Recently I was dining at a restaurant, enjoying the food and the atmosphere, when I realized that every time my companions and I got into a conversation, our server would appear next to the table and inquire if we needed anything. Overall I was having a good time with friends, and my drink was never low, but I couldn’t help but feel overwhelmed about the amount of times our server asked us what we needed. I don’t exaggerate by saying it happened every five minutes before, during and after we had our food. Afterward, it seemed like I didn’t have a right to complain about a server who was really attentive. They were nice and the food was good, so what harm did it really do? Except, one of the reasons I enjoy eating out is getting to spend time and have conversations with friends. And … [Read more...] about When does good service become bad?
Challah French Toast In the heart of the Heights, on the corner of Yale Street and 11th Street, sits the neighborhood diner Lola. Both the outside and inside capture a modern vibe with a classic flair. Outside, the big glass windows along the restaurant and metal awning remind me of old-time diners, but the Lola sign is big and bold, with an “o” that’s an orange with a bite taken out of it. Inside you order at a walk-up counter and choose your own seating at either a booth along the wall or one of the many tables throughout the center of the space. Above the bar seating was a colorful illustration of what I’d call an alien invasion and on the ceiling a message was written in black paint. As much as I twisted and turned my head I wasn’t able to read the whole thing, but I … [Read more...] about Review: It’s a little lukewarm at Lola
Jodi Grogan celebrates the opening of Jack Rabbit Gallery The Heights is known for being art-friendly, yet fine art galleries are a surprising rarity despite the often-overused moniker by marketers to the contrary. So when word of a new gallery started making the artist circles, I was listening and anxiously awaiting the big announcement. Good things come to those that wait! Welcome, Jack Rabbit Gallery to the Heights on Friday, May 31. The grand opening will be hosted by gallery founders James and Jodi Grogan of Houston. The event is scheduled from 6-9 p.m. in the newly restored 2,000 square foot warehouse at 228 E. 27th St. The opening exhibition was curated by Hali Grogan, Jack Rabbit Gallery’s managing director, who studied at Art Students League of NY. And yes, Hali is the … [Read more...] about Art Valet: Jump for joy for Jack Rabbit Gallery
Shayn Robinson was trying to make a good impression on the man who eventually became his father-in-law. He never imagined the Christmas gift he gave John Ferguson in 2002 would lead to them eventually becoming business partners. Robinson, who for about a year had been dating Ferguson’s daughter, Elizabeth, knew her dad was a chemical engineer and knew he liked beer. So Robinson got Ferguson a home-brewing kit, which allowed him to combine the two passions into one activity. Seventeen years later, the two men are brewing their own beer-making business. They plan to open New Magnolia Brewing Co. in the late summer or early fall at 1616 Bevis St. in Shady Acres. “We’ve had a good time with it,” Ferguson said. The upcoming brewery, which sits on a 1-acre plot of land that will … [Read more...] about Upcoming Heights brewery bridges generations
Wine can be intimidating, especially for the novice, but all it takes is a little knowledge to realize it’s not. “There is a lot of mystique regarding wine and there shouldn’t be,” said Scott Spencer, founder and owner of Houston Wine Merchant, 2646 S. Shepherd Dr. A good wine also isn’t all about the price tag. Many wines that are inexpensive are enjoyable. When looking for a wine, it’s important to pay attention to what’s in the bottle. “Characteristics to look for in a wine are the fruit flavor, the alcohol, the acidity, the complexity and the tannins (astringents),” Spencer said. The more in-balance these characteristics are, the better the wine will be, which will also cause it to be smooth and flavorful. “Like fine food there should be a lot going on, complexity, in … [Read more...] about Wine 101: Pour, swish, smell and sip