Eating out in Houston: Nielsens Deli

At the corner or Richmond and Mid Lane sits an unassuming establishment called Nielsens Deli. I had driven by this place countless times since moving to Houston, but never thought about stopping by, I imagined it was just a deli selling deli meats. Recently, a good friend invited me out for a quick lunch promising me I would have the best potato salad and deviled eggs EVAH! Off to Nielsens we went.

As you walk into the stand-alone building, you’ll¬†come into a long narrow room, the deli counter will¬†be just a couple of feet and directly across from the front door, that’s where you place your order, unless you’ve called it in. Turn right and to the opposite end of the room, pick up some chips and pay for your order. If you’re dining in, you can grab one of the stools lined up against the storefront glass. If you’re feeling particularly playful, tease the incoming customers as they come up to the counter.

Ok, this is a food blog, right? Let’s talk shop. First, I was tickled by the lingo I heard as I approached the counter. The customers, regulars no doubt, have learned how to properly order their meals:¬†‘a Jr Corned beef, extra spread on rye and a pixie potato salad‘. It made me think of a kinder, gentler soup Nazi.

I’m not a big sandwich person, it just doesn’t seem like a meal, but these sandwiches are awesome! I had the corned beef on white¬†with extra spread (they make their own mayo…OHMY!), an egg and a pixie of egg salad. Let me tell you, this corned beef was good and piled high on the homemade bread. No skimping here.

Anni had the turkey on white, extra spread an egg and a pixie of potato salad. I had a bite of her turkey and was surprised by how flavorful it was. They’ve been roasting their own turkey breasts since the deli opened in 1952, I think they have it down.

Now. For the really exciting part. Those sides. I love potato salad, but not the mustardy kind and not with a bunch of stuff in it. KISS (keep it simple, sweetie) is my motto. And KISS it they do. Loads of their amazing homemade mayo, piled with eggs and celery for some crunch, this potato salad ROCKS! It is so good that years ago Gourmet magazine sent a letter requesting their recipe!

Then we go into the deviled egg territory. Insanity, that is all I can say about it. Next time I go, I will have the chicken salad sandwich, apparently it is incredible. And I believe it, because I had a pixie of the egg salad… it was as if they just chopped the deviled eggs and stirred it all up.

If you’re from Houston, you should definitely visit this Houston institution, do it soon! It’s just inside the loop at Richmond. If you’re coming to Houston for a visit, put this one on the list.

Nielsen’s Deli (daily from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m)
4500 Richmond Avenue
713.963.8005

Eating around,
Anamaris

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If it’s roasted, you might as well

make some roast chicken salad!

There are so many variations for this classic salad, but my favorite is from H-E-B, one of the largest grocery stores in Texas. The first time I tried theirs, I was hooked. It is pretty simple really, but the chicken is incredibly tasty because they use rotisserie chicken meat. To that they just add some celery and a bit of hot sauce to spice things up.

Since I had some leftover roasted chicken, I went ahead and used the leftovers to make a similar salad to HEB’s. I added some spice with roasted poblanos and Piment d’Espellete, but you can add or omit at will.

Roasted Chicken Salad
Makes about 4 cups

1/3 cp celery, finely chopped
1/3 cp roasted poblano pepper, finely chopped
Finely chopped Italian parsley
1/2 cp mayo (use the real thing)
1/4 cp sour cream
1/2 tsp Piment d’Espellete or cayenne pepper
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
3 cps chicken meat, roasted and cubed

Combine the first 6 ingredients until well incorporated. Taste it and adjust the salt & pepper as necessary.

Mix in the chicken.

And…, see if you can keep your fork out of it long enough to serve it.

Go on. Serve.

Cookingly yours,
Anamaris

Childhood Faves

What’s your favorite one? My mom did a.lot.of.cooking. And baking. And entertaining. She made us fun stuff, like PBJs, pancakes and doughnuts! She also made us eat the serious stuff like pumpkin, spinach and carrots. She wasn’t able to get okra passed me, though. I hope she’s not too hard on herself for that. To this day I can’t deal with that slimy veg. I best stop thinking about it before I make myself sick.

Yumness on a plate!

This is one of my fun foods. I remember pleading for this, then covering it with ketchup. I don’t do the ketchup part anymore, I honestly can’t tell you what possessed me to do that in the first place. I’m guessing I had a red infatuation, who knows. I’ve taken my mom’s standard and jazzed up a bit. It’s really yum!

Mom’s Spaghetti Omelette
If you have some leftover pasta, that’s perfect or you can cook some up for this (I do it all the time).
2 cps spaghetti or other noodle pasta, cooked
2 eggs
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp coarse black pepper
1/2 tsp Herbs d’Provence
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter

In a medium size bowl, whisk the eggs, salt, pepper and HdProvence. Add the pasta and mix it in.

Preheat a 12-inch frying pan over medium high heat, add the oil and butter until it melts. Dump the pasta in and spread it out evenly to cover the bottom. Allow it to brown, it will take about 5 minutes per side. Flip the omelette and brown the opposite side.

Slice it in quarters and top with parmesan cheese, if desired. Can you stand it?

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If only there was taste-a-blog code...