From the U.S. eagle emblem in the lobby to the two giant lion sculptures that guard the entrance, everything at Capital Grille is done BIG. The overall effect comes across as somewhat "macho," but it is an unusual experience that will inspire repeat conversations well into the future. Speaking of big, think sinking your teeth into a towering 14 ounce filet mignon that is complemented by a one pound baked potato and a massive side dish of vegetables. The menu is pricey, but with portions in these sizes, you can always share. A glass of house wine is available too.
Manena's is as hidden as it gets, and is the epitome of the phrase hidden gem. West Houston is known for its international cuisines sprinkled about, but an Argentinean pastry shop is like a gift from a higher power. Generally known for succulent beef, Argentina is one of the world's best-kept secrets when it comes to baked goods. Get a half a dozen of Manena's Empanadas to take to your coworkers and your boss may even give you a raise. Little bit hungrier? Go for the Lomito Argentino sandwich: juicy steak, or the Choripan, the Argentinian sausage, on a fresh Baguette. Sit in the beautiful cafe for a traditional Argentinean social drink called Mate. -Adam Rosen
Turkish food is exquisitely delicious, and actually quite healthy. As the cuisine grows in popularity in Houston, Empire Turkish Grill in Memorial shines with the best of them. Enjoyable for carnivores and vegetarians alike, their menu is filled with scrumptious, authentic dishes. Among Empire's juicy kebabs (a Turkish staple), the Adana Kebab is a meal to behold. Cooked on skewers, this juicy ground lamb tastes as it does in Istanbul, and could easily be the best kebab you'd find outside of Turkey. Served with perfectly cooked veggies and plump Turkish rice, it's got everything you need to satisfy your taste buds. Be sure to cap your meal off with a pleasant Turkish tea. -Adam Rosen
As the Heights generally resembles a little Austin, Tacos A Go Go is a well-fitting entity. Overflowing with strong, rich colors and character, this finger food joint is turning heads. Whether you want breakfast, lunch, dinner, or snack, their menu won't fail you. Get a delicious Chorizo taco for less than two bucks en route to work, or grab half a dozen for your co-workers. Stop in on the way home from work for an Al Pastor; The tangy and spicy marinated pork will easily tie you over until dinner. If it's dinner you want, order one of their taco plates. Don't forget the fresh Salsa Verde! -Adam Rosen
The next time you're in Sugarland, and fast foods all there's time for, pop in to Kabob Cafe for a way-better-than greasy burger and fries combo. Kabobs are not only a Middle Eastern staple, but also the fast food meal of choice throughout Europe, and for great reason. Whether you get a grilled meat skewer with fluffy Persian rice and marinated veggies, or a juicy Gyro sandwich on fresh baked pita, dust it off with tangy chili sauce and savor every bite. Finally, you can finish off your meal with the ever-sweet Baklava, and a super thick Turkish coffee. - Adam Rosen
Try something a little different for dinner this week. Guatemala Restaurant offers a true taste of Central America's western most country. You can easily see the tiny tropical country's close proximity to Mexico through its artfully seasoned cuisine. This place really takes roasted chicken to new heights. You can also go for the Pollo En Amarillo, a gorgeous chicken quarter, smothered in a yellow mole-type sauce. It's tough to pinpoint all the ingredients in the complex sauce, but obviously skillfully prepared. Don't forget to try the delicious Chuchitos (Guatemalan tamales). Also, sure to save room for chocolate covered bananas. - Adam Rosen
Daily Donuts is one of those routine stops en route to work or school. It's pleasantly as no frills as breakfast joints get--no hassle, the line moves quickly, and both food and drink are always hot. For merely a couple bucks and a couple minutes, start your day off with a cup of steaming gourmet joe to go, and gooey sweet donuts. Their chocolate iced are wonderful. Grab a dozen for your morning meeting or class. They also do your standard Texas Kolaches--can't go wrong with either Sausage and Cheese or Ham and Cheese. Either makes ideal eating-in-morning-traffic food. -Adam Rosen
This upscale eatery appears to be on a "back street," thus earning the right to its interesting name. An old house-turned-restaurant, Backstreet Cafe offers an ambiance like no other in the city. The seating choice of almost every customer is the beautifully landscaped backyard, a little sanctuary that is heavily shaded by old trees. The menu is as popular and interesting as the atmosphere. Choose from a wide range of entrees, including Fried Green Tomatoes with blue cheese and a tasty Pecan-Crusted Chicken.
Just on the outskirts of downtown, Huynh is home to the delightfully authentic Central Vietnamese restaurant. This casually elegant spot has extremely friendly service and unbelievable takes on Vietnamese classics. Some of the highlights include various char-grilled meats with crushed rice, comforting bowls of pho with all the standard choices, gorgeous family-style platters like the beef tenderloin with peppers and onions, and of course the ever-refreshing Vietnamese desserts and beverages. No alcohol is sold here, but feel free to bring your own for USD 2 per person. Have dinner here and catch a hip show across the street at Warehouse Live. You won't regret it.