The Most Underrated Fried Chicken in Houston...According to You

Photo by Robb Walsh
Barbecue Inn's is known for its cooked-to-order fried chicken.
Texas is known for its juicy barbecue, sensational Tex-Mex and oh so yummy comfort cuisine. But, it's also known for good old Southern food, and to us that means fried chicken.

It's a staple at picnic lunches or church potluck meals. The crispy, crunchy buttermilk coating around tender, juicy chicken meat is an undeniable combination. Smother it in white gravy, dunk in ketchup or barbecue sauce, or eat it in its state of perfection. Houston is blessed with a bountiful amount of fried chicken eateries and local restaurants serving up dishes showcasing the deep-fried Southern specialty.

We all know that if you want a solid bucket of fried chicken, you go to Frenchy's. Heck, you can even go to KFC and walk away a happy camper. But, there's also the Rice Box Truck where the fried chicken is served with an egg roll, and new-kid-on-the block Funky Chicken is making a name for itself with its choice of slow roasted or crispy fried chicken.

And who could forget Food & Wine ranking Barbecue Inn's fried chicken as one of the best in America? The cooked-to-order fried chicken has a crust that never falls off of the tender white meat, so each bite is laced with the beautiful golden crust.

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Chocolate Wasted Ice Cream & Treats Truck Hits the Houston Streets Friday

Photo courtesy Olivia Luisa Garcia
Chocolate Wasted Ice Cream & Treats will open for business Friday, August 22.
Remember when you were a kid and would hear the jingle of the ice cream truck coming down the street?

Nowadays, we tend to get our ice cream and popsicles from either the grocery store or one of the various ice cream shops around town. Yes, these are great, but what happened to the right to your neighborhood experience that traditional ice cream trucks provided? And again, that jingle?

A new updated version is about to hit the streets of Houston. Susan Sahwani-Garcia, owner of Chocolate Wasted Ice Cream & Treats, originally wanted to open a homemade ice cream mobile eatery, but as she began developing her project and realized how expensive that would be, she decided to start her business as a traditional ice cream truck selling all the classic treats and local products.

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The 5 Best Happy Hours in Montrose

Photo by Troy Fields
Grab a seat at Eleven Eleven's bar or patio for happy hour cocktails.
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.

First up: Montrose.

Note: For the purposes of this list, Montrose is defined as the area west of Taft, south of Allen Parkway, east of Shepherd, and north of 59. Since many of the neighborhoods cross over each other, you may see some of your favorites on another list.

Honorable Mention: $3 selects and reverse happy hour at The Hay Merchant; $3 margs and $5 apps at Pistolero's; and the early bird happy hour at Lowbrow (food specials until 2 p.m.; drink specials until 6:30 p.m.).

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Get the Empanadas at Siphon Coffee

Photo by Molly Dunn
Look at that beautiful golden, flaky crust.
There's no denying that the beverages at Siphon Coffee, be it the cappuccino, Americano, cortado or siphon for one, are excellently executed. But, you can also say the same for the West Alabama coffee shop's pastries, breads and scones.

After seeing a friend on Facebook comment about the empanadas she had at Siphon Coffee this past weekend, I made it my priority to try the Argentinian pastries for breakfast. Now I know why she was so excited about Siphon's empanadas.

The morning treats located within a small glass display case look so delightful that you might be tempted to choose one of each...just to see how each tastes. I guess that's the nibbler in me coming out.

Two men ahead in line ordered slices of banana bread, while someone else opted for a bacon cheddar cheese scone. Each of these looked enticing, but I had to stick to my plan and order what I came for -- the empanadas.

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Don't Miss This Brunch Starter at Cook & Collins

Photo by Brooke Viggiano
Warning: You'll need some assistance consuming these fries.
The brunch appetizers at Cook & Collins are too good to pass up. And while the world's largest bacon-iced cinnamon bun (seriously, it's bigger than the head of your one friend that has that giant head) is a fantastic way start, we can't get enough of the eatery's overloaded "Red Eye Fries."

Of course, you could always get both...but you better come hungry.

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Houston Restaurant Weeks: Backstreet Cafe

Photo by Molly Dunn
This savory bread pudding is dense, rich and offered on the red wine menu.
What they're up to for Houston Restaurant Weeks: This year, Backstreet Cafe offers one lunch menu for $20 and five prix fixe dinner menus paired with white and red wine, cocktails or beer for $35 each. For lunch, guests have the option of four first course dishes, followed by dessert; dinner includes three courses (the vegetarian menu comes with an amuse of summer orzo pasta salad). Each dinner selection includes a specific libation pairing: $28 for red wine, $27 for white wine, $24 for cocktails, $28 for wine with the vegetarian menu, and $20 for beer. Backstreet Cafe will donate $3 to the Houston Food Bank for each lunch sold, and $5 for each dinner.

Service/Atmosphere: It's always a treat to dine at Backstreet Cafe. Whether you're outside on the patio or inside the vintage home, you'll feel at ease. Even though we placed our order for the entire menu at the beginning, each course came to our table at reasonable times; we never felt rushed or as though we were waiting too long for our next plate of food to arrive.

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The Gold Cup at Catalina Coffee: Single Cup, Hand-Brewed for You

Photo by Molly Dunn
The Gold Cup at Catalina is a crisp, refreshing cup of coffee.
Catalina Coffee is an excellent place to relax, sip on your choice drink and nibble on a pastry. The calming environment of hipster baristas throwing together lattes, espressos and cappuccinos like it is second nature makes your visits to Catalina on Washington worthwhile. While the folks behind the counter know how to make a killer latte decked out with beautiful artistic designs with the milk, they also know how to serve up an incredible single-cup brew, the Gold Cup.

Last year, the slow bar French Press was a personal favorite, but the Gold Cup brew has taken its place. Catalina has only had this machine for about three or four months.

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The 5 Best Brunch Spots in Galveston

Photo by Jerald Jackson
These brunch spots will make you want to stay on the island a little bit longer.
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 going down to the shore and taking a look at the best brunches in Galveston.

Honorable Mention: Crawfish hash, fried stuffed shrimp, and brunch cockails at Gaido's and bold breakfast plates at Sunflower Bakery & Cafe.

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

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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How Houston Cooks: Blue Heron Farm Makes Delicious Cheese from Happy Goats

Categories: Local Spotlight

Photo courtesy Blue Heron Farm
Lisa and Christian back in 2007, when Blue Heron Farm was just beginning.
Every few weeks, 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.

You know that ad campaign by Real California Milk? The one with all the commercials and billboards that claim "good cheese comes from happy cows"? The same can be said of goats. And the goats at Blue Heron Farm seem deliriously happy.

That could be in part because their owners, Christian and Lisa Seger, are deliriously happy, too. They left their day jobs in 2006 to start a farm with the mission of showing that is is indeed possible to "run a profitable farm while treating the land, the animals and the people involved with dignity and respect."

The couple is so dedicated to the humane treatment of the animals and the land that they have a complete transparency policy. They offer regular tours of the farm so customers can see where the farm's primary product, goat cheese, comes from. Lisa is also a prolific tweeter, sharing silly goat images on Twitter daily.

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