Houston Hot Spots i

Hit it: The Eastie boys Vietnamese Food Truck
Located in the parking lot next to Agora coffee house on Westheimer, these guys are serving up THE FRESHEST sandwiches in town.
My banh mi ($5) has fresh  lettuce, cucumber spears, and jalapeños, cilantro, pickled carrots, and chicken. A-Mazing!
And the boys are pretty sweet too.
Feel free to buy your sandwich and it devour it at Agora next door. View Larger

Hit it: The Eastie boys Vietnamese Food Truck

Located in the parking lot next to Agora coffee house on Westheimer, these guys are serving up THE FRESHEST sandwiches in town.

My banh mi ($5) has fresh lettuce, cucumber spears, and jalapeños, cilantro, pickled carrots, and chicken. A-Mazing!

And the boys are pretty sweet too.

Feel free to buy your sandwich and it devour it at Agora next door.

April 21, 2011 @ 12:28 PM

Hit it: Victoria, The Cheese Lady at Central Market.

Please don’t actually hit her. Ask her politely to help you pick out a cheese. Just tell her what you like, she’ll pick out something unimaginable. You’ll eat the whole wedge, but it’s totally worth it. View Larger

Hit it: Victoria, The Cheese Lady at Central Market.

Please don’t actually hit her. Ask her politely to help you pick out a cheese. Just tell her what you like, she’ll pick out something unimaginable. You’ll eat the whole wedge, but it’s totally worth it.

April 19, 2011 @ 12:10 AM

Hit It: Nails Unique
East of Rice grocery store on Willowick and Westheimer, this little nail shop has been a mainstay for 20 years.
Make an appointment with Lyn or Diane for a meticulous mani and pedi.
Mani + Pedi + Eyebrow waxing = $47 without tip.
3733 Westheimer Rd (713) 621-2544
Skip it: Q Designer Nails and both nail boutiques on either corner of Chimney Rock and Woodway.
All Q salons and the two on Woodway shouldn’t be charging over $30 for their sloppy express service.
Splurge! - Perfect 10
A mani pedi at Perfect 10 is over $50 but totally worth it.  Sit amongst the mommies and get an application that will last over a week!
5161 San Felipe St (713) 993-0277

Hit It: Nails Unique

East of Rice grocery store on Willowick and Westheimer, this little nail shop has been a mainstay for 20 years.

Make an appointment with Lyn or Diane for a meticulous mani and pedi.

Mani + Pedi + Eyebrow waxing = $47 without tip.

3733 Westheimer Rd (713) 621-2544

Skip it: Q Designer Nails and both nail boutiques on either corner of Chimney Rock and Woodway.

All Q salons and the two on Woodway shouldn’t be charging over $30 for their sloppy express service.

Splurge! - Perfect 10

A mani pedi at Perfect 10 is over $50 but totally worth it.  Sit amongst the mommies and get an application that will last over a week!

5161 San Felipe St (713) 993-0277

March 24, 2011 @ 1:22 AM 1 note

Hit It — Rice University Baseball Stadium

If you are irritated they closed the football stadium is no longer open for you to run the bleachers, you should head over to the baseball field.

Although the bleachers are a fraction of the height and length, they still give you a great workout.

I go up each stairway doing single steps on the bottom half and then lunge up two steps at a time to the top.  After 4-5 laps you’ll be pooped!

For more workout tips, go to my blog MoreThanMary.com View Larger

Hit It — Rice University Baseball Stadium

If you are irritated they closed the football stadium is no longer open for you to run the bleachers, you should head over to the baseball field.

Although the bleachers are a fraction of the height and length, they still give you a great workout.

I go up each stairway doing single steps on the bottom half and then lunge up two steps at a time to the top. After 4-5 laps you’ll be pooped!

For more workout tips, go to my blog MoreThanMary.com

March 7, 2011 @ 3:01 PM 1 note

Hit It then Skip It - Pondicheri
The new restaurant in West Ave serves up modern Indian fare that  doesn’t disappoint. Even my mother who only eats steak and potatoes  enjoyed it. Their interpretation of tikka masala called the butter  chicken is a solid choice while you’ll have to cross your fingers the  market fish isn’t dry (mine was).  The veggies are delicious! As for  their super soft chocolate chip cookies, you’ll either love or hate  the  hint of mint. Only beer and wine is served. Prices are reasonable to  steep.
The restaurant is modern and minimal, but unfortunately really loud  due to the concrete floor and high ceilings.  They could also turn the  lights down a bit.
Breakfast, lunch, outdoor seating and a bakery are coming soon. I wonder what an Indian breakfast involves….
This won’t be a regular spot for me even though there’s a cute beer  bar on the side.  Love the food, can’t stand the atmosphere. Maybe  daytime dining will be more enjoyable. View Larger

Hit It then Skip It - Pondicheri

The new restaurant in West Ave serves up modern Indian fare that doesn’t disappoint. Even my mother who only eats steak and potatoes enjoyed it. Their interpretation of tikka masala called the butter chicken is a solid choice while you’ll have to cross your fingers the market fish isn’t dry (mine was). The veggies are delicious! As for their super soft chocolate chip cookies, you’ll either love or hate the hint of mint. Only beer and wine is served. Prices are reasonable to steep.

The restaurant is modern and minimal, but unfortunately really loud due to the concrete floor and high ceilings. They could also turn the lights down a bit.

Breakfast, lunch, outdoor seating and a bakery are coming soon. I wonder what an Indian breakfast involves….

This won’t be a regular spot for me even though there’s a cute beer bar on the side. Love the food, can’t stand the atmosphere. Maybe daytime dining will be more enjoyable.

March 5, 2011 @ 4:56 PM 1 note

Hit It — AVA
Robert Del Grande’s new restaurant Ava opened last month in West Ave.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE the decor (designed by Candi Schiller).  The menu is solid and inventive even though it looks boring on paper.
My only problem is that the noise level is too loud when it’s full.
Read my full review of Ava here.
BTW, you absolutely need a reservation!
Update: I changed the status to only “Hit It” because I went in last night and the noise level was a lot better.  We could talk normally and hear the conversation. 
(Full Disclosure: First meal was generously comped by the owners.  Since then, I have returned several times and paid in full.) View Larger

Hit It — AVA

Robert Del Grande’s new restaurant Ava opened last month in West Ave.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE the decor (designed by Candi Schiller).  The menu is solid and inventive even though it looks boring on paper.

My only problem is that the noise level is too loud when it’s full.

Read my full review of Ava here.

BTW, you absolutely need a reservation!

Update: I changed the status to only “Hit It” because I went in last night and the noise level was a lot better.  We could talk normally and hear the conversation. 

(Full Disclosure: First meal was generously comped by the owners.  Since then, I have returned several times and paid in full.)

March 3, 2011 @ 8:01 PM

Hit It - Tootsies
Last month, Tootsies finally re-opened in West Ave at the corner of Westheimer and Kirby.  Everyone absolutely loves it!
It’s HUGE. And very well done.
New designers, more selection, more room to roam around.
Go in and and see for yourself.  Ask for my mom Terry and she’ll give you the inside scoop.
BTW, you don’t have to valet. Feel free to park in the structure in any “Tootsies” spot. View Larger

Hit It - Tootsies

Last month, Tootsies finally re-opened in West Ave at the corner of Westheimer and Kirby.  Everyone absolutely loves it!

It’s HUGE. And very well done.

New designers, more selection, more room to roam around.

Go in and and see for yourself.  Ask for my mom Terry and she’ll give you the inside scoop.

BTW, you don’t have to valet. Feel free to park in the structure in any “Tootsies” spot.

March 3, 2011 @ 7:47 PM 2 notes

Skip It — Ziggy’s Healthy Grill (Fairview @ Taft)
Something must have happened to the quality of their food in the move  from West Alabama.  My breakfast burrito was barely edible….the only  reason you see it demolished here was because it took AN HOUR AND A  HALF before it arrived.  By the time the cracked out waiter put it in front of me I was  about to eat my hand (which probably would have tasted better.) View Larger

Skip It — Ziggy’s Healthy Grill (Fairview @ Taft)

Something must have happened to the quality of their food in the move from West Alabama.  My breakfast burrito was barely edible….the only reason you see it demolished here was because it took AN HOUR AND A HALF before it arrived.  By the time the cracked out waiter put it in front of me I was about to eat my hand (which probably would have tasted better.)

March 3, 2011 @ 7:11 PM

Hit it - Haven
I don’t have to tell you that Haven is one of the best restaurants in town.  I just wanted to remind you that head chef Randy Evans is constantly changing the menu.  Amidst everything that’s opening, you might let Haven slip your mind, and that would be a big mistake. View Larger

Hit it - Haven

I don’t have to tell you that Haven is one of the best restaurants in town.  I just wanted to remind you that head chef Randy Evans is constantly changing the menu.  Amidst everything that’s opening, you might let Haven slip your mind, and that would be a big mistake.

March 3, 2011 @ 7:09 PM

Hi It - Modern Hotels
The Hotel ZaZa (museum district) 
Hotel Sorella (city center) 
Hotel Icon (downtown)
Unlike hotel bars in NYC and LA, these aren’t places I would go hang out, but your visitors will enjoy staying there.  Monarch in the Zaza and Bistro Alex in Sorella are both great places to eat.
Skip It - Traditional and tired hotels
Intecontinental
Four Seasons
St. Regis
The Westin
Not my favorite but very central
The Omni
Hotel Derek (pictured)
(Full disclosure I have received media rates from The Zaza and Derek in the past.) View Larger

Hi It - Modern Hotels

Unlike hotel bars in NYC and LA, these aren’t places I would go hang out, but your visitors will enjoy staying there.  Monarch in the Zaza and Bistro Alex in Sorella are both great places to eat.

Skip It - Traditional and tired hotels

  • Intecontinental
  • Four Seasons
  • St. Regis
  • The Westin

Not my favorite but very central

(Full disclosure I have received media rates from The Zaza and Derek in the past.)

March 3, 2011 @ 6:54 PM