Since Covid-19 is still here and restaurants continue to stress alternative options to dining in, we’ll bring you each week a roundup of takeout meals recently enjoyed by dining editor Timothy Malcolm.
Now open, Yelo from chef Cuc Lam and Phat Eatery owner Alex Au-Yeung brings fresh and delicious banh mi sandwiches, plus bowls, juices, and coffee drinks to Katy Asia Town. You'll have to get a char siu xiu mai banh mi, spotlighting pork meatballs made with a Chinese barbecue marinade, a process that comes straight from Lam's mother's kitchen. Those meatballs, ground real nice so every bite includes some, are packed in a baguette with super fresh veggies and a sprite garlic aioli that sparkles through the entire sandwich. I paired my order with the ube iced latte with Vietnamese coffee, which was surprisingly not sweet but very flavorful.
I've been eating a lot of spicy food lately (if you know of a spicy food you think I should try, email me at [email protected]). My journey to feel blasts of chile heat on my tongue (and in my tummy) led me to an old favorite, the Spring Branch H-Mart Korean fried chicken counter. I ordered a seven-piece assorted chicken box with hot-and-spicy flavor, which was one of the first things I ever tried after moving to Houston. As always, it came to me in a small pizza box with a separate container of daikon radish. The verdict: still pretty spicy and addictive. I think the salt in the chicken forces you to eat more, while the chiles just linger as you indulge. It's messy, it's best consumed in the privacy of home, and it's still pretty darn good.
Speaking of spicy foods, you can really dial up the heat on your fresh Hawaiian fish bowl at this Montrose poke shop (with locations also including One Allen Center and The Shops at Houston Center). Blazing sauces here include spicy shoyu, spicy mayo, and the more gochujang-forward K-Sauce. I got the first two in the spicy salmon bowl, which is beautifully topped with crushed Hot Cheetos ... just because, I guess. Either way, the bowl is a gorgeous burning crimson that barks plenty. As for the bite? Yes, it's spicy, but it's not the kind of heat that'll make you stop midway through. This is tasty spice.