Medicine, science, technology are big in Houston
Houston's economy has diversified quite a bit from the 1980's, and oil is just half or less of the local economy today.
Although Houston is known for the oil industry and for its large port, new heavy hitters are biotech, computer technology, nanotech, and anything related to medical science.
In fact, the Texas Medical Center district just outside of downtown Houston is the largest medical district in the nation and houses some of the top-rated hospitals around. Collectively, the institutions that make up the Medical Center serve as Houston's largest employer. Research done in the medical center is some of the most the cutting edge in the nation. Medical care and medical research are very important in Houston.
Houston is also home to Compaq (now HP) and many other computer and software related businesses.
And don't forget that NASA mission control and the manned space flight program are headquartered in Houston.
Houston's universities are heavily involved in these endeavors. Rice University, one of the top ranked universities in the nation, is on the forefront of nanotechnology. University of Texas Houston and Galveston, and Baylor College of Medicine are leaders in biomedical science. University of Houston Clear Lake is located across the street from NASA Johnson Space Center.
Just among these, Houston is home to a large number of scientists, physicians, researchers, and engineers.
So please remember that although Houston is still considered to be the "energy capital", this industry is no longer the only large one in the city. And one of the worst things you can do is generalize the east side industrial areas (i.e. refineries and the such) of the Houston metro to the entire city, as many outsiders not very familiar with the city sometimes do.
For Music Fans & Surfers!
Soundwaves is a chain of music stores here in Houston. They have a great selection of cd's, vinyl, and dvds. Also many imports, rare finds, and used cds. They have stations set up around the store to listen to the latest releases, but you can listen to anything they have in the store, just bring it to one of the employees, and they'll take you to a listening station to hear it. They are also one of the best places in town for surf gear, as well as skate gear. Great selection of clothing, shoes, and boards. Prices are relatively the same as most other chain stores, but I've found their selection to be much better. And if they don’t have something that you are looking for, they claim they can get it. Worth a visit! New and used CDs, Vinyl, DVDs, Surfing and Skating gear About Average
All the food is good. This is not a 'posh' restraunt by any means(it's in a strip center next to a record store), but it's open late, and it's inexpensive. Also, though the restraunt is small, it can handle fairly largish groups(6 to 8). Mongolian Beef, Hot'n'Sour soup
Great Tex-Mex - A Little Hurried Service
Doneraki restaurants are a local chain here in Houston, and serve up some of the most delicious Tex-Mex food around. There menu is astounding with an incredible list of traditional Mexican favorites such as enchiladas, fajitas, and tacos, and some of their own twists like Chicken Valentina and Shrimp a la Veracruzana. The lunch menu is very reasonably priced, and they have a decent breakfast served as well. Having visited several locations on many occasions, I can say that the food is consistently fresh and tasty, and the restaurants are very clean and well maintained. And for dinner there is usually a mariachi band that walks around the place and performs for patrons. The only problem with Doneraki sometimes is their tendancy to hurry the service. It's not that it is bad service, the staff is very friendly and you never have to wait for a waiter/waitress to pass by to check on you. But they bring the food to you quick, take the plates away as soon as you are done, and bring the check to you when you are done eating. Someone dining here can feel a little rushed, as I have experienced before. But I would have to say that this shouldn't discourage someone from eating at Doneraki, as it is very good food, and the service and prices are not bad! The Fajitadillas - Tortillas stuffed with Fajita chicken or beef, along with guacamole, sour cream, rice, red beans, and Mexican cheese.
5th Largest Mall in USA - Galleria
The Galleria features more than 350 fine stores and restaurants, an impressive ice skating rink and two Westin hotels.
People come from out of town and even internationally (from Mexico) to shop at the Galleria.
Mon - Sat 10:00am - 9:00pm
Sun 11:00am - 7:00pm
They have a lot of expensive stores here, but they also have normal stores too. This is a good place for one-stop shopping!