99% Food, 1% Skin

Roost and #1 Chicken, Fried Rice and Seafood

Roost was another highly anticipated restaurant to visit in Houston on my eating itinerary (the other being Coutivare).

Due to yoga class, we were there just right before they closed, and almost had the place by ourselves.

We were starving when we got there, and ordered bread service right away.

The bread offering changes every day, and we had pretzel bread on that particular night.

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Top: cauliflower — Bottom: bread service

Normally the bread service comes with 2 spreads, we added $ to have all 4 to try.

The bread was soft, warm and right amount of chew, and the spreads elevated it to the next level.

My personal favorite was the schmaltz, a rendered chicken fat.

It was savory, full of chicken flavor, and reminded me of the chicken rice from Hainan chicken.

My second favorite was the pimento cheese: slightly spicy, gooey but cottage cheese like, it had strong but tasty pepper flavor.

Red currant and cajeta spreads were part of the quartet, both sweet, and one was slight fruity and one had light caramelly flavor.

For vegetables, we had cauliflower with a mayo vinegary dressing with bonito flakes, not bad.

One of the intriguing dishes on the menu was gulf shrimp on crispy shrimp chips.

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The fish was raw with salmon sashimi-like texture; the use of micro greens gave a hint of greenness to the dish but otherwise, a little too much spicy mayo for my taste.

Scallops were seared just right and sat on a bed of well curry-seasoned lentil, simple and delicious.

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My sister was excited to see frog legs on the menu, yet it was a disappointment.

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Crisp outer batter with delicious black pepper sauce, but the inside was not seasoned through at all and tasted bland.

The smooth grits under the legs were excellent as well with a slight hint of goat cheese.

I was struck by the greatness of the bread service, and felt the rest of the food was slowly going down hill dish by dish — was it because we were there too late?

I love that Roost menu changes constantly (e.g. currently, they have a honey brined quail that I would love to try!) — may still give it a go next time I am in Houston!

Roost on Urbanspoon

In the search for great fried chicken, we ended up having an interesting food-buying experience.

My sister said #1 Chicken, rice and seafood had the best fried chicken.

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Very tiny store, #1 chicken, rice and seafood is Asian-owned with largely African American clientele for the 20 mins we were there.

The small store footprint is largely taken up by the kitchen, with only about a 3-ft wide hallway around the kitchen and counter.

No table, and all food bought were to-go.

Because of the Asian ownership, one can get fried rice instead of fries as a side in this joint.

We suspected the place was robbed recently because they had erected plexiglass counter shield.

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Menu is simple: fried chicken, fried chicken wings (regular and spicy versions), fried shrimps, fried fish, burgers, egg rolls and fried rice.

The cashier lady, who is likely the owner-lady, checked every single larger-than-$1 bill that passed her hands.

Looked like they were scammed a lot too since they posted samples of fake money on the plexiglass.

After 20 mins of waiting, we finally got our fried chicken and dinner rolls.

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They were really delicious — very crisp, lightly seasoned coating, the chicken were piping hot.

The spicy wing was not as spicy as I thought yet still delicious.

The dinner rolls were the simplest run-of-the-mill white flour sweet rolls.

For about $6, we got 3 pieces of chicken, one spicy wing and rolls; cheap and one of the best fried chicken I had.
Number 1 Chicken Rice on Urbanspoon

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