of seafood, you can create your own Gulf Coast cuisine with this recipe for shrimp and grits from Ali Miller, R.D. This version comes with a twist — these grits are made from cauliflower instead of corn to give you an extra boost of important vitamins and fiber without extra calories and carbohydrates. She suggests garlic, lemon, cumin and other standard herbs for the seasoning, but we're thinking that this would be just as good with a bit of your favorite Southern spice mix.

While this glossary of sausage casings, brought to you by Daniel Vaughn of the Texas Monthly barbecue blog, may be slightly more jargon-esque than what you need to know for grocery shopping, it will certainly provide you with a guide to what kind of sausages you actually want to be buying. For example, collagen casings are difficult for smoke to penetrate, so collagen-encased sausages might not be as flavorful. Also, did you know that sausage casings can have whiskers? We didn't, but we certainly do now.

Grafitti's at Union Street, 2003 Union, scored very high points from Hank of Hank on Food because of its fun atmosphere, unpretentious but solid menu, and, above all, the Cadillac burger. The latter is piled with sweet bourbon bacon, smoked cheddar, grilled onions, mushrooms, mixed greens and mayo, and both the patty and the bacon wowed him with their thickness and juiciness. Be sure to check out the panko-breaded onion rings and jalapeno ranch if you visit.

Colleen of Sugar & Cloth shared a perfect St. Paddy's Day dessert recipe for you and your 21-and-up friends: boozy shamrock shakes. She didn't use green food coloring in hers, but the Irish cream liqueur, Branca Menta and copious amounts of fresh mint are plenty festive. She recommends serving with fresh whipped cream and grating a bit of the chocolate side of peppermint bark over the top for a minty garnish.

Finally, Erika Kwee, writing for Urban Swank, visited Holley's Seafood Restaurant & Oyster Bar at 3201 Louisiana to check out the newly added Sunday brunch offerings, which include some regular menu items, such as NOLA-style oysters, as well as some newcomers, like potato pancakes topped with citrus-cured smoked salmon. Her favorite dish, hands-down, was the coconut cake with salted caramel and spiced pecans, which she says is now one of her top five desserts in Houston. 

That's it for what Houston's food bloggers have been saying this week! Is there a food blog you adore that we've never featured? Leave us a comment or send us an email to let us know.
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Alexandra Doyle