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  • Writer's pictureMelissa Cotton

HXT - all things H Town a girls getaway


So back in May of 2022… I went on a girls trip for my bestie birthday to Houston, Texas! Now if you didn’t know Houston is a predominantly African American city & the vibes are immaculate ✨ The rich culture, lively atmosphere, and endless activities, Houston had everything we needed to create unforgettable memories with some great girl friends.


We explored and savored the culinary delights of the city. Houston's culinary scene is a treasure trove of flavors and experiences. Houston truly had something to satisfy every palate in our group. We visited several places for brunch and dinner and here is just a taste of what we had.


Photo courtesy of Taste Bar + Kitchen

Taste Bar and Kitchen: I had the pleasure of dining at this exquisite restaurant for brunch and I must say, it was an unforgettable gastronomic journey that left me craving more. From the moment I stepped inside Taste Bar + Kitchen, I was greeted with an inviting and modern ambiance, warm lighting and modern decor that set the perfect mood for great brunch experience. The wait was a little long when we got there but needless to say it was well worth it. The staff was attentive, knowledgeable, and genuinely passionate about what they were serving.


They made recommendations for the best food and drinks to get and even took it to another level with a specialty shot for our friends birthday. To drink I had the watermelon telly and it was delicious & strong. For my main dish i had the taste breakfast

which came with two

eggs any style, grits or hash browns, bacon and waffles. I ended up getting turkey bacon, grits with cheese, egg over medium and the regular waffles all though you could get one of their specialty waffles for a $2 up charge. The ambience is really great they have music and the vibes are great. If you are looking for a really fun brunch to attend where you can have some good food, good music and delicious drinks then definitely check out Taste Bar + Kitchen.


THIRTEEN: Thirteen is James Harden’s newest restaurant in Midtown. First things first you must make a reservation cause this place will be booked and busy. Sometimes its hard to get in and we did have a hiccup with the number of people within our reservation and them accommodating us with a table (more on that later). We made our reservation a month in advance and I highly recommend that you do so. Also, we did go on a weekend (Saturday to be exact) so expect a crowd since its popular. Now the hiccup we encountered... when my friend called to make the reservation - we made it clear that we had 8 ladies in the group. They said that this was not a problem... well when we got there they said they didn't know that it was going to be that many people and they normally do not accommodate groups of more than six because greater than six would require a private room. This was news to us but they ended up sitting us a two separate tables (all though not near each other)


Now parking in the are is limited - but there is a parking garage directly across the street from the restaurant. I don't really remember how much we paid but it was fairly reasonable. They do also have valet and prices vary. Now lets get into the aesthetics, the restaurant is beautiful - the decor is breathtaking from the door all the way into the dining area! Its romantically lit, the tables are dark and the chairs give you Z gallerie vibes. They also have a hookah lounge upstairs where you can hang, enjoy a drink while indulging in some hookah. Now the food - eh, it leaves much to be imagined. For a high end restaurant, I would expect top notch quality, service and the preparation of the meal to be exquisite. Unfortunately this was not the case, as a lot of the food we received was cold or room temp, service was lacking and lacked flavor.


Appetizers:

  • Oysters: these are your standard typical oysters. There was nothing special to theirs, had the typical accompaniment of horseradish, lemon, hot sauce and a red wine vinegar.

  • Loaded Crab Fries: These were ok. You would think that these would be full of flavor but they were cold and lacked a bit of salt, the aioli sauce on the side did help but again they were cold so it ruined the taste.

  • Fried Calamari: These were good - they had a decent amount of crispiness but they also could have used a bit more seasoning.

Entree:

  • Baby Gem Caesar: Now you can't really go wrong with a caesar salad. This was heart romaine topped with fried capers, a soft boiled egg, shaved parmesan, herbed croutons & a creamy caesar dressing. I had asked for an extra egg to top my salad but they forgot.

  • Lamb Chops: my best friend had gotten the lamb chops and it came with a cilantro demi glaze and a spinach fried rice. Now according to her the lamb chops were very good but the rice lacked seasoning and flavor.

Dessert:

  • CARAMEL BUTTER CAKE - babaayyyyyy this was the highlight of the entire meal. the butter cake is topped with brown sugar caramel and toasted pecans and a scoop of vanilla ice cream. When i tell you that this was the most decadent dessert i had in a long time -- i aint lying. It was worth every bit of stomach pains i got due to my lactose intolerance.

Overall, the experience was ok. The ambiance lends itself to a nice date night or spot for a fancy birthday dinner but don't go in with high expectations.

Photo Courtesy of Chapman and Kirby

Chapman & Kirby: We visited her for brunch on the Sunday before we were leaving. The outdoor area is super cute for the outdoor brunch aesthetic. Now this isn't your typical brunch where you just eat some good breakfast and lunch type foods. NOPE. Think party atmosphere with a DJ playing the best hip hop and R&B and latest hits. People are dancing drinking and having a good ole time.


Now their menu is minimal for brunch but trust me - you do not ned a lot to be satisfied. I ended up getting their breakfast taco plate which came with three tacos that were loaded with bacon, egg, cheese and potatoes. Its topped with pico and I had to of course ask for some hot sauce and avocado to add some extra pizzaz. The price isn't bad either at $12 for the plate and you are thoroughly satisfied after eating. I also got a side of the Truffle parmesan fries and this was some of the best truffle fries i have ever had. They had the perfect amount of truffle and parmesan and they were not overly salty. Some of my friends had the Caesar salad with a side of grilled salmon, the shrimp and grits with a side of scrambled eggs, the Chicken & Waffles and the French toast and the consensus all around was the food was BOMB 💣 !!! Very well seasoned, hot and full of flavor.


Now on to the drinks... they have some strong drinks that sneak up on you because

chileeeeee we were LIT 🔥 afterward. I got the Sal de la casa which is casa repo tequila, pineapple juice, lime juice agave and a sea blend, it's their play on a margarita... it had a tajin dipped side and was absolutely delicious. My best friend had gotten the Henny Thing Goes which is Hennessy, Grand Marnier, agave, lemon juice and champagne - it comes in a fishbowl cup and is super strong. we also had a lot of shots thanks to our fabulous server!!


Houston, Texas, exceeded our expectations in every way. It was the perfect canvas for our girls' adventure & celebrating my bestie's birthday. It allowed us to create memories that will stay in our hearts forever. From culture to food to the nightlife, Houston had it all. Cheers to the magic of Houston and the beauty of friendship! 🎉✨ #GirlsTripToHouston #UnforgettableMemories #TravelWithFriends #HoustonAdventure

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