Top 5 Places to Carbo-Load in Houston

Categories: Top Five

Fratelli's spaghetti.jpg
Photo by Fratelli's Authentic Italian Cuisine
Pick up your pace with some pasta at Fratelli's.
Houston marathon runners, you've trained long and hard (I hope) in preparation for running 26.2 miles this coming Sunday. Now, it's time to eat. A lot. Although carbo-loading has its critics, many aspiring endurance athletes still swear by the practice. Sure, you can eat your weight in bagels and whole-wheat tortillas and cereal, but that's no fun. Here are my picks for the best places to top off those glycogen stores.

5. Shipley Do-Nuts

Iced pastries shouldn't be the foundation of a carbo-loading diet, but one or two the night before the race are a much-deserved treat and a great way to spike your blood sugar. Stick to the dense cake varieties rather than dairy-heavy cream kinds to avoid GI distress.

4. Fratelli's

You can't go wrong with pasta (though go easy on the heavy sauces) in terms of marathon fuel. While a jar of Prego and a box of Barilla will certainly suffice, Fratelli's offers some divine handmade selections and is hosting a special "carb festival" the day before the marathon. Entrees include penne with spinach, chicken, and sun-dried tomatoes, lasagna bolognese, and spaghetti with homemade meatballs.

injeraflick.jpg
Photo by yi on Flickr
Hit up Blue Nile for some injera.
3. Jus' Mac

Eating a skillet of noodles and cheese is a sure-fire to put yourself in a food coma...from which you will emerge energized to run all morning long! Add an appetizer of fried macaroni and cheese balls for extra oomph, but from personal experience, I advise you to skip any dish that includes chilies lest you want to be burping fire the first few miles of the race.

2.Star Pizza

Although deep-dish pizza initially sits like a brick in your stomach, it does amazing stuff for your legs later. Go for a whole-wheat crust with vegetables for toppings to avoid the dehydrating effects of salty pepperoni and sausage.

1. Blue Nile

Marathons may be what white people like, but in case you haven't noticed, it ain't us crackers who are winning most major races. If you want to run like a champion, eat like a champion, specifically one from Ethiopia. This country's trademark carbohydrate, injera is made from teff, a super-grain rich in fiber and iron and thought to be responsible for its runners' unparallelled dominance in long-distance running.



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Location Info

Blue Nile Ethiopian Restaurant

9400 Richmond, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant


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10 comments
Tina A
Tina A

Top 5 Places to Carbo-Load in Houston

hanna
hanna

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Fat Fuck
Fat Fuck

I carbo load daily and have never ran a race! Eat that! 

Jay Francis
Jay Francis

A recent study indicates that snacking on raisins is superior to snacking on those glucose shots, etc. And it's a lot cheaper!

Jay Francis
Jay Francis

Here are two more:  The excellent Sheba Ethiopian Restaurant on Bissonnet. And the Six Ping Bakery at 9384 Bellaire. Both are very under the radar and both are wonderful.   

Melidmgz
Melidmgz

I'll be carb-loading at PIOLA!

your pal
your pal

leave that woman alone! It's a nice lil puff pastry kinda piece about where to pig out before during or after the big race.....I myself have been carbo loading for the races for years....it's often chilly in January and when i waddle down the block to wave at the runners it's good to have a little extra meat on the bones of my waving arm....

Jmeyer
Jmeyer

Carb loading doesnt help with short endurance activities but does when you're running a marathon.  How many of the runners on Jan 15th are going to run the 26 miles under 2 hours?  Odds are not that many so in this case yes a storage of glycogen helps.

old runner
old runner

Joanna, your selections for "carb loading" are way off base.  With the possible exception of Blue Nile, all these places have grotesque amounts of saturated fat, and probably a lot of trans fats which way out do any carbs.  By the way, carb loading was debunked back in the 80s.  It doesn't work.  You should learn a lot more about nutrition and long distance running before your next article on the subject.

Joanna
Joanna

What do you mean by trans fats "out doing" any carbs? All of the places mentioned offer a variety of options and I made an explicit point of advocating people lay off heavy sauces and go for lighter pastas.

I am not a nutritionist and have never offered myself as such, but I have read extensively about endurance events and proper fueling.

And your claim about carbo loading being "debunked" is false and many studies prove it is still effective.

Lastly, while there is always more to learn about long distance running, I do not consider myself a novice, having run seven marathons and PRed at Houston (3:47). And each time I carbo-loaded three days before using menus based upon professional advice.

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