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  • Article

    Hot Plate

    Of all the major food groups, which two are the most important? Meat and Guinness, of course. So rejoice, all ye who fret about your health. There's now a simple way to get your recommended daily allowance of both: Waddle over to McGonigel's Mucky Du...

    by Eric Lawlor on March 5, 1998
  • Article

    Big Place. Big Mistakes. - At the new La Strada ... well, at least the bread is good

    I received the fright of my life when I entered the new La Strada. (There are now two: the old one on Westheimer and this second version on the corner of Sage and San Felipe.) The place is huge! Not long huge, necessarily; and definitely not wide hug...

    by Eric Lawlor on March 5, 1998
  • Article

    Dish

    How the West Was Lost I don't think of myself as being easily shocked, but I have to tell you this: I attended the World's Championship Bar-B-Que Cook-off on the Astrodome grounds recently, and it left me badly shaken. I can't say I wasn't w...

    by Eric Lawlor on March 5, 1998
  • Article

    Platonic Love - Simposio establishes itself as a classic

    Most Houston chefs, I'd guess, are familiar with Plato. At least to the extent of having heard of him. But how many are so familiar that they would name a restaurant for one of his major texts? Only one comes to mind: Alberto Baffoni. As an homa...

    by Eric Lawlor on February 26, 1998
  • Article

    Dish

    Love for Sale Valentine's Day was a disaster. She Who Brooks No Nonsense was highly critical of the bar of Toblerone I gave her. But the chocolate was only part of it. A day earlier, she'd asked right out of the blue if I thought we should get ma...

    by Eric Lawlor on February 26, 1998
  • Article

    Hot Plate

    Until recently, I dreaded the onset of a muffuletta urge. It always entailed a major outlay: airfare to New Orleans and back, $188, taxis to and from the Central Grocery, $35, one muffuletta sandwich, $9.50. Were it not for Sal's Italian Cafe and Gri...

    by Eric Lawlor on February 26, 1998
  • Article

    Dish

    Burns, Baby, Burns I learned something of great importance the other night: Scots are not the Other. They put their kilts on one leg at a time like the rest of us. The occasion of this epiphany was a dinner in the Westin Galleria to honor the Sco...

    by Eric Lawlor on February 19, 1998
  • Article

    Jah's Will Be Done - At Jamaica-Me-Crazy, whatever dessert will be, will be

    I'm trying to decide which of the virtues I like the best. Loyalty is a great favorite of mine. And I'm very fond of compassion. Courage is up there, too. And honesty, of course. I've nothing but praise for honesty. As for integrity.... Well! What's ...

    by Eric Lawlor on February 19, 1998
  • Article

    Hot Plate

    Moo shu may sound like a dairy product. Actually, it's something altogether more delectable: a thin Chinese pancake -- known in some quarters as a Beijing doily -- filled with meat, shredded Chinese cabbage and bean sprouts. At Auntie Chang's Dumplin...

    by Eric Lawlor on February 19, 1998
  • Article

    Pasta Point of No Return - So much Italian food. So overcooked.

    I've been feeling philosophical of late. And I don't mean the God thing. Stuff like that I leave to lesser minds. My concerns go deeper. Like, why do some restaurants consistently overcook? Is it habit? Perversity? Poor training? A desire to go bankr...

    by Eric Lawlor on February 12, 1998
  • Article

    Dish

    Taking Stock I envy Gugenheim's. At the recent Chicken Soup Cookoff at Temple Emanu El on Sunset Boulevard, the restaurant took first place in the traditional category and walked off with a terrific trophy. You know the kind I'm talking abou...

    on February 12, 1998
  • Article

    Hot Plate

    Don't you love those paintings in the Empire Cafe? They're satirizing something. But what? Rubens's odalisques? Pornography? The female form? It's downright unsettling. Which may explain my passion for the portobello mushroom sandwich. Nothing ambigu...

    by Eric Lawlor on February 12, 1998
  • Article

    Conversion Experience - I was a doubter, but Cafe Beignet won me over

    We're a skeptical lot, we Lawlors. Consider our coat of arms: a crossed knife and fork on a silver field and, below, the motto "Eater Beware." Never tell us you've discovered the perfect hollandaise or the ultimate ganache. Twaddle, we'll say. Things...

    by Eric Lawlor on February 5, 1998
  • Article

    Hot Plate

    As we reported last week, much has changed since the Cortes Deli, now the Cortes Restaurant, moved from a humble strip center on Alabama to new premises at 404 Shepherd. But there are continuities as well: Many of the faces here will be familiar to D...

    by Eric Lawlor on February 5, 1998
  • Article

    Dish

    When Irish Eyes Are Glued to the Screen The Claddagh Irish Pub and Grill, normally so jolly, was subdued when I visited one recent Saturday. Just before I got there, this watering hole popular with fans of British soccer had been rocked by bad ne...

    by Eric Lawlor on February 5, 1998
  • Article

    Curries and Quietude - A brasserie that's anything but brassy

    Mention of brasseries always puts me in mind of Paris: Baudelaire reading aloud from Les Fleurs du Mal ("The Devil pulls the strings by which we're worked"); Proudhon extolling anarchism; Manet defending Dejeuner sur l'Herbe; Sartre pounding the tabl...

    by Eric Lawlor on January 29, 1998
  • Article

    Hot Plate

    I eat peach cobbler at the Black-Eyed Pea (2048 West Gray, 523-0200; and other locations) at least once a week, and each time I do, I make the same resolution: Today, I won't wolf it down; I'll savor it; I'll cherish every morsel. Of course, it never...

    by Eric Lawlor on January 29, 1998
  • Article

    Dish

    Victim of Ambition Forced to leave a scuzzy shopping strip earmarked for gentrification, the former Cortes Deli -- now called the Cortes Restaurant -- has embraced the zeitgeist and done some gentrifying of its own. Its new location at 404 Shephe...

    by Eric Lawlor on January 29, 1998
  • Article

    Dish

    Floyd and Pseudo-Floyd The sign said Floyd's on Shepherd, but what I walked into was a parallel universe where everything was a bubble out of plumb. In this northwest-of-downtown neighborhood -- in all of Houston, likely -- the name Floyd ha...

    by Kathy Biehl on January 22, 1998
  • Article

    Fry for Me, Argentina

    The day got off to a bad start. The night before, I'd overindulged and was kept awake by indigestion. My remedy when this happens is a light breakfast comprising half an apple pie and a cup of Ghirardelli's hot chocolate. True, you do feel queasy aft...

    by Eric Lawlor on January 22, 1998
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