Decisions, decisions, decisions. How to pick just one or two beers to drink during happy hour when there are so many to choose from? Fortunately for those fickle souls among us, a number of bars and restaurants in town offer beer flights, so you can get more bang for your buck and more beer for y ... More >>
Yes, yes, we're all heartbroken over the United States' heartwrenching, nail biting loss to Belgium on Tuesday. We're bitter and angry but damn proud of our team (especially Tim Howard--hey, Superman!). Just because the home team is out of the running doesn't mean we're going to stop watching game ... More >>
When I joined Twitter some years ago, it gave me suggestions for people to follow based on my interests. One of those people was David Lebovitz, and while I wasn't acquainted with his work at the time, I was fascinated in the way of a non-stalkerish yet avid Twitter follower by his seemingly idyllic ... More >>
Band of Skulls Warehouse Live May 13, 2013 I'm not sure what it is, whether it be the accent or the rich history of rock and roll, but for some reason you're just cooler if you're British and in a band. Think in your head what your definition of "rock star" is, and I assure you that they'll speak w ... More >>
My view of the film Bottle Shock was partially obscured by a Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton, but it didn't really matter, because there were five wine glasses before me waiting to be filled. At the kick-off event for the 11th Annual Sugar Land Wine & Food Affair, the intent was to recreate the pivotal ... More >>
My family and I spent a lot of time in France when I was a child, and though I was never a picky eater per se, seven-year-old me wasn't super-enthused about foie gras or bouillabaisse. I was, however, a fan of salad, and my parents and I immediately managed to discover one that was available at pret ... More >>
Crème fraîche may sound fancy, but it's really just soured cream. With its roots in France, it was traditionally made by leaving fresh cow's cream at room temperature until it thickened. Today, since our cream is pasteurized (or even ultra-pasteurized), we have to introduce an outside bacterial cu ... More >>
Last week's "how-to wine" post was devoted to opening a bottle of wine. Sadly, it happens all the time. A well-intentioned wine lover brings a bottle of super-groovy Oregon Pinot Noir, biodynamic Cabernet Franc from the Loire Valley in France, or old-school Nebbiolo from Barbaresco to a friend's o ... More >>
The food at Café Brussels is more cafeteria than cafe.
I didn't plan on writing about the beer. I planned on writing about the food, but when the food isn't quite as good as the beer, well... That's what I discovered at Café Brussels, the subject of this week's cafe review. The place has a lot going for it. It's in a cute building, the décor is lovel ... More >>
This post seeks to to answer why the modifier English is so often attached to toffee. Is the basis for this adjective's syntactical proximity to toffee purely based on the geopolitical origins of this candy? Or is England's continued (ostensible) monopoly on the production of toffee the result of a ... More >>
What can you use doughnut-flavored vodka for?
Before we go any further, I want to make it clear: These are not Spanish tapas. These are Houston tapas, baby, and here in Texas we go big or go home. Big ideas, big flavors, big plates -- which does kind of go against the notion of tapas, but for this crowd, it works. You won't find much on the ... More >>
There has been a frenzy of coverage of the royal baby. In America, we find it difficult to fully understand all the hubbub -- apparently, many feel the same in Britain as well. But, since the little tyke has emerged from the royal womb, I figured it was as good a time as any to offer up a little Tex ... More >>
The first time I ate true French food was when my parents took me to France for three months during the summer of 1995. I was seven, which is perhaps not the best age to be introduced to a cuisine that considers snails a delicacy and doesn't really do peanut butter. Fortunately, I quickly develope ... More >>
Over the last several years, cooking shows have popped up on a variety of networks, rather than the mother ship of all food and cooking shows, the Food Network. If Cupcake Wars and re-runs of Top Chef Just Desserts doesn't do it for you, this summer CBS will air a summer baking competition on May 29 ... More >>
Here's a news story you may have missed recently: a man in the UK was so utterly obsessed with the Spice Girls song "Viva Forever" that he played it over and over and over again, until he pissed off his neighbors and landlord so much that they kicked him out of his apartment. I've heard of people lo ... More >>
The enoblogosphere is reeling today in the wake of a French researcher's report published this week (and circulated today on the Internets). According to the survey (conducted by FranceAgriMer, an independent agricultural industry observer), the French are now more likely to drink fruit juice than w ... More >>
Here go hell come, SXSW has just released the first batch of names for the 2013 festival. I know, only a week after Fun Fun Fun Fest and a month since ACL. Did you see the FPSF blog from earlier today? Yeah, time is moving too fast. The big names on the list so far include the Zombies, Alt-J, Akro ... More >>
Recently, a survey conducted in the UK revealed the most popular songs played at funerals. The big news everyone seems to be talking about is that Adele's "Someone Like You -- a song all about how replaceable a person is -- made it to No. 22. But we here at Rocks Off find the Top 5 equally confoundi ... More >>
The prix-fixe, or set menu, is a time-honored tradition that originated in France. Pronounced pree-fiks, it's usually a three-course menu with appetizer, entree, and dessert, and the great thing about it is that you can usually get an unbelievable value for the price paid. That's what I discovered w ... More >>
David France's stirring history of ACT UP.
Matt Marcus Eatsie Boys Food Truck 845-430-8479 www.eatsieboys.com This is Part 1 of a three-part chef chat series. Parts 2 and 3 will run in this same space on Thursday and Friday. The Eatsie Boys have one of the most popular food trucks in Houston right now. Known for their pork snuggies, fanc ... More >>
The history and survival of ACT UP.
Julie Delpy brings the Paris gang to the city.
"We live in a cynical world, a cynical, cynical world..." said a very smart man once. Maybe it was Nietzsche, or Elmer Fudd. Artifacts like the Olympics -- both the summer and winter variety -- have grown boring and stale. TV giant NBC is getting torn to shreds for including haircut Ryan Seacrest ... More >>
Jolly ol' England with its fish and chips and beefeaters and shrimp on the barbie...wait, OK, not that last one, is hosting the Summer Olympic Games this year as everyone who isn't living in a cave probably knows (they might know as well). They've gone all out over the last ten years' building facil ... More >>
According to UEFA predictions, approximately 250 million soccer fans tuned in to watch the Euro 2012 final match on Sunday evening. Compare that to the 111 million that watched this year's Super Bowl, and you get an idea as to the impact and significance of this event. The game pitted reigning champ ... More >>
We'll be hearing a lot of great speeches this election season, but lets take a second to remember the true giants of political rhetoric. 10. Martin Luther King: I've Been to the Mountaintop King delivered this speech in Memphis, Tennessee the day before he was assassinated. After talking for a whi ... More >>
So, what's the deal with old wine anyway? Wednesday's post on What are "Tannins" in Wine? got me thinking about the widely divergent ways Europeans and Americans perceive and approach the consumption of "old wine." Tannins and "tannic structure," after all, are part of what gives wine its longevity ... More >>
The indispensable guidebook to Paris by French food authority Patricia Wells is The Food Lover's Guide to Paris. Wells knows exactly where to find the flakiest croissants, the essential bistros, the most knowledgeable wine merchants, the richest, darkest chocolates, the most sublime cheeses, the ear ... More >>
Generally, when wine nerds like me think of fine wines from Germany, we think white: Mosel Riesling, with its enormous capacity for longevity and nuance, its bright acidity and vibrant minerality, is considered by many to be one of Europe's greatest wines. (Celebrity sommelier and winner of this yea ... More >>
This week marks the 198th anniversary of Napoleon being exiled to Elba, a move celebrated by palindrome fans everywhere. (Able was I ere I saw Elba," you know. Exiles have been around forever, people forced to leave their country of choice for one reason or another. Sometimes it's worked out well, ... More >>
News emerged late last month that the U.K. date of Sonishphere, the traveling European hard-rock festival, has been canceled. It's a pretty big blow for music fans across the pond -- the headliners scheduled for the event included Queen with Adam Lambert, KISS and Faith No More, and reunited Swedish ... More >>
Photo by Nancy KerschenWhen he first moved to the United States from his home country of France in 1990, Philippe Schmit worked as a sous chef under famous chef Eric Ripert -- a fellow Frenchman -- in the New York kitchens of Le Bernadin, eventually moving on to become executive chef at La Go ... More >>
It's like a tour of the British theater scene on the cheap. Sundance Cinemas is bringing four taped performances of the National Theatre of London to downtown Houston starting in January and running through April. And even in a city like Houston with its extensive theater scene, Sundance Cinemas ex ... More >>
Photo by Jeremy Parzen.Decanters by Riedel take wine service to a higher level of aesthetic pleasure. If you're ever invited to dine in someone's home in France, please don't bring a bottle of wine. Nothing will spur a French host to recoil in abject dishonor and displeasure than the gift of ... More >>
Photo By Marco TorresFat Tony at a day show at SXSW '11Sweet lord, it's not even Thanksgiving yet and South By Southwest is making us excited for March in Austin already. Today the industry festival announced a few bands coming to the capitol city next year, and a few Houston names and Rocks ... More >>
Things can go wrongNext time you go to an air show, take a look at the fine print on the ticket. Besides the usual stuff about acts of God and "Promoter not responsible if the frontman doesn't show due to injecting Drano into his balls," there's something else. It says they're really, really ... More >>
I thought I was writing about this beer a while back. Sort of. Though I can't find what I did with it, I really did have a paragraph or two written about New Belgium. If I remember correctly, it waxed nostalgic about the first party I went to that featured beer. One of my former Bookstop managers (w ... More >>
Your riot-control specialistI am admittedly not always the most up to speed on current events. I'm a generally selfish person. If it has nothing to do with my a) job, b) family, c) friends, d) bank account or e) need to satisfy hunger pangs, then whatever "it" may be gets thrown on the back b ... More >>