Tuesday, July 7, 2009


Our Fourth of July celebration in Houston this year was a bit different from our usual - no parades, no fireworks, no friends or relatives, just me and ma boyz - but we still managed to have a great time. This year, however, we were celebrating independence of a different sort - food independence.

First stop was lunch at El Rey Tacqueria, a Cuban-Mexican cafe that son Austin had discovered. The tacos at this eatery lean away from greasy ground beef fillings, and more towards seafood, fresh veggies, and grilled meats. I was also tickled to discover that they give you the option of corn or whole wheat tortillas, and not just the usual white flour ones. They do have more than one location there in Houston, but I'm fairly certain they are indy owned, and not part of a national chain. Between the three of us we managed to sample six different tacos, all of them delicious - especially that Cuban one with black beans and plantains!

From there we headed downtown to the Angelika, one of Houston's art house theatres, which shows mostly indy films. On the marquee today? Food, Inc. - a must see for anyone who cares about what goes into their mouth, or who has asked, "What's the big deal about eating local and organic? Who cares?"

On the way home we stopped in at Whole Foods to pick up some grass-fed bison for that evening's grill-fest. It's as lean as turkey, and higher in Omega-3s than salmon, but tastes just like beef, so I figured it would put a much bigger smile on John's face than veggie- or turkey-burgers. When we discovered that their butcher had already put together a stack of bison patties, which had bits of gorgonzola and sun-dried tomatoes mixed in, his smile stretched even further. Austin grabbed sesame-encrusted Ezekial buns to serve the burgers on, I gathered the makings for a blackberry crisp, and John nabbed a chunk of watermelon because, well, just because! We had quite the feast. The only thing that could have made it better would have been if our Lexie had been there too. But, nooooo! She was out in San Diego, living it up with our dear friends, the Halls, being wined and dined, viewing fireworks from the balcony of a luxury condo over on Coronado Island, and sending us "Neener, neener, nee-ner" photos of it all! Harrumph.

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