Houston is one of those places you travel to for warmth, food and lots of Beyoncé. Last month, while New York City was weathering frigid temperatures, I traveled to Texas for a wedding, a tan and some delicious tacos. Here are my finds … while listening to lots of Beyoncé in my rental car’s radio.
Where To Go
As promised, Houston was warmer than NYC but I’m always cold so I still needed something to wrap myself in, especially after my husband refused to lend me his only hoodie indefinitely. Ha. I drove over to Premium Goods at the outdoor mall called Rice Village to buy a hipster sweatshirt and get my nails done at Rice Village Nail and Spa. Both shops were great, except if you get the manicure-pedicure deal at that nail shop, know they expect you to tip 40 percent, which is probably what the service costs sans “deal.” When I tipped 20 percent, the nail technician said “For both of us?” You’ve been warned.
Rice Village Nail and Spa
2368 Rice Boulevard, Suite C
Where To Eat
Pappadeaux’s, obviously. In what other place can you order a meal touting a full two days worth of calories and not regret it? During my first trip to the mythical and rap-related seafood restaurant—where they also have non-fried items on the menu but I’m not sure why—I munched on a calamari appetizer and a seafood plate that included fried catfish, fried oysters, blue crab cake, stuffed shrimp & stuffed crab with a baked potato. The butter tasted like it was churned on-site, it was heavenly. Afterward I rolled myself back to our hotel where I probably glistened from all of the grease I’d just consumed but I was happy.
Pappadeaux at Richmond at Kirby
2410 Richmond Avenue
For BBQ, I checked out Goode’s Armadillo Palace because I’m a pescetarian and they had a mean fried catfish. It didn’t disappoint and neither did the fully stocked bar or the backyard where, between sun-drenched benches and shaded tables, a giant silver armadillo the size of a truck sat because, Texas.
Goode’s Armadillo Palace
5015 Kirby Drive
For breakfast, I kept it close to my downtown hotel and enjoyed some Tex-Mex flavors at Lone Star Tacos, where the dishes were named after famous Texans like Ross Perot—his dish was made of pork. Though the restaurant took a beating by local press and yelpers when it first opened in 2014, I found my cheesy potato, peppers and egg tacos to be delicious. Later, I checked out House of Pies which is, just as advertised, a dinner with a zillion pies. The menu boasts other dishes too but if you love pie, this should be your destination in Houston because they have all of them.
Lone Star Taco Co.
1000 Texas St.
House of Pies
3112 Kirby Drive
Where To Stay
Because I was traveling for a wedding, I stayed at the wedding-approved lodging but it turned out to be lovely. The Magnolia Hotel was convenient and equipped with a roof top pool, jacuzzi as well as a gym, all things I want when traveling. Our room was a good size and had a deep bathtub for a soak, something I treat myself to both home and away. The Magnolia Hotel was also right in the heart of downtown Houston, putting us in the midst of a few street fairs, bunches of bars and concert venues as well as a short distance from the city’s baseball field. Magnolia also had a happy hour each night serving beer and wine followed by a cookies and milk happy hour—and the cookies were of the buttery white chocolate variety. I was into it.
Also, like many big cities outside of New York, traveling to Houston without renting a car is a recipe for disaster. Stay H-Town vicious, ladies.
Magnolia Hotel Houston
1100 Texas Avenue Houston, TX 77002
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