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Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Life + Arts

Houston restaurants remain trendy during rough economic period

As the fourth largest city in the U.S., Houston gives thriving restaurants and bars a label. Houstonians have the opportunity to surrender to their hunger with these trendy, exotic and entertaining ways to feed their mouths.

Best places to eat for the living and’ dead
With Halloween nearing, Houston restaurant-goers can now capture a glimpse of the afterlife. According to legend, the old Spaghetti Warehouse downtown is haunted.

Some may wonder why guests are usually not allowed on the second floor of the restaurant. According to an article on visithoustontexas.com, the official Web site of the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau, the upstairs elevator inside the kitchen is cursed.

In 1930, an employee fell down the elevator shaft to his death. Eerie events, such as utensils and place mats moving freely about, have been witnessed by employees over the years.

The article also stated that Spaghetti Warehouse manager Sandra McMaster claimed she once saw four ghosts in the restaurant. Since then, employees will not work alone. La Carafe, which was built in 1847, is one of Houston’s oldest bars, and has more than a good tap. According to the convention bureau article, the second floor of the pre-Civil War building is a hotspot for paranormal activity.

Employees have heard footsteps behind them, and according to some clients, the former owner and the woman in the portrait with him on the first floor, can be seen in the window on the second floor.

Coffee fix
Finding innovative coffee houses is always on the to-do lists of college students.

Featured by The New York Times and Forbes magazine, Coffee Groundz, located on Bagby, has used social networking to heighten its popularity.

According to Forbes.com, customers can place orders via Twitter. When patrons send tweets to @coffeegroundz, General Manager J.R. Cohen receives their orders on his BlackBerry. Cohen said that Twitter has allowed his business to increase by 20 percent in sales. He has even stolen business from Starbucks.

This Italian-inspired coffee joint doesn’t only offer coffee. Like a European caf’eacute;, Coffee Groundz offers breakfast, lunch and dinner items, as well as Italian gelato and hot and frozen coffee drinks.’ They even offer items for vegetarian and vegan customers.

Agora on Westheimer offers up a Greek-inspired atmosphere while serving hot coffee, beer and wine. Located inside a two-story home, guests can lounge on the couches, pick tunes from the jukebox or watch the exotic belly dancing shows. Voted the best coffeehouse in Houston by the Houston Press in 2006, Agora offers an escape from the world.

Up and coming hotspots
Greek restaurants are very popular. Mosey on down to Niko Niko’s on Montrose Boulevard, and experience Houston’s version of Greek food.

Owner Eleni Fetokakis claims she learned all her recipes from her father in Athens, but for some, the food might be a bit too Americanized to be considered authentic Greek cuisine. Niko Niko’s might not have five stars and may feel a bit claustrophobic, but the food is too tempting to resist. Plus, the restaurant is decorated in a blue and whites Greek flag theme.

House of Pies on Westheimer stays true to its slogan: ‘A Slice of Heaven on Earth.’ This pie shop has become’ such a hotspot for young and old people alike that they even have their own merchandise for sale. Customers can enjoy exotically-named slices of pie, from Bayou Goo to French Blackbottom. Don’t let the names fool you, though. The’ pies are a delight.

Hobbit Caf’eacute;’s food might be nothing more than mediocre, but the trek customers take into a fantasy world similar to a scene from The Lord of the Rings has them coming back for more.

Backstreet Caf’eacute; is a perfect place for a date. Nestled in a ’30s-era house, the food created by executive chef Hugo Ortega may be on the expensive side, but for customers, the food and overall experience are worth it.

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