Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Salubong Experience

I would never imagine such beautiful and meaningful Easter celebration in Houston. This is a unique service called "Salubong" on Easter Sunday at Notre Dame Catholic Church.
Powerful presentation by the Filipino Catholic Community
Salubong means "meeting" in Tagalog. It was a traditional Filipino devotion to reenact the Risen Christ's meeting with His mother. This was my first time attending an early morning service. I arrived a little after at 4 am as the parking lots were already full. I was directed by the attendant to a parking spot.

I saw candle holding parishioners, mostly women, queued up behind a Virgin Mary's statue surrounded by priests and alter staff. They sang like chants. There was another group in the rear parking lot holding a Jesus statue in the same formation, except they were all men. A small stage setup in front of the church for the angels (dressed up by the church youngsters). I arrived after the ceremony already started. I could only trail behind the women's group and never really witnessed the men's group until everyone joined in front of the church.

The reenactment was very well presented by the Filipino community. Those 2 "angels" on the stage, one was singing and the other one removed a black veil from Mary, signified as burden removed. Watch my short video posted on YouTube. https://youtu.be/aI-dZ34R7iY

Beautifully arranged Easter floral at the alter.
A bilingual church service followed the presentation. Most of hymes were in Tagalog. I couldn't understand the lyrics but the melody was very soothing and fit perfectly for the occasion. I wonder if this was the only Salubong offered in Houston. I have to appraise this Easter presentation was quite of performance.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Merged Wrong with Partnership Park

Gail, my Yelper friend, alerted me about a page was merged with wrong biz. There are few reviews don't belong to Red Bluff Pet Resort but it should be at Partnership Park. I can't tell how this happened. I tried to contact Pet Resort biz page owner, but no reply.

The following reviews should be moved to Partnership Park:
Maria W on 11/14/2014
Wanda G on 10/9/2014 with her previous review 7/22/2014
Tina L on 8/11/2014

There are handful of Park photos ended up in the Pet Resort page.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Pinoy Street Food Event

My Facebook friend tagged me on Pinoy Street Food in Houston Presented by Filipino Cuisine got me interested to try some Filipino food this weekend. .

Line wrapped around the dining area to behind the buffet line.
I am familiar with this Filipino Cuisine in Alief neighborhood as when it held a grand opening a month ago. My Yelper friend Brian validated it by posting a tip. So, this is a legit Filipino restaurant came with some well-known background and history.

Live music during the event.
Since the event didn't start until 5 pm, I purposely planned my grocery shopping to be in the afternoon. I thought to check up on Brian via message on Yelp. He alerted me with long wait. I also read the posts on Facebook. People were complaining about no parking, long line and left unhappy.
I arrived about 8 pm. Yeah, the line was wrapped on 2 interior walls and outside of restaurant. It didn't deter me from waiting. I was more curious than looking to fill my crave.

I have to say the live music killed the boredom and frustration. One staff member was trying to ease the line by shouting "kwek kwek" and raised his tong to get responses from people in line. Kwek kwek is a street food made with batter-fried quail eggs. I didn't respond because I didn't want to eat cold fried food. The line was hardly moving because another staff member was taking BBQ skewer orders at the end of line, prior to cashier line. Yeah, it was line after a line, besides the line for parking spot.
A lady was taking order for BBQ skewers.

Some people called it "unorganized event" on Facebook. I'd rather say there is more room for improvement. This is a great idea to bring people to one location at one time for one common interest. I hope Filipino Cuisine doesn't stop. I want to try more Pinoy Street Food in the future.

Items offered at the event
By the time I get to my car, it was 9:45 pm. The event ended at 10 pm. There were 2 trays of hot dog sticks and a half tray of lobster ball sticks in the line. I believe they lowered the price for hot dog stick from $2 each.

I'm not Filipino, but I support cultural events in my community. The only way to learn the menu items was Google it while waiting in line. Since a lot of items ran out, I confirmed with a staff that I could order them during normal business hours. So, I'm coming back without waiting.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Desserts at Dun Huang Plaza

As part of the Chinatown Crawl UYE, I want everyone to have a list of dessert vendors while we crawl through Dun Huang Plaza.
Thanks to Dun Huang Plaza website for this aerial map.

Building A
Suite 101 Cafe 101
Suite 108 Gelato Cup
Suite 109 Juice Box
Suite 112 Nu Cafe
Suite 113 Star Snow Ice
Suite 107 King Bakery

Building B
None (Supermarket)

Building C
Suite 317 Frozen Cafe
Suite 318 Gong Cha

Building D
Suite 228 Boba Lounge
Suite 222 Kung Fu Tea
Suite 220 Class 502
Suite 246 Six Ping
Suite 227 Wsup Cafe

Building E
Suite 207 Royalty Tea (got a new name 2017)
Suite 207 Miss Dessert
Suite 211 Tea Bar & Organics
Suite 213 Sharetea
Suite 217 patisserie Jungle Cafe
Suite 219 Kamalan Bakery

Let me know if you find incorrect information.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Breakfast at Lai Lai

Lai Lai Dumpling House is one of my favorite restaurant from the northern cuisine choice. Since the new owner took over in 2016, I have been more interested to try their new specialties. For one, I have to try all of the items on the Breakfast Menu. I don't think any wait staff is able to explain what they are in English. So, here. Let me help them to help you pick one to try.
All in Chinese. Read below before ordering.
Here is the translation.

煎餅果子 $3.50 savory crepe
 $0.60 Fried egg
油條 $1.50 Chinese Donut
茶蛋 $0.60 Tea egg
豆腐腦 $1.99 Northern style tofu soup
豆漿 $1.50 Sweeten Soy Milk, hot
大米粥 $1.50 Millet Porridge 
油炸糕 $1.25 Fried rice cake with red bean 
鍋巴菜 $3.50 Pancrust soup
大蔥油餅 $3.50 Chives pancake
雞湯餛飩 $3.50 Wonton in chicken broth
牛肉夾餅 $2.50 Beef slice sandwich
鹹菜 $1.50 Appetizer Side dish
甜沫 $1.99 Special porridge
煎餅果子 Savory crepe originated in 天津 Tianjin. Pronounces as "Jian Bin Guo Zi"
油條 Chinese donut is very popular breakfast item in Northern China. Pronounces as "You Tiao"
豆腐腦 Tofu soup is a Northern special, unlike sweeten type in Southern China. Pronounces as "Do Fu Nao"
大米粥 Porridge is a common item for breakfast 
鍋巴菜 Pancrust soup is also popular in 天津 Tianjin. Pronounces as "Guo Ba Cai"
雞湯餛飩 Wonton in chicken broth is my favorite. Pronounces as "Ji Tang Hun Tun"
鹹菜 Appetizer in different variety. You have to go to the cooler to pick one. Pronounces as "Xian Cai"

Skipping the common items: 煎蛋 Fried egg, 茶蛋 Tea egg and 豆漿 Soy Milk.
油炸糕 Fried rice cake is a popular in the north. Pronounces as "You Za Gao"
大蔥油餅 Chives pancake is popular 
牛肉夾餅 Beef slice sandwich, as known as 肉夹馍 in some areas. Sound: Niúròu jiā bǐng
甜沫 Special porridge originated in 济南 Jinan Shandong. It's not sweet as it appeared in first character. Sound: Tián mò

According to the business manager Jason 朱, the reason for no English translation was because the restaurant owner didn't believe anyone else would ask for it. 

Monday, May 2, 2016

Yelp List on App

I discovered this feature on my Android phone by accident. Since the role out of beta version 8.7.0, I posted a photo on the Yelp Android Beta Tester Community on March 28.

It's pretty neat to see it on an Android app. Let's compare them:

  1. Go to the Talk with lots of links.
  2. Click on one of the links and watch it on your phone.

Android on the left; iPhone on the right.