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  • 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
  • Article

    Yum's the Word - Sawadee's hot and spicy, cold and crunchy Thai salads are the perfect summer takeout

    Lying on the couch, watching an Astros game on television and waiting for the air conditioner to catch up with the afternoon heat, I was wondering what was for dinner. Firing up the stove was not an option. So I reached for the phone and called Saw...

    by Robb Walsh on May 11, 2006
  • Article

    Snap Up This Snapper - Cafe Tin Tin

    The "amazing Thai fish" ($13.50) at Cafe Tin Tin (5761 San Felipe, 713-339-3362) is, as advertised, truly amazing. Even though the large, extremely crispy pieces of snapper have been coated in a thin batter and deep-fried, they're not in the least bi...

    by Paul Galvani on May 11, 2006
  • Article

    Margarita on the Rocks - JR.'S

    As our group walks into JR.'s Bar and Grill (808 Pacific, 713-521-2519), our gay friend/tour guide explains to us that here, just about everyone is accepted outright, regardless of appearance, orientation or disposition. This is good, because I have ...

    by Chris Boyd on May 11, 2006
  • Article

    Eccentric Italian - You can't go wrong with the specials at this odd little joint downtown

    My Italian-American colleague Paul Galvani ordered snapper with arugula. We were standing at the front counter of the eccentric little Italian restaurant called Perbacco on Milam. You order and pay for your lunch at the register. But I was confused -...

    by Robb Walsh on May 4, 2006
  • Article

    A Study in Corn - Mark's

    The "pyramid of corn" souffle appetizer ($8.95) at Mark's (1658 Westheimer, 713-523-3800) showcases the versatility of corn. The souffl is velvety smooth, and the addition of shallots gives it a wonderful taste. Sprinkled around the base of the pyra...

    by Paul Galvani on May 4, 2006
  • Article

    The Tipsy Clover - Closer

    Ah, Midtown. Most of us know it as a playground for yuppies and trance DJs. But there's more to it than the hair-gel-and-stretch-shirt crowd. Several new clubs have sprung up that cater to a wide variety of folks. As one patron tells me, "It'za gonna...

    by Chris Boyd on May 4, 2006
  • Article

    The Sweet Smell of Wang Galbi - This stunning new Korean barbecue restaurant looks like a picnic grove inside a shopping center

    The metal grill in the middle of our table at Arirang Korean Restaurant was sizzling hot and ready for action. As luck would have it, the raw meats arrived at exactly the same time as my friend Will, who had left the restaurant 15 minutes earlier in ...

    by Robb Walsh on April 27, 2006
  • Article

    Fetish Food - Late Nite Pie

    It's three in the morning and you have a sudden, overwhelming urge to devour a Stanky Whore. At Late Nite Pie (502 Elgin, 713-529-5522), $16.99 buys you a large Whore for the evening. What makes it "Stanky"? Perhaps it's the roasted garlic, the punge...

    by Paul Galvani on April 27, 2006
  • Article

    The Light - Passionate Sex with a Bartender

    As I walk into The Light (2315-B Bagby, 713-526-3000), my eyes are immediately drawn to the upper-level lounge, where three hot, half-naked women in American-flag panties are splayed out on a bed. Turns out Kimmy, one of the bartenders, is doing a ph...

    by Chris Boyd on April 27, 2006
  • Article

    The Cajun Cocktail Queens - Get your spicy mudbugs and fried shrimp and join the party at Floyd's

    The bar at Floyd's new Cajun joint on the Gulf Freeway is shaped like a boat. When I stopped in for lunch the other day, two smiling blonds were seated at the prow. I'd estimate they were wearing a half-pound of gold jewelry between them. On top of t...

    by Robb Walsh on April 20, 2006
  • Article

    Two-Handed Job - Ruggles Cafe Bakery

    The melted mozzarella alone just can't hold together the thin slices of spicy meat and caramelized onion in the roast pork loin sandwich ($8.95) at Ruggles Cafe Bakery (2365 Rice Boulevard, 713-520-6662). No matter how you eat it, this is a sloppy me...

    by Paul Galvani on April 20, 2006
  • Article

    Dolce Vita - Blood orange spritz

    It's quitting time when I pull up to Dolce Vita (500 Westheimer, 713-520-8222), and the traffic on Westheimer is moving at its usual crawl. The weather's just right, though, and my date and I opt for the patio. I've heard about a good drink here, but...

    by Ray Hafner on April 20, 2006
  • Article

    Raw Deal - When Andrew Jackson puts in an appearance, the hostesses at Ra Sushi pay attention

    There was an hour-and-a-half wait for a table the first time I visited Ra Sushi, the wild new singles bar and sushi restaurant on Westheimer in Highland Village. It was a Thursday night, and the second-story joint was throbbing with loud dance music ...

    by Robb Walsh on April 13, 2006
  • Article

    Make Mine Moldy - Dharma Cafe

    \There's just no getting around it, no nice way to couch it, no euphemism to protect the innocent -- blue cheese is blue because of mold (normally, Penicillium roqueforti). That's what provides its sharp, tangy taste and smell. The appetizer-size blu...

    by Paul Galvani on April 13, 2006
  • Article

    Bossa - Sangria

    With Tom DeLay on his way out of Congress, there's blood in the air, so I decide to head to Bossa (610 Main, 713-223-2622) for some sangria. A Democratic consultant buddy strolls in, grinning as he grabs a seat on the windy patio, and lights up a cig...

    by Ray Hafner on April 13, 2006
  • Article

    The Pacific Ocean Grill - The seafood is succulent and the scene is somnolent at Joyce's new joint on Westheimer

    The seafood gumbo I had at Joyce's Ocean Grill on Westheimer was darker than beef gravy, dense with fresh shrimp and just-cooked oysters, and peppery all the way to the back of my throat. Piping hot, it was better than a fuzzy blanket on a cold and r...

    by Robb Walsh on April 6, 2006
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