Archive for April, 2006

Sylvia’s Enchilada Kitchen

In: Uncategorized

26 Apr 2006

Sylvia’s Enchiladas, located at 12637 Westheimer Rd, Ste 140, Houston, TX, 77077, is located just west of the Westheimer and Dairy Ashford intersections in the bustling Westchase section of Houston. Tucked away in a strip mall, incongruously located next to a giant McDonald’s, it’s easy to miss this cozy eatery amid the convenience stores and fast food joints that clog the landscape.

Step inside, though, and the frenetic energy of the outside disappears. Inside the light is soft, and the hum of conversation is punctuated by the clink of silverware and the rattle of ice cubes. You’ll be greeted warmly, perhaps by Sylvia herself. A trim, aristocratic woman, Sylvia practices hands-on management, personally querying diners as to their experience. Indeed, her presence is felt throughout the establishment, from the quaint collections of miniature tea sets artfully arranged in the nooks and crannies of the dining room to the framed portraits of the proprietress smiling down on diners from the surrounding walls.

Service is responsive and patrons are usually seated immediately. However, as Sylvia’s becomes more and more popular, there are nominal wait times of ten-fifteen minutes at peak times, so plan to arrive early during these times.

Bottomless baskets of tortilla chips are served with bowls of salsa, which is a good thing because the smells wafting from the kitchen will soon have your stomach growling.

The menu boasts 18 varieties of enchiladas, from the classic enchilada entrée featuring cheese, chicken, or beef enchiladas with chili gravy, to the more exotic offerings such as Enchiladas Tampico, an enchilada loaded with tender, sautéed shrimp and topped with a Spanish-style sauce. My personal favorite are the Enchiladas Monterrey, stuffed with a succulent filling of melted Monterrey Jack cheese and smothered in Salsa Espanola, a red salsa with beefy chunks of tomatoes. (Beef and chicken are also available for carnivores.) The Crystal City enchiladas are just as tasty, bursting with fresh spinach and covered in a tomatilla sauce. Classic Mexican fare such as tacos, chalupas, and quesadillas aren’t forgotten, either, cooked up with just as much care and flavor as their enchilada counterparts.

Be sure to save room for dessert. Sylvia’s is known for its Tres Leches dessert and serves two varieties – pastel and chocolate. Creamy flan topped with a warm caramel sauce, sopapillas, and chocolate cake are also great ways to end your meal.

Dining is casual and the entrées are reasonably priced, with the average cost being around $10. There’s a fully stocked bar with the requisite frosty margaritas, and an outdoor dining area as well.

For a complete menu and more information, visit Sylvia’s on the web at

Spirit Alterations

In: Uncategorized

23 Apr 2006

When my daughter and her best friend received their band performance gowns the night before the concert, the only choice this non-sewing mom had was to use Stitch Witchery to take up the hem. (Stitch Witchery is a bonding tape that melts when ironed, effectively gluing the fabric together.) The gowns – long, black, polyester numbers – each had about a foot of excess length, but the Stitch Witchery did a good enough job until I could get it to Spirit Alterations a week later.

The lady that helped me was very nice and patiently accommodated two giggling teenage girls. Thankfully the girls managed to hold still while the lady pinned the hem, however, even if they had been squirmy (think little kids), her hands were steady and I think she would have pulled it off with aplomb.

We didn’t need them right away, and even though she could have had them done within a day, we opted to pick them up about two weeks later. When I picked them up, the hems were perfectly straight and exactly the right length. The dresses were ironed and hanging neatly on their hangers, ready to go to the next concert. (And God bless her, she managed to get the Stitch Witchery residue out, too.)

I absolutely recommend Spirit Alterations, and will definitely use them again. They are located at 1660 S Dairy Ashford Street, Houston, TX, 77077, on the northwest corner of Dairy Ashford and Westmere Streets.

Note: They are listed in the phone book as Spirit Cleaners, however, the signage clearly identifies them as Spirit Alterations.

When we moved to Houston nearly five years ago, we found Ashford Veterinary Hospital by pure luck. Over those five years, the doctors and staff of Ashford Veterinary Hospital have seen our family through routine vaccinations and exams, as well as treating more acute incidents. Always accommodating, they’ve provided care for even those last minute emergencies that always seem to occur five minutes before closing time.

Located at 12633 Whittington Drive, Ashford Veterinary Hospital is a stylish, compact building trimmed in blue and nestled between leafy trees. (They double as fire hydrants for nervous dogs.) Separate dog and cat entrances reduce the chance of inter-species hostilities.

The clinic is staffed by friendly, knowledgeable workers that treat the pets with genuine affection. The front desk is efficient and organized, and a hanging white board prominently showcases the the names of that days patients in a bright and colorful welcome. The counter areas display educational literature, as well as brochures for upcoming pet events.

The facilities are clean and feature surgical suites, an ICU, a lab, an x-ray room, and separate cat and dog boarding areas. The equipment is modern and the doctors are versed in the latest veterinary developments. Moreover, the staff encourage you to take the tour of the facilities – be sure to ask when you visit.

The clinic is staffed by three veterinarians, all of whom espouse quality care. Prevention is encouraged, and doctors work with the clients to develop a treatment plan to effectively care for the patient while keeping the financial aspects in mind.

In addition to dogs and cats, Ashford Veterinary Hospital also treats pocket pets and rabbits. Microchipping, spay and neuter, dental care, grooming, and boarding are just some of the services they offer. An impressive selection of premium dog and cat foods line nearly an entire wall in the lobby areas.

Also, a discount is offered for pets being adopted from animal shelters.

Choosing a vet is an important decision and requires a great deal of trust in the vet’s abilities and philosophies. After five years of working with Ashford Veterinary Hospital to provide the best care for my pets, I have absolute faith in their skills and enormous respect for their commitment to quality care.

Ashford Veterinary Hospital can be visited online at

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