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

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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.

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PETA Stages Protest Downtown By Dressing Model in Collard Greens

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Photos by Kaitlin Steinberg
A volunteer model is covered in collard greens as part of a PETA demonstration.
Today at noon, the organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals took their message in support of a vegan diet to the streets of downtown Houston.

Two PETA members planted themselves (pun intended) at the corner of Milam and Congress and proceeded to dress a volunteer model in a floor-length gown made entirely of collard greens. The volunteer held signage and pamphlets in support of PETA, while the other two people used spray adhesive to stick large leaves to her body suit and stockings.

"We really just want to get out the message that there are alternatives to eating meat," one of the PETA members said.

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We've Narrowed Down the Most Underrated Pizza...Vote Now!

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Photo by Leonel Nerio
The pizzas at Pizaro's are amazing and definitely not underrated. Check out the poll to see which are!
Last week, we talked pizza. No, Houston isn't generally recognized as a great pizza city like New York or Chicago, but your responses to our query about the most underrated pies in town reminded me of just how many pizza joints we have here. You even alerted me to some spots where I can get deep dish--a style I've been craving since I moved here from the Midwest (home of mediocre thin crust, but pretty good Chicago-style).

As usual, the votes were all over the place. Some of you love the convenience of delivery, while others go gaga over unusual toppings like crawfish and tandoori paneer. Some of you like wood-fired pies with thin crust, while others prefer thick, doughy pizzas or deep dish stuffed with toppings.

Thankfully, no one mentioned stuffed crust or breakfast pizza. Those are best left back in the '90s where they belong.

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The Most Underrated Pizza in Houston... According to You

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Photo by Kaitlin Steinberg
This pizza from Pink's is delish...but probably not underrated.
Okay, Houston, let's talk pizza.

This city has a surprising variety of pizza for a region so burger- and barbecue-happy. There are some incredible Neapolitan-style wood-fired pies from places like Dolce Vita and Pizaro's, late-night munchie slices from Pi Pizza Truck and solid delivery options from Pink's and Pizza L'Vino. Boheme makes unusual lavash pizzas, and Provisions piles on the interesting toppings. We've got it all, except, maybe, Chicago-style deep-dish pizza. If someone can find a decent deep-dish pie in Houston, please do let me know!

I also want to know where you go in town for pizza that other people might not consider. Does your favorite greasy pie come from a food court? Is there a bar in town slinging a super slice? Is there, after all, a great spot for some Chicago-style pizza?

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UPDATE: Video of Brawl at Houston Chacho's Goes Viral, Reminds World We're Classy

Categories: Food Fight, News

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Photo from VoicePlaces
This past Thursday, April 3, a bystander shot footage of three women at the Chacho's on Westheimer engaging in a physical altercation with management and staff at the restaurant. Eventually, a Chacho's employee pinned one of the women to the ground, while the other two circled around, yelling wildly for him to stop. One of them was carrying an infant in her arms.

The video has now been shown on websites and news outlets across the country, gathering thousands of views. It's unclear exactly what caused the situation to escalate into such madness.


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The Most Underrated Restaurant in Houston Is...

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Photo by Nicholas Hall
The pizza from your number 5 pick is totally underrated.
Well, friends, more than 1,300 of you voted on the most underrated restaurant in Houston. Thanks for letting your opinion be known. Some of you weren't happy with the poll choices, but remember, those came from you, not me. So you have only yourselves to blame.

But really, I thought all of the options were pretty solid.

Only five of the choices got more than seven percent of your votes, but they're pretty darn good choices in my opinion. Here are your top five most underrated restaurants in Houston.

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Battle Refrigerated Biscuit Dough: Pillsbury vs. Store Brand

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Photo by Joanna O'Leary
Who Is Flakier????

Whose refrigerated biscuit dough brings all the boys to the yard?

This intrepid food journalist decided to find out by conducting a comprehensive evaluation taste-testing of two brands side by side. The contenders: Pillsbury and H-E-B store brand "Hill Country Fare."

Okay, a little more background. Although I prefer making biscuits from scratch, I knew I would not have time later this week to make a carbohydrate companion to my hearty Irish stew (see upcoming post) all in one afternoon, so in preparation I decided to consider my pre-made refrigerated-dough options.

Readers of this blog may have noticed I have given favorable reviews to Pillsbury products and thus may be unfairly biased.


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Kevin Naderi to Face Off at Iron Fork Against...

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We have secured a second chef for the third annual Iron Fork competition at this year's Menu of Menus Extravaganza. This brave fellow will be competing against Kevin Naderi of Roost in a secret-ingredient cooking challenge moderated by Randy Evans of Haven to determine which of them is the Iron Fork master.

Here are some hints:

  • He was born in Manhattan...Kansas.
  • He has worked with Lucky Dog Rescue to raise money and foster homeless dogs.
  • He never went to culinary school. Instead, he started as a line cook at the Aquarium at Kemah.
  • He served as the private chef for country singer George Strait.
  • He's an avid fisherman, and that comes through in much of his Gulf Coast-influenced cooking.
  • His last meal would probably be a rib eye, pounded out, chicken-fried, with mashed potatoes and gravy on it.

  • Any guesses?


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    The Most Underrated Restaurants in Houston...According to You

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    Photo by Jeff Balke
    I love House of Pies #sorrynotsorry
    Recently, we stumbled across CultureMap's article about the most overrated restaurants in Houston. In it, Eric Sandler called out Uchi, Underbelly, Mark's, Mai's, Haven, The Breakfast Klub, Torchy's Tacos, Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steakhouse, Houston's and Reef as restaurants whose "execution doesn't quite match their rhetoric or commensurate level of hype."

    Ouch.

    As one might expect, the article created a lot of hubbub, but it also got people talking and engaged in infantile intelligent online conversations. While we're choosing to stay mum on what we might consider overrated restaurants in Houston (Why can't we all just get along?!), it got us thinking: What would Houstonians consider to be the most underrated restaurants in town? Which hidden gems do folks wish would get their proper due?

    No, really, tell us!

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    Hungry? Check Out One of Houston's Many Eating Contests, Sure to Fill You Up

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    Photo courtesy Kenny & Ziggy's
    Can you conquer the Zellagabetsky?
    They say everything's bigger in Texas, including our burgers, pizzas and bowls of pho. OK, so the pho thing might be unique to Houston, and that's just one of the reasons that Houston eating competitions are the best: They're incredibly diverse. From Bellaire to Baytown, Sugar Land to the Woodlands, Galveston, Downtown and everywhere in between, restaurants have created challenges to test the stamina of local eaters and tourists alike.

    Just the other day, I received an email from a new restaurant called Fat Boy's Bar and Grill (opening in February), which claims to have the biggest burger in Houston and quite possibly the biggest burger in the state. Weighing in at 15 pounds, the burger will be the headliner in Fat Boy's eating competition: If you can eat the behemoth in less than three hours, you'll win your photo on the Wall of Fame, a Fat Boy's T-shirt and a free meal. Unfortunately, you'll lose your dignity.

    But eating contests aren't about dignity. They're about eating the biggest, the spiciest, the most calorically outrageous items bored restaurateurs can dream up, often under a time limit and with the stipulation that you can't, you know, let the food come back up when it's all over.

    Here in Houston we have more than a dozen contests. These are some of the most popular.

    Happy eating, friends. And remember, no vomiting.

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