I spent a long Halloween weekend in Houston, Texas. This trip was made really last minute and mainly was to attend the music festival, Something Wicked. I’d lived in Houston for 5 months when I first moved to the States about 7 years ago. So it was really nostalgic when I landed and breathed in the Houston air, again. Flying in late Friday night after work, my close friend, Jen, Hung whom I just met, and I drove to Bellaire area in Houston for some late night pick-me-up food, Pho, of course. If you’re a fan of Southeast Asian food, Bellaire area is the place to go, especially for Vietnamese and Chinese food in Houston.
Restaurants that I ate at:
Pho Binh By Night: I went there right after I arrived in Houston midnight Friday. I ordered mine with steak, meatballs, and flanks. Loved it! Make sure you order the pickled cabbage with chicken for appetizers, super tasty!
Kim Son dim sum: Our friend in Houston took us there for an ok kinda hangover food, meaning our first choice was a hot steamy bowl of pho. We initially wanted to get pho at Pho Dien 1 near by, but the wait was 45 minutes. We were all too hungry to wait. I’ve had Kim Son dim sum years ago. I think their food is pretty comparable, not to say slightly better and a lot cheaper than Mandarin Kitchen dim sum here in the Twin Cities.
Pho Dien 1 &2: Their first location is the one I’ve mentioned above, in the Kim Son mall. My friend had told me the first location had better pho. We ended up eating at Pho Dien, their second location since it was right next to the foot massage place we went to. I’d recommend Pho Binh By Night over this Pho Dien’s second location. It’s kinda obvious since their cooks could have been different people regardless of them being owned by the same owner.
Vibe Lounge: We went there per recommendation of our friend who is a local there for some hot pots. Hot pots, Vietnamese style, are typically served for a big group of people, having a pot of flavored hot soup boiling in the middle, accompanied with seafood or meats, a variety of vegetables and some types of noodles. Apparently, my friend said OGs “turn up” there, often on weekends, and they’re typically super busy. We were there on a Monday night, and the restaurant was half-full with big parties and birthday celebrations. We ended up ordering 10+ dishes, including a Thai hot pot (Viet style, not to be mistaken by the famous Thai hot pot, Tom yum), chicken wings cooked with fish sauce- poured over style, snail dishes, pickled veggie dishes, etc. I snapped most of my food on my Snapchat, give it a follow if you’re a food lover like me: @atandt16.
Captain Tom’s Oyster Bar: We went here Friday before heading to the festival day 1. We ordered a lot of food, including raw oysters (~$8/dozen, say what?!), gumbos- super yummy seafood soups, fried frog legs, seafood platter- a compilation of fried shrimps, stuffed crabs, catfish filets, and fries. If you’re feeling adventurous, order a Mexican corona beer- poured in hot sauce type of drink, called Michelada.
Duc Chuong Bun Bo Hue: Bun Bo Hue was the only one the menu, need I say more?!?!
TEAholic & Tarascos: TEAholic was literally in the Kim Son mall, next to Bambu, pho Dien, and other tea/dessert places/restaurants. We of course got ourselves some bubble teas after dim sum. Tarascos had a lot of ice cream options, but we ended up getting the two typical Mexican desserts below.
Places that I went to:
A+ foot and body massage: It was $30 for a combo of foot and body massage, but I ended up enjoying the temple/head/neck rub more. Was that weird?
Cle– night club: Who turned up on a Sunday night? We did! Apparently, after the festival day 2 which ended at 10 p.m, earlier compared to day 1 which ended at midnight, we all decided to carpool and drove to downtown a dance a bit more. This place costed $30 right at the door, water was $7 for a tiny bottle, drinks were ridiculously expensive as well. Regardless, the night was fun!
The festival, of course! My first official opinion on music festival? I loved it! It’s true that people say the surrounding and the people who you go with tend to dictate your mood or experience. I went with Jen, my bestie, so she’s got my back the whole time. I trusted her and the friends I’ve met along the way. Honestly, I’ve never danced that much in my life. People there were respectful and fun, everyone seemed to enjoy the moment. They danced their hearts out which I found super inspiring, and I felt free for once.
Hope you’ve enjoyed the pictures and hopefully taken some notes in terms of what food places to go to next time when you happen to be in Houston, Texas.
Shout outs to Anh Vien and Anh Dan for being such awesome hosts, Jen- my bestie, Hung, Jen and Sarika, Alexa & Sebastian, KY & IO crew- Chloe, Mimi, Andrew, Kent, TT, and Tony for making this trip an unforgettable one!!!
stay inspired | as always