When I was growing up, Houston was designated the fattest city in America two years in a row. And here’s why:
Do not let that old sign fool you. The Breakfast Klub is a must when visiting Houston. If you need Steve Harvey’s seal of approval, they won the best chicken and waffles award from The Steve Harvey Show (I’ve never had chicken and waffles myself). The french toast made me want to cry it was so good this last time. What made those tears all the sweeter were the friendly staff, warm colors, and no wait. If you’re going on a weekend expect the line to wrap the building. My mom and I went around 10 on a weekday and it was the first time we were able to get seated in under 10 minutes. Momma got her standard catfish, grits, and tomato. According to my mom, there has to be a sliced tomato. I need to make it my mission to figure out the catfish batter recipe they used because it was perfect. I admit it. I sampled from her plate. As an added plus for art lovers, the artwork on display is beautiful, ever-changing, and for sale.
I think I am going to have to give myself a quota on how much I can talk about barbecue on this blog. My friend, her boyfriend, and I tried out Gatlin’s BBQ and Catering. Like I’ve said again and again I’m do or die for Pappa’s BBQ (which my family calls Brisket House for whatever reason), but this place was good-eatin’. Whether you want the meat and two sides or a stuffed baked potato, get here before they open at 11! We got there around 10:30 and a few people were already waiting. With only three two-seater indoor tables (but plenty of outdoor seating), no public restroom, and friendly but slow service a person may wonder why the line goes out the door even in the rain. The tender brisket and light, tangy barbecue sauce are worth it. That’s why!
Houston has a huge Indian (and Southeast Asian) diaspora. Thus, Indian restaurants are never in short supply. We stumbled upon this one in Rice Village, The Bombay Brasserie . Before I could even think my water glass was low, it was refilled. The chicken biryani was richly seasoned and plentiful (i.e., a doggie bag was necessary). No Indian meal is complete without naan. This time around I opted for the sweet Peshwari naan. I find that each place makes it a little bit differently. I’ve had Peshwari naan where the sugar was falling out in decadent and cavity-causing amounts and that with a more subtle sweetness. Bombay Brasserie’s was more on the subtly sweet end, and it was good to me. After your meal, you’ll get steamed washcloths to wipe your mouth and hands (amen to not judging messy eaters!). They even threw in complimentary pistachio and mango ice cream for the holidays. Happy Holidays indeed!
If you want to walk off the calories, Rice Village is a popular shopping destination that’s (relatively) easy to walk around when compared to the rest of Houston. I, for one, walked my greedy behind across the street to The Chocolate Bar. Even though it’s BYOB, it’s super-kid friendly so don’t expect chocolate martinis and an opportunity to socialize in a grown folks only environment. I actually couldn’t eat another bite but, yes, that’s one slice pictured. It was enough for the seven of us that laughed and talked there for hours.
After Rice Village, you may want to head to City Centre Houston. That is, if you can stomach the three different highways you have to take to get there from Rice Village. Texas has overwhelming miles of highways and I refuse to drive. Although this place has been around for years, I had never been to it, let alone heard of it. I guess that’s what happens when you leave Houston when 18.
There are plenty of lounges, dining and shopping options in this space that was formerly a mall. I love when spaces are renovated for a new purpose. We settled on Monna Lisa, a lounge located in Hotel Sorella. Along with the fire in the middle of the space, live music (that did make it too loud to hold a conversation), and nice decor, the trademark drink–a blackberry martini–has me willing to brave Texas highways to sip from Monna Lisa’s frosted glasses again.
I’ll be home for five weeks (minus the week in NYC) and I’m not even bothering to weigh myself after all I’ve been eating. I’ll lose the weight later.
I have no shame, but plenty of appetite and food options in Houston!