Houston, We Have a Problem

A Texan food review by yours truly


On October 2, my mom and I landed in Houston, Texas for a tour of Rice with bright eyes and empty stomachs. After two flights and an Uber to the hotel, we were famished. Our first stop was Bodegas Taco Shop, which was recommended to us by the hotel concierge. The ambiance of the restaurant was very inviting, with brightly colored signs and lights. I ordered the fish tacos, and my mom got the shrimp tacos. Now let me tell you, these tacos were exactly what I was craving. With lettuce, white fish, and avocado; the fish tacos hit the spot. I’m not sure if these were exactly authentic, because I am no expert on Mexican food. However, Houston Tex Mex made a great impression on me and my stomach. They came with rice and beans, and the beans were more of a watery black bean dip which I dipped my tacos in. I had never had beans like that, and they were life changing to say the least. Overall, it was a refreshing lunch that filled my stomach but wasn’t too heavy, which was good because I had a full afternoon of roaming the city.

me @ the holy grail of fast food

After embarking on a shopping trip to the Galleria, Houston’s largest shopping mall, my stomach was growling again and we were ready for an afternoon snack. Through the sprawling indoor mall, I spotted the holy grail of all fast food, rated S tier by William Hyatt, simply the best restaurant of all: Shake Shack. I got a milkshake, which tasted heavenly. I love Shake Shack, so I’m always super excited to see one when I’m traveling because there isn’t one in Mount Pleasant. I personally think that we should all create a petition for one to open near us, because they are genuinely the best fast food spot around. Either way, I opted for a small chocolate milkshake, which was super thick, creamy, and sweet. In order to accurately describe this drink, I would just say imagine you are floating on a cloud of chocolate milk with Lucky Charm marshmallows raining down on you.

brussels by the pool!

One of my favorite parts of staying away from home is ordering room service from hotels, so naturally this is what we opted for as dinner. My mom and I ended up getting roasted brussel sprouts, margarita flat bread pizza, and calamari. We even went down to the pool to lounge and read as we ate our meal, which was very fun and boujee of us. Now I know that brussel sprouts are kind of unpopular, but I genuinely love them so much and they are even my favorite veggie. Roasted with parmesan cheese sprinkled on top, these brussels were delicious. They also came with blue cheese dipping sauce, which was very yummy too, and quelled the strong tangy seasoning on them. For the calamari, it was a classic dish. I always love calamari because it usually tastes exactly the same no matter what. Though this dish may be off putting to some because it’s literally squid, I encourage everyone to try it. Similar to the calamari, the pizza was another classic dish that has yet to let me down. My stomach is growling just writing about it. Writing food reviews the block before lunch should be illegal. Anyway, it was delicious and had the perfect amount of sauce on it, which I am pretty picky about. All of this food was enjoyed while rereading Catcher in the Rye by the pool which brings me to the question, are you pro or anti Holden Caulfield? I kind of think I may be the only one who thought Holden knew what was up. Food for thought.

mid-burrito munch

The next morning was the day of the tour! Exciting stuff. I got to Rice University early to enjoy breakfast on campus and visit former raptor, Manning Unger, at his new school. We went to the Brochstein Pavilion and bought breakfast burritos. I tried my best not to like this burrito because the acceptance rate for Rice is literally 9%. However, it was sadly delicious. With fries, scrambled eggs, and black beans, this burrito was packed with flavor and goodness. Also a bit of Sriracha which I thought was a very nice touch. My mom also enjoyed the burrito, saying it was a lot better than her own alma mater. Rice University, if you’re reading this, let me into your school so I can eat your burritos everyday. Manning offered his input by saying “the burrito was pretty good but probably a little bit overpriced.” Manning also gave me some good advice for the college admissions process that I had to share with my fellow seniors. He said that “as Rice goes I think it’s a great school with the perfect culture and it’s a shame more magnet students don’t consider it. I know Magnet has changed a ton from last year to this year and I guess my biggest hope about it is that the culture like the way wall day used to be pre-covid or the sense of unity among each class doesn’t leave.”

And that concludes my food tour. If you ever find yourself in Houston, make sure to check out some of these good eats! Until next time Raptors!