2 Girls Who Travel Switch It Up: The Mad Potter

Ever get tired of doing the same old thing for Girls Night Out? Movies, wine. Dinner, wine. Shopping, wine.

Ok, let’s not nix the wine, but how about doing something to tap into your creative side?

We suggest trying out The Mad Potter – like the name suggests, this involves … you guessed it: pottery!

This is the before of our masterpieces … we painted tumblers for our wine!

The Mad Potter offers a Girls Night Out special on Thursdays, which includes painting and wine for $15. Not bad and it’s really a great time. There are three Houston locations and we, along with some of our Houston Food Blogger Collective fam, visited the location in River Oaks last week for a night of fun, creativity and … wine!

And what girls’ night is complete without food? These snacks were really good and went will with our wine!

The Mad Potter founder and owner Meredith McCord was on-hand with her awesome staff to answer any questions we had, offer their tips/advice on how to get creative with the art and fill up our tray with whatever paint color our hearts desired. Not to mention they kept our glasses full, so it’s definitely a yes for 2 Girls Who Travel.

What sets The Mad Potter apart from other painting activities is there’s no guidelines, steps or template to follow. You literally create what your heart desires. You may see you need to paint over/wipe off one area and start over … or you may throw caution to the wind and just paint something, and see where it goes.

Finished! Kim’s to the left and Val’s to the right.

2 Girls Who Travel with owner Meredith McCord showing off our abstract masterpieces!

2 Girls Who Travel with fellow blogger Angelle!

Successful Girls Night Out 🙂

*Note: After you paint your pottery, you have to leave it at the shop for about three days so it can dry in the kiln. Then you’re free to pick it up anytime after that. For more information on The Mad Potter, visit their website.

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Janet Jackson State of the World Tour Stops in Houston

Kim here – half of 2 Girls Who Travel. I had the chance to see one of my favorite artists in concert – Janet Jackson at her State of the World Tour. The last time I saw Janet was at Essence Festival in 2010. So when a friend said they had an extra ticket to the concert, I was super excited. I picked up my ticket and started practicing my favorite Janet songs so I could sing along.

I normally don’t complain about parking. I knew that it was going to be crazy, so I was prepared to walk a mile or pay an arm and a leg. I lucked up on a parking spot right across from the Toyota Center, but of course it was $25 to park! I guess I just feel some kind of way paying $25 for a space that normally charges $6! LOL. Oh well… I begrudgingly swiped my card. The price you pay for convenience.

$25 to park!! Yikes!

So let me now tell you that 51-year-old Janet (Ms. Jackson if you’re nasty), did not miss a beat and she definitely did not disappoint. Not sure what fountain of youth she is drinking from. Janet is simply gorgeous. G.O.R.G.E.O.U.S.

Another highlight of the night – Janet’s outfit changes. They were a mix of sexy and cool with her signature black outfits and white shirt and jeans. The new mother looked ahh-mazingly svelte in it all.

We were living for our favorite songs like “If”, “I Get Lonely” and “Rhythm Nation.” Her entire set was life-giving. Her band was also on point. It was like they had been playing together nonstop for years. The guitar player had a solo with a riff out of this world.

Janet also has some phenomenal dancers. I just have to give a shout out to her curvy dancer, Allison. She did that and did not miss a beat and put in major ‘werk’.

During the night, Janet also shared messages through videos and some of the choreography about racism and domestic violence. She didn’t shy away from these important topics. It was real and in your face. Kudos to Janet for doing this.

At the end of the night, Janet was truly gracious. She closed her set by saying, “Houston, I love you so much. Thank you and may God continue to bless you every step of the way on your journey.”

And lastly, “Love you, Janet!” scrolled across the screen.

Totally incredible night! If Janet is coming to your city, don’t miss her show – she’s still got it!

 

 

Post Harvey Restaurant Visit: The Rouxpour in Sugar Land

After Harvey left and took with it its rain and dark cloud of destruction, 2 Girls Who Travel decided to get back to the food. We had been cooped up in the house long enough, so we decided to venture over to Sugar Land and try a restaurant that’s been on our radar for some time: The Rouxpour Restaurant & Bar, and if you couldn’t tell by the name, it’s food inspired by the great New Orleans. Y’all know our affinity for the NOLA!

The Rouxpour is located in Sugar Land’s Town Square among other great restaurants, but this one stood out to us! We visited for Happy Hour and met our good friend and fellow food blogger (foodies unite), Angelle. You can check out what she’s been eating on her blog Brunchin With Gelle.

Happy Hour at The Rouxpour is Monday through Friday from 3-7pm. So ample time to get off work and arrive in time to partake. The HH menu consists of enough light bites and signature martinis to keep us occupied for a few hours.

Mexican Martini

Lemon Drop

Trust us. You need these hangover fries in your life – the tender meat and gravy reminds us of the roast beef poboys we had in New Orleans.

These crab fingers were swimming in some delicious sauce.

Would you look at these beauties?

So HH came and ended, and we were still at The Rouxpour. So we ordered off the regular menu and tried the signature chargrilled oysters.

These Rouxpour signature chargrilled oysters are beyond amazing … fresh and the garlic, butter and Parmesan take these to a whole new level.

The Rouxpour is one of those places we will definitely be visiting again to check out their other food menus. We’ve only scratched the surface!

2 Girls Who Travel’s Hurricane Prep Tips

The most recent storm Hurricane Harvey, which made landfall in southeast Texas as a Category 4 hurricane, reminded us that we are still in the middle of hurricane season and as such, we wanted to share our tips for how to prepare for one.

So here are 10 2GWT hurricane preparedness tips, in no particular order:

  • Charge Your Phone – It’s not only important to charge all your mobile devices and laptops, but be sure to charge your external battery chargers as well, in case you lose power.
  • Have Necessities in Easy Reach – Have batteries, flashlights, candles, matches or lighters on hand. We advise to have them out in the open in an area in which they’ll be easy to find, should you lose electricity.
  • Get Your Water Early – If you’re not a procrastinator, you should snag up water and non-perishable food items beforehand. This will allow you to eat and drink should you a) lose electricity or b) confined to your home due to flooding streets.
  • Clear Out the Fridge – If you go for days without power, you risk all your food thawing out. If you have some stuff already ready to cook, go ahead and cook it all in preparation. This way you won’t starve or end up throwing away spoiled food.
  • Fill Up Your Tank – Even if you plan on going nowhere, gasoline becomes scarce around storm time.
  • Load Up Your Devices – Download your favorite Netflix shows to your phone or iPad so you have something to watch if there’s no electricity or internet.
  • Fill Up Your Bathtub – Fill a bathtub with water and keep a bucket close by in case your water gets shut off during the storm. This will allow you to flush your toilet.
  • Stay in the Know – Local news stations will have around-the-clock storm coverage, including everything from warnings, school closures, road closures and important announcements. And Facebook has helpful features in which you can mark yourself safe so loved ones outside the area can see that you’re okay. Waze is a cool app that lets you know what is happening on the roadways.
  • Travel Smart – If you’re traveling, most larger hotels have generators and are prepared for storms, so ask when you check-in!
  • Leave Early – If you do plan on evacuating, it’s best to do it as early as possible so as not to clog roadways for motorists instructed to leave and avoid being in a mess yourself. *Always adhere to the warnings of your local officials regarding evacuations. And use common sense and best judgement. If rain/flooding has already occurred, it’s too late.

Stay safe, friends!

2 Girls Who Travel Have a Taste of Liberty Kitchen Garden Oaks

We’re back this week dishing about another modern, trendy restaurant serving up good food – duh, I mean that’s what we do.

We were invited out to sample Liberty Kitchen Garden Oaks’ (LKGO) brunch menu Saturday with fellow Houston food bloggers and we are so glad we made it out to Houston’s Northside to do so!

Liberty Kitchen has four Houston locations – the others are in the Heights, River Oaks and Memorial City. As the owner explained to us, each location offers a core menu with some unique menu items. He said the LKGO menu appeals to any taste and any price point. That variety also attracts the diverse crowd that is characteristic of the neighborhood.

We started with some delicious cocktails. We both opted for the Liberty Mimosa because we are huge mimosa fans. These were made with pineapple vodka and were awesome – sweet, but packed a mean punch!

Liberty Mimosas

Next, they brought out some delicious appetizers to share, which included deviled eggs covered with everything from fried oysters to fried chicken, some to-die-for crab balls and a cocktail of shrimp and fried oysters (no, it really came in a cocktail glass).

These crab balls were definitely a crowd favorite, so good with the dipping sauce!

Lovely presentation

Oh, yeah and can’t forget the mac and cheese. It was served hot and ooey, gooey with cheese.

Now on to the entrees. Everybody was able to select from a choice of four: Val had the surfers donut bowl and Kim had the Dixie fried chicken sliders.

Real Cowboy Surfers Donut Bowl

Dixie Fried Chicken Sliders

Verdict: the surfers donut bowl came with cake donuts, fried chicken chunks, bacon and gravy. (Note: it also includes eggs, but Val hates eggs so the photo is sans eggs). The crispy chicken and gravy was delicious. The cake donuts? They were fried which made them a bit heavy and extremely dense. Everything else was delicious, though. Kim loved the sliders which were topped with American cheese, cream gravy and eggs. Don’t worry – we got pictures of the other dishes for you, even though we didn’t eat them! Lol

Red Velvet Pancakes

Frosted Flake French Toast

This cozy and quaint restaurant is definitely a place we’d visit again. The staff is just as welcoming as the bright colors inside the restaurant. And when the relentless Houston heat lets up, we’d definitely like to try out the outside patio!

Cheers!

Houston Restaurant Weeks Review: Union Kitchen Memorial

Another week, another restaurant! Houston Restaurant Weeks is probably one of the most exciting times in a Houston foodie’s life. We’re no exception. It’s the perfect time to go to a new restaurant you’ve been itching to try or select different menu items from some of your favorite restaurants.

This past weekend 2 Girls Who Travel shot over to Union Kitchen in Memorial to sample their Houston Restaurant Weeks lunch menu. It was three courses (appetizer, entrée and dessert) for $20.

How was the food? Glad you asked …

This oven roasted ceviche as an appetizer was interesting. Other than being almost bite-sized, it was covered with a cilantro citrus butter. Usually, our ceviche is preferred fresher with no sauce, but it was pretty good.

If you’re opting for a lighter appetizer, this grilled apple salad is sweet and refreshing. It comes with apple cider dressing, shaved gouda, oven-roasted tomatoes and candied hazelnuts. And there’s a delicious grilled apple slice on the side!

Now this was THE pick for entrees. It’s a poblano pepper stuffed with a three-cheese blend and plenty of delicious crab meat. As if that isn’t enough, it sits atop a bed of dirty rice. Yum!

Had to get this baby to-go! Dessert was the white chocolate ice cream sandwich: two huge soft and chewy chocolate chip and hazelnut cookies with ice cream and a delicious cream cheese frosting. Can’t go wrong with any of that!

The Union Kitchen Memorial is located at 12538 Memorial Dr., Houston, TX 77024. It’s definitely worth a trip during Houston Restaurant Weeks. The lunch was a great value!

REVIEW: Pinch Seafood & Bar

Houston Restaurant Weeks (HRW) is in full effect and of course 2 Girls Who Travel weren’t going to be left out of the mix. After perusing the extensive menu selection, we decided to try out Pinch Seafood & Bar, located in North Houston (on 290 off 610).

Walking in, we knew we weren’t in for the average seafood joint. The interior and décor gave off a trendy, hipster vibe with exposed duct work, an industrial look, wood flooring and the bar tables. “Pinch Me” was illuminated in light bulbs across the exposed brick on the back wall. There were multiple TV screens and the charging outlets and purse hooks at the bar seating were a nice touch.

If for nothing else, you should try Pinch Seafood this month for their HRW menu alone. Dinner gets you a choice from four courses (2 appetizers, an entrée and a dessert) – all for $35. Some of the entrees alone cost close to that on the regular menu. So the value is unmatched.

New Orleans native and Pinch co-owner Vu Nguyen was on hand during our visit and he explained that rather than putting less popular items on the HRW menu, he put his best-sellers and dishes he likes to eat on the menu.

2 Girls Who Travel with Vu Nguyen

While we ventured a bit off the HRW menu to try some other of the restaurant’s items, some of this deliciousness you’re about to see is of course on the HRW menu. Let’s get to it!

Two girls from the South know our pork skins … and these were great! Comes complimentary with orders because chips and salsa is so last year!

This corn & crab bisque was so good. Usually I like my bisque a tad bit thicker, but it didn’t lack in taste. No other seasoning was needed. You can get this appetizer on the HRW menu.

Charbroiled oysters were very tasty! The only thing missing was some bread to sop up the Cajun butter 🙂

Did you think we would turn down a carafe of mimosas – or in this case, Bromosas? Made with blood orange juice, these were delicious and a welcome alternative to the usual orange juice mimosas.

This seafood ceviche was so damn good, yall. Huge chunks of seafood … great flavor … and when we ran out of plantain chips, we just used our fork! Also on the HRW menu.

Blackened redfish with crawfish etouffe and dirty rice. Ya know, pictures don’t really do dishes like these justice because it’s all about the flavor. This was a really good entree – with the flaky redfish and plump juicy crawfish!

Ok, save yourself the time when picking your third course on the HRW menu and go for the sriracha honey glazed salmon. Got this baby cooked well done and the slightly charred crisp crust and the chipotle fried potatoes were an awesome combination.

Per usual, dessert was gobbled up before we could snap a pic. Forgive us, but we went for the pecan pie and it was solid!

Pinch Seafood is simply a breath of fresh air in an area that has desperately needed a restaurant of this caliber. Check them out at 10510 Northwest Freeway, Houston, TX 77092. And for more information, visit their website.

2 Girls Who Travel Visit Houston’s Museum District

What do you do when it’s the weekend in Houston and 102 degrees outside? You stay inside!!

Well, we didn’t just stay inside at home; we opted for a cultural trip to the Houston Museum District with some friends. Now the Museum District is huge – 19 museums huge! We had to figure out a way to narrow it down and not break the bank. Some research led us to a cool website, Houston on the Cheap, and we realized that July 29 was The Museum Experience Day: Zone 3. So our Saturday afternoon was spent at The Museum of Fine Arts Houston (MFAH) and the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston (CAMH), both of which had free admission that day!

*Editor’s Note: The MFAH is FREE Thursdays 10 am–9 pm

Not only are the museums a wealth of information, they are family-friendly and offer free admission days (many are free all the time), lectures, shopping and interactive activities for the kiddos.

Pictured (l-r) are Sean, Alaina (mom) and Jacqueline (grandmom) enjoying an interactive activity at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston.

Take a look at some of the pics from our time in the MFAH.

After visting the MFAH, we crossed the street and ventured into the CAMH where we had the opportunity to meet artist Paul Ramírez Jonas (standing right). His solo exhibit at the CAMH, Atlas, Plural, Monumental, a 25 year survey, was not only thought-provoking and informative, but incredibly insightful. We took part in the exhibit and wrote a promise on a post-it note and also took someone else’s promise from the table that we wanted to do.

One of the promises we selected from the table.

Take a look at the rest of our visit to the CAMH.

Downstairs in the CAMH were some more cool works, including the Typewriter Rodeo – poem-makers hailing from Austin who create a custom poem on any topic you choose using an old-school, manual typewriter. Give ’em a word… any word!

Some of the other exhibits we visited…

It was an amazing outing – lots of fun for the adults and kids and it was all FREE! And in true 2 Girls Who Travel fashion, we couldn’t pass up a bite to eat from one of our favorite food trucks! We spotted it as we walked to the parking garage.

THE WAFFLE BUS!!!

We opted for the chicken and waffle fryders; so not waffles, but waffle fries! And man, are they good. The chicken was juicy and tender, the fries were hot and crispy and that spicy mayo was the icing on the cake. The Waffle Bus gets the 2 Girls Who Travel seal of approval. If you haven’t had a chance to try it out yet, you should and thank us later. Check out their website which provides a calendar and where the truck is located for the day.

We agree… We love you but we’ve chosen waffle (fries). 🙂

The perfect ending to the perfect hot Houston day!

 

2 Girls Who Travel at the Movies: “Girls Trip” Rakes in $30.4M Opening Weekend

Kim here – half of 2 Girls Who Travel. This weekend I spent some quality time with my Love.Work.Repeat. family for a Girls Night Out at the Movies. And what better movie to gather all the ladies at than the much anticipated “Girls Trip?”

“Girls Trip” raked in a whopping $30.4 million; the biggest opening weekend for a live-action comedy in 2017.

The film follows Regina Hall (Ryan), Queen Latifah (Sasha), Jada Pinkett Smith (Lisa) and Tiffany Haddish (Dina), who in all, make up the “The Flossy Posse,” former college roommates who have drifted apart over the years and plan a trip to Essence Fest to reconnect.

According to the film’s director Malcolm D. Lee, Essence was the best place to set the movie because it’s “the only festival in the world that celebrates black women.”

I totally agree. The Crescent City is an awesome girls getaway and during Essence Fest, it’s an amazing, nonstop, good time. Rather than give away all the spoilers, just know that this movie was a laugh a minute and the new girl on the block, comedian Tiffany Haddish, steals the show as that crazy, ride-or-die girlfriend who has your back.

*When you go with your girls, you all will inevitably be trying to figure out which girlfriend embodies which character from the movie on your girls’ trips.

The all-star cast also has some awesome star-power and cameos: Larenz Tate, Morris Chestnut and Mike Epps, not to mention the musical guests – Puff Daddy, Ne-Yo, Mariah Carey and many more.

African American movies, and more specifically, African American women movies don’t usually have high expectations as far as Hollywood is concerned. So the early success of “Girls Trip” has turned some heads!

So gather all your girlfriends and support director, Malcolm D. Lee (“The Best Man,” “The Best Man Holiday,” “Welcome Home, Roscoe Jenkins”) and Producer Will Packer (“Think Like a Man,” “Stomp the Yard,” “Ride Along”).

I had an awesome time with my girls. You will too!

Kim and Charryse, another Love.Work.Repeat. friend get ready to enjoy “Girls Trip.”

 

Popcorn, drink and special sweet treat from Love.Work.Repeat.

Love. Work. Repeat.

Love. Work. Repeat. Family

 

Love. Work. Repeat. “Girls Trip” crew

Love. Work. Repeat.

Houston Heights Fave Does Not Disappoint

The Houston Heights area has an abundance of must-dine restaurants. While driving down Heights Boulevard, 2 Girls Who Travel spied the much-talked about Lee’s Fried Chicken & Donuts, two things we cannot resist. So we decided to stop!

As we stepped into this cute neighborhood hot spot, we were welcomed instantly. Now we had some decisions to make. The menu is pretty extensive to say it’s mainly variations of fried chicken and donuts. Think fried chicken, chicken tenders, chicken salad and hot chicken tacos plus donuts like praline bacon and caramel icing, birthday cake with sprinkles and good-ole glazed. They even serve several varieties of breakfast kolaches alongside the tasty donuts.

Pick your poison!

Lee’s Fried Chicken & Donuts is open every day!

Oreo

Birthday cake donut with sprinkles

For our meal, we opted for the double donut fried chicken sandwich. Come on, two donuts and fried chicken together? Sounds like perfection to us! And it was fabulous. The sandwich had 3 well-seasoned, crispy chicken tenders situated between 2 warm and melt-in-your-mouth donuts. It even comes with your choice of sauce. We tried the bacon onion jalapeño marmalade on the side – a little spicy, sweet and savory!

We can’t wait to go back to Lee’s Fried Chicken & Donuts. We want to try the fried chicken and their sides – like the creamed corn, sweet potato tater tots and sour cream mashed potatoes with bacon jalapeño cream gravy. Also, they serve dessert. Can you guess what it is? Give up? It’s a donut double scooped ice cream sandwich (you can just get the ice cream too). Now that’s just sinful and we’re here for it.

Lee’s Fried Chicken & Donuts gets the 2 Girls Who Travel seal of approval!