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.
Blue Water Cafe and Raw Bar
1095 Hamilton St (Yaletown)
Vancouver, BC V6B 5T4
I wanted to like Blue Water. I really did. The Blue Water Cafe and Raw Bar, from all appearances, was everything i wanted to like. They are in a nice space that isnt too pretentious and has a lot of energy. They serve environmentally sustainable seafood. The service was immaculate. Decent wine program. They even recognize the Japanese approach to seafood, and brought in Itamae Yoshihiro formerly of Yoshi’s on Denman to serve two very different styles of West Coast seafood. I really wanted to love it, and yet, i didnt.
Upon walking into Blue Water, we were immediately greeted by a friendly hostess. We had showed up early so we could have a seat at the bar, and take it all in. Our bartender was busy – prepping drinks for tables, and other bar patrons, but took the time to let us know he’d be right with us. Through the course of our time there, he was friendly, efficient, helpful, and engaging.
Besides the really tasty (and free) bread sticks that are available at the bar, we wanted to sample some oysters. While we were handed an oyster menu with 12 or 14 choices, listed, they typically only bring in 6 to ensure maximum freshness. We sampled these extensively, and while not all were to our tastes, they were all very fresh. We did find a couple that we loved, and ordered several more of those!
Bay Station 1F
1-1 Gaikaoka, Shimoda City
+81 0558 23 0358
Having lived in various places when it comes to closer to home (Canada), please have often asked me which I prefer among my two latest stops… the coastal environment of Vancouver with its proximity to the ocean, or the majestic mountains that are a short drive away from a place like Calgary. Put simply, am I a ‘water’ guy or a ‘land’ guy?
In response I’m apt to say, that as much as I enjoy outdoor hiking and think the Rockies are one of the most amazing natural surroundings any place on the planet, there is something about the beauty and calming sensation that comes with strolling along a beach with the waves crashing against the shoreline and the distinct scent of sea water that permeates the air. Perhaps its also the Pisces in me, but that draw to the ocean always beckons me when I travel. So whenever I come across a harbour with various boats as well as larger ocean liners, I always imagine what it would be like to travel the seas on a daily basis or over long periods of time. Shimoda City is one such place that struck my fancy with its quaint little waterside marina and the following is a report on a simple meal I had there.
1345 Grant Street
Vancouver, BC V5L 2X7
Whenever I have the hankering for homemade sushi and sashimi, I head on over to Angel Seafoods. Angel is located in an industrial zone between Clark Drive and Commercial Drive in East Vancouver. Sushi restaurants from all around Vancouver source much of their sashimi grade fish from Angel. I happen to live nearby so it is a regular stop for me.
Angel is in an odd setting. It doesn’t look like a typical fish store. It is located in what looks more like a warehouse. Upon walking inside, you will encounter their working clerical office. It feels a little strange at first….it is as if someone grafted a grocery store onto an insurance company office.
Look to your left and you will find a long room of chest freezers containing a boggling assortment of Japanese seafood – sashimi grade fish, kasu (sake lees) marinated fish, roe, dried seafoods of all sorts. They also stock rice, and other sundries. At the front desk is a list of fresh items – often including oysters and fresh uni (sea urchin roe)…make sure to ask for what’s fresh in the back. It changes nearly daily.
The prices are quite reasonable – definitely lower than at other sources of frozen sashimi like T&T, the Chinese supermarket and Fujiya, the Japanese grocery just down the road. Today I picked up an assortment of fish for tomorrow night’s family sushi night. We are having Yellow Tail, Albacore, Salmon, and Toro. This little haul set me back about $25CAD….not bad. I just need to make sure my knife is sharp.