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  • Article

    Best Show You Can Chew Over - The Great Caruso Dinner Theater

    Spero Criezis, producer of The Great Caruso, seems hell-bent on yanking the quaintly dated idea of dinner theater into the 21st century. And with his production of Ain't Misbehavin', the Fats Waller Musical Show, the man just might succeed. The tiny ...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Theater the Size of a Postage Stamp - The Little Room Downstairs Theater

    The road has been rocky and hard, but now there are two spaces under The Little Room Downstairs Theater's modest little sign on Bissonnet. Still, neither of Richard Laub's theaters seats more than 60 people, and most of the time the stages have been ...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Dancing by the Side of the Road - Drive By Dancing 2000

    Dancing and driving hardly seem compatible. But choreographer Leslie Scates, the woman who single-handedly engineered Drive By Dancing 2000, is clearly not the type to let a little workaday common sense supersede inspiration. The big idea came to her...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Out-of-Print Book by a Living Local Columnist - Houston: Land of the Big Rich, The Story of a Fabulous City, by George Fuermann

    After stumbling across this book on eBay, we tracked down the retired George Fuermann's phone number and called, hoping to hear some stories of his career, which spanned the better part of half a century, seven books, innumerable magazine articles an...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Late-Night Spot - Mai's Restaurant

    All the bars are closed, there's no life on the streets, but you and your friends aren't ready to trundle home. Plus, you're all starving. Usually late-night fare is limited to those 24-hour egg-and-bacon places or the drive-thru lane at a fast-food ...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Local Song About Drivin' - "Supercop," by the Road Kings

    Front man and local homeboy Jesse Dayton says on the band's Web site that this song is "based on a real-life altercation between the Texas Highway Patrol and a kid with a hot-rod Ford and a little too much to drink." But you gotta believe Dayton's cr...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Guitarist Who Never Plays in Public - Cherie Craze

    Cherie Craze is one of Houston's unrecognized wonders. Like lots of shy teenagers, the self-taught guitarist spent a good deal of her childhood hiding out in her room, wrapped around her guitar, teaching herself to play. What sets Craze apart from mo...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Club for Local Acts - Cezanne

    Though being able to sit on a musician's lap as he plays does not necessarily a great live local-music venue make, fantastic sound and a hospitable atmosphere do (we're talking about a city that is not Los Angeles or New York and where local musician...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Chef's Table - Rainbow Lodge, 1 Birdsall, (713)861-8666

    Some restaurants feature a table, generally in the kitchen, where you can experience the hustle and bustle of the back room firsthand. Others feature small intimate rooms or cozy nooks for a private get-together, away from the common folk. All of thi...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Reading Series - Margarett Root Brown Reading Series

    To know why the Margarett Root Brown Reading Series has persevered for 20 years, you need only look at some of the top-notch writers who have participated. Raymond Carver, Margaret Atwood, Donald Barthelme, Robert Pinsky, Galway Kinnel, Tobias Wolff ...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Restaurant to Impress a Date - La Colombe d'Or

    Start out at the intimate bar, then move on to the elegant and sumptuous dining room, where you'll experience not only first-class classical French cuisine but service to match. If the evening is going well, and you're feeling lucky, upstairs rooms w...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Neighborhood Spot in the Village Area - The Raven Grill

    Don't be too quick to quoth "Nevermore," upon a first visit to The Raven Grill. This tribute to Edgar Allan Poe's famous poem and the nearby elementary school bearing his name has taken flight as a neighborhood haunt. The flock of fans may be due to ...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Place to Get a Car TV Installed - All-Star Audio Video

    What smooth talkers they are at All-Star Audio Video. Any group of employees who can talk so many customers into believing that TVs -- inside cars! -- are required accessories deserves this award. And it's not as if Houston drivers weren't bad enough...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best New Restaurant - Amazon Grill

    Nuevo Latino gets funky at this new outlet for Michael Corda's cooking, located in the back of a shopping mall in the Galleria area. At his nearby fine-dining restaurant, Amricas, Corda uses traditional South American and Central American dishes a...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Alfresco Dining - Backstreet Cafe

    Nestled between La Griglia on West Gray and Tila's on Shepherd, amid a sea of lofts that are sprouting like weeds, you'll find a quiet oasis on the patio of the Backstreet Cafe. Flowers are plentiful and always in bloom, and there's plenty of shade f...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Used Car Lot - Lawrence Marshall Antique Cars

    Lawrence Marshall must really love cars. Starting as a mechanic in 1949, Marshall worked his way up the auto food chain to the purchase of a small Chevy dealership in 1969, parlaying that one outlet into the semirural, multibrand megaplex that stradd...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Chinese Restaurant - Hunan's

    It doesn't attract much attention to itself in the large strip center in the 3800 block of Bellaire, but Hunan's food is worth coming back to -- again and again. Go before you're really hungry. You'll need the extra time to wade through the eight-pag...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Un-Diner - Fox Diner, 905 Taft, (713)523-5369

    If you're looking for a chicken-fried steak covered in cream gravy with a strawberry shake on the side to wash it down, this is not the place for you. And you won't find the sparkly blue vinyl booths or garish neon signs that good old Americans have ...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Italian Restaurant - Osteria d'Aldo

    In a city proud of Texas-size portions, the waitstaff at Osteria d'Aldo still feels obliged to explain to patrons that the serving sizes are like Italian tapas -- we prefer to call them civilized. And with such manageable portions, one can do a multi...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Deli - Kenny & Ziggy's

    Until recently, Houston lacked an authentic New York-style deli, despite the size of its Jewish community and a natural customer base (a million people who like eating giant heaps of meat in one sitting). Sure, we had our share of fine sandwich shops...

    on September 21, 2000
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