TASTINGS

Killen's BBQ and Papa John's Partner Up to Create Collaborative Brisket Pizza

This rodeo season, Killen’s Barbecue and Papa John’s Pizza Houston join forces to create the Killen’s Barbecue Brisket Pizza. This special collaboration is available now at 82 participating Houston Papa John’s locations for a limited time between February 18 to March 31, 2019.

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The sauce is a harmony of Papa John’s pizza sauce and Killen’s housemade barbecue sauce. Toppings include Killen’s beef brisket, mozzarella cheese, bacon, pickles, and pickled onions.

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Papa John’s Houston’s Keith Sullins (left) and Ronnie Killen (right) said the pizza underwent several months of development. What attracted Killen to Papa John’s was their priority of using fresh ingredients; Papa John’s doesn’t have freezers in their stores. “We have the same beliefs [when it comes to ingredients],” Killen said.

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I was invited to attend the collaboration’s debut party. Now, I was excited for this because Killen’s Barbecue is my favorite BBQ joint in Houston and it did not disappoint. I ran into fellow food Instagrammers Jovi (@houstonfoodee) and Mai (@maihtxrealtor/@htxfoodietwins). It’s always a pleasure seeing them, so give them some love! Playing live at the party was the local country music sensation The Junior Gordon Band. They’ll be playing at the Houston Rodeo February 28-March 2.

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My verdict: This pizza is Killen (killing) it! The brisket is cooked well and the pickles and pickled onions give just the right amount of crunch. Going half and half between the two sauces was a good decision; neither overpowers the other. Though I am not a huge pizza fan, this pizza is solid choice. I love a good collaboration.

After the rodeo ends, the brisket pizza will no longer be available, but it won’t be the last collaboration between them. They currently have four future pizzas in development.


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Killen’s Barbecue
3613 E Broadway St.
Pearland, TX 77581

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POKII Eatery Turns 2 with BOGO Free Promotion

POKII Eatery will be turning two years old this Saturday, February 23, 2019. Join the celebration with the buy one bowl, get one bowl free special promotion from 11 A.M. to 9 P.M.

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POKII Eatery opened in 2016 by founders Ricardo, Eddie, Steven, and Chris. Located in the Energy Corridor, POKII Eatery is a healthy fast casual concept perfect for lunch and dinner. To ensure quality and freshness, all ingredients and sauces are prepared in-house daily. Choose from 7 unique signature bowls or customize your own poke bowl with unlimited toppings.

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I sampled each of their signature bowls. From the top and going clockwise, here lies the Big Kahuna, Citrus Yuzu, Alohapeno, Miso Surf, Soju Island, California, and Texas Dynamite bowls. If you’re looking for a traditional Hawaiin style poke, the Big Kahuna will satisfy your needs perfectly. The other 6 bowls deviate from the traditional style, but each one is also solid choice. My favorite out of the bunch was the Citrus Yuzu bowl which is topped with salmon, spicy ponzu, cucumber, pickled jalapeno, masago, scallions, sesame, tomato, crab meat, volcano flakes, and furikake.

For proteins, they currently offer salmon, Ahi tuna, scallop, octopus, and shrimp tempura. POKII Eatery is planning to offer additional protein options, for example yellowtail, for select periods of time throughout the year. If you’re a spice chaser, I definitely recommend trying their spicy sauces because the heat is really up there. If you need a any recommendations on what to order, make sure to ask the staff since they are super friendly and know their stuff.

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In addition to the BOGO deal, customers will also receive a scratch off ticket. Each ticket contains a freebie item. Just bring it back between March and May 2019 to redeem your prize. Follow the Facebook event page for complete details and updates of their anniversary.


 

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POKII Eatery
12153 Katy Fwy.
Houston, TX 77079

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Celebrate Em's Seafood Kitchen's Grand Opening This Sunday

Celebrate the grand opening of Em’s Seafood Kitchen this Sunday, February 17, 2019 in Manvel! Starting at 11 A.M., Em’s will start the day with a lion dance followed by a ribbon cutting ceremony. There will be activities and raffles. The first 50 customers in line will also receive a $50 gift card.

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Em’s Seafood Kitchen invited me out to their soft opening. The restaurant is located on the south side of Beltway 8 at the border of Manvel and Pearland. Em’s considers themselves a fast casual family-owned seafood restaurant with an Asian twist. All of their seafood is sourced fresh from the gulf and you can definitely taste the freshness. The shrimp even comes straight from their own family’s boats.

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For appetizers, tried the fried oysters, hush puppies, and fried rice. Biting through the crunchy exterior and meeting the soft interior of the freshly cooked oyster was extremely satisfying. These were the most flavorful hush puppies I’ve had. Both item's’ breading were not too dense which is how I prefer my fried foods. The fried rice without meat was a great accompaniment for the main dish seen below.

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For my entree, I ordered Leo’s Platter which comes with a little bit of everything! The platter has 1 lb. of crawfish, 1 lb. of shrimp. 1 lb. of snowcrab legs, 2 corns, 3 potatoes, and 1 extra long sausage. Choose from 3 flavors: Cajun, garlic butter, or Leo’s Special. I chose Leo’s Special at medium spiciness which was like a fusion of traditional Cajun and Viet Cajun. At medium level, it was easy to eat. I want try the “spicy” level next time for a little extra kick in my mouth. The seafood was cooked perfectly and jammed packed with flavor. This platter was really a treat since it marks the beginning of crawfish season for me. If you’d like to order this dish, bring a friend because It’s definitely enough food for two people.

Since I’m based in the southeast, I am always on the lookout for new restaurants on the southern areas of Houston. Em’s is a wonderful addition to Brazoria County especially since this part of Manvel is still developing. It’s just a short distance away from Pearland Town Center since it’s right at the border of the two cities. Thank you Em’s for having me!


 

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Em’s Seafood Kitchen
2632 CR 59 Suite A
Manvel, TX 77578

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