Quality Inn & Suites NRG Park - Medical Center
2364 South Loop West
Houston, TX 77054
Phone: (713) 799-2436
Fax: (713) 799-2415
Bars & Cafes
Maxwells the Club is a cool urban club that could easily have been in New York or LA. It is very popular with single 20+ African-Americans looking to hook up or just party the night away. The clientèle at this club knows how to dress and expects the same from you. Maxwell's has 3 dance floors and plays everything from hip-hop, jazz, R&B and house. So, if you are ready for some heavy duty partying with some of the coolest people in town, head down to Maxwells' on a Saturday night.
Olive Garden serves up authentic Italian cuisine. Their signature breadsticks and one-of-a-kind menu make them an American icon. Standard Italian options like bruchetta, calamari, ravioli, and eggplant parmigiana line their lengthy menu. More exotic items like salmon, chicken dishes, and innovative pizzas are also available. For the calorie-counter, Olive Garden has a range of low fat and low carbohydrate options. Their bottomless salads ensure a well-balanced feast. Enjoy your meal with a bottle from their extensive wine list or one of their tropical island drinks. Finally, top it all off with a little something from their dessert menu- their cakes, custards, and ice creams are sure to win you over. Lunch and take out menus are available.
In 1981 this restaurant replaced El Patio, a Mexican original that had been around since 1957. Some of the original decor from the old restaurant can still be found inside. Newcomers dine here daily, but the list of loyal long-time patrons is extensive. The menu offers a diverse mix of Cuban, Mexican and Spanish specialties. Try one of the numerous Spanish seafood dishes, or bring your friends along and share some tapas. If you are a little less adventurous, there is plenty of Tex-Mex to choose from.
Lively Spanish music fills the air and sets the tone at Mi Luna. The bold colors and fun atmosphere are popular with anyone looking to have a great time with friends. Tables on the patio are the hottest seats in the house when the weather is fair. A menu favorite is the shrimp in lemon-garlic olive oil, but with nearly 50 hot and cold selections to choose from, you are certain to find many more that will please.
The two video walls and 20 televisions appeal to far more than sports fans. Step into an interesting environment, complete with a fantastic fiber optics light display, that is constantly changing. Guests enjoy scrumptious homemade hamburgers and beer along with wonderful brick-oven pizza.
The Ginger Man is the perfect spot to catch up with friends over a brew or two. There is a rather expansive beer selection to choose from, with somewhere around 50 beers on tap, with an equal amount of bottled beers to choose from. The walls are adorned with old beer bottles long since consumed, and the place itself smells of beer throughout. There are no mixed drinks here, but for those that love beer, welcome to paradise.
The Black Walnut Cafe, located in Rice Village and consistently frequented by nearby university students, focuses more on providing a cafe experience than tasty cafe dishes. The eclectic and expansive menu offers prices to the fourth decimal place and a wide variety of quick dishes, but the main dishes are overshadowed by the desserts and the ambiance. Casual is key here right from the counter ordering to the piped-in jazz music and leisurely dining. Breakfast, served all day, might be the best reason to visit, other than the desserts and friendly atmosphere.
The striking mural of Saigon certainly inspires conversation in this casual eatery. Located in the heart of Rice Village, it enjoys popularity with the artistic crowd, college students and couples out for a modest romantic evening. For a taste experience that is certain to please, try the shrimp salad, shrimp and pork spring rolls or the Vietnamese gumbo. Alcohol is not served, but it is very doubtful that you will miss it.
On some days, you just want to grab a bowl of hearty soup, a tasty sandwich, or a giant cookie and forget about the world. On those days, head to Ruggles Café Bakery for delectable food at a price that college students will fall in love with. Known citywide for their creative desserts and tasty food, Ruggles offers a cozy atmosphere to meet with friends. They have a kids menu that will delight the little ones in your group. Patrons are invited to bring a bottle of their favorite wine; for no corkage fee, they can enjoy a glass either inside or on a covered patio.
Salento is a wonderful Latin American café/wine bar combo in the heart of the pleasant Rice Village. Their coffee is some of the best in the city, with well-trained baristas manning the steamer. The wine list includes several gems from South America, with great happy hour discounts. Get a window seat along the front wall and people-watch while listening to their mix of mostly underground music. Order a chicken empanada - the best snack in the city!
A gourmet dessert house, Cloud 10 Creamery serves up the most luscious sorbets and ice creams in the city. Located in Rice Village, this petite shop is the first choice of many locals and foodies. If you have a sweet tooth and a meal for you is incomplete without a dessert, then a visit to this awesome place is highly recommended. Pastry Chef Chris Leung, who is behind the creamy goodness of all the desserts here, handcrafts everything from the freshest ingredients. With a horde of seasonal flavors on their menu, the ones that are available year-round include vanilla bean, nutella and marshmallow, toasted rice and spicy dark chocolate.
Park in the visitors lot, entrance 22 and head over to the basement of the chemistry building on Rice University campus for a respectable selection of beer, wine and cider. Run for and by grad students (and alum) keeps the prices low—dollar 12-oz beers on tap or bottled! As a non-profit, you may find yourself getting more "change" back than you paid. The laidback crowd is happy to chat, play some chess, or leave you to your own deep thoughts. On warmer evenings, enjoy your beer out on the lawn. Candy, chips, and sandwiches available. - JoAnn Takasaki