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  • Article

    Southern-Fried Asian to Go - Exploring Houston's "you buy, we fry" seafood joints

    The fried redfish fillet sends up a plume of steam when I fold it over and break it in half. It's coated with a cornmeal crust that gives every bite a nice crunch. I put the half-fillet on a slice of white bread covered with tartar sauce, spread a li...

    by Robb Walsh on August 5, 2004
  • Article

    Mama Mia

    The fragrances of old Italy waft through La Mora Cucina Toscana (912 Lovett Boulevard, 713-522-7412), a restored home in the Montrose. The smell of herbs grown in the garden behind the restaurant mingle with the scent rising off plates piled high wit...

    on August 5, 2004
  • Article

    Wild or Mild - Houston's most elusive taco truck serves up hot goat grease

    The luminous orange grease tints the white bowl above the dark red broth. I unwrap the aluminum foil that contains the warm corn tortillas and fish some of the soft stewed meat out of the liquid with a fork. As I arrange the meat on the tortilla, the...

    by Robb Walsh on July 29, 2004
  • Article

    Take Me Home

    Before eatZi's and Central Market, there was Yapa Kitchen Fresh Take Away (3173 West Holcombe, 713-664-9272). Yapa was the first place in Houston to offer what the food industry has so clumsily dubbed "home meal replacements." The brown-sugar maple-g...

    on July 29, 2004
  • Article

    Bogot's Best Birds - Don't cook tonight! The first of a three-part series on summer takeout

    My friend calls from her cell phone. She's up in the Heights and offers to pick up dinner on her way over. That's an offer I can't refuse, since it's way too hot to cook. In cooler climes, they barbecue this time of year. In Houston, we barbecue duri...

    by Robb Walsh on July 22, 2004
  • Article

    Make Mine Migas - Rustika Caf & Bakery

    Rustika Caf & Bakery (3237 Southwest Freeway, 713-665-6226) is a fancy-pants Mexican bakery gone uptown, set in a pricey strip center. But don't let the eye candy -- stunning pastries, empanadas, mile-high cakes and twinkling fruit turnovers -- dist...

    on July 22, 2004
  • Article

    The 19th Oasis - In the restaurant-challenged Heights, Shade shimmers like an oasis

    The grouper is crusted with wasabi and decorated with cucumber slices arranged to look like fish scales. According to our waiter, this is the top-selling dish here at Shade, the popular restaurant on 19th Street in the Heights. It's easy to see why...

    by Robb Walsh on July 15, 2004
  • Article

    Hot Plate - Ben & Jerry's

    Sundae best: Reportedly, the sundae was created in the late 19th century as a way of getting around the era's blue laws, which outlawed all sorts of Sunday activities, including the sale of ice cream sodas. Hence the "soda-less soda" -- or sundae: ic...

    on July 15, 2004
  • Article

    Curry for the Laddies - London Sizzler serves up Indian food made the British way

    The grilled chicken has lots of flavor, but the sauce is bland. In fact, the chicken tikka masala at London Sizzler Tandoori Bar & Grill tastes like barbecued chicken chunks floating in Campbell's cream of tomato soup flavored with curry. Except that...

    by Robb Walsh on July 8, 2004
  • Article

    French Accent

    Crepes aren't easy to make. Getting the thickness just right is essential; too thin and they won't hold up, too thick and they won't cook right. At Cava Bistro (301 Main, 713-223-4068), they've mastered the elusive skill of preparing this French stre...

    by Paul Galvani on July 8, 2004
  • Article

    African Hideaway - Addisaba has an air of foreign intrigue -- and awesome kifto and yedoro wot

    When we arrive at Addisaba, the new Ethiopian restaurant tucked behind Sharpstown Mall, I notice that most of the cars in the parking lot are yellow taxis. Behind the forbidding mirrored glass doors of the restaurant, a dozen black men, whom I would ...

    by Robb Walsh on July 1, 2004
  • Article

    Haute Dog

    The hot dog is to the United States what merguez -- thin, spicy beef or lamb sausage -- is to Algeria. And since so many Algerians have migrated to France, merguez et couscous has long been standard Parisian fare. The French restaurant Caf Rabelais ...

    by Paul Galvani on July 1, 2004
  • Article

    Food of the God - Robert Del Grande continues to perform miracles at Cafe Annie

    There are two culinary-school lessons I will never forget: 1) Cold roux, hot liquid; hot roux, cold liquid; and 2) Robert Del Grande is God. My chef instructor emphasized the second point so often, in fact, that rumors were widespread. "I heard Del G...

    by Brian McManus on June 24, 2004
  • Article

    Cafe Express

    Nice salad: The funnest thing about eating at Cafe Express (1422 West Gray, 713-522-3100; and other locations) is hitting the high-quality condiment bar, where you can customize your plate with such delicacies as roasted garlic, cornichons, grated Pa...

    by Paul Galvani on June 24, 2004
  • Article

    Wine-Geek Chic - La Vista caters to BYOB diners

    When I walk up to La Vista on Fountain View carrying a bottle of wine, I notice a poster in the window that says the restaurant has applied for a liquor permit. This triggers a wave of panic in me. "We're going to start selling beer and wine, but you...

    by Robb Walsh on June 17, 2004
  • Article

    Spotted Cock

    Literally translated, gallo pinto means "spotted" or "painted cock." Some translators call it speckled hen. But there's no poultry in gallo pinto, which is a beef dish. In Costa Rica, it's eaten at all different meals, particularly breakfast. Gallo p...

    on June 17, 2004
  • Article

    Dry-Aged Discrimination - What grade of beef are the steaks at The Capital Grille?

    Flames are shooting out of the high-tech stainless-steel broiler at The Capital Grille on Westheimer. And thanks to the open design of the restaurant's kitchen, I get to watch the fire without leaving my comfortable chair at a corner table in the adj...

    by Robb Walsh on June 10, 2004
  • Article

    Decadence Squared - Piatto Ristorante

    At Piatto Ristorante (4925 West Alabama, 713-871-9722), the menu's description of the "asparagus special" ($9.99) had me salivating before I could read it through. It read: "fresh asparagus, lightly breaded and fried, topped with lump crabmeat and a ...

    by Paul Galvani on June 10, 2004
  • Article

    All the Way to the Bank - What does it take to get a celebrity chef to put his name on a Houston restaurant?

    The rumor making the rounds is that celebrity chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten gets a million dollars to show up five days a year at Bank by Jean-Georges, a restaurant in a former bank lobby at the Hotel Icon on Main Street. I track down J-G, as his em...

    by Robb Walsh on June 10, 2004
  • Article

    Ceviche Heaven - This new Peruvian restaurant is serving the best seafood cocktail in town

    The red snapper in the ceviche at Pezcalato, the new Peruvian restaurant on Richmond, is so soft, I wonder if it's been ground up like hamburger meat. And I can't figure out what the bright white shreds mixed into the fish could be. So I call the wai...

    by Robb Walsh on June 3, 2004
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