You don’t read much about food in my Tall Tales because I’ve been a vegetarian for more than 20 years, and I’ve never thought anybody wanted to read about my Top 20 Favorite Tofu Dishes.

That changes with this Tall Tale.

No, I’m not going to regale you with crunchy tidbits about Pei Wei’s scrumptious Sweet and Sour Dish, packed with lightly seared tofu, ginger, snap peas, red bell peppers and pineapple and drizzled with sweet and sour sauce, all nestled on a bed of rice.

I’ve taken the high road. I’ve appointed Lake Houston’s Connoisseur of Carnivore Cuisine, Ted Mandel, to be my official Flesh-eater.

Ted’s Facebook postings are filled with his gourmet exploits and, frankly, I’m trying to punch up my readership. 

You might remember that Ted has been a Tall Tale before. He’s behind the “Bring Krispy Kreme to Lake Houston” Facebook page.

He’s the same guy who got me up before dawn last year so we could drive – in the dark – to Lower Westheimer to one of the few Krispy Kreme shops along the Gulf Coast. I must say watching Krispy Kreme donuts being created needs to be on your “before I die” bucket list. 

So, what did Ted try out just for you first? Jack in the Box tacos, of course.

Ted’s Review: “$1.19 for two. Yes, a 20 percent increase. Crunchy, crispy taco shell gives way to a soft greasy beef nirvana. Insider’s Tip: Let the taco sit for a few to let the grease soak into the shell. That serves three purposes. It enhances the taste, softens the shell so there is less chance of a crispy shard puncturing your gums, and it soaks up some of the grease so it won’t roll down your arm when you bite into it.”

He not only communicates taste, he communicates how to eat it. Ted was born to do this.

One more Tall Tale about Tofu.

The Chili Cook-off at Memorial Hermann Northeast Hospital is a BIG deal. Staff create their unique chili concoctions and a panel of distinguished Lake Houston VIPs declare the best chili. 

One year, I brought my tofu chili. OK, it was my partner’s chili. I don’t cook (if God wanted me to cook, there wouldn’t be so many terrific restaurants in the world).

I could tell from the turned-up noses that this chili wasn’t going to make the “best of the best” list. Our wonderful CEO Louis Smith, a basic Chick-fil-A guy, wouldn’t even try it, but our COO at the time, Heath Rushing, did take a bowl. I was wondering if I’d lose my job over that tofu when Heath came back for seconds!

I’ve got a request. Who uses a traditional coffee pot (not one of those Keurig things) and loves it? If you love coffee, as I do, those pods just don’t do justice to the taste or smell. I want my coffee pot to percolate and that coffee smell to permeate the way it did at Grandma’s house. What should I buy?


Do you have a meat dish you think needs reviewing? Email me. I’ll send Ted Mandel. He’ll eat it. Reach me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Tom Broad
Author: Tom BroadEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Besides being a proud graduate of The University of Nebraska-Lincoln and, therefore, a Cornhusker, I am retired from Memorial Hermann. I am a correspondent and columnist for Lake Houston's hometown paper, The Tribune, as well as a director of the Lake Houston Redevelopment Corporation, a member of the board of the Humble Area Assistance Ministries, and Volunteer Extraordinaire for the Lake Houston Area Chamber.