This Week in Food Blogs: Cheating Death and the Bitter Taste of Underberg

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CultureMap: I look forward to Ruthie Johnson Miller's "Where To Eat Right Now" post every month, as a quick and coherent round-up of the restaurants (and bars and food trucks and more) that are most ably capturing Houston's short attention span at the moment. The list for March includes a few newcomers to town, a few old favorites and even more encouragement to enjoy crawfish season to the fullest.

Arbitrary Criticism: For those who find Underbelly insufferably pretentious -- and judging by our comments section here, that's at least a few of you -- you'll enjoy Catherine Martin's latest post on Arbitrary Criticism, in which she visits Chris Shepherd's restaurant for the first time.

B4ttlesong: One of the things Martin mentioned in her Underbelly post was spotting Oxheart sommelier Justin Vann across the room and fangirling the food writer/wine nerd from afar. For an example of why Vann's writing is worthy of fangirling, check out this recent post that perfectly describes the way Underberg tastes.

Eater Houston: Guest writer J.D. Woodward profiles Army veteran Patrick Feges, who cheated death in Iraq and ended up recovering back in Texas in a San Antonio hospital. That's where the barbecue bug bit Feges. Although he's currently a line cook at -- where else? -- Underbelly, Feges hopes to open his own barbecue joint some day. For now, however, you can find his 'cue at Grand Prize Bar when he takes over the kitchen on March 23.

Chili Bob's Houston Eats: Been missing the old Antone's shop on Taft, now that it's a fancy new restaurant? Bruce has found a spot that should scratch that itch: Dumar's Mediterranean Grill, which he describes as "a slightly exotic setting for dining and grocery shopping, with enticing sights and smells."

Blue Jean Gourmet: Lastly, a bit of a tearjerker this week. Maybe it's because I'm still raw from watching The Perks of Being a Wallflower last night, but Nishta's powerful description of heading into a months-long nervous breakdown and emerging whole but reoriented -- with recipe for Vietnamese meatball-topped fried rice! -- is a thing of beauty, but, more important, a message of hope for those of us who struggle with panic and anxiety and depression every day. Read this.

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