This Week in Deliciousness: Philanthropissed for the Good of Us All

Welcome back to the weekly roundup here at Eating...Our Words, where the rains have taken our backyard garden from "lush" to "primordial" in a big hurry. The house windows are covered over in thick creepers, strange sounds issue from the dense foliage and something out there in the darkness has footfalls that make the house shake. I'm not going back out there until my flamethrower arrives in the mail.

We started the week off right with a look at local rap star Fat Tony's best lyrics about food. Here are a few food items I would like to see Fat Tony work into his lyrics in the future: • chicharrones • foie gras • three-bean salad with balsamic vinaigrette dressing • duck à l'orange

Here's ten places that serve up the best octopus dishes in town. Octopus: the most huggable seafood. In other list action, we had this week's answer to last week's dude-love, the five sexiest lady chefs. We also listed the five best cold desserts in Houston and the five fast food sides we miss the most. McDonald's fried apple pie was great, yes, but for my money you can't top Whataburger's fried strawberry pie. It wasn't around for long, but it left an indelible impression in my heart. Or at least that's what my doctor says.

Finally, there's a way to make your nonstop boozing pay off for society: drink in OKRA's new charity bar, where the more you drink, the more say you have in which charity the proceeds go to. Listen, boss: I'm not showing up hung over for myself anymore. I'm showing up hung over for the ASPCA. You don't hate puppies and kittens, do ya, boss? Well then get off my goddamn case. *burp*

How late is too late when heading in to a restaurant for a meal? Is it cool to walk in at 11:59 when they close at midnight and start ordering stuff? Restaurant owners seem to agree that the answer is "Yep, perfectly cool" but do please remember that your waiter might have had a really long, tiring shift, so be nice and tip well. But I don't have to tell you that, you're always nice and a good tipper, right? Right! So it's all good.

You, too, can learn how to make great espresso, including how to fill the cup up right to the very tippy-top so that as soon as the customer touches it, hot espresso sloshes over the sides and all over the saucer which ISN'T INFURIATING AT ALL. But calm down: if you need cookies for dunkin', you can have them delivered. There you go. Takes the edge off, doesn't it?

Cherry season is on, so head out and stock up before it's over. Dhaba season is slightly longer, but of course tracking and capturing a wild dhaba is much more difficult than picking cherries. It's always a trade-off with these things.

Sick of looking at the festering hellhole you call a home? Why not stay in a hotel for a few days, enjoy one of the best bars in the city, and try to forget about the constant existential torment that is your home life? Am I presuming too much about you? Sorry.

Here's a list of the best beers in America, and we're not going to dwell too long on them because they were voted on by so-called "beer nerds," who believe that drinking beer should be a trying, character-building ordeal and if you're not drinking a pitch-black brew made from hard-packed dirt, motor oil, and orc blood then you're just a big ol' poseur. Instead, let's take a fond look at all the silly, chintzy crap that is the hallmark of a true Tex-Mex establishment. It's not a Tex-Mex joint unless there's a terra cotta Indian somewhere on the premises with a cigarette butt unceremoniously jammed between its lips. Did you think of Pancho's just now? I did.

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John Seaborn Gray