Royal Oak Bar & Grill Just May Have the Largest Poppers Ever

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Photo by Brooke Viggiano
These jalapeño poppers are definitely big enough to share.
The $6 stuffed jalapeños happy hour deal (offered weekdays from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.) at Royal Oak Bar & Grill could be the best $6 you ever spent (on fried food, at least).

With 3 miniature football-shaped fritters to a plate, that's just $2 each for the biggest, spiciest jalapeño poppers to ever grace the planet (or Montrose, at least).

On the outside, the trio of avocado-sized peppers are breaded and fried to a deep, golden crisp, with the crunchy coating made thick enough to withhold the gloriously overstuffed filling. A generous drizzle of sour cream sits atop, though you'll likely want a bit more to cool your tongue after you break inside the shell.

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Sushi Sunday Funday at Kubo's Sushi Bar & Grill

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Photo by Molly Dunn
Kubo's serves happy hour dishes all day on Sunday.
They don't call it Sunday Funday for nothing. Kubo's Sushi Bar & Grill in Rice Village offers up excellent sushi plates, bento boxes and seafood appetizers every day of the week, but the best time to enjoy these Japanese bites is Sunday, when Happy Hour is offered from the minute Kubo's opens at noon until it closes at 9 p.m. That's our kind of Happy Hour.

No need to wait until "after 5 p.m." to enjoy a happy hour deal here. Pair the drink specials ranging from $5 and $8 sake, and $4 house wines, to $2 off all signature martinis and draft beers,with a variety of appetizers, nigiri and sushi rolls.

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Where to Get Food and Booze-a Near Comicpalooza

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Chuck Cook Photography
All the ladies love a Stormtrooper, expecially if he's buying. (Shot at The Pastry War.)

One of the best ways to guarantee you enjoy any convention is to remember to take breaks away from it. After hours of being on your feet among thousands of fellow fans, it's important to get away for an hour or two, sit down for a while and get some nourishment. Besides that, do you really want to spend your money on overpriced "con food" inside the convention hall when there are plenty of good places to eat and drink within half a mile? (Okay, maybe you do if you're waiting to meet Stan Lee...but after that...)

The following places have confirmed that they welcome your business during Comicpalooza, even if you are in costume. In fact, some of these places really want you to show up if you're in costume. In costume or not, remember your dining-out manners. Just because you're dressed like The Joker doesn't give you a license to try and act like him.

As far as cosplayers walking to restaurants and bars, Houston hasn't reached the level of San Diego, where cosplayers essentially take over the area of downtown near the convention center. However, we'll never get that kind of environment without a few of us brave ones starting the trend. Walking with a few companions will likely give you the most comfortable experience.


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Sandy Witch Sandwich Co. Debuts New Happy Hour Menu

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Photos by Kaitlin Steinberg
The nachos are topped with rice, an unusual but welcome addition.
While pondering what he should serve for happy hour at Sandy Witch inside Grand Prize Bar, owner Anthony Calleo kept three things in mind: First, he looked at about 40 different happy hour menus around Houston to figure out what type of food most people serve during happy hour. Then he looked at what he already had in the kitchen to ensure he wouldn't have to buy much else to execute the menu. Finally, he considered how he would make the desired dishes.

"You know, like if I'd put rice on the nachos," Calleo says gesturing toward the nearly overflowing plate of nachos between us. "Whenever I order enchiladas, I always get cheese enchiladas. And my favorite part of enchilada plates is mixing all the cheese that's left over with all the rice that's left over. So you get cheesy rice. And that's what I wanted for the nachos."

Nachos topped with cilantro-lime rice, spicy queso, black beans, onions, avocado and cilantro are just one of the options on the new five-item happy hour menu at Sandy Witch. Every week day from 5 to 8 p.m., all five dishes are just $5. And boy are they a filling five bucks.

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Galleria Happy Hour Ideas for the Fatigued Shopper

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Photo by Mai Pham
Cocktails and oysters at Caracol Happy Hour.

We've all been there. We've shopped for hours on end, until we're dry and parched, our feet can barely move and we're desperately in need of revival. We get in the car to drive home, and get stuck in the middle of rush hour, a sea of cars sitting between relaxation. As we're sitting there, listening to the radio, in a car that's moving more slowly than the person walking the street, we have an epiphany: "This is the perfect time for a happy hour." We know just the place.

Kona Grill. 4 to 7 p.m. and 9 to 11 p.m. Located inside the Galleria itself, Kona Grill offers an abundance of drinks and happy hour appetizers at half off. The choices are rather heavy on the carb side, but the margaritas and mojitos make up for it. Prices range from $3.50 to $6.

Caracol. 3 to 7 p.m. daily. Chef Hugo Ortega and Tracy Vaught's brand-new restaurant in the BBVA Compass building on Post Oak is just a hop, skip and a jump away from the Galleria proper. Valet or validated parking is available, and happy hour offers specialty appetizers, like the tostada de atun crudo, for $7. A margarita, mojito and sangria are on offer for $6, and all gulf oysters on the half shell are half off (daily 3 to 7 p.m., and Saturdays before 5 p.m.). While you're there, go for the gold and get a half dozen of their delicious ostiones asados (wood-grilled gulf oysters with chipotle butter), regularly priced at $14 for a half dozen, they are just $7 during happy hour.

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Sylvia's Enchilada Kitchen Celebrates Lease Renewal with New Happy Hour Menu

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Photo courtesy of Sylvia's Enchilada Kitchen
The ceviche is just $5.50 during happy hour.

For 18 years Sylvia Casares, a.k.a. "The Enchilada Queen," has been dazzling Houston diners with her inventive takes on the enchilada, and recently she made the commitment to do so for another decade.

Casares signed a ten-year extension to her lease at the Woodway location of Sylvia's Enchilada Kitchen, which is extremely reassuring to me for a number of reasons, including, but not limited to, the continued opportunity to consume her terrific "North" enchilada parilla whenever I want.

But as much as things will stay the same at Sylvia's, the menu will continue to evolve. Casares will continue to proffer new varieties of haute enchiladas (we're at 19 and counting), and most recently she introduced a new appetizer and margarita menu. Light and refreshing bar bites such as ceviche, picamole and my favorite, the sweet, spicy coctel de camarón, are on offer for an average of $6 during happy "hour," which is far more expansive at Sylvia's than the name might imply.


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Flat-Screens, Game-Day Specials, TD Shots + More: Where to Watch the Texans Season Opener This Monday Night

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Where are you watching the game?
The Texans' quest for the championship starts on the road this Monday as they face off against the Chargers at 9:20 p.m. CT. This is all the more reason to get out and watch the game at one of Houston's awesome sports bars.

Because we love nothing more than wings, JJ Watt's ass football and our readers, we've put together a list of some of this city's best big screens and bar specials for Monday's game.

Without further ado:

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A Cozy and Cool Happy Hour at Cove Cold Bar

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Minh T Truong
Happy Hour at Cove Cold Bar
Cove Cold Bar, a "self-contained mini-restaurant," opened inside Haven late last year with chef de cuisine Jean Philippe Gaston taking charge. The regular menu is a trip around the world with offerings from Tahitian poisson cru to Mexican ceviche to Italian crudo. But the "seafood haven of sorts" also explores options with four legs with French steak tartare, lamb heart carpaccio and a goat heavy cheese selection. It is a culinary adventure you have to take.

Also worth the trip is the happy hour, which is short but definitely sweet, from 4 to 6 p.m. and from 9 p.m. to close. Make your way to the little enclosed haven inside Haven, grab the corner table and enjoy a cozy couple of hours away from the world, or grab a seat at the bar and chat it up with the man who's shucking your oysters. Either way, inside the little bubble that is Cove, the hustle and bustle of the restaurant is forgotten -- on the afternoon my girlfriends and I met there, we noted it was almost too quiet; we were afraid our laughter was going to draw too much attention, until some light samba music began to play.

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Auditioning a New Friend at Oishii's Happy Hour

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Photos by Christina Uticone
The check came to $15 bucks each and we were chock full of sushi. Yes.
So my husband does this thing where, once he finds a restaurant or two to fill a niche (sushi, Italian, burgers, etc.) he stops wanting to try new places in that niche. This makes me crazy, especially because as soon as I get back from trying a new place (where he refused to go in the first place) he ends up pouting that I didn't take him with me.

Hey, surprise! It happened again! This time with sushi, and the restaurant in question is Oishii. This little sushi "diner" is always popping up on "Best of" lists--including here at HP--and it always catches my eye when I drive by. It's not on Josh's "sushi radar," though, so we never go.

I was recently shopping at Kiehl's, and got chatting with my favorite sales associate Justin about food. When we landed on the topic of Oishii's happy hour, Justin told me it was a favorite of his. "It's awesome--and cheap!" he exclaimed, and I immediately asked him out on a platonic date. The goal: make a new friend. (And, ultimately, force my husband's hand to get him to try a new sushi place.)

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Onaga Opens Quietly -- Let's Hope It Stays That Way

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Minh T Truong
Fire-Pot Udon
I'll admit it I bought into what you could call the "club sushi" environment of Zake Sushi Lounge. A few birthdays, one going away party and many a nights out started there -- the food was pretty good in the beginning, although it was never really about that, it was about beginning the night listening to house music, throwing back shots of sake and imbibing overly sweet lychee martinis before hitting Crome -- which thankfully has transformed into Triniti -- leaving behind the douchebaggery that once was.

Whether you buy into Yelp or not, Zake's reviews in the later years were a clear indication that they weren't going to be around much longer. It had become even less about the food and somehow actually became a club complete with DJs, Saturday night cover charges and rowdy fights.

Eight years later and Zake has quietly become Onaga Pan Asian Bistro.

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