by Marcus Gausepohl
- Banh Xeo – There are plenty of dishes to eat around Midtown, but my favorite is banh xeo, a Vietnamese egg crepe that literally translates to “sizzling pancake”. Usually made with pork, shrimp, bean sprouts, it’s served with lettuce to wrap it up and dip into nuoc cham. This is a favorite dish of mine after a long night out. Thien An serves my favorite version of the dish. I even brought it to our Christmas pot luck, which was a big hit. Just avoid peak hours if possible, as Thien An gets really busy during lunch.
- Vinyl Edge – Those who know me or follow my social media know my interest outside of wine is music. I have been collecting records since I was 14. Vinyl Edge has been serving the music community in Houston for longer than I can remember. Chuck Roastand the friendly staff always do a knock-out job to stock the store with great selections. They also sell and repair audio equipment, in case you’re ever in need.
- Vinology – Wine retail has a lot going on in town with big players like Specs and Total Wine. Smaller boutique wine shops can be overlooked, but they are what help push wine culture forward. You won’t find Rombauer chardonnay at Vinology, but you will find fun and funky wines from all over the globe from passionate staff that believe in the product they are selling. Pro Tip: Ask for Cory. He’ll point you to some fun bottles you may or may not have experienced before.
- Paulie’s & Camerata – Paulie’s is my favorite go-to lunch spot. It’s a Houston institution and reliably has great food. The shrimp BLT is my favorite sandwich in Houston. After you finish a meal, pop over to Camerata, the wine bar next door, where there’s always something new and fun to try on the list full of great producers.
- Milk + Sugar – Is there anything better than a local neighborhood ice cream shop? Milk + Sugar popped up in the hood a few months ago and has been serving up some delicious ice cream. It’s a perfect after-dinner spot to end date night. Try the Cereal Milk Cream. It’s so delicious.