Although I’ve lived in Austin for nearly 4 years, until last weekend I hadn’t been to Houston aside from airport layovers and driving past it en route to New Orleans. Since we had a 3-day weekend last week, the Gentleman and I decided to make the 2.5-3 hour drive on Saturday morning and drive back sometime on Sunday. We left the Feline with some extra food and while I’m not entirely confident that he didn’t eat it all at once, we also didn’t find any cat vomit when we got home, so I’m considering it a success.
We stopped at a Buc-ee’s for gas on the way to/from Houston. The only word that comes to mind when I think about Buc-ee’s is “Texas”. Like Texas, Buc-ee’s is enormous. In addition to gas and the snack food found at typical rest stops, you can get barbecue, kolaches, cast iron pans, hunting gear, and entire cheesecakes. You can also get all kinds of merchandise with the Buc-ee’s logo because apparently Buc-ee’s is very proud to be…Buc-ee’s.
We arrived in Houston in time for a late lunch. As we were approaching the city I searched Google Maps on my phone for places nearby (don’t worry, I wasn’t driving) and we ended up at Benjy’s. The Gentleman had a brunch plate and I had the Asian salad plus a white peach mimosa. Everything was really delicious– especially the mimosa. There’s nothing like getting slightly tipsy less than 30 minutes into your vacation!
After lunch we went to Suit Supply, which is apparently the place to go for men’s suits and the closest store to Austin happens to be in Houston. Because I’m the best girlfriend ever, I sat around while the Gentleman tried on suits and made some epic progress in QuizUp and occasionally voiced an opinion on navy blue vs. navy blue with pinstripes. After the Gentleman succeeded in finding a suit we checked into our hotel and headed off to our next adventure: a beer tasting and hot dog event at 8th Wonder Brew.
Each $15 ticket entitled you to 3 pints of beer + the pint glass. Honestly, neither of us cared too much for any of the beers. None of them were undrinkable but they also weren’t at all memorable. Whenever we return to Houston I would be much more interested in checking out Saint Arnold or Buffalo Bayou.
On the upside, the atmosphere and food were quite nice. The warehouse setting plus the tall buildings in the skyline felt a lot like East Austin. And the hot dogs from the Good Dog truck were delicious and very filling. Which was good because 3 pints of beer is more than enough to get me drunk.
Because I have an unhealthy obsession with dachshunds we made a special trip to the Good Dog brick and mortar restaurant on Sunday morning so I could buy a t-shirt with their logo. Weiner dog silhouette FTW!
After our beer and hot dogs we Google Map-ed ourselves over to SweetCup Gelato. Remember the Gelato World Tour event we went to in Austin a few weeks ago and the amazing Texan Kulfi we sampled? This is the place that makes it! While the Texan Kulfi was tempting me again, I decided to try some new flavors so I went with the Smoked Butterscotch (so good) Fig & Cheese (SO GOOD in capital letters).
We chatted a bit with the owner, who seemed tickled that we’d voted for her gelato and then made a point to visit while we were in town. It was very cute. I promise to come back next time I’m in Houston!
So that was Saturday night…Sunday morning we paid a quick visit to the very small hotel fitness center and then did some research on good brunch spots nearby. We called The Breakfast Klub ahead of time and were told the wait was “not that bad” but when we got there we saw a line going out the door and almost around the corner. Since we were pretty hungry we decided to head back and do the breakfast buffet at the hotel, which ended up being surprisingly decent.
After breakfast we headed down to the Museum District. This area reminded me a lot of the Ben Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia— tons of museums, big fountains, lots of green space, huge pain to drive through. We went to the Houston Museum of Natural Science since it seemed to have quite a variety of exhibits, which is appealing for people like me who have a hard time focusing on one thing for too long. It worked out quite well because our time there was like “Let’s see the mummies! Okay, enough of the mummies, I want to see some taxidermied wildlife. Now let’s see the gems. Sparkly! Over to the dinosaur skeletons– hey, the saber toothed tiger looks just like the Feline! I’m hungry, shall we go?” Perfect museum trip.
We had a late lunch at The Black Labrador, a British pub we spotted while getting gelato on Saturday night. The restaurant itself is very cute–they even had a red telephone box outside–but the food was super bland and the drinks were overpriced.
After lunch we headed back to Austin and spent most of a very rainy Memorial Day catching up on laundry and errands. We weren’t in Houston very long and didn’t see too much of the city (probably because it’s HUGE) but hopefully we can return again soon. The Houston Marathon is supposed to be a flat and fast course…