As Black History Month has now come and gone, I find myself longing for the celebration of all things black! Clearly I can, do and will celebrate the beauty in my blackness every day. But must admit that there’s something about watching HBO’s Insecure while savoring the sour/sweet mix of pickles and peppermints that just feels better in February! Due to March Madness, St. Patrick’s Day and Easter flooding my senses, I decided to do myself a solid and visit Houston’s Blue Nile.
Blue Nile’s Authentic Ethiopian Cuisine was just the trip to the motherland that my soul needed. I would describe my first visit to Blue Nile as an immersion of culture… my culture.
Having no clue as to what to expect during my visit, the first thing that caught me off guard was that traditional Ethiopian food is eaten with your hands! I quickly realized this cultural shift when I went to unroll my napkin, on the hunt for silverware. When I asked my Aunty where the silverware was she pointed to my hands. I’m real enough to that I don’t really get down with eating with my hands. I am also real enough to blame America for this. But I was excited for this new experience…hell I’ve seasoned enough chickens to not really trip on that too hard.
Ethiopian food is spice heavy. It’s more of a savory spice that radiates through your senses. Very different from Louisiana Hot Sauce. For some reason I just thought that the food would be flavorful but mild. I was definitely wrong about that. Lingering notes of cardamom and cinnamon from the Masala Curry danced on my tongue throughout my meal.
Now let’s talk about InJera, the traditional Ethiopian sourdough-risen flatbread. It’s slightly spongy texture was quite unique. I especially enjoyed learning about the traditionally use of teff flour. As a food blogger I am well versed in vast varieties of cultural breads (I.e. Naan, French bread and Southern Corn Bread) but never have I had something as dope as this! Injera was one of the coolest things I’ve ever eaten. It was moist and pliable, making the perfect bowl for the samplings of our chicken and beef meat trio.
All the dishes at Blue Nile and hearty and leave you totally satisfied. Our trio came with a citrus spiced tomato and onion salad, my favorite greens and a samosa filled with an assortment of delicious ground meats. My journey to Ethiopia was nothing less than spectacular, and would do it again in a heartbeat. I highly recommend that you stretch outside yourself and explore the diverse food scene that Houston has to offer. Start with Blue Nile!
Being a native Houstonian I am all to aware of how Houston trends come late and die hard! So when I heard that a new restaurant named “Kulture” had popped up on the downtown scene my spirit grew weary. Would this new trendy “southern” komfort kitchen be a hashtag today and a memory tomorrow? After an in depth tasting of some “fiya” menu items, I’m going to go with “nah son.” Kulture is here to stay.
First, let me start by saying that when I found out restaurateur Marcus Davis of The Breakfast Klub (a very popular breakfast/brunch destination known for its long lines, crispy waffles and fried fish) was behind this restaurant, “I know’d there was a God”. Furthermore, the fact that the cuisine at Kulture is prepared by the loving hands that batter dem’ wings and cuts of catfish over at The Breakfast Blub made the hair on the back of my back stand up! I knew my experience at Kulture was about to be THE bomb!
Side note of truth: Though I have not visited TBK (save your side eye, it’s my mom’s fault), I have attended events catered by TBK. As the dedicated food blogger that am, I have made note to stand my a** in that line, but it won’t be during the summer months. Mainly because I prefer to season my food with salt and pepper, not forehead and upper lip sweat.
Walking up to the front door of Kulture is where the immersion of experience begins. The open concept bar adorned with that beautiful neon “KULTURE” sign caught my eye off the rip. As a woman of color, Kulture made me feel at home, like I belonged, like this spot was made just for me. Guests will fall in love with the upscale appeal, the soulful r&b boogie coming through the speakers and the welcoming presence of the waitstaff.
Of course I arrived at the restaurant the exact same time as Owner Marcus Davis. He is the most personable restaurant owner I’ve ever met. Marcus has this “kool ass Uncle Willie” vibe. You know that uncle who will whoop yo’ tale in spades, while dropping jewels of wisdom that inevitably enhance your game. That’s how I feel about Marcus! He da best!
Kulture’s yum factor deserves more m’s. Its cuisine and ambiance took yum to a whole new level! Every single course was hands down ridiculous. We started with the Mahogany 75’ a.k.a my new favorite sip in Houston. Not only was it solid and strong, the brown sugar simple syrup will have you reaching over the counter to slap the bartender. How dare you serve me something that good?! I was truly amazed and a little tipsy!
My tantalizing tasting journey started with the Black-Eyed Pea Hummus. A great vegan and gluten free starter, perfect for sharing (or not!). The show stopper was Chef Burrell’s Calas & Collards Dip. It was not only rich in flavor but also in Kulture (you see how I did that?). No, but seriously it was savory mix of creamy collards and cheese paired with four delicious bite sized fried “calas” nuggets. This dish tops my list of items you MUST TRY when you visit. Simply scrumptious!
Our final course is where Chef Burrell really showed out! There was a true blessing in the benediction here ya’ll! A whole fried branzino fish came from the kitchen and I devoured the boney bad boy it like a champ. My table mates and I may or may not have caught a taste of the holy ghost while eating this tender, crispy and perfectly fried dish.
No doubt that I’d submerse myself in This kind of KULTURE again.
Favorite Yum Bite: Calas & Collards
Location: Kulture Houston – 01 Avenida De Las Americas A, Houston, TX 77010
Hours: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Wednesday and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Thursdays & Fridays
Happy Hour: Monday through Friday from 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Hey there Yum Crumb! Uuumm yeah…..don’t take that too personal boo, it will be my term of endearment for you while we share this space together if that’s kool. Hope you are having a good day! Hope it gets a little bit better while you explore ! Crumb kisses!