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  • Article

    College Throwback - The Ocean Grill's Salty Dog

    "You don't exactly strike me as the kind of guy to order a salty dog," said the bartender at the Ocean Grill (2227 Seawall Boulevard, Galveston, 409-762-7100). Apparently, the typical drinker of a salty dog is a seagoing fisherman just returning from...

    by J.W. Crooker on February 27, 2003
  • Article

    Homeburger - Lankford Grocery and Market

    Tucked away between the spiffy lofts and towering town homes of Midtown, Lankford Grocery and Market (88 Dennis, 713-522-9555) is a throwback. The 1940s icehouse comes complete with wood-paneled walls, lumpy booths, plastic tablecloths, down-home ser...

    by Robin Barr Sussman on February 27, 2003
  • Article

    Say Cheez - An ode to the stuff that makes Jake's Philly Steaks

    The Villanova, Temple and Penn State pennants on the wall give me a good feeling about Jake's Philly Steaks. Even more reassuring is the souvenir menu from Pat's King of Steaks, where the steak sandwich was invented. But when I reach the counter and ...

    by Robb Walsh on February 20, 2003
  • Article

    Night Owls - The Proletariat's Mai Tai

    It was late afternoon when I stumbled into the Proletariat (905 Richmond, 713-525-4499), and let's just say happy hour was not in full swing (read: I was the only person in the joint). Despite slashed drink prices in the early hours, the proletarians...

    by J.W. Crooker on February 20, 2003
  • Article

    Smoke Rings - Los Tios

    The ingredients for the beef mesquite fajitas ($10.95) at Los Tios (4840 Beechnut, 713-660-6244) are so compelling that you may need a tortilla the diameter of a beach ball to make room for everything you want to include. Alas, these are just mortal ...

    by Carol Rust on February 20, 2003
  • Article

    Teachings of the Pope - Learning to love Boulevard Bistrot

    We're still shivering when the waitress brings our menus. Maybe it's the January chill that causes us both to want the dish called winter curry, or maybe it's just the most intriguing thing on Boulevard Bistrot's seasonal menu. I gallantly let my din...

    by Robb Walsh on February 13, 2003
  • Article

    White Nights - Pale wines grow up, and Houstonians take notice

    Is white the new red, if not for fashion this spring then for wine? "In New York it's all about Chardonnay," says Cafe Annie's master sommelier Paul Roberts. "Our climate doesn't make sense for reds, yet people still want Cabernets. But I do see tha...

    by Marene Gustin on February 13, 2003
  • Article

    Insanely Good - Josephine's Italian Ristorante

    The Italian word for eggplant is melanzane, which comes from the Latin melum insanum, meaning either "unhealthy apple" or "mad apple." It's no wonder, then, that the poor fruit was regarded with much mistrust in Italy when it was first introduced fro...

    by Paul Galvani on February 13, 2003
  • Article

    Suburban Escape - Raoul's Red Apple Martini

    I was tired of the downtown scene, where big-haired, jobless 27-year-olds wearing skintight jeans were about the best you could hope for in terms of a little action. It was time to head out to the burbs and look for a rich divorce who might need a l...

    by J.W. Crooker on February 13, 2003
  • Article

    Dining by Demographic - Fleming's Prime Steakhouse serves up excellent renditions of the nation's most average food and wine preferences

    Our waiter stops by and moves his lips. The noise level in the packed dining room at Fleming's, the new steak house on Alabama, is so high that no one at the table can hear a word he's saying. He leans over and shouts to the diner nearest him, who th...

    by Robb Walsh on February 6, 2003
  • Article

    No Satisfaction - Sorry, Mick, we're already having a big night

    After their recent concert at Reliant Stadium, the Rolling Stones called Da Marco (1520 Westheimer, 713-807-8857) looking for a table. Da Marco turned them down. "It was a little after ten and we were crazy busy. We had a private party of 20 people ...

    by Robb Walsh on February 6, 2003
  • Article

    Guilty Pleasure - Marfreless's Pimm's Cup

    Bored with my usual hangouts, I pulled up a barstool at Marfreless (2006 Peden, 713-528-0083) and asked for something peculiar. The barman offered me a Pimm's Cup, a slightly bitter gin cocktail that had only one thing going for it: a cucumber slice....

    by J.W. Crooker on February 6, 2003
  • Article

    Nice Gnocchi - Simposio

    The potato flour Italian dumplings at Simposio (5591 Richmond, 713-532-0550) are formed to look like small scallops swimming in a rich Gorgonzola cheese fondue. The Gorgonzola imparts an intense flavor to the otherwise bland boiled gnocchi. The dish ...

    by Paul Galvani on February 6, 2003
  • Article

    Taiwan's Tapioca Attack - Bubble tea goes mainstream

    The young Asian woman behind the counter at Lollicup whips up my jasmine tea and my date's mango slushy at blinding speed. "Tapioca?" she offers. "Of course," I reply. After adding a couple of spoonfuls of the dark, pea-sized balls to our drinks...

    by Robb Walsh on January 30, 2003
  • Article

    The Orange Show - Moeller's Bakery

    Moeller's Bakery (4201 Bellaire Boulevard, 713-667-0983) has been turning orange rolls ever since the family business opened its doors in 1930. The rolls, sold by the dozen ($5.90), may be simple little things, but they pack a powerful taste punch, t...

    by Paul Galvani on January 30, 2003
  • Article

    Daydream Believer - The Davenport's Barbie's Bathwater

    My friend was vacationing in Mexico, and I imagined him passing the hot, sultry days sitting on a barstool submerged in some fancy hotel pool and drinking cheap, no-name tequila. As I grabbed the martini-handled door to the Davenport (2115 Richmond,...

    by J.W. Crooker on January 30, 2003
  • Article

    Goat Doughnuts Go Global - The Hot Breads franchise serves unique pastries to a worldwide audience

    The sky is deep blue and bright outside the plate-glass window at Hot Breads bakery on Hillcroft. On the shopping center sidewalk, a young man runs by windmilling his right arm in an enormous arc. "Wow, he must really like this weather," says my lun...

    by Robb Walsh on January 23, 2003
  • Article

    Barbecue Breakout - Pit boss Thelma Williams becomes a star

    Sandwiches That You Will Like was the name of the PBS documentary that aired on January 8. Produced by KQED in Pittsburgh, the show featured extraordinary sandwiches from around the country. Houston was ably represented by the brisket sandwich at The...

    by Robb Walsh on January 23, 2003
  • Article

    Sensory Overload - Hugo's Bandolero

    As the sun sank slowly in the west, a sharp wind howled down the Westheimer corridor, blowing dust and construction debris into my eyes. A beat-up Ford pickup truck gunned it through the light and damn near creamed me into a telephone pole. Great, I ...

    by J.W. Crooker on January 23, 2003
  • Article

    UFO Sighting - Flying Saucer Pie Company

    What could possibly entice people to form a line in the middle of a cold, wintry night, waiting for a store to open its doors at 7 a.m.? Pies. Not just any old pies, but one-of-a-kind, handmade, chock-full-of-goodies pies. The Flying Saucer Pie Compa...

    by Paul Galvani on January 23, 2003
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