Barcadia

Brooke Humphries of Dallas, the owner of Barcadia (2600 Travis, 713-523-2525), has been in the nightclub and bar business for 20 years. "I opened Barcadia in Dallas, and when we came across a great building in Houston, we decided to expand there," she says. The place has arcade games along with patio games and skeeball, with free plays on Tuesdays.

"Barcadia is a sort of one-stop shop with the nostalgia of video games, 24 beers on tap and lots more in bottles, HD sports on wide-screen TVs, and some great bar food," says Humphries. The plans are to expand to 10-12 cities with New Orleans, Austin and Fort Worth, already in the works.

Humphries has carefully crafted an interesting menu that runs the gamut from appetizers like "hamburger nachos" and seared tuna steak to main courses like a tilapia po-boy and hand-formed burgers. "We make everything from scratch. We grind our own meat for our burgers and also make all our sauces," she says. "Basically, this is food I'd want to eat."

Dish sampled the Frito Pie, served inside a Frito bag with tasty chili, melting cheese, diced onions and jalapeños. We also sampled a fascinating twist on the traditional PBJ — Texas toast filled with peanut butter and jelly, then dipped in a honey batter and deep-fried. The result is a melted marvel with a crispy exterior that just begs to be washed down by the carton of milk which, conveniently, comes with the sandwich. Paul Galvani

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Paul Galvani