Morning, noon, or night, people find something special to eat or drink at Cork Grinders. As day breaks, cups of Katz coffee and custom-made breakfast sandwiches fill the room with their aromas to wake up anyone who walked in still sleeping. By night, the restaurant's team switches out their coffee drinks for wine and locally brewed beer and the room takes on a lounge-like vibe. Much the of the dining action surrounds the panini press, which grills tasty sandwiches such as the Nola with house-made crawfish and the Texan with bacon, cheddar, and barbecue sauce. But the room itself is a draw all on its own, too. With a drink in hand, diners ensconce themselves in cozy seating framed by distressed walls and high ceilings, often listening to musical acts play on the small stage.
The menu at Bakkhus is loaded with traditional Greek recipes with modern twists and shouts. Start off a meal with an appetizer such as fire feta dip, which adds Serrano peppers, olive oil, and spices to the Greek cheese for a spicy pita-chip-dipping delight ($7.95), or a hot plate of loukanika, the Greek sausage ($8.95). Evening diners sup on a traditional gyro platter ($13.95) or the snapper Santorini ($21.95). But Bakkhus's lunch specialties perform the Herculean feat of freeing Prometheus from plastic-baggie handcuffs. From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. during the week, come in for a Mykonos burger (half pound Angus patty marinated in red wine and topped with jalapeños and pineapple, $8.95), a plate of kefte pasta (angel hair with Greek meatballs and crumbled feta, $9.95), or an old-school gyro pita complete with tzatziki ($7.95) with a side of spanakopita ($4.75).
The Terrace Cafe's culinary craftspeople whip up delectable dishes that appear on a menu of contemporary American fare in an atmosphere geared toward the entire family. Coronate a meal with friends by noshing on a Super Nachos appetizer—a plate of tortilla triangles draped in Texas flavors, including cheese, chili, jalapenos, and onions ($13.95). The double-meat, bacon-swiss burger ($10.95) quells carnivorous cravings, and the bacon-swiss-chicken melt ($11.95) reminds taste buds how much owners care for them. Feast on the Shrimp Artery Clogger ($13.95) to delight in Jacques Cousteau's greatest gift to humanity, deep-fried shrimp.
In 2011, King’s first year in business, owners Johann and Philipp Sitter had to expand his space from a 40-seat dining room to a 200-seat restaurant and beer garden. The customer response aligned with the press response: That same year, Houston Press included King’s sausage sampler on their list of 100 Favorite Dishes and in 2012, GermanDeli.com voted King's the Best German Restaurant in America. They were excited to find the restaurant served “the kind of hearty yet fresh sausages and schnitzels that Houston has long lacked,” and singled out the weisswurst for having “the texture of sifted pate, light and airy.”
In addition to meals built from family recipes, patrons can revel in an extensive selection of German brews. Beer tour samplers allow guests to sip on four or all of the draft beers, but those ready to commit to a single draft can sign a marriage certificate for a 3-liter das boot. Thursday through Saturday, groups can listen to live music from German house bands on the beer garden.
Hosted by the happy-hour champs at Lucky’s Pub, Halfway to St. Patrick’s Day douses eight bands and two DJs in green beer to welcome fall Emerald Isle–style. Atlanta duo Dead Rabbits puts a bluesy spin on vintage garage sounds, and local quartet Lost Element rocks crowds with a giant cradle while performing its latest EP, Back Again. Wielding metal riffs as sharp as they are funky, Downfall 2012 cuts grooves deeper than a fortune cookie on the ocean floor. Other highlights include rousing bagpipe jams and a performance by Eddie Peery & the Rattlesnakin’ Daddies, who blankets fans in comforting country covers.
The 2004 MLB All-Star Game. The longest baseball game in postseason history. Craig Biggio’s 3,000th hit. For a stadium that just opened in 2000, Minute Maid Park has already hosted its share of memory-making moments. Astros fans pack the field’s 40,963 seats during baseball season. The Astros invite fans to take in full-field views from luxury boxes and terrace decks or track players from seats along the first and third baselines situated within 43 feet of the game's action. The stadium welcomes teams and performers from across the spectrum of sports and entertainment. Whether tracking the pitch during international soccer face-offs or jamming to tunes of artists including Madonna and Taylor Swift, visitors stay comfortable beneath a retractable roof designed to combat the unique climate conditions that Texas weather can present.
Designed with Texas’s railway history in mind, the park blends naturally into the classic red brick and glass looks of nearby Union Station. A full-sized vintage locomotive runs intermittent trips along 800 feet of track along the left-field wall, giving fans a glimpse of Wild West transportation and the lead character of next summer’s Cowboys Vs. Transformers.