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CULINARY THRILL SEEKING: Taste it all — with your family

A year ago my family visited Polish Food Store on Blalock Road in Houston. I still have some horseradish in the refrigerator. We’ve waited that long to try Polonia Restaurant, which has since moved from down the road to next door to the store.

We walked in early in the evening and made it clear we’d love some small samples, because we had more food to try elsewhere. Our server graciously went over the pierogi options and we ordered the meat version and a plate of fried bacon.

He said this bacon was popular at the rodeo and cautioned it is very different from the American version. Like just about any version of bacon could go wrong? Two thick slabs arrived with a side salad, crisp pickled cut into fans and mustard.

I just want to know why, if pigs are the same everywhere, we haven’t been able to popularize this amazing Polish bacon in America. Bring on the bacon.

Dishes arrived with little paper Polish flags and we also availed ourselves of bread with season butter and a pork jelly to spread on the slices. We plan to head back and eventually sample the rest of the menu.

Next we sampled a Yori Yori eel dish at 99 Ranch, the Asian market also on Blalock. Everything I’ve ever tried at this food court-style eatery has been great. Just don’t, ever, use the vessel that looks like a little soup bowl for soup, or sauce. It is strictly for water, and they are not joking about it. Learn from my ways.

My soon-to-be 25-year-old daughter then did her choosing for her annual birthday request, a gathering of unusual edibles. Lots of canned eel and noodles are going in this basket.

It’s good to get the gang together and try new things. What will you be trying before 2015 comes to a close?

darraghcastillo@icloud.com