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  • Article

    Giant Burger - Hobbit Cafe

    Hobbits may be dwarflike creatures who like to eat a lot, but they'd be hard-pressed to get their mouths around the avocado buffalo burger ($8.79) at the Hobbit Cafe (2243 Richmond, 713-526-5460). There is simply no elegant way to eat this mammoth bu...

    by Paul Galvani on December 29, 2005
  • Article

    Sidecar - Mugsy's

    I decide to kick it old-school on a Tuesday night with a classic cocktail, the sidecar, at a bar that at least sounds old-school, Mugsy's (3200 Kirby, 713-526-5595). The dimly lit bar is pulsating with a youngish crowd downing cocktails and wine. Jer...

    by Jason Kerr on December 29, 2005
  • Article

    Bling-Bling Bordeaux - At Pappas Bros. Steakhouse, flashing your wad is the whole point

    The chef's counter at Pappas Bros. Steakhouse is the best seat in the house, unless you're trying to get romantic. When the hostess told my brother Gordon and me that we could either sit at the counter or wait an hour for a table, we jumped on a pair...

    by Robb Walsh on December 22, 2005
  • Article

    Unconventional Pair - Restaurant Indika

    Samosas are savory Indian pasties. Sold on the streets of every Indian town, they're normally filled with potatoes, vegetables or meat. At Restaurant Indika (12665 Memorial, 713-984-1725), the samosas ($8) don't follow tradition. They're stuffed with...

    by Paul Galvani on December 22, 2005
  • Article

    Washington Apple - Mink

    A few friends and I drop into Mink (3718 Main, 713-522-9985) late one weeknight, and the narrow bar seems to fill up with our presence. As we settle in, I wonder who's in control of the music, because Bryan Adams is whining out of the speakers. Derek...

    by Jason Kerr on December 22, 2005
  • Article

    Sushi as an Accessory - At Uptown Sushi, the fish looks great whether you eat it or not

    It was a Thursday night, and Uptown Sushi was packed to the gills. Throbbing techno music made it feel like we were entering a dance club. The black-clad hostess led my companion and me past the loud cocktail-lounge area to the only two seats left at...

    by Robb Walsh on December 15, 2005
  • Article

    Doing It Right - Mangola's

    The veal puttanesca ($19.95) at Mangola's (11786 South Wilcrest, 281-498-7950) is a seductive, exciting dish worthy of its name, which means "whore's veal." As with many things culinary, there are several versions of the dish's origins. My favorite i...

    by Paul Galvani on December 15, 2005
  • Suburban Import - Kiran Verma's culinary chutzpah finds a home inside the Loop

    Article

    Suburban Import - Kiran Verma's culinary chutzpah finds a home inside the Loop

    If you love Indian food, then you've got to love the Houston suburbs. Yes, they're stomping grounds for nutters in propaganda-plastered H2's, but they're also home, to the south and west, to Indians and their most authentic and creative eateries. Tha...

    by Josh Harkinson on December 8, 2005
  • That Little Something Extra - Cahill's on Durham

    Article

    That Little Something Extra - Cahill's on Durham

    The ranch burger ($6.35) at Cahill's on Durham (903 Durham, 713-864-9400) is perfectly executed, and its smearing of ranch dressing adds a wonderful taste. Cooked over an open flame and served on a fresh-baked bun, the single large patty is covered w...

    by Paul Galvani on December 8, 2005
  • Mint Julep - The Kentucky Club

    Article

    Mint Julep - The Kentucky Club

    When I walk into the Kentucky Club (2707 Fountain View, 832-252-7267), it seems the entire bar is illuminated by the 20 TV screens on the walls. There's a blond sitting at the bar flipping channels. I ask her if she can make a mint julep. She stares ...

    by Jason Kerr on December 8, 2005
  • Article

    Wrestling with Gourmet Tex-Mex - Don't let the upscale decor at the new Cyclone Anaya's trick you into ordering the lobster enchiladas

    The "enchiladas Anaya's" at the new Cyclone Anaya's on Durham come smothered in a fabulous sauce of ancho chiles, slow-cooked onions and sauted mushrooms. I can't say I've ever eaten mushroom enchilada sauce before, but the concept is brilliant -- a...

    by Robb Walsh on December 1, 2005
  • Article

    Unexpected Treasure - Yia Yia Mary's Greek Kitchen

    The menu at Yia Yia Mary's Greek Kitchen (4747 San Felipe, 713-840-8665) doesn't even hint at all the joys in store for the customer who orders its pistachio ice cream ($3.25). It just says "pistachio ice cream." Yes, you do get two huge scoops of pa...

    by Paul Galvani on December 1, 2005
  • Article

    Tom Collins - Cecil's

    It's Monday night, and I stop off at Cecil's (600 West Gray, 713-524-3691) to join the anti-Monday-night-football league for a drink. Cecil's is a neighborhood pub that's always jumping. Even during the week it's full of people, and tonight's crowd o...

    by Jason Kerr on December 1, 2005
  • Article

    All You Need Is Larb - The food can be great at Sabai Thai, as long as you order the right dishes

    Domestic beers for $1 and imports for $2 -- that was enough to get me to visit Sabai Thai, a new restaurant in the Metropole Center on Bellaire. They were running the beer special Mondays through Thursdays for happy hour. When we got there on a Monda...

    by Robb Walsh on November 24, 2005
  • Article

    It's All in the Packaging - Jungle Cafe

    The mango cake ($10, or two for $15) at Jungle Cafe (9110-A Bellaire Boulevard, 713-272-6633) is more than an unbelievably delicious cake -- it's a visual masterpiece, packaged for gift-giving and lots of "oohs" and "aahs." The Taiwanese husband-and-...

    by Paul Galvani on November 24, 2005
  • Article

    Manhattan Luna - Buca di Beppo

    After meeting at my place for cocktails before a show, my friends and I decide to soak up some of the booze with a big bowl of pasta (and more Jack Daniel's, of course), so we head for Buca di Beppo (5192 Buffalo Speedway, 713-665-2822). We sit in ou...

    by Jason Kerr on November 24, 2005
  • Article

    No Nobu - Latino-Asian fusion cuisine isnt as easy as some famous chefs make it look

    They serve sauted snapper at Red Onion Seafood y Mas, the Latin fusion restaurant on the Northwest Freeway. And I'm happy to report that they leave some of the skin on so you can tell that it's really Gulf red snapper. The fish I got was properly co...

    by Robb Walsh on November 17, 2005
  • Article

    Pungent Pizza - Cava Bistro

    In a world where pizza is consistently associated with Italy, the Moroccan pizza ($6.95) at Cava Bistro (300 Main, 713-223-4068) might come as a surprise. But pizza is hardly uncommon in Morocco, since all the Mediterranean, Italy included, is a culi...

    by Carol Rust on November 17, 2005
  • Article

    Piece of Ass - The Red Hog Saloon

    Lost off I-10 West, I stumble upon a bar. It's small, dark and hidden behind a strip club, and the weathered plywood sign reads The Red Hog Saloon (10312 Hempstead Road, 713-290-1666). I park and go inside, where I ask the bartender what the house sp...

    by Jason Kerr on November 17, 2005
  • Article

    Naked Posole - The pork-and-hominy soup at Taqueria Mexico looks a little plain, until you dress it up

    Posole is a traditional Mexican soup from the Jalisco region that has become a popular weekend breakfast in Texas and New Mexico. At Taqueria Mexico on Bellaire Boulevard, the soup comes in a giant bowl with big chunks of pork and plenty of hominy. I...

    by Robb Walsh on November 10, 2005
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