One year ago from today, I started my blog. I launched my own website with a little knowledge of how everything works. I wanted to write my thought & share my knowledge on things. Starting 2017, I decided to be more active in blogging. I set rules on my own to post on certain days at certain times (Tuesday, 9pm CST). Since then, I've been learning a lot, watching informative articles & videos, creating and marketing my content. I see it growing little by little and hopefully more and more people would enjoy the posts I create. While I did not have a certain niche before, I want to tell you that I am focusing on food mainly, life tips, travel, & beauty on the side. Please feel free to give me any feedbacks you might have! Thank you so much for your support and love <3
Today, as April already began, I decided to do my March Restaurant & Cafe Favorites!
(Check out my Feb Favorites here if you haven't!)
I've been eating & trying out new places a lot, & here are my 6 favorites! (Order doesn't matter)
1. Ramen Tatsu-ya
Literally, my favorite new Japanese ramen place in Houston! I've been to Jinya Ramen, Tiger Den, and tried Japanese ramen in several Japanese restaurants but none of them were good.... But this place which recently opened in midtown, is on point! First, the portion is just right. You can also add a bowl of rice on the side if you'd like. It will make you super full but in a satisfying way! Their meat is soft, it cuts well without having to bite it off. Noodles are as same as other places, but I think their broth is the game changer. It's not salty nor oily, you won't forget the taste and probably want to go back.
They have a private lot and street for parking, and their service is great. It's a casual restaurant where you can order as soon as you come in, pay, and they will take you to your seat. I've been here two times and while it's not a lot, I noticed they ask whether it's your first time or not. If it's your first time, they will explain & answer any of the questions you might have. If not, they will say "welcome back!" which I think makes a good "hi". They have booths, two people seating, and one person seating on the side. The two people seating structure is as same as Jinya or Tiger Den but with larger spaces in between!
2. Just Mac & Cheese
Mac and cheese place in midtown. You can choose from radical & traditional mac and cheese. I got the Seoul. Since I am from Seoul, I approve the name along with what it comes with it. (Haha.) The taste is rich. It's like kimchi fries, but instead of fries there's kimchi & meat. It's interesting how they decided to put different types of ingredients on top of Mac and cheese. Portion wise, I got the personalized 1/2 lbs. They also have the large which is 1 lb of mac & cheese. 1/2 lbs is around $9 and 1 lb is $12-13. I think the personalized portion was great for me and the price. But if you are not sure, just look at the photo below.
They have a private parking lot so you don't have to worry about parking. When you first walk in, you might feel the ambience is not as welcoming; but no worries! The staffs are both friendly and nice. I got a take-out order & was surprised since I only waited about 8 minutes! For dining in, they have fair amount of tables which is good for 1-4 people. Definitely recommend this hidden place :-)
3. Dak & Bop
Ooo, fell in love with this place! BTW, Dak is chicken in Korean, Bop (Bap) is rice in Korean.
I've been to this place 3 times, once for a take out. I prefer dining in though. The main reason I go to this place is because of their chicken. I'd say it's probably the best chicken I've ever tasted while living in Houston almost 4 years. This chicken is (portion wise) mostly similar to Korean fried chicken. Normally American restaurants serve chicken with 80% bones and 20% chicken. Not to mention, it comes out either super dry or cold after waiting 20 min. While Dak & Bop in the museum district don't serve chicken like that at all! Your 30 min wait is totally worth it because of their quality. Their chicken consists 20% of bones and 80% of chicken. It's hot, soft, and delicious. They double-fry the chicken which is crispy and just so good (OMG). Their price is reasonable along with the price.
As you see below, I got a bowl of rice along with kimchi. At first, I simply ordered since I was too hungry. But from the second time, I order them because the rice & kimchi taste so good! Only $2 each. While waiting for your food, you can watch tv shows/movies or whatever channel they are projecting on the walls. When you walk in, the bar is on your left, the dining in on the right. I think it's great for any size of groups since the place is pretty spacious. You can park in the garage on the right where it says Binz Center. The first floor is where you park for the restaurants!
4. Honey Art Cafe
Yep, the small cafe in Houston with super cool walls; the walls that everyone takes pics with this same egg waffle ice cream for Instagram. I did it too, but it was worth it! This egg waffle is so delicious! You can choose from any two toppings. I got the strawberry & blueberry. The vanilla ice cream is simply so chewy (it reminds me of Cold Stone ice cream) & goes so well with the waffle. The waffle comes out hot and crispy! This dessert is really sweet, but good amount of sweetness where it will fill you up. We also ordered the mango honey milk which was delicious! I feel like they use honey instead of sugar? Not sure, but the sweetness I tasted was in a very smooth texture that blends well with the drink.
Their restroom is decorated with cats, and they also have art/drawing sessions! Free Wi-Fi which you can stay longer if you want. At the back there are more spaces to hangout with your friends. The walls are definitely colorful and unique! Parking is a bit bad, since there's only few spaces available and they share with other stores. When we went there, there was almost no one, so my guess is that if you go during weekends, you will have to wait a long time for your desserts.
5. El Big Bad
We went to this place after seeing a promotion on Instagram! It said unlimited tacos, chips and salsa, and one margarita all for $19.95. Too good to be true. Their tacos were MEH. I mean it was my first time coming here so I really looked forward to it. They have 6 tacos on the menu but for the unlimited, you can only choose from 3 which were beef, pollo, and al pastor. Al pastor is a bit spicy but the best out of those three, then is beef, just tasting like any beef, and last is pollo. Along with the tacos, chips and salsa is unlimited as well. Honestly the chips are better than tacos. For the margarita in the promotion, they were offering a plain margarita so I decided to get strawberry infused margarita. Their margarita was actually good & well concentrated! (winkwink) If you haven't been here but want to try, I suggest to go for chips and drinks rather than tacos!!!
6. MF Sushi
OMG this place is literally. so. bomb!!!!! Their quality of sushi is incomparable to other Japanese restaurants in Houston. I went here alone to see how their service is, how the food is and everything. Their service was awesome. The interior is nice as well as the music is relaxing. There are a lot of staffs available and everyone is friendly and respectful. I was actually the first person since I went in as soon as they opened: at 5:30pm. Bar in the front, booth seating at the left back, tables in the middle and one-person seating at the back right. At the one-person seating area (where I sat), you can see the chefs preparing your food.
They offer complimentary valet parking, but you can also park at the available parking spaces. For dress code, just don't wear basketball shorts or like too casual clothing. Smart casual/business casual/suit is applicable. The staffs are all either in suits or in a chef uniform. The server I had was in a suit & he was friendly enough to recommended me special dishes to try.
I ordered a lot of signature nigiri and some rolls, and others including miso soup. The miso soup was warm, with mushrooms, tofu and seaweed. Literally every single one of the orders I got were good. The taste is rich, smooth, it melts inside your mouth. Some sushi they let you know you won't need soy sauce since there's a special sauce inside. The best part is how they don't give you a lot of rice, even in the rolls. There's more ingredients and sushi to enjoy in your dish. Cheap restaurants tend to give you more rice and less sushi on top. But MF sushi wasn't like that which I really liked. I actually ended up trying 10 different types of sushi and it was definitely worth the experience and the amount of money I spent.
The reason I didn't link their website is because their website is awful. As a person who works in the marketing agency creating websites, they should definitely redo their website because the navigation is just bad. But you won't really need the menu since they pretty much have everything available and I believe your servers will recommend good dishes to you!
So these were the top 6 restaurants & cafe I loved last month!
Let me know in the comments below which restaurants are your go-to or which ones I should try next!! Don't forget to hit the like button if you enjoyed this post :) Thank you!
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