Yelp me, Rhonda

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Editorial and Opinion  |  House: Booksie Classic
A family writes about their encounters of the world around them through food and entertainment venues. Yelping all the way to the bank you could say. Reviews of local places in Houston, Texas are taken to the next level of humor and humility, with an utmost level of honesty. Enjoy!

Submitted: September 10, 2015

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Submitted: September 10, 2015

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Brewingz

My husband and I were waiting for our movie to start over at Edwards Cinema and we had some time to kill. We knew we would be homeless if we attempted to purchase dinner at the movie theater so we gallivanted directly across the way from the entrance of the theater to Brewingz. It had a large dining area and the ceilings were higher than your average restaurant. It was very open and not overcrowded at all, especially for a Saturday night.

We were seated immediately and given a choice of a table or booth. We chose a booth and the waitress took our drink order with a smile. Miguel ordered an ice tea and I had a frozen strawberry margarita with salt. I visited the ladies room and it was neat and clean. When I returned our drinks were delivered. Everything was going smoothly, surprisingly quick service. We told the waitress our movie started in 30 minutes; she said no problem, she would tell the chef to help us out. Wow, how nice of her.

We ordered a chicken tenders basket with curly fries. She asked if we wanted cheese on them bad boys; what are we, monks? Cheese me, baby. We also ordered an order of mango habanero shrimp with buttermilk ranch for an appetizer. She went to put our order in and we chatted about life and all of its mysteries and took pictures of our surroundings for no good reason in particular. 

Anyhoo, my frozen margarita was exactly what I expected. I enjoyed licking the salt from the rim and taking a luxurious taste. I am one of those rare people who do not get brain freeze, but I paced myself nonetheless. I wondered if we would have to cancel our order because our movie would start before it would come out. It's not their fault we had bad time perception.

In the blink of an eye our waitress brings out the mango habanero shrimp, wow. I almost didn't believe it was true. What, did they have it already sitting back there? What is this, a time machine restaurant; and they just went back in time and made our order before we got here? I do not question shrimp for long though and we dug our fat fingers into the basket. It was absolutely divine. 

The sauce was delicious, spicy and sweet. The shrimp had never been frozen, they were jumbo, and butterflied. Coated in this happy juice that I practically licked out of the container. Well I would have if I were alone anyhow. I do have manners. *Wink*Wink*

Right when the last shrimp was being chewed by Miguel I was just thinking, these shrimp are better than many I've had at seafood restaurants. And this is NOT a seafood restaurant. I did not expect the food to be this good, dang. I was sorry that I had had such low expectations at this point in my life. 

Right when I was realizing the pinnacle of my regrets, a man brings us out our chicken tenders. The plate looks really nice, they even garnished it with green bibb lettuce. The curly fries are thin and yes, curly, reminding me of little Shirley Temple's beautiful golden tresses. The cheese was melted nicely onto the crispy, twirly spuds and I thought we just might make this movie after all.

Just at that very moment; another basket twinkled from the corner of my eye sitting coyly on the same tray the waiter held towards us....what is this? The waiter held out a second basket of mango habanero shrimp!

We quickly let him know that we had sadly already enjoyed our mango habanero shrimp. This new basket could not possibly be ours for the taking. Another table would surely cry at the loss of their rightful shrimp and their night would undoubtedly be ruined. We could not possibly accept this but indeed it was one of the most tempting things that has ever happened to me. We were forced to do the right thing and send that basket back to its rightful owners.

That's when this waiter really sealed my loyalty forever and laid the basket on our table saying only, "On the house, enjoy" with a smile and he was gone. To say the least we sat astonished and humbled. We had woken up this morning just thinking it was a normal day but alas, it was a holiday apparantly and we were overjoyed. 

We chowed down and were full before we knew it. We took one box with us, unwilling to let any of the goodness go to waste. We paid our check and left really surprised how good everything was. I was amazed we got to our movie with minutes to spare. It was a terrible movie but the trip to Brewingz really made the night special. We will be back, baby.
 
Edwards Houston Marq'E 23 & IMAX

Well this movie theater is very large inside, it reminds me of AMC. It was not long for us to get through the ticket line and it was a pretty penny too. The prettiest penny I had; come to think of it, and I hated to see it go. $22 for two adults. What are these, golden tickets? I've owned houses that were cheaper. 

We purchased two tickets for "Jupiter Ascending". The teller asked me if I had a regal card and I said no. "How do I get one?" I challenged her. She said, "I'll give you one right now". She handed me a plastic card bearing the name "Regal" and told me to go online to register it. I decided I would absolutely do that right after I'm done folding these towels.

Anyoo, it was really almost like a clone of AMC. Many registers open for tickets, lots of lines available for snacks. It was like being inside of a space ship to me, with all my experience that is. When it was time for our movie we walked down straights and valleys and made our way to theater eleven. It was huge inside and the previews had just started. 

The seats were large reclining-type chairs, very comfortable faux leather material. We had cup holders galore. The floor was not sticky. The surround sound was amazing. It was like I was sitting directly on the wing of a Space Shuttle taking off. My ears rang with the sound vibrations of manifold effects blaring at me like a barking hound dog who had chased a rabbit up a tree. 

The movie itself was one of the worst movies I have ever been forced to sit through and it was at once associated in my psyche with "Chinese water torture" and "Needles in my eyes would have been better". 

Time just stopped completely and I was trapped in my chair for hours on end while demons tormented me with their fiery tongues and spiky tails taunting me "You'll never get outta here alive. You will never again see the light of day. This movie will never end. You can check out any time you like, but you can never pee". I have a thing about movies. Don't take me. 

Well the theater is nice nonetheless. I was overjoyed when my husband gave us permission to leave early while my lungs could still draw in a precious breath. 

I saw Jupiter Ascending at Edward's Cinema, and I survived. I've been taking one day at a time ever since but I will never forget the horror that wreaked havoc upon that theater that one cold and somber day. RIP, that two hours of my life and that pretty penny that I never saw or heard from ever again.

Enter at your own risk is all I have to say. Choose your movie wisely also. Or this could happen to you and no one would believe you. Your screams will be heard only by the dusty skeletons of patrons from days gone by and you will regret ever lacing up your shoes and saying "Let's go see a movie tonight babe!" It happens to the best of us.
 

Paisa's Twins

 
Well who else is open at 3 in the morning when you get a hankering for not cooking something yourself? Paisa's Twins, that's who. Their food was accessible, available, and because we had enough money to buy it: affordable. 

We ordered their Arepa and their hamburgesa. The chef was really kind and understanding to our son, who was surprisingly wide awake and full of energy. We had all been up watching movies and got the munchies and decided to hit the streets and see what would happen.

There were at least three different animals on the arepa. Pork butt, shredded chicken, and beef skirt steak. It had sauce drizzled over it. We should have asked for more because the arepa was toasty dry, begging for moisture! Water...Water! The meat was great. Just confusing as to why there was 3 kinds. Must be something I don't know about. 

The hamburgesa was my favorite part. It was crazy in that it had shredded pineapple on a grilled all beef patty, a slice of ham (like deli ham) AND bacon slices. The bun was good but I could not identify it clearly. The first bite was like doing a line of cocaine for the first time....WHOA~! I don't like this! I put the burger down in rejection. I ate some more of the arepa, crunching the hard masa in my mouth wishing for salsa to drown my sorrows. 

The burger eyes me from the plate. "Hey, I'm moist". I decide "Maybe I was wrong about you". I pick it up and let this bite really linger. I am confused yet intrigued by the pineapple. "Why are you here? I didn't invite you to my party! I don't like you but I don't know why. You just seem, wrong."

I love pineapple on pizza, pineapple with chile, pineapple chutney, pineapple and....HAM! That's what's up! They are putting ham and pineapple together in my burger, trying to make a hard sell. And a hard sell it was. And I eventually bought it. 

I kept eating that thing till it was gone. Well I did half it with Miguel and by "half it" I mean he had about a quarter of it. 

All the stars had come into alignment and I finally realized I had been the wrong one all along. I apologized to the pineapple but sadly he was dead. I didn't know what I had until it was gone. I learned one thing that day and I did not regret it. Ham and pineapple can be part of a hamburgesa even if you don't exactly want it to be in the first place. 

Unfortunately for my Arepa, he was dissed and dismissed until morning when I tried to like it again and sadly after I ate all the pork off, which was delectably moist and flavorful, he was tossed in the trash like a used napkin. It was just too dry and I really tried to make the relationship work but now I just ignore his texts like the plague. 

TL;DR: I would get the Arepa with A LOT of Salsa! Hamburgesa is good if you like to try new things!
 
Gyros and Shish Kabobs

I always hesitate to give any other gyro place a thumbs up because I have tasted the righteous lamb and pita sandwiches offered here at Gyro's & Shish Kebobs. They are incomparable. Anyhow, I have attempted to carefully analyze and contrast the food here to that of equals; surprisingly not one has ever risen to the occasion. 

Niko Niko's is great, very trendy. Popular even. Texas Pizza, with all their Kosher offerings is definitely a tasty place to be. But no gyro compares to that of Gyros & Shish Kabob's in my book and I am happy tell you why. 

Here, they do not have the pressure of keeping up with the Joneses. Here, they do not waste time and money trying to impress you with fancy decorations, or expensive signage. There is no attempt to fool you into paying more for crappy food at this establishment. Here, it is all about that succulent lamb, baby. 

The lamb is seasoned perfectly, scrumptiously savory. It is moist and thick. Just how lamb should be. Get outta here with those thin dry slices I tell you. Not here. Blasphemy. 

They fashion their traditional Greek pita bread in-house and fresh everyday. They do not substitute with naan, while delicious; as some less authentic eateries would. Naan or Roti would be a lesser bread to choose for this sandwich and not as pliable. Their pita has no pocket and is just thick enough to wrap around all of the hand sliced cuts of savory lamb, tzatziki spread over rolling hills of perfectly seasoned meat, half moon tomatoes and ribbons of white onions. It is as a soft feather pillow wrapping up the brains of the operation like a birthday present, with love. 

Anyhoo, the dining area will bring you back in time to a place where people came to eat for the food, not to be hypnotized by shmancy doohickeys or mesmerized by high class art; drawing your attention away from how lousy the food really is. Here, you feel like they really take their time on each customer, and each plate is etched with mastery by a most skillful Artist himself. The food of course is undeniably the expression of this painter's canvas. I am a huge fan and always will be.

Cinemark 19 & HD

My husband and I came here after visiting another movie theater in the area. The movie we wanted had a showtime that was closer here so that is why we came. It had a lot of parking spaces in a private lot. Many were filled but not overcrowded like at AMC. It didn't take us long to get through the ticket line either which was really appreciated. The prices were average but nothing to complain about. 

When we entered it seemed pretty neat inside but nothing unusual as far as movie theaters go. A lady took our tickets and tore them and pointed us in the direction of our show with a smile. I had my eye on an Icee since the idea of a movie tonight had been suggested. I got in line while Miguel visited the Men's room.

The teller was really really kind. I say that because he was smiling like there wasn't no tomorrow. When I couldn't decide between coke or blue Hawaiian flavors for my Icee, he quickly suggested he mix the flavors for me, no extra charge. I had no idea this option existed and I was so glad that he brought this into my life. I really hadn't been living all those years before this discovery and I must admit my life was not truly complete without this feature added. Thank you my friend. For opening my eyes. 

Anyhoo, we got to theater 6 just in time for the previews. We were gently scolded to turn off our cell phone and we obeyed. Lights, camera, Action! The movie began and it was a comedy. It was extraordinary and I loved every moment. Usually going to the theater is a death sentence to me but I actually enjoyed every minute this time. The movie was called "Mortdecai". 

It was a hoot and a hollar and I would definitely go again if they have another movie as good as Mortdecai in the future. If not then someone will probably force me against my will but I will NOT enjoy it. I refuse to.

Bayou Wildlife Park
 
Well this was not my first rodeo at Bayou Wildlife Park and it will not be my last. This is only one of four zoos in Texas and why miss out on all the fun so close to home. The prices can be high if you have a large family to pay for, but they do offer group rates if you have fifteen people or more coming. They will need you to call and reserve to receive the discount and they ONLY take cash.

That said, the first time I came here was in the nineteen hundreds with my late Grandfather whom I love with all of my heart and miss like a toddler misses the ball in T-ball. So my initial memories of this place with him might color my current opinion of Bayou Wildlife Park; although I will do my best to remain unbiased.

There are not many, if ANY places you can go in the Houston area that you can see a pair of my favourite animals on Earth, the Dama Gazelle  (Nanger dama, formerly Gazella dama) from the small country of Niger in Africa. They also have many other species that are endangered that you will likely not have an opportunity to encounter if you don't leave the country often. 

They have over 500 animals and birds to view and feed. The only one we were told we couldn't feed was the Watusi cattle but he seemed to be totally satisfied without our snacks added to his diet. 

We took a tram ride as a guide narrated our drive and pointed out animals with names and fun facts. We were given the opportunity to feed many animals as the tram would stop near herds of uncommon cattle families and emus who will playfully chase you. The kids had a blast.

They each received a ride on a horse as they were under ninety pounds. A man helped them onto the horse one by one and gave them special attention as they navigated around a long rail back and forth. It was their first time on a saddle and their faces were not happier any other time although there was major competition. 

The petting zoo was my favourite part of Bayou Wildlife Park. There were potbellied pigs laying in the dry mud on the ground and plenty of pygmy goats running all around. We didn't get butted but they were definitely not shy. I even imagined what it would be like to become a goat farmer and I fancied myself a lay Old McDonald. That dream died shortly after it was dreamt but it was nice while it lasted. 

There were interesting things to look at everywhere and I perused the walls which were decorated with yellowed Houston Chronicle newspaper clippings laminated from days gone by. They told me that the Park was opened in the 1980's by a "Clint Wolston". He looked exactly the same in every photo, from the 80's onward to the latest photo which was dated 2004. "He just doesn't age" I thought to myself, while domesticated deer rubbed their freshly molted antlers against my hip, gently asking for food.

Wouldn't you know it but out walked Clint Wolston himself! I felt I had spotted Santa and tried to make myself available to him in proximity for a few words. I was honored to be near him and I knew that was asking for a lot. 

Well he didn't disappoint me as I found opportunity to enter his vicinity as my daughter was petting a very beautiful deer right next to him. He was a man of few words but they were profound nonetheless. "That's Buster", he told me with a smile, his blue eyes glittering in the sunlight. That was all he said as he made his way back to his office, but it was more than I could ask for. 

I don't know if I'll ever see Mr. Wolston again but I'm certain that I will visit the park with my family again someday. It was worth the time and money.

Dot's Coffee Shop

I am of the "Fandom" of dot's elusive ilk. Yes I said it: I love Dot's. What then? Really I can't find a reason not to. If the shoe fits, wear it for Pete's sake. Some people would rather go barefoot I guess rather than to do the right thing. And the right thing to do is to eat at Dot's and eat there often. 

I first met Dot's coffee shop way back when; over a decade ago when my husband and I were just courting. Yes, our three beautiful children were indeed just a twinkle in his eyes in those days. 

I was banned for a time by my husband from coming here for reasons that I know full well, but thankfully the ban was lifted and I am now welcome to come and go as I please. I will spare you the details but I maintain it was an unfair punishment and I missed Dot's while the prohibition was in effect. 

I usually get her fried cheese. It is truly unlike cheese sticks as you know them. I have eaten in many 'Italian' restaurants that use frozen cheese sticks and Dot does not commit that blasphemy. Her cheese sticks are HUGE and I mean huge. Like as big as a small sausage. I wouldn't believe you if you told me you had pictures to prove they weren't hand breaded. I just wouldn't want to know. 

They have many diner offerings and they do it up if you know what I mean. Large portions, great friendly service, low prices. They hit all my nails on their heads and I have never left unsatisfied. Dot is one hip gal and I am lucky to know her.

Telwink Grill on Telephone Road

What in the world is a Tel-wink you say? Well I am glad that you asked. I have no foggy idea either but I have spent hours wondering what the whoo it was. 

I imagined that it must be the expression that arises when you order your perfectly seasoned, crisp and tender catfish filet here. Maybe it is how you feel when you are greeted by a friendly waitress, with sincerity in her eyes. Perhaps it is the look that I give when I see friends and neighbors sitting at tables every week without fail. It is hard to come here and not to see a familiar face. 

I always have the catfish filet with grits and 2 sunny side up eggs. I salt, butter and pepper the grits and sprinkle on some cajun red. What is not to love. Their catfish is to die for. Luckily they take cash instead of blood or I might have been gone long ago. 

My husband is a sucker for the omelet, grits and eggs. He puts sugar in his grits like an alien. I don't mind and I'm actually a bit curious. 

Anyhoo, the kids are all about the waffles. They are crisp on the outside and made of clouds on the inside. Who knew angels worked the grill on Telephone. I did. 

The prices are unbelievable. After having coffee, tea, juice, hot chocolate with whipped cream for the chitlins, then large portions of delicious from-scratch plates, you will expect to get outta here for hundreds of thousands of cents. Not true. For a family of five it runs us just around thirty bucks. Forty if we ordered too much food. 

Now if you didn't know what a Tel-wink was when you arrived you just might have an idea by the time you roll on outta there. Either way I don't think you will care anymore. When on Telephone road, do as the Telephonians. And wink.

I Heart Boba

Wow, I am so impressed! I have walked past this joint so many times and I would have never ventured inside had it not been for my daughter. I came, I saw, I conquered. 

It was a clear black night, a clear white moon. Warren G was on the streets, trying to consume. Ariel and I were on the prowl and letting the nightlights know what was up. We walked in and an unfamiliar scent filled the air. We perused some cookie packages that were neatly organized by the register/order station.

There was a laminated menu and I looked it over and chose a strawberry smoothie with tapioca. Really I just pointed to something that looked yummy like a caveman grunting "Me thirst, me want yum yum water". Ariel however having 20/20 vision was able to intellectually decipher through a number of delicious sandwiches printed on a menu overhanging the kitchen and came to the conclusion that a pork meatball sub was up for ante today.

We swiped daddy's credit card and signed the X in the spot. A lady took our name and we were off to explore the place. There were several chic leather couches, really swanky art lined the walls. We sat down next to the windows in the front of the shop and took a few minutes to discuss our surroundings. 

The prices were really low for such a classy experience. A boy came out and started sweeping the floor near us. His smile was inviting and I could tell he was really just wanting to be near us. I didn't mind. 

My name was called and I looked behind me to that same boy approaching me with my smoothie and Ariel's sandwich. It was in a basket wrapped with paper. He handed me a straw that was quite large I noticed. I sat back down with Ariel and we dug in. 

The sandwich was on toasted bread and had carrots, vertically sliced cucumbers and a very flavorful mixture of pork might I add. Of course Ariel and I shared everything. We can't keep our hands off each others' food in this family.

The sandwich did drip delicious juice all over us and I was mad it got away from me. I would have drank a glass of that ham juice if it was on the menu. The smoothie on the other hand was quite unique as well. 

There were little balls of jello like things at the bottom and they were purple. It was called tapioca but it tasted....hum like kool-aid beads if that makes sense. If it doesn't well sue me. They were chewy and not too sweet, just sweet enough. They complimented the creaminess of the strawberry nicely and I was pleasantly surprised that I liked the tapioca so much. 

Well we finished the sandwich and were waved out the door by a man I hadn't noticed before and he looked quite friendly. This was our first time here but it will not be our last. I am a happy camper and Ariel hates camping but I think its safe to say she was a fan of this trip. I heart Boba and I don't care who knows it. We will be back baby.
 
La Guadalupana

What can be said about La Guadalupana that has not already been said? My husband Miguel is the one who turned me onto this place a few years ago but he had been enjoying it for quite some time before that. He always gets the enchiladas verdes and I take bites from his plate. I get the chicken mole. We like both plates and we always share everything. 

The chef is so friendly and is always out and about taking questions from patrons and asking customers if they like what he prepared. He is very personable and his people skills are enviable. He really knows how to make everyone feel connected and he takes care of concerns with utmost priority.  

We sit outside and it is quiet and trendy. I love the way he garnishes his dishes and you can tell he has a style all of his own that cannot be replicated by impostors. He offers many classic dishes and I have never really been privy to any knowledge of unhappy customers at this establishment. It seems to be an oxymoron. 

Miguel has quite the eye for style for himself and I always appreciate the way he really knows how to show a girl a great time. Guadalupanas, a religious organization of Mexican American women, is quite the righteous namesake to select for this restaurant as you will agree the food and the ambience, the company and the spirit of the place in general is nothing but divine.

La Reyna Tortillerilla

I LOVE this place and have been a lifelong fan. You come in, there are cool beverages and packages of homemade candies in bushels around you. There is a menu on the wall overhanging the right of the doors as you enter. It is in Spanish but anyone who has lived in Houston for a minute will be able to have a working knowledge of what's being said.

There is a counter before you and I always see a young lady and a middle aged man behind it. You can see the tortilla presses and the pressure cookers in the back. I order a dozen tortilla de harina and a pound of tortilla de maiz. They sell corn by the pound because that is how the masa is measured.

I cannot leave without getting at least two dozen tamales and a few pints of salsa verde. Their salsa is sold by the ounce, 8 ounce containers to be precise. It is so delicious I find myself pouring it on everything from cereal to spaghetti. Just kidding but you catch my drift. 

The tamales themselves are larger than your average door to door tamale you will find in many areas of Houston, so much larger. Maybe three times the size. Just look at the menu and they use white masa. They do not season it heavily like with homemade tamales but they are still so good. They are also light on manteca which is kind to the waistline. 

They will give you the tamales cold in a bag to steam at home. No problem, I'm here for the party baby. 

All in all my favorite tortilleria in the entire world and I have certainly visited each and every one personally so I would definitely know. Again, kidding but you will not find better tortillas in most Mexican kitchens today and I DO know that.

99 Cents Only Store

I tend to get a certain look of wild abandon in my eyes when I pass a dollar store. Always have, always will. The raw magnetism that doth draw me unto this ramshackle pinnacle of architecture never fails to elude my friends and family as to why I am helpless to its unrelenting pull. 

As the lunar phase slowly yet faithfully entices the evening and morning tides to ebb and flow from Western shore to Eastern shore; so this establishment has me forever in its spellbinding captivation- never to satisfy the desire to escape. I guess you could say I'm drawn to the finer things in life. Buh-dum-chhhh! 

Anyhoo, this is a great place where I have been lost for hours meanwhile I was just supposed to be taking a walk around the neighborhood for exercise. You can find me wandering aimlessly picking up item after item repeating "Cool, Neeto, I want this. I can't believe its just a dollar," with a zombies daze; en-shackled within my methodical footsteps. 

When I inevitably begin starving to death enveloped within the belly of the beast, I know it is time to get the craap out of there before I have to take out a second mortgage to pay for my finds and risk being featured on "Hoarders: The really impossible to cure Edition".

All in all what can I say about my arch-nemesis the seductive yet deceitful dollar store. It is a necessary evil that I am happy to have as an arrow in my quiver of life. I could really try to work on my self-control issues on this planet. Or I could just go on another "walk" and you can keep your fat shnaz where it belongs. Why, in this delightful pair of plastic nose/mustache glasses that I just happen to own 4000 of. Humor me, if you will.

Little Caesars Pizza 

I had never had Little Caesars Pizza in all of my adult life and for most of my childhood. I do have one faint memory of receiving a slice of pizza from this place and there was a toy that was a blue Little Caesars guy and it was an eraser or something. I did not previously have a very high opinion of the place to be honest and I did perhaps look my nose down at the whole idea of seriously eating here.  

Well I have been blessed to have been recently located to an area with one so obnoxiously close, I really could not resist giving it a go since I have 3 small children who were attracted to the Caesar guy and the big posters with pizza being displayed right in front of them. Of course pizza is going to be the first choice when you do not want to eat broccoli and beef for dinner. I caved and lowered myself to give it a try. I was not disappointed.

I entered the place and was surprised how open the floor plan was. A jovial character resembling Mario from Mario Bros. approached the counter with a pretty comical and inviting look on his face. I could tell I liked this guy from the start. He said his name was Patrick. 

Well Patrick let me know about their specials which were really so low, I questioned everything I knew about life in general. How could this be. All this time. I have never managed to escape a pizza transaction under fifty bucks a pop. Well if it looks like pizza and remotely tastes like it my kids will take the bait. 

Anyhoo I pay the shockingly low amount ($5 for a whole pizza already made? That's a lot of food for some seriously low coin) and head out the door with 2 boxes. I also ordered a deep dish which I am sure will disappoint me but hey you get what you pay for. 

Imagine my surprise when I walk through the door the hero of the day: Check. Now lets taste this bad boy and let me be the true judge of all. I'm shocked. It looks, smells, AND tastes like high quality pizza. I'm dumbfounded and I have been back an embarrassingly high amount of times to admit in a public venue. I am just as shocked as you are. 

I advise not to come to this place unless you don't judge books by their covers and you just might end up liking it after all. I'm a hypocrite apparently but I realize how wrong I am a little more each and every day. Thank you to Patrick and see you soon babycakes.

Raising Cane's Chicken Fingers

My daughter and I walked two miles there and two miles back to sample the offerings at this establishment and we were not disappointed. We passed Chili's, Dairy Queen, Church's and we did not end up regretting our decision. It was a decent first encounter for us and we will be back, baby. Right after I'm done folding these towels that is.

Well it was about 4 p.m. on a Sunday and it really was a Sunday in all respects; the sun was blaring giving us a beautiful scenic view of all of the gorgeous parking lots that we had just trekked through on Highway 6 to get to the place. Hey, scenic might be a stretch but life is what you make it. Of course we stopped to smell the roses along the way and chatted about all of the mysteries of the Universe.

We had never heard of this place before much less eaten there so we didn't know what to expect. The encounter may not have even happened had we not recently felt the unmistakable call of nature attracting us to their open bathrooms in the first place. We came for the johns, we stayed for the chicken. 

The scent did in fact prove irresistible. We are not perfected in self-control perhaps. But who's counting? I ain't made of stone.

The dining room was amply furnished with clean tables and nice wooden booths that wrapped around just like other fast food places. The only difference distinguishable would be the fact they were made of wood instead of plastic or fabric. Cool. We stepped up to the register and a man asked if he could get us something. I scanned the meals and selected a 4 piece chicken strip with crinkle cut fries, cole slaw, and toast. Also came with a drink. What's not to like. 

He seemed preoccupied and like there was something really on his mind. I could have desired more attention although for minimum wage I was never expecting emphatic enthusiasm. That might have been a wee bit creepy altogether if it had occurred yet this was never an issue. He asked my name and said he'd call me when my food was ready. He handed me a cup and I was happy to see nugget ice. Score!

We filled our drink @ the self serve drink station and sat down. On our drink there was a funny line saying "I'm just a cup" and some kind of game like monopoly for McDonald's so my daughter pulled the tab and she was delighted to have won a free lemonade. She immediately brought the winning piece to the front and the same man made good and she returned to me with a free lemonade. 

When they called my name I got the plate and my daughter and I shared. The chicken strips were super crispy, very hot, and the chicken itself was moist and well seasoned. The crinkle cut fries were crisp, which surprised me because my experience with them has always been limp. They were thinner than the ones I had at home though so that could be their secret. 

The cole slaw was typical, comparable to Church's, if not identical. The lemonade was sweet and lemony. The toast has sesame seeds and was crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. There was also this little container of "Cane's sauce" which was like mayonaise with cajun seasoning in it, not bad. All in all a good little place to eat and for 7 dollars and some change it fueled me and my daughter up for the two mile walk back home. It was worth it. 

Anyhoo it was really nothing special, but nothing to complain about either. I would eat there again. My daughter got a little greedy with the fries so I'd say kids would like it a little more than adults. I have no regrets. Except that dead pheasant that I stepped in on the way back home but hindsight is 20/20.

Hunan Chef

I really came at a bad time I must assume. I was with my 3 children and stopped in at 4:45 p.m. on a Friday and I speculated that it would be a great dinner together because it was the weekend and the restaurant was probably gearing up to meet the demand of the dinner crowd. Could not have been more wrong and I am an easy gal to please.

We entered the dining area and were given a scowl by a woman behind the counter. No biggie, perhaps she does not like children or is constantly met by patrons trying to 'get a deal' on their age for children's meals, I can only speculate. I am coming with intent on paying full price for each of my children no matter what age they are. So this does not impress me, actually it is a bit insulting. 

The place is completely empty; which should have been my first tip-off. It IS Friday after all, where are the people. Its dinner time for Pete's sake. The waitress takes our drink order and is surprised that I don't order a full drink for my baby....LOL. Must not have children I decide. 

I am starting to regret this idea already but something inside me realizes I have driven all this way, my children do not know the difference between good service and crappy service, the food at least should be good. WRONG AGAIN. The food had obviously not been changed in HOURS. The fried stuff was so hard you could have broken teeth chewing it.

Hey, it doesn't look good, smell good, MAYBE it will at least taste good! Let me not be a sour puss! What am I, a paying customer? The growing trend of me being wrong to view this place in a positive light has not changed one iota. The food was terrible. It tasted as if they gathered all the leftovers from peoples plates all day and just put it back in the trays. God forbid.

There was a Human Hair BAKED into my muscle. As I pulled it out it squeaked. I guess that means the hair was shampooed before being baked. I totally lost my appetite after that and put all my children's plates in a pile in the middle of the table. We were done. Or so I thought. Just then my daughter's face goes white as a ghost. She said, "Mom I can't eat this. There's a fly stuck to it."

What? Yes, she was Correct. A living gnat was flapping its wings stuck to her cheese stick. DISGUSTING. I asked for the check with obvious distress on my face. Who comes to a buffet, sits for 10 minutes and leaves not finishing one plate? WRONG PEOPLE. 

Waitress does not ask what is the matter, she hands me the FULL PRICE DINNER check. Although no dinner foods were present on the buffet, rather the leftover lunch crap. All three of my children including the baby were charged. She looks embarrassed and I do not blame her. I did not dispute the charges nor bring to her attention the obvious. I relied on the fact that her eyes appeared open. 

I paid $35 for that disgusting crap and a $2 tip. We left never to return. I was so sorry to bring my kids there and I did call when we got home. A lady told me she did not know who I was because she was "swamped". LMFAO. Whatever. She said a manager would call me back the next day, I said "I haven't even given you my name or telephone number....". She then "Takes my name and number". Needless to say I have received no call today. 

I really feel cheated. Never again.

Unofficial Yelp Event 2B or not 2Be @ Bombay Pizza

I was dropped off a few blocks away and walked to the restaurant while my husband parked the truck. I walked up on a very nice setting with neon lights announcing "Bombay Pizza". There were tables outside and a few people enjoying themselves. I feel at ease and a bit excited.

I enter to see people buzzing all around but not overcrowded. I do not recognize anyone nor do I see any place designated for yelpers to meet. Hmm, I'm a bit stunned. 

Could I have the wrong place? I ask a waiter who is happy to help me. He goes and asks his manager if there are any yelp events tonight, (its 6:10 p.m.) and returns to me holding 2 plates of delicious, hot food in his arms, and lets me know there are no events scheduled that they know of.

Then he drops the food to the ground and I profusely apologize for being near him during the accident. I saw the whole thing unfold up close and personal, those fries just slid right off that plate like there wasn't no tomorrow. I am certain he is embarrassed as he flees the scene of the crime and I begin picking up containers of ketchup and loose french fries from the floor thinking, poor guy. 

He returns and I just walk around the place wondering what to do. Should I leave? How could I have the wrong place? I do not recognize anyone because I do not know anyone. Finally I do see a familiar face I believe and I approach to fan my only hope for salvaging this failed mission; perhaps it could be someone I've seen around here. 

I ask "Is this a yelp event, are yall with yelp?" They look at me like I have leprosy and want to give them a big hug lol. I can understand the standoffishness although I am only wondering if I'm in the right place. Not asking for a kidney. 

Anyhoo, they let me know that this is a yelp event but it is not advertised. Okay. Now what? Fortunately I see a friendly face, which happens to be my handsome husband coming through the door to meet me. I flash him a smile and I go to a table and begin introducing myself to some yelpers. I meet Lou and he is friendlier than I had expected after the first encounter. He hands me a green tote bag and some information printed on paper. 

Again, I have no idea what to do next.

Is there a place where everyone sits, what are we here for. SO I decide to take the initiative and sat down at a table nearby where a very nice man actually talks to me like I'm a human being. 

I will leave his name out of this but I hope he knows who he is and how much his small acts of humanity really meant to a couple of fish out of water. He lets me know how to order, recommends a vegetarian dish for me (thank you) and also does briefly give me a feeling of maybe I didn't just make a huge, gaping mistake. 

The rest is pretty uneventful. We ordered a senorita pizza with 2 lychee drinks. It looks beautiful and tastes even better. This special person who will not be named also gives me tips on how to eat this masterpiece without making a fool of myself. Thank you very much. 

All in all my husband was the star of the show for me and I feel I really overrated the event to begin with although I will reserve my final judgements because perhaps everyone was just shy and I can understand. There was also an elite event to attend and we were just the "little people" who don't really count anyhow.

I think it would be helpful to have some kind of indicator in the future of "Who is Who" and where to go, how to recognize where to be etc. But with people who dare to go out of their comfort zone and "help a sister", there is really no way to fail. 

Yours truly, Glinda Gail
 

Hank's Cajun Crawfish

It was the best of crawdaddies, it was the hottest of crawdaddies. There were crawdaddies as far as the eye could see. My mouth was delightfully on fire. My hubs and I had 6 pounds of the little devils and we ordered spicy. On Hank's hotness rank it goes mild, spicy, spicier, and New Orleans Spicy. You cannot send the last category back after ordering. You will be forced to sell toothpaste to Beelzebub for all of eternity after making that decision. Sometimes when you make a bed there is no other option but to lie in it.

Anyhoo, it was a wonderful night with Zydeco getting me all jazzed up, the beat was amazing and I had a pep in my step the whole evening. Our waiter was delightful, knowledgeable and he kept the iced tea a 'pouring. Sure did have a great time at Hank's and we will be back, baby. It was not cheap and there were a few dirty looks so that is why I am going with three stars. Definitely worth the trip out.


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