Where to Eat in Honor of the Top 8 Teams in the World Cup

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What do you eat to get in the mood...for fútbol?
Yes, yes, we're all heartbroken over the United States' heartwrenching, nail biting loss to Belgium on Tuesday. We're bitter and angry but damn proud of our team (especially Tim Howard--hey, Superman!).

Just because the home team is out of the running doesn't mean we're going to stop watching games and celebrating the cultural melting pot that is the World Cup, though. There are still a few more weeks of matches, and these are bound to be the most exciting yet. World Cup fever is far from over.

If you're like me, though, you're more interested in the booze and bar food that accompanies watch parties than the actual game. I'm happy to cheer on the United States but there's only so many times I can watch a ball dart back and forth on a screen before my eyes start to glaze over. I get most excited when they break from the soccer to talk about cultural elements of Brazil or whichever team happens to be playing. I'm a terrible fan, I know.

In honor of the eight remaining teams who will duke it out in the quarter finals, we've compiled a list of eight restaurants that will give you a taste of the culture of those teams. From the simple (France) to the obscure (Netherlands...?), here's where to get a taste of the top eight teams' regional cuisines.

Note: Not all of these places have televisions. This is more for cultural immersion than soccer.

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Photo by Kaitlin Steinberg
Get grilled meat Argentina-style at Tinto.
Argentina
Tinto Grill
If you're a fan of Pampa Grill, you'll love Tinto, which was started by a few folks who broke off from the Pampa clan to open their own restaurant. It's small but quaint, and the parrillada platter can't be beat. The mixed meat grill comes with three different types of meat--skirt steak, flank steak and sausage--each of which is smoky and juicy, dripping with succulent fat and only lightly seasoned. If you want a but of heat, pile on the homemade chimichurri sauce. The menu also contains a number of Italian and Mediterranean-influenced dishes, but don't let that confuse you. Due to waves of immigration in the 19th and mid-20th centuries, spaghetti is almost as popular in Argentina as beef. And at Tinto Grill, it's just as good.

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Photo by Troy Fields
Yes, I'd like some mussels to go with my beer.
Belgium
Café Brussels
Though we're still a little mad at Belgium, we can acknowledge one thing: The country makes some damn good beer. For the best selection of Belgian beer in town, head to Café Brussels. While there, curb your hunger with La route de Bruxelles, a delectable selection of mussels in various sauces. That dish also comes with a flight of Belgian beer for $28. Of course, you're going to want a side of frites and homemade mayo as well, so you'd better bring a friend to share.

This story continues on the next page.


Location Info

Tinto Grill

10085 Long Point Road, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Cafe Brussels

1718 Houston Ave., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Chama Gaucha Brazilian Steakhouse

5865 Westheimer Road, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Mi Pueblito

9425 Richmond, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Bistro Provence

13616 Memorial Dr., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Churrascos

2055 Westheimer, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

King's Biergarten

1329 E. Broadway, Pearland, TX

Category: Restaurant

House of Pies

3112 Kirby, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant


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11 comments
meggarity
meggarity

Haven!! The fellow at Cove is French and will have the TV on, nursing his wounds as Germany beats up on France.

Raymond Vandergaag
Raymond Vandergaag

Not here at Batanga at the moment if we get past Costa Rica ill work on something

Robin Wong
Robin Wong

Kaitlin: Don't foget about Chef Raymond Vandergaag at Batanga Houston. I think he might be doing a few Dutch dishes in honor of the World Cup.

NowImHungry
NowImHungry

I would rethink the choice for the Colombian restaurant.

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