This year my mom and I celebrated our Birthdays at a new establishment called Up. The restaurant is located in Highland Village and has views of downtown Houston and the Galleria area. It’s literally “up”, to get to the restaurant which is perched on the 3rd floor, you take a glass Willy Wonka-esque elevator and boom, bam, you’re being welcomed into a Modern- French- 70’s wood panneling – Swarovski chandelier – marble floors – fire place – setting. The decor all seems to come together nicely…
We love coming here for special occasions or any occasion for that matter because they provide great service, food, drinks, music, and atmosphere. I also love the way the restaurant is sectioned off… the bar area overlooks the dining area and also connects to the outdoor patio which makes for good ebb and flow while being able to maintain an open concept.
The crabcakes are to DIE for. nom nom. My mom ordered the shrimp tempura, why she did…not so sure, but they were amazing as well. Also, a complimentary marshmallow Birthday cake contraption was included. If you look behind the marshmallow cake you can see an assortment of NUTELLA flavored goodies. Like, nutella flavored creme brulee. Kill me now.
Up: Highland Village – Houston, TX
Benjy’s is a local Houston favorite. There are two locations, each one having it’s own Executive Chef who produces their own menu based on similar concepts of providing fresh ingredients and seasonal flavorful dishes. It’s a fun place to go anytime of the day. Both locations offer a daily happy hour in their lounge for a post-work escape, on top their traditional lunch and dinner menu, and on weekends it’s a perfect meeting spot for a hangover cure brunch.
The restaurant has a very urban vibe, completely different from what you will find in the typical Houston scence. It’s like stepping into a chic New York City diner. It’s comfy, modern, welcoming with great decor and service!
I ordered the Crabcake Sandwich – bacon + spinach + paoched eggs + topped with a smoked paprika hollandaise. (The things I will do for hollandaise sauce…)
My order was absolutely delightful, especially the poached egg. I’m sucker for a good poached egg. I was confused as to why they called it a sandwich because it’s more like a Crabcake Benedict? Same difference.
Check out the rest of their items on their Brunch Menu
Benjy’s: 2424 Dunstan Houston, TX 77005
I’m so glad they decided to finally open up a place in Houston!!!!! Originating from Austin, TX…Torchy’s started out as a food truck, slowly hooking fellow Austinites then expanding city-wide… and now state-wide! (read the story of Torchy’s Taco’s here) When I think of Austin, I think of Torchy’s. I dream of Torchy’s.
We ordered pretty much everything on the menu!! My favorite is the Trailer Park: Fried Chicken, green chilies, lettuce, pico de gallo and cheese on a flour tortilla. I always get it “trashy” which replaces the lettuce with queso. Served with a Poblano Sauce. Que delicioso!
The food baby that ensued in my stomach after consumption.
Trailer Park and Fried Avocado Taco
Green Chile Pork Taco
The Democrat Taco
Since the city of Houston is so large – there isn’t just one common area of Houston where everyone goes to shop, eat, drink, etc. Houston is broken up into “pockets”which include surrounding areas- mainly suburbs. Many of these suburb areas act as mini-cities and have started developing common plaza type areas where fellow residents can enjoy an urban-like atmosphere without having to travel long ways away for a social scene.
City Centre, located in the Memorial area is a great emerging mini-city hang out spot to catering to the local residents of the surrounding suburbs. I like to spend my Saturdays here by starting the day with an intense workout at Lifetime Fitness, then wasting the workout on a hefty brunch from Flora and Muse, browsing for unneccessary items at Sur la Table, then topping it off with a glass of Rose from The Tasting Room.
A bottle of wine isn’t complete without the perfect pairings – pictured above: Spanish chorizo and Bucheron goat cheese. The goat cheese was light with creamy center and not too pungent, which balanced well with the smoky intense flavor of the chorizo. Did I mention the live music? Yeah, there’s live music. Swanky, sexy, I feel like I should be on the beaches of Spain music. Here’s to lazy Saturdays!
The Tasting Room: 818 Town and Country Blvd.,Suite 100 Houston, Texas 77024
Peace. Love. Cupcakes.
Hanging out in Highland Village on the eve of NYE with the cousins and got free Sprinkles Cupcakes (11 to be exact) if you said the word “Confetti”.
Sprinkles Cupcakes: 4014 Westheimer Road
5 lbs of Shrimp & 5 lbs of Crawfish soaked and served in the “whole she-bang” sauce + Fried Oysters + Fried Catfish + Fried Shrimp w/ Cajun Fries… Washed down with a Corona and Dos Equis = heartburn and acid reflux on a table. Worth it? YES. It has become a family tradition to end/start the year with barbaric eating, finger licking, good conversation and cheesy pick up lines (“Hey, there’s an exit sign…Want to go out?”) at our favorite restaurant: The Boiling Crab.
Dinner also involves who can eat the most crawfish and peel the shrimp fastest… I’m afraid to post pictures of the aftermath.
The Boiling Crab: 8300 W Sam Houston Pkwy S #268
Located in the Heights area, Max’s Wine Dive offers comfort food with an upscale twist. They are known for their Southern Fried Chicken which is battered in their house made jalapeno-buttermilk marinade. Also pictured is The Fried Egg Sandwich. Consists of 3 eggs, drizzled with truffle oil, sea salt, applewood smoked bacon, Gruyere, bibb lettuce, tomatoes and black truffle aioli on ciabatta pugliese + truffle chips.
Dry-aged Ribeye from Brasserie 19 in River Oaks
Served with potato gratin, bone marrow (so buttery and succulent), broccoli rabe, and topped with bordelaise sauce. Perfect for splitting with a date.
Brasserie 19: 1962 W Gray St