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  • 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
  • Article

    Hot Plate

    I'm a fool for truffles, and I'd kill for caviar, but in their absence -- and absent they usually are -- I'll happily settle for a steak-and-cheese sandwich. I'm addicted to these things, sometimes getting through three or four a week. I've tried giv...

    by Eric Lawlor on January 22, 1998
  • Article

    Packed at Saks - The good news: Grille 5115's food is terrific. The bad news: There's no room to eat it.

    I was enchanted when I first set foot in Grille 5115, the Ruggles offshoot in Saks Fifth Avenue. The place was hopping. Lots of people; lots of noise. It made the pulse race. How uninhibited it seemed; how communal. Breughel's scampering peasants cam...

    by Eric Lawlor on January 15, 1998
  • Article

    Dish

    King of Kings A King Cake, as you ought to know by now, is one of those buttery, neon-frosted concoctions that announces the approach of Mardi Gras -- and inside which hides an eensy toy baby. Symbolically, that little plastic figurine represents...

    by Lisa Gray on January 15, 1998
  • Article

    Revamp in River Oaks - Armando's gets a new chef -- and a new attitude

    I approached Armando's sick with dread. Who hasn't heard the stories? Possessing all the warmth of a nest of tigers, it didn't suffer strangers, people told me; it was a Moloch that devoured newcomers as you or I would tapas; a thicket of symbols, al...

    by Eric Lawlor on January 8, 1998
  • Article

    Dish

    Raw Competition Conventional economic wisdom has it that when two businesses compete, both firms' products and prices improve as the companies strive to one-up each other. Somehow, though, the rivalry between sushi restaurants Miyako and Cafe Jap...

    by Meredith L. Patterson on January 8, 1998
  • Article

    Dish

    Haute on the Grange Gone are the extra words in the name: What was once the Ohio Grange Cafe is now merely The Grange -- and likewise, the restaurant itself is sleeker and chic-er. Also gone is the menu's oddball ode to Midwestern farm values; in...

    by Kathy Biehl on January 1, 1998
  • Article

    Bridging the Gulf - Mick's Gulf Coast Grill cruises smoothly from Florida to Mexico

    I'm pleased to report that there's finally a restaurant worth mentioning on the ill-fated corner of Richmond and Greenbriar. It's a tough spot, what with the strip center's ownership changes, fierce parking competition from the nearby nightclubs, and...

    by Margaret L. Briggs on January 1, 1998
  • Article

    Dish

    Breakfast of Champs Harried Houston hostesses already know all about the Ferrari Fresh Pasta outlets on West Gray, Rice and South Voss; they sneak out of them with steaming containers of lasagna, ravioli or orzo that they can empty into heirloom ...

    by Margaret L. Briggs on December 25, 1997
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Ordering Truffles Out of Season Ordering Truffles Out of Season

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