Bistro CityCentre - Top 10 Most Romantic Dining Experiences!

Thursday, July 18, 2013
Heather

Easy

Recently I did a press trip to Houston sponsored through the GoHouston! Travel Campaign hosted by New Creative Writing and Social Media Marketing. As always all opinions are my own.

My husband and I took this trip as sort of a second honeymoon, so when we had the opportunity on our first night to dine at Bistro CityCentre it kicked off our celebrating in a big way.

Bistro CityCentre has been deemed one of the top ten most romantic Houston restaurants by the Houston Press and I agree that it has earned its place.

As soon as you walk in you can feel it... it's intimate and sexy and makes you feel like you are falling in love all over again.

This is a place that you could bring your kids, but trust me you won't want to. You will want to have this place to yourself.

There is a small candle glowing on every table to spark a little ambiance, and the staff is attentive enough to make sure you get everything you might need, but not overbearing as to bother you too much.

We first ordered the Three Cheese Flat Bread to start which I would highly recommend!

The flavor combinations of the smoked mozzarella, basil pesto, and balsamic were superb. For a slight moment I thought of the kids and how they would have loved it. 

But I snapped back to reality and back to this romantic night with my husband alone.

Once our meals arrive my mouth is watering looking at the masterpiece in front of me.

I ordered the Prime New York Strip -  pan roasted strip, loaded mashed potatoes, butter braised brussel sprouts, sauce au poivre.

Can you say yummy? So juicy, soft and succulent... exactly what you want with a New York Strip.

And as you can see it is a pretty large portion, I had to save half of it for later.

The au poivre sauce is so flavorful and complements the meat but doesn't over power it.

Once we had finished our meals we just sat back, talked to each other in peace and quiet and just soaked it all in.

A familiar feeling started to come over me, the way I used to feel before we had kids.

Sometimes we don't realize as parents that we need to get out without the kids and enjoy a romantic evening just the two of us.

Bistro CityCentre made our first night in Houston perfect.

Need a romantic night out? Head over to Bistro CityCentre!

Disclaimer

Studio Movie Grill Houston - The Ultimate Movie Watching Experience!

Thursday, July 18, 2013
Heather

Easy

Recently I did a press trip to Houston sponsored through the GoHouston! Travel Campaign hosted by New Creative Writing and Social Media Marketing. As always all opinions are my own.

I love this concept! This was a totally new experience since we don't have anything like this in Utah. And with 12 locations anyone lucky enough to live remotely near one should take advantage of it especially SMG City Centre.

Usually dinner or lunch and a movie are separate unless I do them at home and when you have kids you are so tired at the end of the day that when you finally have your date night it's generally one or the other, not both.

Needless to say this was a real treat for me and my hubby!

While we managed a little time away from our kids during this trip, all through the experience we thought about how much they would love to eat while watching a movie.

It's perfect for families as well because while kids are munching away they can be watching a new release in the theater.

As soon as we walked in we noticed that the staff was super friendly and ready to help us figure out what we were doing. lol

We decided to see World War Z, which was amazing!!! But I will tell you more about that later.

It was so interesting to go in a theater that doesn't have 300 seats.

It's almost like you are a celebrity going to some event and being waited on.

Unfortunately just like a celebrity I thought I knew better and I didn't take one of the staffs suggestions for seating and I picked different seats.

Needless to say the staff knows what they are talking about, so if you have never been before be sure to ask them for their recommendation for the best seats. lol

As for the food it was fantastic! We shared the Chicken tenders and fries and they were yummy!

It was a little weird watching a zombie movie while eating food, so this may be better for some movies than others. lol

All in all it was an awesome experience and the service was great! Can't wait to go back! And I wish they would build some in Utah.  (hint, hint)

If you are looking for the Ultimate Movie Watching Experience head over and make a reservation at The Studio Movie Grill!

Disclaimer

Straights Houston - Delicious, Chic and Unforgettable.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Heather

Easy

Recently I did a press trip to Houston sponsored through the GoHouston! Travel Campaign hosted by New Creative Writing and Social Media Marketing. As always all opinions are my own.

While on our amazing trip to Houston we were invited to dine at STRAITS Restaurant.

STRAITS menu unites the four major culinary influences of Singapore-Malaysia/Indonesia, Chinese, Indian and Nonya

I wasn't familiar with the cuisine from Singapore and I was afraid it wouldn't be quite to my liking. Wow if I had only known how narrow minded and wrong I was.

If it weren't for this opportunity, my husband and I on our own probably would have chosen a different restaurant and missed out on such a wonderful dining experience.

As soon as we walked in we were greeted by an incredibly friendly staff and seated outside in one of their lovely cabanas.

The air was a perfect temperature and City Centre had live music across the way... it was starting to feel like a scene from a romantic movie.

My husband and I looked at the menu for a few minutes, but we were stuck between a few different options.

Vladimir our waiter suggested we choose the Tender Braised Asian Pork Pot Roast with Chinese Spinach & Pineapple Chutney.

To say "he knew what he was talking about" would be an understatement, but before I get ahead of myself I can't forget to tell you about the Roti Prata.

I can't believe I have been missing out on this my whole life. Do you see those crispy layers? That's heaven somewhere in the middle there.

It's no secret that I am a carb fan, but this is on a whole other level that any other bread, pastry I have ever had.

The Roti Prata comes with a curry that is also top notch, and you don't want to miss it.

I loved this so much that I have now found a recipe online and plan on making this at home.

Unfortunately we don't have a STRAITS Restaurant in Utah or you would find me there every week eating one of these.

I will be sure to let you know how my homemade version turns out.

This was our main course; the Tender Braised Asian Pork Pot Roast with Chinese Spinach & Pineapple Chutney. My mouth is watering just thinking about it right now.

Doesn't it look amazing, my pictures don't even do it justice. The combination of the Chutney and the Pot Roast flavors were heavenly.

I swear they must have had this baby roasting all day, because it was a challenge for it not to melt before it even hit my tongue.

I have never had such succulent and soft pork.

And if you are looking to spend a little less, they encourage ordering dishes to share; family style.

My husband and I shared this, and it was definitely enough for the both of us.

Don't skimp out on dessert! Your sweet tooth will never forgive you...

CHOCOLATE LAVA CAKE - I savored every last bite. The perfect complement to an amazing dinner.

Slightly crunchy outer shell and rich warm chocolate on the inside that comes pouring out once you dig in for that first bite.

If you prefer something with less chocolate (I will try not to judge) you could try the Cheesecake Egg Rolls, like my husband did.

Super moist and rich cheesecake filling wrapped up and dusted with sugar.

I would highly recommend sitting outside, I don't want to sound really old lol, but the music inside was really loud and nothing beats eating incredible food out in the fresh air.

To give you an idea of how friendly they are STRAITS, the manager John came over to our table to make sure we were enjoying our meal, not because I was doing a review on the food, but because it's what he does.

He lives for this restaurant and he genuinely wants to make sure every customer is happy, but this motto doesn't stop at the Houston location this is a huge part of the STRAITS every day.

STRAITS is owned and operated by noted restaurateur, Chris Yeo. “It has always been my dream to have a restaurant to make people happy! Food is my passion and through food I make people smile!” he says.

STRAITS Restaurant Group strives to leave a memorable impression by meeting every guest’s individual needs through great food, environment and genuine service.

Few people know that Chris Yeo began his career as a hairdresser and was once more familiar with cutting hair than steaming dumplings.

Had he not given up his blow-dryer for butane burners, foodies across the country wouldn’t have him to thank for bringing authentic yet modern Singaporean and Chinese cuisine to today’s dining landscape.

So if you happen to be near or pass by Straits Restaurant take a lesson from me; step inside, meet some incredibly friendly people and open your palate to some of the best cuisine you will ever have.

You can also check out their Facebook page for all their latest events and news.

Disclaimer

Café Zupas: YUMMY!!

Sunday, July 14, 2013
Heather

Easy

If you live in Utah, Nevada, & Arizona you can have the same awesome eating experience that I did at Café Zupas!

Café Zupas has won 18 Best-of-State awards over seven consecutive years and I wanted to see what all the fuss was about!

It was my Aunts birthday so I thought it might be a great place to go for a family gathering.

As soon as we walked in I loved the atmosphere! Clean, bright, and full of happy helpful staff!

I was a little overwhelmed by the options everything looked so good.

I decided to get a sandwich and salad (yes I was feeling really hungry Laughing) and as a little surprise it comes with a chocolate dipped strawberry! Yippee!

I was also really impressed with their kids meal options. My kiddos got a grilled cheese sandwich that came with a fruit cup as well.

Needless to say they were happy and spent 20 minutes in silence stuffing their little faces. lol

Don't even get me started on their desserts! Don't they just look divine? Café Zupas would be a great place to go just for dessert!

My hubby and I plan on going back on a little date and trying out a few of the delectable desserts.

Café Zupas prices are pretty much on par with most casual dining places. $5 for a sandwich and you can add more items if you like.

(my family really enjoying Café Zupas)

Café Zupas was definitely the best spot to have a family gathering and a great meal!

If you are in Utah be sure to check out the West Valley location they had amazing service you won't want to miss!

Whether you’re on your way skiing, getting back from a hike, going out to dinner with the family, or meeting friends for lunch, come in to the West Valley Café Zupas and they'll take care of you!

You can also check them out here.

Disclaimer

Smashburger Houston: Another Home Run!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013
Heather

Easy

Recently I did a press trip to Houston sponsored through the GoHouston! Travel Campaign hosted by New Creative Writing and Social Media Marketing. As always all opinions are my own.

Have you tried Smashburger yet? If not, you are definitely missing out!!

My husband and I went to City Centre location when we visited Houston and once again Smashburger did not disappoint!

Smashburger isn't just any burger chain, and definitely shouldn't be compared to the regulars (Burger King, Mc.Donalds, Wendy's)

As soon as you walk through the door you can smell all the yummy food. (always a good sign Laughing)

The staff is incredibly friendly and always there to make sure you get exactly what you want.

They have some of the friendliest employees, and it's no wonder, unlike most food establishments they offer incentives and perks to their employees and only hire those with a big smile and a passion to work for them.

I had their Oreo shake and it was so YUMMY!! And if you read the pic. above you can see why!

That's right... Häagen-Dazs shakes!! I absolutely love Häagen-Dazs ice cream, it's some of the highest quality ice cream you can get!

I felt like Oliver Twist - " Please, sir, I want some more" Next time you are feeling like treating yourself, be sure to head to Smashburger.

My hubby got the Avocado Club Burger, he loved his burger, these are never frozen 100% Certified Angus Beef burgers.

And if you are wondering about the smashing process, thinking... "doesn't that just make them small and get rid of the juiciness?" I can promise these are large burgers and full of flavor!

If you are worried about size you can also get a "Big Smash" considering the normal burger was plenty big enough I don't even want to know how big this sucker is.

I got an Avocado Club chicken (it's my favorite!!) the "ranch dressing" they put on this is amazing!!

I put ranch in quotes, because it wasn't like any ranch I have had before. I wish I could buy a jar of this stuff!

Every last bite of the Smash Chicken is juicy and free of any fatty pieces.

I would highly recommend getting this, the flavor combinations of the "ranch", bacon tomato and avocado were amazing.

My overall opinion of Smashburger? As always a huge two thumbs up!

Disclaimer

About Mamas Spot

We are a family of four that left it all behind to go travel the world. No, literally we left it all. We sold all of our possessions, packed what we could into four suitcases and said goodbye to suburban life. All we own is now pulled behind us as we travel to new and exciting destinations showing our kids the world and teaching them about new cultures, food and ways of life.

We love watching them learn, and learning along side them. Together we have now explored many new countries, visited family on the other side of the world for the first time and made memories that will last a lifetime.