Houston Press critic Katharine Shilcutt finds that she mostly loves the burgers and beer on offer at oil-themed Midtown restaurant The Refinery. "The Refinery definitely excels in this area, the gray zone where finger food meets pub grub. Fried pickles are coated in an oddly sweet, puffy, tempura-style batter that somehow works well against the salty-sour crunch of the pickle slices. Nachos are served with nearly white queso on top instead of suspiciously orange squeeze-pump cheese, then topped with fresh guacamole, sour cream, jalapeños, tomatoes, onions and two kinds of cheese. They make a great snack to share with friends, if they'll let you have any. " [Houston Press]
Although it only opened in August, Chronicle critic Alison Cook awards interior Mexican restaurant Cuchara, Mexico City Bistro two stars. Despite that she "must confess that I found the more expensive price tags daunting," Cook enjoyed the "contemporary interior Mexican food based on rarefied homestyle recipes." There's also praise for "a cocktail from the interesting list that Anvil alumnus Chris Frankel consulted on." Then there's the decor, which is "a stylish industrial setting that's a civic attraction in its own right." [29-95]
The Blogs: CultureMap tries the breakfast tacos from new food truck Breakfast Burrtios Anonymous. The Leader Eater adds a fried egg to a hot dog at Happy Fatz. Urban Swank samples the New Mexican-influenced Mexican cuisine at Santa Fe Flats.