Houston is lovely.
On our fourth day in Houston, we again took an Uber to a restaurant that I had scouted on Instagram. Fat Bao! Fat Bao is an Asian fusion restaurant that specializes in baos. Baos, or steamed buns, are used here as a blank canvas for a variety of fillings. And the name holds true, I felt like a fat bao afterwards.
They have two locations, one on Kirby and another one in Sugarland. The Sugarland location offers more in terms of menu items, offering different types of ramen as well. We went to the one on Kirby, which was located in a really unassuming strip mall anchored by Office Depot. We arrived about 10 minutes after they opened at 11:00 and there was only one other table occupied. By the time we left, the place was almost full.
The premise here is that you order at the counter and afterwards they bring out the food to you. At the time, they had a lunch special which included 2 baos of your choice (extra surcharge for pricier baos), a side, and a drink for about $9.25.
I went for the crab daddy bao (soft shell crab, Asian slaw, spicy mayo) and the bulgogi bao (marinated beef ribeye, kimchi, green onions) with a side of homemade chips (with kimcheenaise dip), and lemonade. The chips were seriously addicting. The crab daddy was probably my favorite out of the two, since I felt that the bulgogi was a bit too sweet.
KN also went for a crab daddy bao, and also the pork katsu, which would've been my second choice (fried pork belly, avocado slices, Asian slaw, tonkatsu sauce), also with a side of the homemade chips.
I applaud the owners for their creativity, transforming the humble bao into an inventive hamburger hybrid.
When searching the restaurant on Google maps, I also noticed that they had an Ulta nearby. Since we would be waiting for KN's brother-in-law to pick us up anyways, we walked over a couple of blocks to check out the store since we don't have any Ulta's in Canada. I don't know if we have a Canadian equivalent, but I would say that Ulta is comparable to a Shopper's Drug Mart, but solely their beauty and hair section, where they have a mix of higher end and drug store brands.
After some time, we met up with KN's brother-in-law and he drove us to Houston's Museum District. The Museum District is basically a cluster of all the museums and galleries located in Houston. There were so many places to choose from, ranging from the Children's Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts, to the Holocaust Museum. So much variety that we had a hard time deciding which one to go to. In the end we decided on the Houston Museum of Natural Science as it boasted the most variety of exhibits.
Before we went inside, we took a self-guided walking tour of the gardens that surrounded the museum. The garden was beautiful, with tons of greenery, statues and a Chinese gazebo, and even a man-made waterfall hill that you can walk around until you reach the top.
Definitely a beautiful space to have in the centre of such an urban city.
Since we were exhausted from walking through the outlets the previous day, walking around the museum felt like a chore. Not the museum's fault of course, it was our fault for not wearing more sensible shoes for a marathon of shopping.
The first exhibit was a series of gemstone cravings crafted by the incredibly talented Harold Van Pelt. Definitely not a exhibit that a clumsy person should visit.
For a while, we noticed a security guard hovering around the exhibit and he would occasionally pop up at every corner we turned at. I thought we were getting in trouble for taking pictures but he acted like an unofficial tour guide, telling us facts and stories of some of the dinosaurs. I guess you have a lot of free time as a museum security guard.
I think the exhibit I was most excited for was the Hall of Ancient Egypt! They even had a real mummified body and head on display.
In the basement of the museum, there was a chemistry exhibit. The coolest part was an awesome interactive periodic table of elements display. Inside each of the boxes were everyday uses of the elements.
|Look at that grill!|
|Afterwards, we walked even more (my poor feet were crying at this point) around the Japanese gardens which was also located in the museum district. I have taken the authority to name the turtle Franklin.|
The lake views were definitely beautiful, and there were tons of seagulls and birds swooping overhead.
KN really wanted me to experience feeding stingrays so we went to the "aquarium" reef. I thought feeding stingrays meant throwing some random fish pellets in the water, not holding a dead fish in between your fingers! The stingrays were super aggressive, maybe because they were underfed that day. And I also definitely felt teeth on my fingers!
I mean, look at the thing. This is what nightmares are made of.
As a conclusion to our long, tiring day, we shared a Hawaiian pizza at a random pizza restaurant at the boardwalk.
We later drove home with sore feet and many happy (perhaps scarred for life) memories.