For more than 30 years, the gastronomic gurus at Cliff's Grill have devised an array of appetite-quaffing burgers and casual American fare served all day. Beef buffs can peruse the extensive menu to discover more than a dozen hamburger varieties formed from trans fat-free all-beef patties. Chow down on the Murphy burger crammed with grilled onions, bacon, cheddar cheese, and hickory sauce ($6.45), or divide a southwest burger stuffed with avocados, pepper jack cheese, salsa, and grilled onions ($6.45) into four corners of deliciousness. The veggie burger comes meat-free in lettuce, tomatoes, and onions drapery ($5.25), while breakfast offerings, such as an egg, steak, and cheese pita ($5.45), sate early risers with equal griddle-based aplomb.
Wide eyes and even wider smiles are a familiar sight for the staff behind the counter at Ruggles Cafe Bakery: those are typically the attributes sported by visitors as they approach the shop's vast dessert display. A total of three cases houses a collection of treats that ranges from chocolate crème brûlée to jumbo cookies to the bakery's famous white-chocolate bread pudding. Before satisfying their sweet tooth, though, visitors can sample the shop's savory side with housemade soups, hearty pastas, and fresh sandwiches and salads. Ruggles helps families with younger children occupy the time before a meal by letting kids decorate cookies with their favorite shapes and particle-physics equations.
Since 1998, Bronx Bar has been attracting young, party-scene people with drinks and music that inspire festive moods. The club, like the White House after visiting hours, boasts an upbeat, club-like ambiance, earning itself the Houston A-List's Best Trendy Bar award in 2009. Twinkles of light dance throughout the mostly dark space, emanating from fixtures underneath the bar and reflecting off the shiny silver ceiling tiles overhead. A mural resembling an urban skyline gives the space a hip, modern vibe.
"Gogi" means "meat" in Korean, but the Oh My Gogi! food truck doesn't cater to carnivores only—when ordering a kimchi quesadilla, you can fill the tortilla with short ribs, chicken, Spanish pork, or veggies. Indeed, the truck is more concerned with playing with your food than limiting your options. Its menu combines Mexican street food with Korean barbecue, complete with homemade marinades and secret sauces. Add-ons such as a fried egg to fries and caramelized kimchi make meals out of barbecue tacos, which come with meat, double meat, or doubledouble meat. To find the truck at any given hour, fans can check Twitter and Facebook or commit to sleeping on top of it.
Black Walnut Cafe exemplifies the word eclectic. At five locations sprinkled around the Houston area, the contemporary American restaurant offers diners more than 100 freshly prepared, cooked-to-order dishes. The menu covers every meal of the day, starting with philly-cheesesteak omelets and brioche french toast for breakfast. Later in the day, visitors can choose from a range of dishes that include asian barbecue salmon, lobster tacos, and Black Walnut's signature pot roast—complete with brown gravy, house potatoes, and roasted veggies. The café satisfies sweet teeth as well, with housemade gelato and a rotating selection of baked goods.