Embark on a culinary adventure with the International Food Corridor in Pearland

Berland, TX (KTRK) – Foodies, listen up! It’s time to test your international taste with a culinary adventure. The City of Berland is offering a free digital passport, called the International Cuisine Trail, to reward visitors who visit locally owned restaurants.

This week, ABC13’s Localish is in Pearland and we’re featuring two Asian-owned businesses for Asian American Heritage Month, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI).

“With Pearland’s diversity and network of culinary talent, we knew we wanted to showcase these international menus in a whole new way,” said Rebecca Burns, director of marketing for Pearland Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Our restaurants are hidden gems. We already have a lot of people coming to shop, but we definitely want people to try our food.”

You don’t have to go far from the visitor center to begin your journey on the International Cuisine Trail. Our first stop down the street took us to Eight Turn Crepes, a Japanese-style creperie owned by Melissa Nguyen and her husband, Doc.

“French style, they fold it into three pieces and put it on a plate. Japanese style is different. They like to turn it into something convenient. With this kind of crepe, they’re going to roll it up into a cone,” Nguyen said.

Their business is fairly new, having opened only six months ago. She says she couldn’t find that kind of crepe in Berland, so she decided to bring the concept there herself. They serve 12 sweet options and 10 savory crepe options, which they make gluten-free with rice flour.

“Our work is called Eight Turn Crepes because in Japan, ‘eight’ denotes prosperity and happiness. ‘Turn’ means the mindset of turning something into something happy and healthy,” she said. “Every crepe of ours is designed to make everyone’s day turn into something happy.”

Just two minutes down the road is Boiling Dragon, an Asian Cajun restaurant that serves casual but contemporary fusion-style dishes. It opened in June 2020, shortly before the outbreak of the pandemic. Owner Harold Wong says the problem they are facing now is a shortage of staff and trying to keep up with demand from his customers.

“We specialize in simmering casual seafood, shrimp, lobster, fried rice, and pouss,” he said. “Things you might see from food trucks. A lot of our guests asked me if we started out as food trucks.” (In case you were wondering, they didn’t)

Wong has more than 20 years of experience as a chef, most recently being known for Ginza, a sushi restaurant that used to be located near the Galleria. Being a Pearland resident, he wanted to bring something unique to the area and make the kitchen more accessible to his clients.

“Over time, I realized that a lot of these Asian Cajun restaurants were places for special occasions, and that you go to them one to three times a year. I didn’t want to. I wanted a place where people could come one to three times a week,” he said. “We have black people, white people, Asians, Hispanics, etc. This is a great example of why we want to do this kitchen, because everyone eats it.”

Wong was one of the first business owners to join the newly created Pearland’s International Cuisine Trail. He says the city was only serving a selection of foods from the fast-food chain. But now with their increasing diversity, their food scene has a lot to offer.

“One of the things about the International Cuisine Path is that it’s something that binds a community together. It’s interactive and makes people want to be adventurous and try a new place they’ve probably never heard of,” he said.

The route includes a total of nine restaurants. The other seven are Arabella Mediterranean Kitchen + Grill, Moreno’s Grill Mexican, Sambal Chef Malaysian, Santa Barbara Italian Cafe, Spicy Panda, Super Bowl, and Szechuan Spice.

Burns said people who visit at least three pass locations are entered into a drawing to win a foodie-themed prize. The first drawing will take place on July 1.

“We’re looking forward to growing and expanding the route. This is our inaugural year we launched in March and we hope to add more restaurants to the menu. Ultimately, we’ll have a weekend stay designed around it,” said Tracy Rohrbacher. CEO of Pearland Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Residents and visitors are encouraged to nominate restaurants they think should be part of the itinerary. Business owners can also reach out to participate at no cost. Establishments must be located within city limits, be locally owned and operated (or have nine or fewer locations within the Houston area if they are franchised), and be unique to Berland either historically or culturally.

To register for a digital passport or for more information, visit Pearland’s International Cuisine Trail website.

For stories about Houston’s diverse communities, follow Rosie Nguyen on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Copyright © 2022 KTRK-TV. All rights reserved.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.