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Hit-Or-Miss Video

Houston’s Best Restaurants, According To Texas Rap Legend Bun B

“Houston is one of the most diverse food cities in America,” declared Houston rap legend Bun B during a recent appearance on an episode of Uproxx’s newest program, People’s Party with Talib Kweli. The show’s premise has another rap legend in his own right, Talib Kweli, sitting down and discussing hot button topics with other notables and superstars of their industries. And at the 40 minute mark of this episode, Bun B was asked about the best spots in H-Town to grab a good meal at. The answers came quick from The Trillest in the game, firing off recommendation after recommendation, enough to take note of for a proper food tour through Houston.

Burns Original BBQ

Photo: Peter Pham

“Barbecue is a big thing in Houston, so you definitely want to go to Burns Original BBQ. That’s like real hood barbecue.” When in Texas, barbecue is definitely the move. So if an OG from The H is telling you to go to Burns, then you obviously make that a priority.

Pappadeaux

Photo: Enoch Lai

“For seafood, most people are gonna want to go to Pappadeaux.” Bun B said this with the same confidence that he has when spitting a hot verse, so you know it’s real. “I mean, Papadeaux is my favorite,” chimed in host Talib Kweli. Two co-signs right there should say how much of a must-try Pappadeaux is.

Frenchy’s Chicken

Photo: Peter Pham

“Fried chicken — I would say go to Frenchy’s.” Say no more, Bun, I’ll be there. You had me at “fried chicken.”

The Original Ninfa’s on Navigation

Photo: Wally Gobetz

“Mexican food, you’re gonna wanna go to The Original Ninfa’s on Navigation.” Great recommendation since Ninfa’s is one of the first restaurants in Texas to popularize the Tex-Mex classic, fajitas.

 

Feature images: Patrick Feller; y6y6y6
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Culture Drinks Now Trending

Starbucks Is Allegedly Testing Boba And People Are Losing It

[The Instagram user removed her photos, and through Instagram stories, admitted it was just a joke. It looks like our dreams of boba Frappuccinos will have to wait.]

The thought of a Starbucks Caramel Macchiato with boba should definitely excite you, and some Starbucks boba photos have surfaced, getting people riled up at the prospects of it being real, but we have our suspicions.

Instagram user @foodwithbecka, out of Houston, Texas, posted a photo three boba-filled Starbucks drinks, with the caption, “Happy Thirs-Tea Thursday! Starbucks will be testing out tapioca at a few locations on the westside of town this weekend!”

Happy Thirs-Tea Thursday! Starbucks will be testing out tapioca at a few locations on the westside of town this weekend! (and I gave into the hype and tried the crystal ball frappe and it’s actually pretty good.. still available at some locations!) swipe left for more photos! Check it out at the following Starbucks locations: Beltway 8 & Harwin Westheimer & S. Kirkwood Westheimer & Briarpark Westheimer & Jeannetta Westheimer & Hillcroft • • @starbucks crystal ball frappe, caramel macchiato and pineapple black tea tag a friend who would love this! • • #starbucks #tapioca #boba #thirsty #thirstythursday #drank #tea #caramelmacchiato #pineapple #blacktea #crystalballfrappe #frappe #frappuccino #tryitordiet #limitedtimeonly #starbucks #caffeinefix #houstonfood #westside #westchase #yougottaeatthis #explorehouston #dailyfoodfeed #ighouston #foodblogger #houstonblogger #houston_insta #houstontx #espesso #whippedcream

A post shared by @beckatiffanie Houston Foodie (@foodwithbecka) on

Understandably, commenters freaked out, with cries of, “Whaaaat tapioca at Starbucks?!? That’s crazy!” and “Oh whattttttt???? I gotta go asap.”

Soon after, the foodie Instagram account @tryitordiet got in on the hype and reposted Becka’s photos, and their vast following started losing their shit, as well.

Both accounts went on to list five Houston locations that are allegedly testing the tapioca balls.

With the exciting news, I went ahead and called each of the Houston locations listed on her page, to confirm, and each denied that any testing was planned for the weekend.

Wamp wamp.

The Starbucks is either trying to keep the testing under wraps, or this is a very early April Fools’ joke. We’re willing to bet it’s the latter.

This wouldn’t be the first time we’ve seen way-too-early April Fools’ jokes in the food world. Hell, Cup Noodles told sent us a press release about steam-proof glasses they developed. We’re 92 percent sure it’s an April Fools’ joke, seeing how a couple of the photo files they sent us were labeled, “April Fools,” so there’s that.

There are already quite a few companies starting their April Fools jokes prematurely, according to the Washington Post, as businesses like Chegg, Duolingo, Mancrates, and even Energizer are getting a head start on the fake shenanigans.

We’ll have to wait and see if a slew of Starbucks boba pics start surfacing this weekend, but we call bullshit, and urge you not to get too excited.

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Feel Good Now Trending Restaurants Sweets

A Daughter’s Viral Tweet Helped Save Her Father’s Panaderia From Closing

After Hurricane Harvey wreaked destruction all across Houston earlier this year, businesses that were able to stay open still hurt due to a decrease in customers and foot traffic. For one panaderia, that meant the owner considered closing and selling his shop. Fortunately, his daughter wasn’t about to let that happen.

In a now-viral tweet, Jackie Garza posted a video of her father, Trinidad, preparing fresh pan dulce at La Casa Bakery in Houston. Attached to the video was an all-caps plea asking people to share and retweet the video. “1 RT could bring in a potential customer,” Garza wrote in her request for the internet to help out. And man, did the internet come through in the clutch.

Garza’s tweet has now amassed over 1.1 million video views and 58,000 retweets, and business at her father’s bakery is booming. According to ABC 13, crowds were packed into La Casa Bakery over the weekend to try out the made-from-scratch baked goods they’d heard about on Twitter. Garza, meanwhile, has been getting messages from all over the world in regards to her father’s business as a result of her single tweet.

Jackie Garza will now be running the social media accounts for her dad’s business, and hopes to go to college and get a degree in business and restaurant management. Then, she’ll be back to help her dad run La Casa, which Trinidad says she’s more than capable to do one day. In the meantime, he’s glad that the influx of customers will be keeping his doors open.

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Alcohol Drinks Toasty

Bartenders Knuckle Up For Their Health In Actual Bartender Boxing Organization

Walking into the famed Gleason’s Gym in Brooklyn, you’ll see all the tropes you’d expect: the boxing rings, the heavy bags, the posters and, of course, the men and women performing feats of pugilism that make you question your own athleticism and self-worth. What might not be as expected or apparent, are that quite a few of them are bartenders who just a few hours ago were slinging drinks at some of New York City’s hottest bars.

The 12 barmen and barwomen aren’t alone. In Chicago’s Oakley Fight Club, another 12 bartenders are also training as well. All 24 promising pugilists were handpicked for the Bartender Boxing Organization’s (“BBO”) Round Two sponsored by Tequila Cazadores.

The goal is to take bartenders out of their comfort zone with the physical and mental challenge of boxing by immersing them in a 12-week training program where their fitness, nutrition, and mental toughness will be tested, honed, and perfected under the watchful eyes of Littrell and trainers Dalon Parsley and Leon Taylor. The end goal is to select eight participants from each city to box one and other in a tournament. The top four fighters from those two showcases will face-off on November 19th. Earlier this year, bartenders from Los Angeles and Houston went head to head at Tales of the Cocktail.

Cazadores saw themselves as a natural fit as a sponsor for the organization. “We’ve always supported professional boxing,” Manny Hinojosa, Brand Ambassador for Tequila Cazadores. “We’ve worked with De La Hoya, Pacquiao, and Golden Boy Promotions. We wanted to figure out how we could bring that to the guys who serve and pour our tequila. We wanted to change the bartender lifestyle and its been very well received.”

So how were the bartenders-turned-boxers chosen? “It’s a very small industry and everyone knows each other so we wanted to make sure it wasn’t based on where people worked,” said Littrell, who explained that the first round of eliminations were done by BBO Boxing Director Tommy Neff based on physicality. “From there everyone received preliminary letters to learn more about them and I reached out directly to explain expectations. We wanted to give them a realistic sense of what we were asking.”

The ask was that each participant train three times a week for three months at the gym as well as additional personal training every other day. Gym sessions include running two miles in less than 20 minutes as well as doing 100 push-ups, 100 sit-ups, 100 dips, and 100 pull-ups. This is all before bartenders then go into their team training. It’s one hour of extremely high intensity training and that’s addition to their standard 12-hour work shifts. All the participants from each city will go through the 90-day leaderboard training program focusing on boxing technique, conditioning, high intensity interval training as well as developing a new diet regimen to determine who will be featured in the cities’ showcases.

“The team members are intense,” say Littrell during a break. “Some of them train all the time and some of them have never trained before in their lives. The one thing that everybody enjoys is the group discipline and the teamwork. We try to generate that day in and day out. The motivation is already there.”

United by a common motivation, the bartenders had several reasons for signing up for BBO.

“I have been yearning for the feeling of team practice on a routine basis,” says Jessica Dure, who tends bar at Chumley’s and Sushi Nakazawa. “Having a program like this where I can be amongst my peers and we can challenge each other on a different realm other than a professional realm is really awesome to be a part of. As an adult too, it’s a different mindset. I was a three-season athlete growing up but the extent to which you can push yourself as you grow older and who you’re surrounded with changes a lot, so it’s cool to have this support system like this.”

“I was always interested in doing some alternative workout,” adds The NoMad Bar’s Pietro Colina. “I usually hate working out. I am a sports person, so I am challenged more by my competitive nature. I get really bored in the gym, so when I heard about this opportunity, I jumped right on it.”

Watching the bartenders train, its hard to believe its only been four weeks since they started but they say they can tell the difference. “It was pretty tough to start. I would be pretty tired at work,” says Devin Kennedy, Cote Korean Steakhouse’s head bartender. “Somedays, I couldn’t shake a shaker because my arms were like noodles but it’s gotten a lot better.”

“The level of intensity of this sport has surprised me,” adds Brian Valencia of The Box Cabaret. “I have done almost every sport – I can run so many miles but if you put me in the ring for three two-minute rounds of intense punching and moving across the ring, I am tired out. It’s impressive, the level of athleticism that boxers have.”

All the participants seem to have fallen in love with the “sweet science” even if it’s not what they were initially expecting.

“I felt like there was going to be more of a euphoria getting into the ring,” says Dead Rabbit’s Jessica Friedman. “But its more about how focused you are on technique and learning the right way to do things as opposed to throwing hands at full strength. We’re learning the right way to take care of ourselves and learning the right way to do it.”

Littrell agrees. “We don’t mention about the ‘k word.’ We don’t talk about haymakers. We don’t even talk about fighting. We talk about the surgical, technical skill of boxing.”

With the regional matches coming up, BBO hopes that these four cities are just the beginning.

“We’re getting unbelievable feedback on our Facebook page with people asking how they can take part in other markets,” Littrell says. “Everyone is interested in this so we’re very much looking forward to 2018 and developing programs across the country.”

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Alcohol Beer Feel Good News Toasty

Revolver Brewing Gives Back To Texas With New Golden Ale

Texas’ Revolver Brewing is giving back to its home state the best way it knows how. The Granbury-based brewer announced it is giving 100 percent of all profits from its Harvey Relief Golden Ale directly to charities actively serving coastal communities affected by the devastation from Hurricane Harvey.

The first of those charities will be the Rebuilding Texas Fund, a Keep Texas Beautiful initiative providing tools and resources for Harvey cleanup and rebuilding efforts. Revolver founders Ron and Rhett Keisler and brewmaster Grant Wood all have strong roots in Texas, and immediately knew they wanted to help.

“Our hearts go out to everyone dealing with the aftermath of this tragedy,” said Rhett Keisler. “Having grown up in Sugar Land, helping our beautiful home state bounce back from Harvey was a no-brainer for us and what better way to do this than by doing what we do best — brewing a beer for our fellow Texans who share this common goal.”

Harvey Relief Golden Ale, which will be found across the state on draught and in six-packs, is the latest support from the brewery, which helped deliver thousands of cans of drinking water to Hurricane Harvey victims immediately following the storm.

Harvey Relief Golden Ale is brewed with two-row Pilsner malt, Abbey malt, and hopped with Saphir and Citra. The golden ale joins Revolver’s growing portfolio of brews led by their flagship beer, Blood & Honey, an unfiltered wheat beer brewed with blood orange peel and Texas honey.

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Alcohol Drinks Feel Good News Toasty

Japanese Liquor Brand Suntory Gives Back To Hurricane Victims

Suntory Holdings, makers of U.S. brands Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark, recently committed $1 million to support the American Red Cross with recovery efforts in communities that have been impacted by the devastation of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

“Suntory’s vision of Growing for Good is built on core values that include giving back to society. It is in that spirit that we want to support relief and recovery for those impacted by these devastating hurricanes,” said president and CEO Takeshi Niinami via a statement. “Our thoughts are with the families, communities and our partners impacted by these massive storms.”

In addition to the Japanese company’s donation, Beam Suntory – a subsidiary of Suntory Holdings – has also contributed more than $100,000 to support employee assistance funds established by its largest distributor partners, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits and the Republic National Distributing Company, as well as the Bartender Emergency Assistance Program. Beam Suntory is also matching the hurricane relief donations of its U.S. employees. Another Suntory Holdings company, Pepsi Bottling Ventures has made a monetary donation to the American Red Cross and will also be providing access to water and other supplies.

Suntory’s business in the United States includes Chicago-based Beam Suntory, the world’s third largest premium spirits company, and North Carolina-based Pepsi Bottling Ventures, the largest privately-held bottler for Pepsi-Cola products in North America. Beam Suntory’s operations include the Cruzan Rum distillery in the U.S Virgin Islands, which were in the path of Hurricane Irma.

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Alcohol Celebrity Grub Drinks News Toasty

Rob Dyrdek, Travis Pastrana and Jeremy Rawle Launch Black Feather Whiskey

You may remember them for doing crazy stunts on anything with two or four wheels, but now Rob Dyrdek and Nitro Circus’ Jeremy Rawle and Travis Pastrana are now expressing themselves in a new way with the recent launch of their Black Feather Whiskey, an 86-proof American Bourbon.

“We founded Black Feather Whiskey for those wanting a whiskey with some soul,” says Rawle, who serves as the brand’s CEO, via a statement. “Those who aren’t afraid of hard work or getting their hands dirty. Those who want a whiskey that’s as much of a workhorse as they are. It’s about living what you love—finding that creative fire to forge ahead and make things happen.”

To promote the brand’s craftsman aesthetic, the Black Feather team will engage consumers with content and events highlighting the artists, creators, tradesmen, and doers who were forged by creative fires.

Black Feather Whiskey is a true American product — handpicked allotments from Indiana, bottling in Houston, and headquarters in Salt Lake City. “Luckily, our employees, barrels, and facilities are in good shape, but we do have several large orders that are on hold due to the road closures,” says Jay Williams, Black Feather’s Head of Marketing. “Southern California is ready to open as a market as soon as we get product on the road.”

Black Feather’s first American Bourbon offer is available in 750 ml bottle at $30. It is currently available in Texas and Utah, with California and Colorado and online orders to follow in the coming months.

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News

Heartless Houston Market Sells Cases Of Water For $99 After Hurricane Harvey

cases of water, hurricane harvey

After disaster hit Texas this weekend, basic supplies were likely in high demand, and it looks like heartless retailers took advantage of the situation.

The Texas Attorney General’s Office said they’ve gotten 684 complaints over price-gouging after Hurricane Harvey, including one unnamed market which sold cases of water for a whopping $99, according to CNN Money.

While we don’t need to try very hard to convince you that $99 for water is insane, for comparison’s sake, a 24-pack of Nestle Pure Life water is only $9.82 at Walmart. That means this market applied at least a 908 percent increase over regular prices.

If the people of Houston don’t want to splurge on the $99 case of water, they can opt for a single bottle priced at $8.50.

It’s a bit sad to see markets take advantage of a tragedy, especially when there are so many positive stories of people trying to help each other through this disaster.