Sugary Spheres

They’ve Got Balls!: Sweet Edition

The sweet side of Houston's best globular grub.

By Joanna O'Leary April 22, 2016

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Radio Milano's tartufo.

Last week we treated you to a showcase of savory spheres available for consumption in H-town; now, it’s time for some balls with more sugar than salt. 

The world of dim sum was the final stop on our savory journey, and we can’t move on without mentioning the sweet side of this baller cuisine. The über-starchy sesame balls stuffed with red bean paste at Fung’s Kitchen are totally worth blowing your heretofore strict adherence (right) to the Atkins diet, while the egg custard buns at Golden Dim Sum boast a soft white shell that belies a rich ovum filling. 

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Gulab jamun at Himalaya.

We shift then to the subcontinent, where dessert often comes in ball form. Complete coverage of the diverse spectrum of sweet Indian spheres is beyond the scope of this article, but standouts represented at Houston restaurants include the syrupy, ghee-fried galub jamun at Himalaya and the creamy cardamom-infused ras malai at Shiva.  The most comprehensive one-stop shop for the aforementioned varieties as well as other balls is Raja Sweets, which gained note for its appearance on "Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern."

From India we move on to another nation with ancient origins: Greece. Niko Niko’s claims to be the only Greek restaurant in town vending loukomades, also known as “honey balls," luscious yeasty orbs drenched in nectar. While this “fact” may be contested, we know this much is true: They are damn good. Greece’s Mediterranean neighbor, Italy, is most famous for their meatballs and arancini; however, for a rich cocoa complement to those salty balls, go to Radio Milano (top) for tartufo garnished with pistachios and cherries.

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Just one of the many Petite Sweets cake balls you'll want to stuff in your mouth.

Chocoholics will also lust over Beaver’s eponymous brownie balls, deep-fried then liberally dusted in powdered peanut butter and drenched in white chocolate sauce and vanilla ice cream. Slightly tidier but no less decadent balls (of cake!) can be found at  Petite Sweets.  With more than fifteen flavors including banana, Key lime, red velvet, pumpkin and cookies-and-cream, you may be inclined to shove as many as possible in your mouth all at once. Remember, though, sweet balls are best enjoyed one at a time.

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