By this time next week, summer will officially be over. Not according to Houston's weather system, mind you. But at least by the calendar, which marks September 22 as the autumnal equinox and the beginning of fall.
We'll believe that when it dips below 70 degrees.
Until then, however, there are some summer-only foods that you should make it a point to enjoy while you still can. If we missed any of your favorite hot-weather dishes, let us know in the comments section below.
Yes, you can eat watermelon all year round now thanks to hothouses and hydroponics. But the beauty of a watermelon is entirely contained in how the crispy red flesh manages to cool you down in five seconds on a hot day, no A/C needed. If you can find a shady creek to cool it in before you slice it up and munch down, even better. And if you can bore a hole in it and fill it with adult beverages before popping it in the freezer, you'll be a god among men at your next party. Just want the liquid? Banana Leaf (9889 Bellaire) makes some of the finest watermelon juice in town.
4. Sweet corn
Like watermelon, you can get this summer vegetable all year round now. But it's never sweeter than during the warmest months. Grill it along with your burgers, cut it up and boil it with some shrimp or grab a cup of elote at your local taco truck. Taco trucks not your thing? 100% Taquito (3245 Southwest Freeway) does a version that's pretty close to what you'd get outside Sunny's Flea Market.
3. Fried green tomatoes
Sweetly sour, crispy and earthy, there's nothing in the world like a properly fried slice of a firm, green tomato. If you don't have the time or equipment to make them yourself at home, head to Backstreet Cafe (1103 S. Shepherd) for some so good you'd think your long lost southern grandmother made them.
This is the only dessert you need when it's 90 degrees outside and sitting at 90 percent humidity. You don't want to be weighed down with chocolate-flour-sugar gut bombs; you're already weighed down enough by your own sweat. Buttery-sweet cantaloupe is both refreshing and rehydrating, plus easy to eat for a couple. Slice it in half, grab spoons and dig in. Bliss. Cantaloupe aguas frescas are also a winning ticket; the El Rey Taqueria chain's taste like they pureed an entire piece of the bright fruit and put it straight into your cup.
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What's the point to eating cold soup when it's already cold outside? There is none, so enjoy a chilled bowl now -- preferably while dining al fresco. Personal favorites are the silky sweet heirloom green tomato zuppa at Caffe Bello (322 Westheimer) and the rich roasted tomato gazpacho at Tinto's (2015 W. Gray).