Argentinian Treats at Manena's Pastry Shop & Deli

Photo by Randall Hollomon
Manena's Pastry Shop & Deli serves some of the best Argentinian sweets and treats in Houston.
Sometimes the best food can be found in a tiny, unassuming establishment. Granted, sometimes those locations are abandoned because the food is absolutely dreadful, but this is not the case at Manena's Pastry Shop and Deli on Westheimer outside Beltway 8.

After hearing that the cookies at Manena's were scrumptious, I decided to look into this Argentinian pastry shop. Once I read the menu, I knew I had to visit. Manena's serves an array of sweet and savory pastries (facturas), desserts (postres), empanadas filled with meats, cheese and vegetables, as well as sandwiches served on French baguettes.

More »

10 Best Food Emojis We Desperately Need

Categories: Off the Wall

Photo by Kaitlin Steinberg
I really don't think we need all those sushi iterations.
While working on the article about searching Yelp using emojis this week, I realized that the emoji canon has some rather glaring omissions. Sure, I could search for a burger place or Italian food or sushi, but what if I want a sandwich? A cupcake? Some charcuterie?

Emojis were first invented in Japan in 1998, and they've certainly evolved since then (hell, there's a floppy disk and a crystal ball, should you ever find yourself chatting about obsolete '90s technology or fortune tellers), but there are still many things missing.

I polled a few local chefs, restaurateurs and food personalities to see what they thought might be a useful addition to the oeuvre of emojis, and then I made a list of my own, featuring images I constantly find myself wishing I could text into the stratosphere.

What would you add to the already vast (and bizarre) lineup?

More »

Sugar Land Food & Wine Affair Kicks Off With Judgment of Paris Recreation

Categories: Edible Events

Photos by Kaitlin Steinberg
Bottle Shock plays in the background as people enjoy drinks at the Sugar Land Wine & Food Affair.
My view of the film Bottle Shock was partially obscured by a Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton, but it didn't really matter, because there were five wine glasses before me waiting to be filled.

At the kick-off event for the 11th Annual Sugar Land Wine & Food Affair, the intent was to recreate the pivotal "Judgment of Paris," where, in 1976, French judges held a blind tasting of white and red wines from California and Paris to determine which winemakers--the novice Americans or the esteemed French--produced the superior vino. To the shock of pretty much everyone involved, the California wines were deemed superior by the French judges in both the white and red categories.

In Sugar Land, however, the results were different, though the judges weren't experts, but guests at the Museum of Natural Science who were eager to try their hand at picking the best wine of the bunch.

More »

First Look at Cadillac Coffee Food Truck

Photos by Molly Dunn
Cadillac Coffee is a retro coffee truck serving specialty drinks, kolaches and pastries.
It's no secret that Houston has an ample number of food trucks serving lunch and dinner. But lately, the expansion of food trucks seems to lean more toward breakfast options and caffeinated beverages.

Espresso Rescue joined the food truck scene just a few months ago and often sets up shop with Katmania Crepes to satisfy the breakfast needs of Houstonians with crepes and coffee. Doughmaker Doughnuts recently hit the road serving gourmet doughnuts outside coffee shops like Mercantile and Black Hole Coffee House. Now, Houstonians can grab their morning Joe from Cadillac Coffee, a retro mobile eatery serving special caffeinated drinks, kolaches, pastries and pies.

Most of the time a food truck is essentially that -- a truck. The owners drive around town, park outside a community venue or set up shop in the confines of a food park. But, Cadillac Coffee does things a bit differently. Uber-friendly owner Meghan Ackerman pulls a 1963 Shasta camper van with a 1957 Cadillac Series 62 -- it's like a diner on wheels with a kick ass car.

More »

The Rodeo Is Over, But You Can Still Get Deep-Fried Oreos

Photo by Brooke Viggiano
You don't need to go to the rodeo for these deep-fried treats.
I miss the rodeo. I miss cowboys in bolo ties, mutton bustin' and bull riding, live music and two stepping...the list goes on. But perhaps most of all, I miss the unspoken understanding that everything at the rodeo -- and I mean everything -- is to be deep-fried and or/covered in bacon.

I was traveling for most of the season this year, so I didn't even get a chance to indulge in my favorite rodeo "dessert", deep-fried Oreos. So you can imagine my delight when I found them on the menu at Saint Dane's Bar & Grille.

More »

The Savory Side of Sweet Paris Creperie

Categories: On the Menu

Photo by Joanna O'Leary
Savory Crepe with Roast Turkey, Walnuts, and Brie

You know what's a damn shame? When your good friend Maggie makes lovely sweet crepes but almost every time you've been offered them you're too stuffed from prior savory supper consumed that you cannot handle any more food.

One solution? Eat less dinner. Another? Makes crepes the dinner.

Not that I have anything against crepes for dessert. Who wouldn't adore a thin disc of edible eggy parchment wrapped around some fresh cream, strawberries, and chocolate, and topped, maybe, with a scoop or two of ice cream.

I just have always felt the crepe was a better medium for savory items (which why I heartily endorse the dosa), and therefore have always been a bit meh when they are offered as dessert.

In spite of its name, Sweet Paris Creperie seems to understand my preferences and boasts an entire section of the menu devoted to breakfast and lunch/dinner crepes.

This story continues on the next page.

More »

House of Pies on Kirby is Back, and We Love it More Than Ever W/ Video

Photo courtesy House of Pies
Welcome home, indeed.
A few glorious weeks ago, House of Pies on Kirby reopened after a fire shuttered the beloved landmark back in November, just a few weeks before Thanksgiving. Initially, the popular pie place promised to be back in business in time for the pie-centric holiday, but unfortunately, the repairs and ultimately, a total face lift of the old restaurant took a little longer than the owners anticipated.

I am sad no more, though, for House of Pies, in all its greasy spoon glory, is back in business, and I must say, it looks fabulous. There's new iridescent tile work, a brighter and less dingy main dining room and a lovely patio overlooking Kirby Drive for those who want to soak up some exhaust fumes with their Bayou Goo.

One thing hasn't changed, though: The pie. The phenomenal, perfect pie.

More »

This Week In Food Blogs: Cobblers, Coffee Ice Cream & Burgers, Oh My!

Categories: Leftovers

Photo by ralph and jenny
All cobbler must be topped with vanilla ice cream.
Adventures in a New(ish) City: Even though she grew up in Houston, her first visit to The Original Ninfa's on Navigation was two weeks ago. Her and her friends started with the queso (of course!), then she ordered the soft corn shrimp tacos with bacon-wrapped shrimp, shredded Jack cheese and cabbage slaw, because anything with bacon is amazing.

Homesick Texan: Cobbler is a staple dessert in Texas, so it's fitting that the Homesick Texan wrote about a strawberry cobbler recipe. After reading that Revival Market now serves strawberry cobbler, she decided to make her own recipe complete with strawberries, and topped with a biscuit crust plus a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

More »

The Best Five Hidden Restaurant Gems in Chinatown in Houston

Photo by Kaitlin Steinberg
Can you guess where this little spot is? Hint: It's No. 5 on the list!
I spend a lot of time in Chinatown. Between shopping for squid fryers at Japanese import store Fit, getting foot reflexology at Lucky Feet and eating my way through hundreds of restaurants, I could pretty much never leave if I didn't have to, you know, go to work and feed my cat and whatnot.

Whilst roaming Bellaire Boulevard, I'm constantly surprised to see a new hole-in-the-wall restaurant I've never before noticed, the meaning behind its Chinese characters a complete mystery to me. There is so much to see and do and so many places to eat that it would take years to visit them all.

Fortunately, I know people who've been hitting up these small joints in Chinatown long before I moved here last July. I've managed to find several places on my own, and with the help of my intrepid foodie friends, we've compiled quite the list of places not-to-be missed.

Here's where you should be eating in Chinatown that you probably aren't.

More »

Is Your Car Safe From Vandals While You're Eating at Houston Restaurants?

Photos by Kaitlin Steinberg
Should all restaurants be able to promise security?
We bitch and moan about valet parking all the time, but it does have its upsides.

For instance, when there are valet drivers running back and forth between lots day and night, your parked cars are less likely to get broken into. When the parking is up to you though, who's watching your car?

According to one unhappy diner at Pluckers on North Shepherd, not the Houston Police Department.

More »

Now Trending

From the Vault