Sampler Plate: This Week in Food Blogs

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John Mariani: The food critic for Esquire, John Mariani, has joined a host of people supporting Houston's food scene as one of the current best in the nation. And while it's nice to have greater national recognition of this type, I'll admit to being confused about the restaurants Mariani cited for his claims: El Real Tex-Mex Cafe, Quattro and Philippe are all very fine restaurants (seriously), but aren't necessarily the groundbreaking types of places I'd like to see recognized for their impactful contributions to our current culinary climate. But, hey...all press is good press, right?

29-95: What does a seafood-lover do in the midst of a growing trend of fish mislabeling in both grocery stores and restaurants? You buy fish guaranteed by Gulf Wild, a new brand that's hitting Central Market soon. Chris Reid reports that a unique "gill tag" on the fish you purchase will enable you to check the provenance of the fish in an interesting twist on farm-to-table eating.

Lushtastic: On the topic of yesterday's post about new brewpub City Acre Brewing, a reminder from Leslie that the City Acre guys won't be the only game in town: Moon Tower Inn, when it reopens, will also officially be a brewpub as well.

Jack Around: And on the topic of Monday afternoon's first look at Hay Merchant (which some of our readers thought didn't focus enough on the draft beers available), Jack Highberger took a first look of his own at the craft beer bar and came away impressed -- as did our own Mai Pham -- with the gracious service as well as the surprisingly low price points for the beer itself.

Chili Bob's Houston Eats: Lastly, Bruce continues to illustrate why he's still one of my favorite food bloggers after all these years with a post on coming back around to Indian cuisine after a serious burn-out (it happens to the best of us). It's the diversity of Indian cuisine that finally reeled him back in, a deeper diversity that's finally expressing itself in Houston and becoming more widely available. Says Bruce:

We revel in the diversity of our offerings from different cultures on the Houston restaurant scene and the cross-pollination that sometimes goes on between cuisines and within regional variations of some cuisines, but with respect to some of the multifaceted cuisines like Chinese, Mexican and Indian it can be difficult to explore the regional variations in depth. In the Stafford-Missouri City area, however, you can get a real good taste of the cuisine of the Spice Coast state of Kerala.

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