Just last week, author Andrew Ferren featured Houston in the 36 Hours section of the New York Times. A weekly publication in the Travel section, the 36 Hours feature typically reveals the best way to spend your time in a city if you only had three days, including recommendations for the most popular eateries to the most inspiring entertainment.
With the opening caption, “America’s youngest city offers a potpourri pot of cuisines, quirky shops and art with both global and local reach,” readers prepare themselves for a plethora of notable Houston hotspots.
Ferren acknowledges the “frenetic growth” that has identified Houston over the past decade, making it the fourth largest city in the nation, simultaneously generating one of the youngest and most culturally and ethnically diverse cities around. Ferren claims, “it’s not surprising that Houston offers an amazing gastronomic mix — from taco stands, chicken and waffle joints and all manner of barbecue to Greek, Persian and Vietnamese cuisine.”
In addition to cuisine, the article makes noteworthy mention of Houston’s art & museum scenes, describing them as a “strike a balance between an expansive global outlook and strong local support.”
Ferren begins Friday with a trip to artist James Turrell’s “Sky Space” viewing pavilion on the Rice University campus, which he describes as “the perfect place to contemplate the heavens.” He then heads to dinner at one of the city’s newest and hottest dining spots- Helen Greek Food & Wine. To end his evening, Ferren threw back a couple of cocktails at the downtown mezcalaria, The Pastry War, which serves “more than 40 types of agave based spirits.”
Saturday reveals another adventure on Washington Ave. at the trendy breakfast joint, Laredo Taqueria, followed by stroll through Buffalo Bayou Park, post its five year upgrade. A visit to Houston wouldn’t be complete without a walk through the Museum of Fine Arts, labeled by Ferren as a “vast art collection and roster of special exhibitions that vividly reflect the city’s cultural mix and civic aspirations.”
Ferren enjoyed a lunch at Goode Co. Seafood on Saturday afternoon, a “laid-back beachtown diner” with a number of “standout” dishes. Ferren shops along Westheimer in both River Oaks and West Ave before securing a highly coveted table at another new Houston hotspot, State of Grace, that features “Houston’s new eclecticism: lobster hush puppies, queso Oaxaca, Wagyu beef carpaccio, pork schnitzel, and roast duck carnitas for two.”
Before departing on Sunday, Ferren battles the “morning rush hour and parking frenzy” to sample a bialy and a duck breast tartine at Common Bond. Then it’s time for more shopping at “the cluster of quirky antiques shops along Westheimer near Dunlavy.” Concluding his visit, Fennel makes time to visit the Menil art campus, “a home of the renowned Menil Collection, Rothko Chapel, Cy Twombly Gallery and Dan Flavin Installation at Richmond Hall (all free) just west of Montrose,” with his final meal nextdoor at the Bistrol Menil.