Sunday, November 14, 2010

Thankful : Day 10 - Hidden Gems

I am doing my best to catch up on my Thankful posts before the weekend, but it has been a little challenging. On Veteran's Day, I took Mr. Mixologist out for lunch to thank him for his military service. He and I seem to enjoy the same type of restaurants for the most part. He is slightly more particular than me, but I have figured out what he enjoys and wanted to take him someplace nice. With him being from the Northeast, he has a fondness for small, independently run, ethnic type restaurants and he has turned me on the several here in Houston. He lives in the "city" part of Houston which is a bit more cosmopolitan, where as I live in the "suburbs" and they can be a tad bit generic. Therefore,  it's a lot harder to find the types of places that he really likes to eat near my home. But alas, thanks to Yelp I was able to discover a really nice spot to take him to this week.  

The restaurant we enjoyed is Manny's Cafe.  They serve Greek and Mediterranean food in a very casual setting. I don't know how we have managed to miss this hidden gem, but I am sure glad I found it ! Especially since it's only about 2 miles from the house. You know how you drive by certain strip centers for years and never pay attention to things ? Well not 3 months ago, we were at a different restaurant at the other end of this same center and failed to see this Greek spot. The restaurant that we visited back then has since closed (it was new, we wanted to show some support, but we were very disappointed with the food) and we are not surprised to learn it had closed down.  After eating at Manny's, we were surprised that it's been there for over 5 years and I never noticed it before. Man we have been missing out !

We met the owner Manny at the counter. You can tell he has a slew of regular customers, just by watching the interactions, and they were all calling him by name. It was a very comfortable, friendly vibe. He somehow knew that we hadn't dined there before, and asked us how we found out about them & what was the occasion. I proudly told him Yelp, and that Mr. Mixologist is a Veteran. He thanked me for our support of his business and his service. He took our order and made a suggestion that ended up saving us a few dollars.  He is a pretty friendly, funny guy, with a snarky sense of humor.

The place was small, but spotless and very well maintained. The service was fast and attentive. When finished, a lady promptly removed our plates with graciousness and offered us a to-go container, because the portions were so HUGE.  I love family run, ethnic spots, and the food did not disappoint. The food was fresh, hot and delicious. We split a Gyro Plate and a Greek Salad, and there was more than enough for a second meal which tasted awesome when reheated later that day. We were more than satisfied and  will definitely be back.  I love to find a "hidden gem" and thankful that it is right in my own backyard.

I am thankful for the service of all our Veteran's especially my dad's and my man's.

I am thankful to discover new restaurants to enjoy.

What are you thankful for ?

Thoughts ? Comments ? Questions ?

Beautifully Complex


Anonymous said...

i LOVE Mediterranean food, small mom & pop ethnic restaurants and yelp! I'm a yelp junkie, in fact.

My boss is Greek and his mother-in-law makes the most ridiculously amazing Greek salad. I was just asking my boss this morning to please, please, please get her to make one for us this week.

Beautifully Complex said...

@ Barrista I can't believe how long I lived without Yelp. It is the greatest thing ever ! I am forever turning people on it. I love how you can send the info to a cell phone instantly!