March 22nd, 2010
The Week That Was 3.21.10
Here we are, embarking on yet another Monday and giving last week a look back. What wasn’t there to do? From St. Patrick’s Day to just enjoying the weekend’s cold front by racing 10 miles through Houston, it was easy to find something to do. There was so much to do, in fact, that we should have probably put together two of these articles. You live and you learn, I guess. Let’s jump into the meat of the matter. But, before I forget, a warm and hearty “happy birthday” to Anvil Bar & Refuge. Bobby and company celebrated their first year serving Houston last night.
Use Your Noodle, Dummy
Long since closed, the first Jenni’s opened up next to my alma mater, the University of Houston. Unfortunately, it wasn’t until the shop on Shepherd came into existence that I became fully aware of the awesomeness that is Jenni’s Noodle House. Quick, rich plates are at your very fingertips when you walk in the door. Cafe style ordering at the register earns you a number to display on your table as you wait for the deliciousness to be served. My particular favorite duel-threat is the Disco Dumplings (pork, crispy) paired with the Super Fried Rice. Sure, it’s about a $15 meal, but it fills you up in the best kind of way. With two locations, you’re never too far from a Jenni’s location to find yourself some noodles on the cheap. Are you stimulating the economy in the Galleria Area? There’s a noodle house just down the street at 2027 Post Oak Blvd. Down in Montrose stimulating your creative side or in River Oaks practicing your hoity-toity scoffs? Then scoff your way to 3111 Shepherd.
It’s Prime Time
For Lent I gave up “fast food.” This seems all-encompassing, but let me just jot down the list of what I consider pronto provisions for you so you can stop judging me. On my list are McDonald’s, Jack in the Box, Burger King, Whataburger, Arby’s (yes, Arby’s), Long John Silver’s, etc. etc. Let’s be clear on one thing, even though Beck’s Prime is “fast,” it doesn’t fall in my uber-chain classification and therefore is a perfectly acceptable dinner spot. And, thank goodness for that. Every once in a while, I’ve got to stop in for a Bleu Cheese Burger with bacon. BCB’s are one of my favorites. If we were ever to do food tours of Houston, Aaron would be in charge of a creme brule map, Stephan would probably take tacos, Marc would tour pizza joints (because he is the only one with a true taste for the only perfect food), and I would most definitely sample bleu cheese burgers around town. Beck’s Prime would probably make that list. It’s going to take some more field research. All in the name of making The Loop Scoop as good as it can be, right?
Rhythm Is A Dancer
In my attempt to bolster my album collection for the upcoming “Bestus Prospectus” (only nine months away!), I made my way to Cactus Music on Portsmouth Street. Armed with a list of music compiled over the last couple months of bands that I’ve been told about, heard clips of on the radio, or that just have cool names, I sifted through thousands of acrylic CD cases as I searched for my prizes. With a handful of albums, only the damage to my bank account was left undiscovered. Good music is worth any price (which is something that any music snob would tell you). The two gems that I’ve really gotten a chance to listen to so far are Broken Bells‘ self-titled debut (featuring famed producer Dangermouse) and Some Kind of Salvation by The Features (2009 UK release, but 2010 US release). If there’s a way to make a living simply by listening to music could you please suggest it. Yeah, sure… I could write about it on The Loop Scoop… Wait! I could write about it on The Loop Scoop! That’s the ticket. We’ll start up a review section soon. For anyone interested in contributing to a Tour de la Musique send me a quick email (email@example.com).
Where’s My Pot Of Gold?
As a disclaimer, when I started writing this, I had forgotten that St. Patrick’s Day happened the past week. But isn’t that the whole point of the holiday? Forgetting that you’re any other nationality than Irish pretty much comes with the territory. When the Italian (in my case) resurfaces, you forget about what that feisty leprechaun was doing when he took over your consciousness. My first stop of the night (by “night” I mean late afternoon) was Under the Volcano as I tried to secure my spot for the Chuck Prophet show. My live music experiences have been few this year, but by the end of 2010, this performance will surely be in the discussion for the “Top Ten.” The special for the night at Volcano was just an excuse to get rid of their Guinness and Irish Whiskey. Three dollar stout with a purchase of a $5.25 and up shot of Blackbush, Jameson’s, or Bushmill’s. I’m not one to complain. Two things I love being offered together at a “discount?” Count me in. After jamming out in West U, I made my way to one of my favorites, The Harp. Two groups of friends were taking in the final songs of Lisa Novak who was rather quickly replaced by some very spirited bag-pipers on the stage. As the clock approached midnight, I knew my time was coming to a close. I’m not as young as I used to be… not that I’m one who ever acts my age. Nonetheless, Wednesday night ended without incident and two hours before my inner-child would have liked it to. Oh well, at least my employer was impressed with my moral fortitude.
Spokane Is Not the Coogs’ House
It has been eighteen years since the Houston Cougars have been in the Big Dance. On Friday night, they tipped off against the Maryland Terrapins as a 14-seed looking to be one of many (many!) double-digit seeds to upset their opponent. I started the afternoon off at happy hour at Stag’s Head Pub and then made my way to Sawyer Park for the big game. Drinking Saint Arnold’s Spring Bock and watching the Coogs cut deficits and make the game close only to fall to the Terps was both exciting and debilitating. When you think about it, they put up the best fight they could muster, and for that I’m proud of the team. For as packed as Sawyer Park was on Friday night, it turned out to be a good place to watch the game. Everyone in the bar seemed to be intently watching one of the three games being displayed. Separate cheering sections developed for alumni and bracket gamblers alike. It’s always nice to see the sports bar live up to its reputation instead of becoming another wannabe club on Washington Avenue.
I’ll See You Around, ‘Round My Home Town
With Rodeo wrapping up this weekend, I took the opportunity to head to Reliant Stadium for the Eli Young Band’s show on Friday night. Originally from Tomball, the hometown heroes earned their stripes and buckles with a spirited performance that got the crowd rocking. The highlight of the show had to be their performance of Tom Petty’s “American Girl,” during which, the three mobile members of the band took to the Rodeo floor to get closer to the crowd. Lead singer Mike Eli took that one step further, making his way into the crowd to croon. It was the best Rodeo Concert that I’ve seen in recent memory, but it also reminded me why I don’t enjoy the concerts at Rodeo. From the crew of high schoolers behind me who were only interested in taking pictures of themselves and where the after party was going to be to the grandma’s in front of me who just wanted to scoff at teenagers who were enjoying the concert, I could have used more music and less commentary. It was nice to share such a special night with a local band, but next year, I’ll catch them at a better concert venue.
CitySolve Urban Race
Thanks to the Charity Chicks we were given the heads up about the CitySolve Urban Race in Houston. Starting off at Little Woodrow’s in Rice Village, teams of two were given ten clues plus two bonus questions that would take time off of their finish and help them to their goal of being in the top three. The best teams were to be given free registration to the New Orleans Urban Race and a chance at the grand prize of $8,500. Not too shabby. We signed up two teams. I took one captaincy while my sister was at the helm of the other. If there’s one thing that I hate it’s a sore loser. Well, I hate myself right now. I’m sore (literally and figuratively) and I lost (by what I’m calling a “scoring error”). The Loop Scoop (Team #1) was the second to the finish line. By all accounts, we were elated. Unfortunately, two teams finishing behind us managed to get the second of two bonus photos and catapulted them ahead of us making us finish one spot out of placing for the free registration. I’m calling “foul” for now. I’ll let you know when I feel better about the whole scenario.
I will end The Week That Was with all the clues for the race. First person to get all of them (that are possible to solve) and leave them in a comment will get a t-shirt. Game on!
1) Who Dat… on Kirby Drive is a music venue whose name suggests that it is home to the Hornets, Green Wave and Zephyrs.
2) Say your name normally… this lounge in Midtown is where you’d find the sinister likes of Mr. Big, OddJob and Jaws.
3) These are tasty… this CITYpoint is a nickname for two famous people (not locally famous). She started a fashion empire. It wasn’t funny when he quit his job, but he hopes to be back behind the desk this September. You’ll find an establishment where part of its name bears their nickname in Midtown.
4) I’ve come to collect… this meat patty joint in downtown H-Town shares its name with a famed freeloading cartoon character who asks for food today, but will repay you next week.
5) Did Al Gore make that too? Locate the art piece below on Rice University’s Campus.
6) Quoth this, sucka… located du north of Rice University is where you’ll fina restaurant that Ray Lewis, Ed Reed and Terrell Suggs might enjoy filling their bellies.
7) DETOUR: Rodeo or Clown
Rodeo – Teams must find five different images of people on a bunkin’ bronco (no bunkin’, no credit, no kiddin’)
Clown – Teams must find 3 different images of the bands who paint their faces.
8 ) Are you smarter than an 8th grader… figure out angle C of the isosceles triangle below. Angle A equals 40 degrees and sides 1 and 2 are equal.
Then take the answer to Angle C THEN ADD Yao Ming’s jersey number THEN ADD 495 to find the numerical address. Take the numerical address and head to the street in Midtown where you’d most likely fina child menace from TV or the comics.
9) Park it here, buddy… you’ll need to head to Fleming Park where you must find a stone slab with a word in Italian that means “quickly, rapidly, or immediately” inscribed on it.
10) Gimm‘me a cold one… this CITYpoint is located within a quarter mile of Bell METRO Station. Complete the crossword below to find your next destination:
1. Any of the heavenly bodies, except the moon, appearing as fixed luminous points in the sky at night
2. Standing by itself or apart; isolated
1. A place for the sale and consumption of alcoholic drinks
[First to answer 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, and 10 gets the t-shirt.]