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  • Article

    Best Reading Series - Nuestra Palabra, Talento Bilingue de Houston, Guadalupe Plaza, 333 S. Jensen, 713-867-8943, www.nuestrapalabra.org

    Tony Diaz read science fiction until, at the age of 20, he discovered there were authors out there who had similar experiences and backgrounds. Despite a growing Hispanic population, he found he was one of the few Latinos in the University of Houston...

    on September 20, 2001
  • Article

    Best Poetry Series That Wouldn't Die - First Fridays, Inprint House, 1524 Sul Ross, 713-521-3519, www.houstonpoetryfest.org

    Reading series come and go, but ever since Robert Clark rescued a dying gathering of beatniks at the Sand Mountain coffee shop back in 1975, First Friday has been plugging along under his direction. The location may have changed over the past 25 year...

    on September 20, 2001
  • Article

    Best Movie Theater - Brown Auditorium

    The newly renovated auditorium debuted with the premiere of a redone version of the 1984 Oscar-winning film Amadeus to show off, among other things, its new sound system. (The Oscar-winning sound man, Mark Berger, was even on hand to talk with the au...

    on September 20, 2001
  • Article

    Best Fusion CD by Local Musicians - is it jazz? by Spoken Mercy

    Fusion is most often associated with jazz, but this CD begs the question. A blend of flamenco, jazz and rock, Spoken Mercy has fused the three in this locally produced compact disc. The band's debut CD features Gary Norman on guitars and bass, with T...

    on September 20, 2001
  • Article

    Best Big Idea - Spirit of Houston

    New York has the Statue of Liberty; Paris has the Eiffel Tower; St. Louis has the arch; even Huntsville has big old Sam Houston. And what does Houston have? Well, if architect Doug Michels, industrial designer Peter Bollinger and sculptor Cybele Rowe...

    on September 20, 2001
  • Article

    Best Local Cable Television Personalities - David Jones and Gary Polland

    The unlikely triad of David Jones, Gloria Gonzalez Roemer and Gary Polland presents the only real weekly political talk show in town, Politics Unplugged. Jones is a veteran criminal defense attorney and Democratic activist who used to host his own ca...

    on September 20, 2001
  • Article

    Best Radio Talk Show - The Dick Harmon Golf Hour, KILT/610 AM

    Dick is probably the second-most famous of the four golfing Harmon brothers, taking a backseat only to Butch, who is of course the golfing guru to Tiger Woods. Teamed with station regulars Lance Zerlein and John Granato, Harmon is informative and, mo...

    on September 20, 2001
  • Article

    Best Bar Decor - La Carafe

    In a city in which most bar owners' decorative aesthetic runs toward merely plastering the walls and ceilings with garish beer and liquor ads, the 141-year-old La Carafe (which over the decades has been an Indian trading post, a steam bakery and a Po...

    on September 20, 2001
  • Article

    Best Bar Mom - Elizabeth Knox

    Good bars are always established around solid personalities -- and the best inevitably become maternal institutions for the patrons. Liz Knox learned early on how to succeed in the often slippery business world of drinking establishments. With more t...

    on September 20, 2001
  • Article

    Best Vietnamese Elvis Impersonator - "Elvis" John Newinn

    The white rhinestone-studded jumpsuit never looked better on Elvis himself. His throaty version of "Love Me Tender" is a seductive swooner. And what 26-year-old "Elvis" John Newinn began for fun seven years ago as an Elvis impersonator has taken him ...

    on September 20, 2001
  • Article

    Best Martini - Zimm's Martini & Wine Bar

    Zimm's has been a wine bar; it's been a coffee-and-wine bar; it's been all but burned out in a fire last year; and it's been flooded by Tropical Storm Allison. Still, it endures, and it makes a damn good martini. The drinks are helped by the seductiv...

    on September 20, 2001
  • Article

    Best Margarita - El Pueblito Place

    These sublime concoctions are undoubtedly best enjoyed alfresco, and to do so there is no place better than the Guatemalan/Mexican surf-and-turf, El Pueblito Place. First, there's the marg itself, which is tartly delicious as any in town and comes in...

    on September 20, 2001
  • Article

    Best Breakfast Tacos - Shipway Donuts

    Houston's unique brand of spontaneous fusion is in full flower on Telephone Road. Formerly home to the white middle class, now part Asian and part Hispanic, Telephone crosses all the lines. Shipway began its life as a run-of-the-mill doughnut shop, a...

    on September 20, 2001
  • Article

    Best Fried Chicken - Fox Diner

    Old-timers remember the era when Sunday afternoons meant post-church meals where anything but fried chicken would constitute outright heresy. Now the special repast is almost strictly the domain of fast-food joints. Fox Diner pays due homage to the h...

    on September 20, 2001
  • Article

    Best Plantains - Cafe Piquet

    When we say plantains, we aren't talking about those crunchy chips you find in a bag of trail mix. No, we're talking plantains here, the ones you peel and fry up in a pan. Most restaurants will serve up slabs of fruit from plantain purgatory, soft an...

    on September 20, 2001
  • Article

    Best Fusion Mussels - Farrago

    Deciding on an appetizer can be a weighty decision with Farrago's global cuisine, which has included such world-champion contenders as chili-cured tenderloin, Asian barbecue duck and jerk chicken wings. But we're decidedly mussel-bound, reaching repe...

    on September 20, 2001
  • Article

    Best Bread - Central Market

    As you wind through the maze of Houston's Central Market, past the exotic fruits, past the clam aquarium, past the 17 kinds of rice, you eventually come to an enormous shopping-cart traffic jam in the store's right rear corner. This is where the best...

    on September 20, 2001
  • Article

    Best Pasta - Masraff's

    It's not just noodles anymore, and they don't all come from Italy, so put that redneck mentality aside and take a look at the rainbow of international pastas that make Houston a regular pasta jungle and their gustation a celebration. Better yet, take...

    on September 20, 2001
  • Article

    Best Empanadas - Caf Red Onion

    An order of empanadas at Caf Red Onion is a trip around the world in which fresh medleys of flavors flatter each other in encounters that are interesting even in a place that prides itself on its culinary theme of Latin fusion. The light-crusted, de...

    on September 20, 2001
  • Article

    Best Jerk Chicken - Reggae Hut

    Don't worry about a thing: White meat or dark, every serving of this jerk chicken's gonna be all right. The flavorful tryst begins the moment the vibrant Fiestaware plate arrives with its bounty of spicy rice, steamed vegetables and quarter-bird dren...

    on September 20, 2001
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