Houston, We Have a Problem

The problem is “What should Chad do/ see in the evenings while he’s at DAMOP next week?”

This is the major physics conference in my field, so my days will be pretty well booked up with talks and posters, but there’s not much after 6pm other than food and socializing. If there’s some not-to-be-missed Houston thing to do (a bar, restaurant, live music venue, etc.) in the evening, I’m open to suggestions.

The boundary values constraining this particular problem are: 1) I’ll be staying in the Hyatt Regency downtown, and 2) I will not have a car.

I don’t promise I’ll be able to follow any and all suggestions, but I’m happy to hear ideas of what I ought to do. I’ll post something about what I plan to do at the meeting itself later.

10 thoughts on “Houston, We Have a Problem

  1. If you walk down Dallas St., you’ll get to Guadalajara, which is a particularly good Tex-Mex place (although I haven’t been to that location). It’s a few blocks, though. Closer Tex-Mex can be found on Louisiana just one block away at Ninfas.

    You’re right in the middle of the theatre district–I know that the Alley Theatre and the Houston Ballet (don’t laugh, they’re good) both have shows on. You’re also near several of the sports stadiums, but I don’t know the schedule.

    The best spot for live acoustic music in the city requires a cab ride: the Mucky Duck. Wednesday night is Irish music night, but if you want to check out their calendar go to http://www.mcgonigels.com

  2. Hook up with some Rice students and get them to take you to the Gingerman. One of the better beer bars in Houston.

  3. The Astros only have away games all next week, and it’s off-season for the Rockets and the Aeros.

    The Flying Saucer Draught Emporium is a pretty cool downtown bar. There’s tons of places to eat. TONS. You might try Frank’s Pizza if you like NY Style, and if you want a good (but very pricey) steak, try Vic & Anthony’s or Morton’s. There’s also lots of BBQ and Tex-Mex as well.

    I live here, so if there’s something out of walking distance that you want to do, I wouldn’t mind playing chauffer for a bit. However, I’m heading out to the Guadalupe River for our Memorial Day weekend river float Thursday evening, so it’d have to be Tuesday or Wednesday. =)

  4. If you like Sushi, you MUST try Miyako.


    I recommend the California Maki as far as rolls go. For Sushi/Nigiri, I recommend Nama Sake, Ebi, Abako, Tamago, Kani, and Portabella Mushroom.

    I’m told it’s amongst the best in the country, which I can believe. This place is great.

    (For desert, they make a damn fine chocolate martini.)

  5. The Museum District is a few stops away on the light rail line. From there, it’s an easy walk to the Museum of Natural Science ( http://www.hmns.org ), the Museum of Fine Arts ( http://www.mfha.org ), the Contemporary Arts Museum ( http://www.camh.org ), and the Holocaust Museum ( http://www.hmh.org/ ). If you do wind up with any time during the day, they’re worth investigating. The Natural Science Museum has some early evening hours on Tuesday, but otherwise they’re all pretty much 9 to 5.

    Also an easy rail trip away is Tacos a Go Go ( http://tacosagogo.com/ ), which I recommend, and it’s next door to the Continental Club for live music (http://www.continentalclub.com/Houston.html – see their calendar for next week at http://www.continentalclub.com/dev/contcalview_houston.asp?curr_day=23&curr_month=5&curr_year=2010). There’s more live music at The House of Blues is downtown ( http://www.houseofblues.com/venues/clubvenues/houston/ ). They’re in a downtown development called Houston Pavilions that has other entertainment venues – see http://www.houstonpavilions.com/entertainment_tenants.php for more.

    Dustin mentioned the Alley Theater. They’re premiering a new play next week called “Intelligence-Slave”: http://www.alleytheatre.org/Alley/Intelligence-Slave_EN.asp?SnID=1308783760

    For something a bit lighter than that, the Hobby Center has a touring production of Young Frankenstein starting next week: http://www.broadwayacrossamerica.com/shows/youngFrankenstein.html

    Both of those theaters are downtown. For a full listing of Theater District events see http://www.houstontx.gov/worthamcenter/2010may.pdf and http://www.houstontx.gov/worthamcenter/boxoffice.htm.

    A new place to eat downtown that you should definitely check out is Bombay Pizza ( http://www.bombaypizzaco.com/ ). I had lunch there yesterday and it was excellent.

    Finally, check out Discovery Green ( http://www.discoverygreen.com/ ), which has free WiFi, a Thursday night free concert, and open green space.

    Have fun, and feel free to drop me a note if you have any questions.

  6. Bottle some beached oil. Imagine the fortune you could have made on eBay had you bagged a couple of pounds of fluttering stationery and dust as it grounded on 11 September 2001.

  7. Since I’m from the northern suburbs, all my good recommendations require driving. Hower, I have one for breakfast: eat a kolache. Actually, if you get a sausage & jalapeno cheese one say it’s for me & have 2. 🙂 Shipley’s is pretty good, or choose a hole in the wall place. Should be one within blocks of your hotel.

  8. Bottle some beached oil. Imagine the fortune you could have made on eBay had you bagged a couple of pounds of fluttering stationery and dust as it grounded on 11 September 2001.

    Um, Houston happens to be several hundred miles west of Deepwater Horizon–that is, in the exact opposite direction of the flow of the slick. Besides, if he actually did want to get some oil, he’d have to go to Galveston, which is a long drive away.

    Sadly, despite living in Houston practically my whole life, I have no recommendations that I can give you (unless you really, really want to go visit the natural history museum for some unfathomable reason). Just looking at Google Maps, though, the earlier recommendations of the theater groups seem reasonable.

  9. Suggested options:

    0) Istanbul Cafe, in the Village. Absolutely everything on the menu is delightful, you can’t go wrong.

    1) Hobbit Cafe. Excellent food. Seasonal selections at the bar can be amazing (had a wonderful mead once).

    2) Negative on Guadalajara. Corporatized Tex Mex. Instead, go to Ninfa’s on Navigation. Lupe Tortilla and 100% Taquito are also close by and recommended.

    3) Sushi happy hour at Oiishi.

    4) Dinner in Chinatown is awesome, lots of excellent places to pick from.

    5) Breakfast -> Baby Barnaby’s is the best breakfast in town.

    6) Live blues every night at the Big Easy on Kirby.

    7) In addition to the Gingerman (where Rice people take visitors/prospie grad students/etc alot), there’s Hans Bier House. Parking’s a bit iffier due to construction, but hey, bocce and a good beer selection.

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