Bubba’s Bayou City Grill
IAH Airport, 2800 N Terminal Rd
Having just finished watching an hour long television interview featuring George W. Bush, I thought it would be fitting to upload a short post from a recent stop over at Houston’s second airport, better known as George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IATA code: IAH), which is named after his father. The facility is one of the busiest in the nation, ranking in the top ten in terms of overall passenger traffic and destination servicing. Being a first time traveler through IAH, I was surprised that is was laid out in a very simple way, making some time killing an easy activity, as each of the major terminals were within decent reach. Fortunately, my connecting flight was within the same terminal area, and I came back after some strolling and book shopping, to find a spot for lunch near by next gate.
Where I ended up had a mix of options. One was more of a cafeteria-style enterprise, that had an intriguing barbecue section. But trying to limit my first ever Texas barbecue experience to something more impressive, I turned my back to that place and into my field of view came Bubba’s Bayou City Grill. As it was Sunday afternoon, a full slate of NFL games were on the big screens inside and after a quick glance at their lunch offerings that had actual dishes wrapped in plastic and set outside on the table, it was an easy pick. I wanted to watch the games and be able to sit down and spent about 45 minutes before my next boarding time.
Fogo de Chão
1101 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Fogo de Chão is a well known Brazilian churrascaria restaurant chain that offers the unique experience of Latin steakhouse plus full table-side service all in a high end environment. It has successfully established a beachhead in the United States over the past decade, including this beautiful location in the US capital, situated just several blocks away from the White House grounds. This was perhaps the only pre-planned dinner I had on this trip (actually organized by another person). The rest were all ad-hoc due to lack of time and I might add, interest.
It actually occupies a good chunk of the first floor of an impressive structure, better known as the Evening Star Building, which is listed in the National Register as a Historic Landmark. When you see if during the height of the day, the building is impressive to even the non-architect with its classic French design and clean lines carved through the marble. Doing some background research after the fact, I’ve learned it was originally constructed in 1898 and was the home to a newspaper (not surprisingly, called the Evening Star).
Disney Animal Kingdom
505 N Rainforest Road
Lake Buena Vista, FL
Downtown Disney. A destination location without a doubt. Flooded with families and young children on a hot day in Florida, the scene is a quintessential vacation scene. Sun, fun and shopping. What’s not to like. Especially for the kids. But there is a dark side. When it comes to eating, things can become a) quite pricey as they have you a virtual hostage and b) choices are limited. With only two hours to kill and figuring we should at least check things out (no kids in tow of course) on a business trip, a colleague and I tried to squeeze in both some gift shopping and a late lunch. Seeking shelter from the bright sun, our reprieve from the unwavering heat ended up being the Rainforest Cafe. Not the only choice nor a preferred one, just the closest one…
In hindsight, I’ve learned this is a big chain in the States with roots in thirteen states. As well, they have some international representation in places such as Tokyo, London, Paris, Mexico City and Dubai! I suppose this theme-style restaurant that stretches the ideal through its menu and motif remains a popular one, despite the downturn of other such adventurous chains like Planet Hollywood and the Hard Rock Cafe. Inside and once seated, we got that “have you been here before?” query, no doubt something each server is required to ask patrons. The reason? Well, if it were not for the “warning” regarding the every-thirty-minutes sudden explosion of sights and sounds that occurs throughout the entire restaurant – attributed to the animal-themed decorations and props – I’m sure there would be quite the number of shocked customers. Heart attack-inducing loudness I might add. Complete with a thunderous roar of artificial sounding thunderstorms and lightning. Yes, we are after all, in a rain forest people.
Seok Gi Si Dae
4-602 Clarke Road
Out of the way. Strange road access. Limited parking. That kind of sums up the location of Seok Gi Si Dae, situated far up the road from the major Korean cuisine epicenter of the Burnaby/Coquitlam border that has received much coverage here on foodosophy. To make this place even odder was the fact that part of the dining space appeared to be an attachment to the original building. Less insulated inside, the roar of traffic could be heard clearly, making it seem like you were dining outdoors on the roadside as if this was a pojangmacha.
Alas, thankfully its not always the ambiance that matters when eating out and with those expectations tempered, finding great little hole-in-the-wall joints is another allure of all this food blogging we do and sharing these kinds of experiences is what makes this all so much fun. And hopefully enjoyable for you, our dear readers.
Fog Harbor Fish House
Fisherman’s Wharf, Pier 39
San Francisco, CA
Not exactly high on my personal “bucket list” but I nonchalantly accepted the invitation from two of my fellow travelers – both first timers to Fog City – to go check out the Golden Gate Bridge after a long day and make the trek over it by foot. I had no problem with the physical act of crossing, that perhaps took us 30-40 minutes, give or take some for various stops along the way to take photos. Though we’d only intended to do this one-way, but without any taxi options on the other side, we reluctantly made a U-turn and made the same walk over back to where we came from. By the end of it all, we pretty hungry and luckily flagged down a ride to take us to Pier 39.
As the fall chill at night on the waterfront is none too pleasant, we quickly scurried to the nearest spot we could find that looked remotely decent. Our choice was made simply by scanning the signage in our line of sight. Fog Harbor Fish House, situated on the second deck of the structure not far from where our taxi dropped us off it was. No wait to be had, good. Inside was bustling however, and seemingly with people mainly much older than us. Especially in the back of the house near the restrooms, there were packs of people with white colored hair and fitting the retired tourist demographic. What made this very interesting was the fact that our server was also in that plus-sixty age zone. One of my dining partners remarked, “guess we’re getting served by grandma”. It was cute watching her waddle down the row to bring us our drinks and warm, fresh serving of sourdough bread, it made us feel like we were in grandma’s house. 🙂