Brandi Key

  • Blogs

    August 28, 2014

    The 5 Best Washington Corridor Happy Hours

    If you love happy hour as much as we do, you'll love this new series. We're taking a look at the best happy hours in town, 'hood by 'hood. To narrow it down, we're focusing on the spots with the best deals on not only drinks, but eats, too. From upscale eateries serving bar bites and half-priced win ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 21, 2014

    Videos of the Week: Watch Houston Area Chefs and Restaurants Take the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

    (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); = id; js.src = "//"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk')); Post by Gabriel Medina. Mar ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 6, 2014

    Review: Punk's Simple Southern May Be Trying a Little Too Hard, But Don't Miss the Biscuits

    As we placed our order, the server's eyes grew wider and wider, and his hand moved furiously across his notepad, attempting to keep up with our laundry list of desired appetizers. When we were finally finished, he stepped back and looked at us -- two people who had just ordered enough food to feed t ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 2, 2014

    This Week In Food Blogs: Buttermilk Biscuits & Grilled Oysters

    CultureMap Houston: Marene Gustin loves to indulge in fresh fruits and vegetables throughout the summer months. She suggests making a tomato and cucumber sandwich with mayonnaise, black pepper and sea salt stuffed between two slices of chewy sourdough bread; pair it with a glass of Duchman Family Wi ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 4, 2014

    Rest of the Best 2014: Houston's Top Ten Italian Restaurants

    Our 2013 Best of HoustonĀ® winners were announced a while back, but in many cases, picking the best item in any category was no easy task. In order to show off all the culinary greatness Houston has to offer, we're continuing to round up the "rest of the best" in some of our favorite categories. Bon ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 28, 2014

    First Look at Punk's Simple Southern Food

    Walking into Punk's Simple Southern Food, the latest of the Clark Cooper Concepts restaurants and the next door neighbor to Coppa Osteria in the Rice Village, I couldn't help but be charmed by its down-home country vibe. Like the other restaurants in their portfolio (they also own Ibiza, Brasserie ... More >>

  • Dining

    April 3, 2014
  • Blogs

    March 28, 2014

    Openings & Closings: Midtown Gets A Food Truck Park

    In not-so-shocking news, another Washington Avenue bar bites the dust. The Houston Chronicle reports that Blue Moose Lodge at 5306 Washington shut its doors on Thursday, March 20. The sports bar posted the closing announcement on Facebook; Blue Moose Lodge had been in business for three-and-a-half y ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 19, 2014

    Where the Chefs Eat: Benjy Mason, Mark Decker, Richard Knight

    This week, our Where the Chefs Eat series visits the The Heights-area chefs of Treadsack, the restaurant group that includes the ever popular Down House, D & T Drive Inn, and the opening-in-the-near-future Hunky Dory and Foreign Correspondents. We asked them the regular questions, and we got some am ... More >>

  • Dining

    January 16, 2014

    Tipping in Restaurants Reaches a Tipping Point

    Will 2014 be the year it's abolished?

  • Dining

    October 31, 2013

    Coppa Osteria Is Reinventing Italian with Heart and Flour-Covered Hands

    Chef Brandi Key's hands-on approach takes Coppa Osteria outside the box.

  • Blogs

    October 31, 2013

    Cheap & Good Eats: Top 5 Budget Lunch Spots in EaDo (You Won't Be Sorry)

    We've been rounding up our favorite budget lunch spots in different neighborhoods around town. So far, we've covered Montrose, River Oaks, Midtown, and Upper Kirby. Today, we're sharing our thoughts on the little section of the city known as East Downtown (or EaDo for all of you non-haters). Here' ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 17, 2013

    100 Favorite Dishes 2013: No. 79, Carnissima Pizza at Coppa Osteria

    This year, leading up to our annual Menu of Menus issue, Kaitlin Steinberg counts down her 100 favorite dishes as she eats her way through Houston. She'll compile a collection of the dishes she thinks are the most awesome, most creative and, of course, most delicious in town. It's a list of her pers ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 8, 2013

    Saint Arnold's Brock Wagner Named a Legend of Houston Restaurants

    While many of Houston's finest in the culinary realm received awards at Sunday's 17th My Table Magazine Houston Culinary Awards in honor of their contributions to the Houston dining and restaurant scene, the most prestigious award -- The Legends of Houston Restaurants -- was bestowed upon the founde ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 12, 2013

    Houston Restaurant Weeks: Coppa

    What they're up to for Restaurant Weeks: Coppa has a Houston Restaurant Weeks menu available for dinner that reads like a Greatest Hits list. I was able to have several of the dishes they are known for in one meal and was thrilled. The cost is $35.

  • Blogs

    August 8, 2013

    12 Houston Chefs With Celebrity Doppelgangers: Restaurant Weeks Edition

    It's Doppelganger time! See which Houston local chef tried to steal a kiss from Natalie Portman and who plays for the MLB in his spare time. And don't forget to support Houston Restaurant Week by visiting the chef's restaurants all month long (special bonus: if you sneak into the kitchen without ge ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 22, 2013

    Upcoming Events: Bitches Love Food

    A familiar face is back in town: L.J. Wiley, the prodigal chef behind Yelapa Playa Mexicana, has returned to Houston. Although Yelapa has been closed since October 2011 and its various staff have moved on, the modern Mexican restaurant dazzled during its brief run -- the Houston Press gave it a Best ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 10, 2013

    Where the Chefs Eat: Christine Ha and Alvin Schultz

    This week, our Where The Chefs Eat series turns to two amateur chefs turned television reality stars: Christine Ha and Alvin Schultz. Both living in Houston and Vietnamese by descent, they each snagged a spot on the TV reality show, MasterChef. Schultz, who was featured on Season 2, is known for ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 18, 2012

    The 10 Best New Houston Restaurants of 2012

    If I had to pick one word to describe the mad, exciting rush of restaurant activity that's defined 2012, it would be this: exhilarating. Followed closely by: exhausting. Trying to keep up with every single new restaurant that's flung open its doors exuberance -- welcoming the city's burgeoning food ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 7, 2012

    Chef Chat, Part 3: Brandi Key of Coppa and Her Modern Take on Italian Classics

    Brandi Key Coppa Ristorante Italiano 5555 Washington Tel: 713-426-4260 This is Part 3 of a three-part Chef Chat series. In case you missed it, you can read Part 1 here and Part 2 here. This week, we got to know Brandi Key, the executive chef at Coppa, a little better. We learned a bit about her t ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 5, 2012

    Chef Chat, Part 1: Brandi Key of Coppa Ristorante Italiano, On Working Up the Pappas Food Chain and Learning to Cook with Food Allergies

    Brandi Key Coppa Ristorante Italiano 5555 Washington Tel: 713-426-4260 This is Part 1 of a three-part Chef Chat series. Check back with us for Parts 2 and 3, which will run in this same space Thursday and Friday. When Brandi Key was named executive chef at Coppa Ristorante Italiano, all eyes were ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 15, 2012

    What Are Houston Chefs Doing for Thanksgiving (Besides Cooking for You)?

    With so many great restaurants open for Thanksgiving Day -- and so many chefs working hard on a day when the rest of us are enjoying family time or simply a much-needed day off -- it's tough to find a chef who's celebrating Thanksgiving in any sort of traditional sense. John Sheely, executive chef ... More >>

  • Dining

    November 1, 2012

    Join the Club

    Top 10 restaurants on Washington Avenue

  • Blogs

    October 23, 2012

    Top 10 Restaurants on Washington Avenue

    After last week's Top 10 Restaurants in Rice Village kerfuffle, we've made extra-double sure that this week's list is wholly and completely intact. Now, that doesn't mean your favorite restaurant necessarily made the cut -- that's a whole other conversation for the comments section. What did make t ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 17, 2012

    Where the Chefs Eat: Amalia Pferd, Sean Carroll, John Peterson

    Owning a food truck/mobile cart is hard work, but at the end of the day, you still gotta eat. For this week's Where the Chefs Eat series, we're checking in to see where some of Houston's on-the-go chef-proprietors get their grub on. Let's see where Amelia Pferd of Good Dog Hot Dogs, Sean Carroll o ... More >>

  • Dining

    August 30, 2012

    The Best Beer Labels

    The most iconic and creative on Texas shelves.

  • Blogs

    August 23, 2012

    Chef Amanda McGraw Wows with New Specials at Brasserie 19

    A perfectly poached 63-degree egg -- one of only two things that Chef Amanda McGraw cooks in her sous vide machine at Brasserie 19, the other being a giant pork chop -- is spilling its saffron-colored yolk across the crispy top of a parmesan custard inside a shallow, white ramekin. Off to one side, ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 17, 2012

    Upcoming Events: Mix It Up Tonight and Help Clean Out Rudz's Cellar

    Been waiting for the perfect Friday night to check out the new LaB 5555 series at the Houston Museum of Natural Science? Grab your soft-soled museum shoes, because tonight is that night. Tonight, four of Houston's best bartenders will be shaking things up as they compete to make the best Tanqueray ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 30, 2012

    100 Favorite Dishes 2012: No. 44, Spaghetti Carbonara at Coppa Ristorante Italiano

    This year leading up to our annual Best of HoustonĀ® issue, we're counting down our 100 favorite dishes in Houston. This list comprises our favorite dishes from the last year, dishes that are essential to Houston's cultural landscape and/or dishes that any visitor (or resident) should try at least o ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 28, 2012

    The Rest of the Best: Houston's Top 5 Restaurant Playlists

    The only times I notice the music in a restaurant is when it's really bad (Christmas music playing year round at Sichuan Cuisine), really out of place (Nine Inch Nails blaring out of the speakers at now-closed Tony Vallone joint Ciao Bello or Cannibal Corpse washing over the line of patrons at Amy's ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 23, 2012

    Must Like Texas Wine: The Wine Slinger Chronicles, a New Guide to Texas Wines

    Photo by Jeremy ParzenLeading Texas wine authority Russ Kane (left) and his wife Delia love meatballs. That's Russ with Coppa executive chef Brandi Key. Russ has called Brandi's meatballs "the best in town."​It seems inevitable that the authors of the two guides to the wines of Texas have name ... More >>

  • Dining

    December 1, 2011

    Casual Coppa

    This restaurant impresses with simple, harmonious flavors — and its refusal to over-impress.

  • Blogs

    November 30, 2011

    The Key to the Kitchen: Coppa's Female Executive Chef, Brandi Key, Is No Novelty Act

    November 3 was National Men Make Dinner Day, one of an increasingly nonsensical line of national holidays that are being trotted out in larger numbers every year. This particular holiday was especially perplexing to those in the food industry, where men make dinner every night. A man probably will m ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 11, 2011

    Upcoming Events: A Week Full of Beer

    Read on for our picks of the best beer dinners next week.​In case you hadn't heard, it's Houston Beer Week, y'all. The week-long celebration of craft beer and local breweries kicks off tonight with a kick-off happy hour at Ziggy's Downtown, from 5 to 7 p.m. The restaurant will be offering $2 ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 20, 2011

    Ham & Eggs Pizza at Coppa Ristorante Italiano

    Photos by Mai Pham"Ham & Eggs" Pizza​I visited the new Coppa Ristorante Italiano a couple of weeks ago, curious about the reincarnation of what is now the late Catalan. Hailed as an upscale Italian restaurant, Coppa had a surprisingly informal, somewhat abbreviated one-page menu made up prima ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 19, 2011

    Openings & Closings: Losing Our Voice

    Photo courtesy of Coppa Ristorante ItalianoCoppa: Now open for business.​The worst news of the week came from My Table early yesterday morning, when the magazine reported that downtown restaurant Voice has lost its executive chef, the very underrated Greg Lowry, and is in talks to "reconcept" ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 13, 2011

    Openings & Closings

    The chopped brisket sandwich at Ray's Real Pit BBQ.​It's been a week of changes for Houston restaurants -- menu changes, chef changes, location changes -- and some of those changes include at least one shocking closure. That closure was Caffe Bello, which quietly closed its doors on Monday. T ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 27, 2011

    Stella Sola: Behind the Review

    Photos by Troy FieldsCheese those meatballs!​What happens when the chef de cuisine at a chef-driven restaurant -- the man who, in Stella Sola's case, runs the kitchen on a day-to-day basis -- tenders his resignation after you've already written your review? You rewrite it. Mostly. Especially ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 15, 2010

    Chef Chat, Part 2: Brandi Key of Pappas

    ​Yesterday we started our chat with Brandi Key. Today we finish it up as she dishes on her favorite Pappas restaurant, what to get there and more. Eating Our Words: If you had to pick one Pappas Restaurant to recommend a friend, which one and why? Brandi Key: Little Pappas Seafood House ( ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 15, 2010

    This Week in Deliciousness

    SQUIRT! Haha, caughtcha nappin'!​ Welcome back to the weekly round-up here at Eating Our Words, where today we're contemplating the design of the turtle, and thinking perhaps creatures known for making good soup shouldn't be walking around with their own bowl strapped to their backs. We're als ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 14, 2010

    Chef Chat, Part 1: Brandi Key of Pappas

    ​Brandi Key of Pappadeaux and Pappas Seafood House, has the job title of R & D Chef- New Food, but she's been many other things in her tenure with Pappas. She sat down for a cup of coffee and gave us the 411 on her experiences working for the company. Eating Our Words: How long have you been ... More >>