Thankful for You Houston.

I have so much to be thankful for. I’ve written here in the past about how I’m thankful for LOLCats, Aggieland, and my mom’s wise advice to always stay positive.  Today in particular I am thankful for the democratic process, my rights as an American, and those who serve to protect our freedom. And Twitter. I am definitely thankful for Twitter.

Thank You Houston!

This year for my 30 Days of Thanks post I want to take a moment to personally thank you – the people and the city of Houston, for all you have done for me over the last four years.

It was January 3, 2009  when I moved to Houston. In the years since then you have welcomed me and supported me every step of the way.

Houston is a unique place – the most diverse city in the country, a town that fosters business and supports the arts  – and earlier this year topped Forbes’ list of America’s Coolest Cities.  I have tried my best to take in as much of it as possible – taking in museums and restaurants and festivals and trying to keep up with everything Houston has to offer. Honestly, I feel like I’ve only scratched the surface.

The Big D will always be my hometown (don’t hate), but I have been incredibly blessed to find a great home here. And I cannot be grateful enough.

A Few of My Favorite Things about Houston:

1. A Full Events Calendar    In a city as big as Houston, there is always something going on!

I am privileged to get to go out and support fantastic clients like Miller Outdoor Theatre, Susan G. Komen Houston, and The Art Car Parade. Some of my other favorite events have been Comicpalooza  Comic Convention, Free Press Summerfest, and the Rodeo!

Left to Right: Houston  Rodeo, Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, Free Press Summer Fest, Houston Beer Festival, Comicpalooza

2. The Food! – I often tell people the best part of moving to Houston is the food. The diversity of backgrounds and cultures in Houston meld into a mixing pot of delicious opportunities to explore. My latest obsessions are El Gran Malo, Benjy’s, and Petrol Station. (And I am always open to suggestions!)

Houston Food Truck Fest 2011

3.  The Schipulites  –  I work with some of the most talented, hardest working people I have ever met. I learn from you every single day. I have great mentors here and a great team. I couldn’t ask for more.

Thank You!

I have to thank you to all of you in Houston for welcoming me with open arms. Here’s to many more Houstoniversaries to come!

Creating Houston Chowhound Memories at Brennan’s

Celebrating Houston Chowhounds’ 2nd Anniversary

Amateur chefs, food writers, bloggers, enthusiasts and a selection of individuals with discerning palates, collectively known as the Houston Chowhounds (@HoustonCH), gathered at Brennan’s of   Houston for their second anniversary celebration.

The Houston Chowhounds seek the best places to eat in and around town, and in addition to Brennan’s decadent selection of menu items, it was a great opportunity for members of the group to visit the Houston staple since its reopening in February.

Always excited to connect with great Houston folks and a great client, Courtney (@cpembyrun) and I   got a chance to enjoy the Houston Chowhound’s anniversary brunch full of   yummy cuisine and great Houston foodies at Brennan’s Houston.

Brennan’s is Easy on the Eyes

Walking into the restaurant made me feel all genteel, and I think I ditched my rapid-fire Cindy Brady lispy chatter for a Blanche Deveraux drawl…with a rolling ‘R’ and everything…which I personally hate because that’s more Georgia than Texas/Louisiana.

The brunch was held in one of the beautiful upstairs dining rooms, (this one to be exact).

Brennan's of Houston restaurant dining room

Every aspect of the restaurant is charming to the eye. Once I entered the dining room, I was happily greeted by Houston Chowhound members Jody Stevens (@Jodycakes), Joanne Witt (@foodprincess) and mimosas. After a few minutes the room was brimming with victims other Houston Chowhounds, whom Courtney and I immediately attacked with the camera had a chance to ask a few questions about being a Chowhound and memorable Brennan’s experiences.

And Then There Was Food

The Brennan’s brunch menu for the event offered four choices of each the appetizer, entree and dessert. I started with the famous Turtle Soup Au Sherry while Courtney opted for the Barbecued Crawfish Shortcake. I promptly referred to her dish as “a biscuit thing with crawfish.” And while our table was   nearly an even split of the biscuit and the soup, we divided and conquered the second course menu selections.

I had the Lamb Debris & Sweet Potato Pancakes, which is braised lamb with blue cheese butter, chicory greens, a crispy poached egg and mint julep hollandaise served over soft, cinnamon-tasting pancakes. The pancakes were so moist and delicious no one at our table used the individual sides of maple syrup.

Conversation was at a minimal, though the meal was peppered with compliments about the sauce, praise of the aroma, and nods of approval on how appetizing the meals looked. No matter what item we selected, it was hard not to sneak a peek at surrounding plates. It was also hard to keep in mind a third course would soon arrive. Halfway through the pancakes I forced   myself to stop eating.

That’s also right around the time the band began playing breezy Dixieland tunes. This only helped transcend me to a faraway land some people like to call,   “New Orleans.”

Houston Chowhounds Grub and Give

Recipe 4 Success Houston non profit logoAfter the band, we took a few minutes discuss Chowhound matters like ideas for community involvement, fundraising and possible throwdowns. The Chowhounds are known for their throwdowns, which run the gamut from ceviche to bourbon to fried chicken. The group also works closely with Recipe for Success, a local non-profit dedicated to combating childhood obesity. Not to mention the group regularly participates in restaurant crawls, which support local eateries.

Talking was pretty much a lost cause once the scent of Bananas Foster, Texas Strawberry Shortcake, Brennan’s Pecan Pie and Creole Bread Pudding began wafting through the dining room. We had to snap photos of the food as quickly as possible.   It was a matter of seconds before forks hit the plates and desserts began disappearing. We weren’t exactly starving, but boy were we excited!

That’s the gist of the Houston Chowhounds though: excited! They are a lively bunch with interesting stories of world travel,   food adventures, friendships and memories. I couldn’t imagine a more charming place to hold a brunch for a such a charming group of people.