A heaping helping of Eats

Reader mail and a few crew comments round out this Cheap column

Cheap Eats

Brenda Tavakoli

Well, Cheap Eats fans, it's time for this column to close shop for the semester. I, like you all, am swamped with finals, projects, studying and last-minute errands. Nonetheless, students still need to eat, so here is a little "Best of Cheap Eats" for your reading and dining pleasure.

Reader Mail

This semester, I've gotten plenty of mail, some friendly, some suspect, yet all appreciated.

Rick Burman wrote:

"I just wanted to tell you that your column is one of the best in The Daily Cougar. Aside from Ginsburg, The Daily Cougar has become a waste of time to read (except for the crossword puzzles).

I'm so sick of hearing about some minority problem every %$@!! day by one of the two most narrow-minded individuals on the face of the planet. I know that when I read your column it will be interesting and informative. I hope you stay on the Cougar staff as long as I'm here at UH (It's looking longer and longer every semester)."

Hi Rick, thank you for the compliment. I'm sorry you feel that way about the rest of The Daily Cougar, but I suppose no paper can be all things to all people.

As far as I can tell, I will be on the Cougar staff for more semesters than I care to admit. But should I become conspicuously absent, write angry letters of protest to next semester's editor in chief.

Loretta J. Raschke wrote:

"Hi! First of all, I want to tell you how much I enjoy reading your column. I am sure you have gotten quite a few letters of praise, and I just wanted to be one of them. Keep up the good work!!

Also, quite a while ago, I remember you wrote about a bakery that offered a lot of different types of bread. My roommate and I planned to go there, but lost the paper and would still love to go. If you have the address or name or anything, I would love to have it. Don't rush, there is no hurry, but please let me know when you have time.

Thank you sooooo much!"

Hello Loretta, thank you for the letter. I do get some letters of praise, but those are balanced out by the occasional blistering hate mail. So, compliments are, as always, appreciated and encouraged.

The bread place would be Great Harvest Bread Co., which is located at 5304-B FM 1960 West. They also have a new Town and Country location. Ring them up at (281) 440-6267 for more information and tell Madeline that Brenda sent you.

Daily Cougar sportster and controversial guest columnist Rohith Nandagiri liked Gyro Gyro's on Westheimer.

"Since the last time I had a gyro was at my local Jack in the Box, this place was considerably better and inexpensive. However, the venue and the atmosphere could be improved. I felt like I really was in a small Greek town in which there was not enough electricity to go around."

Well Rohith, at least they don't serve deer there ...

The Cheap Eats Crew Speaks

The Cheap Eats Crew varies from week to week, but includes individuals with many different food preferences. This allows us to give you a well-rounded view of a restaurant. Now the crew has a chance to speak.

We'll start with crew member Stan because he was the first to get his comments to me.

Homiest owners/servers:

Yakov's Deli

(I'm assuming he means "homiest" in a familial context, not a "rollin'" with the homies/Clueless context).

Best place that has a different style of food:

Yakov's Deli

(I think Stan is getting kickbacks from the folks over at Yakov's, don't you?)

Another Cheap Eats regular, Sergio, professed his love for a few of the restaurants our gang visited this semester. He introduced us to La Mejor Taqueria, where he boasted you could get "two burritos and two drinks for about five bucks!"

"I have to say, though, my fave spot this semester was definitely Kaldi Cafe," admitted Sergio.

"The atmosphere, the food, the wait staff, it was all perfect. It was just so different from any place I'd ever been to. Sort of a combination of New Orleans charm and New York trendiness."

Fellow Cheap Eats regular Lance gave an enthusiastic nod to the picturesque dive Hunan Dragon for its "simply divine" Mongolian Hot and Spicy chicken.

"I've said it before, but I often forget there's even other items on the menu," he boasted.

Blanché also became a fan of Hunan. "I've been there, like, six times since we went the first time. It is so good," she raved.

Tab, who has a couple of post-Cheap Eats visits to the Dragon under his belt, also raved. "There's nothing quite as good for a stuffy nose as the hot mustard," he said.

Lance felt especially vindicated when a trip to Bibas' One's a Meal proved that there is indeed more than one location, as he had insisted fervently.

"So it's 3 a.m., and you're craving gyros. There's no better place than Bibas on West Gray," he said.

Cheap Eats guest diner Dean, however, staunchly defended his anti-One's a Meal stand, refusing to visit again even when an all-night breakfast was at stake.

Tab was last seen at the West Gray location staring at the old photographs of Houston that adorn the walls.

Before I sign off until next year, let me shout out the rest of the Cheap Eats Crew, several of whom I could not reach for their year-end musings.

Let me also send smiles to fellow entertainment columnists Joey "Groove to This" Guerra and Steven "Channel Flirter" Devadanam. It's been a great semester.

Keep sending me Cheap Eats e-mail to btavakol@bayou.uh.edu

Visit The Daily Cougar