From the outside looking in, Houston is a tough city to love. As a native Houstonian, I get this… the TERRIBLE traffic, the UNRELENTING heat + humidity that seems to last all year, the inability of my beloved Astros to be relevant… but there really is much to adore. Danimal and I normally head back, on average, five times a year for weddings and holidays. However, this year only twice. In order to make up for this, we spent the entire week of Thanksgiving ‘at home’. The lack of weddings enabled me to finally show Danimal some of the best things about Houston. So, let the awards continue, starting with ‘hoods.
Favorite Neighborhood: The Heights Houston is known for its sprawl. And, while there are several nice suburbs, I am a city girl and was obviously going to pick an in-town ‘hood. The Heights is northwest of downtown and we spent this past Tuesday exploring all it has to offer.
19th Street is a mix of consignment shops, antiques, home decor, clothing boutiques, sandwich shops, and the one and only, Venus Hair. Spend an afternoon perusing this block to find your next hidden treasure. From there we headed to Lola for lunch, I would like to recommend… everything.
Runner-Up: The Museum District / Rice I consider this the cultural center of Houston. The beauty of the old homes and tree-lined streets are the perfect backdrop for the Museum of Natural Science, the Zoo, Museum of Fine Arts, and Rice University.
Best Mexican Food: El Tiempo (the original) I gave my shout out to BBQ on the last post. When I go to Houston, there is only one other thing I insist on eating other than Goode Co., Mexican food. And, if I’m lucky, its El Tiempo. We actually took some of our clients from Saudi Arabia there in January so they could experience some real Texas culture. I normally don’t order fajitas when I go to Mexican restaurants, but at El Tiempo I just can’t say no.
Runner-Up: Jalapenos (posthumous) R.I.P. Jalapenos, you are missed.
If I’m not careful this will become the longest blog post of all time, I could really devote an entire blog to Houston and Texas. So in closing, I will mention just a couple of other things not to be missed.
- The Houston Livestock Show + Rodeo Take a rodeo and your state fair, multiply by ten, and then add crack. (It last for two weeks each February.)
- The Beer Can House Every frat boys dream come true…
- Beavers… just south of hooters. No really, that IS on their t-shirts. The food is crazy good and crazy bad for you.
- Wabash Antiques + Feed Store Only in Texas would there be a feed store in the City Center. Chickens anyone… or a Beyoncéperhaps?
- Patranella’s Sometimes all you need is an old house (turned restaurant) to create incredibly memorable meals, Italian style.