Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Local food for thought

You'd hardly know it's the morning before one of the biggest American holidays of the year.  The freakin' sound storm is so intense this morning that I couldn't continue to sleep once rush hour began (why are there so many people on the roads?).
When I stepped onto our back patio at 0630 to feed our dog, I felt like bellowing at the top of my lungs,
(As if that would do any good.) 

Right at the moment, MD6282 is not logging any wind, but I think there's a very subtle mass laminar air movement of sorts coming from the west or northwest, and moving excessive noise toward us like a freight train.   And the air is so dense that the high relative humidity is not doing a thing for us in terms of freeway noise suppression. 
Anyway, I mentioned in a recent thread that Dimassi's restaurant had been one of the few places in Clear Lake where I could get a decent healthy meal according to my definition of it...
Gone but not forgotten.  Done in by a really bad location, it had really great food (and at a fair price, to boot).  Screengrabbed from Googlemaps.
Given that folks will be engaging in the annual Thanksgiving shop-a-thon over the next few days, I thought I'd showcase a couple of other decent healthy meals that are still attainable around here.  If you're running your tail off going from store to store, ya gotta eat, right??

This showcasing thing is pretty easy to do because I'm one of those nerds who occasionally takes camera phone pics of my lunch and sends them to unsuspecting friends.  We pretend to be five years old again, declaring with visual evidence that my lunch is better than your lunch - nah nah, nah nah nah!!  And then we laugh hysterically over the absurdity of it.  A small techno-driven ritual reminding us that we're never too old to play. 

So let's see a couple of those:
A dish called Karai Don in Tokyo Bowl, which is located in the strip center at the corner of Bay Area and Space Center Blvd.  I can't tell you how many times I've ordered this only to have another patron peer closely at me and ask, "Wow - what's that?!?"  It's like a spicy tossed salad with avocado, vegetables, ginger on the side, and many kinds of raw fish.  It used to be served on a bed of white rice, but a few years ago, the sharp-eyed proprietor Jay noticed that I would never eat all of my rice.  "Too many carbs," I responded to his agitated question, sidestepping the more complex glycemic index topic.  Since that time, my Karai Don always arrives on a bed of mostly bean sprouts with a little bit of rice at the bottom, which is perfect for me.  But I don't know if I'm the only person whose Karai Don was adjusted accordingly, or if everyone now receives it that way.  I just show up at the restaurant, and they know how to make it for me without me having to ask.

It'll set you back more than $20 with tip, but it's worth every penny as far as I'm concerned.  You get what you pay for and I can't imagine any single dish having better nutrient distribution and density than this. 

Tokyo Bowl currently boasts almost 1,600 followers on Facebook and has probably the largest astronaut fan photo collection in the area.  A veritable Clear Lake institution with a cult following. 

They usually close for a few weeks at the end of each year in order to give their staff a break.  Phone before going.
Second local example of healthy eating:
The "stone bowl" in Korean BBQ which is located in a strip center on El Dorado between Highway 3 and IH-45. 

I lived in Clear Lake for many years without knowing about this place, but reviews by Alison Cook brought it to my husband's attention a few months back...  
... in fact, she rated it at #77 of her top 100 Houston restaurants for 2012.  Not a bad ranking, considering that Houston is estimated to have about eleven thousand restaurants!!
Screengrab from this source, which appears to be affiliated with Houston Chronicle. 
Of course, you don't leave the egg and vegetables all segregated like that.  The stone bowl sizzles, and so you do your own stir fry number in your dish before you eat it.  Alison described the procedure enchantingly in this 2007 Chron article.  The dish has a fair amount of rice in it, so it's not my ideal glycemic scenario but hey - a person has to live a little sometimes.

It's a small family-run restaurant, so it's good to call to see if it's open, and avoid peak times or else you might not get a table.
Anyway, there are a few eatin' ideas to balance out the turkey tradition.  Happy Thanksgiving!

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