Monthly Archives: September 2011

Creatures of the Sea

I love the ocean. I think it’s majestic, beautiful, filled with sometimes scary but always interesting creatures, and definitely worth protecting. As a bright-eyed and bushy-tailed youth, I even attended a marine biology summer camp at Texas A&M at Galveston aptly named “Sea Camp.” But actually, I didn’t enjoy Sea Camp at all; I cried every night, alone in my top bunk, because I was a wee one who had never been away from home for a week and certainly had never shared a room with a certified neurotic and debatably nudist roommate. Too personal? Anyway, I’m certain that if I had the chance to go to Sea Camp now, I’d totally appreciate it. Provided that I got my own room.

So with the ocean in mind, I’ll share some more pertinent / less traumatic personal information: one of my favorite activities has always been eating delicious creatures of the sea. It’s time for me to tell you about THE SANDBAR!

Located in the totally cool Pearl Brewery complex (and here on Twitter), The Sandbar is an Andrew Weissman restaurant offering high quality seafood and more to the carnivore, omnivore, and pescetarian diner alike. (Andrew Weissman is the chef behind Il Sogno, also at the Pearl, and the late Le Rêve.. you churl!) The Sandbar is a little bit pricier than other restaurants I’ve discussed thus far (for lunch, sandwiches and entrees $8.50 to $23; for dinner, plates $16 to $45; desserts, $9) but to me, definitely worth it for a nice meal out.

Notable eats include:

  • Crab cake sandwich. A towering sandwich on tiny buns that you should deconstruct to eat. Unless, of course, you enjoy looking like a messy fool. The crab cake is nearly all big lumps of crab – very little filler – and has a great flavor.
  • For the land lubbers, chicken dish called Chicken Paillard. A solid non-seafood choice that comes with mashed taters… yum!
  • Creamed corn. Has a chipotle kick and is a good size for sharing between two or maybe three. Or, let’s get real, you could just eat it all yourself. (Suggested.)
  • Asian cole slaw. I am not typically a cole slaw fan, but I ate all of this. Couldn’t get enough. Was stealing it from other people’s plates when they weren’t looking. Crunchy, cool, kind of sweet, and had sprouts and other veggies that made it not overwhelmingly cabbage-y. (Cabbage overload is my main beef [FOOD PUN!] with normal cole slaw. That stuff lingers!)
  • Key lime pie. Damn, y’all, REALLY GOOD KEY LIME PIE. Pricy, but I have no regrets. Good for splitting with one or maybe two other people (depending on how well you control yourself when it comes to the amazing cole slaw, i.e. how much room you have for dessert).

Other items of note: for lunch during the week, it is surprisingly quiet and comfortably not-busy. That is to say, it’s not awkward-vacant, where you’re afraid to speak because you would be the sole voice, but rather slow enough to get a table without waiting and quiet enough to discuss business matters or philosophy or the scientific inaccuracies of the movie JAWS.

Finally, because I haven’t ever taken a picture at The Sandbar, instead please enjoy the picture below of my fish pet, Boosie, who would neither survive in the sea nor make a delicious meal, but is very beautiful. Ta-da!

Sandbar Fish House & Market on Urbanspoon

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Dogs on Kings Court

Friends: when I say “hot dog,” what do you imagine? Fourth of July franks on the grill? Turkey dogs on wheat buns (for the healthier of us)? An Astrodome All-Star dog, topped with questionable relish scooped from a cart next to a guilty looking child with pickle juice dripping from his hands at the ballpark? Is that just me?

Well, how about a foot-long Hebrew National with chili, onions, cheddar cheese? Or a Salsburg Brat with sauerkraut and mustard? A deep-fried, bacon wrapped, polish sausage with guac, pinto beans, and some Tabasco? Or maybe this?! If you have been scouring the streets of our city looking for a source of high-quality specialty franks, scour no more. The Kings Court Frankfurter Express in Tobin Hill, with its expansive and innovative menu, likely can fulfill all of your hot dog hopes and dreams. (Unless this is your hope/dream. But what do I know, maybe they could provide a costumed dog friend if you called ahead!)

Inside the Frankfurter Express’ funky, house-like building, you’ll find a friendly, father-son duo whose hot dog genius is rivaled perhaps only by their artistic creativity. Check out the prolific and very eclectic artwork that adorns those beautiful, condiment-colored walls. Much of it was made by owners Carlos and Damien Ayala!

I digress. Back to really matters: the foods. With 25+ varieties of dog (not actual dog), you could visit nearly every day for a month and try ‘em all! …And then, you might never want to eat hotdog again, no matter how delicious. So on second thought, space it out a bit. If I had to pick, I’d say my current fave from their menu is the Alamo (chili, enchilada sauce, onions, cheddar cheese, and chili powder), and I had it for lunch yesterday, yo. Doing my research, you know what I’m sayin’?! You can hear all about what other people like (although I know that my opinion is probably the most important to you) on the Frankfurter Express Facebook fan page. You can also visit their official Facebook page here and harass encourage them to post more frequently and to start a Twitter account. (It’s for your own good, bros.)

Other items of note: the Frankfurter Express is BYOB, which is always fun; has indoor and outdoor seating; it’s just about walking distance from Trinity University, for all you young folk; and most importantly, they now serve SWEET POTATO FRIES. And you KNOW how I feel about sweet potato fries. If you don’t, then you haven’t been reading carefully enough

Happy almost-Labor-Day-Weekend!

King's Court Frankfurter Express on Urbanspoon

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