Mexican Golden Lager, Montejo, Debuts in Houston

Categories: Brew Blog

Photo by Molly Dunn
Montejo is a light Mexican beer imported from Mexico by Anheuser-Busch.
Consider yourself lucky, Houston. We're one of 11 cities to receive Montejo, the first Mexican beer imported from Mexico. The golden lager is available at a variety of bars, restaurants and grocery stores in the Houston area, starting today, September 1.

Anheuser-Busch decided to launch the release of Montejo in the southwest region because of the heavy concentration of Hispanic consumers and because Mexican beers already account for approximately 60 percent of all imported beers into the United States.

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Your Guide To The Best Sunday Football Specials in Houston

Photo by Brooke Viggiano
Beer Market Co. has plenty of screens and even more beer to keep you happy.
Football is back and we couldn't be more thrilled! Here's to a great season, especially for the Texans (but also for some other players because at the time of publication we have not yet had our Fantasy Football draft so we really don't know who we want to do well yet).

That being said, we plan on getting our Sunday Funday on regardless of who's playing. And you should, too. From giant projection screens and killer audio systems to TD shots and beer towers, check out this list of sports bars with some of the best TV setups/ Sunday football specials in town:

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Smashburger's Not-So-Smashing Chicken Sandwich

Categories: Meat!, On the Menu

Photo by Joanna O'Leary
Yes, that looks like something I might enjoy.
Can a burger joint offer a chicken sandwich that's as good or better than its hamburgers? Dare to dream, you say. Burger King's chicken sandwiches have the texture of sponges and are way over-salted, and the jury's still out whether McDonald's actually uses actual chicken in its sandwiches.

Well, at least let's do some cursory research first.

As far as small-chain burger joints go, Smashburger is not the best, but historically their beef products (at least in my experience) are very good. And given the wide range of types of chicken sandwiches, this menu item doesn't seem to be just an afterthought designed to appease a non-red meat eater dragged to the restaurant by her bovine-loving posse of friends.

Their "Smashchicken" varietals available include Truffle Mushroom Swiss; Avocado Club; BBQ Bacon Cheddar; Spicy Jalapeno Baja; Spinach, Cumber & Goat; Create-Your-Own.

With all chicken sandwiches, there is a choice of preparation (grilled or crispy) and bun (classic egg, spicy chipotle, gluten-free, multi-grain). Unlike in the case of their burgers, Smashchicken sandwiches come in only one size.

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Chef David Coffman Joins Cullen's Upscale American Grille

Photo courtesy of David Coffman
Before assuming the role as executive chef at Cullen's Upscale American Grille, David Coffman worked at other Houston restaurants, including Katsuya.
Chef David Coffman takes the reins of executive chef at Cullen's Upscale American Grille today, September 2. Coffman has experience at a variety of Houston restaurants, including Goro & Gun, Benjy's on Washington and in Rice Village, and Katsuya.

The decision to bring Coffman on board at Cullen's was made on Thursday, August 28, by the owner Kevin Munz and general manager Ryan Roberts. Cullen's is currently going through a transition to revamp its menu offerings.

"We just recently did a tasting for those guys [Munz and Roberts] and they all thought it would be a huge benefit for me to come on board over there and work for those guys and help bring their restaurant back up to award-winning and where it needs to be," Coffman says. "Kind of liven it up a little bit."

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10 Places for Boozy Milkshakes in Houston

Photo by Molly Dunn
Bowlero Bowling Alley in The Woodlands has awesome boozy shakes, like this Salt & Caramel, Push It Real Good shake with Stoli Karamel vodka.
Milkshakes are good, but boozy shakes are so much better. The traditional blend of milk, ice cream and syrups makes for an enjoyably sweet refreshment, but the extra splash of tequila, rum or beer just takes it to a new level.

When you're in the mood for an alcoholic drink, but are simultaneously craving something sweet, we suggest you hit up one of these ten Houston restaurants for an adult milkshake. Of course, if you've got youngsters in your family, most of these places can whip together a non-alcoholic version. So you both can get what you want.

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Dish of the Week: The Chicago-Style Hot Dog

Categories: How To, Recipes

Photo by Jeremy Keith
Warning: no ketchup allowed.
From classic comfort foods to regional standouts and desserts, we'll be sharing a new recipe with you each week. See the complete list of recipes at the end of this post.

This week, we're sharing one of the best ways to pump up your last days of summer hot dogs: The Chicago-Style Dog.

In Chicago, this iconic all-beef frankfurter gets steamed then dressed-to-the-nines. Served on a poppy seed bun, the dog is topped with yellow mustard, chopped white onions, sweet pickle relish, "sports peppers" (pickled peppers), tomato slices/wedges, and pickle spears. Of course, we can't forget the celery salt. Though we can forget the ketchup -- it's pretty much an unacceptable hot dog topping in Chicago.

But before Chicago started "dragging" its dogs "through the garden," the city revolutionized hot dog processing by perfecting dis-assembly lines in the mid-19th century. Soon after, these cheap meats were popularized among the Chicago working class, which eventually paved the way to the all-mighty Chicago dog.

Some believe it was Jewish immigrants who influenced the all-beef wiener and poppy seed bun, while Italians and Greeks may have contributed the tomato, onions, pickled peppers, and relish. And because many early immigrants worked their own celery farms, celery salt was added to the mix.

The Chicago-style dog became an icon during the Great Depression, where Fluky's hot dog stand on the historic Maxwell Street began offering the "Depression Sandwich" for a nickel. The fully loaded number was a hit and soon the idea spread with hot dog stands popping up all over the city. Today, there are over 1,800 hot dog vendors in Chicago, many of which will NOT serve you ketchup.

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Three Labor Day Cocktails From Houston Bartenders

Categories: Booze

Photo by Kaitlin Steinberg
Make a classic mint julep today with Alba Huerta's recipe.
The Labor Day holiday is here. And it's a day for sleeping in, relaxing, swimming at the pool, cooking on the grill and most importantly, not working. When we think about the best plans for a day off from work, we think sipping on a great cocktail is on the agenda.

We spoke with three local bartenders (Alba Huerta of Julep, Justin Burrow of Captain Foxheart's Bad News Bar and Raul Rojas of The Honeymoon) and had them provide us with a cocktail recipe they would like to drink on Labor Day.

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Five Burger and Local Craft Beer Pairings for Labor Day

Photo by Carla Soriano
Which No Label brew did we choose to pair with a turkey burger?
Most of us will spend our Labor Day outside by the pool (weather permitting) and will likely use the grill to make our lunch or dinner. Barbecue ribs and steaks are great Labor Day meals, but so are burgers. And what goes best with burgers? Well, fries, of course, but the other major accompaniment is beer.

When pairing burgers with beer, it's more than just matching the type of meat to the brew; you also have to consider the other components. We're talking about the cheese, sauce, bread and condiments.

Local grocery stores have a wide assortment of local craft beers, so you don't have to visit a restaurant or bar in the city to sip on one of those fine selections. Check out these five burger and local craft beer pairings to enjoy this holiday.

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The Most Underrated Fried Chicken in Houston...According to You

Photo by Robb Walsh
Barbecue Inn's is known for its cooked-to-order fried chicken.
Texas is known for its juicy barbecue, sensational Tex-Mex and oh so yummy comfort cuisine. But, it's also known for good old Southern food, and to us that means fried chicken.

It's a staple at picnic lunches or church potluck meals. The crispy, crunchy buttermilk coating around tender, juicy chicken meat is an undeniable combination. Smother it in white gravy, dunk in ketchup or barbecue sauce, or eat it in its state of perfection. Houston is blessed with a bountiful amount of fried chicken eateries and local restaurants serving up dishes showcasing the deep-fried Southern specialty.

We all know that if you want a solid bucket of fried chicken, you go to Frenchy's. Heck, you can even go to KFC and walk away a happy camper. But, there's also the Rice Box Truck where the fried chicken is served with an egg roll, and new-kid-on-the block Funky Chicken is making a name for itself with its choice of slow roasted or crispy fried chicken.

And who could forget Food & Wine ranking Barbecue Inn's fried chicken as one of the best in America? The cooked-to-order fried chicken has a crust that never falls off of the tender white meat, so each bite is laced with the beautiful golden crust.

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Unlimited, Unusual Quesadilla Creations to Be Made at Freebirds

Categories: On the Menu

Photo by Joanna O'Leary
Freestyle Quesadilla from Freebirds

"Why would you ever go to a place that specializes in burritos and order a quesadilla? That's like getting lo mein at a pizza place." -Anonymous

Because Freebirds, my friends, provides a unique opportunity to make your own funky one-of-a-kind quesadilla. While at most other burrito, Tex-Mex, taco restaurants, your quesadilla filling choices (if any) are limited as well as conventional (chicken or cheese or pork or steak), at Freebirds the entire line of proteins, cheeses, tortillas, salsas, vegetables, herbs, and sauces are available for incorporation into your burrito.

What results is not so much the tyranny of choice (though the decisive may disagree) but the potential for spontaneous creativity. Some roasted garlic with your chicken and jack cheese quesadilla? Why not? Not so excited about having a flour tortilla with your carnitas and queso fresco quesadilla? Go for the cayenne.

Although half the fun is designing your own special (note: not necessarily delicious) combination, here are some suggestions:

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