Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Good Eats: Houston, Texas, 'que

I recently visited four great barbecue spots in Houston and experienced four different styles of Texas ‘cue. My palate discovered just how good Texas barbecue really is, and my tummy survived the research nicely, thank you very much.

African-American: Thelma’s Bar-B-Que 3755 Southmore Blvd., 713-228-2262. The bad news is the highly atmospheric location on Live Oak burned down. The good news is Thelma’s has reopened in the Third Ward close to the University of Houston. Famous for her brisket sandwich, ribs, and okra, Thelma says, "We like to cook it to death.” Wash it down with sweet tea or cold beer.

Mexican: El Hidalguense 3631 Hillcroft St., 713-781-6656. Mexican barbacoa here includes cabrito (baby goat on a spit), really good barbecue chicken, and, of course, moles and salsas, and, on weekends, cow’s head.

Cowboy: Pizzitola's Bar-B-Cue 1703 Shepherd Dr., 713-227-2283. With its shack atmosphere of long communal tables, this place still produces slow-cooked barbecue in the original open pit. Menu highlights include brisket, smoked chicken, and old-time banana pudding, as well as pretty darn good baked potatoes and coleslaw.

German: Goode Co. Barbeque 5015 Kirby Dr., 713-526-9700. In an atmosphere that is a more upscale than the first three, this Hill Country Czech-style barbecue spot produces delicious barbecue duck and sausage as well as tasty jalapeno-cheese bread and a famous pecan pie. The related Armadillo Palace ( is an atmospheric old west-style saloon located just across the street.

More things to do in Houston.

More ideas for travel adventures in California and the U.S. and around the world.

image copyright 2009 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Oh, yes, and just for fun, here's something to add a little humor to the barbecue experience

Friday, April 24, 2009

Misc.: Top 10 tips for taking great travel photos

See the Society of American Travel Writer's latest Top Ten list for taking the very best travel photos.

Some travel articles to inspire and help you plan spectacular getaways.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Monday, April 20, 2009

Misc.: Rapping flight attendant

I'd love to fly Southwest if I could be sure rapping David Holmes would be my flight attendant. It just might make up for the inconvenient unassigned seating.

More ideas for travel adventures in California and the U.S. and around the world.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Misc.: India, images

Enjoy these spectacularly colorful images of India taken by Poras Chaudhary.

More photograph collections.

Travel articles to inspire and help you plan trips.  

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Book Reviews: America’s Best Zoos

According to the authors of America’s Best Zoos: A Travel Guide for Fans and Families, all zoos are not alike. “Each is different and some are unique,” they say.

I’ve always been fond of zoos and often visit a local zoo when I travel. This was especially fun when my children were younger, but now I enjoy the opportunity a zoo visit provides to interact with locals. Visiting a zoo can be especially interesting in a foreign country (though this book doesn’t cover foreign zoos). For domestic trips, why not plan in a visit to America’s first zoo in Philadelphia, or a visit to the zoo in New York City’s Central Park or to the one by Waikiki Beach in Hawaii? This book is a great reference, with lots of detail, and reading up on the zoo you plan to visit assures you won’t miss any of the most noteworthy exhibits. Why, you might even learn something about your own local zoo!

More ideas for travel adventures in California and the U.S. and around the world.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Sights to See: Houston, Texas, Space Center Houston and NASA/Johnson Space Center

Space Center Houston and NASA/Johnson Space Center  1601 NASA Rd. 1, in Clear Lake about 25 mi. from downtown Houston, (281) 244-2100. June-July daily 10-7; Aug-May M-F 10-5, Sat-Sun 10-6. $19, seniors $18, 4-11 $15; parking $5. Houston is known as "Space City USA," and its name was the first word spoken on the moon. On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong said, "Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed." And the rest is literally history. Space Center Houston is the visitor center for NASA's Johnson Space Center; it is a separate facility located outside the gates. The two centers together are the most popular attraction in the Houston area. Exhibits and activities were designed by NASA and Disney Imagineering in a joint effort, and so there are plenty of exhibits and interactive displays that interest both adults and children. Don’t miss the Starship Gallery Artifact Museum, where you can touch a moon rock (the only place on Earth you can do this!), or the simulator that lets you land the lunar orbiter. The center also has the largest IMAX in Texas. The NASA/Johnson Space Center offers a 1 1/2-hour tram tour (reservations advised) that goes to the gigantic International Space Station Assembly Building and to the NASA control center, where you might see live activity aboard a current shuttle.

More things to do in Houston.

More ideas for travel adventures in California and the U.S. and around the world.

image copyright 2009 Carole Terwilliger Meyers