Hello, Houston! I'm hungry, how about you? :-D
It's been over 3 years since I last wrote a post in a series I called "Dining Out With Mad". In August I shared an entertaining story about a dining experience at a fancy Hollywood establishment, in 2002, that didn't last all that long after my visit during its opening weeks. :-D
So, Houston, it's your turn, now...Think you're up to having me chow down in your fine dining venues? :-D
I hadn’t planned on writing a review of anything experienced in Houston, for a while, much less spend so much money on a meal so soon, but my friend BJ told me, Sunday, about a Bosnian Café she recommended, and urged me to “have a Potato Burek for me!”.
Bosnia, being part of the former Yugoslavia, just as the homeland of my Father, Macedonia had been, how could I resist? And the place is within walking distance of where I live! :-D
Memories of the legendary Greek restaurant, Yanni’s, that my parents loved in the Claremont, Ca. of the 50’s (When they were courting) & 60’s (when I was a child), and was still run by the old man’s son when I last ate there over a decade ago, came back, as did the taste and smell of my Mom’s Stuffed Peppers.
Café Pita+ is located on Westheimer, at Walnut Bend, in the Westchase District of Houston.
It specializes in Bosnian Cuisine, tasty dishes that would be familiar to anyone with roots in the Balkans.
8 appetizers, all under $8.
7 Soups and Salads, all under $7.
7 Entrees, all under $12.
6 Sandwiches, all under $8.
4 House Specials, all under $20.
5 Pizzas, all under $10.
4 Desserts, all under $4, and a variety of fountain drinks, bottled sodas, and drinks, and coffees, all $3 or less.
Having subsisted on cereal and apples for breakfast, turkey and ham sandwiches with lettuce and tomatoes alongside canned veggies, for dinner, and the occasional fast food (including a couple places I’ve never heard of before.), for a month, I decided now was a good time to splurge, in honor of my parents, as thanks to my friend for the suggestion, and in recognition of the new beginnings I am attempting to make in Houston.
Since the middle of august I’ve lost 15 lbs. so I think God, and my Sainted Ma, would forgive my eyes being bigger than my stomach for one day. :-D
So, on Monday, I sallied forth!
The place is located across the street from the Target and Randall’s, in a small, unassuming, little shopping center. I was welcome at the door and chose a table in a back corner, next to some framed photos of the “Old Country”, and a handful of old Yugoslavian bills and coins..
Seeing the money made me smile with fond memories of a handful of 40’s era bills and coins that belonged to my Father and that Mom gave me, and which regretfully I eventually got rid of them in my 30’s.
After chatting with my waiter I showed a coupon that allowed me to get a free entrée with the purchase of another & proceeded to place my order, assuring the young man that I hadn’t eaten all day & was looking forward to chowing down on several items. :-D
I ordered, left to right in the photo…
Bosnian Grah: A tasty traditional Bosnian brown bean soup with beef sausage that, with the bread that came with it, was a warm and filling start to my meal.
Potato Burek (Pita): A large puff pastry stuffed with potato that, if you are not careful, can break apart on you, not that that’s a bad thing, because you just might break it up in manageable pieces on your own. :-D
Stuffed Peppers: Green peppers stuffed to the brim with ground beef and rice, swimming in their own wonderful juices, in a large bowl.
Bosnian Goulash: Beef tenderloin with mushrooms, stewed and sharing a large plate with basmati rice and sated veggies.
All washed down with several glasses of Dr. Pepper (Thank God for free refills!).
Total cost: $24.25 + $3.75 gratuity = $28.
The bread and bean soup came first and when the rest was brought to my table my eyes opened wide and I laughed, saying, “Oh, man, that’s a lot!” :-D
I settled down to spend a leisurely time reading a magazine, and eating my meal. To say that everything was absolutely delicious barely does it all justice.
I can’t decide which I enjoyed more but, if pressed, I’ll choose the Stuffed Peppers by a nose, because I have not eaten them , I think, since before my Mom died 22 years ago, and this reminded me of hers.
The restaurant has plenty of seating, and the atmosphere is enhanced by the Bosnian music playing in the background, as you eat.
You want sophisticated analysis of each meal that only a food critic can give, I ain’t it but, when you walk in the door, plastered on 3 walls are reviews, and plaques, going back 7 yrs., when its immigrant owners opened the place, from just about everyone from local Food Bloggers, local weeklies such as the Houston Press, daily papers like the Houston Chronicle, the Food Network/Guy Fieri's Diners, Drive-ins and Dives (Triple D), to even the mighty, prestigious, Zagat.
Do a Google, and you will find them, as well as reviews on Yelp, from ordinary folks like me.
The website for Café Pita+ is here ( They take online reservations, and have a separate catering menu ), go, and let the smells, and tastes “invade” your senses. :-D
Oh, and yes, Mom was right, my eyes WERE bigger than my stomach, though just barely. :-D
I ended up taking a portion of the Burek home, the only thing left to eat when I walked the couple miles home.
When I weighed myself, the next morning, I weighed exactly the same as I did at the start of Monday. :-D
Thank you, Mom, for being so understanding, and forgiving. :-D