ST. JOHN’S FIRE TRUCK
twitter: @firetrucktx | facebook: st.john’s fire
For my lunch excursion, they were located at BoConcept which is a regular supporter of the movement, allowing various trucks to set up shop each week. After catching what would be Tuesday’s special, a tortilla-crusted fish picture on Twitter Monday, I knew I HAD to taste it. My luck got even better when I saw the updates on Tuesday mor-ing mentioning a seafood martini. With prices in the $4 to $8 range, there’s something for every budget. The tortilla (tortilla chip)-crusted fish ($8) with a mango jalapeño glaze is rounded out with lime-cilantro rice and pico de gallo for a complete meal. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at the hefty portion size. I wish I ordered more of the sweet, savory, mildly spicy glaze. The seafood martini ($6, also a healthy serving) is a refreshing mix of shrimp, crawfish and pico de gallo, all in a spicy tomato cocktail sauce, served with tortilla chips for dipping. The sauce is less dense than what you might be used to with bits of jicama (traditional in Mexico) included in the pico. Both orders proved to be light, flavorful and filling. We added some spice to ours with Cholula but they have a multitude of salsas from Tabasco® to Sriracha to choose from to add any type of kick you have in mind. The 25 years of experience in the kitchen in both Houston and New Orleans shows in the quality of the fare this full-service gourmet truck dishes out. A delightful woman took our order at the window and when our order was up the team inside the truck was equally friendly. They appreciate cash but should you see them and only have credit, they’ll take that too. Don’t pass this food truck up! You’ll be sorry you did.
507 WESTHEIMER RD.
www.rootsbistrohouston.com | 713.524.1000
CUISINE LOCAL, ORGANIC, GREEN
CHEF German Mosquera
Diggin’ into the soul of real food is what Executive Chef German Mosquera is doing at ROOTS BISTRO, the second green-certified restaurant in Houston. With a menu bursting with flavor-packed farm-to-table fare, anyone passionate about premier organic, quality, authentic, creative and nutritionally balanced food will love this place. A bamboo-covered bar is welcoming while walls decked with colorful art by local artists adds a pop of color. Our waiter Kye was exceptionally helpful and offered insightful menu suggestions. The menu features tapas style dishes divided into Tierra (meats), Verdura (veggies) and Lumbre (fire-roasted pizzas). The menu is seasonal and changes daily, and even though you’ll recognize some menu items, chances are the flavors and combinations are new, making it a fresh new experience. My picks: TX Lamb Ribeye & Sprouted Mung Bean. The meat is fresh from Black Hill Ranch and then sous vide (sous vide is French for “under vacuum”and describes a method of cooking in vacuum-sealed plastic pouches at precisely controlled temperatures) in Kobe beef fat for 24 hrs. then quickly seared for color. The mung beans are mixed with BBQ beans and dal (Indian lentil) to create a super hearty combination seasoned with a reduction of mustard seed, cinnamon, beer, maple syrup and heirloom tomatoes. I expected the lamb to be gamey, but it wasn’t, it was perfect! The Moulard Duck Oso Bucco is a nice, savory dish. Served over a raw squash “pasta” with oyster mushrooms, Swiss chard and sweet corn. A really tasty and original way to get your veggies. The duck is braised in a lamb and white port stock for about 3 hrs. The Kobe Flank & Swiss Chard Potato Hash – skirt cuts tend to be a tough cut of meat, but the way it was prepared made it deliciously tender. Rubbed in Himalayan sea salt and extra virgin olive oil and marinated for an hour, then sous vide for 24 hrs. and quickly seared to seal flavor. The potatoes from the hash are wood-fired and sautéed with steamed garlic and Swiss chard with a pinch of lemon juice. You must also try the Fire- Roasted Kale and Idiazabal Cheese Bake on Cedar!
By Pixie Ibañez
1972 Fairview St.
www.facebook.com/RoostHouston/info | 713.523.7667
CUISINE American FARM TABLE
CHEF Kevin Naderi
After reading many reviews of Roost in preparation for my visit, I made it in to this casual neighborhood restaurant that is gaining momentum. Once inside, the name comes to life. It’s a cozy, small but well-arranged layout. It is reminiscent of a neighborhood restaurant in Paris where just like Roost, they don’t take reservations but you’re welcome to wait. And like I had read in a review, Chef Kevin Naderi is not only seating you, he’s manning the bar and kitchen. Wine is decently priced, with our pick being a light Italian Pinot Grigio at $18 a bottle. We started with the popular roasted cauliflower, a mainstay on their revolving menu. With bonito flakes dancing atop the cauliflower that is dressed in miso and topped with pine nuts and scallions, one bite and it’s no surprise why this is a favorite. This Asian- inspired dish will win the hearts of those that aren’t even cauliflower fans with its sweet, savory richness. If you’re craving big flavors try the house salad served with chilled bib lettuce, shaved radish and carrot in a truffle poppy seed dressing. The truffle is subtle not overpowering the entire salad, and the chilled, crunchy lettuce is ideal. We followed it up with their farmer’s market vegetable enchiladas, in an authentic salsa verde, cotija cheese sprinkles and a pecan crema. This dish is a piece of Mexico. If you are more inclined to light, subtle clean flavors, their Texas peaches salad with wedges of peach atop a house-made ricotta, thinly sliced prosciutto and baby greens dressed in rosemary oil is perfectly balanced. The seared catch of the day combines a warm and cold element with the seared fish filet atop a fresh, crisp tabouleh with herbs and cucumber in a tahini sauce dotted with heirloom tomatoes. Please note: like those mentioned above by the time you read this, these entrées may not be available. But that is the beauty! Discovering everything Chef Naderi and his kitchen are capable of creates an element of surprise to your dining experience. One of those surprises, that is also permanent on the menu due to the fanfare, is their coffee n’ donut holes dessert. You CAN’T leave without ordering this. Topped with crushed pistachios, dulce de leche and served with a scoop of coffee ice cream, roosting has never sounded like a better idea!
By Beatrice Allen