UPDATED: The Dine-In or Take-Out Guide for Super Bowl 2015 in Houston

Categories: Game On

Photo by Phaedra Cook
Really, why wouldn't you want to watch the Super Bowl in a place designed to look like the Dome?

Whether you're looking for a place showing the Super Bowl or just want to grab food to take to a party, there are plenty of places ready to help. We've divided these up by area of town to help you find something close to your part of town.

Downtown and East Side

El Big Bad, 419 Travis

This two-story, casual joint known for its infused tequilas and homey Mexican food is showing the game on television and big screen projectors. To keep fans energized, there's a special $10 Super Bowl menu that includes wings, ribs and loaded fries. $5 house margaritas are available the entire day and evening. Discounted beer and pitcher specials are offered, too.

8th Wonder Brewery, 2202 Dallas

8th Wonder has a new tasting room decked out Dome-style, so what better place to watch the Super Bowl? Also, what better day for the 2015 release of 8th Wonder's Brewston Pale Ale? Both Feges BBQ and the golden Eastsie Boys food truck will be dishing out the eats. The place can get crowded, so get there early. Noon.

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15 Houston Restaurant Trends to Abandon in 2015

Photo by Chuck Cook Photography
Yesterday's darling is today's tired old trend.

It's a new year and an opportunity for a fresh new start. We asked professionals from Houston's restaurant industry -- chefs, bartenders and fellow food writers -- to share which trends they think need to be left behind in 2014. Some answers were about food and service trends. Others delved deeper into our restaurant culture. In more than one instance, one person's beef was the exactly opposite of another's complaint.

Let's start with one of my own:

15. Enough With the Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Beet Salads
I love roasted Brussels sprouts and beet salads, but I would not be sorry not to see another one for at least a year. They need to be left in the same memory book as "The Great Bonito Flaking of 2013."

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

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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Houston Rodeo's Dutch Oven Desserts Competition Cooked 'Em Low and Slow

Categories: Game On, Q, Sweets

Photos by Molly Dunn
Sticky bread pudding desserts, like this one, were popular entries.
Some judge barbecue and some judge food and wine at the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo. But me? I judge Dutch oven desserts.

On Friday, February 28, the World's Championship Bar-B-Que Contest hosted the fifth annual Dutch Oven Desserts Competition, and nearly 145 teams entered their sweet treats made entirely in a Dutch oven.

The competition was separated into two tasting rounds, each table of judges received eight different desserts in each round. As the desserts were passed around the table, each judge placed a scoop of the sugary creation onto a plate, sampled it and gave it a ranking of from one to ten (one being the worst and ten being the best).

It's like Thanksgiving desserts on steroids.

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Liberty Kitchen and Oysterette Responds to Review With Interesting Gift

Photos by Kaitlin Steinberg
When I first opened the box, I was intrigued. Then I saw the card with the monogram "Lee Ellis" at the top, and I became concerned.

It's no secret that, though I thought there were a few outstanding dishes at the new Liberty Kitchen and Oysterette, the upscale restaurant owned by Ellis and Lance Fegen, my overall impression of the place was not as great as I'd hoped it would be. I'd been wowed by a dinner at the original Liberty Kitchen, and I'm such a regular at Petite Sweets that I can probably attribute at least two pounds of weight gain to that perfect custard. I didn't hate Liberty Kitchen and Oysterette at all. I'd just hoped for better from a talented group of people.

It's also no secret that many of you, dear readers, were displeased with my assessment. You called me whiny, passive-aggressive and "whack" and were upset that I compared the dining area to the home goods section of Anthropologie because of all the owls. And because it's beautiful. I happen to love Anthropologie.

At any rate, I was worried, when I saw Ellis's stationery, that he might have mailed me rotten vegetables, dog poo or gas station taquitos.

What I got was much more terrifying ...

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UPDATED: Win Two VIP Tickets to Menu of Menus and Iron Fork

Join us for the Menu of Menus Extravaganza 2014!
Tickets are selling quickly for this year's Menu of Menus Extravaganza, which will be held at Silver Street Station on April 8. The event will feature more than 40 local restaurants with incredible free samples as well as the annual Iron Fork competition, which will pit last year's champ, Kevin Naderi, against a mystery competitor.

The Iron Fork competition is much like the Food Network's Iron Chef. Randy Evans of Haven will moderate as two chefs are given a secret ingredient and 45 minutes to cook up a masterpiece of a meal in front of a live audience and celebrity judges.

If you want to join us for Iron Fork and for all the delicious free samples at Menu of Menus you could go online and buy a VIP ticket for $80.

Or you could enter this giveaway and win two free tickets!

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Cheer Your NFL Team to Victory With Cupcakes

Categories: Game On

Graphic by Monica Fuentes
This weekend is crucial for four NFL teams. The playoffs are coming to a close, and two teams will walk away from this weekend with tickets to the Super Bowl.

To accompany your game-day party dishes of potato skins, barbecue, burgers, chips, dips and everything else in between, why not make and decorate cupcakes inspired by the colors and mascots of your NFL team? Unfortunately, the Texans are not one of those teams, but maybe they'll make it next year and you can make red, white and blue cupcakes to cheer them on to victory.

Whether you want Tom Brady and the New England Patriots to stomp all over Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos, or you're hoping the San Francisco 49ers beat the Seattle Seahawks to have a repeat shot at winning the Super Bowl, we've got a cupcake for you. Just follow the easy instructions for assembling and decorating these NFL playoff cupcakes.

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Fuel Up for the Houston Marathon With the Right Food

Photo by Marco Torres
If you're running in the Houston Marathon, you'll need to fuel yourself with the correct foods.
If you have been training to run in the Houston Marathon, which takes place this year on Sunday, January 19, you probably know by now that what you put inside your stomach is crucial to how well you'll do in the race. It doesn't matter if you run two miles, 13.1 or 26.2; what you eat could make or break you.

Contrary to popular opinion, you don't want to "carb up" so much that you puke all over yourself (or the person near you). Who wants to smell a combination of protein bars, bananas, peanut butter, apples and whatever else you decided to shove down your throat hours before the race? On the flip side, you don't want to eat such a small amount of food that you run out of energy before you're even a quarter of the way through the race. Water stations and food stations never seem to appear when you're running on an empty stomach.

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Charities Duke It Out for OKRA Charity Saloon's December Proceeds

Photo from VoicePlaces
Charities that didn't win earlier in the year are getting a second chance at OKRA.
This month, The Original OKRA Charity Saloon is trying something a little different to determine which lucky charity will be the recipient of the bar's December proceeds.

Usually, the bar picks four local charities per month and offers drinkers and diners the opportunity to vote for the organization they most want to benefit. For every purchase -- food or drink -- the patron gets one vote. So do a lot of eating and drinking at OKRA Charity Saloon and you could help a deserving charity win thousands of dollars.

"It helps you feel good about drinking," says Joshua Martinez, owner of Goro & Gun and a board member of OKRA. "Not that I need a reason. But when you drink, you know that the money you spent will trickle down to a charity, and sometimes it's more money than they've ever had in their annual budget."

In order to give the charities who didn't win the pot the past 11 months a second chance, OKRA is holding a tournament of sorts.

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Our Inspired Suggestions for the Name of the New Menil Cafe (and You Can Name It, Too)

Courtesy of the Menil Collection
A rendering of the new cafe in Menil Park.
The new cafe at The Menil Collection seems like it's been in development forever. But recently we received some promising information that leads us to believe the café is, in fact, happening -- and soon!

The press office for the Menil announced that the café will be housed in one of the 20th-century bungalows that surround the museum. It will be located directly across from the main entrance of the museum, off Sul Ross Street, next to the museum bookstore.

Chef Greg Martin, formerly of Cafe Annie, Cafe Express and Taco Milagro, will be operating the new space.

This is all welcome news, but the most exciting part of all this is that the café doesn't yet have a name. The folks in charge want the public to name it, so they're holding a competition.

Submissions must be e-mailed to CafeNameGame@menil.org by Monday, November 25, to be considered, and the winning choice will be announced on January 6, 2014. The winner will receive a table for two at a V.I.P. preview lunch.

You should all definitely submit an option or two, but don't count on winning. We at Eating...Our Words came up with pretty much the best options ever.


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