Photo by Houston Press Staff

BB's Cajun Cafe isn't entirely Cajun. Sure, the oyster poor boy with big, gooey crusted oysters is plenty Cajun. And so are the "Bedtime in the Bayou" shrimp sandwich and the spicy battered soft-shell crab on a roll. But the roast beef and gravy poor boy is pure New Orleans. So is the restaurant's most popular entrée, "Maw Maw's Grillades and Grits," a bowl full of deep brown gravy with tender round steak and a mound of grits. The "Southern Man" breakfast of fried catfish, grits and poached eggs is more like Mississippi Southern cooking. And the big donut-like beignets are Tex-Mex Creole, according to Brooks Bassler, the owner. The "Tex-Cajun Virgin," a plate of hot-out-of-the-fryer shoestring fries topped with roast beef slices, brown gravy and lots of chile con queso, is all by itself some new category of fusion cuisine that the rest of the world has yet to discover. And it sure tastes good.

Dave Rosales

There's a reason that The Chocolate Bar has a reputation as a chocoholic's heaven. From the dozens of flavors of chocolate ice cream to the endless choices of chocolate pies (and hot chocolate to put your grandma to shame), there's something here for everybody. As long as they like chocolate, that is. But the enormous, multilayered cakes stand out here, glistening in their cases like a fever dream brought on by too many viewings of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Although a slice of the dreamy, chocolate-upon-chocolate Aunt Etta's cake will run you $9.95, it's all the better to share with a friend — especially over two glasses of cold whole milk, legs dangling innocently from the high bar stools as you eat. Afterwards, work off the sugar buzz with a frenzied jaunt through Candylicious, the candy shop on the other side of the store, as you recapture your chocolate-loving childhood, if just for an afternoon.

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