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  • Article

    Darkness Palls - ...beside food as good as Thai Cafe's

    Noted food writer and humorist Calvin Trillin once said something to the effect that when dining out he didn't much care if he had to eat in a dark closet serenaded by four female tuba players, as long as the chef was happy. In theory I go along with...

    by Dennis Abrams on September 16, 1999
  • Hot Plate

    Article

    Hot Plate

    Lust for Loaves: The gorgeous oval bread dreamed up by chef Greg Gordon at La Vista [1936 Fountainview, (713)787-9899] is plumply stuffed with goodies -- chewy, white mozzarella cheese, soft, caramelized onions and sweet dried figs -- then festoo...

    by Margaret L. Briggs on September 16, 1999
  • Breeze from the Northwest - Attention, Gulf Coast seafood fans: You're about to love a chain from Oregon

    Article

    Breeze from the Northwest - Attention, Gulf Coast seafood fans: You're about to love a chain from Oregon

    For months Houston foodies have been buzzing about McCormick & Schmick's. Word on the street held that it was not just a good seafood restaurant but a great one, ready to present Houston with delights rarely if ever offered here before. The chain, wh...

    by Dennis Abrams on September 9, 1999
  • Article

    View From the Kitchen - We're Really Sorry

    Hospitality should have nothing to do with the hospital; accidents shouldn't happen. But sometimes, even at the best of restaurants, bad things happen to good customers. And like an I Love Lucy episode, bad just gets worse. Below are a few of the fun...

    by Monica Pope on September 9, 1999
  • Hot Plate

    Article

    Hot Plate

    Messing with Texas: I rely on the menu at Goode Company Seafood. It's a buffer in a chaotic world, an almost unchanging lineup of fried and mesquite-grilled fish, shrimp, oysters and crawfish, varying only with the seasons and the catch of the day. I...

    by Lisa Gray on September 9, 1999
  • Urban Refuel - Finally, downtown gets the groceries it deserves

    Article

    Urban Refuel - Finally, downtown gets the groceries it deserves

    You can have all the trendy restaurants, cafes, bars, clubs and jazz joints you want. You can even convert all the old buildings within a two-mile radius into co-ops and lofts. But if you don't have a place where you can buy white-truffle oil at $12....

    by Dennis Abrams on September 2, 1999
  • Hot Plate

    Article

    Hot Plate

    Talking Turkey: A wrapped-in-plastic turkey sandwich that dares to cost $5 had better be fabulous. Luckily for us all, the one at the Empire Baking Company [1616 Post Oak Boulevard, (713)871-9779] deserves every penny of its price tag. Peppers are th...

    by Lisa Gray on September 2, 1999
  • Everything Old Is New Again - Darby's flashes back to a gentler time

    Article

    Everything Old Is New Again - Darby's flashes back to a gentler time

    Hans Mair, longtime lord of the old-guard institution Vargo's, recently opened Darby's, a time warp of a new restaurant. The mood and menu recall fine dining of the '50s -- and yes, there was such a thing. Dishes such as Long Island duckling with b...

    by Edith Sorenson on August 26, 1999
  • Hot Plate - May's Ice Cream

    Article

    Hot Plate - May's Ice Cream

    Here in the dregs of August, what you need is a vacation. Something exotic. Something refreshing. Something cool. May's Ice Cream [9260 Bellaire, (713)270-5178] provides a reasonable substitute -- or at least, as reasonable a substitute as you're l...

    by Lisa Gray on August 26, 1999
  • Jazzed - Opelous Café adds spice to downtown

    Article

    Jazzed - Opelous Caf adds spice to downtown

    Good Cajun and creole food is about as rare in Houston as a mild day in August. So it's not surprising that when Mary Hodge and her husband, William, moved here from New Orleans, they found all the local Louisiana-style restaurants lacking. So they...

    by Dennis Abrams on August 19, 1999
  • Brilliant Korea - At Nam Gang, flavors are  anything but dull

    Article

    Brilliant Korea - At Nam Gang, flavors are anything but dull

    You hardly ever hear anyone say, "Honey, I feel like Korean food tonight!" Ask most people what they know about Korean, and you're likely to get a blank stare, or, at best, "Kimchi, right?" Well, yes, kimchi, a spicy pickled cabbage dish, is part of ...

    by Dennis Abrams on August 19, 1999
  • Olivette

    Article

    Olivette

    Rx for heat relief: Why steam over a bowl of soup when you can chill? Refreshingly, Olivette [inside the Houstonian Hotel and Spa, 111 North Post Oak Lane, (713)685-6713, nonmembers welcome] offers cold seasonal soups du jour. For the dazzling orange...

    by Robin Barr Sussman on August 19, 1999
  • Old Style - Latina Cafe has its mojo working

    Article

    Old Style - Latina Cafe has its mojo working

    Faster than you can say "new American cuisine" or "Asian fusion," the Nuevo Latino trend is sweeping the rest of the country. Of course, this is an instance where Houston has been ahead of the curve: For years, restaurants like Amricas, Churrascos a...

    by Dennis Abrams on August 12, 1999
  • Article

    It's the Little Things - Carter & Cooley

    Antique shopping in the Houston Heights can be exhausting, and Carter & Cooley is the perfect place to stop and replenish yourself. In fact, the place looks a bit like an antique itself: It's housed in the old Simon Lewis Building, in a portion once ...

    by Dennis Abrams on August 12, 1999
  • Hot Plate

    Article

    Hot Plate

    Heads up, pancake purists: It's worth the pilgrimage to Rio Ranch [9999 Westheimer, Westchase Hilton, (713)952-5000] for a short stack of tender buttermilk pancakes, gems of the Ranch Hand breakfast ($11.95 buffet or $4.95 $egrave; la carte). So scru...

    by Robin Barr Sussman on August 12, 1999
  • The Meat of the Matter - Why do people go to steak houses? Steak & Chophouse on the Boulevard doesn't know.

    Article

    The Meat of the Matter - Why do people go to steak houses? Steak & Chophouse on the Boulevard doesn't know.

    Steak & Chophouse on the Boulevard is a steak house that tries to be a fine restaurant but fails to make it even as a halfway decent steak house. Traditionally, a steak house is a manly, manful, masculine kind of place. The kind of restaurant where...

    by Dennis Abrams on August 5, 1999
  • Hot Plate

    Article

    Hot Plate

    In a world filled with trendy chocolate mousse cakes, chocolate towers, chocolate bombes, molten chocolate tortes and God only knows what else, sometimes it's nice to revisit a forgotten friend: old-fashioned chocolate fudge cake. DaCapo's [1141 East...

    by Dennis Abrams on August 5, 1999
  • Warm and Welcoming and Good Margaritas - El Tiempo makes you want to forgive its mistakes

    Article

    Warm and Welcoming and Good Margaritas - El Tiempo makes you want to forgive its mistakes

    During the oil boom, Ninfa Laurenzo's many, many margaritas and more baskets of chips built an empire. The Ninfa's chain found a profitable middle ground between fine dining and the strip-center Tex-Mex Houstonians were used to. Recently, the busines...

    by Edith Sorenson on July 29, 1999
  • View From the Kitchen - Table Talk. Or: Why I love working with artists

    Article

    View From the Kitchen - Table Talk. Or: Why I love working with artists

    To design my first restaurant, I hired an artist. Who shall remain nameless. The Quilted Toque, as he envisioned it, would be a beautiful place, minimalist and colorful, $egrave; la the work of Mexican architect Luis Barragan. I loved the idea. I l...

    by Monica Pope on July 29, 1999
  • Hot Plate

    Article

    Hot Plate

    !Ay, arepas! I'd never been much impressed by arepas, those little corn bread disks beloved by homesick Colombians and Venezuelans. Plantains got my attention; chimichurri, the snappy cilantro-heavy green sauce, made me take notice; spit-roasted chic...

    by Lisa Gray on July 29, 1999
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