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A Taste of Houston – Budget Eating

A Taste of Houston – Budget Eating

20150706_140829 After writing my blog on Antigua, I had a craving for some Caribbean food. I decided to try out a spot I’d heard about called the Reggae Hut Cafe. I arrived around 2pm on a Monday to see that the cafe is in a little shopping strip with minimal parking. I went around the back and found that there are a few additional parking spaces back there. I imagine parking is horrendous during peak hours. I entered the restaurant and was immediately greeted by the staff. I approached the counter to order (this is a spot where you order your food, then they bring it to your table). I was informed that one can have free samples of some of the food and drinks. I chose to sample the jerk chicken and oxtails, but they also had Curry Goat, Curry Chicken and Brown Stew Chicken available for sampling. I’d never had oxtails before, and it was DIVINE!!! I opted for the jerk chicken, because it was cheaper.  It is pretty spicy, so definitely only order it if you like a kick to your food! I also sample the Sorrel juice – a Caribbean drink that was made of hibiscus, ginger, and some other tasty ingredients. I was delicious so I went with that. There were other drinks to sample, such as ginger beer,fruit punch and lemonade, but I didn’t want too many flavors going on in my mouth. I liked that they give you your drink in a plastic bottle, along with a cup of ice. That way you can add as much or as little ice as you want.  I found a seat by the window, and my food was delivered to my table shortly after. The portions were HUGE. The chicken came with rice and peas and veggies… all of it was very good. There were only a couple of other people in the restaurant, so I just ate and enjoyed the vibe and the wall art. There was Reggae music playing (Surprise!), and there were some murals painted on the wall. My favorite was the “Wake up and live” sign. I felt it was made especially for me. The total cost of the meal was 15 and some change.

20150707_085542 My next quest was for a breakfast spot. I was in the mood for some Mexican food, so I googled “Best Huevos Rancheros in Houston.” Taqueria Del Sol (sorry no website) popped up. I made the trek across town to try them out. I walked in, and seating is seat yourself. It was about 8:30am on a Tuesday, and the  restaurant only had a couple of people in there. I sat down, and a menu was brought to the table. To my delight the Huevos Rancheros was only $4.49!!! I ordered it with potatoes and corn tortillas. The potatoes were magnificent!!! The whole meal was really good, but those potatoes were the best! The food came out quickly, and my waitress was kind and attentive. I need to brush up on my Spanish, but I gave a polite “gracias” when I was done, paid and exited. I only drank water, so my total bill was $4.89.

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When lunchtime rolled around, I googled “cheap places for lunch in Houston,” and came across Fat Bao. I hadn’t heard of bao before, but bao is a Chinese steamed bun. I read over the reviews and it seemed like a great place. (Just a note, that this is more of a fast food type of Chinese sandwich, versus authentic Chinese food). I got to the restaurant about 2:15pm on a Tuesday. The restaurant is tiny, and there were 4 people there when I arrived. I ordered from the counter: The Memphis and the Crab Daddy. The Memphis has braised pork belly, Asian slaw, spicy mayo, green onions. The Crab Daddy has fried soft shell crab, Asian slaw, spicy mayo. If I had been paying attention, I would have switched it up a bit. I didn’t realize they both has the same extras. I ordered the lunch special, which is available until 3pm. It consists of two baos, fries, and a drink for $10. The food arrived quickly, and I noticed that the fries were shoestring style. I really don’t care for this style of fries, but they were seasoned well, and actually quite tasty. I bit into the Memphis bao, and it was good. However, I really enjoyed the Crab Daddy. I’d never had soft shell crab before, so I wasn’t sure how I was supposed to eat it. (apparently you just eat it… thanks google). For me, the meal was very filling, and I didn’t finish it all. I noticed on the menu they have a PB&J desert bao, as  well as a beignet bao. The best thing about this place is EVERYTHING on the menu was under $10!!! The baos ranged from $3.50 – $5.50 each. The most expensive this was salads, which were $9. Overall, I’d give it a 4 out of 5. I’d like to go back to try out some of the other baos.



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