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OK Houston residents....there are about 40,000 KSU fans headed your way for the Texas Bowl....I need suggestions.
Most fans I know of are staying in the Galleria area or downtown or medical center/rice area. My hotel rooms are in the Medical Center....opinions?
give me your city guide......everybody going with me are fun people looking for bars and restaurants....we have one art history major going so any museum info would be good to.
Mostly I want your opinions on....
- Best bar district
- Best "everyone" bar
- Dance club
- Rice Village bars
- Best Mexican Food
- Best margarita restaurant
- best higher class restaurant
- Bar closing times
- I won't even ask about BBQ as I'm from KC...but you can try :)
- Anything else we should experience.
Thanks for any help.....we are very excited to hit Houston.
Dec 5, 2006, 4:43 PM
Anywere around Midtown is good. Also Montrose. Just drive down westheimer (from the galleria) until you get right south of downtown. There are a lot of bars and clubs in that area (for all kinds of stuff you may be into...)
The museum district is right south of midtown/montrose off Montrose St. that is a good area and you are not far from all the action...
Dec 5, 2006, 10:16 PM
As you wish, KC, your Hot In Houston Visitor's Guide:
* Main Street District and Old Market Square (off Main), Downtown -
More options and best variety (From laid back joints like the Magnolia to the upscale (the Whiskey at Hotel Icon). Not quite as happening over the last year or so as the previous two years following the opening of MetroRail, as some of the establishments are evolving and re-evolving but it's still a solid area, especially if there's an event (like a bowl game) in town. There are roughly about sixteen total blocks of restaurants and bars in the Historic District (Main Street Corridor and Old Market Square) with a decent amount of street activity from Thu - Sat).
- Most versatile bar is the Flying Saucer on Main at Rusk.
- Best novelty bar is the revitalized Notsuoh (Houston spelled
- "Hottest" new dance club: Venue on Main at Walker.
- Best steak house: The Strip House at Houston Center (McKinney
at San Jacinto)
- Best Bar-BQ: Pappas on San Jacinto Street at the Pierce Elevated Freeway
(Stay away from the Smith Street location; it's a sorry stand-in for
the lunchtime crowd).
- Best Jazz: The Red Cat in the Historic District (Congress between Main
- Best "Family" Distraction: The Aquarium in the Theater District
(NOTE: Downtown Houston is seperated into mutiple mini-districts, so
don't be put off by the banners on light posts that say "Skyline District"
or "Courthouse District" or "Historic District")
Midtown (just south of DT; a burgeoning near-town 'hood) -
Not as compacted as DT and not as many options, but it's growing and the crowds seem to be more sophisticated. Most of the best of the best is located in the northwestern quadrant of Midtown (west of Louisiana Street and north of Elgin). One of Houston's best restaurants is Brennan's on Smith just south of Elgin. Pretty pricey but you won't get cheated. Mai's is also a pretty cool Asian restaurant that stays open very late (up till 3:00 AM on weekends) and is located on Milam Street somewhere between Elgin and Holman - not sure).
The Village - near Rice University.
Mostly for the 25 and under crowd but Little Woodrow's caters to a more mature crowd as well. Very compacted area with about 5-6 bars to choose from. Day shopping is fun, especially when the whether is nice, although if you drive, parking is going to be scarce. Still, there's everything from Urban Outfitters to a novelty book shop here.
- Best general bar - Little Woodrows
- Best sports bar - Buffalo Wild Wings
This is a very picturesque area of the city, with monuments, parks, restored mansions and a plethora of museums, which include (but aren't limited to), the Museum of Fine Arts, Contemporary Arts Museum, Holocaust Museum, Museum of Natural Science and the Houston Children's Museum. The area is also home to Herman Park, one of Texas' best (if not THE best) urban parks. Herman Park is home to the Houston Zoo, natural trails, reflecting ponds, sculpture and ampitheater and so forth and so on. Three rail stops generally serve the Herman Park/Museum District area. Be sure to try to get a photo taken near the Meacom Fountain, which sits in a roundabout on Main Street.
Also downtown for good dining and cocktails afterwards is the Hilton Americas 24th floor restaraunt. Excellent night time views of downtown. Ask them to show you the outside patio while your up there.
Thanks for all the suggestions so far.....any food recommendations?
Sounds like with the group I'm going with this time, we'll be hanging out in the Village but I'm going to try and get them downtown....kind of depends on where all the festivities will be associated with the bowl game.
I was there when the Chiefs played the Texans right before the rail line opened up...excited to go back with it in operation. Very cool it runs until 2:15....even in cities like Boston most lines don't run that late.
Dec 6, 2006, 8:06 AM
40,000 are coming? Really, they sold that many tickets????
Ciao, and Hook 'em Horns,
Capt-AWACS, Carpe Imperium
just my estimate....10k tickets have been sold through the official ticket office in the first 48 hours of being on sale.....based on message boards, only about 1/3 of the fans have bought through the ticket office already. (many are buying through ticketmaster) Bowl officials have already opened up the 500 section they didn't expect to open for the game.
The KSU fan #'s will probably be closer to 30k but 40k has been done by KSU fans before (by estimates)
Just thought of something else......what would be a good gathering place/bar before the game.....most don't do the tailgate thing for bowl games so many find a bar or group of bars to pregame at.....would the Village area be good for that? Any huge bars closer to the stadium?
Dec 6, 2006, 10:05 AM
oh man, the traffic here in the galleria area is gonna really suck. :(
xmas shoppers and 40,000 wildcats...
Dec 6, 2006, 12:58 PM
We don't want a bunch of yankees overrunning our city!!! Ha ha, just kidding. Spend and spend and spend. And then spend some more!
Best Mexican food...El Tiempo Cantina on Washington, just west of TC Jester (if you're on I-10 heading west from downtown, exit TC Jester and go south. Turn right on Washington and it's about a block down on the right). Cyclone Anaya's is good, too...same directions, but exit Shepherd/Durham instead and go south on whichever one goes south. It's a block down on your left...if you hit Washington you've gone too far. Both have valet parking (complimentary I believe). By the way, I was at El Tiempo a week ago Sunday and they played a couple of ZZ Top songs...I commented to my family that they weren't really appropriate songs for El Tiempo. As we were walking out I saw Billy Gibbons (or maybe it was Dusty Hill...but not Frank Beard). And the playing of Legs and Tush made sense. I walked into Cyclone Anaya's 3 days later and guess who was at the bar... Saw Ray Childress at El Tiempo once, too.
If you want good bbq, detour to College Station and go to Rudy's (www.rudysbbq.com). Or stop off at the one in Denton (I assume it's good...all the locations I've been to are good). Excellent hot links, excellent turkey. Texas bbq is different from Kansas City bbq, so I'd recommend trying it. If you can't detour, Goode Co. BBQ isn't too bad. It's on I-10 west of 610...I think you can exit Campbell, u-turn under the freeway, and stay on the service road.
Yeah, for bars, sounds like you're in college, so I'd suggest Rice Village.
As for steak houses, go to A Taste of Texas. It's on I-10 between Gessner and Beltway 8. Be prepared to wait 2 hours on the weekends, but you can snack on free chips/hotsauce, popcorn, and Coke products (Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite). Their salad bar has 2 huge blocks of cheese (cheddar and mozzarella...I think I spelled that right), and they have a blue cheese caesar dressing...so good. A filet (I think the 10 ounce) will run about $33.95. They also have quail bites...bacon wrapped with a little slice of jalapeno...only place I've found quail that doesn't have bones in it.
We have great museums, and they're clustered (for the most part) in the Museum District. There's a printing museum just off Allen Parkway and the funeral museum is up on I-45 between Rankin and 1960. If by chance you want to visit the funeral museum let me know...it's in the same building as Commonwealth Institute for Mortuary Science...I know some of the faculty.
I don't dance...if a girl asks me to dance I tell her I'm Baptist. Sorry, can't help you there. Enjoy your trip!
Dec 6, 2006, 6:20 PM
I hear K-State travels pretty well for bowl games. Part of the reason is that before Bill Snyder, the Wildcats were rarely good enough to go to bowl games so the fanbase appreciates them more than some other schools. I expect Rutgers to probably bring in the area of 20,000 fans as well. So even if K-State brings "only" 25K - 30K, you'll probably still get a paid attendance of at least 60K, which is better than what the previous four or bowl games at Reliant have drawn and not that far off from the 71K capacity.
We were the worst program in college football until Snyder got there. Literally most losses of any program.
Thanks for the suggestions...
Tex...I'm an alumni but some we are going with are college age....this isn't my normal traveling group so they will probably be more into the college bar scene than what I'd prefer....dance clubs, lounges, etc. No matter to me, I'll have fun wherever.
Dec 6, 2006, 9:25 PM
I don't know if they'll sell alcohol at the game (don't see why not) but they have some cool bars inside Reliant Stadium on the Club Level. You can see the game from there through the long windows or just sit, drink and watch it on the televisions they have sitting around. It's one of the stadium's coolest features, IMO.
Dec 7, 2006, 5:07 AM
I went to the bowl game last year between TCU and Iowa State. Reliant Stadium will DEFINITELY sell beer. They will not pass up that cash cow!
Unfortunately, the area around the Stadium is pretty sparse. If you are staying in the Medical Center, I definitely suggest taking light rail to the game. Just head to FANNIN SOUTH. Also, you can use the rail to party in Midtown or Downtown.
Quite frankly, I'd avoid the Village area that time of year. Rice students will be home for the holidays since few live in Houston and many of the more traditional U of Houston students will be in Memphis for the Liberty Bowl. That area might be dead. BW3s is a good spot to drink, eat, and watch some games though.
If the weather is nice, I'd suggest hanging out at the Little Woodrow's on West Alabama St. just West of Shepherd Drive. That place gets a good crowd and you can sit outside under the live oak trees and drink beer. A little further down West Alabama towards downtown and you can find the West Alabama Ice House. A totally funky venue to see a fun side of Houston...a total dive but you can watch people throw horseshoes and hang out with their dogs.
The bowl game is on a thursday night. If you are staying over the weekend, definitely hit downtown. Downtown on fridays and saturdays are much more fun than on weeknights. Try the Flying Saucer, Market Square Cafe/Bar, LaCarafe and when the night starts heating up, you can just walk around and see which "hot spot" looks to be more your speed.
Also, you gotta hit the Club No Minors (El Patio) in Midtown. Fun crowd and POWERFUL margaritas. If you are flasking it to the game, make sure to hit SPECS in Midtown. It's the best booze store ever!
Word of Warning: Reliant is not really a fun place to tailgate. It's just a huge parking lot and they are quite strict. They also move people out very quickly after the game.
Yeah we don't plan to bring all the tailgate stuff....I do remember when we came down for the Chiefs game that the parking lots weren't the most tailgate friendly place.
Any other mexican food / margarita suggestions? Sports bar with the best bar food? Anything else we gotta hit?
Excited to head south soon....hope Houston is ready for the purple wave.
Dec 11, 2006, 5:33 PM
Try Lupe Tortilla, Mission Burrito (W. Alabama in Upper Kirby District) or the original Ninfa's in the East End (Navigation Blvd). There are others, and the favorites are all subjective, but those immediately come to mind.
As far as the sports bar with the best food... all I can say is Live! (DT) is definitely out. Horrible wings, even worse pizza but good beer and other liquor. I'm not one to usually eat anything when I'm at a sports bar so nothing really stands out. I just know that Live! definitely wouldn't be in the Top Ten or even Top Twenty when it comes to food. Heh.
Dec 12, 2006, 2:48 AM
Lupe Tortilla's and the original Ninfa's are good choices, too. The owner of El Tiempo is Ninfa's son (oldest son, I think).
Check out Freebirds...3 locations, with your best location (probably) being the location on Shepher/Durham just north of 59. Sort of like Chipotle, Qdoba, or Moe's, but MUCH better. The meat actually has flavor. And you'll be surrounded by Aggies (always a good thing).
Have a safe trip.
Any other bar ideas? A good bar to tell as fans to come gather at would be awesome.
Shasta named some good ones. I would give the Village a try anyway. One of my favorites in the Village is
http://www.brianoneills.com/ - Best BLT in the city.
Some others in Midtown:
http://www.littlewoodrows.com/locations_midtown.html - can sit and view downtown from here.
In Museum district close to rail stop:
http://www.hotelzazahouston.com/ - Haven't been here since renovation, but had good outdoor patio to get food/drinks (looks like they may not be open yet, but if they are, it would be a good stop on way to game.
And don't miss Hilton America's 24th floor at night - downtown
I had found that Brian O'Neill bar....sounds like they have great happy hour specials. Is that a big place?
Dec 22, 2006, 10:12 PM
I had found that Brian O'Neill bar....sounds like they have great happy hour specials. Is that a big place?
It will probably hold 50-75 people outside and another 100-150 inside. I'm not good at these estimates. I prefer the outdoor side of it. There is a bar next door that is ever bigger if you run out of room. You can actually walk to this area from the train stop if your willing to do a ~30 minute walk. If you get tired along the way, there is a little bar inside of Rice U, not sure if it will be open.
If you want cheap happy hour, as Shasta has mentioned, check out West Alabama Ice House. http://www.hottowncoolcity.org/view/site/detail/194/ they will usually fire up the grill and make some great back yard burgers too.
The State Bar downtown will reserve the outdoor balcony for you. It will hold 100-150. Good for late afternoon to twighlight happy hour and a bunch of friends.
Hilton America's will also reserve space. All of these require advance notice. Trust me, if you like Sky Scrapers, you gotta go to Hilton Americas at night!!! It turns into a easy speak night club after dinner. Drinks are normal downtown prices which is a buck to two premium compared to other cheaper parts of the city. But there is no admission charge. The picture in the following website doesn't do it justice.
If the weather holds out and you have time, you guys should try to get down to Clear Lake or Galveston for some water side fun.
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