Re-Imagining Uses for the Astrodome

The Astrodome’s ship has all but sailed: Houston voters last week decided, by a margin of 53 to 47, not to turn it into a convention and events center. While there’s still the chance that a private investor will attempt to redevelop the space, or that the city will hold another vote before the building’s as-yet-unscheduled demolition, the fate of the building is probably decided, and it probably doesn’t look good. 

Still, if the Astrodome were to be redeveloped, what would that look like? The city has solicited proposals in the past, though none have progressed very far—and the fact that Harris County Sports and Convention Corporation Executive Director Willie Loston told KXAN that they range “from the sublime to the ridiculous” may be a part of why. So when Architect’s Newspaper announced the winners of their Astrodome redevelopment proposal contest, we took note: maybe there’s a good idea in that bunch? 

“Good” might be too strong a way to put it for some, but “sublime to ridiculous” is still at play here. Feel free to take a look at their four winners and determine where they fit

Osteria Mazzantini

On this boulevard crowded with culinary stars, John Sheely’s restaurant shines. Among our celebratory bunch, superlatives flowed over the likes of black mussels in garlicky pomodoro served with grilled crusty bread and peppery arugula salad balanced with sweet pears, salty prosciutto, and lemon zest. The compliments kept coming for tender seared duck breast with decadent duck-and-liver sausage in Madeira jus and “best ever” lamb tenderloin with lemon-thyme jus.

Houston, Two Of Your Sons Need To Go Home And Call It A Night

Okay, Houston, we should talk, because you’re not going to like what you see here. Deadspin, the sports news and gossip arm of the Gawker network, balances its coverage of breaking stories with stuff like “Tuesday Night Fights,” where they snark on street-fight videos on YouTube. And last night’s edition featured two drunk H-Town bros brawling in broad daylight at the Texas Crawfish Music Festival in Old Town Spring.  

The video, if it’s not clear from the fact that it’s footage of two guys trying to punch each other out in the midst of a festival, is pretty NSFW . But perhaps even sadder than the footage is the commentary that Deadspin ran along with it, by Texan Tashina Richardson:

Cooking For Houston's Revival Market

For the past two-and-a-half years, Houston’s Revival Market has expanded and evolved into a Heights neighborhood staple. When the much-buzzed-about market first opened, it featured a small selection of local produce and meats, but nowadays, Revival has expanded into a bustling grocer shop, complete with a daily breakfast and lunch menu, cases of charcuterie and meats, and a collection of local farmer, rancher, and artisan goods.

The Federal Grill

With a lively bar and handsome dining room, this youngster (once Branch Water Tavern) on the Shepherd strip is an up-and-comer. Our hungry party sampled nine items on the appealing, upscale American menu. The only quibble: the luscious-looking Texas wagyu burger that could have stood some seasoning (but the hand-cut fries were just right).

Lucille’s

Guests flock to chef Chris Williams’s museum-area abode for upscale Southern comfort food with European touches. We cannot resist the buttery hot rolls à la Great-grandmother Lucille, nor the cornbread laced with peppers. An endive-radicchio salad with crisp apple and almonds was lovely but arrived in a creamy Caesar dressing, not in the advertised citrus herb dressing, which would have made more sense.

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