Liberty Kitchen Just Won Chicken & Waffles

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Photo by Brooke Viggiano
Not shown: The gorgeous hunk of fried chicken hiding inside.
There's no shortage of Houston eateries banging out some pretty fine chicken and waffles. But Liberty Kitchen's Chicken & Pecan Waffles breakfast sandwich has beaten them all.

Here's how:

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The 5 Best Brunch Spots in the Museum District

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Photo by Katharine Shilcutt
Brunch should definitely start with Gulf Coast oysters at our No. 4 pick.
In Houston, we're pretty serious about our brunch. Whether it be migas and breakfast tacos or chicken and waffles and loaded Bloody Marys, we have no shortage of awesome spots to get our brunch on. Keeping later hours and killer cocktails in mind, we'll be taking a look at some of our favorite spots around town. See the complete list at the end of this post.

This week, we're moving to the ever-beautiful Museum District.

Note: For the purposes of this list, the Museum District is defined as the area bounded by Main Street to the west, U. S. 59 to the north, Texas 288 to the east, and Holcombe to the south, with a few blocks expanded in each direction.

Honorable Mention: Enchiladas con huevos at Spanish Village.


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Filling the Gaps: Lankford Grocery

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Nicholas L. Hall
A burger with gravitas.
I've lived in Houston for 22 years. It took me 16 of those to visit the Rothko Chapel for the first time. I didn't eat at Ninfa's on Navigation until I'd counted myself a Houstonian for nearly a decade. I still haven't eaten at Frenchy's. The list of glaring omissions goes on and on. Before you boot me from the city for civic negligence, or at least refuse to continue allowing me to write about Houston food, let me assure you that 2014 is the year I start fixing this problem. I'm making a list of places. Places I should have been by now. Places even I can't believe I haven't visited. This is the year I get (re)acquainted with my city. Maybe you'll find a few from your own list in these posts. I encourage you to follow suit.

So it's not strictly true to say that I hadn't been to Lankford Grocery. It is, however, true to say that my single previous actual visit had missed the point somewhat entirely. If you want to get technical though, I've gone at least three times. The first, I didn't bring cash, and left burgerless and dejected. The second, I showed up too early for burgers and had to assuage myself with (a pretty solid) breakfast. Third time's the charm, as it were.

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First Look: The El Cantina Superior Is Not So Super

Categories: Local Spotlight

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Photo by Molly Dunn
The skinny margarita at The El Cantina Superior tastes more like sugary juice than a tequila-based drink.
Screaming children, smoky fajitas and weak margaritas basically sums up The El Cantina Superior. This new Tex-Mex spot opened just a few weeks ago in the Heights at the corner of White Oak and Studewood. Based on the hype, it seemed to be the new place to be. Unfortunately, it has got some serious work to do if it wants returning customers.

Dining during happy hour on a weekday (4 p.m. until 7 p.m.) seemed like the opportune time to visit, as certain margaritas, domestic and draft beers are $3, and premium beer bottles are $3.75.

This could be a much better deal if discounted appetizers were included, but as of now, happy hour only applies to drinks. There might be a nacho bar happy hour special on the way, though.

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Handicapping Houston Restaurant Weeks 2014: Your Guide to the Best Bets

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Every year we bring you a guide to the best meals and deals of Houston Restaurant Weeks, and this year with more restaurants participating that ever before, we had a heck of a time choosing our best bets. We've scoured every menu for the most interesting dishes, largest quantities of food and best values, and we've compiled this list to help you navigate the multitude of eateries vying for your patronage.

Searching for some southern food? Aching for Asian cuisine? Want some entertainment with your dinner? Feeling frugal? We can help.


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Not Jus' Donuts Featured on TLC's Buddy's Bakery Rescue

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Photo by Molly Dunn
Not Jus' Donuts is owned and operated by (left to right) Andrea Jackson, Myrtle Jackson and Rosharon Cotton.
Not Jus' Donuts will be the next Houston bakery featured on Buddy's Bakery Rescue (formerly titled Bakery Boss). The episode premieres Tuesday, July 29, at 9 p.m. on TLC.

We caught up with the owner Myrtle Jackson and her two daughters, Andrea Jackson and Rosharon Cotton, to talk about their experience filming the episode, what they learned from Buddy Valastro, aka "Cake Boss" and how their business has changed.

Myrtle established Not Jus' Donuts, located in the Third Ward at 2020 Dowling Street, in 2000. Since then, the family-owned and operated business has been creating custom cakes using skills and techniques passed down from Myrtle's aunt and grandmother, along with breads, pastries, cookies and pies - no doughnuts. But, nobody from the bakery applied to be on Buddy's Bakery Rescue. In fact, they still don't know who submitted their application.

"One Saturday, it was at our lowest moment; we wanted to shut down," Andrea says. "We were talking about just closing up and we received an email from Discovery Channel and they were scouting for new bakeries to be a part of the Buddy's Bakery Rescue show. It had a questionnaire and essay, so I took it home, finished the essay, emailed it probably that Monday and a few days later heard back from them."

After several interviews in person and over Skype, Myrtle and her two daughters began to suspect they were being chosen for the show.

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The 5 Best Brunch Spots in Garden Oaks/Oak Forest

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Photo by John Kiely
The tortillas alone are worth the trip to our No. 5 spot.
In Houston, we're pretty serious about our brunch. Whether it be migas and breakfast tacos or chicken and waffles and loaded Bloody Marys, we have no shortage of awesome spots to get our brunch on. Keeping later hours and killer cocktails in mind, we'll be taking a look at some of our favorite spots around town. See the complete list at the end of this post.

This week, we're moving we're moving just outside the loop to the neighborhoods of Garden Oaks and Oak Forest.

Note: For purposes of this post, Garden Oaks / Oak Forest is defined as north of Loop 610, east of Highway 290, south of Tidwell and west of Yale.

Honorable Mention: Biskit Junkie, even though it hasn't opened yet, because we're just too excited about the possibilities! And Rainbow Lodge, which is just outside the borders, but worth the short ride inside the loop.

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The Five Best Underrated Tex-Mex Restaurants in Houston (According to You)

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Photo courtesy La Tapatia
Your number five pick serves traditional Tex-Mex and Mexican cuisine for the best of both worlds.
You know how we always say the Houston trifecta is composed of barbecue, burgers and Tex-Mex? Yeah, well Tex-Mex is clearly the victor, as more than 2,000 of you voted in our poll to determine the most underrated Tex-Mex restaurant in town.

And the same thing that happened with the barbecue poll happened again: The first and second place winners are separated by ONE VOTE. Madness! These two spots also got more than double the third place restaurant, indicating a clear preference.

Some of you took to the comments to argue that spots like Spanish Village are clearly not underrated and therefore shouldn't be part of the poll, and it seems like most people agreed, as even lesser-known spots received the most votes.

So who gets the dubious honor of being named most underrated among the best Tex-Mex joints in the country?

Here are your choices.

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Tout Suite Opens Soon Bringing Macarons, Eclairs & Homemade Food

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Photo courtesy of Tout Suite
Tout Suite is getting close to opening in East Downtown.
Tout Suite, sister company to Sweet Bakery in CityCentre, is just weeks away from opening. Despite typical delays from meeting city permit requirements and whatnot, the cafe, bakery and coffee shop is inching closer to opening its doors in East Downtown at 2001 Commerce. Tout Suite translates from French to English as "right away," and that's the premise behind this establishment.

Anne Le, president of Tout Suite, describes it as a European-style cafe, bistro and bakery where customers can snack on an array of pastries and sweets while sipping on a cup of coffee, or enjoy a quick, inexpensive and tasty meal.

"Since we've outgrown our very, very small bakery in CityCentre, we found this other opportunity to not only expand our kitchen, but to also serve other food that we are passionate about," Le says. "So, beyond our cupcakes and our macarons we worked hard to build our reputation on, we're branching out to also simple soups, salads and sandwiches to offer the neighborhood that we chose to be in more than just our baked goods."

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The 5 Best Brunch Spots in Memorial

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Photo by Mai Pham
Our No. 3 pick's roti prata -- a sort of fried pancake -- is the perfect way to start the meal.
In Houston, we're pretty serious about our brunch. Whether it be migas and breakfast tacos or chicken and waffles and loaded Bloody Marys, we have no shortage of awesome spots to get our brunch on. Keeping later hours and killer cocktails in mind, we'll be taking a look at some of our favorite spots around town. See the complete list at the end of this post.

This week, we're moving to the ever-growing Memorial 'hood.

Note: For the purposes of this post, Memorial is defined as north of Buffalo Bayou, west of Loop 610, east of Highway 6, and the area just north of Katy Freeway to Westview.

Honorable Mention: Lone Star breakfast classics at Pappy's Cafe.


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