Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Lone Star Bazaar: Mouth First

Published by Commandrea (Andrea Afra) at 9:06 PM

Last Saturday I went to The Lone Star Bazaar, a local vendor centric affair held once a month or so in the parking lot of Numbers. It being Houston, of course there has to be good food there as well, and there was more than I could handle. Boogie had his boudain balls and BBQ pits in full gear, smoking his highly sought meats throughout the day. It smelled insanely good but I wanted to try something new and lighter, as I'd only had coffee so far that day.

On the way in to look at the art for sale, I saw a table with four massive glass vitroleros, those huge glass jars typical of aqua frescas, each filled with beautiful hues—brilliant chartreuse, a milky opaque lavender, deep fuchsia, a pale peach, also opaque—the 'love-waters.' The kind lady who made them allowed me to sample a few, and while the lavender-blueberry-oatmeal(!), was spicy like chai and delicious, I really liked the next one I tried, coconut-peach-lime. B'zam. I was drinking a tropical party on a bright winter day in Houston. I don't jump for coconut, but the lime was taking the lead and the peach and coconut were the perfect wing-fruits—soft enough to make the lime look strong, but still gentle, a lover. Hence...'love-water.' See what I did there? Yes, it's $6 for 16oz, but really, how much did you spend on cocktails last night, hmm? This is good for you, so pay up and drink up. You're worth it.

While I was sipping on liquid Tahiti, someone walked by with a strange, but good-looking taco in a paper boat. They saw me staring and offered, "It's a fried-avocado taco from the (Houston StReats food truck). Stop watching me eat. Please. Please?" I wanted to see their reaction to the flavor before I made up my mind. Do some people not like that? They turned away, but from behind, their body language clearly dictated that I should get that taco, but the menu on the side of the truck made it a little harder to stick with that decision. The steak nachos and truffle-Parmesan fries beckoned. Yet that taco...and you should always go with your first instinct, right? Oh hell. I ordered all of them. There were plenty of people around I didn't mind sharing with and I dropped $12 for the entire order.

The food came out quick and I put away half the taco before I even really looked at it (I had already seen it...) so I didn't get a good shot of it. Oops. I did see that the batter coating the big wedges of avocado was not your average batter. It was awesome, thick, seemingly flecked with flaxseed here and there...nice and brown in flavor, super crunchy but not greasy. And then it was gone.

The beef on the steak nachos was marinated so pro, and the chips were obviously in-house corn tortilla chips, the kind that are thick and get those nice little brown edges that bring out the corn in the corn chips. So good.

The fries were so hot and cheesy and truffled out that they nearly put me to sleep, heady stuff for breakfast. Okay, so it might have been a combination of the meal that gave that effect. But then I remembered there were pretty things for me to shop for, so I got up and shopped. It was a very productive day, indeed. And yes, I shared. But I did have a guard at the table (see elbow in above picture) to ward off food-snatchers until I had a chance to try each and get a photo. See why? One even brought a to-go box for his convenience. Always be prepared.


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