Saturday, January 24, 2009

Word of Mouth

    Back in the earlier days of Free Press, we had a column called Word of Mouth. While there were several contributors, it was up to me to eat something and write about it- several reviews a month. Coupled with a two year stint writing reviews for Cuizine and having a baby, I packed on a few too many pounds, and at 5'3" and 3/4" tall, I wasn't meant to be indulging in a nightly smorgasbord of decadent three to eleven course meals. Thankfully, I have whittled my waist back down by a regime of not eating 3,000 calorie meals and hoola hooping frequently.
   
    The point here is that I need some help in getting the word out about all of the great places to eat in Houston. The diversity and vast selection of our cuisine is, in my opinion, our greatest asset. You can literally taste your way around the world if you play your cards right.
    We are a city built on food and the service industry workers are the people who keep it going. From line cooks, waiters and baristas, to local and immigrant mom and pop restaurateurs, without them, we'd have nothing but our own measly cooking skills available and Applebee's.  Instead we've got authentic food from Ethiopia at the Blue Nile Cafe, to fresh and affordable Banh Mi at Les Givral and Cali Sandwich.
    We'd like to open this page up to anyone who'd like to write a review about a local dining experience- good or bad- but preferably delicious. Also, any servers out there who need a place to vent, be it about the idiot customer who never tips more than a buck, or the fools who ask for a bunch of lemons because they're too cheap to buy a lemonade. Or how about the fact that people seem to be clueless that most waiters only make $2.13 an hour.

I'll get it started:

Dinner and a Show

I was enjoying a big bowl of pho at Van Loc the other day, where they are adamantly against people getting to-go cups. This is posted everywhere but somehow a woman overlooked the signage and asked for a to-go cup for her water. The server said sorry, no can do, and the woman proceeded to throw a fit, telling me how she wanted to take her water with her because she doesn't drink liquids with her meals. (I wanted to ask her if soup was in her diet, but decided to nod knowingly) I thought it was over when the woman started to walk out the door until I and the server realized she was taking the restaurant's cup with her. The server threatened to call the cops for theft, so the woman threw the cup of ice water at her and cussing her way out the door, she was gone.

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