Houston isn’t the first city people think of when they hear Texas. Cities like Dallas or Austin are at the top of many individual’s mind for this huge state. While, I do enjoy visiting those two cities, I cannot emphasize enough how impressed I was with Houston.
Now, I visited once before when I was 12 since I have family there, but my cousins thought the highlight of our trip would be to take us to see Fat Albert. (Side note: I hated that movie). This time around I was so excited to go back and see everything Houston had to offer. My good friend, Paul, also moved there a few years ago so when flight prices dropped, it was the perfect opportunity to go visit him and my cousin, Tony.
My siblings and I arrived at the Houston Hobby airport at 9:00PM. We hopped into Paul’s car, ready to get our night started. We dropped our luggage off at his home before heading to Anvil. Of course, not before Henny and snapping a few photos.
Anvil is a dimly lit, laid back, whiskey bar. They have music playing, but not to the point where you can no longer hear yourself. I enjoyed the vibe there for a night where dancing wasn’t what I was looking for. My cousin and his friends joined us shortly after our arrival. We sipped on our drinks and took a few shots before grabbing some late night food.
We headed over to The Conservatory, which is a hip food court that allows you to choose from many options to fulfil those late night drunchies. There’s no surprise that I opted for the spicy ramen from Samuri Noodle. This ramen was full of flavor with tender pork slices and thin noodles. The perfect way to end my first night in Houston.
We only struggled a little to get up the next morning. Vaguely remember telling our cousin the night before that we’d be up at 8:00AM the next morning. That obviously didn’t happen, but we were up and ready to get the day started ONLY a couple of hours after our original goal.
What’s the best way to get the morning started? Brunch, of course. A boozy brunch is probably one of my favorite weekend activities. We made our way to Down House for some delicious eats. It’s scientifically proven that a Bloody Mary will cure your hangover, so that was immediately ordered. (Okay, so it’s not actually proven, but it sure does seem to be true). Each of us devoured our meal and gulped down our drinks as we caught up with each other’s lives and reminisced on past times.
After we finished up our meal at Down House, we were on our way to yet another food spot. An ice cream shop to be exact because my sweet tooth never likes to be mistreated. We arrived at Fat Cat Creamery where I ordered a white chocolate and peppermint soft serve and a “unicorn” cookie. I told myself I’d save the cookie for later, but naturally I ate it as soon as I got back in the car. The unique aspect to this ice cream shop is that they specialize in flavors infused with alcohol. During my visit, there were flavors such as Milk Chocolate Stout and Whiskey Butter Pecan. Donuts were next door, so we decided to be greedy and make a stop to grab some for later.
After we indulged in desserts, we started to get a bit thirsty. One of the things I love to do when visiting a new place is to check out a local brewery. Although it was a bit chilly out, we decided to relax in the outdoor courtyard of 8th Wonder Brewery. I really enjoyed the variety of beers they offered! Everything from IPAs to sours. For the price of $15, you get 3 tokens and a 16oz souvenir glass to take home! Honestly, I couldn’t believe the price. They also have a food truck stationed outside for when the hunger kicks in. We ordered their specialty fries, but I’ll be honest that it didn’t blow me away. We hung out at 8th Wonder for a few hours before we took off to our next activity.
Next we went to this amazing burlesque show held at Prohibition Supper Club. My cousin’s friend worked there and was able to score us the best seat in the house. I felt so exclusive although in my Star Wars shirt and leather leggings (didn’t know we were attending this show). The theme of the show was centered around the Nutcracker. I loved the audience participation. It gave us such a great laugh and priceless memories. Oh and let me not forget to mention that the food was absolutely incredible. Everything we ordered was pure perfection especially the grilled oysters.
After the show we walked across the street to a bar where the bright lights shaped into the letters “HTX” grabbed my eye.
We stayed for a little bit before going to my cousin’s friend’s apartment to continue the night. But…of course…I had to do a mini photo shoot in the car with my sister and Paul.
The rest of the night consisted of listening to music, dancing around the room, attempting the mannequin challenge, and just having a great time with great people. My cousin introduced us to a lot of his friends who were all so friendly. We had such a great time during our last night in Houston.
Our final hours in Houston crept up on us before we knew it. We had enough time to grab brunch and dessert before having to get dropped off at the airport to fly back to Virginia.
We met up with Tony and his girlfriend, Kathy, at Barnaby’s Cafe. We opted out of any boozy brunch ideas this Sunday morning as we were all in recovery mode. My steak and fries were just what I needed with a side of coffee to give me that extra push.
After Barnaby’s we drove over to Common Bond for some amazing desserts. These little cakes looked incredible, each with their own intricate design. They tasted just as good as they looked. I also got the macarons in a variety of flavors including fig and cheese. They were prepared just right with a slight crunch with the first bite, airy features hitting you after, and the chewiness of the delicate dessert to finish.
And then it was time to say goodbye. We hugged Tony and Kathy and assured each other that we’d see each other soon. It’s their turn to visit the Nguyen siblings in Virginia. Paul then dropped us off at Houston Hobby Airport to make our afternoon flight back home. It was such a fun and memorable time in Houston even if we were just there for the weekend. Our hosts really showed us how great the city is with its food, bars, and people. Everyone was extremely hospitable and genuine. I can’t wait to go back and explore even more.