Test your knowledge.
How do you define a bistro? If you're going to stick to the traditional Parisian definition, a bistro (or bistrot) is a small, tidy restaurant that serves inexpensive wine and simple dishes in a modest price range. Those dishes are traditionally French "comfort food" recipes like coq au vin, boeuf ... More >>
North Korea Is Aiming Nukes at...Austin?
In 2010, Johnny Marr of The Smiths recovered his $45,000 '64 Gibson SG, after it had been stolen at a gig ten years earlier. Unfortunately, most musicians who have lost their gear to theft haven't been so lucky. The local musicians I talked to recently reported suffering similar losses. Occasionall ... More >>
Maybe after the tidal wave of a sports week that we all enjoyed/endured last week, we needed a bit of a breather. After Manti Te'o's phony baloney girlfriend, Lance Armstong's phony baloney apologies, the Patriots' and Falcons' phony baloney Super Bowl aspirations, a slow sports week leading up to ... More >>
One of Houston's Fifty Most Influential Women?
As we enter the new year, I'm trying to make good on a few resolutions starting on the very first day of 2013. And one of those is to get outside the Loop a bit more -- even though a great bounty of amazing restaurants have opened inside the Loop in the last 12 months -- and back to exploring the re ... More >>
One of the more frequent questions I'm asked these days is where to find good gluten-free food. And when GF folks ask this question, they're looking for more than an answer of, "Oh, any place that serves vegetables and meat. Can't you figure out your own dietary restrictions?" No; they're looking f ... More >>
Earlier this month, Rocks Off contributor and all-around nice guy Jeff Balke enlightened us with this little list of songs that are standard operating procedure at weddings. But as much as I love "Twist & Shout" and "YMCA," in my very Mexican experience, those songs were not what I was used to heari ... More >>
A few weeks back, I took a two-week vacation that saw me visit three states and travel by plane, car, shuttle and even by boat for a few minutes. It was all within the U.S., but I found my need for technology surprising. Because I work for myself, I did bring a computer for occasionally catching up ... More >>
Meet Ernesto. Or what will soon become Ernesto. He's a-forming in the Atlantic and headed west and -- to be honest -- we don't like the looks of him. Our weather expert, Jeff Balke, is out of the office right now -- and there's your first warning sign. Ducking and running in August? You can't tell ... More >>
For the next 20 weeks, we'll be rounding up the runners-up to our 2011 Best of Houston® winners. In many categories, picking each year's winner is no easy task. We'll be spotlighting 20 of those categories, in which the winner had hefty competition from other Houston bars and restaurants. Nope, Ti ... More >>
This year leading up to our annual Best of Houston® 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 >>
It's often difficult enough to hear a great band or solo artist over the yammering of those in attendance, but it is made worse when the sound system sounds like garbage. We music lovers have often lamented the lack of decorum shown by some local music "fans" when it comes to talking during shows, b ... More >>
After reigning as Travel Leisure's No. 1 burger city in America for 2011, Houston has now slipped to No. 4 in the magazine's 2012 list. This year's top city? Providence, "with its reputation for creative, locavore chefs" according to the magazine, followed by Philadelphia and Chicago. Providence? ... More >>
I should probably be writing about the Rockets. Their collapse and continued downward spiral from the NBA playoffs to another crappy back-end-of-the-lottery draft pick is the most relevant story in town right now (until the Texans draft a wide receiver next week, at least). But I can't bring myself ... More >>
There are restaurants which evoke a strong sense of nostalgia, even if you've never dined there before. You can look around at the picture-lined walls or the spots near the counter where the linoleum has rubbed away and know that you are only a small speck of the humanity that this place has served ... More >>
For the next 20 weeks, we'll be rounding up the runners-up to our 2011 Best of Houston® winners. In many categories, picking each year's winner is no easy task. We'll be spotlighting 20 of those categories, in which the winner had hefty competition from other Houston bars and restaurants.
The look on my face when I couldn't hear "Temporary Secretary" on Rdio.This past week, Paul McCartney's team pulled most of his catalog - including his works with Wings - off streaming music sites such as Rdio, Rhapsody, Spotify and MOG. Listeners are now deprived of Band On the Run, Back To ... More >>
Photo by Ronald WoanThe longest line of them all...I greeted last week's news of a second Banana Leaf with a bittersweet kind of joy. It's sad to lose the only good Chinese halal restaurant in Chinatown, but if the trade-off is getting another Banana Leaf location...then I guess it's almost a ... More >>
This week we went over to the Heights to visit neighborhood coffee joint, eatery and bar Onion Creek, one of our favorite spots to perch on a picnic table in the sun and enjoy a good, dark brew, whether it's coffee or beer. Since they're open from 7 a.m. till late, it's good for breakfast, lunch or ... More >>
With every gossip site on the planet reporting that Beyonce has given birth to Blue Ivy Carter just yesterday, Rocks Off suddenly realized that we haven't gotten her a thing! While we make a quick Target run, we thought it might be fun to ponder what sort of gifts Beyonce and Jay's rich celebrity p ... More >>
I gave you all fair warning - pardon the pun - on Monday morning when the Van Halen concert announcement went out that Rocks Off wouldn't be quiet when it came to Van Halen. In the next few weeks we will be getting word of the Houston date, so until then all we can do is speculate when and where. Y ... More >>
We're a generous bunch at Rocks Off. We just give and give and give until it hurts, and then we give some more. That's just how we roll. And when we give, well, it may seem obvious, but we tend to give the gift of music. Our friends and family are appreciative, though we do think grandma is j ... More >>
No matter what year it is or how old you are, if you love music, there is nothing like finding some new music tucked under the tree or crammed into your stocking. iTunes gift cards are easy. So are gift cards to Tiffany's, but we bet your girl would be a lot more receptive to the blue box. Th ... More >>
It's getting to be that time of year, when the temperature drops and the lists start rolling in. Read any blog, magazine or newspaper and you're bound to run across at least a handfull of year-end lists, particularly when it comes to music. We all like to talk about the stuff we like. It's just what ... More >>
Photo by Chase Steely One thing Houston rappers are proficient in-besides rapping great-is eating well. Many of the more influential artists were/are big and fat: Fat Pat, Big Pokey, Big Moe, Big HAWK, Big Mello, and Big Steve. Even DJ Screw was a husky man. That's not to say that their wei ... More >>
So elusiveIt's safe to say I'm not the most tech-savvy guy around. A new iPhone coming out means as little to me as a new Keith Urban album. It's not a "get off my lawn" thing, it's just that tech stuff, to me, is too close to math. And I hate math. And if it's not too math-y, it's filled wi ... More >>
Ten years ago today it began. A Friday that didn't seem to hold any particular weather interest, maybe some rain, and then -- if you were in the wrong spot -- a rain to end all rains, it seems. Portions of Houston flooded like never before; other parts of the area didn't get hit much harder ... More >>
Jeff BalkeThe Hi-Miler, subject of a wrongful-death lawsuit.The death of the man who was thrown from the Hi-Miler roller coaster during the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo has been ruled an accident. Brian Greenhouse, 46, fell 28 feet to his death in March, resulting in lawsuits that keep t ... More >>
1560AM adds humor to lonely, serious workday.
Photos by Jeff BalkeThe Damnwells Fitzgerald's April 5, 2011 Before playing a single note, Alex Dezen, singer for Brooklyn-based rock band The Damnwells, let the audience know what it was in store. He said the band's new release Nobody Listens to the Band Anymore was full of mid-tempo rock s ... More >>
Photo by Jeff BalkeThe Hi-Miler: Demands for more actionA Houston-area attorney says lax supervision of the Hi-Miler ride at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo made a fatal accident a "statistical certainty" and is calling for a state investigation. Attorney Joe Stephens sent a formal comp ... More >>
Jeff BalkeYesterday, we caught up with Chef Glen Trumble of Heights West. We talked about life at Heights West and the restaurant industry in general. Today, we take a look at some of the fantastic dishes he's serving up. EOW: What seems to be the top dish on the menu thus far (favorite of ... More >>
Angry Birds: As good a playoff-picking method as anyEvery Friday (Thursday some weeks) when I go to fish the lines for that weekend's football games off the Internet, I go to the same site. (Point of non-disclosure: I will not reveal the name of the site which I use to wager go to. Easily t ... More >>
Today we're doing two comments of the day, because we so wholeheartedly agree with them both. First, in response to Katharine Shilcutt's post "Stretch that Dining Dollar: Eat Fancy at Lunch," commenter Francesca gave an over-the-top thumbs up to wine with lunch: Oh, the wisdom encapsulated ... More >>
Readers weigh in on politician's guilty verdict.
Photos by Jeff BalkeSamples were drained during last year's Wine Conference sessions.Last September marked the inaugural year for The Wine Conference, an annual event pairing more than just food and wine. The Wine Conference seeks to pair people with knowledge, whether those people are wine e ... More >>
Neuski via flickr.com The Grand Ole Opry, which was supposed to celebrate its 85th birthday party May 25, is currently underwater, like most of Nashville (above). Nashville Public Radio is reporting that the Cumberland River crested at a whopping 52 feet. When does hurricane season start aga ... More >>
Noise goes whistling through the scenester artery's music venue graveyard.
Photos by Jeff Balke Chef Steve Super, executive chef at The Tasting Room. Chef Steve Super has Gulf Coast cuisine honed to a fine art, surprising for someone who hails from Vermont and only recently made Texas his home. This time last year, Super was the executive chef at Steve and Erika ... More >>
Jeff Balke The Good, the Bad and the Curry at Saint Arnold's One Pot ShowdownHouston's favorite brewery, Saint Arnold, held their sold-out Second Annual One Pot Showdown yesterday afternoon on the kind of overcast, slightly chilly day that was perfect chili (and gumbo and stew ... More >>
Sales of CDs are falling faster than you can say iPod
Sin Miedo (Go Records)
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