Posted by Porcshe N. Moran
I was in a Lone Star state of mind last Thursday when I boarded a plane bound for Houston, TX. The reason for my trip was a reunion for my paternal grandmother's side of the family. I have always loved Texas (particularly Austin), so I was looking forward to spending five days there. It had been more than 10 years since I last traveled to Houston, and in many ways it felt like my first time there. I arrived at William P. Hobby airport at about 3 p.m., and my cousin picked me up. We had dinner at Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen with another cousin, his wife and their adorable 20-month-old daughter. I'd been to Pappadeaux before in Chicago and Austin, but I think the Houston location might have them both beat. My meal of blackened Mississippi catfish topped with lumped crab meat and lemon garlic butter, and served with creamy cheesy grits, andouille sausage and green beans was outstanding! We also shared the Appetizer Trio that came with mini shrimp and crawfish fondeaux, fried alligator and hot smoked salmon. For dessert, I had the key lime pie.
The next day, I attended a welcome party for the family reunion with my grandmother, aunt and cousins. After the get-together, we decided to go out to dinner at Lafayette Cajun Seafood Restaurant. My family is from Louisiana, and we are used to home cooked Creole/Cajun meals. All of our expectations were met at this restaurant. I ordered the fried seafood platter which consisted of catfish, stuffed shrimp, oysters, shrimp and French fries. Our dinner was so good that we went back to the restaurant for dinner on Sunday night. This time, we shared the fried seafood appetizer platter of crab fingers, oysters, calamari and alligator. I ordered the Snapper Pontchartrain topped with shrimp and crab meat in a brown butter sauce and served with corn. I would highly recommend this restaurant to anyone in the Pearland area of Houston.
My third day in Houston started with breakfast at Best Donuts. It's a small, family-run operation located in a strip mall. I had glazed donuts, which are my favorite, and a ham and cheese croissant. Both were quite good. After breakfast, we did a bit of sightseeing around downtown Houston. I was able to get some photos of the skyline and other landmarks as we made our way down the city's futuristic- looking expressways. In the afternoon, we went to our family barbecue at a park. Pappas BBQ catered lunch for the 300-person affair. There was beef brisket, link sausage, chicken, barbecue beans and potato salad.
On Sunday, we had brunch at Mimi's Cafe in Pearland. I couldn't decide between the eggs Florentine Benedict and the cinnamon brioche French toast, so I got both! It was a lot of food, but well worth the time it took to clean my plate. Later in the day, we took the hour drive to Galveston Island. I found a boat tour that takes you out into the Gulf of Mexico to see dolphins in their natural habitat. None of my cousins who live in Houston had ever heard of it. They had no idea that there were dolphins in Texas! We got to Galveston just in time to get tickets for the last tour of the day. The boat ride was nice, and we were able to spot several dolphins and other attractions on the water such as the Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig & Museum, the Texas Seaport Museum and Seawolf Park. As we were leaving the island to head back to Houston, we drove along Seawall Blvd and saw Stewart Beach.
My vacation in Houston was filled with hot weather, family, food and fun. The largest city in Texas has a lot to offer, and I look forward to going back again someday to explore it all!
Hello! I am Porcshe N. Moran. My nearly two decades of professional experience covers print and digital journalism as well as strategic communications, content marketing and copywriting.