Our vacations are usually not what one would call the veg out and relaxing one where you sit by the beach and burn to a crisp.  Gus and I love to venture out each day in a rental car and visit antiques stores, stop by a brewery for his favorite stout beers and then find an interesting place for lunch and dinner.

Some of the eateries we visit are a pleasant surprise and others not.  It all depends.  Usually, we let our eyes do the talking as we are on the look out for somewhere to eat.  Does the restaurant have curbside eye appeal.  Does it look clean and uncluttered or is it old and quaint.  Old and quaint is fine if has that homey feel but not so overgrown homey as to reek of greasy spoon.  Once inside the nose takes over and if you feel and take in the aroma of good food then find a table quick.



Our first stop was on arrival day in Houston was at Lupe Tortilla Mexican Restaurant.  We had just picked up a rental car from a location that was several miles away from George Bush Airport Houston.  The rental car location was selected because there was a NRA Convention in town and the rental car prices from the airport were $700-800 per week.  By going to an off airport location we were able to rent the same car for $235 a week.  Big savings and that how we found Lupe Tortilla in Houston.  They actually have a really cute website if you want to give them a visit.

Anyway, I digress.  Lupe’s was a pleasant surprise and delightful.  They have the usual curbside Mexican restaurant eye appeal of the Stucco Hacienda restaurant in yellow gold.  Inside it was tastefully decorated and colorful as with most good TexMex restaurants.

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The food was very good.  We wanted Fajita’s and they had a variety to choose from.  The Chicken Fajita dish was selected and we also went with a side of guacamole.  Chips and salsa were enjoyed while we waited for the main course.  Lupe’s serves their Fajita’s with the larger size tortilla instead of small one so there was plenty of tortilla to go around.  I must say that this was one of the better Fajita meals that we have had.  There was plenty of grilled chicken cooked to perfection and enough grilled to caramelized onions to accompany.  They did not overwhelm the dish with onions, peppers and other nonsense so that you had to dig through to find a morsel of meat.  Since returning home, I’ve learned that there are Lupe Tortilla locations all over the greater Houston area.  Lupe’s… when are your coming to Arizona?

More reviews to come as we travelled from Houston to Galveston and throughout that area during the first week of May 2013.

Many of you love the traditional English Beer Battered Fish n Chips but it’s just too much breading for my taste. I know, I don’t want to offend those English cooks out there but sorry… I want to taste the fish more than the breading. A light coating for breading cooked up crunchy is more to my liking. In this recipe I used regular Italian spiced bread crumbs and a light coating of unbleached all purpose flour. Since I just learned about Panko Japanese style bread crumbs, maybe I’ll experiment with that this time. This recipe is so simple and I do love fish n chips. Bite by bite, squirt a little lemon on a piece of the fish, add some tarter sauce to my fork and then pick up the bite and pop it into my mouth. Can’t wait until this evening to cook it up!

This recipe was inspired by one of my favorite Big Oven contributors, Sgrishka’s Chicken Milanese.  Fish fillets can be boring sometimes and I wanted to add a little flavor and variety to a typical fish dinner.


2 Salmon fillets 2  medium Eggs
Salt and pepper to taste 1  cup Dry bread crumbs Italian spiced
1  cup All purpose flour; for dredging 1  tablespoon Extra virgin olive oil


Spread flour on paper towel or plate. Beat eggs with 1 tablespoon oil in second shallow dish to form a layer for dredging. Spread Italian bread crumbs on paper towel or shallow dish for the last dredging.

Prepare salmon fillets by patting dry any moisture that may be present.  Season each fillet on both sides with salt and pepper.   Bread fillets one a time. Dredge in flour, coating both sides and shaking off the excess. If fillets are firm enough use tongs to dip both sides in egg mixture, letting excess drip back into baking dish to ensure very thin coating.  If fillets are not firm enough you may need to hand dip each dredge.  Dip both sides of fillets in bread crumbs to form the final coating. Place on wire rack set over baking sheet, allow coating to dry for about 5 minutes. If preparing ahead, then refridgerate until ready to cook; around 1 hour max.

Preheat  large nonstick saute pans over high heat, add 2-3 tablespoons olive oil to form an even layer of oil on bottom of pan. Heat until a sprinkle of water sizzles  in pan. Place fillets in pan allowing enough room to form only one layer.  Cook 2-3 minutes until golden brown and crisp.. Flip over and reduce heat to medium.  Cook an addititonal 2-3 minutes until golden brown and fish appears slightly flaky. Drain on rack set over a baking sheet.  Warm plats in microwave for 3-4 minutes and then plate fish on warm plates.  Serve with lemon and tarter if desired.

If you like this recipe from KCinAZ, then give me a like or comment on this post. 😀 I’ll try to give you more fun recipes.