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These Are Eater Houston’s 10 Most-Read Stories of 2022

Fried chicken and smash burgers led the charge this year

A smiling Shaquille O’Neal holding up a fried chicken sandwich in each hand. Lillian Broad/All Points

From news of celebrities visiting Houston restaurants to famous names bringing their chains to Space City, Eater counts down the most clicked-on news stories of 2022, and there is no shortage of star-studded headlines. Not surprisingly, fried chicken and smash burger stories round out the list, as the city is gearing up for lots of tasty additions to its food scene.

Here are Eater Houston’s most-read new stories of 2022, with a celeb-backed fried chicken concept leading the gamut.

10) Golf Legend Tiger Woods Is Launching a Massive Putting Complex in Katy This December

For those who don’t aspire to be Tiger Woods, there’s also mini-golf. Eater Houston shared the news that an opening of Tiger Woods’ golf and entertainment complex, Popstroke, would soon be opening in Katy, making it the company’s first location outside of Florida. Popstroke has since opened its doors and boasts two 18-hole mini-golf courses, an onsite restaurant, and a rooftop bar.

9) Houston’s Newest Adults-Only Mini-Golf Spot Serves Fantastic Pizza and Cocktails

The Puttery opened on Washington Avenue this year, giving Houstonians a child-free environment to practice their putt-putt skills, all while sipping on spiked beverages. Eater gave readers an inside look at the Puttery’s various themed courses and the lowdown on what to eat before or after a round on the links.

8) Houston’s Rodeo Season Has Begun. Here’s What’s New to Eat.

Celebrating its 90th anniversary, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo showcased upwards of 120 food vendors throughout NRG Center grounds this year, with some never-before-seen eats and snacks on a stick. Eater rounded up a few standouts among them, including a Hot Cheetos float and deep-fried jambalaya rolls.

7) A Chinese Puerto Rican Restaurant Is Drawing Diners to Katy

The eats at Michy’s Chino Boricua, now open in Katy, reflect owner Michelle “Michy” Lao’s Chinese American and Puerto Rican roots. Eater helps break down the cuisine, which was a product of Chinese immigrants fusing cooking techniques and traditions with local spices and ingredients of the Caribbean island.

6) This MasterChef’s Journey in Cooking Began as She Lost Her Eyesight. Now, She’s Raising Awareness.

Chef Christine Ha’s neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder, or NMOSD, caused the Houston native to lose her sight at just 28 years old. She has since gone on to land the coveted title of MasterChef, written a cookbook, and opened successful restaurants in Houston with more on the horizon. Eater shares the details of her journey, as she aims to raise awareness and offer encouragement to those suffering from the same rare inflammatory disease.

5) Kanye West Stepped Out at a Houston Hot Spot

Some things just don’t age well. Ye’s reputation in 2022 was one of those things. The controversial hip-hop star kicked off the year with a late-night outing in Houston to former Houston Rockets point guard, James Harden’s Midtown restaurant Thirteen to hang with his entourage. As the year wen on, things got a lot less entertaining.

4) Houston’s Iconic Fried Chicken Chain Frenchy’s to Open New Dream Location

After shuttering its original location in Third Ward, the owners of Houston’s iconic fried chicken restaurant Frenchy’s Chicken announced construction was underway for a new flagship restaurant. Eater Houston took a look back at how far the family-owned business, which first opened on Scott Street in 1969, has come, growing to 11 locations today. Oh, and that new location? It finally opened in December.

3) Here’s Where to Score Bun B’s Award-Winning Trill Burger in Houston

Since launching his smash burger concept, Trill Burgers, last year, Houston rapper Bun B has been hosting pop-ups in Houston, and across the country, giving people the opportunity to sample his lauded handheld. Eater gave interested Houstonians the lowdown on where and when the next pop-up would be. After winning a burger competition on Good Morning America, which landed Trill Burgers the coveted title of “Best Burger in America,” excitement grew tenfold. Bun B has since announced he will open a Trill Burgers location in Montrose in the early part of 2023.

2) Houston Is America’s Modern Fried Chicken Capital

With so many diverse takes on the comfort classic, it is no surprise that Houston is considered a haven for fried chicken. Eater explores how the Houston tradition has evolved in decades past, why locals are suckers for the golden-fried goodness and some of the top places to indulge.

1) Shaquille O’Neal Will Flood Texas With 50 Fried Chicken Restaurants

News of Shaquille O’Neal’s fast-casual fried chicken restaurant, Big Chicken, heading to Houston made big headlines, as the former basketball pro announced the company has plans to add 50 locations across the state of Texas. Eater Houston gave readers some insight into the brand, which already has locations in Nevada and California, and shared news of its first Houston location, slated to open as early as the end of this year, or early 2023, in the Westchase area.