Delicious… Elegant… Welcoming… Cozy…
All of these adjectives accurately describe the wonderful dining experience that we had at Rudy & Paco Restaurant and Bar located at 2028 Post Office street in Galveston. As we consider ourselves experts of South and Central American cuisine, a visit to this restaurant has been on our list of “must try”for quite some time. And it was great! My husband and I had the Ropa Vieja, which is served with black beans, white rice and sweet plantains. This is a traditional Cuban shredded beef dish prepared in an outstanding homemade sauce. The flavor as well as the presentation could rival any restaurant in Miami! My daughter tried the Pollo Empanizado, which is plantain encrusted chicken breast. This dish is served with yucca, sweet plantains and queso blanco. She said that it was perfect! While you are enjoying your meal, the owner, Paco, introduces himself to his patrons and ascertains that everything is as expected… and more. We are already planning our next trip to Galveston so that we have an excuse to return to Rudy & Paco!
Delicious… Elegant… Welcoming… Cozy…
Drum roll, please! Trader Joe’s has arrived in Katy, Texas! Their products include hard to find fresh fruit, prepared frozen and refrigerated entrees, Kosher meat, Mochi ice cream, and Chocolate Brooklyn babka. The fresh flowers and plants are beautiful and reasonably priced. It is located at the rear of the shopping center with plenty of parking. I have been there twice and have been twice impressed by the selection of items, friendliness of the employees and reasonable prices.
I just informed my husband of where I would like to have dinner in December to celebrate our thirty-first wedding anniversary – Cafe Rabelais! It is located in Rice Village at 2442 Times Blvd in Houston. I even know exactly what I will order – Steak & Frites made with Black Truffle and Cognac Cream. And, for dessert, Profiteroles which are Puff Pastries served with Vanilla Ice Cream, Whipped Cream, Warm Chocolate Sauce and Nuts. Their portions were very generous! And, how do I know this? I just enjoyed this wonderful meal there with my daughter, Nina! Cafe Rabelais offers an extensive menu of French cuisine as well as wines including Escargots, Lemon Sole Meunière and Margret de Canard.
What is equally interesting is the name of this establishment, “Cafe Rabelais.” Francois Rabelais (c. 1483 – 1553), was a French writer, priest and medical doctor. He went by the pseudonym, Alcofribas Nasier, and published “Gargantua,” a series of satirical books. The first of these books was entitled, “Pantagruel,” in which he coined the expression, “parce que rire est le propre de l’homme” translated “because laughter is the characteristic of man.” This has also been interpreted to mean, “eat, drink and be merry.” In addition, in his book he wrote this inscription on the gate of Rabelais’ “Abbey of Theleme,” “Fay ce que vouldras” which means “Do what thou wilt.” Cafe Rabelais is the perfect setting to do just that!
2442 Times Blvd, Houston, TX 77005
“At Home with Madame Chic: Becoming a Connoisseur of Daily Life” by Jennifer L. Scott is set to debut on October 7, 2014. I am fortunate enough to have the opportunity to review the galley copy of this book.
Jennifer L. Scott is one of my favorite authors and bloggers. She wrote “Lessons from Madame Chic: 20 Stylish Secrets I Learned While Living in Paris,” and has a weekly blog and video entitled, “The Daily Connoisseur.” Her mission is to teach each of us how to live a more beautiful and productive life by adopting the manners and lifestyle she experienced years ago, when she was a college student living with a “chic” family in Paris, France.
I randomly discovered Ms. Scott’s blog over a year ago, enjoyed it, and subsequently purchased and read her first book. I initially thought, “Jennifer would be a perfect friend for my daughter, Laura! They have so much in common!” She is a young, married mom with a career… all of which she strives to balance with a positive attitude and class. I quickly realized, however, that even though I am much older than Ms. Scott, many of her lifestyle ideas resonate with me as well, and I have introduced some of them into my life. As a result of reading her book I have:
– tried to grow an orchid (with success!);
– took a trip to Paris;
– organized my closet by season and created a daily wear section;
– watched several French movies; and,
– listened to assorted classical music.
Her new book, “At Home With Madame Chic: Becoming a Connoisseur of Daily Life” is no less inspirational. It also emphasizes the importance of maintaining a positive attitude even when faced with seemingly mundane tasks, and offers many specific suggestions to enhance one’s daily life, some of which are:
– growing African Violets and ferns;
– de-cluttering your home; and,
– daily rituals to avoid frumpiness.
The book is divided into two major sections each of which are subdivided into smaller sections, offering daily doable practical tips. She even incorporates some of her favorite recipes, musical selections, and candles, all of which I am eager to try. Jennifer assists us with putting in place systems that allow us to focus on enjoying the here and now so that we may live life more fully! I highly recommend both of her books!
The Cinco Ranch area in Katy continues to impress. It was just ranked highly by the United States Census Bureau American Community Survey with sixty-nine percent of the population over twenty-five having earned an undergraduate degree or higher. Meanwhile, the average for Texas overall is only twenty-five percent.
My son, Andrew Victores, in the team.