Rice University’s Student Newspaper — Since 1916

Monday, August 26, 2019 — Houston, TX 80°

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Brewed the hard way: Budweiser's beef with craft beer

(02/11/15 10:08am)

Among ads of cute puppies, human Pac-Man games and stampeding Clydesdales, Budweiser aired a new commercial during the Super Bowl proudly titled “Brewed the Hard Way.” The ad heralds Budweiser as “proudly a macro beer … not to be fussed over.” Bud drinkers are juxtaposed with glasses-wearing mustachioed men, who represent Budweiser’s take on microbrewed beer’s finicky hipster crowd. The ad continues by stating that Bud is “brewed for drinking, not dissecting,” and shows yet more hipsters before finally proclaiming, “Let them drink their pumpkin peach ale, we’ll be brewing us some golden suds.”

TBO Fusion bring hip Japanese cuisine to Houston

(01/28/15 10:11am)

Since its opening in November, Tea Bar and Organic Fusion, also styled “TBO Fusion,” has made it clear that the operative word in their name is “Fusion.” The hip Westheimer location has a tea bar, and it does serve an extensive list of tasty milk teas and smoothies, but the real reason to visit is TBO’s affordable and creative takes on sushi, ramen and other Japanese specialties. The menu is dotted with unconventional and trendy additions like Taiwanese popcorn chicken, sous-vide short rib and sashimi with honey wasabi aioli and truffled ponzu sauce. Many of the experimental dishes are imperfect, and unfortunately, some of the menu’s most interesting inclusions are best left unordered. Nonetheless, the food at TBO Fusion makes for an exciting and eclectic meal.

Houston chefs battle it out for prestigious Eater blog awards

(12/03/14 9:49am)

The national blog Eater announced the winners of its annual Houston restaurant awards this past Monday. The awards honored restaurants and chefs in six categories: Restaurant of the Year, Chef of the Year, “So Hot Right Now” (recognizing restaurants with a high level of trendiness), Bartender of the Year, Saddest Closing and “Stone Cold Stunner,” recognizing restaurants with especially impressive decor. Nominees were selected by local food critics and the final winners determined by votes from the blog’s readers.

Album Review: Taylor Swift's "1989", D

(11/05/14 9:22am)

Taylor Swift has been on the pop scene for nearly a decade, making her a staple of radio music since elementary and middle school for me and many of my peers. Her new album, 1989, is named after her birth year. That makes Swift nearly seven years older than the average Rice University freshman. But I still think of her as the seemingly perennial teenager that burst on the scene in 2006 with songs about the overwhelming emotions associated with high -school romance. And her country-tinged, guitar-rock ballads are at least partially responsible for the introduction of country into mainstream-pop radio, although her detractors will call those tunes ‘country pop’ or just ‘pop.’ 

Etoile: classics with a certain je ne sais quoi

(10/22/14 12:53pm)

When our waiter described the night’s special as salmon in beurre blanc, a typical and often unexceptional mainstay of French cuisine, I had my misgivings. It seemed like a waste of a special to add such a common dish to a menu that already contained escargots, foie gras, coq au vin and beef au poivre, to name only a few of Etoile Cuisine’s most traditional plates. But while Etoile specializes in the most common of French dishes, chef Philippe Verpiand’s meticulous preparations make the food uncommonly good. The coq au vin, often boiled into oblivion by less savvy chefs, is simmered to a succulent tenderness and served with enoki mushrooms, which lend the dish a lighter feel than the usual cast of cremini and portobellos. Even the profiteroles are freshly baked and delicate, a testament to Verpiand’s attention to detail.

Rice Players' dreamlike Paganini elicits range of conflicting emotions

(10/08/14 8:57am)

Some plays strive to make audiences laugh, some try to invoke tears, others try to foster deep and insightful thought. The Rice Player’s production of Paganini boldly attempts to achieve all of the above throughout the play, but risks leaving viewers uncertain of how to feel. While the exact time period in which Paganini takes place is vague, the production, set in various European cities, is about a young, once world-renowned violinist whose soul belongs to the devil. Paganini has somewhat of a dreamlike quality throughout, making it difficult at times to distinguish what is real and what is not.

Going meatless at Houston's top meat shop

(10/08/14 8:54am)

Since opening in 2012, Chris Shepherd’s Underbelly has arguably been the quintessential Houstonian restaurant. The menu, which boldly proclaims, “Houston is the new American Creole city of the South,” even won Shepherd a 2014 James Beard Foundation Award for its seamless integration of Houston’s many ethnic influences with traditional southern techniques. Shepherd is perhaps best known for his butchering and charcuterie which, at Underbelly, are embodied by an entire aging room and back-of-house butcher’s shop devoted to butchering, curing and aging the house meats. Shepherd’s expertise is nearly unquestioned in the realm of pork, beef and all things red meat. But in light of the growing number of gourmet diners and chefs moving away from the heavy use of red meat, I wanted to sample the menu without any la viande meats to see if Underbelly’s appeal could be as broad as its influences.