Businesses on the Rise in Houston

Did you know that many companies in Houston were on the 2014 Inc. 5000? “Boasting a home-field advantage with such industries as health care and energy, Houston is poised for an even bigger small business scene in the years to come.” Henry (2014). Let’s take a closer look at a few businesses in Houston that continue to rapidly grow.

Cradle Solution

This company is known for having two main divisions. They provide custom application software, along with detailed technical training for the Oil and Gas industry. Although they are a smaller company, in 2014 they were ranked 721 on the Inc. 5000 with a three year growth rate of 629 percent. Henry (2014). Cradle’s training has been so successful that just about all of their business is repeat customers or word-of-mouth-referrals. To learn more you can visit their website by clicking here Cradle Solution.

Worldwide Power Products

Worldwide Power Products is a leading provider of new, surplus, used and remanufactured engines and generator sets. The company ranked number 910 on the 2014 Inc. 5000. Worldwide Power Products prides itself on investing in the community and maintaining a high quality of life where their employees work and live. You will find that their staff are constantly volunteering anywhere in the community that they can. More information can be found by clicking here Worldwide Power Products.

Southern Green Builders

“This construction company is number 284 on the 2014 Inc. 5000 and the third fastest-growing company in Houston.” Henry (2014). Residents of Houston can depend on Southern Green Builders for high quality craftsmanship, professional service, and timely completion. The company prides themselves on listening to their customers in order to fully understand their vision and what is important to them. Customers also have access to state-of-the-art software that allows them to keep in touch and well-informed during the life of their project from pre-construction to warranty.

If you are looking to start your own business, Houston may be the city for you! This small business scene is expected to continue growing for many years to come.

References:

Henry, Zoe (2014). The 10 Fastest-Growing Companies in Houston. Inc. 5000. Retrieved from: http://www.inc.com/zoe-henry/10-fastest-growing-companies-in-houston.html

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Houston’s Best Date Spots

Are you about to go on a date with some you’ve just met but aren’t sure where to go? Whether you’re in the mood for dinner, a glass of wine, or watching live music, there are many great places to go around Houston that are sure to make the night memorable.

Fitzgerald’s

If you’re in the mood for live music, Fitzgerald’s is the place to go! Fitzgerald’s opened in 1977 and since then has been THE place to go for live music in Houston. The first floor features a full bar and smaller stage which leads to a large cobblestoned back patio with another bar and more than enough seating. The main stage is located upstairs along with another full bar, a large original wooden dance floor and an outdoor anterior balcony. A full list of upcoming shows can be found at their website by clicking here Fitzgerald’s.

Downtown Food Tour

Enjoy a tour of all the great restaurants that Downtown, Montrose, or The Heights has to offer with a Houston Culinary Tour. During a tour of Downtown you’ll be able to try Tex-Mex, Spanish tapas, craft beers, locally grown organic produce and more! The Montrose Dine Around Tour, “combines a cultural, historical, and architectural tour with a progressive meal, held at four critically acclaimed local restaurants.” www.houstonculinarytours.com. The Heights Food Tour is a three-hour walking food tour that discusses the evolution of the area’s history, architecture and culture. During this time you will also stop at various restaurants where you can enjoy a variety of food and drink. This is a great date idea for all you foodies out there.

13 Celsius

At 13 Celsius you will find a great selection of wines of the highest quality from all over the world. While you’re there be sure to enjoy another great feature of this unique wine bar, table-side s’mores! 13 Celsius can be found at 300 Caroline, and is housed in a 1920s era Mediterranean-style building. The amazing selections of wine along with a warm, welcoming atmosphere make this the perfect place for a date night. You can visit their website to learn more by clicking here 13 Celsius.

One great thing about Houston is that there is never a shortage a fun and exciting places to go on a date. From great restaurants to wine bars, and places to see live music, you and your date will always have somewhere to spend quality time together.

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Houston’s Best Hair Salons

One great thing you’ll find about Houston is that there is no shortage of great hair salons to choose from. While some will pamper you, others bring a unique, cutting-edge style. Let’s take a closer look at some of the finest hair salons Houston has to offer.

The Upper Hand

Known as one of Houston’s most respected hair salons, The Upper Hand features both nationally and internationally trained hair stylists. The Upper Hand has two salons in Houston, and both have been showcased in national publications, on the radio, and even on news segments. Throughout the past few years the Best of Citysearch, which is an annual nationwide competition, has recognized this great hair salon with 20 first place “Best of Houston” awards. This includes best hair salon, best hair color, best haircut, best brow shaping, best nail salon, and many more! To learn more about this salon, and to see some great pictures of what they can do, please click here The Upper Hand.

David, Etc.

David, Etc. is known around Houston as a friendly, yet professional hair salon, located in the historic Houston Heights area. “With a clientele that travel from all around Houston and beyond to reach us, the salon is always buzzing with activity.” – David, Etc. Official Website. A fixture of Houston since 2001, David, Etc. boasts having some of the best stylists in Houston. Over the years they’ve received a few awards, including 5th place for Best Hair Salon in 2010 and 2012. Their services include haircuts and styling services, permanent wave/ texture services, color services, and conditioning. You can learn more by visiting their official website David Etc.

Studio 3 Salon

“Our goal is to provide an atmosphere where beauty, comfort and personalized attention combine to create a pleasant experience for both our guests and employees.” At Studio 3 Salon you will find a team of well-educated hair styling professionals. The staff prides themselves on ensuring personal care and comfort while following all state and local mandates. Those looking for professionalism and creativity will surely find it at Studio 3 Salon. To view a list of services along with a photo gallery of their work, please click here Studio 3 Salon.

If you have just moved to Houston and are looking for salon that’s right for you, then you’re in luck! With many great salons that offer everything from the latest hair styles to hair colors, you’re sure to find one that’s right for you.

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Houston’s Best Parks

Did you know that Houston rates first among the nation’s 10 most populous cities in total acreage of parkland? (Visithoustontexas.com). Let’s take a closer look at some of the most popular parks in Houston.

Mason Park

One thing that is attractive about Mason Park is Braes Bayou. “Braes Bayou winds through the park giving visitors their choice of waterside spots for picnics or PDA sessions.” Alvarez (2013). Mason Park also has more than 100 acres for you to enjoy. If you enjoy playing sports, this park has several tennis courts, basketball courts, soccer fields, a baseball field and a lot more! Mason Park is located at 541 South 75th Street.

Sam Houston Park

“Walking into Sam Houston Park, which sits on the edge of downtown, is a bit like walking into the past.” Alvarez (2013). This park is actually the oldest in Houston, having been started in 1899. While you’re there, be sure to visit the museum that the Heritage Society has on the grounds, along with many old homes from the 1800s that have been restored. Sam Houston Park is also the home to several events and festivals that happen during the year. This beautiful park can be found at 1100 Bagby.

Sesquicentennial Park

Like Sam Houston Park, Sesquicentennial Park also hosts several different festivals. While there you can also catch some canoe and boat races. “Just over 10 acres, the park is almost entirely made up of waterfront, some of it neat and manicured, and some of it wild and natural.” Alvarez (2013). One fun fact about this park is that it was established in 1986 to commemorate the 150 year anniversary of the founding of the city of Houston. Sesquicentennial Park is located at 400 Texas Avenue.

Allen’s Landing

This is a very historic park that helps define the city of Houston. “At less than two acres, Allen’s Landing is the smallest park on our list, but it may be the most historically important. This is where the Allen brothers, August and John, landed in 1836 when they first came to the area to start at settlement.” Alvarez (2013). Allen’s Landing also became Houston’s first port, which became a symbol of the city’s entrepreneurial spirit. You can learn more by visiting their website Allen’s Landing.

One great thing about Houston is that there is no shortage of beautiful parks to provide a great setting for a day out with family and friends. Every park has its own unique features that are sure to satisfy any outdoor enthusiast.

References:

Alvarez, O. (2013). The Rest of the Best: Top 10 Parks in Houston. Houston Press. Retrieved from http://blogs.houstonpress.com/artattack/2013/03/the_rest_of_the_best_top_10_pa.php

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Houston’s Best Restaurants

Some of the best restaurants in the country are found right here in Houston, TX. Many of these restaurants have won awards, and some have even been featured on The Food Network. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why these restaurants are so popular.

Backstreet Café

Backstreet Café, located at 1103 South Shepherd Drive, was named one of the 50 hot restaurants for summer by Nation’s Restaurant News in 2013. In addition, Chef Hugo Ortega was named James Beard Award finalist for Best Chef: Southwest in 2012 and 2013. “The menu is a perfect reflection of diverse Houston, with Southern, Cajun, Creole, Hispanic and Asian influences, among others.” (backstreetcafe.net). Backstreet Café is also known for its Sunday brunch, featuring live Jazz, amazing food and great cocktails! One of the lunch and dinner favorites is the meat loaf tower, which comes with mashed potatoes, sautéed spinach and mushroom gravy. You can visit their website by clicking here Backstreet Café.

Beaver’s

If you’re looking for a cool place to hang out with your friends and enjoy great drinks and food, Beaver’s is the place to go! Their motto is “Dam good food, drinks and fun.” Beaver’s was included on Food & Wine’s list of the best steaks in the U.S. for 2012. They were also featured on the Food Network’s Meat & Potatoes in 2011. Over the years Beaver’s has become one of THE places to go for foodies from all across the region. You can find this great restaurant at 2310 Decatur. Learn more by visiting their website Beaver’s.

Killen’s Barbecue

If you’re a fan of barbecue, then you’ve got to try Killen’s Barbecue. Some of their menu offerings include mesquite smoked beef and pork ribs, brisket, sausage, pulled pork, and link sausage. In addition, Killen’s serves a mustard-based potato salad, spicy pulled pork pinto beans, ramen coleslaw, house-made spicy bread-and-butter pickles, and pickled jalapenos and onions. Killen’s was featured in the Texas Barbecue Roundup: 30 most must-try spots by Zagat in 2014. They were also among the 50 most anticipated restaurant openings of 2014, as rated by Eater.com. Check out their great menu by clicking here Killen’s Barbecue.

Pappas Bros. Steakhouse

Pappas Bros. Steakhouse takes great pride in providing their guests with an exceptional dining experience. In fact, they were included on the Daily Meal’s list of America’s top 20 Steakhouses in 2013. In addition to their great menu, Pappas Bros. also has an extensive selection of over 2,300 wines to compliment your meal. They were also included on Eater.com’s list of the 22 restaurants with the best value wine lists in the U.S. for 2012. To find out more about this great restaurant, click here Pappas Bros. Steakhouse.

Living in Houston you’ll find that there is no shortage of great places to eat. Many of these restaurants have not only won awards, but have been featured on T.V. as well. All of the restaurants listed above offer great food and dining experiences.

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Houston’s Food Truck Craze

Ever since they first hit the streets in late 2010, food trucks in Houston have continued to grow in popularity. New food trucks are continuing to pop up, each more creative than the last. “Houston food trucks have never been more clever, more inventive or more consistently enjoyable than they are right now.” Shilcutt (2013). Which food trucks should you try? Continue reading to find out!

Breakfast Burritos Anonymous

Start your day off with a delicious breakfast burrito from Breakfast Burritos Anonymous. BBA Mobile, as it is most commonly known as, can usually be found parked outside Inversion Coffee House, which is located at 1953 Montrose Boulevard. Along with a great selection of burritos you’ll also find great healthy options such as turkey sausage and egg whites. You can check out their menu by clicking here Breakfast Burritos Anonymous – Menu.

Flip ‘n Patties

If you’re looking for a great burger or Filipino street food, then be sure to stop by Flip ‘n Patties food truck. While you’re there, why not do some karaoke as well?! They have a TV screen and sound system embedded right in their truck! Their menu includes a selection of delicious burgers, chicken dishes, fries, desserts, and even a vegetarian option. To see where Flip ‘n Patties is going to be next please click here Flip ‘n Patties Schedule.

Phamily Bites

Phamily Bites, created and owned by Chef Van Pham, started in 2011 and was one of Houston’s first food trucks. This was Houston’s first, and still its best, Vietnamese food truck. One of their signature menu items is the Vandlizer, which is tender filet mignon beef chunks served on a fresh baked VN baguette, garnished with fresh homemade VN mayonnaise and more! You can view their entire menu here Phamily Bites – Menu. They are also available to hire for special events.

Bernie’s Burger Bus

Bernie’s Burger Bus has been serving Houston since 2010, and in 2012 won the Houston Press Burger Bracket. All of their burgers are made with fresh-ground Black Angus beef, freshly made baked buns, and condiments that are homemade from scratch. They have a school-themed menu that includes burgers such as “The Principle”; “The Substitute”; “Homeroom’; and even “Detention.” You can find out exactly what these burgers are by clicking here Bernie’s Burger Bus.

Next time you’re on the go and looking for somewhere to grab a bite to eat, be sure to try any of the delicious food trucks listed above. Each contains a myriad of options that are sure to not disappoint!

References:

Shilcutt. (2013). The Rest of the Best: Houston’s Top 10 “Fancy” Food Trucks. Houston Press. Retrieved from: http://blogs.houstonpress.com/eating/2013/04/the_rest_of_the_best_houstons_43.php

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The Top Bars in Houston

Not only does Houston have amazing restaurants and shopping malls, there is also a great selection of bars. You’ll find everything from classic haunts and beer bars to classy cocktail joints. Below are a few of the bars you should plan to visit in the near future!

Anvil Bar & Refuge

Having opened in 2009, Anvil Bar & Refuge is the first bar in Houston devoted to classic cocktails. You will always find at least eight original cocktails available on the menu, as well as a small, well-edited selection of beers on tap. Also available is a rotating selection of rare craft brews. Next time you’re looking for a place to hang out with some friends, try the warm, inviting and friendly vibe of Anvil Bar & Refuge, located at 1424 Westheimer Rd. Suite B.

Camerata at Paulie’s

This bar gets its name from the Florentine Camerata, which is a group of artists, musicians, intellectuals and writers in Renaissance Florence, Italy. The goal of owners David and Paul is to provide an unpretentious meeting place where people can go to enjoy delicious drinks that are made by people and not by companies. (pauliesrestaurant.com). You’ll also find a great selection of beers, meats and cheeses. The wine list is broken down by flavor instead of origin, making it much easier to find the right glass or bottle. You can learn more about this unique bar by clicking here Camerata at Paulie’s.

OKRA Charity Saloon

The bar is very unique. OKRA Charity Saloon donates its profits from all drinks sold to local charities every month. When you buy a drink you’ll receive one vote that may be cast that night for one of the four charities selected by OKRA’s members. Any interested charities can submit an application at their website by clicking here OKRA Charity Saloon. You can also go there to see a list of past charities that have received donations. The menu includes a selection of Panini’s, fried okra, waffle fries with house-made condiments and chocolate chip cookies and milk. OKRA Charity Saloon is located at 924 Congress.

La Carafe

La Carafe, housed in Downtown Houston’s oldest building, has a unique atmosphere that feels like you’ve been taken back in time to the 1800s. Here you will find candelabras and antiques in every nook and cranny, along with exposed brick, dim lighting, and intimate seating. For all you music fans, La Carafe has the best jukebox in Houston. You’ll also find that they have a wine list that is sure to satisfy everyone.

Next time you have a night out planned with friends or your significant other, you’ll be sure to have a great time at any of the bars listed above. Don’t forget to also check out all of the other great bars that Houston has to offer!

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The Best Kept Secrets of Houston

Houston is certainly known for its great restaurants, shopping centers, and entertainment, but there are also a few secrets that the city has. Let’s take a look at some of the best kept secrets of Houston.

Downtown Tunnel System

“Downtown’s ‘underground’ is a system of tunnels 20 feet below Houston’s downtown streets and more than 6 miles long.” – Downtown Houston Official Website. Here you will find close to 70 restaurants, coffee shops, jewelry stores, dental and medical offices, newsstands, gift shops and so much more! This district began in 1995 and connects 95 city blocks. There are also many different entrance and exit points to the city from the tunnel system. You can visit the official Downtown Houston Tunnel System website to learn more.

The Texas Junk Company

This is definitely one of the better kept secrets of Houston. Located in the Montrose neighborhood, you’ll find a giant selection of used bargain items at the Texas Junk Company. Among everything there you will find tennis rackets, frames, vintage luggage, and artwork. What they are most known for, however, is the rodeo wear and more specifically, the cowboy boots. Upon entering you will find many rows of “pre-owned” boots that are sorted by size. Some of the boots are really simple, and some are really fancy. Some are also brand new looking, and others are very well worn. Be sure to like them on Facebook for more updates, along with days and times they are open The Texas Junk Company – Facebook.

City Hall Farmers Market

The City Hall Farmers Market recently re-opened on Wednesday, February 25th for the season. Those who visit the Farmers Market will have access to over 30 vendors that will have fresh local produce grown by local farmers, cheeses, breads, and more! You will also find a few of Houston’s finest food trucks there. The Market runs every Wednesday from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm at Hermann Square in front of City Hall. To learn more about the vendors that will be there please click here City Hall Farmers Market.

All of the places listed above are just another reason why Houston is a great town to live in. No matter what your interests are, Houston has something for you!

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The Best Places in Houston to Get Dessert

For those of us with a sweet tooth, which is just about all of us, there are many great places in Houston that specialize in just dessert. When you are craving a piece of cake, chocolate, or pastry, these are the places you will want to go!

Dolce Delights

Owned by Candace Chang, Dolce Delights is a great place to go to get some of the best pastries in Houston. Along with delicious pastries, Dolce Delights also offers an assortment of mousse cakes and French macarons that are available in a wide variety of flavors. Those looking for healthy options will find that Candace also offers low calorie, one serving portions. You may also find that some of her desserts are almost too pretty to eat! To see the menu of signature cakes, French macarons, coffee and other items please click here Dolce Delights Menu.

The Chocolate Bar

Is chocolate your favorite dessert? If so, you must try The Chocolate Bar! In fact, they were featured on the Food Network’s new series “Kid in a Candy Store,” which aired in July 2014. They have a great selection of gourmet chocolate bars, fresh fruit dipped in chocolate, chocolate covered popcorn, and much more. One of their most popular desserts is the Uncle Darryl’s, which features four layers of dark chocolate cake layered with chocolate frosting studded with toffee and bittersweet chocolate chucks plus a chocolate ganache coating. In addition, they also have a great selection of ice cream that includes double shot espresso, German chocolate, root beer float, lemon velvet, triple decadence and many others. To see everything they have to offer you can visit their website by clicking here The Chocolate Bar. You can even watch a video of the talented staff making chocolate!

Happy Fatz

When you are in the mood for cheesecake, Happy Fatz is the place to go! Here you will find a unique and delicious selection of cheesecake. The options do chance daily, so if there is something in specific you are looking for be sure to call ahead of time. A few of the unique cheesecake selections include gorgonzola cheesecake, which is a blend of blue cheese and fresh herbs that can be served warm or cold, and olive pesto cheesecake, which is a perfect pairing with salad. To see the rest of the cheesecakes available please click here Savory Cheesecakes.

When you get that craving for a delicious dessert, there are plenty of places in Houston to satisfy your palate. Whether you like cake, chocolate, pastries or cheesecake, you’ll find shops that have something for everyone!

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The Best Places to Shop in Houston

As the fourth largest city in the nation, Houston is known for having some of the best places to shop. Whether you live in Houston or are a tourist, this list below will help give you a good idea of some shopping hot spots.

Uptown Park

Located at 1101 Uptown Park Boulevard, Uptown Park features over 50 amazing places to shop, rejuvenate, and enjoy an atmosphere where European elegance meets Texas style. You can experience the finest specialty shops, boutiques and national retailers with over 38 unique and upscale places to satisfy your shopping needs. From clothing for him, her and children, fine jewelry, dome décor, furniture, one-of-a-kind specialty products and more, you’ll find everything you need! For more information you can visit their website by clicking here Uptown Park.

River Oaks Shopping Center

River Oaks Shopping Center, located at 1964 West Gray Street, is known for providing a great balance of nationally recognized stores, eclectic shops, and unique dining options that are sure to please people with all different tastes. There are over 75 diverse stores and restaurants to choose from. You can shop for works of art, eat delicious cuisine, look for a great new book, and so much more. To help make things easier for you, River Oak Shopping Center offers valet, curbside parking and garage parking. To learn more about all of the shops and restaurants you visit their website by clicking here River Oak Shopping Center.

The Galleria

The Galleria is Texas’ largest shopping center and fourth largest domain nationally. With 400 stores and restaurants, two high-rise hotels, and three office towers, The Galleria is known as Houston’s most popular retail and tourist destination. While there you’ll find such great stores as Neiman Marcus, two Macy’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom, Ralph Lauren, Louis Vuitton, and more! Younger shoppers can satisfy their fashion needs at stores like Juicy Couture, Abercrombie & Fitch, J. Crew, Gap, and Banana Republic. The Galleria can be found at 5085 Westheimer Road. To learn more please click here The Galleria.


Houston has many shopping centers that have a variety of great stores to choose from. You’ll always be able to find something that not only fits your style, but your budget as well. As always, the professionals at Coldwell Banker United can also answer any questions you have pertaining to Houston. Feel free to call us with any questions at (281) 517-8400

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