Try These Five Chili-Smothered Dishes in Houston

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Photo by Troy Fields
Frito Pie, meet your new friend, Mac 'n Cheese.
Fall is here and we've got one thing on the mind: eating a crap ton of chili. It's the ultimate comfort food...especially when it gets smothered on top of other comfort foods. Check out these five chili-packed foods that go way beyond the bowl.

See also: Five Absolutely Loaded Fries

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

Categories: Local Spotlight

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Photo by Katharine Shilcutt
The boudin kolaches at Shipley Do-Nuts on North Main are definitely well-known, not underrated.
OK, Houston. Let's get one thing straight. Christy's Donuts, The Original Kolache Shoppe and Shipley Do-Nuts (specifically the one on North Main) are NOT underrated places for kolaches. But, most of the other places y'all mentioned certainly are! We assumed most of the places would be doughnut shops, after all, local neighborhood establishments often have the best kolaches in town.

Along with a few bakeries, such as Three Brothers Bakery, the list of nominations for underrated kolaches was quite extensive, and honestly kind of all over the place. But, we certainly love the enthusiasm.

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The 5 Best Happy Hours in Greenway Plaza

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Photo by Troy Fields
Pizzeria Solario's selection of pizzas, antipasti, craft beer and wine makes happy hour quite happy.
If you love happy hour as much as we do, you'll love this new series. We're taking a look at the best happy hours in town, 'hood by 'hood. To narrow it down, we're focusing on the spots with the best deals on not only drinks, but eats, too. From upscale eateries serving bar bites and half-priced wine to dives with cheap beer and burgers, we've got it all. See the complete list at the end of this post

Last week we covered Upper Kirby, so this week we're moving right next door to the area surrounding Greenway Plaza.

Note: For the purposes of this post, Greenway Plaza is loosely defined as on or south of West Alabama, west of Buffalo Speedway, north of Highway 59 and east of Loop 610.

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Forget Mudbugs; Crawfish & Noodles' Crab Shines Through the Off-Season

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Photo by Brooke Viggiano
Get your crackers ready, these crab dishes are here to play.
It may not be crawfish season, but that doesn't mean you should discount Crawfish & Noodles. The Asiatown eatery's crab dishes are just as good as the tiny critters...if not better.

We can't decide what we love more; the King legs or whole-fried Dungeness and Blue. Maybe you should come with friends so you don't have to decide either.


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Rosinka Wine & Tea House in Rice Village Transports You Straight to Europe

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Photo courtesy of Rosinka Wine & Tea House
Owners, Katerina and Ivan Belik, want you to feel like you are in Europe at Rosinka Wine & Tea House.
Rice Village is one of the best areas in the city to walk around visiting shops, restaurants, cafes and farmers markets just as you would in a European country. And that's exactly why Katerina Belik and Ivan Belik opened Rosinka Wine & Tea House in this neighborhood. Katerina is a lecturer at Rice University, and Ivan is a physicist and financial analyst; the two decided to bring a little bit of Russia and Europe to Rice Village with their wine and tea house selling and serving wines and teas from around the world.

The Beliks opened Rosinka Wine & Tea House in December 2013, but now that the shop has an upgraded TABC license to sell wines by the glass and for tastings, and more customers are discovering Rosinka, the owners decided to hold the grand opening celebration on October 23.

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The 5 Best Happy Hours in Upper Kirby

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Photo by Troy Fields
Queen Vic's taps pour out some of Houston's finest pints.
If you love happy hour as much as we do, you'll love this new series. We're taking a look at the best happy hours in town, 'hood by 'hood. To narrow it down, we're focusing on the spots with the best deals on not only drinks, but eats, too. From upscale eateries serving bar bites and half-priced wine to dives with cheap beer and burgers, we've got it all. See the complete list at the end of this post.

This week, we're moving into Upper Kirby, where you'll find everything from top-notch sushi and sake to authentic British pub fare.

Note: For the purposes of this post, Upper Kirby is defined as west of Shepherd, east of Buffalo Speedway, north of Bissonnet and south of Westheimer.

Honorable Mention: Sorrel Urban Bistro (which we're losing soon), CRU Wine Bar, and Eddie V's "V-lounge" happy hour.


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Try These Five Absolutely Loaded Fries

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Photo by Robb Walsh
You'll never look at poutine the same way.
When it comes to smothered fries, we whole-heartedly believe that the more crap that gets loaded on top, the better. Try these five plates of cheese-drizzled, meat-laden, gravy-and-sauce-slathered fries.

What: Tex-Cajun Virgin Fries
Where to find them: BB's Cafe

Our love affair with BB's Cajun take on poutine began when food critic Robb Walsh waxed poetic about it in 2009. A year later, he went on to name the plate of crisp, shoestring fries -- which get a healthy smothering of chile con queso, tender roast beef, and gravy -- one of his top 20 "100 Favorite Dishes" in Houston. One taste and you'll know why.


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Eat This: The Salted Caramel Peanut Tart at Tout Suite

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Photo by Molly Dunn
The Salted Caramel Peanut Tart at Tout Suite is a work of art.
Before Tout Suite opened in East Downtown, I knew the cafe would be serving incredible desserts and pastries, like those delicate macarons and beautiful cupcakes sold at the sister bakery, Sweet in CityCentre, along with a savory menu served throughout the day. But, the tarts and treats were a surprise.

As I stared at the gorgeous display of bright yellow mango passion tart cakes, matcha green tea chiffon cakes and lemon yuzu tarts, one of the employees approached me asking if I had any questions about the offerings at Tout Suite. I told him I was interested in purchasing the "Paris Houston," a chocolate almond cake with a fruit filling and a generous topping of swirled frosting, but he advised me to choose a different pastry, the Salted Caramel Peanut Tart.

He said it is one of the best offerings in the display case, and that he was one of the chefs who makes the pastries at Tout Suite.

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First Look at eT Craft Burgers & Beer in Northwest Houston

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Photos by Molly Dunn
Customize your own burger at eT Craft Burgers & Beer in Northwest Houston.
Fans of the mini double-patty burgers from eT Premium Grill in the tunnels below the JP Morgan Chase tower now have a larger location to frequent in Northwest Houston. eT Craft Burgers & Beer opened in Cypress on September 25 and features a much larger space than the restaurant downtown. It's a welcome addition to this expanding shopping center.

Right off the bat you will notice that the newest location has a different name than the original tunnel restaurant (eT Craft Burgers & Beer instead of eT Premium Grill) and that's because the 3,040-square foot establishment not only serves up juicy double-patty burgers with specialty fries, but it's also got a stellar lineup of local craft beers. Folks can fill up a growler to take home (eT Growler glass bottles cost $6 and each fill costs $16). Choices range from 8th Wonder Alternate Universe, Karbach Hopadillo, Buffalo Bayou 1836 Copper Ale and Saint Arnold Santo (as well as the brewery's root beer!), giving Cypress residents an excellent choice of local craft brews that they might not otherwise get at other restaurants in the area.

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The 5 Best Happy Hours in The Heights

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Photo by Troy Fields
Cozy up with a craft beer and some wings at Witchcraft Tavern.
If you love happy hour as much as we do, you'll love this new series. We're taking a look at the best happy hours in town, 'hood by 'hood. To narrow it down, we're focusing on the spots with the best deals on not only drinks, but eats, too. From upscale eateries serving bar bites and half-priced wine to dives with cheap beer and burgers, we've got it all. See the complete list at the end of this post

This week, we're moving on to the bar and restaurant packed hood of The Heights.

Note: For the purposes of this list, "the Heights" is defined as south of Loop 610, east of North Shepherd, north of Katy Freeway and west of 45. That means standouts like Rainbow Lodge falls outside the borders. But look out; it just make another neighborhood's list.

Honorable mention: Half-price wine at Down House; bar bites at Glass Wall; and $7.50 pitchers plus daily food specials at Christian's Tailgate on White Oak.

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