better to book online
I went to this agency as a way to save time and stress, but it ended up being more stressful than doing it myself. The agent made a mistake on the reservation, and didn't give me a receipt until I insisted on one. And the price he got ended up being no different than I could find myself on the web (I should have checked first before booking). This has taught me that there is no added value to having a travel agent.
I love the new trend of restaurant movie theaters, and I love that there is a place like this near my house, but I'm not a huge fan of this particular one. Probably because I was spoiled by going to Studio Movie Grill near 1960 and 290. The food here is rather heavy and just ok, and the service is spotty. I once bought a ticket only to have the cashier turn to the person next to her and tell her what happens in the movie, right in front of me! When you push the button for service, it can take quite some time for someone to reply. And they will stand in front of people who are watching the movie while they figure out their orders.. not good. Oh, and when I saw Batman there, I could barely hear the dialogue, even after asking them to turn up the sound. And they don't give refunds for any reason.
Great food, great ambiance, bad service
Cafe Layal is a Middle Eastern restaurant that features hookah smoking. They also occasionally have belly dancers. I've only been there with a group a couple of times on a Sunday afternoon when it's pretty quiet. First of all, the place is beautiful. We booked one of their meeting rooms, which is covered in Moroccan-style decor, including hanging lamps and pillows. They also have a large banquet hall on the other side of the restaurant that features a stage. The food was really good and the prices were reasonable, but the service was SO BAD! Lots of attitude and very very, slow. I had to chase the waiter down in order to pay for my meal.
Like a Chocolate Museum
If you like chocolate, even a little bit, you have to stop by here. On one side of the store they have a pastry case with cakes and pies, and on the other side is a huge case with mainly candies. Connecting the two is an ice cream case! There is also a chocolate "gift shop" filled with things like a first aid kit made completely of chocolate, letters made of chocolate (spell out your name!), and other things like that. And finally, they have a window into the back room where you can see them making the chocolate.
The things I tried were pretty good, but not out of this world. It was mainly a novelty for me. I was a bit chocolated out by the time I was done there, but it's something you've got to experience at least once.
bad experience overall
Although I really liked the ambiance of this place, I didn't have a good experience when I went, with either the food or the service. The people working there looked like young kids and even though the place was almost empty, we felt practically ignored while we were there. They took about 15 minutes to come by and get our order. And when we got the crepes, they were a tough as leather. I'm partial to another place in midtown called "Coco's Crepes," so I know what a good crepe should taste like. Unfortunately, that's far from where I live and this place is really close. I found out later that they use a "low carb" batter, so that might explain it. I'm not tempted to go back.
not authentic sushi
I was really excited when this place opened, because it's in my neighborhood and I LOVE sushi. Our experience, however, was really disappointing. They kept playing this weird, grating music the entire time, and when we got our sushi, it just didn't taste like sushi. It seemed like some kind of tasteless concoction whose authenticity was watered down for people who aren't used to eating sushi. And it was also covered with this yucky brown sauce. When I asked the waiter why they didn't put that on the side, she told me that I need to specifically ask them to put it on the side. But how could I do that if I didn't know they were going to put that stuff all over my sushi to begin with?
Finally, good service!
When my sewer line broke, I called literally 8 plumbers. Why did I call so many? Because almost none of them showed up when they said they would. Finally, a friend recommended David, the owner of Leak Locators, and he was great. Leak Locators is a small business, and the owner does the work himself along with a crew that has been with him for years. You won't get a dispatcher who calls a technician over to your house. You will talk to the actual owner. Not only did he do a great job, but he had the lowest estimate! Seriously, this guy has integrity and a great work ethic.
One of the best bakeries in Houston
Let Petit Paris is a Vietnamese-owned bakery and bistro across FM 1960 from the Willowbrook Mall (in front of Ross).
The bakery has two main dessert cases--one for breakfasty items like croissants and quiches, along with cookies. The other case has fancy french desserts like sachre torte and Italian cream cake. I am in LOVE with their breakfast pastries, as well as the fancy cakes that I've had the chance to try, especially the Italian cream cake. This place, although not centrally located, is one of the best bakeries in town.
In addition to pastries, they have actually have a full menu of lunch and dinner items. I have not tried many of these, because I love the sandwiches so much that I end up ordering that every time. You can get your sandwich on wheat or French bread, or on a croissant. I also love the curry chicken soup. The sandwich, soup and a cup of espresso is a great weekend lunch, followed by a slice of one of their fancy cakes. Mmm.....
Best cookies in town
This place is absolutely ADORABLE. They specialize in cookies (hence the name), but do carry other things like cupcakes. I'd stick with the cookies, though. They are fantastic. It's been a while since I've gone, but I remember really liking the wedding cakes, and also being amazed at the sheer variety of cookies available. The quality and attention to detail in these cookies is outstanding. If you love cookies, you've got to come here.
Go to THIS Dimassi's
I've been to the Richmond location of Dimassi's, and I did like it, but this one is a lot more beautiful. The Richmond location is kind of like a big cafeteria. Don't get me wrong--the food is excellent, and you don't have to wait for your food b/c it's a buffet. Everything is SO fresh and authentic, and there are so many choices. I'm getting hungry just thinking about it. But back to the point, this Dimassi's is beautifully decorated and cozy and I think is more equal to the quality of the food.