February is Black History Month to celebrate the works of African Americans. For events and soul food in Houston, Texas, visit https://www.visithoustontexas.com/events/black-history-month/
Tuesday, February 18-28 — Early Voting for the March 3 primary (Democratic and Republican parties). This week polls are open Monday – Friday from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. Early Voting ends this Friday.
At check-in, registered Harris County voters must choose the Democratic or Republican primary to vote.
A new, more inclusive feature: A Multi-lingual Virtual Poll Worker Translator in 29 different languages.
After check-in is completed, voters select their preference for President, Congress, Senate, State Representatives and Harris County races. During the primary runoffs and in November, registered voters can vote for candidates in both parties.
For a sample Democratic or Republican party ballot, voting locations, acceptable photo identification and more information, visit http://www.harrisvotes.com. No electronic devices are allowed inside the polling site for voting, according to Texas state election law.
If you are campaigning for a candidate at a polling site, you must be behind the “distance marker signs” at the polling site. Poll workers are not responsible for moving or putting up campaign signs.
If your clothing refers to/associated with a political party or a candidate, elected official, you will be asked to cover it or turn cap, hat/clothing item inside out at the polling site.
Any questions: Ask the presiding judge at the polling site.
February 26 –Ash Wednesday
March 3 — Primary Day. If you did not participate in Early Voting, cast your ballot today. At check in, registered Harris County voters must choose the Democratic or Republican primary to vote. After check-in, voters can select their preference for President, Congress, Senate, State Representatives and Harris County races.
A new, more inclusive feature: A Multi-lingual Virtual Poll Worker Translator in 29 different languages.
During the primary runoffs and in November, registered voters can vote for candidates in both parties on the ballot.
For sample Democratic or Republican party ballot, acceptable photo identification, voting locations and more information, visit http://www.harrisvotes.com. Shut off electronic devices. Electronic devices are not allowed inside the polling site for voting, according to Texas state election law.
March 3-22 — Rodeo Houston at NRG Park. For more information, visit https://www.rodeohouston.com/
For cheapest gas prices, visit http://www.gasbuddy.com
For Metro Houston’s Park and Ride fares:
For things to do and free activities in Houston, http://www.visithoustontexas.com.
Local churches, synagogues, mosques and places of faith also have activities including mission trips, holiday donation drives, Thanksgiving services and other events for families, individuals to pray, worship, have fellowship and spread the joy, blessings of their faith to the community.
Free Things to Do in Houston:
The Water Wall near Galleria is open. Visit Water Wall park.
Free Port of Houston Sam Houston boat tour. The boat tour is closed Mondays and Sundays. The free boat tours are 10 a.m. on Thursdays and on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays at 10 a.m., 230 p.m. On Saturdays, the free boat tours are 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. The address is 7300 Clinton Drive, Houston, Texas 77020. Phone: 713-670-2631.
Places to visit in Houston, Texas –Space Center Houston is a must see for visitors and locals. While Houston is known for being an oil and gas energy city, space exploration and NASA reaching for the moon and the stars put Houston on the worldwide map. Admission includes tram tours of Johnson Space Center. Visitor tip: Take the tram tours first.
There also are the Texas Medical Center, the Museum District, the Galleria Shopping Mall, the Hines Water Wall Park near the Galleria, Downtown Houston, the Aquarium, Hermann and Memorial Parks and San Jacinto Monument in La Porte, Texas for visitors to H-town. Galveston beaches and Galveston attractions (Moody Gardens, the Strand and Cruise-Port area) are a 45-minute drive from metro Houston on I-45 South. There also are historic sports tours of Houston’s stadiums and arenas.
Places to Eat and Shop:
Houston has many restaurants for diverse, multi-cultural, ethnic and American tastes. On the go? Bucee’s is Texas’s favorite place to fuel up your vehicle and yourself. Buc-ees has food, gifts and gas at its Pearland, Katy, Houston area and Texas locations.
Shopping: The Galleria in Houston offers high-end retail stores, Macys, Nordstroms, restaurants, food court and a cool ice skating rink. Memorial City in west Houston also a popular shopping and restaurant destination for families and visitors. Closer to the Texas Medical Center are Rice University Village and Highland Village for shopping and places to eat. Outside Houston city limits, take I-10 West for Designer Outlets at Katy Mills in Katy, Texas. Take Highway 290 in northwest Houston to the Houston Premium Outlets in Cypress, Texas.
For Texas Barbeque, foodies head to Killen’s in Pearland and Rudy’s in the outer suburbs of metro Houston. Killens also offers table service at 5 p.m., but reservations are recommended. For lunch at Killens, expect lines out the door from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays.
Goode & Company on Katy Freeway I-10 between Bingle/Voss and Campbell Road exits and Rudy’s (all locations) also serve wonderful, moist Texas barbeque.
Blood Brothers in the Bellaire Triangle on Bellaire Boulevard also is drawing bbq foodies. It is open Wednesdays through Sundays from 11 a.m. and closes when they run out of barbeque. (Closed Mondays and Tuesdays)
Roegel’s on S. Voss, Spring Creek BBQ in Pearland and Katy, Desmeris Barbeque on South Shepherd, Brisket BBQ in Bellaire and Pappas Barbeque also are popular family-friendly barbeque places in the Houston area.
Lockhart, Texas is a 2-3 hour drive from Houston and 35 miles southeast of Austin, Texas. Lockhart is officially the Barbeque Capitol of Texas, according to the Texas Legislature.
Cafeterias are rare, but Houston has Cleburne’s Cafeteria in West University and Luby’s Cafeterias for cafeteria foodies.
For Mexican food: the original Ninfa’s Mexican Restaurant on Navigation Street east of downtown Houston is a popular destination. There’s also a Ninfa’s at San Felipe and Post Oak in the Galleria area. Locals and visitors also head to Lopez Mexican restaurant at 11606 S. Wilcrest in SW Houston for Tex-Mex food. There’s also Los Tios, El Ranchero (both in Meyerland) and other Mexican restaurants and taquerias in around Houston.
The combination beef and chicken fajitas at Carmen’s Mexican Restaurant in the Bellaire Triangle on Bellaire Boulevard.
For Cuban food, La Vina Café at 9381 Richmond Avenue in southwest Houston.
For Greek and Mediterranean food, Nikos Restaurant and Fadi’s Mediterranean Grill offer salads, humus, vegetarian and grilled entrees from gyros to lamb shanks. There also are numerous Indian restaurants in southwest Houston. India’s Restaurant on Richmond near Chimney Rock serves a daily buffet of Indian food. Phoenicia Specialty Foods at 12141 Westheimer has Mediterranean groceries and prepared food.
For Asian food, Houston’s Chinatown, Vietnamese Town, Asian Town and in Katy, Texas have Asian food and shops. Many are on Bellaire Boulevard in southwest Houston. There’s Fung’s Kitchen on HW 59, Golden Dim Sum, Ocean Palace, Confucius, East Wall, Fu-Fu Restaurant, Don Cafe, Jang Guem Tofu and BBQ House (Korean) on Bellaire Boulevard in Houston’s Chinatown. Tan-Tan on Bellaire Boulevard and Westheimer, Seoul (Korean) in Spring Branch.
With more spicy Sichuan restaurants opening in Chinatown and Houston, but you’re looking for good Hong Kong style or traditional Cantonese food, visit MEIN on Clarewood near Corporate Drive, Wing Kee on Wilcrest near Bellaire Boulevard and Fung’s Kitchen on SW Freeway service road near Bellaire Boulevard. Fung’s also serves Dim Sum, good Peking Duck daily and lunch specials Mondays – Fridays.
For the best Peking Duck in the Houston area, visit Bamboo House near Bush Intercontinental Airport. The address is 7855 North Sam Houston Parkway East in Humble, Texas. Bamboo House on Westheimer near Fountainview, west of the Galleria also recently opened.
Kim Bo Chinese Restaurant in Sugarland, Texas has an “A” in city health department restaurant inspections. It serves Chinese traditional food.
Hu’s Cooking, 2502 W. Holcombe Blvd near Kirby draws Rice University and Houston Medical Center customers with its home style Sichuan (spicy, southwest China) and Cantonese dishes (mild, southeast China) dishes. It is closed on Tuesdays and opens at 11:30 a.m. -3 p.m. for lunch, 5 p.m.- 9 p.m. for dinner.
For Japanese food, Samurai Restaurant in Bellaire, Benihana’s in downtown Houston and on Westheimer are some of the larger Japanese restaurants in Houston. There also are numerous sushi and Japanese restaurants in the suburbs.
Gy0-Kaku is “cook it yourself at the table” Japanese marinated BBQ beef, chicken, seafood for family, friends. It is very good and has locations in Houston, Sugarland, Texas and around the world. Sugarland is a 40-45 minute drive from downtown Houston on I-69 South.
Large Asian grocery stores like Ranch 99, Viet Hoa, Hong Kong Market, Welcome, Super H Market also offer box lunches and some have food courts. For Boba Tea, visit Star Snow Ice, Tapioca House in the Welcome shopping Center on Bellaire Boulevard and Tea House locations in Chinatown. Tapioca House also serves combo bento box meals with Boba Tea for $7-$8. Tapioca House has locations in Austin and Dallas. For Thai food, Thai Gourmet Restaurant at 6324 Richmond Avenue west of the Galleria area.
For Burgers: In N Out Burgers in Stafford and Katy, Texas. The California chain opened in November 2019. There also are Texas’s What A Burger locations throughout the Houston area. You also can top your own 1/4 or 1/3 pound fresh beef burgers with fresh lettuce, tomato, pickle, onions, salsa at Fuddruckers Hamburgers. There’s also Stanton’s City Bites located north of downtown Houston.
For Turkey legs and Creole side dishes, the Turkey Leg Hut, 4830 Almeda Road, is famous for its stuffed turkey legs and soul food. Turkey leg prices are $10-$28. The popular Turkey Leg Hut is located southeast of Hermann Park and the Museum District. If you are watching your carbohydrates, Turkey Leg Hut also will serve the leg with topping (macaroni and cheese, fries, etc) on the side.
For New Orleans food, there are Brennan’s at 3300 Smith Street (reservations recommended), Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen (3 locations) and other Cajun/Creole restaurants. Tres Beards Market Square in downtown Houston serves southern comfort food.
For delicious seafood platters, dine at the Monument Inn Restaurant when visiting the Battleship Texas and San Jacinto Monument in La Porte. It’s right on the Houston Ship Channel. There also are good seafood restaurants along the Seawall in Galveston with Gulf of Mexico views.
Yosemite National Park Galveston, Texas
Mondays through Saturdays – Harris County Community Centers in the Houston area offer free classes with volunteer teachers. Learn Spanish, English, French, Mandarin Chinese, yoga, exercise, self defense, knitting, CPR and other things that interest you. Students may be required to pay for materials in the free classes. For monthly class schedules at Trini Mendenhall Community Center, 1414 Wirt Road, call 713- 956-0881 or at the county community center near you, visit http://www.pct3.com