The 2013 Houston Web Awards: The Best Of Online Houston

Fox26 newscaster Isiah Carey got over his embarrassment and learned to embrace the power of social media. He’s among this year’s winners, all creative users of the latest technology.

Best Use of Facebook by a Business

Domy Books

When a grasshopper flew into Carey's mouth, all hell broke loose, and the resulting video became a viral sensation.
When a grasshopper flew into Carey's mouth, all hell broke loose, and the resulting video became a viral sensation.
Fox26's Isiah Carey turned an embarrassing caught-on-camera tirade into a strong social media presence.
Jeff Balke
Fox26's Isiah Carey turned an embarrassing caught-on-camera tirade into a strong social media presence.

Even in this hugely connected day and age, it's still hard to find truly underground and edgy literature and art. You're not going to find out about Richard Hell's I Dreamed I Was a Very Clean Tramp by liking Barnes & Noble on Facebook. Not a day goes by that Domy Books won't show up in your newsfeed with some bizarre sub-subgenre of book you've never heard of or news that they're hosting the screening of a documentary on text-only adventure computer games.

Best Wi-Fi Spot

George R. Brown Convention Center

After spending three days immersed in the annual Comicpalooza convention, we have to give a shout-out to GRB for the tremendous Wi-Fi coverage they offer in the building for free. Seriously, the line for registration on Saturday at the convention stretched down the entire second-floor hallway and back, and all those people were tweeting, updating Facebook, etc. Just for the sheer amount of information GRB was allowing to be shared in a building the size of a small town filled to the brim with geeks, they deserve accolades.

Best Hashtag


There was much wailing among our womenfolk and gnashing of our teeth when it was announced that Houston would not be getting a retired space shuttle. For Space City, it was a blow. The only consolation was getting to follow the craft's journey to its new home, including a brief stopover in Houston at Ellington Field, by using Twitter and #SpotTheShuttle. Hundreds of videos and photographs flooded Twitter with the tag, and for a brief time, we all got to bask in the scientific awesomeness that is space travel on a victory lap.

Best Food Truck Twitter

Eatsie Boys

Most food-truck Twitter feeds are filled with dry news, like location updates and calls to cover shifts, but not the Eatsie Boys's. Theirs is engaging and informative, filled with tweets about other local food trucks, restaurants around town, and retweets of customer photos and comments. The best thing about their Twitter feeds, though, is the hippie-happy rhyming ditties they always put out. In fact, if you string them together, they make an Eatsie Boys rap that would go something like this: "Mmmontrose cafe, be there today, doin our thang, a little bit of this, a little bit of that, Divine da bomb, #FrozenAwesome is cool, we've got a housemade PB&J sammy for the lil eboys & egirls!"

Best Restaurant Web Site

Philippe Restaurant + Lounge

Enter the world of Philippe Restaurant + Lounge through their Web site, and you'll find everything you might want to know about the restaurant in a beautifully designed package. The splash page is regularly updated to reflect restaurant specials, like their happy hour, special dinners and other events. Menus are available to view on the site and to download if you prefer. Easy to find, easy to navigate and super fast. Definitely a peg above the rest and an out-and-out winner. Bonus points for having a strong mobile version, too.

Best Restaurant Facebook

Max's Wine Dive

One of the most active restaurant Facebook pages in Houston, Max's is head and shoulders above the rest in the social media department. New photos of mouthwatering images crop up every day, resulting in tons of likes and fan comments like "Drool," "I'm hungry" or "Want." The page is also informative about upcoming events, allowing its followers to be first in line for anything from wine dinners to the restaurant's autumnal Houston Cellar Classic event. Keep up the great job, Max's.

Best Bartender Twitter


His Twitter profile almost says it all: "Freelance cocktail bartender, Houston ethnic food nerd and a bunch of other stuff." Known for his long stints at Anvil and as the opening bartender at Underbelly, if you follow Chris Frankel on Twitter, you'll find that he's opinionated, eats out a lot, travels to places just to eat and drink, and is totally "in the know" on where to find the best food in Houston. He prides himself on finding those hole-in-the-wall places before anyone else does, and his Twitter feed will take you there with him.

Best Chef Twitter


You can always find Carlos Rodriguez, the concept executive chef for Vic & Anthony's Steakhouse in Houston, Las Vegas, Atlantic City and New York, on Twitter. He snaps photos of his food, comments on other chefs' menus and includes random personal information about things like "Teaching my kid how to smuggle candy into the movies. I'm a bad father." Yes, he's funny, too, just one of the reasons this chef has close to 1,500 followers.

Best Food Blog

H-Town Chow Down

Blogging is full-time work these days, which is why H-Town Chow Down, one of the most active local food blog sites, is made up of not just one person but a small team. With the tagline "We eat out almost every day," the blog, headed by Albert Nurick, does a great job chronicling their eating adventures with commentary and photos. They've boldly listed their picks for Houston's best burgers with reviews to back them up. While their focus is mainly on American food — their site is organized by labels like barbecue, breakfast, brunch, burgers, sandwiches, seafood and steaks — they also have pizza and Mexican categories, along with 75 restaurant reviews and counting.

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