I used to be one of those people whose eyes glazed over when someone mentioned Beltway 8. I mean, pfffft -- Isn’t that in another time zone? Across the International Date Line? Just to the west of Mars? And guess what: Calling it the Sam Houston Tollway doesn’t make things any better. Geez.
Happily, I’m no longer in that category. Recent trips outside the loop (OTL) for hot pot, dim sum, and crawfish have opened my eyes to the grab bag of goodness out yonder. Additionally, these trips have taught me that “out yonder” isn’t actually that far. Heh.
My latest trip was to Fu Fu Café, a small spot on Bellaire in Houston’s Chinatown. The Houston Chowhounds have been abuzz with love for this place, so my friend Dorothy and I went in with a laundry list of possibilities -- And thank goodness, since the menu is a jabillion pages long. Yikes! Here’s where we ended up...
The beef noodle soup arrived steamy hot with generous portions of tender meat and bok choy. The broth, itself, is excellent, and the interior spaghetti-like noodles are thick and hearty. Try and try again, I couldn’t tear myself away from this dish and its simple appeal.
Green onion pancakes were tasty, though uninspiring, but the myriad dumplings are something special. The long, thin pan-fried wigglers are crispy on one side and chewy on the other, a nice paradox of textures to crown the flavor. And the soup dumplings (which masquerade as “steamed pork buns” on the menu) are even more impressive: soft, warm pockets filled with spicy pork and steaming, salty broth. Both versions are beautifully delicious.
Fu Fu Café has some of the best Chinese food around in terms of authenticity and value. Portions are generous and service is OK.
Yes, Virginia, there is life outside the loop. Hizzah!
Fu Fu Café - 9889 Bellaire Blvd (near Beltway 8)