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Guilty Pleasures: Food


IronTiger

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We all know that we should eat healthy and good-tasting food: perhaps you can cook really good food or would be a health nut except for that one bit of junk food you shouldn't eat.

I consider myself to be a healthy eater (relatively) with a taste for good food and drink (yes, including beer--stay away from the mainstream domestics), but I have a number of weaknesses:

- Jack in the Box tacos. A hideous, greasy mess of nearly white lettuce and meat that resembled refried beans, but they are really good.

- Zebra Cakes. They're cheap and the fat tends to your stick to your mouth, but since the CVS opened across from campus, they're the best place to get snacks like that.

- Sardines. Sardines on crackers sounds disgusting (and it is cheap), but I really do like it and will usually consume an entire can with half a dozen crackers.

Part of the common threads up there is that they're all cheap (I'm a college student with not a whole lot of disposable income) but they're all foods that I enjoy (I despise fried pork skins and Hot Pockets) even though I know I really shouldn't be eating them.

Have any food-related guilty pleasures you're aware of? McDonald's hamburgers? Pizza with cheddar cheese? Bubble gum-flavored ice cream? I won't laugh, I promise!

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jordan almonds

 

fried chicken, fried shrimp, chicken fried steak, fried green beans, fried squash, fried zucchini...see a trend?

 

salted caramel ice cream

 

raw cookie dough

 

ditto jack in the box tacos, add their egg rolls

 

dried chili mangos from world market

 

buttermilk pralines

 

parmesan fries with truffle mustard from fielding's in the woodlands

 

 

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Jesus Christ this website got boring! As each day ends I thing this website get lamer and lamer. Are there any new towers or new cool businesses coming to town? 

 

This IS the Off-Topic section, you know. Probably NOT the place to come looking for posts about "new towers or new cool businesses coming to town." Those would be On Topic discussions. You probably ought to look for them in the designated places. I believe there are several.

 

Glad to be of help... 

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Usually I'm Mr Healthy Eating, but I do have this obsession with flavored potato chips.  I even keep a stash in the pantry, so in case Lay's ever goes out of business and there's a chipocolypse, I'll be ready. 

 

 

 

 

 

- Sardines. Sardines on crackers sounds disgusting (and it is cheap), but I really do like it and will usually consume an entire can with half a dozen crackers.

 

:o   Someone at work eats sardines at lunch, and afterwards the um, aroma, lingers..

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:o   Someone at work eats sardines at lunch, and afterwards the um, aroma, lingers..

I wouldn't do that to people...one thing for certain is my cat is certainly intrigued by the smell and put her front paws on the counter, something she hasn't done for years (and she's a very old cat at 14)...

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No, they're just the ones that you buy in a store, even the ones packaged with "Louisiana hot sauce", though my cat has a taste for seafood, and she prefers the Hill Country Fare brand "Cat Dinners" cat food over the name brands.

 

so, would HCF Cat Dinner qualify as Miss Kitty's guilty food pleasure?

 

And since this IS the internet, cat pictures or it didn't happen.

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I watch what I eat most of the time. I try to stay away from junk, but after a night of drinking it calls for it.

 

Whataburger's Bacon, Egg & Cheese Biscuit/taquito or biscuits and gravy. 

 

Sonic's cheesy tots (only if they're crispy).

 

BRC's Bacon Jam (Chicken biscuits with gravy and fried egg).

 

I'm a bread monster. If I buy some breads from the grocery store I usually eat a whole one as soon as I get home. I could probably only eat bread for the rest of my life and be happy.

 

Genoa Salami, Gouda, Baby Swiss, Chipoltle Cheddar. Take one slice of each with a squirt of yellow mustard.

 

Raising Cane's is amazing. Never disappoint. 

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I'm a bread monster. If I buy some breads from the grocery store I usually eat a whole one as soon as I get home. I could probably only eat bread for the rest of my life and be happy.

Fiesta makes these great loaves that are larger than a bolilo but smaller than a regular loaf of bread which I if I recall correctly was their torta bread. Very very good. Between that and their cheap apple fritters, I fell in love with Fiesta last spring. Unfortunately, Fiesta isn't around up here in the northwestern wastelands.

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I participate in the eternal search for the ultimate chicken fried steak.  

 

Sometimes it has tragic results.  A few years ago, I was traveling with some friends from the SF bay area.  We stopped off at a roadhouse in Redding or someplace like that for dinner.  Living up to stereotype, they all had things like salads and/or turkey; I had to go with what was billed as CFS - drawing shudders and comments of "you're going to eat battered, deep fried, RED MEAT??!!??" To which I could only respond, "yep.  With cream gravy."  I was so sadly disappointed when it was some sort of Sysco-esque patty that was breaded, not battered... though I really don't know why I expected anything better.  There are some things you just can't get west of the Central time zone, among them decent CFS, good bourbon...

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There are some things you just can't get west of the Central time zone, among them decent CFS, good bourbon...

 

You can add chili to that list. I was in Chattanooga, TN at Rock City a few years back and I had a hankering for a chili dog. So we went to the concession stand and I told the guy what I wanted. He asked me, point blank, "Are you from Texas?" Astonished I replied, "Yeah, is it that obvious?" And he told me flat-out, "You don't want a chili dog. Take it plain. Trust me." Guess he had had his share of Texans come through and complain about the chili and wanted to save himself some grief. So I took him at his word and ordered a hamburger instead.

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You can add chili to that list. I was in Chattanooga, TN at Rock City a few years back and I had a hankering for a chili dog. So we went to the concession stand and I told the guy what I wanted. He asked me, point blank, "Are you from Texas?" Astonished I replied, "Yeah, is it that obvious?" And he told me flat-out, "You don't want a chili dog. Take it plain. Trust me." Guess he had had his share of Texans come through and complain about the chili and wanted to save himself some grief. So I took him at his word and ordered a hamburger instead.

Yes, chili is bastardized outside of Texas. I am mostly a purist, I like beans, but anything with corn in it is already too far away.

The Feb/2011 issue of Bon Appetit, "The United States of Chili" opens with a horrifying greenish mixtures with potatoes and pork with a dark purplish blob on top of it. I was revolted by what those heathens in say, Ohio, considered "chili".

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Paulaner Hefe-Weizen.  I'm hooked on wheat beers in general, but this is my favorite.

 

Hostess chocolate pudding pies.  For some reason they can be hard to find here sometimes.  I've tried competing brands and none taste quite as good.  Could be a childhood memory thing.

 

Ghiradelli.  Ghiradelli hot chocolate saved my life one cold, dreary day in SF.

 

Texas pecan flavored coffee.  Usually get Lola Savannah from HEB or Katz's.

 

 

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Yes, chili is bastardized outside of Texas. I am mostly a purist, I like beans, but anything with corn in it is already too far away.

The Feb/2011 issue of Bon Appetit, "The United States of Chili" opens with a horrifying greenish mixtures with potatoes and pork with a dark purplish blob on top of it. I was revolted by what those heathens in say, Ohio, considered "chili".

 

My grandmother from west Texas used to be adamant that beans don't belong on chili.  My other grandmother, from Wisconsin, liked to make chili-mac...something I still can't bring myself to eat.  Surprisingly, they got along pretty well.  I guess they just never talked chili.  Personally, I like beans in my chili, I just don't tell my west Texas grandma.  But, I draw the line at macaroni.  Macaroni just doesn't belong anywhere near a bowl of chili.

 

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Yes, chili is bastardized outside of Texas. I am mostly a purist, I like beans, but anything with corn in it is already too far away.

The Feb/2011 issue of Bon Appetit, "The United States of Chili" opens with a horrifying greenish mixtures with potatoes and pork with a dark purplish blob on top of it. I was revolted by what those heathens in say, Ohio, considered "chili".

 

I'm guessing from your description that the article was about chili verde. Chili verde is not chili. Nor does it pretend to be. It's called chili verde because... it has green chilis in it. Totally different animal.

 

It's actually quite good, although I don't have a clue as to what that "dark purplish blob" is.

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My grandmother from west Texas used to be adamant that beans don't belong on chili.  My other grandmother, from Wisconsin, liked to make chili-mac...something I still can't bring myself to eat.

 

What's wrong with chili mac? I think it's great! Now, I wouldn't waste my best bowl of chili on chili mac. But yeah, if you've got an inferior bowl of red, throwing in some mac can help it out. Same with frito pie. Goods stuff there, too. But not where you'd put your best recipe.

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I get the chili with all beans, no carne.

 

Then you'd probably like Steak and Shake's chili. That's pretty much all it was - beans. When I went to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway a few years back, my cousin, who lives in Cincinnati but grew up here, warned me about the chili when we stopped at one. If there was meat in that chili, I never found it. But there was a whole field's worth of beans in there. So much so they had no room for any kind of spices whatsoever.

 

FWIW, I do remember seeing Steak and Shake has opened up at least one restaurant in the Greater Houston area. The hamburgers are decent enough.

 

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Then you'd probably like Steak and Shake's chili. That's pretty much all it was - beans. When I went to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway a few years back, my cousin, who lives in Cincinnati but grew up here, warned me about the chili when we stopped at one. If there was meat in that chili, I never found it. But there was a whole field's worth of beans in there. So much so they had no room for any kind of spices whatsoever.

 

FWIW, I do remember seeing Steak and Shake has opened up at least one restaurant in the Greater Houston area. The hamburgers are decent enough.

 

 

I ate at one in Pearland about 6 months ago.  Think I've seen them elsewhere as well.

 

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Frito pie is its own food group.  

 

And it definitely belongs among the guilty pleasures (one benchmark for which is how well it horrifies friends from foreign states).

 

 

Oh yeah, frito pie is great. A hot dog tastes good at an MLB game, but oddly enough, at a Little League game, I'd always eat frito pie. I used to live down the street from the Memorial Ashford Little League on Briar Forest a few years ago, and while I had no kids, either in the league or just period, I'd like to go over there to watch a few games just for the fun of it and they had some surprisingly good frito pie at the concession stand.

 

The Chronicle did a story on a local restaurant that had concocted some guy of hoity toity frito pie with really fancy ingredients and a price tag to match. That kinda defeats the whole purpose of frito pie in my mind. If you are paying $25 for a bowl of frito pie, you're not only getting gouged, but you're missing out on what frito pie is all about: something good, fast and cheap.

 

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I'm with you on the Jack in the Box tacos. I don't even want to know what that mystery meat is. I just know I have been addicted to them since their debut when I was in high school in the 60's. Great late night munchie food. 

 

We all know that we should eat healthy and good-tasting food: perhaps you can cook really good food or would be a health nut except for that one bit of junk food you shouldn't eat.

I consider myself to be a healthy eater (relatively) with a taste for good food and drink (yes, including beer--stay away from the mainstream domestics), but I have a number of weaknesses:

- Jack in the Box tacos. A hideous, greasy mess of nearly white lettuce and meat that resembled refried beans, but they are really good.

 

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What are your favorite CFS's in the Houston area?

 

BB's and Hickory Hollow are pretty good.

 

 

Hickory Hollow is supposed to be a Bar-B-Que place. I've been there a number of times and I've never had the bar-b-que. I've always gotten the CFS. And most of the people I've seen eating there get CFS too. I've never heard anyone talk about their bar-b-que. Might be awful for all I know.

 

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I'm with you on the Jack in the Box tacos. I don't even want to know what that mystery meat is. I just know I have been addicted to them since their debut when I was in high school in the 60's. Great late night munchie food. 

 

 

Not sure how many people are aware of this, but Jack in the Box tacos are not unique. They are actually Monterrey style tacos, which are called Tacos Dorados. I didn't know that myself until just recently when I found a Monterrey-style Mexican restaurant in San Antonio (Rita's Enchiladas) and they had a picture of their Tacos Dorados, which are nearly identical to Jack in the Box tacos, save for presumably they have real meat in them versus some unknown mystery meat. I know I've also seen them on the menus of Mexican (not Tex Mex) restaurants in Houston, including, I believe, Hugos. But I wasn't aware what they were then as there was no picture.

 

Here is a picture of a Taco Dorado:

 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/mmmfruit/1473857149/

 

Edited by Firebird65
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For me, Hickory Hollow is the nearby default go to.  However, they serve them on those damnable aluminum pizza pans, which means that cutting must be done very carefully lest one end up with a forkful of aluminum tang.  Back when Goodson's was on Gessner, I'd drive out there.  Kelly's over by Hobby is pretty tasty, too.  Ouisie's is nice, albeit a bit too foo foo a place for CFS.

 

The Voice of Experience will say, resist the impulse for chicken fried ribeye.  Sounds great in concept, in reality taking a cut that normally renders the fat out to make it tender and encasing it into an impermeable shell of deep fried batter is just too much to even taste good.  Same with the chicken fried bacon at the Rodeo (though it's fun to take a picture of to send to vegan friends in Boston or some such place).

 

Dangit, now I've got to kidnap the new people in the office who are fresh in from out of town and force feed them tomorrow.  :ph34r:

 

Perhaps I'll indulge in another guilty pleasure instead - Triple A on Airline.  nom nom nom.

 

Edit:  Triple A can't really be a guilty pleasure.  The food is too good and fresh.

Edited by mollusk
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Frito pie is its own food group.  

 

And it definitely belongs among the guilty pleasures (one benchmark for which is how well it horrifies friends from foreign states).

 

It apparently horrified Anthony Bourdain enough for him to coin his memorable characterization of it as "warm crap in a bag". Oh well, even Homer nods. 

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Hickory Hollow is supposed to be a Bar-B-Que place. I've been there a number of times and I've never had the bar-b-que. I've always gotten the CFS. And most of the people I've seen eating there get CFS too. I've never heard anyone talk about their bar-b-que. Might be awful for all I know.

 

It's not bad, and is certainly better than some other places I could name. But your comment reminded me of the Barbecue Inn - I've known many people who swear they've eaten there for years and never had the barbecue. The seafood's definitely the main attraction (although not having been there in several years, I'll confess to having sticker shock when I looked at their menu online the other day and saw that the price for my favorite dish had increased significantly since my last visit). 

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Perhaps I'll indulge in another guilty pleasure instead - Triple A on Airline.  nom nom nom.

 

Edit:  Triple A can't really be a guilty pleasure.  The food is too good and fresh.

 

I firmly believe that the fresh ground cheeseburger at Triple A is the most underrated burger in Houston. Or maybe not so much underrated as unheralded - if more people knew about it, they'd be lining up for it. 

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I firmly believe that the fresh ground cheeseburger at Triple A is the most underrated burger in Houston. Or maybe not so much underrated as unheralded - if more people knew about it, they'd be lining up for it. 

 

Mmmm....burgers are another weakness of mine.  I'll have to check this out.

 

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(Y)our comment reminded me of the Barbecue Inn - I've known many people who swear they've eaten there for years and never had the barbecue. The seafood's definitely the main attraction (although not having been there in several years, I'll confess to having sticker shock when I looked at their menu online the other day and saw that the price for my favorite dish had increased significantly since my last visit). 

 

I think I've been to Barbecue Inn once... when I was a kid. But it's a hazy memory at best, so I could be wrong.

 

My mom, sister, wife and I were going to try it last month - for the fried chicken. But we had to cancel at the last minute. I've heard from several sources that they have some of the best in town.

 

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As good as Stanton's? I'm hooked on those burgers. 

 

I firmly believe that the fresh ground cheeseburger at Triple A is the most underrated burger in Houston. Or maybe not so much underrated as unheralded - if more people knew about it, they'd be lining up for it. 

 

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I think I've been to Barbecue Inn once... when I was a kid. But it's a hazy memory at best, so I could be wrong.

 

My mom, sister, wife and I were going to try it last month - for the fried chicken. But we had to cancel at the last minute. I've heard from several sources that they have some of the best in town.

 

The fried chicken is outstanding. My wife thought it was the best she'd ever had in town, but she didn't arrive in Houston until the late 80s and never got to eat at the Wind Swept Inn. 

 

Don't go when you're pressed for time, as you'll need to allow 20-30 minutes prep time for the chicken (I think this is mentioned on the menu, and the waitress will definitely remind anyone that orders it as well). 

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The fried chicken is outstanding. My wife thought it was the best she'd ever had in town, but she didn't arrive in Houston until the late 80s and never got to eat at the Wind Swept Inn. 

 

Don't go when you're pressed for time, as you'll need to allow 20-30 minutes prep time for the chicken (I think this is mentioned on the menu, and the waitress will definitely remind anyone that orders it as well). 

 

I have an old postcard of the Windswept.  I'll post this weekend.

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The fried chicken is outstanding. My wife thought it was the best she'd ever had in town, but she didn't arrive in Houston until the late 80s and never got to eat at the Wind Swept Inn. 

 

 

I've never went to the Wind Swept Inn even though I grew up in the area. Not sure why my parents never took us there.

 

I was looking over an old Aldine High yearbook the other day from 1970 and there was an ad for the Wind Swept Inn in the back. Incredibly the owners, whose names were listed, had the last name as ours. Maybe they were relatives? LOL! Maybe we could have gotten free food! Or maybe my parents knew the owners were relatives and purposefully stayed away? Family feud?

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My guilty pleasures include burgers from Big Burger V, apple pies from Whataburger, and Wendy's Frosty. Make mine a large.

We're talking about all of the old time northside icons like Triple A, Barbecue Inn, and the old Windswept Inn, but another old, old northside establishment is my "go to" for guilty pleasures.

The Flying Saucer Pie Company on Crosstimbers. I grew up with this place, even after moving from The Heights up to the northside of the Belt can't keep me away from the homemade goodness of the Flying Saucer. Once a month, I head down there to indulge in a fresh coconut cream pie (my favorite) or a rich, syrupy pecan pie (wife's favorite) that we polish off in the course of a couple of days. In my humble little opinion, no one can match the pies coming out of this place.

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The Flying Saucer Pie Company on Crosstimbers. I grew up with this place, even after moving from The Heights up to the northside of the Belt can't keep me away from the homemade goodness of the Flying Saucer. Once a month, I head down there to indulge in a fresh coconut cream pie (my favorite) or a rich, syrupy pecan pie (wife's favorite) that we polish off in the course of a couple of days. In my humble little opinion, no one can match the pies coming out of this place.

 

Flying Saucer is definitely the gold standard for pies in Houston. The thousands of folks who line up around the block every Thanksgiving would no doubt agree. Make mine a chocolate cream. 

 

Purpledevil, did you (or any other Aldine HAIFers) ever frequent Frosty Travelers on Airline at Raymac? 

Edited by mkultra25
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