Try These Seven Non-Burger Sliders in Houston

Photo by Brooke Viggiano
Little Big's does sliders right.
These days, there's way more to sliders than just burgers. And while we of course love the mini beefcakes, we're pretty excited to see some new kids on the block. From a breakfast treat to mini dogs, here are five new kinds of sliders to check out in Houston:

Chili Cheese Dog Sliders
Where to find them: Little Bigs

Little Big's has long been the king of sliders, offering the tiny sandwiches in burger, pulled pork, and fried chicken form. But last year, the almighty trio got an upgrade when the restaurant added Nathan's slider-sized hot dogs to the menu. They're almost too cute to eat....almost. We love them smothered in slow-cooked chili, shredded cheese, and jalapeños from the toppings bar.

Pancake Sliders
Where to find them: Union Kitchen

If breakfast appetizers aren't a thing that you participate in yet, they totally should be. UK proves that with these miniature pancake sandwiches, which get the royal treatment with a Canadian bacon, breakfast sausage, and fried egg filling. Share these with friends and thank us later.

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MALK Offers All-Natural Plant-Based Milks to Houston

Categories: Local Spotlight

Photo by Molly Dunn
You can now get MALK at Urban Harvest during the Saturday farmers market.
Alternative milks, such as soy, almond and coconut, have become a lot more popular over the years. Those who are lactose intolerant or don't eat products from animals have opted for plant-based products, such as the aforementioned variations on milk.

August Vega has been making alternative milks for years. After starting a job that made it difficult to make her own almond milk at home, she began purchasing the milk from grocery stores, but quickly realized that the ingredients used in store-bought almond milk is not something she wants to put in her body or her family's. Seeking an alternative to these products, Vega and her family decided to go into business together and make plant-based milks. The family launched MALK about a year and a half ago in Houston.

"First of all, we try to avoid anything that doesn't contain a word that's difficult to pronounce because if you can't pronounce it [and] you don't understand what it is, it's probably not something that you want to put in your body -- that's our philosophy," Vega says.

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The 5 Best Happy Hours in Midtown

Photo by Troy Fields
Make your way to Sparrow Bar + Cookshop's sleek bar for classic treats with a twist.
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-resto-packed hood of Midtown, where there are almost too many awesome spots to name. While happy hours at laidback bars like Little Woodrow's, The Dogwood, Saint Dane's, and Celtic Gardens don't disappoint, we've put an emphasis on the places with the best bang for your buck.

Honorable mention: Free finger foods at Piola's bar and $6 to $8 teasers and elixirs at Mr. Peeples.

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Peak Season: Five Standout Apple Dishes in Houston

Photo by Catrin Austin
We're more than happy to eat an apple a day with these stellar treats.
Crisp, juicy apples are in season through the end of November, so now's the time to get your fall apple gorging on. From a salted caramel apple cupcake to a poached-apple salad, here are Five Must Try Apple Dishes:

What: Triple Apple Bacon Pizza
Where: Brasil

Why wouldn't you want crisp bacon and apples on your pizza? You would. Because the sweet and salty combination is magic. A bit of fried sage, garlic oil, and mozzarella won't hurt either. Get it all on one pie at this charming neighborhood café.

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First Look at Skinny Rita's Grille

Categories: Local Spotlight

Photo by Molly Dunn
Skinny Rita's Grille offers Mexican and Latin cuisine in a healthier way.
Tex-Mex and Latin cuisine gets a bad rap for being high in calories, fat, sodium and everything else in between. After a bowl of chips (that never becomes empty) plus guacamole, queso, sizzling fajita meat and veggies doused in oil, several flour tortillas, cheese, sour cream, beans (refried or charro) and the thirst-quenching margaritas served in a salt-rimmed glass, you're probably close to 2,000 calories and more than a day's worth of sodium.

Skinny Rita's Grille on North Main opened a few weeks ago boasting a menu filled with lighter and skinnier options for folks to enjoy Latin cuisine minus some of the guilt. One look at the menu and you'll notice a few major differences from other Tex-Mex spots in town, such as the use of cactus flour instead of regular flour. The chips are made from a combination of cactus and corn flours, yielding green chips mixed with yellow corn tortilla ones. The margaritas also lack a lot of the added sugars most margs usually have -- each is made with organic tequila, fresh fruit juice and agave nectar, and ranges from 100 to 125 calories. Not too shabby.

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

Categories: Local Spotlight

Photo by Katharine Shilcutt
The fried chicken at Haven will definitely be missed, but it definitely was not underrated.
It was sad reading some of your comments about the fried chicken at the now-closed Haven. Man was that stuff good. But, not to worry, there are plenty of more places you guys like to get your deep-fried, crispy birds. And plus, the stuff at Haven was not underrated to say the least.

Thanks for chiming in to give us your thoughts on the underrated fried chicken in Houston. A lot of you were in support of Pollo Campero and Randalls grocery store, but for the most part, your votes were all over the place. I guess that means Houston is blessed with a bounty of great fried chicken places. Seriously, who needs KFC?

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Your Guide to the Best Sunday Football Specials in Houston

Photo by Brooke Viggiano
Beer Market Co. has plenty of screens and even more beer to keep you happy.
Football is back and we couldn't be more thrilled! Here's to a great season, especially for the Texans (but also for some other players because at the time of publication we have not yet had our Fantasy Football draft so we really don't know who we want to do well yet).

That being said, we plan on getting our Sunday Funday on regardless of who's playing. And you should, too. From giant projection screens and killer audio systems to TD shots and beer towers, check out this list of sports bars with some of the best TV setups/ Sunday football specials in town:

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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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