Category Archives: houston

Underbelly

The new restaurant Underbelly opened up about the same time (about 6 months ago) as the adjoining beer bar Hay Merchant.  I’ve been to Hay Merchant many times, but haven’t yet managed to make it to Underbelly.

Recently my mother mentioned “the new restaurant at Waugh and Westheimer”, so last night when we went out for my step father’s 70th birthday dinner we decided to eat there.  It was quite yummy.  There was a recent article in the Oxford American about food in Houston that mentioned Underbelly.  We had:

  • Teardrop Tomatoes, Cucumber, Chèvre, and Greens
  • Korean Braised Goat & Dumplings
  • Korean Style Fried Poussin, Green Beans, Sweet Chili Sauce
  • Vinegar Pie, Salt Brittle
  • Creole Cream Cheese Cheesecake (served in a mason jar)
  • Sweet Rice, Compressed Melon, Toasted Rice Ice Cream

It was all delicious, and the space is fabulous.

We didn’t have reservations, though it seems most of the main room did.  Wasn’t a problem on a tuesday, but likely would be on a thurs-sat.

Houston NFL

Oilers AFL LogoI’ve always enjoyed sports.  Participating and watching.  Drama can be found in every step (and yet TNT “We Know Drama” doesn’t show sports).  I, of course, grew up loving the Columbia Blue “Love ya Blue” Houston Oilers.

As I’ve aged, and the number of hours in a day seems continually less available, many of my interests have had to make way for others.  Most of the sporting teams I have followed have become more of a background interest.  On top of that, either my perception or reality has come to give me the view that many professional athletes are whiney spoiled asses.  (More so in basketball than football.)  This has tended to push my interest down to college sports over professional.

In 1994 I moved to Calgary.  At the time Bud Adams was trolling for a new stadium; the City was in an economic lull and saying “no”.  It was foregone, it seemed to me at the time and obviously in retrospect, that the Oilers would leave.  As it was, Canada didn’t have much coverage of the NFL and I just started ignoring the league entirely that year.

The next two years I spent in Washington and didn’t pay too much attention to the NFL except when I spent a sunday with friends.  I did attend one Redskins home game with my good friend Bill Cavender which was an awesome experience.

Texans LogoBack in Houston years later I rode my bicycle downtown for the NFL Franchise mascot announcement.  My preference of Toros was passed by for the Texans.  I went to several early year (sometimes preseason) Texans games.  I remember being deafened at one of the first games there.  I’ve enjoyed some tailgating there (something always lacking at an Oilers game).  But I’ve never scheduled my fall sundays according to the Texans’ schedule.

Now, after almost a decade, today is the Texans’ first playoff game.  To say the least: this city is excited!  I no longer have even a television I can watch live sports on.  So, I will be joining some friends at a sports bar a short 5-block bicycle ride away in the ‘hood.

Go Texans.

Live Music: It’s Been a While

Despite the fact that I’ve been working across the street from the Continental Club for six months, and now own a store at the same place, I haven’t seen a lot of live music recently.

I’ve been out for Molly & the Ringwalds (work), and for Peter & James and Light Rock Express, which tend to be for socializing. I have seen a few shows, or parts of them, but it seems like it’s been since forever since I’ve gone out specifically to see live music.

Last night there was a three band CD release show at Rudyard’s: I Am Mesmer, Kelly Doyle, and Hillary Sloan.

I’ve seen Hillary many times, but not recently; I’ve been meaning to see Mesmer, and I didn’t know who Kelly Doyle was (until I read the pre-show write-up).

The large number of music related people in the audience told me I had picked the right place to be that night.

I was hanging out with TG who was testing her memory on how many names in attendance she could remember. She got several dozen.

Hillary Sloan started out and her material was very similar to the stuff I was familiar with, her band was good, she seemed perhaps a bit tired and self conscious about her performance, which seemed odd.

Kelly Doyle I recognized for his guitar playing with Clouseaux. He mentioned this was the first time he had fronted a band. Most of the songs were instrumental, with jazz, Eastern European, and pseudo-Asian influences. Odd time signatures were de riguer, but the music was fun and playful.

I Am Mesmer is an amalgamation 7-piece that smashes a lot of styles together. I have a hard time imagining a band like this forming anywhere else (maybe NYC). Two percussionists, banjo leading the band (when not playing the saw), two drastically different styled guitar players that blended well together.

I totally imagined this band filling the SXSW Continental Club Saturday morning slot after Allen Hill. It would be awesome.

Anyway it was nice to have a casual night out, see some friends I hadn’t in a while, and see some great and varied live music.

New Venture

I’ve been working construction for months in an old building in Midtown, mostly installing, framing and trimming windows, with a variety of other miscellaneous tasks.  Once it’s open I will be managing one of the stores.

There was an article on the front page of the Sunday Business section of the Houston Chronicle.  Included below:

Midtown’s Continental Club is known for its live music and comfy Texas roadhouse feel.

The club, it turns out, is also an incubator for entrepreneurs who will soon open their doors one block away from the club at 3600 Main on Metro’s light rail line.

Most of the 3600 Main retailers have Continental Club connections: One tends bar and several play music there. Two helped build the club and another lives upstairs.

The soon-to-open shops at 3600 Main will not be mistaken for Highland Village. The barbershop Big Kat’s, for example, will feature a tattoo parlor with a 1940s sailor theme. Most stores will have a retro feel.

When Metro rail passengers look out the window, they may glimpse burgers grilling, a band playing and people dancing on the big patio of comfort food restaurant Natachee’s.

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Street Viewed

I was working outside at 3622 Main this week, on a ladder, painting the trim on the windows I’ve been putting in.  I caught something out of the corner of my eye, a stalk on top of a car.  I initially suspected it was an art car, so glanced that way to see which one.  Instead, it was a Google Street View car.

Of course I couldn’t have been heroically lifting the glass into the window frames as I had been the previous day.  I was just painting them.  So, keep an eye on Street View and let me know when my back side shows up.