Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Taste of Houston AFJ Day One

After talk of Texas, Tang and taxation of resources, we needed to eat. So the AFJ attendees sampled food from eight of Houston's best restaurants -- Indika, Reef, Hugo's, Cafe Annie, T'afia and Beavers, Brennan's and The Grove. The best sports of the evening were Judy Walker and Dale Curry of New Orleans, who were very gracious about the blogger's knocking over a flower vase and soaking our table with water. Even more gracious was Addie Broyles of Austin, whose tote bag ended up covered in wine thanks to the chain reaction from the vase. Who could be in a bad mood after such food? The quail and little stuffed doohickeys (this a technical foodie term based on a recent paradigm shift and focus group research) from Indika were dazzling, as was smoked quail on a corn base from the Grove, Brennan's arrayed some tasty Texas cheese with honeycomb mayhew jelly and tasso ham. Robert Del Grande from Cafe Annie offered scallop with polenta and something green and fabulous (recipes will be posted so please excuse the blogger's imprecision). The fried brownie with peanut butter and such was glorious as was the flourless chocolate flan with chipotle, ice cream with a dulce de leche style cream and more chipotle in the syrup. It was an incendiary set of flavors that played well together. Hugo's was the perpetrator. Call them guilty of goodness.

Texas wines from Inwood Estates Vineyards in Dallas and McPherson Cellars were poured. The McPherson Viognier was a stunner, the psychotic teenager of a grape without the nose ring and the scary friends. The McPherson Sangiovese was intriguing but could stand a bit more bottle age to this mind. The Inwood Chardonnay-Palomino blend was light on oak and had some melon and honey notes, but at $79.50 a bottle, the QPR is not too good. The tasting notes will be posted on the AFJ website and I will blog about the wines on my own blog.

Anyway, there's more to come. Please feel free to correct or add comments.

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