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Breakfast, Breaky, petit dejune, whatever you call it, it is often touted as the most important meal of the day.  And while food is fuel, it is fuel whose consumption should be enjoyed and the fuel should be of good quality.  Houston has no shortage of fast food places, diners, and brunch spots of both the chain and the local variety.  However, very recently a Mountain West Chain by the name of Snooze: An AM Eatery opened a location in the Montrose area where it was welcomed by the locals.  This past Father’s day weekend, their second location opened in Town & Country Village, just a hop, skip and a jump away from my Westchase hood.  During the 3 day soft opening that ran from Saturday June 17th through Monday June 19th, Snooze raised money for 3 different local charities that accomplish different kinds of good all over.  But then again, this culture of service is part of what makes Snooze who they are.

It only takes a Moment to Make a Difference
Founded by brothers Jon and Adam Schlegel, Snooze was born on April 2, 2006 in Denver, Colorado seeking to evolve the A.M. dining experience through culinary innovation, an eclectic and energetic atmosphere and comfortable and friendly service. Breakfast marks the beginning of a new day. At Snooze, we believe life is for living and each person and each day is worth celebrating. Our mantra: it only takes a moment to make a difference.

From the day we were born, our people – Snoozers – have led the way serving creative twists on America’s favorite breakfast classics in a casual, friendly and vibrant atmosphere. The passion of our Snoozers is contagious. Over the past 8+ years it has inspired Snooze fans of all ages across the country. We embrace our roots in the Denver Ballpark neighborhood and aspire to be an integral part of every community in which we’re lucky to live.

At Snooze, we’re connected by a common desire to be part of something bigger than ourselves. We believe we’re all one, big family – Snoozers, partners, guests, neighbors, planet – and we strive to be a part of the communities where we live. One percent of sales from each Snooze makes its way back into the local community through the donation of in-kind goods (A.K.A. pancakes!) and services. You’ll see us passing out pancakes, maintaining school gardens, volunteering at food banks and cleaning up beaches. We’re focused on supporting local causes and issues related to the neighborhoods where we live and organizations focused on education and sustainability.At Snooze we believe that it only takes a moment to make a difference. If you are holding an event or auction please visit your nearest Snooze and introduce yourself to a manager. Tell us about your cause, organization, clean-up or pet rescue and we will do our best to help! We love using pancakes to help good people raise money and awareness for causes that are near and dear to the communities in which we live.

We invite you to join us, make up a new pancake and dance to the music. Wake up to the potential of your day. Wake up to Snooze!

Milk Pitcher and Can Coffee, Espresso and Creamer cups

Sounds like a Philosophy worth embracing.  On this Father’s day, we packed up and headed to Town & Country Village, ready to try what was in store for us.  The menu is a nice mix of breakfast/brunch/lunch standards, many of which have a cool twist on them.  They also ENCOURAGE your customization to anything on the menu, rather than be grouchy about it.  A Breakfast Pot Pie–something I never heard of before–is on the menu.  Pineapple Upside down pancakes? Done and done.  Want a shot of espresso in your coffee?  No problemo.  And their Texas menu includes breakfast tacos, a breakfast burrito and Huevos Rancheros as well.  On Father’s Day they also had a bunch of funny, sticky fake moustaches for the kiddos and the ladies to put on just to get into the spirit of things too!

On this particular day, the family ordered a couple of plates of pancakes (chocolate chip for Jason and Pineapple upside down for Helena).
The chocolate chip pancakes were full of semi-sweet, melty chocolate chips throughout the short stack of two large, almost 1 cm thick and very fluffy pancakes.  Diners can tell that real eggs and butter are used in this cooking due to the slight yellowish tint of the batter and the rich flavour and fluffy texture therein.  Jason, despite being a typically hungry almost 13 year old boy, could only finish one pancake.
The pineapple upside down pancakes look like typical griddle cakes, until you turn them over and find a nice, sweet layer of pineapple compote.  There was also an essence of coconut in there somewhere, evoking the structure and flavour profile of grandma’s pineapple upside down cake.  I will also add the pancakes were served with warm maple syrup, which proved unnecessary given the sweet fruit/chocolate goodness included in both stacks.  Grades: A and A+

The  adults ordered:
Juan’s Breakfast Tacos (Three fresh corn or flour tortillas topped with scrambled eggs, shredded hash browns, jack cheese, green chile hollandaise & pico de gallo–with an inside tip: better yet with veggie/meat toppings).  I went with bacon topping on mine because (sorry Bad Piggies), like garlic Bacon don’t need a reason!  The eggs, potatoes, cheese and meat were properly cooked–nothing cold nor runny.  The corn tortillas were a little crumbly and though I ate the tacos with a knife and a fork, they were still delicious: spicy, cheesy, and the green chile hollandaise sauce is superb.  Next time, I will ask them to either double up on the corn tortillas so they hold together better or will ask for flour tortillas instead.
The Snooze Classic (three Farm fresh cage free eggs cooked any style and your choice of ham, bacon, sausage, chorizo, pulled pork, chicken sausage or soyrizo. Includes hash browns, choice of toast).  On this we went with 3 poached eggs, that were done perfectly on medium (solid whites, oozy but not runny yolk) and with chorizo.  I was expecting chorizo debris, but this was formed into a nice round patty much like traditional breakfast sausage.  However, one taste and you knew it was chorizo.  While we went with wheat toast this time, next time may do an English Muffin instead.  Grades: A and A respectively.  

I would be remiss if I did not mention the charity they were working for on June 18th:  Project C.U.R.E.  Project C.U.R.E. identifies, solicits, collects, sorts and distributes medical supplies and services according to the imperative needs of the world. Project C.U.R.E. (Commission on Urgent Relief and Equipment) was founded in 1987 by James Jackson, who was working as an international economic consultant in developing countries when his work put him face to face with the needs of the sick and dying. During a trip to Brazil, Dr. Jackson visited a small clinic near Rio de Janeiro, where he learned that patients were often turned away due to a lack of basic medical supplies. Jackson was moved to action, making a promise to the clinic doctor that he would help provide relief to the people there. Dr. Jackson returned to his home in Evergreen, Colorado, and with the assistance of friends in the medical industry collected $250,000 of medical supplies in his garage in just 30 days time. By personally paying the shipping expenses, Jackson was able to send an ocean-going cargo container carrying the donated supplies to Brazil. In 1997 James Jackson’s son, Dr. Douglas Jackson, became President & CEO of Project C.U.R.E..

From its humble beginnings in Colorado, Project C.U.R.E. has expanded to many other cities across the United States. Currently, Project C.U.R.E. maintains large distribution warehouses in Arizona, Colorado, Texas, Illinois, Pennsylvania and Tennessee. In addition, Project C.U.R.E. has established smaller collection centers several other states where donated items are gathered and then delivered to its warehouses. Project C.U.R.E. now collects medical donations in many U.S. cities. Project C.U.R.E. has been an industry leader in developing new ways to allow the organization to provide the highest quality donated medical supplies and equipment possible to resource-limited communities across the globe, including efficient and accurate inventory systems, supply chain management, expert management of logistics and strong in-country relationships. Project C.U.R.E. also offers numerous domestic and international volunteer opportunities. Since its founding, Project C.U.R.E. has reached patients, families and children in 130 countries.  Their Houston office is located off of Kempwood Drive, less than 10 minutes from Snooze Town & Country.  My son Jason has helped pack supplies for them with the Wesley Academy National Junior Honor Society and it is a very helpful organization.

Snooze Town & Country is located at:

600 West Sam Houston Pkwy N #500
Houston, TX 77024
713-470-4586

Hours:
7 Days a Week
6:30am – 2:30pm

I want to thank the Staff and Management at Snooze for a great Father’s Day breakfast and for the help they are offering Project C.U.R.E.

Eat Happy, Y’all!!!
吃得开心!!!
Hank

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Taco Sanity

On June 29, 2016 By

The first wave of Houston food trucks has long since come ashore, and some might say the movement has largely jumped the shark already. The earliest ventures have gone brick and mortar, some long enough ago to have already closed…

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The Function of the One

On July 9, 2015 By

Imagine, if you will, that Underbelly, the Houston Dairymaids, Blacksmith, Revival Market, Slow Dough Bread Co., a Jester King Brewery taproom, and a host of other creative companies from graphic designers to florists were housed in the same repurposed Houston…

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Last Supper at La Condesa

On May 12, 2015 By

400 W 2nd St Ste A Austin, TX 78701 (512) 499-0300 http://lacondesa.com I have a friend very dear to me. We met on Youtube five years ago and have maintained a close friendship despite living in different cities and sometimes different states. The last two months, Treavor has been a resident of Austin and for […]

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When was the last time that the chef came to your table in a “quick serve” restaurant to check on your meal?OK, full disclosure… I was with two other food/restaurant writers to check out Hugo Caliente, a new quick-serve “Tex-Mex/Mexican” restaurant i…

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I’ve Been Revisiting Los Tios in Houston for Decades….

I am a fourth-generation Houstonian. When my great grandfather moved to Houston in 1870, there were no Mexican/Tex-Mex restaurants here. It’s a different story now, however. I have been a lover of Tex-Mex food all of my life.  In fact, I believe that my first exposure to Tex-Mex food, other than my mother’s cooking, was probably a Swanson’s Mexican TV dinner in the early 50’s. My first Tex-Mex restaurant meal was in the iconic El Fenix on McKinney in Dallas. So, I’ve been around Tex-Mex for awhile.
 
Now, there are so many Tex-Mex restaurants in Houston that there is actually competition for our business, and Los Tios is a big player in this competition.
 
As usual, many Houston restaurants are offering “Summer Specials” geared to the hotter weather. Los Tios is no exception and as I hadn’t been to a Los Tios Mexican Restaurant in a while, it seemed like a good time for a revisit. 


Los Tios is usually a good choice for consistent Tex-Mex in Houston, and it’s fun when they have menu additions that are either “off-the-menu” or seasonal specials. The Summer Specials are only going to be around through August, according to the menu. We also tried a couple of the off-the-menu offerings, which may have a longer life. This visit was to the Beechnut location in Houston (across Beechnut from Meyerland Center}.

Summer Taco


We (four of us) started with an unlikely dish for this genre of restaurant… the Summer Taco.  Not that tacos are unusual in a Tex-Mex restaurant, but these were on the requisite “puffy” tacos and were filled with a chilled chicken salad.  Served with guacamole and pico de gallo, these cool fresh tacos were praised by all of my fellow diners, and I felt that they would be perfect for the fourth person in a party who is leery of “Mexican food” or is looking for a healthier option.

Tostada Poblana


Next was a Tostada Poblana which was another chicken dish and a take on a traditional tostada, but covered with a Mexican version of chicken salad.  Smokey grilled chicken, refried beans, lettuce, avocadoes and tomatoes are drizzled with a creamy Poblano dressing and queso fresco (a Poblano chile is a very mild pepper, typical of Puebla.  Queso fresco is a mild white Mexican cheese).
 

Ceviche Tostada
 

The third special offering was, by far, our collective favorite… the Ceviche Tostada. Topped with a shrimp and scallop ceviche, it was cool and tangy with fresh lime juice and a raspberry chipotle dressing and served with an avocado salad. I’ll always have the ceviche in every restaurant that offers it and this one is nice and a good choice to accompany items from the Los Tios’ Tex-Mex offerings on the regular menu (or the off-the-menu items that were offered by the server).

Off-the-menu Combo Plate #14

My wife had an off-the-menu Combo Plate #14 which had a cheese enchilada, a taco al carbon, chicken quesadillas and pico de gallo. The quesadillas were crispy and the grilled beef within had a nice taste and aroma of Mesquite smoke. To be fair to readers, I have to point out that all of my life, I have eaten cheese enchiladas (maybe, as a child, they were cheap), and I have never eaten them, nor seen them without chopped onions to compliment the chili gravy atop the enchilada. I just reach for them and assume that they will be there. If you ask for them, they’re there in 60 seconds… but they should automatically be there. Period. Anyway, the cheese enchiladas were/are good.
 

Fish Tacos

 As a regular traveler to the Baja of Mexico, I am always testing the Fish Tacos wherever I go to compare them. I’ve had them from the taco stands in Tecate to the beach bars in Ensenada. You would think from listening to those who proclaim expertise in tasting them that they are rocket science. They aren’t.  They’re lightly battered fish (various types) and a lot of shredded cabbage, etc. Get ready… these are just as good as those on the Pacific coast of the Baja in Mexico. They’re not Dorado (Mahi Mahi) and the fish CAN make a difference, but these are good. The Raspberry Chipotle sauce is a nice touch on them, and not typical to Mexico, but neither is most other Tex-Mex food, is it?

Flan
 
 
 Tres Leches
 
Sopapillas
 
Dessert is always fun in Mexican restaurants, and the choices are as predictable as the sweet pralines that will come with your check. The three desserts that we ordered were: Tres Leches (a Mexican sponge cake soaked with three types of milk), Flan (a Mexican custard with caramel sauce, topped here with whipped cream and a cherry), and Sopapillas (light puffy donut-like pastries served with honey and caramel. They were all what they are supposed to be… and all delicious.
 
Los Tios has been around for a long time so I’m not going to review the regular traditional menu, but I recommend the three Summer Specials (especially the Ceviche Tostada!) and suggest checking out the off-the-menu offerings.
 
 

There are four locations in Houston and they are listed on the Los Tios website:

 


 

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Taco Nuts

On July 10, 2013 By

Ruminations on places with good beer, food, and a TV for the NBA Finals brought us to a surprisingly vacant Liberty Station where Taco Nuts – one of the newest vessels in Houston’s food truck fleet – was parked out…

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Mi San Luis

On September 6, 2012 By

Along this corridor between 290 and 249, you run a gauntlet of taco trucks, and the Mi San Luis cart may be the cheapest of them all. At only $1, the tacos are served on comparatively small corn tortillas, but they still pack a wallop of flavor. I walked up to the window and placed my typical order of 3 tacos, an array of cabeza, pastor, and fajita or bistec, then waited in my car a short while on this blistering afternoon. The brightly colored trailer with hand-painted lettering and murals had often caught my eye, parked outside the gates of a transmission shop on N. Houston Rosslyn, so I resolved to give it a try. They have gorditas and tortas on offer, but this is my Taco Trail, so that’s what I was after. Al pastor tacos have always been one of my favorites, and I relished each of the savory bites of this specimen, with its bright orange juices tinting the lightly griddled corn tortillas. My favorite was the cabeza however, the rich, fatty meat of the cow’s head — mostly cheek — practically melt-in-your-mouth tender. Each taco comes with the standard accoutrement of onions and cilantro, though surprisingly, since they’re only a dollar, they also come with a […]

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Chili Bob’s Houston Eats

On August 31, 2012 By

Way before the blog you’re reading got started, there was Chili Bob’s Houston Eats. It’s not pretty. It’s got a blogspot.com suffix on it. His food photos could use some work. I think his first name is Bruce.   Here is his humble mantra. (Read in Kevin Spacey’s voice for added effect.) I’m a food […]

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Post from Sharks patrol these waters.
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