Lunch and Antiques in Rosenberg
Rosenberg is a 20 minute drive from our house.
This blue building delighted me! Was it once a house?
We parked on the side, by the mural of fishermen. Don thought they were mermen, but I don't think so.
There were festive lights framing each painted window! These colorful images were actually pretty entertaining.
Friday, Before Noon
We stepped inside and headed through an archway, past some gum machines. It looked like there were maybe 3 eating areas and only 2 tables in use.
The Main Room
The main dining room was bright, with lots of colorful wall and window art.
The tables by the wall reminded me of a fast food restaurant. The window tables looked more like a cozy diner, with their curtains... decorated with tiny roosters.
So Many Choices
We were invited to sit anywhere. The darker dining area near the kitchen, had a table beneath a smiling man, with a thin mustache.
The table beneath the octopus and shrimp, looked quite festive.
We chose Table #2, near the refreshing green mountains and calming waters of Lago de Patzcuaro. Don blended well, with his green shirt.
We did not pull out our Sharpi pens, but it looks like someone did... and added a tiny fish.
Our server Maria, couldn't have been sweeter.
Don ordered a few soft tacos on corn tortillas. He seemed pleased with the flavor of the shrimp. The breakfast taco with dried beef and egg, needed a little salsa to moisten it.
Here are the happy diners, with their big plates!
My Chicken Chimichanga was packed with large pieces of moist chicken and more gooey cheese. The beans and rice were decent, as well. I had to get a box for leftovers.
Chatting with Maria
Off to the Antique Stores
We admired the art as we headed off to the car. "This place sure seems familiar." Don said.
In the car I looked on my phone and searched way back, on my dining blog. Oops! We've been to El Guadalajara! What is our excuse besides old brains?
#1 - Road construction changes, have messed with our memories.
#2 - The cute blue building, was once yellow.
But the interior murals and curtains were all the same. Yikes! That's just embarrassing! So... we headed to the antique stores, where our vintage brains felt right at home!
Indian & Pakistani Feasting
My friend Kristi and I tried Himalaya a couple years ago. We weren't overly impressed, mostly because we felt a little rushed at lunch. So last week, we met up with our husbands, to give the place another try.
Since our last visit, Himalaya has had a few big spotlights, on national TV and radio. The tiny restaurant was featured on CNN's show, Anthony Bordain's: Parts Unknown. NPR aired a program, describing Himalaya's cuisine as Pakistani & Indian, with deep Texas roots.
Don and I arrived on a Thursday evening at 6:30. We parked in the strip mall lot and counted about 5 other options for Indian food. That was no surprise since we were in the Houston area, known as the Mahatma Gandhi district. I was feeling sort of at home in the area, since I'd recently spent 5 hours shopping at a number of Sari Shops across the street... for an Indian wedding. I should have dressed up for dinner!
Once Kristi and Jim arrived we headed inside. I wanted to wander and study the decorated walls, but the cozy space filled up too quickly. I wanted to ask about the Latin American art on the back wall.
I wanted to know if it was left over from the Columbian Restaurant that was once housed in the space. But I was too intimidated to wander and ask questions. Don and I had read a few reviews from diners who said the restaurant was unfriendly. I don't usually let whiney reviews sway me, but I also didn't want to risk ruining the evening with Kristi and Jim.
Wine and Menus
As soon as we were seated, a waiter arrived with menus, a corkscrew and plastic glasses. He'd seen our wine bottle and he was on top of it. It's nice going to a BYOB restaurant that doesn't charge a fee or make you stress over asking about policies.
The meun was packed with options. I noticed the Hunter's Beef Plate, that Kristi and I ordered last time. There was a Persian Kabob that sounded good. But the words, "Mild, Kid Friendly" made it sound like only wimps ordered that. There were lots of Bourdain approved dishes marked, with red thumbs. It seems we'd only looked for a moment before the waiter had returned to take our order. Oh dear. Are we being rushed?
We bought ourselves some decision time, by ordering veggie samosas.
They arrived piping hot, with some sauces. Very yummy!
After a few bites of samosa, the chef and owner Kaiser Lashkari arrived to take our order. I'd recognized him (from TV) when we first walked in. He seemed terribly serious with his pen and pad, when he asked for my order. But I still hadn't decided. "You go first, Jim." I pleaded. I did not get reprimanded for being slow.
Then the food arrived and heavenly aromas hit our table. This photo poorly reveals our 4 entrees and 3 orders of nan bread. I had not planned on writing this up or I might have requested "hands off!" to get a better photo.
I took one more photo, but, hands were still grabbing. So I stopped snapping and grabbed for food myself.
My dish was the big one... a mountain of Chicken Biryani and Basmati rice! We also had Chicken Hara Masala, Dal Gosht with goat and Lamb Vindaloo. All were wonderful. The garlic nan and butter nan was amazing. Poor Kristi can't do cilantro, so she missed out on some of the bread.
I couldn't quite read all the reviews and awards above our table, but I think most of awards come from Chef Lashkari's creative approach to blending Indo-Pakistani flavors with other styles of food.
Next time, I'll have to try a little Texas Smoked Brisket Masala. Or maybe for an Indo-Cajun option, I'll try the Crawfish Masala Etoufee. There's even an Indian quesadilla and an Indi-Shephard's Pie!
Meeting the Owner
We complimented the food and I asked if he was the owner. His face stayed serious and he answered."No." There was a pause and then he added. "My wife is the owner, I just work here."Then he laughed a totally relaxed laugh.
After we'd relaxed into our food, Mr. Lashkari stopped by the table.
I asked the question Don often dreads. "Would you mind being in a photo?" "Sure!" Lashakri boomed. "Let's do a selfie!" We gathered around the "star" and Jim used his long arm to snap a pic of our group. It's a little blurry, but it captures the happy moment!
Sometimes it takes a trip or two to know the ropes. I'm ready for a third trip to Himalaya. I hear there's a pretty flavorful Indo-Pakistani Chicken Fried Steak that might need some taste testing!
The Dining Blog
This is a blog about Dining Adventures. Sometimes, I talk about food. Below, you can read how this started.
On July 4th 2011, I set a goal to try 50 culturally diverse restaurants in one year! (I knew that was possible, living in the Houston area) I spent the year pulling in friends and family to join me, on some unusual dining adventures. I met some curious people, tried some scary foods and explored places and cultures I never would have otherwise. Even though I met my goal, I learned too much to end my adventures in dining. I have continued blogging about memorable dining adventures of all kinds, near and far... and all the discoveries and funny things I've learned along the way!
Locations and types of dining adventures, are listed further down.