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  • Trying Hard to Be Good

    Article

    Trying Hard to Be Good

    What a cheerful little roost is The Raven Grill, such a relaxed haven for lunch or simple supper. The large, high-ceilinged room sports an appealingly softened industrial look in a palette of cool greens ranging from celery to sage to cream (are thos...

    by Margaret L. Briggs on July 8, 1999
  • Article

    Strange Bedfellows

    What looks just like an upscale New York steak house, but serves primarily seafood and is based on the West Coast? McCormick & Schmick's Seafood Restaurant, that's what, set to open shortly in the spanking-new Uptown Park at Loop 610 and Post Oak Bou...

    by Margaret L. Briggs on July 8, 1999
  • Article

    El Queso Grande? - Is Bravos the best Tex-Mex in town?

    Recently I overheard a local restaurateur whose opinion I respect proclaim that the "best true Tex-Mex" in town can be found at Bravos Mexican Restaurant. This piqued my interest on sooooo many levels. For starters, any randomly selected bunch of Hou...

    by Margaret L. Briggs on July 1, 1999
  • Article

    Guest Doesn't Outlast Welcome

    The first week of June was executive chef Aaron Guest's last at Sabine [1915 Westheimer, (713)529-7190], according to owner Bill Johnson. Guest had joined Johnson from the get-go, back when Sabine was housed in a tiny space on Sunset with only a coup...

    by Margaret L. Briggs on July 1, 1999
  • Article

    Hot Plate

    The proof is in the pastry: I can't decide which I love more, the top crust or the bottom crust of the country-style peach cobbler at Mama's Oven [9295 South Main, (713)661-3656]. The thick, soft bottom crust is swimming in ruddy brown cinnamon-sugar...

    by Margaret L. Briggs on July 1, 1999
  • Article

    Sempers Fugit - Sempers is dead; long live Al Diwan

    One of southwest Houston's strangest supper clubs closed at the end of '98, and we almost missed the nonevent entirely. Sempers [formerly at 2727 Crossview] always suffered from a strange form of schizophrenia: A respected, big-bucks chef struggled e...

    by Margaret L. Briggs on June 24, 1999
  • Article

    Everything, All At Once

    Among the surest signs of downtown's new liveliness is the presence of the sidewalk menu pusher, the guy who politely forces you to take a Xerox of his restaurant's menu. Houston has reached some tipping point, a critical mass of pedestrians: Finally...

    by Dennis Abrams on June 24, 1999
  • Article

    Sweet Sorrow - You can't eat everything but at Cafe Perrier, you want to try

    I have some regrets from my recent dining experiences at Cafe Perrier. I regret that ordering the combination rack of lamb and lamb tender with fresh mint and port sauce meant that I could not simultaneously order the gratin of lobster with wild ...

    by Margaret L. Briggs on June 24, 1999
  • Article

    Hot Plate

    A kittycat and a Kool-Aid: Twenty years ago, that meant an order of catfish and a Coors beer at Captain Benny's Half Shell [8506 South Main, (713)666-5469]. It has been more than a decade since the Cap'n's original boat slipped down Main Street to it...

    by Margaret L. Briggs on June 24, 1999
  • Article

    Sex Among the Armoires, Part II

    Screeching Halt at Staccato You may recall our recent titillating tale of an over-the-top display of public, ahem, affection ["Sex Among the Armoires," June 3] at The Brownstone [2736 Virginia, (713)520-5666]. Fellow diners seated ringside told u...

    by Margaret L. Briggs on June 17, 1999
  • Article

    Deja Barbecue - Those vinyl booths, that paneling -- you know you've been here before

    I ate at Barbecue Inn on the recommendation of my next-door neighbor. It's not the kind of restaurant that would normally draw me in. First off, the neon sign scares me. Barbecue, steaks and seafood. Call me a purist, but to my way of thinking s...

    by Dennis Abrams on June 17, 1999
  • Article

    Hot Plate

    Breakfast buzz: Some get their a.m. kicks from coffee, while others jump-start the day with a jolt of sugar. Satisfy that early-morning sweet tooth with an almond croissant, $2.31 each from Croissant Brioche [2435 Rice, (713)526-9188]. A big, buttery...

    by Margaret L. Briggs on June 17, 1999
  • Article

    From Brussels with Love - A charming new cafe sprouts in Montrose

    Each time I discover a new restaurant with wonderful food, I am happy. If that same restaurant is difficult to find, hidden in an unlikely location or disguised by an unpromising facade, so much the better; then I am smug. But when I unearth not just...

    by Margaret L. Briggs on June 17, 1999
  • Article

    No Local Server? - Zagat.com (temporarily) neglects Houston

    Good news: The democratic Zagat restaurant guide has finally gone high-tech with its own Web site at www.zagat.com. On the new Web site, which launched May 11, you can vote for your favorite restaurants, purchase Zagat merchandise or use its powerful...

    by Margaret L. Briggs on June 10, 1999
  • Article

    Turkish Delight

    Istanbul Grill & Deli is an outpost of Turkey nestled between monuments of urban yuppieness in the Rice Village. Inside the tiny six-table restaurant, the TV glows with scenes from Turkish broadcasts. At tables outside the restaurant, groups of young...

    by Dennis Abrams on June 10, 1999
  • Article

    Hot Plate

    !Que milagro!: Robert del Grande's chiles rellenos at Taco Milagro [2555 Kirby, (713)522-1999] are not battered or deep-fried but unexpectedly grilled, leaving the glossy green poblanos firm and toothsome. Surprise again: The peppers are stuffed with...

    by Margaret L. Briggs on June 10, 1999
  • Article

    Room with a View - Unfortunately, Mallorca doesn't offer much else

    It took us a while to worm our way through the tony Waterford Harbor neighborhood just off FM 2094 in Clear Lake Shores, eagerly following the discreet signs for the Mallorca Restaurant like wooden bread crumbs. We finally fetched up at the Yacht Clu...

    by Margaret L. Briggs on June 10, 1999
  • Article

    Hot Plate

    Smash this sandwich: Menu item number 35 at Cafe Express is the vegetable sandwich, piled so high on a crusty French baguette that we recommend you crush it, just a little, before attempting to bite into it. Inside its covers you'll find long slivers...

    by Margaret L. Briggs on June 3, 1999
  • Article

    Fast Start - Carl Lewis's new "world-beat grille" is aiming for a place in the record books

    Let's get this part over with right off the bat: Yes, Carl Lewis, the Olympic track and field star, is one of the owners of Cafe Noir. (And, from what I've heard, a fairly hands-on owner at that.) That said, let me add that the idea of celebrity rest...

    by Dennis Abrams on June 3, 1999
  • Article

    Near New Orleans - Food to comfort a homesick Cajun

    Report No. 00002 New Orleans Food Police To: Bourbon St. Bistreaux There are some days when a cop's job is easier than others. It's a pleasure to find a "Louisiana-style" restaurant that doesn't egregiously break the laws of New Orleans cui...

    by Dennis Abrams on May 27, 1999
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