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A Comprehensive Guide to Houston's Food Blogs

Cartoon does not reflect reality (most of the time).
Cartoon does not reflect reality (most of the time).

In a city as large as Houston and with as many culinary options as we're blessed with, it's no surprise that the food blogging community here is large and diverse.

Say what you want about food bloggers: that we're arrogant, obtrusive know-it-alls. That we're clueless neophytes who shouldn't be allowed near a computer much less a kitchen. That we're only in it for free food or accolades. Any of the food bloggers below will tell you that none of that is true (at least not entirely).

All of the blogs listed have entirely different motivations and personalities behind them. Some are only interested in seeking out small, ethnic holes-in-the wall, while others are busy chronicling the growing wealth of dining options outside the Loop. Some catalog their adventures and misadventures in the kitchen, while some are focused solely on beer, wine or spirits. Some are funny, some are whimsical, some are serious, some are harsh, but all of them are wildly different.

Below is a comprehensive guide to all of the nearly 60 food blogs we have in the Bayou City. A few are now, sadly, defunct but nevertheless function as excellent time capsules of Houston's quickly changing restaurant scene or as placeholders for fabulous recipes. A handful are "commercial," but most are simply the work of one or two people, pecking away at the keyboard week after week for nothing more than the love of food and writing.

Can't we all get behind that?

29-95: Check out the food section of the Houston Chronicle's spinoff website, targeted towards the 18-to-34 demographic, for writing from some of the city's favorite bloggers: J.C. Reid, Jay Rascoe and Joanne Witt.

Aghastronome: The brand-new blog of former Houstonist food writer Mary Jane Poorman covers mostly restaurants and can best be described with this attitude: It's just food. Enjoy yourselves, people.

Bakin 'n' Bacon: Blog of pastry chef extraordinaire (and soon-to-be Austin resident) Plinio Sandalio. It's dormant for now, but check his older posts for some awe-inspiring recipes like bacon ice cream and foie gras buttercream frosting.

Barley Vine: A beer blog for a true lager lover or ale aficionado, Ted writes exclusively about beer, and he does a bang-up job of it. You'll love his blog if all you want are the facts, Jack, about new brews and old favorites.

Bite Me Houston: Mike Cortez does more than write about restaurants; he also organizes state-wide spirit competitions, like the Tequila Throwdown and the more recent Vodka Throwdown.

Blog of an Aspiring Foodie: Also known as "Beer Chris," Chris White blogs mainly about beer despite the title of his blog. Hopheads are welcome here.

Blue Jean Gourmet: One of our own bloggers, Nishta Mehra also has a personal food blog where she weaves beautiful tales about the power of food as it relates to memory, our childhood experiences and our cultural makeup.

Blue State Carpetbagger: If you like wine and you like a straightforward, no-fuss approach to vino, you'll love Tom Casagrande's blog. A former wine seller himself, Tom writes his reviews in an approachable, easy-going manner that makes the subject of wine far less impenetrable than it often can be.

Brewtiful: Another beer blog, this one written from a [refreshingly] female perspective. Cathy is also the founder of local charity Live It Big and Camp Beer, a semi-regular lecture series on beers from around the world.

Cheap Eats In Houston: If you eat out in Houston and you like to save money -- which is, basically, everyone reading this list -- you should bookmark Cheap Eats In Houston. There isn't a dining deal in Houston that Cheap Eats doesn't know about, and the blog is updated almost as often as our own Eating Our Words.

 

Chicken Fried Texas: You have to love anyone who refers to their child as Tater Tot, like the Chicken Fried Texan does. And, as you may guess from the blog's title, he's constantly in the pursuit of the best CFS in the state. As noble a pursuit as they come...

Chili Bob's Houston Eats: One of my personal favorites, this blog focuses on the "off the beaten path" side of Houston and its incredible array of ethnic restaurants. I love Bruce's direct and clean style of writing, not to mention the fact that it's one of the most dependably and routinely updated blogs on this list.

Cleverley's Blog: Cleverley Stone doesn't update her blog as often as you'd expect Houston's self-appointed "dining diva" to, but when she does it's full of interesting interviews with area chefs and tidbits of news.

Coffee Corner: A home cook and food geek with a penchant for technique and experimentation, Mike is like Houston's very own Alton Brown. You'll also remember him as being quite adept at home charcuterie and taking pictures of cute cats in sinks.

Cold Bacon: One of the earliest Houston food blogs, this is straight text without pictures: one of the most streamlined, if a bit plain, blogs on this list. The author never updates the site anymore, but reading the old reviews is enjoyable and a must for anyone interested in seeing how far some restaurants have come.

Confessions from a Gluttinous Chinaman: Daniel's food blog isn't for the lighhearted or easily wounded: it's in your face, straightforward, meat-of-the-issue stuff that doesn't pull punches. Despite the aggressive nature of the writing, Daniel manages to keep it funny and on topic.

Cook's Tour: The Houston Chronicle's food critic (and erstwhile Houston Press food critic), Alison Cook, has a blog at the paper in which she rounds up a burger a week every Friday and drops in other assorted tidbits along the way, like her 10 favorite dishes from the week before or first looks at recently opened restaurants.

CultureMap: Former Eating Our Words blogger Sarah Rufca mainly heads up the food section at Houston "web magazine" CultureMap, along with help from Marene Gustin (a current Houston Press arts freelancer), Caroline Gallay, Joel Luks and the hilarious Steven Thomson.

Dirty Kitchen Adventures: Jenn may not be a Houston resident for much longer (she and her husband are in the process of moving to Spain), but her blog about -- you guessed it -- kitchen adventures is a great repository of recipes and reminscences about Houston restaurants she loves and will miss.

Drink Dogma: Another blog that's only updated rarely, but chock full of fascinating information about the history of spirits and cocktails, written mostly by Bobby Heugel, owner of Anvil Bar & Refuge and weekly Eating Our Words contributor.

 

Dude, You Gonna Eat That?: Dr. Ricky to his friends, Richard Sucgang has a Ph.D in microbiology and a passion for seeking out authentic and unusual ethnic food as well as debunking food myths and bringing a scientific eye to the art of fine dining.

Eat Local or Die: The occasionlly updated blog of Jonathan Jones, the head chef at Beaver's, who preaches from a locavore's pulpit about the merits of fresh seafood, meat and produce.

Feed the Heights: No longer updated on a regular basis, this blog from Theo Shu is still a great resource for reading about Heights-area restaurants as well as discovering new favorites.

Feeding Curiosity: Yet another local chef's blog, this one from Bootsie's owner and executive chef Randy Rucker. Rucker uses the blog to discuss upcoming menus and special events as well as ruminate on food trends and the locavore lifestyle.

The Ferm: A beer (and, occasionally, food) blog from Sir Ron, who is currently engaged in a battle of the wits with our own Shameless Chef, John Gray.

Flavour Boulevard: While most Houston food blogs focus only on restaurants inside the Loop, Flavour Boulevard also reviews plenty of places far OTL: Berkeley. Yes, as in California. Contrasts between Houston and Berkeley are wide-ranging, but looking at the differences in the cuisines between the two cities is particularly interesting.

Food In Houston: Around since 2005, Robert's blog is arguably the best food blog in Houston. It's clean, concise, diverse, well-written and well-reasoned. Sadly, Robert only blogs once in a blue moon these days due to work and family committments, but his blog will always be my favorite, no matter who or what else comes along.

Food Princess: Joanne primarily writes for 29-95 now, so her personal food blog is dormant these days. Nevertheless, it's still fun to look back at previous trips she's taken and blogged along the way.

Foodie Houston: Not to be confused with Houston Foodie, this blog is written by food P.R. maven Jodie Eisenhardt. And even though she's in P.R., she doesn't exclusively cover her clients: she's just out there in search of a good meal.

Fork and Cork: The second food blog from the Houston Chronicle, Fork and Cork is a catch-all for the paper's other food writing, from Ken Hoffman's fast food reviews and that old chestnut, Whine & Dine, to food editor Greg Morago's interviews with local chefs and spotlights on local trends.

 

From the Gutt: The tagline here says it all: "Honest talk about food and wine." And honest talk it is. Take this excerpt from a recent post: "It is important to dispel the snotty attitude a lot of winos have. It's also important to dispel the notion that writing about wine needs to be condescending. No jargon. No attitude." I love it.

Great Food Houston: If you enjoy reading our own Ruthie Johnson's work here at Eating Our Words, you'll enjoy her personal food blog too, with its highly casual, spunky and personable approach to dining out in Houston.

The Grub Junkie: While it isn't updated too terribly often, The Grub Junkie is simply too great of a blog name to ignore. Also, where else are you going to read about a foodie's admission that they need to go on a food detox...and then read along as they actually do it?

Guns and Tacos: The infamous Jay Rascoe is known for many things: getting Chingo Bling to accompany him to taco trucks, Twitter-stalking Chamillionaire, organizing popular taco truck crawls and...guns. Think of Jay as a young Robb Walsh, with more emphasis on ammunition and less on cow heads.

H-Town Chow Down: Albert Nurick can be a controversial blogger, inciting plenty of back-and-forth on Twitter and his comments sections, but that's part of the reason we enjoy reading his posts. Another part of it is the fact that he's one of the rare food bloggers to routinely cover The Woodlands, his home turf.

Homesick Texan: Lisa Fain is not technically a Houston food blogger. That is, she no longer resides in Houston. But the transplanted New Yorker writes primarily about the food in her home state and hometown, all the better to educate the world about our culinary wealth.

Houston Foodie: J.C. Reid (Chris to his friends) was once an Eating Our Words contributor and now writes for 29-95, but that doesn't stop him from updating his personal food blog and going after meaty stories like KHOU's recent "hatchet job" on food trucks.

Houston Uncorked: Although you may think this is just another wine blog, Houston Uncorked also reviews restaurants. Mandee is currently pregnant and therefore not updating very frequently, but I hope she'll return to her wine writing once she's free to drink wine again.

Houston Wok: Although it's only been around for a little over a year, Houston Wok is one of my favorite food blogs to feature in our weekly blog roundup. That's because David is a devoted blogger who always shares easy yet exotic recipes with plenty of background on the dishes and ingredients. Never a dull read.

Hummingbird Tongues: Rachael blogs primarily about cooking and baking adventures in her kitchen, with posts written almost like freeform poetry. The undulating prose is captivating to read, as much as her beautifully shot photos are captivating to behold.

 

Hungry In Houston: Hungry In Houston is another great local resource for recipes and how-to posts, but with an extra twist. The team behind the food blog also provides video for many of the writeups. The better to teach you with, my pretties!

I Really Wouldn't Eat That: This blog is sadly now defunct, and oh, how I miss it. I mean, look at this tagline: "An extremely prejudiced and unnecessarily vituperative survey of Houston restaurants, taco stands, BBQ joints, fancy-shmancey food stores, etc." Going back and reading the hilarious old posts is quite a way to kill an afternoon, though.

I'm Never Full: The queen bee of the Houston food blogging scene, Jenny Wang rarely updates her blog these days. But between running the Houston Chowhounds, organizing their popular throwdowns, producing and co-hosting a radio show, heading up the Houston branch of the Fearless Critic guides and helping to run her family's restaurant, can you blame the girl?

Instant Gratification: This food blogger seems to have gone off the grid, but the old reviews of Houston restaurants are still there to enjoy.

M's Culinary Experiments: Although she blogs more routinely at her personal site, Megan's food blog still holds great (healthy) recipes and interesting discussions of food politics, trends and policies.

The Mighty Rib: One of my favorite new food blogs, primarily because of its structure. Yes, structure. Restaurant reviews on Mondays, recipes on Tuesdays, happy hours on Thursdays, cooking techniques on Fridays. You get the gist.

The Mija Chronicles: Lesley, a Texas expat living in Mexico City, doesn't write about Houston all that often, but that doesn't make her blog any less enjoyable. It's of particular interest to those interested in the many facets of authentic Mexican cuisine.

My Gastro Tour: El Don's blog is enjoyable purely due to its utter lack of pretension: chains are reviewed with as much frequency as standalone joints, and often neglected areas of town like Pasadena and Webster are covered in detail here.

No Sweet Meat: This is exactly what it sounds like. There is no rhyme or reason to this rather chaotic-looking blog other than one man railing against the "outrage" of pairing meat with anything sweet. And it's hilarious.

The Orchard Chronicles: The rarely updated blog of Morgan Weber, owner of Revival Meats, is fascinating to anyone who feels passionately about locally raised meat and locally farmed produce, as well as those who are looking to get their feet wet in those deep subjects.

 

Quoz: Alas, poor Quoz. I knew him, Horatio. Along with Food In Houston, this is one of the oldest food blogs in town and one that I miss the most. I remember meeting its writer, Huan, once at a crawfish boil and telling him how much he was missed. The baffled look on his face was priceless; I don't think he ever knew how many people read and enjoyed his restaurant reviews.

Robb Walsh: If the world of Houston food blogs was Bioshock, Robb would be a Big Daddy. Since the end of his 100 Favorite Dishes in Houston series last week, the cookbook author and two-time Beard Award winner no longer writes on a daily basis for Eating Our Words or for the Houston Press. But don't fret; you can still catch him every day at his very own food blog.

Shabak's Kitchen: Although Shannon hasn't updated her blog since last year, it's still an excellent resource for the kind of recipes you won't find in cookbooks. A talented cook who likes to experiment with traditional, authentic Middle Eastern recipes, Shannon should -- by all rights -- be off somewhere writing cookbooks for the rest of us.

she eats.: Yes, I still update my own food blog from time to time. And I don't always write about boobs.

Tasty Bits: If there was a "bad boy" in the Houston food blog scene, it would be Misha. Highly opinionated and not at all shy about expressing himself, Misha has traveled far and wide and has the experience to back up his opinions and the lack of self-consciousness required to not worry what anyone else thinks about them.

Wholefish: One of Houston's most popular and most controversial chefs also has a food blog. Bryan Caswell usually posts about fishing, more fishing and creepy fish with teeth, but occasionally uses his blog as a platform for sharing secrets about what's made him a successful restaurateur. Tip No. 1: Hire cooks from Waffle House.

The Wynk: Not a food blogger in the strictest sense of the word, Melissa nevertheless writes a fascinating blog about her adventures baking bread, churning butter, canning fruit and all other manner of deliciously throwback kitchen actitivies. She also knits and takes better pictures than any other food blogger out there.

Zayt and Za'atar: Last but not least is another one of my personal favorites from Brigitte Zabak (yes, of those Zabaks), who also writes for Free Press Houston and Hater Magazine. Since losing her mother when she was younger, Brigitte has sought to reconnect with her through making her mother's recipes and learning to cook Lebanese food from scratch. A highly moving blog that's always a good read, and always good for a great Mediterranean recipe.


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