The last night we were in Houston we wanted to have steak.
Vic & Anthony's.
It was too dark in the restaurant for me to take good pictures of the food when it came to our table, but man, the appetizers, steaks, and desserts were all so good. SO GOOD. And our server was probably the best server I had met.
After the SCAA shows John and I walked to the old(er) China Town area to try to find this little pho shop, but when we got there we saw it was not open, so we wondered over to the other side of the street and saw a bunch of cars in a parking lot of a restaurant, so we stopped in.
The place was called Kim Son. I believed it was a Chinese-Vietnamese restaurant.
We each had a bowl of pho, and shared a seafood pot.
Pho at Kim Son. Pleasant.
"Seafood in hot pot." I was slightly intrigued by the fact that the hot pot was a Korean-style stone pot, but I liked it.
The walk back to the hotel was pleasant. A bit too warm for us but pleasant. We saw something that looked dangerous on the way:
Maybe this was due to the big wind? Hope the cables stay attached.
We stepped onto the show floor when the trade show opened. Lots of cool and exciting new products for us to see, of course, but I noticed that as we were in the industry longer, we were more focused on certain products than the others. (I used to like to check out almost ALL the booths at the show, but not so much any more.)
I enjoy checking out all the new coffee roasters. We don't need another one, but it's just fun to check them out.
And getting updates on products we already use were a blast.
It's always great to see Mark at Synesso. He always updates us with the newest Synesso technology!
Our second day in Houston was filled with coffee happiness.
John (caffe d'bolla), along with Jay (Spro), Kyle (Intelligentsia), and Anthony (Volta) spoke and presented on single-cup brewing.
John, Anthony, Kyle, Jay, and Tracy the moderator.
After the presentation, we headed out to have coffee from Counter Culture before the trade show floor opened.
Pourover from Counter Culture.
I should have remembered what coffee I had, but I was distracted by all the coffee people and coffee talks around me so I totally spaced out on the name of the Single Origin. I think it was a Guatemala. I liked the coffee, even though I believed it was a little bit underextracted.
Another really awesome thing about these coffee conventions was that you got to see and meet famous coffee stars! :)
We then cupped some coffee and talked to coffee friends.
While John was talking to people, I went over to the BGA bar to have some macchiato. They were out of the demitasses so I had a small, small latte instead.
The barista was cool and serious.
My small small latte. The temperature was a bit too hot for me on this one. I burned my tongue on it.
We also watched part of the brewer's cup competition.
I always love seeing Nick Cho at different coffee-related events. He also made the coolest coffee-tasting slurp sound I had ever heard.
John and I went to the SCAA (Speicalty Coffee Association of America) convention in Houston this past weekend. He was invited by a good friend of ours Jay Caragay to present the benefits of single cup brewing at a cafe setting, and of course I tagged along!
We flew to George Bush International Airport and took the Metro bus to downtown Houston. I slept most of the way on the plane, as well as in the bus, but when we were approaching downtown Houston, John woke me up to see this:
We knew this would be a short, and mostly a business trip, but we were going to have fun talking about coffee and enjoying ourselves in Houston!
We stayed at the Embassy Suites. I like the room, and the hotel was actually closer to the convention center than it appeared on the map. I also love the fact that we found a fairly good deal on the room!
Outside the hotel. Cute.
And the bedding was really, really comfy.
Right before we were able to check in, we went to the George R. Brown Convention Center to get our SCAA badges. Saw a few familiar faces, and started to smell coffee.
Friday night we had dinner at Reef. Some of the best seafood I've had. Please excuse the poor quality of my photos, as the lighting was soft and I was just not skilled enough to get better pictures out of all these delicious food! I'm just going to post a few photos, and the actual food photos can be found in my flickr SCAA Houston 2011 album.
Reef. We were seated by the window.
The rolls that came with dinner were tasty, and the preserve(?) that went with the rolls was sweet with a kick. Yum.
For appetizers we had "Steamed Mussels, Shiner Bock, Toasted Ancho" and "Jumbo Crab Cake, Taqueria Style Pickled Vinaigrette".
For entrees John had "Slow Baked Salmon, Lemon Risotto, Chili Oil". John said, "The fish just melts in your mouth." I had "Seafood Hot Pot, Fingerling Potatoes". I was amazed by how perfectly cooked each kind of seafood was in the soup. Really good.
For dessert (of course!) John had "CRÈME FRAICHE CHEESECAKE, FRESH CHERRIES, HONEY GELATO" and I had "BUTTERMILK PANNA COTTA, MACERATED STRAWBERRIES, STRAWBERRY SORBET". I like them both.