CultureMap Houston: Marene Gustin loves to indulge in fresh fruits and vegetables throughout the summer months. She suggests making a tomato and cucumber sandwich with mayonnaise, black pepper and sea salt stuffed between two slices of chewy sourdough bread; pair it with a glass of Duchman Family Winery Vermentino for a refreshing lunch. And if you loved licking a Creamsicle as a child, you'll love an adult version featuring vanilla ice cream topped with vanilla-flavored vodka, Triple Sec and orange juice.
Zagat Houston: We're halfway through the year, so Marcy de Luna has listed the best things the Zagat Houston crew has eaten over the past six months. Uni-crusted King Crab from Kuu Restaurant was a decadent favorite, while the beef ribs at Killen's Barbecue were so tender, they didn't need any sauce.
Urban Swank: The Urban Swank gals have got "the skinny" on chef Brandi Key's newest endeavor, Punk's Simple Southern Food. The menu features down-home classics of the South, such as pimento cheese, shrimp and grits, sweet corn hushpuppies and pineapple upside down cake. One of the newest additions to the menu includes a biscuit bar where diners can choose from four biscuit combinations. How about a biscuit stuffed with crispy chicken tenders, pickles and Punk's sauce? Or a tender buttermilk biscuit smothered in crawfish étouffée?
Gastronaut: Next Monday, you want to get this meal at BRC Gastropub. Katharine Shilcutt writes about the pub burger with Cheddar cheese, lettuce, bacon, tomatoes and a "special sauce" that normally costs $14, but on Mondays it's just $9 -- and it comes with fries. Get this juicy burger during lunch or dinner and pair it with a $3 pint of draft beer after 2 p.m. Discounted burgers and beer make Mondays so much better.
The Pancake Princess: More times than not, you can recreate a restaurant dish at home for less. But, that's not the case with macarons - almond flour is pricey! However, Erika decided to use flax seed instead of almond flour when making her homemade French cookies. And even though she didn't follow the steps to a T, her "macarons" came out great.
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Hank On Food: Hank checked out the happy hour menu at Liberty Kitchen Oysterette this past week and found excellently-priced appetizers paired with wine. The summer offerings (available through August) include smoked salmon with cucumber noodles, lemon crème fraiche and a dill vinaigrette paired with the sweet and tart Vera Vinho Verdes; grilled oysters paired with a sparkling Domaine Saint Vincent Brut; and sushi-shaped ribeye paired with Tilia Merlot.