Thursday, September 27, 2012

Bodegas Tacos in Museum District and Bowl Cafe in Montrose

Recently I found out that I am allergic to gluten and dairy. This has completely changed my way of eating, thinking and living! I grew up eating rice for dinner with absolutely everything, I remember eating spaghetti and rice lol. I have tried to get off rice for years now but sometimes its difficult, I find it nearly impossible to eat beans without rice! I love options and these days restaurants are so accommodating to adding and taking out ingredients to better serve their clientele. I love places where you get to pick and choose all of the ingredients – like Bodega’s Tacos, Bowl Café, The Counter, Genghis Grill, Which Wich and Brown Bag Deli among others. These places cater to customization and picky eaters alike. Sometimes there are so many options its difficult to choose! Sometimes you choose a bad combination (unfortunately you only have yourself to blame!) Ha ha, but you can always go back and try again. Many restaurants have even added “build your own ____” – pasta like Pronto on Montrose where I made a bad combination of pasta choice ingredients but I went back and tried again. Or, “build your own ____” – pizza, sandwich etc. I will start with Bodega’s Tacos a hidden little gem if you aren’t in the Medical/Museum district often. It’s right of Binz and if you go during the week you will have to pay for parking and there is only on street parking, but believe me its totally worth it. I am not a big fan of Chipotle or Freebirds, I don’t feel like they have enough options and it just doesn’t taste that fresh or yummy to me. Bodega’s has it all and its absolutely delicious. Options and combinations are limitless, pricing is very fair, ambivalence depends on what day of the week you go and time. It’s a fun place with a fully stocked bar, patio area and wonderful food and generous portions. Typically I get the “bowl” and ask for nachos on the side so I can dip or scoop them. If you get everything on top of the nachos then it gets soggy! I am a slow eater because I chew my food thoroughly to ensure good digestion and absorption of nutrients, so I think ahead. Plus, when I am trying to be on my best behavior I ask ahead for a to go box and pack half in so I can munch freely on half and not feel guilty and be super excited for tomorrow’s lunch. I usually get the spicy ground sirloin and tons of veggies. If I know I am eating half now then I don’t get lettuce (so I can reheat without soggy lettuce). There are tons of salsas to choose from, and you can get mild, medium or spicy. My favorite salsas are: tomatillo and bacon-avocado ranch, depending on my mood and sometimes when I am really bad I get both! Visit for more details and to view their menu, they also offer combinations so there are plenty of options. Bowl Café is a quaint little spot in Montrose right off Richmond, perfect for a quick lunch. Their menu is an entire page long with tons of delicious options. Get a salad, sandwich, soup, burger or pizza or get a combo of the first three. All of their soups are amazing so I have to get soup each time I go. Salads options are amazing, especially if you are like me and you like tons of fruit, veggies, texture and crunch in your salads. My favorite sandwiches are: smoked salmon and pulled pork. Both packed with tons of flavor and awesome taste. Everything here is fresh and soups made daily, you can taste the quality of the ingredients in every bite. The owner Ralph is a doll and always happy and eager to help his clients. For more details on Bowl Café visit them online at . Your Foodie & Realtor, Jenny Vargas 281.948.2951

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Artisans in Midtown

Located in the Mix @ Midtown (where 24 Hour is located) this French restaurant is so unique & fun! The restaurant revolves around the kitchen. For a front row seat, ask to sit at the "chef's table" so you catch a glimpse at how clean everything is & the occasional drama. For foodies & chef lovers this is a must! I read reviews so I can know what to expect & have a hint on what to order - majority were right.... Service needs some work although our waiter was attentive & explained a lot. I got the tasting menu b/c of the reviews & I am so happy that I got to try so much. The most popular thing I saw on the reviews was the Chilean Seabass Pistachio Crusted which was great but not my favorite. So, the tasting menu... The amuse bouche tasted almost like a ceviche in two beautiful bites. It was citrusy, juicy, crunchy & delicious. Second course was the foie gras - cooked to perfection atop two pieces of bread. I didn't eat the bread so not sure how it tasted but everything else was quite nice. The third course was Le Poisson du Pacifique aka Chilean Seabass Pistachio Crusted - mine perhaps was a bit overcooked but it was tasty. I love risotto and I was terrified by what I thought were lima beans & didn't want to try but I made myself and in fact they were fava beans. They were an expert pair - fava beans & risotto, omg I adored this. I couldn't stop eating until I decided to push my plate away since I knew I had 2 more courses coming. Fourth course - I am not much of a carnivore but the Black Pepper Crusted Beef Tenderloin blew my mind! Not only was I full & ate the entire thing, but it left my mouth watering for more! I made my friends try it even though they were full. They loved it. The fingerling potatoes were cooked perfectly. Potatoes are my favorite thing in the world & these are by far some of the best I have ever had! They were crunchy on the outside and soft in the middle and everything had amazing seasoning. No need for salt or pepper. Fifth & final course - I was stuffed & was not happy about chocolate for dessert since I am not much of a chocoholic. But, one bite & I was sold! The only way I like chocolate is if there is a crunch factor, this one had it! The bottom crunch layer was "Crunchy Feuilletine" according to google it means "crunch" so that would mean crunch crunch lol, I assume it was chocolate on chocolate but prepared differently for a delectable bottom crust. The fresh berry compote and frozen yogurt were great compliments & were a great finale to an amazingly delicious dinner. I can't wait to go back! Wow does the place make an impression! Visit for more info. Jenny Vargas Broker Associate, CNE, Relo Specialist 281.948.2951

Monday, March 26, 2012

Why You Should Use a Realtor

All realtors® are not the same. While realtors® are committed to treat all parties to a transaction honestly, they have a fiduciary responsibility to the party they represent, i.e. buyer or seller. Realtors® subscribe to a strict code of ethics and are expected to maintain a higher level of knowledge of the process of buying and selling real estate. An independent survey reports that 84% of home buyers would use the same Realtor® again.

Real estate transactions involve one of the biggest financial investments most people experience in their lifetime. Transactions today usually exceed $100,000. If you had a $100,000 income tax problem, would you attempt to deal with it without the help of a CPA? If you had a $100,000 legal question, would you deal with it without the help of an attorney? Considering the small upside cost and the large downside risk, it would be foolish to consider a deal in real estate without the professional assistance of a realtor®.

But if you're still not convinced of the value of a Realtor®, here are more reasons to use one:

1. Your Realtor® can help you determine your buying power.

2. Your Realtor® has many resources to assist you in the selection process by providing objective information about each property (local community information on utilities, zoning, schools, etc.).

3. Your Realtor® is skilled in negotiating. There are myriad negotiating factors, including but not limited to price, financing, terms, date of possession and often the inclusion or exclusion of repairs and furnishings or equipment.

4. Your Realtor® provides due diligence during the evaluation of the property. Depending on the area and property, this could include inspections for termites, dry rot, asbestos, faulty structure, roof condition, flooding, septic tank and well tests, just to name a few. Your REALTOR® can assist you in finding qualified responsible professionals to do most of these investigations and provide you with written reports.


Your Realtor,

Jenny Vargas
Broker Associate, CNE