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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Burger Report: Cottonwood's Bleu Cheese Burger

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Photo by Brooke Viggiano
There's a lot going on in this burger...and we love it all.
Though Cottonwood is known mostly as craft beer bar, it has some serious burger game. And while we've already waxed poetic about their poblano-and-fried-egg-laden Squirrel Master Burger -- it even made our critic's 100 Favorite Dishes of 2013 -- that doesn't mean the other burgers aren't just as good.

The Bleu Cheese Stuffed Burger ($10), for example, is ridiculously just as good. And it all starts with the patty.

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Summer Date Night in Old Town Spring: Pizza and Wine

Categories: Local Spotlight

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Photo by Molly Dunn
Skinny Pig Pizza Shack is a nice addition to Old Town Spring.
Old Town Spring is known for its antique stores, funky yard decorations and charm. But there is a lot more to this quaint neighborhood off of I-45 than just adorable vintage furniture and decorations. Old Town Spring is an excellent spot for a date night involving shopping, pizza and wine.

After walking through antique stores, looking at a few yard decorations and laughing at other silly décor, you and your significant other should stop by the newly-opened wine bar and shop, Envy Wine Room, then head over to another new establishment, Skinny Pig Pizza Shack, which is currently BYOB and only open Friday through Sunday.

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The 5 Best Brunch Spots in Rice Village

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Photo by Katharine Shilcutt
The pancakes at our No. 5 pick are big enough to share.
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 shopping and dining mecca that is Rice Village/West U.

Honorable Mention: Bottomless mimosas and all-you-can-eat buffet at Seco's Latin Cuisine and cappuccinos and crepes at Sweet Paris Creperie & Cafe.

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The 5 Best Hidden Restaurant Gems in Galveston

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Photo by Allen Sheffield
Get off the beaten path and explore some lesser-known Galveston restaurants.
The time for the great exodus has arrived.

Every summer as the temperatures rise and the oppressively hot days stretch into muggy nights, Houstonians escape the confines of the city for tropical paradise Galveston. No, it's not the loveliest beach in the world (or even in Texas), but it's our beach and our charming seaside neighbor.

Fortunately for those who make the drive to relax on the sand or stroll the Strand, Galveston has a pretty great selection of eateries to choose from. Whether you're looking for upscale dining or a hole-in-the-wall beer and shrimp shack, Galveston has the restaurants to satisfy either desire.

Instead of doing a roundup of the best restaurants in Galveston, though, we thought we'd take a look at some of the great spots that aren't as popular. If you're a Galveston resident, you might already know these places because, well, the island just ain't that big. But if you're planning a day trip, consider checking out one of these great spots off the beaten path.

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Get the Buttermilk Biscuits at Bosta Coffee & Wine

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Photo by Molly Dunn
Sit at the circular coffee bar at Bosta to watch baristas make your drink.
Bosta Coffee & Wine opened its doors a couple of weeks ago in the quiet Museum District. By day, it's a coffee shop, but by night it serves up wine, beer and sophisticated bar snacks. The coffee beans are provided by Greenway Coffee & Tea (so you know what's being served is top notch); the food offerings for breakfast, lunch and dinner were crafted by executive chef Justin Basye, and pastries come from the great mind of pastry chef Chris Leung.

The white interior walls shine through the tall glass windows facing Binz Street. As you step inside, you're greeted with expansive ceilings and a circular, centrally-located bar. Even in the early hours of a Monday morning, the barista was cheery and welcoming.

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How Houston Cooks: 8th Wonder Brewery Makes Cre8ive, Houston-Centric Beer for All

Categories: Local Spotlight

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Photo by Katharine Shilcutt
Left to right: Aaron Corsi, Ryan Soroka and Matt Marcus of 8th Wonder Brewery.
Every so often, we'll be bringing you videos that take a behind-the-scenes look at restaurants, breweries, marketplaces, bars and any other spots that define Houston food and drink. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the show.

Back when 8th Wonder Brewery first opened in early 2013, the goal was just to make beer, just to get production up and running.

"A year from now, we hope to double our brewing capacity," said 8th Wonder co-founder Ryan Soroka in an interview a few months before the brewery opened. Then he changed his mind: "Scratch that. In a year, we hope to be brewing. Period."

These days, 8th Wonder is definitely brewing. The young company's innovative beers can be found all over the city, and the brand is rapidly expanding thanks to a growth in recent years of Houston pride. The company, whose name comes from the nickname for the Astrodome ("The Eighth Wonder of the World"), is all about promoting the city and all of its idiosyncrasies.

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