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  • Article

    Sangria - Little Woodrow's

    On a Sunday evening at Little Woodrow's (2301 West Alabama, 713-529-0449), I'm hanging out with three doormen: Leroy, Will and Bill. After about 12 seconds of coaxing, they offer up a few pointers on how to be successful in the art of the lay. First,...

    by Chris Boyd on June 29, 2006
  • Article

    Comida sin Fronteras - In 21st-century Houston, it's getting hard to tell the difference between Mexican and Tex-Mex

    The garnish plate that came with the birria goat and broth at Casa de Leon Mexican restaurant on Long Point included chopped onions, chopped jalapeos, cilantro and lime wedges. I dumped most of the stuff on the plate into my soup bowl and squeezed s...

    by Robb Walsh on June 22, 2006
  • Article

    Into Thin Aries - One of Houston's top restaurants does a disappearing act

    In anticipation of a long, hot and unprofitable summer, Aries, the fine dining flagship of chef Scott Tycer's restaurant group, closed its doors a few weeks ago. A lower-priced restaurant called Pic, also run by Tycer, has just opened in the same spa...

    by Robb Walsh on June 22, 2006
  • Article

    Goo Goo for You - House of Pies

    If the Bayou Goo Goo pie ($2.95) at House of Pies (3112 Kirby, 713-528-3816) doesn't intrigue you on name alone, then perhaps a description will. A traditional pie base is layered with pecans and sweet cream cheese, then a layer of vanilla custard wi...

    by Paul Galvani on June 22, 2006
  • Article

    Bloody Mary - Palace Lanes

    I meet up with Editress at Palace Lanes (4191 Bellaire Boulevard, 713-667-6554) to discuss the column, sample some of their famous Bloody Marys, and play a couple of rounds of tenpin. Since I bowl about once every other year, I (high score: 95) prepa...

    by Chris Boyd on June 22, 2006
  • Article

    Carne Carnival - The Brazilian churrascaria, an all-you-can-eat parade of steaks, chops and sausages, makes its way to Montrose

    Igor's eyes widened when the rare rib eyes stopped by our table. At Nelore Churrascaria, the new Brazilian steak house on Montrose, waiters in gaucho outfits parade around the restaurant with hot, freshly grilled meats on swords. "Sure, I'll try some...

    by Robb Walsh on June 15, 2006
  • Article

    Home Sweet Home - Hugo's

    Chef Hugo Ortega of Hugo's (1602 Westheimer, 713-524-7744) brought this dish to Houston from his native Puebla, and we can all be grateful that he did. The cemita ($9.95) is named for its freshly baked, slightly sweet sesame seed bun. To make a cemit...

    by Paul Galvani on June 15, 2006
  • Article

    Malibu Punch - The Gallant Knight

    One of the benefits of Houston's lack of zoning laws is all the "house bars" scattered around the city. It makes for some unique locations, not the least of which is The Gallant Knight (2337 West Holcombe, 713-665-9762), a Medical Center house-turned...

    by Chris Boyd on June 15, 2006
  • Article

    Gelato Grotto - There's a dark cave in Rice Village where you can linger over ice cream and espresso

    "White or wheat?" asked the perky order-taker at the Black Walnut Cafe, the counter-service restaurant on Morningside. I'd ordered the black-bean-and-cheese "Tex-Mex omelet" for breakfast, and it came with a side of toast. "I'll have flour tortilla...

    by Robb Walsh on June 8, 2006
  • Article

    Double-Decker - Lagniappe Grill

    On the theory that two desserts are better than one, the folks at Lagniappe Grill (2300 Richton, 713-522-2322) are offering up the all-time classic desserts bananas Foster and bread pudding in one dish ($7). Slices of banana are gently sauted in a b...

    by Paul Galvani on June 8, 2006
  • Article

    Starburst - The Velvet Melvin

    I chuckle every time I pass by the Velvet Melvin Pub (3303 Richmond, 713-522-6798), because the name strikes me as something high school seniors do to incoming freshmen, la Dazed and Confused: "All right, you little twerps, it's time for a Velvet M...

    by Chris Boyd on June 8, 2006
  • Article

    Poor Boys and Philanthropy - A new Cajun-Asian sandwich shack run by Katrina evacuees

    The sign on top of the newly painted red, blue and yellow building on 19th Street near Beall reads: "Jazzie Cafe, Famous Hot Wings and Po-Boys." There are two tables and a walk-up counter inside the tiny establishment, and a few more tables outside o...

    by Robb Walsh on June 1, 2006
  • Article

    Strange Name, Fine Dish - Leibman's Wine & Fine Foods

    Bobotie, which came to the Cape of Good Hope via the Malay slaves, is the closest thing to a South African national dish. And Leibman's Wine & Fine Foods (14529 Memorial, 281-493-3663) is the only place in Houston that offers it ($7.99 per pound). So...

    by Paul Galvani on June 1, 2006
  • Article

    Presbyterian - Leon's Lounge

    Walk into Leon's Lounge (1006 McGowen, 713-659-3052) on the right night, and it's quite possible you'll hear something along the lines of "Mom! When are you going to fucking yodel?" Sometimes the owner's mom, a former lounge singer, does classic song...

    by Chris Boyd on June 1, 2006
  • Article

    Party en el Patio! - A shaggy taco shack gets a makeover and starts serving margaritas under the stars

    Salt doesn't stick very well to the rim of a plastic cup, so you might say my margarita was "lightly salted." Otherwise, it was a pretty average lime-green machine-made frozen margarita in a dinky container. But nevertheless, it was a historic cockta...

    by Robb Walsh on May 25, 2006
  • Article

    Classic Cuban - El Meson

    Classic Cuban: The masitas ($14.95) at El Meson (2425 University Boulevard, 713-522-9306) aren't cookies, though in some Hispanic cultures, that's what the word means. Instead, the dish is masitas de puerco, a.k.a. carnitas. Chunks of pork tenderloin...

    by Paul Galvani on May 25, 2006
  • Article

    Coco Loco - Mama Ninfa's

    Despite three years' worth of Spanish classes and three years of life in Texas, I still speak horrible Spanish. The only thing I can really say with any confidence en espaol is Cunto para el cartel de Lita Ford? ("How much for the Lita Ford poster...

    by Chris Boyd on May 25, 2006
  • Article

    Pure Bliss - In more ways than one, Balaji Bhavan is Little India's hottest eatery

    If you think the name is long, try the line. The queue at the counter of Shri Balaji Bhavan Pure Vegetarian Restaurant often includes children in sequined outfits from the fabric store next door, utility repairmen in jumpsuits, businessmen in starche...

    by Josh Harkinson on May 18, 2006
  • Article

    Luscious Lobster - Le Viet

    The "five styles twin lobsters" dish ($24.99) at Le Viet (11328 Westheimer, 281-293-8883) is likely to cause diners quite a quandary. After all, which of the five preparation methods -- black pepper, garlic butter, tamarind, ginger and scallion, or t...

    by Paul Galvani on May 18, 2006
  • Article

    Elite Dirty Martini - The Magnolia Hotel

    Being a native Louisianan, I'm naturally drawn to three things: alcohol, drama and politics. I'm also into romanticized symbols of the South, so walking around downtown on a recent Sunday night, I had to check out The Magnolia Hotel (1100 Texas, 713-...

    by Chris Boyd on May 18, 2006
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