Best At-Home Margarita Contest Continues in Mixology Meets Bracketology

Categories: News


OK so you're a great mixologist but nobody much knows that. Now's your chance to shine. Not only will you get recognition but as part of our Mixology Meets Bracketology competition, you stand a chance to win some cash.

Here's how:

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So-So Food, Great Fun: More Than Making the Best of it at Little Matt's

Categories: Cafe Reviews

Photos by Troy Fields
Go for the Comfort Texas burger with guacamole, pickled jalapeño and bacon and the garlic fries (better than the sweet potato fries by far).
Dining out with children is an exercise in situational awareness. Each experience is unique, with different variables leading to different possible outcomes, DEFCON-like in their escalating threat levels. Keen observation, forward planning and prior experience are critical in determining the proper strategy. In this special edition of DEFCON Dining, we do the grunt work for you at Little Matt's, a safe haven for all DEFCON levels.

We're doing something a little bit different this time around. Since the restaurant in question, Little Matt's in West University, caters specifically to kids (and the harried parents who serve as their bleary-eyed entourage), I figured I'd look to an expert for guidance: my daughter, Cecilia. She's 11, and has accompanied me on more eating adventures in her brief decade-plus than I had in my first two. I gave her a few simple instructions on what to look out for (food quality, ambience, overall impression, etc.), armed her with a notepad (digital, granted) and asked her what she thought. Her words are in italics. Since this is a formal review, I'm keeping things between the ditches with my own color commentary. I'll leave you to decide whose opinion bears more weight.

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This Week In Houston Food Blogs: Shake Off The Cold With Soup Or Embrace It With Ice Cream

Categories: Leftovers

Photo by Kaitlin Steinberg
Fat Cat Creamery gets mentions in two different Houston food blogs this week.

If you're tired of the gloomy, gray weather, shake off the blues with Zagat Houston's list of soups by Marcy de Luna. The Duck Soup at Huynh and the Oyster and Fennel Stew at Liberty Kitchen and Oysterette are particularly inspiring choices.

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Longtime Houston Restaurateur Opens Wait Staff School

Categories: Local Spotlight

Photo by Ralph Daily via Flickr Creative Commons
A longtime Houston restaurateur is starting classes for training waitstaff.

Manfred Jachmich has been involved in the Houston restaurant industry for a very long time. He grew up in Koblenz, Germany, and worked as a pastry chef there and in Switzerland before emigrating to Houston in 1963. He earned a degree in economics and management from Houston Baptist University.

In 1972, Jachmich opened the original Ruggles Grill on Westheimer near Montrose and managed it during its peak years before selling it. (It's since been bulldozed, ostensibly to make way for a second, long-delayed concept called FM 903 led by chef Ryan Hildebrand of Triniti.)

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5 Lessons From the Houston Rodeo Dessert Competition

Categories: Sweets

Photo by Phaedra Cook
Dessert judging at the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo World's Championship Bar-B-Que Competition is serious business.

This was my second year to help judge the Dutch Oven Dessert Competition. I'm glad I had a little judging experience under my belt this time. I already knew what it was like being on the competitor side of the equation.

I used to participate in a private competition that Halliburton put on for its oil and gas clients. I worked in the IT department at the time and since I was a big "foodie," of course I wanted to be on the team. We did good, taking home first place one year and a chef's table award a different year.

I always made the dessert--some variation on an Apple Betty--as well as a brisket. We didn't have the same restrictions on the cooking vessel as the Houston World's Championship competitors do, so I used little individual cast iron pans that I'd set atop the firebox to bake. Getting a nice brown crust on top was the trick.

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Past Houston Rodeo Bar-B-Que Competition Winner Does It Again

Categories: Meat!, News, Q

Courtesy of Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo
Overall Champion team Across The Track won the chicken category as well. This is their second Houston championship.

Despite temperatures that hovered in the 40s at night at NRG Park, competing barbecue teams from across the country toughed it out to submit 419 entries.

Amazingly, the grand champion this year was Across the Track, a Houston cookoff team that took home the exact same honor in 2013. Across the Track also was the top scorer in the chicken category. First runner up was Iowa's Smokey D's BBQ and second runner up was Ram's Club.

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This Week in Houston Food Events: Sweeney's Waiting (With a Cocktail)

Categories: Edible Events

Photo by Chuck Cook Photography
As Melange Creperie's Kickstarter effort for a brick-and-mortar comes to a close, a Ghetto Dinner is being held to help out.

Monday, March 2

Ghetto Dinner Benefitting Melange Creperie

Melange Creperie's Kickstarter is nearing the end, and Pax Americana's chef Adam Dorris and Will Walsh are putting on one of their notorious Ghetto Dinners on to help. Downtown bar Moving Sidewalk is hosting the festivities. Expect a memorable, inexpensive gourmet dinner served with zero frills and a whole lot of fun. Bring cash and cards for food, drinks and Kickstarter pledges. 306 Main. 7 p.m.

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Dish of the Week: Bobotie

Categories: Edible Events

Photo by Jon Mountjoy
The South African dish is not dissimilar to moussaka.
From classic comfort foods to regional standouts and desserts, we'll be sharing a new recipe with you each week. Find other dishes of the week here.

This week, we're covering a traditional South African food: bobotie.

Bobotie is a baked dish consisting of minced, slightly sweet curried meat (often beef or lamb) topped with egg custard. The dish is thought to have its roots in the Indonesian dish bobotok, a similar minced meat and custard concoction that was likely introduced to South Africa by colonists aboard the Dutch East India Company's spice ships in the 17th century. Those ships also carried Malay slaves, who introduced sweet and sour flavor combinations, as well as their knowledge of curries, chutneys, and spices.

While originally very complex, the use of curry powder makes the recipe much simpler. Dried fruit like apricots and raisins are often incorporated, adding a slight sweetness to the dish.

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The 10 Best Crawfish Dishes in Houston

Crawfish season is back! And while, yes, we love the regular ol' Cajun crawfish boil, we ALSO love these spectacular crawfish loaded dishes. From a seriously creamy crawfish bisque to deep-fried crawfish mac and cheese (yes, your heard that right), check out our top picks for mudbugs this season:

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Best Carnival Food at the Houston Rodeo This Year

Categories: Here, Eat This

Photo by Chuck Cook Photography
Don't settle for eating just anything at the carnival. Go for the good stuff!

There are dozens of food booths and a vast selection of tasty and downright clever things to eat at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo NOV Carnival. Why settle for a boring turkey leg when you can get one wrapped in bacon? Do you want to be seen eating fried Twinkies and Oreos? That's so passé now. A slice of deep-fried pecan pie is where it's at.

It may be carnival food, but there's no reason not to eat in style. Here are just a few of the good (albeit not necessarily good for you) things we found to eat.

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