51Fifteen, Saks Fifth Avenue, Houston

51Fifteen, Saks Fifth Avenue, Houston

    Shopping and Cocktails at the Houston Galleria

     

    While celebrating my birthday month (why settle for just one day) my girlfriends took me on a day’s outing to the Houston Galleria. After a little shopping and a makeup tutorial at Nordstrom, we headed to the newly refurbished Saks Fifth Avenue.

     

    51Fifteen

    We began with a cocktail

     

    Before lunching at the main restaurant, we stopped at Bar 12 on the first floor. What a great idea to set up a bar in the middle of a department store. We noticed that the bar seemed very popular with the male shoppers.

     

    “Bar 12 serves as the perfect gathering space to enjoy a selection of coffee beverages and pastries in the morning, or to relax with a glass of champagne or handcrafted cocktail with bar bites in the afternoon or evening”

    Now I do love a good cocktail but am usually torn as my all-time favorite drink is champagne. So, the bartender suggested I try a French 75. This cocktail is made by mixing ice, gin, lemon juice, with a little simple syrup, and then topping with champagne. Oh, it was delicious but quite deadly strong!  We decided we needed a little snack to go with the cocktail and ordered a shrimp starter. Three huge and very ‘meaty’ shrimps served on a bed of veggie strips and in a spicy sauce were just perfect.

    51Fifteen

    51Fifteen

     

    Elegant Design

     

    Next, we headed to the main restaurant located on the second floor.

     

    “globally inspired, locally minded cuisine utilizing seasonal ingredients” Executive Chef Pedro Silva

    The décor is quite beautiful. Read a full description of how the designer created the elegant and sophisticated interior in this Absolutely Memorial editorial.

    51FifteenThe food

     

    Our first taste of the cuisine soon began as our server delivered a bowl of freshly baked pretzel rolls. The whipped butter only enhanced the slightly sweet coating on the bread. We could have easily indulged with bowl after bowl of these light and airy rolls but decided to save our appetite

    51Fifteen

     

    The lunch menu had quite a few options that sounded yummy so we decided to order a few dishes to share.

     

    We began with the Maryland crab cake. One large crab cake was served on a bed of lobster bisque and came with an additional bowl of bisque and a rather tangy mayonnaise. Not sure if it was the crab cake or the sauce but there was some definite heat going on with this dish.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    51FifteenNext we tried the seafood salad. Lumps of lobster, crab, and shrimp were spread over a salad of avocado, cucumber and lettuce. A light cilantro basil citrus vinaigrette finished off this dish.

    Our final appetizer was a grilled blackened chicken wrap served with spicy coated fries. The whole-wheat tortilla was packed full of chicken, avocado, tomato and combined in a creamy chipotle lime aioli.

    51Fifteen

    For dessert

     

    Dessert was a hard decision. Our server recommended the white chocolate bread pudding as she said it’s a great sharing dish. We almost went for the Godiva chocolate cake with butterscotch, raspberry and butter pecan ice cream (yum right!). But finally, we decided on the Pecan Pie. Not a boring choice at all as the warmed pie also comprised of dark Belgium chocolate and coconut flakes and was topped with vanilla ice cream.

     

    Now I guess you could call us ladies that lunch (just on this occasion) but I’m sure that even a ‘serious foodie’ would enjoy the dishes served up in this sophisticated restaurant.

     

    51FifteenThe Fact Sheet

    Address: 5175 Westheimer Road, Saks Fifth Avenue
    Phone: 713.963.8067

    Hours: 51fifteen Hours Monday – Thursday: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m, Friday – Saturday: 11 a.m. – 10 p.m, Sunday: 11 a.m. – 7 p.m, Happy Hour: 3 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. Brunch: Saturday: 11 a.m. – 3 p.m, Sunday: 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.

    Additional: Valet parking available, Private Events, Reservations taken.
    51fifteen Restaurant & Lounge Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
     

     

     

    About No Fixed Abode For Sue       Don't miss out on any posts, plus make sure you get all the FREE DOWNLOADS and offers by joining the No Fixed Abode For Sue VIP Members group. A monthly newsletter plus access to the MEMBERS ONLY section of the blog. It's simple, just enter your email in the box below. Easy to unsubscribe at any time.

    Free Printables & Members Page

      Federal American Grill, Houston

      Federal American Grill, Houston

        A last-minute lunch date gave me the opportunity to visit a neighborhood I don’t get to explore that often. Driving along Durham Drive in the Rice Military area I’m struck by just how many restaurants there are here.

        Federal American Grill

        First Impressions

         

        From the outside, the Federal American Grill doesn’t look that impressive. The restaurant is situated on a corner lot with a small parking area in the front. There is an outside patio area that I’m sure looks far better in the evening when the decorative lighting is switched on. The main building reminded me of a storage facility. But inside is another story.

         

        Wood paneling and exposed brick walls give a gentleman’s club kind of feel. The restaurant is deceptively large. The L shaped interior has a large bar to one side and a private dining room at the end of the larger dining space. White tablecloths and plenty of lighting offsets all the dark furnishings. Tables are spaced well and there are booths and banquette seating options. The walls are filled with an eclectic mix of photo frames depicting many previous diners.

         

        Federal American Grill

        “Dress up or dress down. A bourbon or a beer. With a bourbon or a beer, a ribeye or a burger you will begin to have a taste of the Federal experience”. Matt Brice, Founder.

        Federal American Grill

        The Food

         

        Once seated we began by ordering a bottle of Pinot Gris, although I’m told the Bloody Mary’s are quite excellent. My dining companion is a regular here so asked the waiter for a basket of their house made biscuits. Sadly, on this visit they were not available so Hawaiian rolls had to suffice.

         

        There is a lunch menu, served Monday-Friday from 11am-4pm. From this menu David ordered the croque monsieur (USD 14) and was tempted by a cup of the tortilla soup (USD 7). This turned out to be far more food than he anticipated. The soup was delicious with a thick consistency and peppery kick. The croquet monsieur was filled to overflowing with black forest ham and swimming in melted cheese and mornay sauce.

        Federal American Grill

        I chose a classic philly cheesesteak (USD 16). The description said thinly sliced sirloin steak but mine seemed to have large chunks of meat in a mix of Cajun cheddar sauce in a sizeable hoagie bun. A side of fries and bowl of ketchup accompanied the bun.

        Our girlfriend ordered the fish and chips. Two large pieces of Shiner Bock beer battered cod, fries, and sauce made for a colorful plate. The fish was deliciously crisp and not at all greasy.

        Federal American Grill

        Dessert

         

        For dessert we decided to share the half-baked chocolate chip cookie (USD 9) and the Bourbon bread pudding (USD 9) plus 3 cups of cappuccino (USD 6 each).

        The huge cookie filled a large shallow bowl and came topped with three scoops of vanilla ice cream. The smell was divine. The gooey consistency and large chunks of melted chocolate chips were simply yummy. The huge square of bread pudding also came with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and on a bed of Jack Daniels sauce. So much food, we needed to be rolled out of the restaurant.

        Federal American Grill

        The Verdict

         

        The restaurant was fairly quite with only a couple of other tables occupied during our visit. Everyone we met from the initial greeter to our server were all very friendly and attentive without making us feel at all rushed. The restaurant offers a weekday happy hour with a cocktail companions’ menu that looks very tempting. There is also an excellent brunch option on weekends so I have a few reasons to return to try more.

         

        Federal American GrillThe Fact Sheet

         

        Address: 510 Shepherd Drive, Houston TX 77007

        Phone: 713 863 7777

        Hours:  Main Dining: Lunch & Dinner Mon-Thur 11am-10pm, Fri 11-11pm. Sat 4pm-11pm, Sun 3pm-9pm Brunch Sat 11am-3pm, Sun 10am-3pm

        Other Info: Private Dining Room, Personalized Menus, Corporate Events

         

        Federal American Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

         

        About No Fixed Abode For Sue       Don't miss out on any posts, plus make sure you get all the FREE DOWNLOADS and offers by joining the No Fixed Abode For Sue VIP Members group. A monthly newsletter plus access to the MEMBERS ONLY section of the blog. It's simple, just enter your email in the box below. Easy to unsubscribe at any time.

        Free Printables & Members Page

         

         

         

          The dogs are famous!

          The dogs are famous!

            I’m a proud pet mama this month as my four-legged children are featured in the February edition of the Hedwig Village Living magazine. Get to know my furry friends a little better by reading below.

             

            Precious Pets: Meet Brinkley and Louis!

             

            Written by Elizabeth McCabe

             

            Everyone loves a furry friend and the Oxley family is no exception. David, Sue, Charlotte, Amy, Liz and Rebecca Oxley enjoy the constant companionship of not one, but two dogs, Brinkley and Louis. Brinkley turned 2 in August 2016 and Louis turned 8 in September 2016.

             

            “Both are just the most devoted dogs. We love how they play together whenever they are together, kind of like brother and sister,” says Sue. Louis is a purebred Yorkshire terrier while Brinkley appears to be a mix between a terrier and perhaps a bit of greyhound with German shepherd markings.

            The dogs are famous

            Are your dogs spoiled?

             

            These two four-legged friends are spoiled as can be. Both pets got advent presents in the run up to the holidays and had their own Christmas presents to open. They were delighted!

             

            Their birthdays are celebrated each year. That’s when they quickly devour their doggie birthday cake. Gulp! Both receive special outfits for the holidays and Louis is always sporting a snazzy bowtie as he is a bit of a fashionista. Sue adds, “I would say they are pretty spoiled, but they deserve it.”

             

            Louis and Brinkley have a calming impact on the Oxley family. “There is something very comforting about sitting and petting an animal,” says Sue. In addition to being comforting, both dogs are great guard dogs too. They are very vocal whenever they hear something unusual.

             

            Another benefit to having two dogs is that they are great for exercise. Sue says, “Brinkley really enjoys going on long walks and will play for hours in the back yard with a ball or stick so I think she keeps us more active in our attempt to wear her out.”

             

            How did these two adorable dogs find their way into the Oxley family?

             

            Sue shares the details. “My middle daughter is a huge animal lover and when she was a freshman in college she missed our family dog so much she decided to get her own (luckily she was moving out of dorms and into an apartment so she could look after a puppy). She found a breeder in Oklahoma and did all the research herself and used her birthday money to purchase her little buddy.

             

            In 2014 we decided that we missed having a family dog so much we wanted to offer a home to a rescue, preferably an older dog that wasE trained. Our plans didn’t quite work out that way as when we visited CAPS we all fell in love with a tiny puppy. Two days after bringing Brinkley home CAPS contacted us with the terrible news that the rest of Brinkley’s litter had tested positive for Parvo and could we bring her in for a checkup. After only 48 hours we had all fallen in love with this little bundle and so anxiously awaited the results. Thankfully she was clear.” It’s been true love ever since!

            Where did the names come from?

             

            These two dogs also have meaningful names. Sue explains, “We thought having a small dog like a Yorkie would be ideal to fit into one of those small travel bags and loved the idea of a Louis Vuitton (until we died at the price and didn’t end up getting the bag – just the dog with the name).”

             

            When it came time to give Brinkley a name, the Oxley family researched for a name from a novel or film. Brinkley is Tom Hanks’ own dog who starred with him in Sleepless in Seattle. How memorable is that!

             The dogs are famous

            How they make us laugh

             

            Brinkley also causes lots of laughter in the Oxley family. Sue shares, “Because we travel so much Brinkley spends the semester with our daughter Rebecca in her apartment in Chicago but whenever we visit or she gets to come home she is just so happy and excited to see us she has a little bathroom accident. We kind of think this is a huge sign of endearment, although we have learned to only have our reunions outside now.” Occasionally Brinkley occasionally gets a little overexcited when she thinks she spots her owners in the crowds of people in the parks of Chicago too.

             

            The Oxley family loves their two affectionate dogs, Brinkley and Louis, who make their house a home. Their warmth and playful antics make life happier for all of them.

             

            Thanks, Oxley family, for sharing your Precious Pets with us!

             

             
            About No Fixed Abode For Sue       Don't miss out on any posts, plus make sure you get all the FREE DOWNLOADS and offers by joining the No Fixed Abode For Sue VIP Members group. A monthly newsletter plus access to the MEMBERS ONLY section of the blog. It's simple, just enter your email in the box below. Easy to unsubscribe at any time.

            Free Printables & Members Page

              Reds Porch in South Austin,Texas

              Reds Porch in South Austin,Texas

                A Dog-Friendly Restaurant in Austin, Texas

                 

                I recently spent the day in Austin with my family and come lunchtime we were very ready to enjoy some delicious Texas food. We decided to try The Oasis as it has such a picturesque setting overlooking Lake Travis. It also has an extensive outside dining area. But to our surprise, The Oasis does not have an area where dogs are welcomed.  We had no intention of leaving our puppy in the car while we dined. A quick search for dog-friendly restaurants online and we iscovered Reds Porch.

                Reds Porch
                The Oasis restaurant in Austin has great views overlooking Lake Travis

                Don’t be confused by the Citibank

                 

                We plugged the directions into our GPS and off we set. But a word of warning, this place is a little hidden. Now its location says it’s on a busy road, but actually the sign for the restaurant is on the road. The restaurant itself is tucked behind a bank. This turned out to be a great idea as noise from the road was greatly reduced. Add to that, the outdoor eating section overlooks a greenbelt area so you also had a slight breeze.

                Reds Porch
                Just one of the outdoor eating areas.

                Clever design

                 

                We didn’t go inside (as we had the puppy) but we noticed that the design of the restaurant has garage-like doors. The doors can be opened to expose the entire space to the great outdoors.

                 

                What we did like very much were the dog bowls already filled with water that made our puppy feel very welcomed.

                 

                Reds Porch

                 

                Appetizer

                 

                After taking our drinks order, our friendly server soon delivered our bowl of Reds Queso ($5.95).  We all loved the taste of the queso with its large chunks of peppers and onions but I thought the chips tasted like Doritos. Not that I dislike Doritos, and actually we soon devoured the bowl, I just thought that was a little odd.

                 

                Main course

                 

                David couldn’t resist the temptation of a burger, and the menu offers up quite a good selection. When it arrived, we laughed at how enormous it was. A bit of a struggle to eat, but utterly delectable. The restaurant offers three different types of buns for the burgers – multi-grain, sourdough, or jalapeno (gotta love that Texas heat). David also indulged in a side of onion rings (as online reviews we read said that was a must). The rings did not disappoint. I didn’t even get to try them as he ate them all, they were that good!

                Reds Porch

                 

                I tried the Mahi Tacos ($11.95). The grilled Mahi came in two huge flour tortillas with ample cabbage, onion, carrots, avocado, and cilantro. Tacos are served with beans and rice to round off a huge plate full of food. Portion sizes are certainly huge (I know everything’s bigger in Texas).

                 

                While my dining companions stuck with soda, I indulged with a frozen margarita (or two). Let’s just say they don’t skimp on the alcohol as I was pretty happy on the ride home, thankfully I was not driving.

                Reds Porch

                Our Verdict on Reds Porch

                 

                We had a super friendly server who was very attentive. The relaxed atmosphere of the restaurant made us want to linger over our lunch. It was good to see that quite a few other diners had also brought their four-legged friends. Dining outdoors in December in Texas can be just perfect and this place offers a great option. The extensive menu surely offers something for all tastes including gluten-free and vegetarian options.

                 

                Reds PorchThe Fact Sheet

                Address: 3508 S Lamar Blvd

                Phone: (512) 440 7337 (REDS)

                Hours: Mon-Sat 11am-11pm, Sunday Buffet Brunch 10am-2pm, Sunday Dinner 2pm-11pm

                Additional Info: Happy Hours, Gluten Free, Pet-Friendly, Events Calendar
                Red's Porch Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

                 

                 

                 

                 

                About No Fixed Abode For Sue       Don't miss out on any posts, plus make sure you get all the FREE DOWNLOADS and offers by joining the No Fixed Abode For Sue VIP Members group. A monthly newsletter plus access to the MEMBERS ONLY section of the blog. It's simple, just enter your email in the box below. Easy to unsubscribe at any time.

                Free Printables & Members Page

                  A Romantic Packing List

                  A Romantic Packing List

                    Eight packing ideas to make your getaway extra special

                     

                    Romantic Packing List

                    Candles – Think of the setting – scented candles around a bubble bath – it’s not just for the movies. Travel candles come in convenient tins making it easy to transport and to clean up after use.  But do remember to pack a lighter or matches or this idea is a non-starter.   Yankee Candles make a great selection of miniature candles that would work well for this use.

                    Continue reading…    

                      Valentines Day – 5 Gift ideas for the Foodie in your life

                      Valentines Day – 5 Gift ideas for the Foodie in your life

                        Valentines Day is fast approaching. Let me help you think outside the box this year when it comes to buying a gift for the foodie in your life.  No need to buy those overpriced roses. Forget attempting to get a reservation at that fancy restaurant. And put down anything fluffy and pink and read on. Here are my top picks to ensure that you put a smile on someone special’s face this year.

                        Continue reading…    

                          Super Bowl L1 in Houston

                          Super Bowl L1 in Houston

                            On Sunday, February 5th my hometown of Houston will be hosting the Super Bowl L1 at the NRG Stadium. This is the largest watched annual sporting event of the year. Some of the figures associated with this event are just astounding:

                            Continue reading…    

                              Bernadine’s in The Heights, Houston – Restaurant Review

                              Bernadine’s in The Heights, Houston – Restaurant Review

                                January is my birthday month. I take the view why confine celebrations to just one day when you can have a month of fun. To celebrate with my husband and daughters we looked for a new restaurant that we had not tried before. That’s not hard in Houston as we are rather spoiled for choice with a huge selection. After much discussion, we decided upon Bernadine’s in the Heights.

                                Continue reading…    

                                  5 Tips for Surviving Long Haul Travel

                                  5 Tips for Surviving Long Haul Travel

                                    In 2016 I averaged 2+ long haul flights each month. That’s over 100,000 miles of air travel. As you can imagine I somewhat perfected the best way to not only survive but to actually enjoy the many hours in a confined space. So I thought I would pass along my top 5 tips for surviving long haul travel. I hope that by the end of this post you will have the tools necessary to better enjoy your next trip.

                                    Continue reading…    

                                      Oxleys in the News

                                      Oxleys in the News

                                        When a friend contacted me to tell me that a new magazine was going to be published in 2017 and would I like to be involved, the answer was an easy yes. I had a couple of meetings with Nikki, who is spearheading this project, and decided that this would be a fun new adventure.

                                        Continue reading…