Category Archives: My Local Recommendations

Shopping, Eating and Playing in Southern Brazoria County.

Sweet…

Whenever I hear the word sweet I almost immediately think of something moist and rich and chocolatey.   The word sweet also conjures up visions of old-fashioned soda fountains, my favorite gelato shoppe or the local bakery cases filled with buttercream iced cupcakes, fluffy lemon meringue pies and  flakey coconut cakes.

There are other things that are sweet...rosey cheeked children when they are sleeping, adorable puppies and cute baby ducks.  There are flowers that have a sweet fragrance; jasmine, gardenia and roses. There are sweet friends and sweet shoes and really sweet cars…

Sometimes, the sweetest thing is something totally unexpected.  Something done for you by a complete stranger for no other reason than to create a special moment just for you.  There is no repayment required or expected…except for a smile and a nod of recognition for that which was done…

And so we were treated to just such a sweet unexpected surprise on Friday evening when a gathering of friends met for dinner at a Thai restaurant off the beaten path, Merlion…We were treated to the freshest ingredients available, the sweetest server within 50miles and the attention to detail that makes people feel special.  Image

Our table was dressed in the finest the season had to offer…there were fresh-cut hydrangea, sunflowers and wonderfully fragrant rose petals sprinkled down the center of the table.  As we were admiring the floral arrangement we noticed that our table was the only one that had received the special attention.  As the evening progressed we discovered that our sweet server was the co-owner and she had heard that we were celebrating a girls night out and had taken the time to dress our table…

By no means does the food take a back seat to the decor…on the contrary, this is the best Thai food this side of Thailand.  The ingredients are fresh and seasonal…the seafood is purchased from the local fisherman and the noodles are made daily. The dishes were a sexy combination of sweet and spicy…Merlion has most definitely made it on to my list of date night restaurants.

photo (80)

Leave a comment

Filed under 2013 Photo Journal, All Things Foodie, My Local Recommendations, Snapshots of Life

Ooh La La…Savory and Sweet!

A locally owned creperie…in a town known for it’s BBQ and it’s Bakery…is a welcome surprise!

I have found a new eatery…a local fast casual eatery…the owner, Amber Stouffer is also the Chef!  A definite plus in my foodie book.

Ooh la la appeals to a variety of people; Moms with Toddlers in tow, Business Men and
Women, Young Couples, Singles and College Students.  The cafe is filled with a hum of conversations, scattered laughter and delicious aromas. 

This local eatery offers a relaxed cafe atmosphere with counter service and the crepes are made to order in full view of the customers.  Also a bonus in my foodie book…

The  menu offerings range from the expected crepes; savory and sweet, croissants, sorbet, creme glacee, gelato and a variety of  hot and cold coffee drinks. 

As I entered I was greeted by the chef making crepes…the gal at the counter was quick to offer assistance…and it wasn’t long before my crepe of prosciutto and mozzarella with tomato, olive oil and herb de provence was sitting on the table in front of me.

The music on tap is classic rock…It’s tuned to just the right volume so you can enjoy your  conversation with a friend or even read a book if you are dining alone.

On my most recent visit I ordered, Aigre-Douce, a sweet confectionary crepe concoction of lemon, butter and sugar. Ooh la la…perfection!

 

My visits have been on Friday…I usually eat lunch around 1pm…even at what would be considered past the lunch rush…there were a steady stream of customers. The tables are cleared  quickly and efficiently so as to turn the small number of tables.

On my visits I have enjoyed the savory crepes; Boeuf Douce and Celeste …but I have to admit I am a much bigger fan of the sweeter side.

Support your community…Eat Local!

Ooh La La Crepes is located in Alvin, Texas. Check out Ooh La La Crepes on Facebook. 

  • Crêpes! (savoryhackers.wordpress.com)

7 Comments

Filed under All Things Foodie, My Local Recommendations

Small Business Saturday…saving America one brick at a time…

Re-post from January 26, 2011
Invest in America, support the local brick and mortar businesses that our country was built on.  Investing in the  independently owned businesses in our neighborhoods helps our local economy.  These businesses employ our neighbors and strengthen our community.

The Local

I have a passion for locally owned businesses.  Not because I am a small business owner but because I appreciate the time and energy and the financial commitment local business owners bring to the game.  Small business owners are dreamers and risk takers.  They are passionate about what they do!

I have been a supporter of locally owned businesses for years.  I will always choose to shop, eat or use a service company that is locally owned over a big chain business.  Always!

The Patio @ The Local

I have posted about my favorite neighborhood businesses as well as local businesses I have discovered on weekend getaways.  My husband and I always gravitate to “the local” whenever and wherever we travel.  We had a couple of weekend getaways last summer; Galveston and New Orleans where we supported many locally owned businesses.  We supported the local restaurants, coffee shops, bakeries, antique stores, and a couple of art galleries.  We met wonderful people who love what they do and we were treated like old friends.

Star Drug Store

A few of my local favs that I frequent at least once a month are; The Local Restaurant, Browse Aroun’ Antiques and  the Something Unique Gift Shop.  My #1 favorite local lunch spot, The Pear Tree Tea Room, closed it’s doors just before Christmas.  They had a great location, loyal following and delicious food.  I know things are difficult at best in this economy so the local businesses need all the support you can give them.

Acme Oyster House

Recently I began to follow the blog over at The Red Door Antiques.  While surfing through the blog site I noticed a button; the 3/50 Project, saving the brick and mortars our nation is built on.  My interest was piqued.  I clicked on the button and was directed to a website filled with some very interesting information.  I would like to share some of what I read;

3    What three independently owned businesses would you miss if they disappeared?

50   If half the employed population spent $50 each month in locally owned independent businesses, it would generate over $42 billion dollars in revenue.

The folks at the project say that  for every $100 spent in an independent locally owned business $68 returns to the community in payroll, taxes and other expenditures.  If that $100 is spent in a national chain $43 comes back to the community.  Shop on-line and $0 comes back to the community.  Check out the movement to save our bricks and mortar companies, they are what built this country.

Mosquito Cafe

What’s your favorite local independently owned business?  Have you supported them this month?  How would life in your community be different if you lost one of these businesses?

Make Time to Support your Independent Locally Owned Businesses

11 Comments

Filed under Made in America, My Local Recommendations, postaweek2011

Victorian Country Charm…Texas Style

The hubs and I took a little road trip this past weekend.  He managed to find us a Bed & Breakfast with  Victorian county charm…Texas style.

I have wanted to stay at a B&B for sometime, but the opportunity never really presented itself.  This past weekend the chain hotels were either booked or asking $199 per night.  The hubs found this out-of-the-way B&B for $116 per night.  It included great company, an evening dessert and a wonderful homemade breakfast.

Check out where we stayed…

Victoria Country Charm...Texas Style

We were greeted by the home owner Patty and her companion Scooter…

Victorian Country Charm...Texas Style

We were welcomed into a Victorian wonderland and quickly introduced to the other man of the house, Patty’s husband Bobby.

Victorian Country Charm...Texas Style

Patty is a retired teacher and Bobby is a retired football coach.  They are the most delightful couple.

Victorian Country Charm...Texas Style

This beautiful B&B sits on 20 acres in the east Texas town of Edgewood.  Edgewood is just north of the town of Canton, Texas.  Canton is home to one of the largest Market Days in Texas.  Canton Market Days is held the weekend before the first Monday of every month.  There are hundreds of vendors that carry everything from vintage americana to homemade arts and crafts.  If you ever find yourself in East Texas and in need of a place to lay your head…I recommend the Victorian country charm…with Texas style of Willow Pond Bed & Breakfast.

12 Comments

Filed under Life in Texas, My Local Recommendations, postaweek2011, Travel, Weekend Getaways and Vacation Spots

main street coffee shop…warm and friendly

 Life is full of unexpected discoveries!  All that is required is a sense of adventure and a willingness to go against the grain.  Some of my favorite places have been discovered while traveling off the beaten path. 

This little gem was discovered on a crisp Saturday morning while my husband and I were out searching for americana junk.  I asked one of the locals where we could grab a cup of coffee.  She didn’t hesitate for a moment, “Main Street”. 

It turned out to be the local hot spot.  The manager was sitting at the counter with a couple of regulars working on the crossword puzzle that was in the morning’s paper.  The locals drifted in ordering their usual without even looking at the menu board.  The comfy couch and chairs began to fill up. 

  There was a very warm friendly feeling about the place.  If I were going to own a coffee shop I would want it to feel very much like the Main Street Coffee Bar.

This was one of those unexpected discoveries off the beaten path.

Do you have a favorite place off the beaten path?  Share it!

 

 

3 Comments

Filed under All Things Foodie, Life in Texas, My Local Recommendations, postaweek2011

Wordless Wednesday (03.23.11)

In the comment section leave the link to your Wordless Wednesday Post!

2 Comments

Filed under All Things Foodie, Life in Texas, My Local Recommendations, postaweek2011

Country Living at its Best…

There is a great little place out in the country, just down the road and over the tracks. 

 You will be able to pick up an assortment of fresh veggies and seasonal fruits. 

During early spring you can even head out into the strawberry fields. 

You will be able to pick your own berries until your heart is content. 

After a morning of picking strawberries under the big Blue Texas Sky you will have worked up an appetite.    

You can stop into the smokehouse and pick up a quick bite to eat.

 Then you will want to cop a squat under the big live oak and enjoy your paper wrapped BBQ sandwich and cold drink. 

 All in all a day at Frobergs Vegetable and Fruit Farm is a day well spent. 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

4 Comments

Filed under gardening and other green things, My Local Recommendations, postaweek2011

The Local…every small town has one

I live in the County as the locals refer to it.  The county is outside of the city limits.  Sometimes just across the city line or way out where city services are not offered to the homeowners.   The town I live in doesn’t have much to boast about except maybe just that, its lack of activity.  It’s quiet here, there are lots of trees and open spaces, thousands of birds and more than enough wildlife to make taking the dogs out at night an adventure. 

The closest real town is approximately 13 miles away.  Well, the closest grocery store is 13 miles away.  There are plenty of places to eat in this little town.  More than half would be considered a Mom and Pop place and the other half are the bravest of the chain restaurants. 

However a little further down the interstate is a bigger town. To be fair it is considered a City.  Although it be a city with a small “c”.  This is the place I have been gravitating towards on my days off.  There is a mall and a few big box stores that every girl needs access to.  But I choose to head this direction on my day off for the local shopping and eateries that it has to offer. 

The pace is much slower than what I am used to and I am relishing in it.  The traffic is less hectic, Lunch seems to last a little bit longer and the people are just darn right friendlier.

My favorite lunch spot is the “LOCAL“.  It’s a great little place that gives you a warm familiar feeling the minute you walk through the gate and into the courtyard.  The inviting experience continues as you open the door and are greeted by a colorful chalkboard menu, a display case and the smell of deliciousness coming from the kitchen.  You place your order at the counter, help yourself to the silverware and drinks and find a seat.  Just like home, except you don’t have to do the cooking.  The place fills up fast with locals; business men and women having lunch meetings, ladies lunch groups, friends and couples.  All enjoying a leisurely lunch with wonderful food and great conversation.  Well that’s what you should be doing if your eating at the Local. 

The Local also has a nicely stocked bakery case as well as gift items for your kitchen or a unique gift for your bff.  The prices are moderate.  The food is good.  The service is friendly.  The atmosphere is casual and cozy.  The Local is the place where if you were to find yourself in this little town looking for a bite to eat you would hope that this would be the recommendation.  Really!  It’s the Local!  Every town has one or at least they should!

1 Comment

Filed under My Local Recommendations

it’s in the trunk…

 

A TRUNK SHOW!!! Instant gratification!  No waiting!  No shipping charges!  So much better than a catalog party.

Today, I hosted a brunch and trunk show.  My girlfriend has a little company called Embellish Me Boutique. 

Embellish Me Boutique is a great source for women’s fashionable accessories & apparel. From edgy tops to jewelry to accompany casual and evening wear, Embellish Me Boutique elevates women’s character and style.  I am a fan!

  

Big! Bold! Stretchy Bands, No sizing necessary!!

 Bangles! Cuffs!  Shiny! Sparkly!  Oh, so Girly!! 

 

Chunky statement necklaces spice up your fall wardrobe!

Colorful & Fun Bags will make your fall wardrobe pop!

It was a great day, lots of laughs..this party…it’s in the trunk…

6 Comments

Filed under My Local Recommendations

friday night at the county fair…

The Brazoria County Fair has become a tradition and this year marks its 72nd year.  The Fair runs for 9 days and kicks off with a parade and wraps up with the BBQ cook off.  The days in between are filled with rodeo events, livestock shows, art exhibits as well as the crowning of the Fair Queen.  There are vendor exhibits with everything from homemade jams and jellies to incredible jewelry.  There is a Carnival Midway filled with food, games and rides. 

There are hats to be had…

There are funnel cakes to be eaten…

There are rides to be riden…

The Fair is not only a community event it is a family affair.  There is something for everyone from the youngest cowgirl to the oldest cowboy.  The pace is as fast or as slow as you like…it’s all up to you on friday night at the county fair…

3 Comments

Filed under Life in Texas, My Local Recommendations