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  • Article

    Best Bar Food - Pizza at Kenneally's

    Pizza? At an Irish bar? We didn't think that made sense either. We were expecting DiGiorno or something far more frozen. But this homemade pizza is the best we've ever tasted. They've made it fresh every day for the past 11 years, and they almost alw...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Chicken-Fried Steak - Treebeards

    Normally Texans do not associate chicken-fried steak with a Cajun restaurant. Granted, the one served up at Treebeards -- best known for its red beans and rice -- is not the typical battered piece of meat smothered in a white cream gravy. Instead, th...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Margarita - Cafe Adobe

    Life is complicated enough. Don't let your liquor be that way. Unhappily, Houston has hundreds of bars and restaurants trying to hook consumers with ever-evolving concoctions. By all means, let them audition. Encourage them to pour all kinds of fruit...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Drive-thru Drink - Frozen lemonade, Bambolino's

    1. Houston is a car city. 2. Houston is hot. 3. Driving in the heat makes you crave big cold drinks. Which is why you should drive to Bambolino's. Without leaving your car, you can buy a semifrozen lemonade for a piddling $1.29. At 32 ounces, t...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Cold Boiled Shrimp - Captain Benny's Half Shell Oyster Bars

    Some people refer to journalists as bottom-feeders. Well, as long as there are crustaceans like the ones served up at the Captain's around, we will consider ourselves in good company. Since the restaurant is best known for its oysters on the half she...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Dim Sum - Ocean Palace

    Being new, big and shiny, Ocean Palace has a few obvious advantages over its competitors: a ballroom-size dining room with 100 tables, a pond in front of the restaurant garnished with lily pads, and substantial hype that keeps people waiting every Su...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Fried Rice - Chinese Cafe

    At most Chinese restaurants, fear the "special" fried rice. Rumored to be made of day-old rice and whatever leftover meat and vegetable bits fall from the cutting board, the only thing special about the rice is that it's drowned in soy sauce, creatin...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Garlic Beef - The Golden Room

    Almost everything at this Thai/Chinese restaurant is good. One strange bonus is that the place is almost always empty. The walls are red with gold trim and funky Chinese artifacts; the waitstaff smiles and doesn't say much. The garlic beef is the bes...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Lemonade - Barnaby's Cafe

    Some things you just can't get year-round in other parts of the country. Take lemonade: It's a seasonal refreshment up north, and even then, it's usually made with the powdered stuff in a can. That's not the case in Houston, or at Barnaby's Cafe. Eve...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Mashed Potatoes - Vallone's Steaks, Fish & Chops

    Once you get over the fact that they look like a failed attempt at guacamole -- made with the bright green avocado paste, no less -- you'll realize that the poblano pepper mashed potatoes at Vallone's are some spectacular spuds. Sure, the bright colo...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Local Cookbook - Supper Time, by Leon Hale, Winedale Publishing

    It's not precisely a cookbook, as Houston Chronicle columnist Leon Hale makes clear in his author's note, but he has subtitled this gastro-memoir "Recollections and Recipes," so fair game. Who cares if most of the recipes are for Depression-era fare ...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Band to Break Up/ Get Together - Clay Farmer Band/Clay Farmer

    Only a couple of months after young buck Clay Farmer disbanded his four-piece earlier this year, the singer-songwriter was playing open-mikes whenever and wherever with three of his former four musical deputies in tow. So while technically the Clay F...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Live Music Venue - Sidecar Pub

    Adding up sound, clientele, drink selection and ambience, you couldn't beat the Sidecar Pub with a male Tennessee Williams character at your side. The owners, husband and wife Peron Einkauf and Marybeth Moore, have done somersaults to create the idea...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Gay Theater - Bienvenue Theatre

    Christian De Vries did a lot of living before he took over the small space on Washington Avenue and turned it into Bienvenue Theatre, one of Houston's most successful small theaters, gay or otherwise. In past lives he'd been a carpenter, a painter, a...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Place to Watch a Belly Dancer - Al Diwan

    The restaurant is dim and empty; you have arrived too early for a late dinner. A dark-skinned young man in a pressed white shirt shows you to a table far away from the stage. Halfway through your baba ghanoush or hummus appetizer, a stoic-faced band ...

    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 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 Middle Eastern Restaurant - Cedars Mediterranean Cafe

    We're always happy to walk into Cedars, see that splendid buffet line and remember how very little it's going to cost us to dine royally. For meat lovers, there's terrific roast lamb served up simply with just its natural juices, or a nice piece of r...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Pizzeria - Star Pizza

    Americans spent more money last year on pizzas than they did on computers and software combined, or so says an industry trade group. At any rate, pizza is one subject about which nearly every American can be counted on to have an opinion. Why Star Pi...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Bartender - Patti D'Amato

    For most of the past decade and a half, the forever-young Patti D has kept a hard-core group of regulars coming back for another round at the two locations where she pours the drinks and beers: T.K. Bitterman's (2010 West Alabama) and The Ginger Man ...

    on September 21, 2000
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