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  • Article

    Fit for Japanese Royalty

    Yeah, we too were nervous eating raw fish at a place whose name conjures Burger King. But the just-opened Sushi King (3401 Kirby Drive, 713-528-8998) is a wonderful Japanese eatery. Husband-and-wife owners Keeper and Christine Lin, who are also respo...

    by Marene Gustin on February 24, 2005
  • Article

    French Food Sans Frenchmen - Lazy lunching in a River Oaks hideaway

    On my first visit to Bistro Calais, I walked in the front door of the historic cottage that houses the restaurant, took a look around the empty bar and dining room, and concluded the place was closed. If somebody in the back dining room hadn't chosen...

    by Robb Walsh on February 17, 2005
  • Article

    Little Italy in Montrose

    You'd think nothing in the eclectic Montrose area would surprise anymore, not even a fine Italian restaurant in a strip center. But Sorrento (415 Westheimer, 713-527-0609) does take your breath away. The arched ceilings, frescoed walls, wine racks, ...

    by Marene Gustin on February 17, 2005
  • Article

    Banana Breakfast - Central American early-bird specials

    Sweet, gooey, piping-hot fried plantains are an ideal breakfast food. Especially the way they serve them in Central American restaurants: with warm, creamy refried beans and cold sour cream on the side for dipping. My kids and I used to order the pl...

    by Robb Walsh on February 10, 2005
  • Article

    Hot Plate - Chicken of the Gods

    Ah Kinchil, the Mayan sun god, would be proud of the Mayan chicken ($9 at lunch; $12.50 at dinner) at Cafe Red Onion (3910 Kirby, 713-807-1122, and other locations). Its many tones of gold and yellow seem to pay homage to the fiery orb. A generous po...

    by Paul Galvani on February 10, 2005
  • Article

    Modern Masala - Houstons upscale Indian restaurants are going through some changes

    Tandoori salmon, served in a sweet and tart cranberry and orange sauce, is one of the most interesting items you'll ever see at an Indian restaurant. And here at Ashiana, the upscale Indian restaurant on Briar Forest at Dairy Ashford, the salmon sits...

    by Robb Walsh on February 3, 2005
  • Article

    Hot Plate - My Kebab; No, Mine

    Everybody in the Middle East and Russia -- but especially Turkey, Armenia and Iran -- wants credit for inventing the shish kebab. Though its origin will always be disputed, this much can be agreed upon: The shish kebab was created thousands of years ...

    by Carol Rust on February 3, 2005
  • Article

    The Xiu Mai Super Bowl - A new champion in the dim sum game

    It was a little after 11 on a Sunday morning when I first dropped by Fung's Kitchen to check out their new dim sum service. I was amazed from the second I opened the front door. There were steam tables and glass-doored refrigerators along one wall th...

    by Robb Walsh on January 27, 2005
  • Article

    Tex-Mex Sizzler

    With all the new Tex-Mex and Mexican eateries opening inside the Loop in the past few years -- Hugo's, Maria Selma and Berryhill, to name a few -- we sometimes tend to forget old favorites. Jalapeos Restaurant (2702 Kirby Drive, 713-524-1668) has be...

    by Marene Gustin on January 27, 2005
  • Article

    The Fickle Fez - A cute but erratic Middle Eastern cafe on Westheimer

    Sitting out on the patio of La Fendee Mediterranean Grill under blue skies on a 70-degree January afternoon, we toasted the perfect weather with iced tea. The cute little cafe with the big wooden deck and the red fez logo is a welcome addition to the...

    by Robb Walsh on January 20, 2005
  • Article

    Stiff Mussel

    Feeling limp? Then perhaps the almejas a la Viagra ($4.25 for six mussels) at Sabor! (5712 Bellaire Boulevard, 713-667-6001) are just the thing to stimulate your taste buds. The whimsical name of this dish at this new Central American restaurant is c...

    by Paul Galvani on January 20, 2005
  • Article

    Cajun, Twice Removed - Great food, lousy atmosphere? Get it to go!

    The thick fillet of salmon served at Cajun Town Cafe was broiled until it was pleasantly charred along the edges. There are five toppings to choose from. I went with No. 3, which included small but juicy shrimp and fat crawfish tails in a creamy wine...

    by Robb Walsh on January 13, 2005
  • Article

    Pig Heaven

    If you're tired of the same old burger or chicken sandwich, then the breaded pork tenderloin sandwich ($4.95) at Heights Camphouse BBQ (2820 White Oak Drive, 713-861-2033) may be exactly what you're looking for. "It's a Northern thing," says the mana...

    by Paul Galvani on January 13, 2005
  • Article

    Paella Paydirt - A Spanish tapas restaurant with nice rice

    You can taste the flavor of shrimp, chicken, Spanish chorizo, calamari and saffron in each grain of rice in the paella. Rioja, the new Spanish restaurant on Westheimer at Kirkwood, calls itself a tapas restaurant, but the main attraction here is real...

    by Robb Walsh on January 6, 2005
  • Article

    You Wascally Wabbit, You

    There's nothing quite like a steaming bowl of rabbit stew on a rainy winter's day. And at new restaurant Bistro Calais (2811 Bammel Lane, 713-529-1314), chef Michael Dei Maggi serves up the wascally wabbit in his ragot de lapin au vin rouge ($17). H...

    by Marene Gustin on January 6, 2005
  • Article

    Le Grand Cheesecake - The Vegas version of Venice, or Vienna, or someplace

    The soaring facade of Grand Lux Cafe looks like the outside of one of those pseudo-Italian Las Vegas casinos. As you drive down Westheimer, an enormous painting inside plays peek-a-boo through three giant round windows mounted several stories above t...

    by Robb Walsh on December 30, 2004
  • Article

    Fish Bowl

    Somehow "fish stew" ($10.99) doesn't sound half as appetizing as peixada brasileira, its Portuguese translation, found on the menu of Emporio Brazilian Cafe (12288 Westheimer, 281-293-7442). But no matter what you call it, it's a heartwarming meal ...

    by Paul Galvani on December 30, 2004
  • Article

    Sunday Chaat - North meets South on NASA Road 1

    The host at Annapurna South Indian Cuisine on NASA Road 1 brings some puffy pooris to our table. Served hot out of the oven, the paper-thin flatbreads look like inflated pancakes. I tear one apart and use some of the flimsy skin to wrap up a bite of ...

    by Robb Walsh on December 23, 2004
  • Article

    Luscious Liquid lunch

    Otilia's Mexican Restaurant's (7710 Long Point, 713-681-7203) cream of poblano soup ($5.50) with a michelada ($3.75) may well be the perfect lunch combination. The soup, which is the color of a good guacamole, is velvety-smooth and a little tangy, wi...

    by Paul Galvani on December 23, 2004
  • Article

    Risqu, Medium Rare - Steak and tits -- how can you go wrong at the Strip House?

    My fork and knife hover over a slice of double-cut New York strip "Pittsburgh." It's the best thing on the menu at the Strip House, the new downtown steak house that's decorated with naughty pictures. The double-cut steak is a monstrous 32 ounces, ...

    by Robb Walsh on December 16, 2004
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