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  • Article

    Dish - The Last Days of Lido

    Those whispers you've been hearing about the closing of Lido [3201 Travis, (713)523-9295] are true. "Yeah, the rumors are ugly," says Khon Lu, whose parents own the restaurant. "But they're all true. We are definitely shutting it down." The last ti...

    by Margaret L. Briggs on October 7, 1999
  • Hot Plate

    Article

    Hot Plate

    Just say, "Red Beans and Ricely Yours," as Louis Armstrong used to sign his letters. The national dish of Louisiana can be found on the chalkboard menu every day at Creole's Louisiana Cuisine [2933 Walnut Bend Lane, (713)785-2340]. Two heaping scoops...

    by Margaret L. Briggs on October 7, 1999
  • Secrets of Sonoma - During the day, it's almost invisible. But at night...

    Article

    Secrets of Sonoma - During the day, it's almost invisible. But at night...

    Drive past Sonoma restaurant by day, and you'll be, at best, puzzled. That's assuming you even find it, tucked away on the short stretch of California Street between Commonwealth and Waugh. (Sonoma, on California, get it?) The two-story building of w...

    by Margaret L. Briggs on September 30, 1999
  • Chicken Soup for the  Cajun Soul - The Gumbo Shop ministers to New Orleans refugees

    Article

    Chicken Soup for the Cajun Soul - The Gumbo Shop ministers to New Orleans refugees

    Most people know New Orleans restaurants via the upscale culinary temples that have made Creole cuisine famous, places such as Commander's Palace, Galatoire's and Brennan's. These luxurious places are renowned for their elaborate preparations and ric...

    by Dennis Abrams on September 30, 1999
  • Article

    Dish - Ale House Brawl

    An ugly rumor predicting the imminent demise of The Ale House [2425 West Alabama, (713)521-2333] has been making the rounds lately. The Ale House will be demolished, the story goes, to make way for the parking lot of a new retail center. You see, t...

    by Margaret L. Briggs on September 30, 1999
  • Hot Plate

    Article

    Hot Plate

    But It Hurts So Good: The high-intensity Chocolate Suicide Cake concocted by the Phoenix Bakery and Coffee House in Galveston [2228 Ships Mechanic, (409)763-4611] poses a triple-layered threat of death by chocolate. Velvety layers of moist, dark choc...

    by Margaret L. Briggs on September 30, 1999
  • The Buzz - Chic, minimal decor. Healthy food. An urban attitude. And it's where?

    Article

    The Buzz - Chic, minimal decor. Healthy food. An urban attitude. And it's where?

    Close your eyes and picture a chic yet comfortable urban cafe. Sunday-morning sunlight pours through tall windows, fashionably softened by bleached canvas shades. Chalkboard menus hang over counters of warm-toned polished oak; ceiling fans twirl lazi...

    by Margaret L. Briggs on September 23, 1999
  • Pasta   la Goth

    Article

    Pasta la Goth

    Many people's image of an Italian trattoria comes directly from the Cher film Moonstruck: a small, family-run place with checkered tablecloths, Dean Martin crooning softly and a genial host who knows exactly what pasta you need to suit your mood. B...

    by Dennis Abrams on September 23, 1999
  • Article

    Dish - Quantifying Happy Hour

    One of the thousand-plus new laws passed by the last Texas legislative session reduced the legal level of intoxication from a blood-alcohol content of .10 percent to .08 percent, effective September 1. Organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driv...

    by Margaret L. Briggs on September 23, 1999
  • Hot Plate

    Article

    Hot Plate

    Sharp Shooters: The fat and snappy pickled cherry peppers on offer from the Euro-market at Urban Foods [909-A Texas, (713)225-FOOD] are plumply stuffed with a hundred folds of salty prosciutto di Parma and firm ivory wedges of provolone cheese, then ...

    by Margaret L. Briggs on September 23, 1999
  • East  Meets Best - Scott Chen opened Houston's top Chinese restaurant. Now he wants to run Houston's top restaurant. Period.

    Article

    East Meets Best - Scott Chen opened Houston's top Chinese restaurant. Now he wants to run Houston's top restaurant. Period.

    The tale of chef Scott Chen's two restaurants is an interesting lesson in Houston's restaurant geopolitics. Even though Chen's first restaurant has garnered recognition from all over the United States, it remains relatively unknown in its hometown....

    by Margaret L. Briggs on September 16, 1999
  • Dish - Pico-boo. Now you see Don Pico's. Now you don't.

    Article

    Dish - Pico-boo. Now you see Don Pico's. Now you don't.

    A couple of months ago I was surprised to notice two -- count 'em, two -- new tenants bravely launched at the long-shuttered corner of Richmond and Greenbriar. (I guess I thought the Gulf Freeway would be finished before these properties were o...

    by Margaret L. Briggs on September 16, 1999
  • 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
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