We are off for H-town! Whoo hoo. I cannot wait. I think this is the first time I’ve taken a trip on my birthday. Yes. It is. While Houston is not some exotic locale, but I bet to some it could be, I’m taking the weekend enjoying it. That means shopping and eating, eating and shopping, mostly eating then shopping.
That Galleria does me in each and every time. Is it just me or does it get bigger and bigger each year? There are two Macy*s. Dos! And yes you would think that means one is different from the other…ha ha ha. They are exactly the same. Last year I found a great dress for a wedding I was going to at the older Macy*s but they didn’t have my size. A long half hour walk later, voila, newer Macy*s, dress in my size. That’s what I’m talking about. Some of the merch is different and the newer one is well, newer but all in all – same store. And Macy*s is my favorite department store so double the fun for me. My fun at the Galleria does not stop there. The biggest Zara, The Limited and Banana Republic I’ve ever been to exist there too. Yeah and I thought Dallas was good on the shops. It cannot compare to Houston.
And that’s just the mainstream stuff because my most favorite shop in the state has to be Kuhl Linscomb. I can spend hours in there and another two hours in their four house shops behind it. I’m telling you, if you like housewares or knick knacks or fun gifts, this is the place to be. I plan on getting all my Christmas presents for my friends here this year. But I plan to eat more than shop, so here’s a list of my favorite Houston eateries.
17 @ Alden House Hotel
I specifically went here to eat for their $17 multiple course lunch and it blew my mind. The duck confit salad was foodgasmic! The décor and the food were fabulous. If I lived in Houston or was from Houston, I’d get married at the Alden House. Its that kind of modern cute kinda place.
Since most of my reasoning for being in Houston used to be because of my job with the jeweler – I did a lot of my eating in the Galleria. One of their biggest stores is located in the mall. The lesson I learned is that a lot of good food places exist in a lot of malls – not just Galleria.
The Daily Grill
I’ve been twice, once to the one in Houston and the other time in Austin. Austin was so-so. Houston was a huge step up. I had a grilled cheese sandwich with tomato soup for dipping.
The lesson learned here is that Kona’s menu differs from each of their locations. As I am a huge hamburger fan and think their Kona Burger is to die – they do not offer it everywhere. This Kona didn’t offer the burger but that lead me to my second other fave: their hoisin double cut pork chop dinner. It’s no longer on their online menu. See? That’s how they roll. You see it and then you don’t. What up, Kona? You’re a chain restaurant, don’t you know?
This next one may make you think I’m crazy because these exist everywhere but Houston’s location has it down 110% - Nordstrom’s Café.
The first time I ate here was after an interview way back in 2002. Oh yeah, I entertained the idea of living it up in Houston way back in the day when all I wanted to do was get the F our of San Antonio. But that was then. When I first ate here, we had a delish basket of pomme frites and calamari. That’s not what made it special – what did it for me was whatever creamy greenish sauce came with. It was heaven.
Sadly, the next time I ate here which was last year, the calamari no longer existed on the menu. (ok let’s just say, no longer carrying an item on the menu to me is like when a cosmetic company discontinues a product or color. You with me?) That trip I had to settle for a turkey sandwich with fries. But happy day! The fries still came with the creamy greenish sauce. Word. But I did miss the calamari.
Beyond this list, I’ve eaten at many other Houston jaunts – some I cannot remember the name, like a super cute brunch spot and some were places like Arcodoro. Other people love that place, I just don’t get it. It wasn’t that great or maybe its because the President of our company (the jeweler) was sitting next to me on one side (and he generally scared the crap out of me) and on the other side, sat a famous watchmaker who only speaks Swedish, French or Portuguese. I was probably too nervous to enjoy dinner.
And the crème de la crème. The heavyweight champion. My ultimate most favorite and fun place to be in Houston. GRAVITAS. Just look at it – go on, look.
The place is just so me. There is a chalkboard wall that boasts their menu and daily specials. There is a sidebar where a spinning deejay spins all sorts of tunes while you wait for your table or you can chill there for the night. The back patio is too cute. And to top it off, what I’m loving in restaurants lately – an open kitchen. You can see all the action! Just so you have an idea – here’s the menu.
I already know what I’m eating: the grilled asparagus salad and risotto, dessert will have to be chosen that night.
There you have it, my eating tour of Houston. Where I don’t really particularly care for Houston, as in to live there, I’ll come down any day or night to help out the economy by shopping and eating my heart out!