Behind the curtain at V Bistro Noodle & Grill, the Vo and Huynh families join forces to bring the time-honored tastes of Vietnam to the Lone Star state. A big part of the collaboration revolves around creating the perfect pho—a staple of Vietnamese cuisine for more than a century, and a dish the families have been tweaking for three generations. Traditional recipes, seasonings, and cooking methods have been passed from one generation to the next, like a family crest or a great, great grandparent’s lucky powdered wig.
V Bistro’s diners reap the benefits of that relay when they dive into one of the restaurant’s pho dishes, which range from strictly veggies to a meat lover’s medley of steak, brisket, tripe, and tendon. Diners can also excavate rice plates loaded with pork, chicken, beef, or shrimp, and wash it all down with homemade lemonade or Thai iced tea.
At Houston Dinner Theater, the cast of characters in the murder mystery might seem all too familiar?that's because the actors are all celebrity impersonators. Audiences might get to interact with the likes of celebrities such as Madonna, Michael Jackson, and Dr. Evil as they narrow down the list of suspects. During the show, they enjoy a three-course dinner). Performances take place either onsite, in the theater's modern setting with chrome seating and padded booths, or at a local restaurant. Aside from the murder mystery, the theater hosts regular performances by comedic hypnotist Robert Berry.
It's a good idea to arrive early at Movie Tavern, and not only if you hate missing the opening credits. Early birds can peruse the extensive menu of chef-crafted American cuisine, from kobe beef sliders to pizza and sandwiches. But even after the show begins, the snacks keep coming. Unobtrusive servers slip in during the show to deliver orders, and can be called on for more drinks or dessert with the push of a button. Guests can even sip margaritas or signature cocktails at the full bar before heading in to the theater. The family-friendly establishment also serves finger food for kiddies.
As for the entertainment, audiences get to enjoy all-digital presentations of first-run films any day of the week, plus Retro Cinema every Wednesday morning at 11:30 a.m. as well as Tuesday and Thursday evenings at 7:30 p.m. Audiences also benefit from Movie Tavern's membership program. Anyone can sign up for free online to receive one free bag of popcorn, plus a free ticket every year on their birthday, special offers, movie news, and invites to screenings and other special events.
Tipico Cafe's menu spills over with Latin American flair. Following Honduran tradition, servers slide complimentary pan de coco—or coconut bread—onto tables before every meal. Appetizers, such as the towering pyramid of crabmeat, avocado, and mango found in the Tipico tropical stack, precede meaty entrees accompanied by rice and beans, plantains, and Salvadorian cheese and cream. Freshly prepared dishes team up with the café's music and decor to create an authentic Latin cultural experience. To complement meals, a BYOB policy lets diners park a favorite bottle of wine or jetpack fueled by beer right at their table.
Chez Nous is a chef-driven restaurant, with owner and chef Gerard Brach working in the kitchen alongside Executive Chef Stacy Crowe-Simonson. Both have trained and worked in France, exporting time-honored classical techniques to Humble, Texas. The team constructs rich foie gras with caramelized apples and dijon-rosemary-crusted lamb—all made with veggies and herbs picked fresh from the backyard garden. With these commitments to freshness and technique, it’s no wonder that even after more than 30 years Chez Nous still garners praise, whether in the form of multiple Citysearch awards or a spot on OpenTable’s 2013 list of the top 100 restaurants in the country.
Although Chez Nous’s former sous chef Scott Simonson now spends most of his time at the front of the house or huddling over wine catalogues, he’s completely comfortable slipping back into the kitchen when needed. This intimate knowledge of Chez Nous’ cuisine gives Scott an edge when stocking the house wine cellar—he knows just what culinary flavors to draw out with his carefully selected pairings.
Zagat notes that you just might see a fellow diner pop the question at one of Chez Nous’ white-clothed tables. This makes perfect sense, given the restaurant’s location inside a former church. Combined with the first-rate cuisine, Chez Nous’s quaint country dining room, which features wicker chairs and light-blue accents, make it well worth the 20-minute drive from Houston.
Walk into any of BreWingZ Sports Bar and Grill's 19 locations, and you'll be faced with many decisions. First, of course, is the food: the sports bar's crisp, juicy wings come in more than 25 different sauce flavors from classic suicidal hot to orange ginger. The mozzarella cheese sticks are carved from a cheese brick, breaded, and fried to order. And then there are the salads, sandwiches, burgers, and wraps. The family-friendly restaurant even gives kids an extensive selection with six child-friendly dishes, some of which include the same signature items their parents enjoy. But once you've ordered your food, there are a few more dilemmas: Which of the plentiful beers do you choose? Which game on the many massive HD televisions do you watch? Which one is the fork, again? Luckily, the spot's easygoing atmosphere and bounty of entertainment doesn't quite necessitate speedy decision making.
Cuisine Type: Wings/American
Reservations: Not offered
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Number of Tables: 50+
Parking: Parking lot
Most popular offering: Wings
Alcohol: Full bar
Delivery / Take-out: Metered street parking