Hearty American fare is front and center at Houston's. Beloved classics like ribs and burgers are favorites here -- "here" including restaurants as far flung as New York City, where locals are prone to pronouncing it "Howston," like the downtown boulevard. But in Dallas, general manager Matthew Gottlieb knows how the name is pronounced and makes sure that customers have a big Texas welcome with pork ribs, the Hickory Burger, a prime rib and desserts like the apple walnut cobbler. The latter receives ecstatic plaudits from loyal customers who enjoy the rich wood décor and open-kitchen design, and know that a meal at Houston's begins with the spinach dip and a scotch or glass of red.
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Take a quick walk through the museum-like produce wing of Central Market and you will notice a frightening thing: brussels sprouts. The terror stems not so much from the sprouts themselves, which, in addition to liver, take top bill...